Close But No Cigar: CFP Snub Still Not Sitting Well for Art Briles


Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Championship Trophy has only been in Columbus, OH for little over a week but that still hasn’t stopped Baylor head coach Art Briles from still dwelling on 12 person College Football Playoff voting committee’s selection of the Ohio St. Buckeyes over his Baylor Bears in the inaugural CFP Playoff.

In an interview with ESPN Briles stated that he had an inside source that let him know that there was an 8-4 vote in favor of the eventual champion Buckeyes to determine who would secure the final spot in the four team playoff.

Whether his source was correct or not at this point, and I am going to try to put it as nicely as possible… WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Yes,  Baylor had a very good year and ended the regular season with only one loss, but how important is it to know whether the team was four votes or 11 votes away from being selected to participate in the playoff. What Briles, and any Baylor fan that still may be in his feeling over the snub, needs to do is stop looking at the CFP committee as the culprit and accept the fact that a terrible non-conference schedule and the lack of a Big 12 Conference Championship are the primary reasons why the team wasn’t selected.

SMU, Northwestern St. and Buffalo…

That is a non-conference schedule that a contender in the Mountain West Conference would be ashamed of, let alone a team in a Power 5 conference like the Big 12 — and that’s no shade to the MWC. And while Baylor could not foresee SMU taking the tumble they did this season after making four straight bowls, this collection of non-conference games is embarrassing for a team that hopes to contend for a national championship.

Unfortunately the lackluster schedule wont improve for the Bears as the highlight game for the next two seasons will be against a newly hired Chad Morris led SMU program.

With no signature game in its non-conference schedule to help booster their resume, Baylor had to get through the Big 12 schedule unscathed and in dominant fashion — which it was on the way to doing until it faced West Virginia.

Coming off the come-back victory against TCU the previous week the path was laid for the Bears to be in serious contention for the playoffs, but the Bears were unable to hold off a late run by the Mountaineers in the 41-27 loss and it cost them their magical season.

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  • Despite the mid-season loss, Baylor still would have been in contention for the playoffs if the conference would have had a championship game. While it is a requirement of the NCAA to have at least 12 teams to qualify for a conference championship game the Big 12 did its teams no favors by relying on the “we play everyone in our conference” mantra — especially when it had teams like Kansas, Iowa St. and Texas Tech languishing in the basement of the league this season. And even though Baylor defeated a good Kansas St. team 38-27, the voting committee was obviously impressed more by Ohio State’s dominating 59-0 performance over a talented Wisconsin team in the Big 10 Championship game

    With no improvement to the non-conference strength of schedule and no conversation on conference expansion in the near future, Baylor could end up in this same spot again,  on the outside of the playoffs, unless it goes undefeated.

    So while Art Briles is still having a hard time coming to grips with what happened in the 2014 season,  he might want to figure out what he and school athletic director Ian McCaw can do in the future so that his team does not leave its post-season fate in the hands of the voting committee.