The Big 12 is making just its second College Football Playoff appearance this New Year’s Day. Second-ranked Oklahoma will face No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl.
The Big 12 and Pac-12 are now tied for the fewest appearances in the event’s brief history. The only previous trip for the Big 12 to college football’s final four was in 2015 — also Oklahoma. The Sooners fell to Clemson in the semifinals.
And that’s how the Big 12 has yet to even win a single game in the playoff — the lone conference with that distinction.
But what if the playoff, as many wish it to be, was played in an eight-team format? Would the Big 12 have benefited much from that hypothetical?
Based on the CFP rankings we’ve been handed each selection day since 2014, the Big 12 would have more than double its current number of two individual appearances in the playoff. Albeit, only three additional slots would have been represented by the conference.
Alas, here’s how the playoff would have looked thus far if the field was doubled.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Michigan State
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 7 Mississippi State
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 TCU
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Baylor
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 8 Notre Dame
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 7 Ohio State
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Stanford
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Iowa
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 7 Oklahoma
No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Michigan
No. 4 Washington vs No. 5 Penn State
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 8 USC
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Auburn
No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 6 Wisconsin
No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 5 Ohio State
In regards to pairings that haven’t happened of late among Big 12 teams, we can only imagine what would have been if TCU and Baylor had the chance to face Florida State and Ohio State, respectively.
Oklahoma vs. Iowa in 2015 would have been less entertaining, if we learned anything from watching the Hawkeyes in the Rose Bowl that New Year’s Day.
For now, Big 12 fans will have to settle with watching Baker Mayfield and the Sooners attempt to bring the Big 12 its first national title in more than a decade. They’ll face off against Georgia in the Rose Bowl, with a date with the winner of Alabama-Clemson on the line in Atlanta, Ga. on Jan. 8, 2018.
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