Well then, TCU probably shouldn't have barely beat one of the worst teams in D1 if they wanted a playoff shot. That was a death blow to their chances after the Baylor loss.
You could make this argument for most of the playoff teams though. Ohio State lost to freaking Virginia Tech and barely scraped by Penn State and Minnesota. I don't think I even need to dive into the numerous close calls Florida State had. Oregon probably had the most convincing regular season resume, followed by Alabama. Unless you're 1995 Nebraska or 2001 Miami and are just wrecking people, even the best teams are going to have a few warts on their schedule each year.
The biggest hurdle for any
team to make the playoff was the lack of a conference championship game. TCU and Baylor can complain all they want, but it was their own undoing.
Perception is everything though.
The Big 12 garners little respect nationally. People rip the Big 10 and ACC, but they're not the joke the Big 12 has become.
TCU "should have losing" to an awful Kansas team stings national perception more than FSU escaping Clemson or GA Tech. "Big 12 defense" is a universal punchline for Pete's sake (see Baylor/TCU game). Doesn't help that Oklahoma and Texas can barely tie their own shoes anymore as the supposed conference flag-bearers. And, of course, the lack of a conference title game.
Ohio State's loss came early in the year when the sting of losing Braxton Miller was still resonating. For as good as Barrett played going forward, don't think that wasn't taken into account. An 8-TD margin of victory in the B1G title game didn't hurt either. Also, they're OSU. Power program. Benefit of doubt.
With FSU, it all comes down to them being defending champs. How do you explain not having the undefeated defending champs in the playoff field? That was a road they didn't wanna go down, and the committee placing them third spoke to that...saying in effect, we know they're probably paper tigers, but how can we justify not including them? It exposed a big flaw with a four-team system.
Thats probably overstating, no nevermind, its beyond overstating. Last year the Big 12 put 2 teams in the BCS. OK beat Alabama in its back yard, KSU stomped Michigan and Texas Tech stomped ASU. They went 3-3 in their bowl games. Up until yesterday no one from outside the Big 10 was putting them ahead of the Big 12.
Harbaugh will have Urban Meyer retired from OSU by 2020.