It turned out that having a conference championship game was beneficial for teams like Florida State and Ohio State as the Playoff Selection Committee unveiled the four teams that will play on New Years Day to battle for a spot in the national championship.
The Big 12 Conference, the only Power Five without a title game, awarded both Baylor and TCU with the title on Saturday. A strategy that backfired as Baylor was the first team out, TCU the second. It now has the conference considering a title game for the first time since 2010, before realignment left the Big 12 with not enough teams to make two division and host one.
All four of the teams that made it in were outright champions of their conferences. Does having that 13th game matter? We learned that it probably does. The Buckeyes used Saturday night as a way to pad their resume.
Even though the committee put TCU, who lost to Baylor earlier in the season, at No. 3 five days before rendering their final decision, Ohio State's 59-0 romp of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship was good enough to get them in. The Bears and Horned Frogs are champions of their conference, but are left out in the cold.
Not everyone agrees with the final four teams in the inaugural playoff. But it could impact the activity of the Power Five conferences.
How about the FBS Independents? Well, mainly Notre Dame.
Do the Irish have to go 12-0 to get into the playoff in the future? Will an 11-1 record not be good enough without a conference title, and like a marriage just to get health insurance, would Notre Dame join the ACC as a full member just to have a better shot at the playoff if it does not expand to eight teams?
There are lessons to be learned by both this committee and the teams who were left out.
The Big 12 should have declared Baylor the outright champion, and they should probably try to woo Southern Methodist and Tulsa to join the conference to give them 12 teams and make large enough divisions to host a title game again. Won't help their strength of schedule, but just a thought.
But either way, Saban-Meyer, blah blah blah, Mariota-Winston, yada yada yada. It should be good. Even if you hate each team for a different reason.