You just go to have patience. The committee's made of a lot of good people. You just kind of watch and see how it goes. —TCU coach Gary Patterson
WACO, Texas — Alabama is in. So is Oregon. That we know for sure about the College Football Playoff after the top two teams in the selection committee's rankings romped in their conference championship games.
The contenders didn't make it easy on the selection committee Saturday, ensuring some drama and bickering Sunday after the field for the first playoff is revealed.
Florida State? The Seminoles are far from perfect, but they are still unbeaten.
TCU? The Horned Frogs were third last week and certainly did nothing to hurt that on Championship Saturday. Baylor and Ohio State presented winning final arguments, too.
The Buckeyes were so good against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game — with a third-string quarterback — that they might have helped the selection committee solve its Big 12 problem.
Instead of choosing between the Big 12's co-champions, the 12-member panel could pass on both and go with the Big Ten's best team.
Figuring out who takes the No. 3 and No. 4 spots is going to take some work. As for No. 1 and No. 2, it's just a matter of what order to put Alabama and Oregon.
The Crimson Tide followed the Ducks' lead on Saturday in Atlanta, walloping Missouri 42-13 to win the Southeastern Conference championship. Oregon beat Arizona 51-13 to win the Pac-12 championship Friday night.
No need to worry, SEC fans. The conference that dominated the BCS era will be represented in the playoff. Maybe underrepresented in the minds of many in the Deep South, but that's another debate.
Both the Tide and Ducks made a case to be No. 1, but it might not matter much. Expect Alabama to be in the semifinal held at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and Oregon to be at the one held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Who they'll play is still up in the air.
The Horned Frogs (11-1) were the only contender not playing a ranked team Saturday. The Frogs did what was expected to Iowa State, burying the Big 12's worst team 55-3. TCU earned a share of the conference title but couldn't feel totally comfortable in a sure playoff spot.
The committee has said it would start with a clean slate when it ranks teams each week. Could it really demote the Frogs this late in the game?
"You just go to have patience," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "The committee's made of a lot of good people. You just kind of watch and see how it goes."
Patterson said the Frogs would be keeping a keen eye on the rest of the days' action. There was plenty to take in.
The Buckeyes were fifth in the playoff rankings heading into the Big Ten championship game, and didn't miss Heisman Trophy candidate J.T. Barrett one bit. Cardale Jones was spectacular and the Buckeyes smothered Wisconsin star Melvin Gordon.
The Bears (11-1), sixth in the rankings, now can call themselves Big 12 champs, too, after beating Kansas State 38-27. They're co-champions, but with a victory against TCU back in October.
"There's one true champion and it's the Baylor Bears," coach Art Briles shouted to a horde of Baylor fans covering the field at McLane Stadium.
That 61-58 comeback win in Waco hasn't been enough to convince the committee that the Bears are better than the Frogs nor is it being used as a tiebreaker in the Big 12. The conference that doesn't have a title game held two trophy ceremonies Saturday — one in Fort Worth and the other in Waco. It's up to the 12-member selection committee to figure out which team is better.
As committee chairman Jeff Long has said, the resumes between TCU and Baylor haven't been close enough for the head-to-head to come into play. But now the Bears and Frogs have played 10 common opponents. The only real difference will be that Baylor played Buffalo and TCU played Minnesota.
As for Florida State (13-0), the defending national champions have done nothing but win and fall in the rankings.
Yet again, the Seminoles had to fight and claw. But they extended their winning streak, this time with a 37-35 victory against Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. Make it 29 in a row for the Noles.
The first playoff has only increased the intensity of the debate about who is best in college football.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP