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Baylor coach Art Briles: Ohio State beat out Baylor for playoff spot in an "8-4 vote"

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Ohio State vindicated the playoff committee by beating Alabama and Oregon to win the national championship. But how close were they to getting left out entirely?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Update 6:08 PM: ESPN's Heather Dinich is pouring some water on Briles' theory here, saying it's impossible.

The playoff selection committee's final rankings were rife with controversy. Ohio State, fresh off a 59-0 beatdown of Wisconsin, was able to rise up and grab the fourth and final playoff spot, over Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU, deftly avoiding questions about "overall bodies of work", or the value of Baylor's regular season victory over TCU. By now, of course, you know the story. Ohio State beats Alabama and Oregon to win the national title, and Baylor blows a late lead to lose to Michigan State in the  Cotton Bowl. Few outside of Waco would argue that with the benefit of hindsight, Baylor should have been selected over Ohio State.

But just how close was the vote? According to Baylor head coach Art Briles, it was pretty close! Eight to four close, specifically. That's two votes away, assuming nobody flipped to TCU, from a tie vote.

We don't know the who voted for who (or even if Briles is correct here), but the full list of committee members can be found here. I suspect that Barry Alvarez wasn't one of the Baylor holdouts. Your guess for who didn't vote for the Buckeyes is as good as mine.

But, as Tom Fornelli points out, does this mean there wasn't any support for TCU at all? That feels a little strange.

In any rate, Ohio State was clearly the right choice, and Baylor could have helped avoid all of this if they played any teams with a pulse. For our sakes, we're glad they didn't.