Big 12 Football: 538 gives K-State a 40 percent chance to make the CFP

Chris Klieman, Big 12 football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Klieman, Big 12 football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The start to the day around the college football landscape already saw some chaos ensure during the Big 12 football title game between the No. 3 ranked TCU Horned Frogs and No. 10 ranked Kansas State Wildcats on Dec. 3. The Big 12 Championship wound up being decided in overtime between previously undefeated TCU and the upset-hungry Wildcats.

Head coach Chris Klieman saw his Kansas State squad come up big in the end, though. Kansas State was able to nab the win over TCU in overtime by the final score of 31-28 following a short field goal make by kicker Ty Zentner.

Klieman and the Wildcats were able to stave off a late run in this game from Heisman contender and senior quarterback Max Duggan. TCU was able to rally late in the fourth quarter thanks to some heroics on the final scoring drive of regulation by Duggan. He put the team on his back to tie the game up at 28 following a long touchdown drive and a two-point conversion.

But Kansas State held strong on TCU’s first offensive drive in overtime. Klieman saw his defensive unit hold TCU at the goalline to get a turnover on downs after a failed fourth-down conversion try from TCU and running back Kendre Miller.

The win in the Big 12 title game gives Kansas State its first conference crown since the 2012 season. It will also see Klieman and the Wildcats head into the postseason with a Power Five conference title and a record of 10-3 (7-2 Big 12).

FiveThirtyEight pegs Big 12 football champion Kansas State and HC Chris Klieman as a real CFP contender

Meanwhile, TCU heads into the postseason with a record of 12-1 (9-0 Big 12), with the lone blemish coming from this overtime loss to the Wildcats.

The conversation is already being had as to whether the Horned Frogs are worthy of getting a spot in the College Football Playoff, despite the loss to Klieman and Kansas State. And while my personal opinion is that TCU is still deserving of a spot in the Playoff largely thanks to the Utah Utes downing the USC Trojans in the PAC-12 Championship Game, not every model, media personality, fan, etc. is in favor of the Horned Frogs getting that nod.

Some think that the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes are both more deserving of getting into the Playoff than TCU coming off a loss to Kansas State.

And there are even some models out there pegging that Klieman and the Wildcats still have a shot at the Playoff. The “2022 College Football Predictions” model from FiveThirtyEight actually gives Kansas State a whopping 39 percent chance to make the CFP.

It also gives Utah a 24 percent chance of making the Playoff, and even the Clemson Tigers better than a 20 percent chance at getting a spot.

I think this is a little bit ludicrous to give a couple of three-loss teams such a legit shot at the Playoff, even considering that both Kansas State and Utah are Power Five conference champions.

And even if you’re boiling down this argument to just Kansas State vs. Utah for the final Playoff spot, I think Utah is more deserving. This is due to the pure fact that Utah beat USC twice this season. Meanwhile, Kansas State split the two meetings with TCU. And if you aggregate the two games between TCU and Kansas State this season, the Frogs actually have the edge by a touchdown margin.

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But the fact of the matter is that we still have some Power Five title games to play on Dec. 3. The SEC Championship Game and Big Ten Championship Game will still play a big role in the configuration of the four teams that ultimately make it to the Playoff this postseason.