Briles had that luxury. His university was already on the job, as was the
Baylor's game against No. 9
Fans in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Eugene, Ore., probably slept soundly this week, knowing
Elsewhere, there was reason for real concern.
Does the injury to
Jeff Long, chairman of the College Football Playoff committee, sent a let's-see-what-happens message this week, saying, "We're waiting for teams to complete their body of work."
That could be good news for Baylor, which plays Kansas State, a top-10 opponent. The bad news for the Bears was that TCU sits three spots ahead in the ranking even though Baylor defeated TCU this season.
Briles refused to stump for his team, at least for now. "I wish I could say something, I really do," he said, adding that he might weigh in after Saturday's game. "Anything prior to that is all talking in vapor."
His school was talking for him.
Baylor hired a public relations firm to be "an extra resource on the media relations front," said
Meanwhile, Big 12 officials ruled that victories by Baylor and TCU would mean co-champions, even though the Bears won the head-to-head meeting — that's the first tiebreaker in any other conference.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the decision on co-champions was an "important distinction" because the committee's "charge is not to select the most deserving teams" but "the four best teams."
Translation: Should they both win Saturday, the Big 12 wants both Baylor and TCU in the playoff.
A look at Saturday's key conference championship games:
The last time so much was riding on a guy from Ohio, John Glenn was in a Mercury capsule.
Ohio State was on the rise before quarterback Barrett suffered a broken ankle last week. So all eyes will be on Cardale Jones, a third-year sophomore from Cleveland, when the Buckeyes line up against No. 13
"We're going to be watching how he plays and how he leads that team," Long said.
Ohio State fans have an in-state reference for how this could play out. In 2000,
If Alabama defeats
That wouldn't sit well with Alabama Coach
Even with a win over Alabama on Saturday, it's doubtful the No. 16 Tigers can make the leap into playoff contention, so an Alabama loss could leave the SEC without a team in the championship game for the first time since 2005.
Florida State has slipped from No. 2 to No. 4 in recent weeks despite a 28-game winning streak. A loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday would knock the Seminoles out of the playoff.
Florida State Coach