NCAA Football: Do TCU now control their own destiny?
Do the TCU Horned Frogs now control their own destiny of making it into the 2017-18 College Football Playoff?
A few nights ago, I wrote an article detailing eight college football teams that had the opportunity to get into the College Football Playoff (CFP) as one of America's top four teams simply by winning out, as regardless of what else happened, winning out would send them to the CFP, essentially meaning they control their own destiny.
One team not mentioned on that list were the Texas Christian (TCU) Horned Frogs, who are ranked #12 in the country and have a 9-2 record after a blowout road win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. While they don't exactly control their own destiny at this point, winning out certainly puts them in a great position.
Right now, the Horned Frogs are ranked #12. Two teams ranked ahead of them, the #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the #10 Penn State Nittany Lions, have no chance of getting into the CFP, as they are both two-loss teams who cannot play for a conference championship. So move TCU up to #10.
Another team the Horned Frogs trail are the two-loss Southern California (USC) Trojans, who are ranked #11. However, their remaining game is the Pacific-12 conference championship game against either a two-loss Washington State Cougars team or a two-loss Washington Huskies team.
A win over either of those two teams by USC would not impress the CFP selection committee as much as a TCU win over the one-loss #4 Oklahoma Sooners, who the Horned Frogs are set to match up with in the Big XII conference championship game if they can knock off the lowly one-win Baylor Bears next weekend, would. So move TCU up to #9.
Now, the Horned Frogs trail eight teams: the ones in the article I linked above. Assuming TCU knock off #4 Oklahoma, the team they just lost to, in the Big XII conference championship game, they should be in a great spot to get into the CFP. With the win, move the Horned Frogs up to #8.
The undefeated #1 Alabama Crimson Tide take on the two-loss #6 Auburn Tigers next weekend, so one of them must lose, and the winner of that game will take on the one-loss #7 Georgia Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship game, where a different team will lose. So move TCU up to #6.
The one-loss #2 Clemson Tigers take on the undefeated #3 Miami Hurricanes in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game in two weeks and the undefeated #5 Wisconsin Badgers take on the two-loss #9 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten conference championship game on the same day, thus meaning two of those teams must lose. So move TCU up another two spots -- to the top 4.
Does it sound like a lot has to happen for TCU to get into the CFP? Absolutely. But everything listed above must happen in one way or another throughout the rest of the season, so as long as TCU take care of business against Baylor and avenge last week's loss to Oklahoma in the Big XII championship game to advance to 11-2, the Horned Frogs could very well find themselves in their first CFP in school history.