TCU head coach Gary Patterson is having a good week coming off a big win over an in-state rival, but things got even better Tuesday night.
The Horned Frogs have only last-place Iowa State standing in their way for at least a share of the Big 12 championship and found themselves very much in the running for the first-ever College Football Playoff when the selection committee ranked the team No. 3 in its poll following a big victory over Texas on Thanksgiving.
Florida State, whose fans are justifiably outraged at seeing their Seminoles drop in the standings the past few weeks, fell to No. 4 despite being the only undefeated team in the country. The Seminoles play No. 11 Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday and will have to look better than they have in past weeks if they're to survive a test from the Yellow Jackets and stay in the top four to make the playoff. The final standings come out Sunday.
The inclusion of the Horned Frogs in the top three makes it unlikely that fellow conference foe Baylor, which owns a head-to-head win over TCU, can leapfrog (pun intended) them even if the Bears beat No. 9 Kansas State on Saturday night.
Ohio State still appears to be on the outside of the playoff looking in at No. 5, although committee chairman Jeff Long said the injury to starting quarterback J.T. Barrett did not affect the Buckeyes' ranking this week.
Michigan State might be missing out on the Big Ten title game, but it will like the fact that it is sitting at No. 8 in the rankings following the regular season. By virtue of being ahead of fellow two-loss team Mississippi State out of the SEC, the Spartans might just have locked up a bid to the Orange Bowl against the highest-ranked ACC team.
Once again, Boise State remained as the highest, and only, ranked Group of Five team, moving up a spot to No. 22 after trashing Utah State. All that stands between the Broncos and a New Year's Six bowl game is the Mountain West Championship Game, which Boise State will play at home against 6-6 Fresno State.
Also of note is Arizona rising to No. 7 and being the highest-ranked two-loss team in the country. That puts the Wildcats in good position if they can win the Pac-12 on Friday by beating No. 2 Oregon.
The second-to-last set of rankings certainly shook things up, so anything is possible in the race to be in the top four heading into championship weekend.
The entire order of the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings: