The latest rankings could show something is afoot for the playoff selection

Big 12 Report: Did the Big 12 get set up by the selection committee?

The latest college football playoff rankings have me thinking the committee might have a scheme for the Big 12. There are a few elements to this scheme, so let's see what all the elements are to my conspiracy theory.

The Baylor Jump

A victory at home against a disappointing Texas team got Baylor a five spot jump? FIVE SPOTS?

That is crazy! A few weeks ago Oklahoma barely budged when they beat Baylor in Waco but somehow this week the Bears jump five spots because of a victory over the Longhorns? This is one of the wildest moments by this version of the committee so far.

Oklahoma holding steady

The Sooners jumped up two spots with the losses of the Oregon Ducks and Penn State. They trail only the undefeated teams, Georgia, Alabama, and Utah.

It is important to note that while the Sooners moved up, it wasn't on their own virtue, it was two teams losing in front of them. Oklahoma though, has a leg up on Alabama and Utah down the stretch.

They have two ranked opponents left on their schedule with a rivalry game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater and a Big 12 Championship showdown with Baylor. Neither Utah nor Alabama can face a team ranked as high as Baylor or a second ranked team.

Now, obviously if Baylor slips up against Kansas the Big 12 is screwed.

A top ten victory over the Bears would be a great data point that Alabama nor Utah would possess. The committee added the best win among the contenders for the fourth spot to the equation with how they ranked Baylor.

Rewarding attempted tough scheduling

Here are the non-conference games for Oklahoma, Utah, and Alabama.

Oklahoma

vs Houston

vs South Dakota

at UCLA

Utah

@ BYU

vs Northern Illinois

vs Idaho State

Alabama

vs Duke (neutral site)

vs New Mexico State

vs Southern Mississippi

vs Western Carolina

At some point, the committee needs to reward someone who isn't undefeated but scheduled harder than their opponents. Oklahoma scheduled a team that was supposed to compete for the best Group of 5 team mantle in the Houston Cougars. UCLA was supposed to be solid this year under Chip Kelly.

Utah has a built in rivalry game with BYU which isn't a bad team but isn't a good team. The other two games aren't on UCLA or Houston's level. Alabama's non-conference was a joke this season. They didn't leave the South and didn't play a true road game.

The selection committee needs to eventually reward scheduling when records are equal and the conference's are unbalanced.

Oklahoma's case is solid, but they might need help

An easy victory over Oklahoma State and Baylor would go a long way towards the ​Sooners making the playoff yet again.

They need help though. Oregon beating Utah would go a long way to keeping the discussion limited to Alabama or Oklahoma for the final spot in the playoff. Auburn slowing down Alabama and playing them close might help the Sooners too. If backup quarterback Mac Jones struggles, the Crimson Tide could be losing support as one of the top four teams. Also, a Georgia upset of LSU in the SEC championship likely voids Utah, Alabama, and Oklahoma's chances.

Of course, should Auburn upset Alabama, the Sooners would be near locks to make the playoffs.

Quarterback's loss is a serious blow

D'Eriq King to transfer from UH

Photo via Houston Cougar Football/Facebook

Houston's rough week of sports continued with yet more bad news late Tuesday night.

University of Houston quarterback D'Eriq King, who redshirted after four games, presumably to come back to UH in 2020, has entered the NCAA's transfer portal, meaning he will play elsewhere in 2020.

Where does he go?

King's best season was 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns, the only player in the country to do so besides Heisman winner Kyler Murray.

But the Cougars started 1-3 in 2019, with King not thriving in new coach Dana Holgorsen's offense. King decided to redshirt and wait for 2020, when the Cougars would have several high profile transfers join the program.

Instead, King, who has already graduated, will be eligible to play elsewhere right away. Speculation is he will wind up at Arkansas, with his old offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, but he will be a hot commodity. Arkansas, one of the most woeful programs in the Power Five over the past two years, made a coaching change after going 2-10 and 0-8 in the SEC, so the main motivation for King would be to play in the SEC and perhaps put up some numbers in his senior year.

Originally, there was speculation he might try go to LSU, which just won the national title and loses Heisman winner Joe Burrow. He would also seem to be a good fit at Oklahoma.

What's next for UH?

It is certainly a bad look for Holgorsen, who basically blew off the 2018 season in hopes of having King back in 2020. But Clayton Tune was OK in relief of King and should improve. They also have incoming freshman Sofian Massoud from Cypress Lakes, who is highly regarded. Also, don't rule out Holgorsen dipping into the transfer pool himself, as he has a senior-dominated team built to win next year. He also has a good track record developing quarterbacks. So all is not lost, but it sure is not good news.

A day after an ugly Texans playoff loss, and the same day the Astros fired GM Jeff Luhknow and manager A.J. Hinch, King's transfer was just another bitter pill on a week of sports misery.


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