TCU A Win Away From Being 1st Texas School In College Football Playoff? Is That Right?

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Texas is the largest state in the United States mainland.

It is known for six-man football, high school football with college-size stadiums, the Dallas Cowboys and college football. Texas virtually had its own college conference during the days of the old Southwest Conference. Arkansas was the only non-Texas member.

Texas is also known for some of the biggest recruiting cheating scandals in NCAA football history, particularly in the 1980s at SMU, which received the “death penalty” in 1987, and at Texas A&M under coach Jackie Sherrill from 1982-88.

Everything’s big in Texas. Except for the state’s mark on the four-team College Football Playoff. Since its beginning in the 2014 season, the CFP has had exactly zero teams from Texas make the final four.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan looks for a receiver this season at Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Getty Images)

There are 12 Texas schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). That is the most by far in the country – Baylor, Houston, North Texas, Rice, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Christian University, Texas-El Paso, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and Texas Tech.

California has seven – California, Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Stanford, UCLA and USC. And no one from the Golden State has made the CFP either. USC was in – until Friday night.

Texas Longhorns Provided State of Texas’ Last Hurrah

Texas won the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national title in the 2005 season over USC and reached the BCS national championship game in the 2009 season. But nothing from Texas in the final four of the CFP era.

Until now, perhaps.

TCU of Forth Worth is 12-0 and was ranked No. 3 in the second-to-last CFP rankings on Tuesday night. With a win over No. 10 Kansas State (9-3) in the Big 12 title game on Saturday (Noon, ABC) in Arlington, the Horned Frogs will be the first Texas college in. Final CFP rankings before the national semifinals come out Sunday (Noon, ESPN).

TCU Nearing College Football Playoff Semifinals

The semifinals will be on Saturday, Dec. 31, between the No. 1 and No. 4 teams and the No. 2 and No. 3 teams at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, and at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta Kickoffs for those two games will be at either 4 or 8 p.m. on ESPN. The national championship game will be at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on Jan. 9 (7:30 p.m., ESPN).

TCU is a 2-point favorite. The Horned Frogs beat 17th-ranked Kansas State, 38-28, on Oct. 22 in Fort Worth.

“Never one time have we talked about the College Football Playoff, the rankings, the Big 12 standings” first-year TCU coach Sonny Dykes said this week. “We just haven’t done that. Never heard our players talk about it. Never heard our players talk about bowl games.”

TCU Narrowly Missed Playoffs In 2014

But Dykes knows TCU’s history. The Horned Frogs finished No. 6 in the last CFP rankings before the semifinals in 2014 with Baylor at No. 5. And that was after TCU was No. 3 the previous week. And all it did the day before the rankings was beat Iowa State, 55-3. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State made up the top four.

TCU and Baylor were hurt by the fact that the Big 12 did not have a championship game at the time, so they canceled one another out. The Big 12 soon returned its title game in 2017.

TCU and Baylor were hurt by the fact that the Big 12 did not have a championship game at the time, so they canceled one another out. The Big 12 soon returned its title game in 2017.

“I know the history with TCU,” said Dykes, who was SMU’s coach from 2018-21. “And that it didn’t work out particularly well in 2014. As I’ve said all along, I think this is different. I think college football is different.”

Dykes then added: “I think this committee is different, and I think the Big 12 is viewed differently than it was then. I think the people that really study the game know how good this team is.”

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

2 Comments

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  1. Kansas State came ready today, unfortunately. No way a one-loss TCU team will get into the playoffs over a one-loss Ohio State team, except the Big X bitches so much about having two SEC teams in the playoffs most years, maybe we don’t need two Big X teams, and I’m sure Saban has already conveyed that sentiment.

    I have no clue what to make of this, but I hope you write a column about it soon so I can get one.

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