CFP committee reassures TCU with No. 3 ranking, while putting undefeated Florida State on the bubble

With just one week remaining before the final and definitive College Football Playoff rankings are announced, the playoff committee made a bold statement by putting the nation’s only undefeated team on the playoff bubble.

For the past few weeks, Florida State has watched teams with one loss jump it in the playoff rankings and this week it was TCU. The Horned Frogs, who were No. 5 last week, checked in at No. 3 this week after a sound win against Texas on Thanksgiving night. That effort along with Mississippi State’s loss to Ole Miss and Florida State’s close win against Florida were enough to empower the committee to launch the Horned Frogs up two spots and into a seemingly immovable position. If TCU beats Iowa State this weekend — and wins the way it should — the Horned Frogs are in the playoff.

CFP rankings Week 15
CFP rankings Week 15

So, is Florida State on the bubble?

Committee chairman Jeff Long suggested that an undefeated Florida State team would not drop out of the top four, but what if it struggles against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship this weekend? That’s a very real possibility given that the Yellow Jackets are coming off an upset of Georgia and are playing about as well defensively as any team in the country right now. Also, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is embroiled in a student code of conduct hearing this week, which could have implications on his eligibility long term and is likely creating a bit of a distraction short term.

However, Georgia Tech isn’t one of the unranked foes with which the Seminoles have struggled. The Yellow Jackets are No. 11, so winning convincingly might not be valued as much as just winning. That said, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Baylor are lurking and both play ranked foes this weekend. Ohio State will face No. 13 Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game without its star quarterback J.T. Barrett, who broke his ankle last week.

Baylor, which struggled with Texas Tech last week, faces No. 9 Kansas State in what could be a defacto Big 12 title game depending on what happens between TCU and Iowa State.

And let’s not forget, both No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon have championship games against No. 16 Missouri and No. 7 Arizona respectively.

So while nothing is guaranteed, it’s clear the committee wanted at least some element of drama down the final stretch. Many thought it would be the tussle between TCU and Baylor, but with the Horned Frogs more or less out the fracas (with a win, of course), the committee seems to be challenging the nation's lone undefeated team to prove that it's beetter than some of its close wins would indicate.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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