The final verdict is in, and the Big 12 got hosed because the conference office is staffed by incompetent oafs, or something.
Ohio State slid into the final playoff spot, overtaking TCU (who win 55-0 and fell three places from last week's ranking). Baylor and TCU landed at fifth and sixth respectively, and are out of the running.
The semifinals will be Alabama-Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon-Florida State in the Rose.
Of course, the internet has exploded since last night, especially once it became apparent that ESPN was stridently pushing the exact playoff field we ended up with. We're completely familiar with this, having been directly screwed out of a Sugar Bowl ourselves three years ago with ESPN's assistance. This is going to continue happening so long as we, the college football-consuming public, keep letting ESPN maintain the power over us. I hear there are programs to help people overcome their addictions.
As far as Kansas State, the Wildcats -- despite a competitive loss to Baylor -- were still left behind Arizona, who got road-graded by Oregon. Money is the answer there as well, because in all fairness K-State has been to Arizona twice in the last two years, while Arizona is basically the home team. It's technically a screw job, but it's sort of an acceptable one; as much as we'd like the honor, I think we'd also like to not go to Arizona for a third year in a row. But still: once again, K-State becomes the highest-ranked team not to participate in a Major Bowl Game. It does get old.
Instead, K-State will be heading to San Antonio for their first Alamo Bowl visit since that year we don't want to talk about. The opponent is reportedly the UCLA Bruins. JT, who made the announcement prior to us knowing who K-State would be facing, will be along shortly with a brief high-level preview once we know for sure, and of course we'll get more in-depth as we go along.
With that, the final rankings:
|Playoff||AP||Coaches||Massey computer composite|
|2||Oregon||Florida State||Florida State||Oregon|
|4||Ohio State||Baylor||Ohio State||Ohio State|
|5||Baylor||Ohio State||Baylor||Florida State|
|7||Mississippi State||Michigan State||Michigan State||Ole Miss|
|8||Michigan State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State|
|9||Ole Miss||Ole Miss||Georgia Tech||Michigan State|
|10||Arizona||Georgia Tech||Kansas State||Georgia|
|11||Kansas State||Kansas State||Arizona||Auburn|
|12||Georgia Tech||Arizona||Ole Miss||Kansas State|
|15||Arizona State||Arizona State||UCLA||Wisconsin|
|21||Louisville||Boise State||Boise State||Arizona State|