In the College Football Playoff rankings, TCU is in great shape.
The Horned Frogs moved up two spots to No. 6 in the second set of rankings, announced Tuesday night, from the CFP selection committee.
It’s a solid spot.
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It reflects respect for TCU’s schedule and regard for its place as the nation’s No. 6 defense, including No. 1 against the run. The Frogs’ lone loss, at Iowa State, is not holding them back.
It’s the Frogs’ highest ranking since 2014, when they were No. 3 in the next-to-last set of rankings. It matches the highest jump they’ve made in their 15 weeks all-time in the CFP rankings.
And it has them in position to move into the top four if they can win Saturday against No. 5 Oklahoma.
The reputation of the Frogs and Gary Patterson is being rewarded.
Clearly, it means something.
And yet, in days it could mean nothing. If the Horned Frogs cannot leave Norman with a win on Saturday night, they will fall a long way out of the CFP picture, no matter how much anyone thinks of them.
The Big 12 is a good league this year. The overall strength of Oklahoma, the October upsets by Iowa State, Texas’ defense, West Virginia’s quarterback play, plus TCU’s fast start, signaled all-around improvement in the conference.
The CFP committee has recognized it.
But it won’t save a two-loss team out of the Big 12. At least, it’s not likely to.
TCU and Oklahoma will both try to avoid that fate Saturday.
The CFP announcement Tuesday night was kind to both teams. Oklahoma and TCU continue to be respected for their seasons, even with a loss.
But Saturday, the committee’s goodwill goes away for either the Frogs or Sooners. Both have had national championship-contending seasons so far. For three more days, that’ll be the case.
They’re in great shape. For now.
3. Notre Dame
11. Southern Cal
12. Michigan St.
13. Ohio St.
14. Penn St.
15. Oklahoma St.
16. Mississippi St.
17. Virginia Tech
19. Washington St.
21. Iowa St.
23. NC State
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will issue weekly rankings each Tuesday, with the final rankings being announced Sunday, Dec. 3 (Noon EST). The playoff semifinals will match the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 4 seed, and No. 2 will face No. 3. The semifinals will be hosted at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018. The championship game will be played on Jan. 8, 2018 at Atlanta.