The inherent problem with playoffs is that some team invariably comes up on the short end of the stick, through largely none of its own doing.

In the first College Football Playoffs, both TCU and Baylor can lay claim to that title. On Tuesday, the Horned Frogs were No. 3 in the weekly rankings going into the final weekend of the season. TCU crushed a 2-10 Iowa State team 55-3, but, because Ohio State shut out Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten title game, voters opted for the Buckeyes to leapfrog TCU into the fourth spot, moving Florida State up to No. 3 after a 37-35 victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC title game. The Big 12 chose not to name a champion, going with Baylor and TCU as co-champions and, in the process, the conference paid dearly for that.

No one connected with TCU was happy with a 52-point win that got the team shutout in the rankings. Nor was anyone happy that Baylor, after a 38-27 win over Kansas State, wasn’t considered. Plenty of people were blaming Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, and Art Briles, the Baylor coach, gave him an earful over the woeful idea of “co-champions” Saturday.

“I wouldn’t think I would have to, but apparently I do,” Briles said (via Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel). “He would present to the committee us as co-champs. That was just my deal. If you’re going to slogan around and say there’s ‘One True Champion,’ then all of a sudden you’re going to go out the backdoor instead of going out the front? Don’t say one thing and do another …

“I’m not obligated to him,” Briles continued. “I’m obligated to Baylor University and my football team. They need to be obligated to us because we’re helping the Big 12’s image in the nation.”