Hindsight will almost certainly lie when it comes to the initial NCAA Football playoff predictions.
I fully expect the playoff field to be:
3) Ohio State
with TCU and Baylor on the outside looking in. Why? Because Ohio State's third string QB leading them to a 59-0 demolition of a surging #13 Wisconsin team that SHOULD have been the exact kind of team to give Ohio State fits answers the right questions for the committee.
That game shows that Ohio State belongs in the elite 4 and when push comes to shove is the committee likely to add a private with no football history that didn't have to play a championship game over an historic national power in a more lucrative conference that did?
Honestly, I think it is the right choice. I don't know how good TCU and Baylor truly are. I don't know if their talent level is up to snuff. They look good enough but my eyes may be lying to me. I think they have great schemes that people haven't figured out yet and would compete well, but they may be no better than Arizona --- a really good team --- and it may be that they have benefited from OU's inability to capitalize on last season's leverage and UT running off a load of talent to look much better than they actually are this season.
I know Ohio State has the talent and the coach to compete. Their only loss came right after they lost their starting QB. To me that is a very forgivable loss. Additionally it appears OSU has gotten better every week and is now playing their best ball of the year. They looked better with their third stringer than they have all year.
Forget all you know about how rankings have historically worked. This committee is tasked with picking the schools playing the best ball right now.
That is the only criteria they have to follow.
I can't say OSU's demolition of Wisconsin puts them any lower than fourth.
Now you may say FSU shouldn't be in. I agree that they do not deserve to be in, but they are undefeated and the defending champs. I cannot see the committee with several coaches ignoring that. It is one thing to casually point out that the ACC is piss poor while off the record. It is another thing to say going undefeated in the ACC is equivalent to doing it in the MWC or CUSA --- not worthy of inclusion. I don't think they will go there. It would make too many of the power conferences nervous.
Now I fully expect TCU and Baylor to take the rage at being passed up and turn it into fuel for bowl game wins against lesser opponents. Now should either team win their playoff game in dominating fashion, those fans will complain about getting jobbed, but the reality is that the committee is supposed to look for the 4 teams playing their best ball of the season. They are going to take 3 and they probably feel they have to take FSU.
If it happens this way, it will be the right call --- regardless of the bowl results.