Newest College Football Playoff rankings highlight TCU-Baylor rivalry, school spirit

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    With the latest College Football Playoff rankings placing TCU at No. 4, debate regarding the Horned Frogs and the Baylor Bears has come to the forefront.

    Tuesday’s announcement put TCU three spots ahead of its Interstate 35 rival.

    Since Baylor defeated the Frogs 61-58 in October, the seemingly flipped rankings are causing a stir on social media and among major sports networks.

    Head coach Gary Patterson said that if both TCU and Baylor win the remainder of their regular season games, Baylor should have the top spot.

    “If both of us win out, we’re both 11 and one, then they should, they beat us,” Patterson said. “I don’t think anybody has any arguments as long as everybody understands that when they finally come up with those four why they did it, here’s the reason, and case is closed, period.”

    In addition to head-to-head match-ups, the playoff selection committee considers win-loss records, strength of schedule and conference championships, according to the College Football Playoff website.

    The Big 12 Conference is the only member of the “Big Five” that does not have a conference championship game.

    Patterson said he sees this as a positive.

    “You’ve got a chance at losing that one too,” Patterson said. “We already play everybody once, you got one true champion. But you still get a trophy for being co-champion, and that’s the one thing I can control.”

    Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte said the Frogs and Bears both being one-loss teams adds to the conversation.

    “At the end of the day, the committee will choose the four they choose based on their entire body of work,” Del Conte said.

    Junior religion major Mitchell Simmons agreed, saying that the selection committee must be weighing strength of schedule heavily.

    Regardless of rankings, bowl games and playoffs, the success of the football team has led to an immense rise in school spirit this fall, most notably in game attendance.

    “Where else in the country do you have over 60 percent of your student body at the football game?” said Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations. “They’re there an hour before kick-off, and they stayed to the end. The student section we have, we’ll put up against anybody.”

    Del Conte said both the team’s success and the inaugural college playoffs provide a new level of excitement, but the fan base and school spirit has been strong for a long time.

    With only three games remaining in conference play for the Frogs, the rankings are meaning more and more each week.

    For now, Patterson, Del Conte and Cohen all said the focus is on Saturday’s game against Kansas.

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