Gary Patterson’s biggest beef with the CFP? It’s still a popularity contest

TCU coach Gary Patterson doesn’t trust the College Football Playoff selection committee and isn’t too fond of it using “style points” to determine the four best teams.

“I don’t think anybody trusts them,” Patterson told ESPN for an article that surveyed 62 coaches for their opinions on the playoff. “I don’t mean that in a bad way, but the people you have on it, I don’t trust anybody to recruit for me. If I just followed all of the recruiting services, I’d be fired by now.”

Patterson elaborated on his stance Tuesday, particularly with the reference of “style points” serving as a determining factor.

In Patterson’s mind, style points are another way for the committee to err on the side of a blue-blood program.

After all, his 2014 team fell out of the playoff mix — going from No. 3 to No. 6 in the final rankings — after the Frogs whipped Iowa State 55-3 in that year’s regular-season finale.

“If you’re going to go on style points, I think you need to go to eight teams because I think you’re going to leave somebody out,” Patterson said. “Here’s what I think style points sometimes means: T-shirts. How much money do we make by who we take? To be honest with you, I think that had something to do with us not getting in there ‘14. They didn’t want it to be the first playoff and TCU be the team that doesn’t sell as many T-shirts.

“In seven days, all of a sudden, three teams played so much better than we did after we won 55-3? So I don’t think it’s about style points at all. I think it’s about a lot of other things.

“But what I was told was that we’re going to a committee so that we can choose the four best teams. Period.”

The Big 12 didn’t have a conference championship game that season, though, which was another “data point” the committee used against TCU and Baylor in deciding the top four teams.

Now the conference has that “13th” data point and it has helped Oklahoma reach the CFP in three of the past four years. But Patterson brushed off the notion TCU would’ve gotten in had it won a Big 12 title game.

“I don’t know that to be true, either,” Patterson said. “That’s what they said — you needed the 13th data point. I beat Oklahoma. I beat Texas. You beat all the teams. Why is it that I have to have one more ballgame to show I had a good football team?

“I had coaches at those places that got into the playoffs tell me they’re glad they didn’t have to play us. That we didn’t get in.”

Instead, Ohio State moved to the No. 4 spot and won the championship by knocking off Alabama and Oregon.

This season is a good example why eight teams are needed, he said. Ohio State is No. 1, followed by unbeatens LSU, Alabama and Penn State. Defending champion Clemson is fifth at 9-

“All of us can generally pick the top two,” Patterson said. “I think they’re going to have a lot of trouble this year, to be honest with you, ‘cause I think there’s six to eight teams. I’d really like to see eight teams get after it and see who would come out on the other end.”

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