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Losses by T.C.U. and U.S.C. Leave Playoff Powers With Unappealing Selections


They met their end in time beyond regulation after Duggan was stopped just in need of the goal line on a second-down run and Kendre Miller was stuffed just short on consecutive runs up the center, the ultimate one coming when linebacker Daniel Green and nose guard Eli Huggins met Miller in the outlet, sending the Kansas State defense dancing off the sphere.

On the following possession, Kansas State picked up one first down before kicker Ty Zentner’s 31-yard field goal bisected the uprights, kicking off a jubilant Kansas State celebration and leaving T.C.U. to plead its case to the committee.

“Our hope just isn’t to need to depend on a beauty contest,” T.C.U. Coach Sonny Dykes said. “Our hope is to kick the door down and that we’re Big 12 champs and there’s no discussion about it.”

There has at all times been something unsatisfactory about how the faculty football season ends. Within the 1990 season, Georgia Tech and Colorado split the national championship, after which Washington and Miami did the identical the subsequent 12 months, followed by Michigan and Nebraska six years later. That begot the Bowl Championship Series, pitting the 2 top-ranked teams against one another.

That gave solution to a four-team playoff starting with the 2014 season.

The truth is, the semifinals have rarely been compelling. Nine of the 16 total semifinal matchups have been decided by 20 or more points — and only two, Georgia’s double-overtime defeat of Oklahoma after the 2017 season and Clemson’s comeback against Ohio State in 2019, have gone to the wire.

It’s rare that the playoff features a plucky interloper.

Cincinnati acquitted itself well last 12 months in a loss to Alabama, and though T.C.U. is a member of a more august conference, the Big 12, there are still raw feelings from the primary 12 months of the playoff when the Horned Frogs’ only defeat — 61-58 at Baylor — was enough to maintain them out of the playoff. Baylor, whose only loss was at West Virginia, was also frozen out — partly since the Big 12 didn’t have a championship game.

“The Big 12 in a unique place because it was then,” Dykes said. “I believe they’re going to see it different, but at the identical time you don’t know. I’m concerned obviously, but I place confidence in the committee.”

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