Big 12 mailbag: Venting on the playoff rankings


In this week's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss, what else, Tuesday's controversial playoff rankings.

Max Olson and Ivan Maisel will be in Waco for the "College GameDay" showdown between Baylor and Oklahoma.

I, meanwhile, will be heading up to Ames for the first time since 2012 for Oklahoma State-Iowa State. Looking forward to checking out the renovated Jack Trice Stadium.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: That is the pressing playoff question right now for the Big 12. Keep in mind, all this talk hinges on every contender (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame) winning out, which, chances are, won't happen. But for the sake of argument, let's say it does. It would be fascinating to see how the committee measured the Fighting Irish against an undefeated Big 12 champ. Remember, the committee has said conference championships matter. Since it isn't in a conference, Notre Dame can't add that to its resume. Does that hurt the Irish at the end? On the other hand, we are talking about Notre Dame. And like Kirk Herbstreit pointed out Tuesday, does anyone really believe the committee would snub them? That's where the Big 12 should be worried.

Trotter: I would be willing to wager heavy money that if the Big 12 got left out again with a worthy team sitting there, it would implement a championship game for next season -- provided the autonomous conferences vote in January to give the Big 12 the power to hold a championship game with just 10 teams.

Trotter: Bowl eligible? I actually think the Mountaineers a stand a great chance of running the table to finish 8-4. West Virginia is only 1-4 in the conference because it had to face four top-15 teams in consecutive games. The Mountaineers showed they're still a quality team last weekend, and I think they'll show it again Saturday against Texas.

Trotter: A shot, yes. But the Horned Frogs are going to need some help, like Mississippi State knocking off Alabama, Oregon taking down Stanford and Michigan beating Ohio State. They'll obviously need to win out themselves. And they'll probably need Oklahoma State to lose twice down the stretch, so they can claim the conference championship. Is this a long-shot? Yes. But a lot can happen between now and December. TCU fans should not lose faith just yet.

Trotter: If Oklahoma State or Baylor runs the table, either stands a great chance of getting into the playoff. That said, I'm not convinced any Big 12 team controls its own destiny at this point, either. Maybe the committee starts giving the Big 12 more respect with the collective backloaded schedule. But I thought it was a troubling sign that Oklahoma State only moved up to 8th after thrashing TCU, while someone like Iowa got bumped up four spots to 5th merely from beating Indiana. An undefeated Big 12 champ is still going to be in great shape. But given the overall strength of the league, you would've thought that an undefeated Big 12 champ would've been a lock. That doesn't seem to be the case.

Trotter: I don't think so. I suppose it's possible if Oklahoma was completely dominant down the stretch. But realistically, I think the Sooners' loss to Texas would doom them in a head-to-head comparison with Notre Dame, which barely lost at No. 1 Clemson, and probably Stanford, too, because, you know, body clocks. OU likely is going to need both of those teams to go down to have a reasonable shot of sneaking into the playoff.

Trotter: Even if you think Baylor is better than OU, the answer is still OU. Oklahoma State has been dominant in Stillwater under Mike Gundy, with the exception of one foe -- the Sooners. OU has held a mental edge over the Pokes going back to the Barry Switzer days. Yes, Oklahoma State prevailed in Norman last year, and maybe that will help. But OU has won a staggering number of fourth-quarter games in Stillwater over the years, including two seasons ago when the Cowboys were a stop away from clinching the Big 12 title. Oklahoma State has owned Baylor in Stillwater; OU has been a different story.

Trotter: Expansion isn't imminent, but if the Big 12 got snubbed again, I could see the issue begin to gain traction. Other than expanding and/or adding a championship game, the only step the Big 12 can take is to schedule big games in the non-conference and then win them. Most of the league is carrying its weight with scheduling, notably Oklahoma and Texas. The one that isn't is damaging the perception of the rest of the conference. Which is puzzling to me, because Baylor would destroy most average Power 5 conference opponents.

Trotter: Let's say Oklahoma State has a 90 percent chance of winning Saturday, and that Baylor and OU in Stillwater are coin-flips. Mathematically, that would give the Pokes a 22.5 percent chance of winning out. That feels about right to me.

Trotter: Wait, Alabama lost? This happened? When?