Samuel Chi's Mock College Football Playoff Standings: Week 15

Samuel Chi@@ThePlayoffGuruCollege Football Playoff GuruDecember 1, 2014

Greg Bartram/USA Today

TCU, Baylor or Ohio State?

That will be the selection committee's toughest task, picking one of those three teams to place in the College Football Playoff field. Each of the top six teams in the committee's next rankings are favored in their games for next weekend. 

The top three teams—Alabama, Oregon and Florida State—will all be playing in their respective conference title games, and they're in with a victory. If any of them should lose, it opens the door for another one of the aforementioned "next three."

Ohio State has a major issue. On one hand, the Buckeyes hope the committee won't hold the season-ending injury to Heisman candidate QB J.T. Barrett against them. On the other, they must defeat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game with Barrett's backup Cardale Jones.

So in all likelihood, the final spot will be contested by the two Big 12 teams, with each having a chance to win a share of the conference title. As there is no Big 12 championship game, both TCU and Baylor can claim at least to be a co-champion with a victory next week.

Samuel Chi's Mock CFP Standings
RankLwTeamAP PollComputerSoS
11Alabama11.874
22Oregon33.5634
33Florida State27.9349
45TCU44.4231
56Ohio State67.0960
67Baylor59.3966
711Arizona814.9835
812Kansas State913.4540
94Miss State107.9122
1010Michigan State79.8358
1114Wisconsin1113.2061
1216Georgia Tech1213.4946
1317Missouri1416.5023
1419Ole Miss137.636
159Georgia1511.4211
168UCLA1616.148
See <a href="http://www.bcsguru.com/2014_cfp_standings.htm">complete standings</a>

This is where things get tricky. Baylor defeated TCU 61-58 at home earlier this year, rallying from 21 points down with 11 minutes remaining to hand the Horned Frogs their only loss of the season. But the problem for the Bears is that the committee thinks there's enough of a resume gap between the two teams for the head-to-head result not to matter.

TCU and Baylor each played an FCS team, and the Horned Frogs routed Big Ten title contender Minnesota while the Bears blew out MAC also-ran Buffalo. Besides getting a lift from the Gophers' surprising season, TCU also owns a significant advantage over Baylor in the games so far against nine common opponents.

As TCU is unlikely to lose to 2-9 Iowa State, Baylor must defeat Kansas State impressively to have any shot of catching the Horned Frogs in the eyes of the committee. Making the task more difficult is that the Wildcats are playing for much more than spoiler, as they also will claim at least a share of the Big 12 title with a victory.

TCU, Baylor Common Opponents
TCUOpponentBaylorAdvantage
+56 *SMU+45TCU
+38 *Texas+21 *TCU
+1 *West Virginia-14 *TCU
+33Oklahoma State+21TCU
+55Texas Tech+2TCU
+4Oklahoma+34 *Baylor
+4 *Kansas+46Baylor
Dec. 6Iowa State+21*
+21Kansas StateDec. 6
-3 *Baylor/TCU+3Baylor
* Road game

Other Fun Facts

* Boise State is a victory over 6-6 Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship Game away from the inaugural CFP "Group of Five" automatic bid. It will be the Broncos' third major bowl appearance in the last nine seasons, and it's likely it'll be a third Fiesta Bowl berth. Northern Illinois and Memphis figure to be next in line if Boise State somehow stumbles.

* The rest of the 11 bowl slots, of course, will all go to the Power Five conferences. The SEC will get three berths, while the other conferences will receive two each. Mississippi State probably has a bid wrapped up regardless of how the conference championship games go.

* There are a total of 80 bowl-eligible teams, and Oklahoma State and Temple can still earn eligibility. Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Old Dominion will not go bowling, as they're all in the second year of FBS transition and thus ineligible. Looks like Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, UAB and Ohio—all 6-6— will be left out despite being eligible.

Projected New Year's Six Bowls
BowlMatchup
Sugar Bowl (Playoff)Alabama (SEC) vs. TCU (Big 12)
Rose Bowl (Playoff)Oregon (Pac-12) vs. Florida State (ACC)
Orange BowlOhio State (Big Ten) vs. Georgia Tech (ACC)
Cotton BowlBaylor (Big 12) vs. Miss State (SEC)
Fiesta BowlArizona (Pac-12) vs. Boise State (MWC)*
Peach BowlWisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)
* Group-of-five bid

Follow on Twitter @ThePlayoffGuru

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