Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said Monday he believes his football program would be deserving of a playoff spot if it defeats Kansas State this weekend.
"It is an incredible platform for us to make our case," McCaw said. "We would be a Big 12 co-champion with a tiebreaker over TCU. It would give us three top-15-quality wins. We would have the strongest resume among those under consideration."
McCaw believes a head-to-head defeat of TCU will be key. Baylor is No. 7 and TCU is No. 5 in the last playoff ranking.
"The whole concept of a playoff is determining a champion on the field," McCaw said. "If it's on the merits of what was done on the field you would think if there's already been a game it should weigh heavily."
McCaw said he is comfortable with multiple programs being declared co-champions when tied but that tiebreakers are essential for postseason bids.
Asked about the possibility that "powerful brand" could come into the minds of a playoff committee member, McCaw said: "Baylor doesn't have the historical brand value of an Alabama but to my knowledge that's not a committee criteria. It's to choose the four best teams."
McCaw said he is comfortable that the conference is well positioned without a championship game in part because there have been key Big 12 regular-season finales opposite other conference title games.
"No guarantees but we have had de-facto championship games," McCaw said.
Baylor's nonconference schedule has been criticized as weak and McCaw has added a future home-and-home with Duke. But McCaw believes nonconference schedule will not be the deciding factor in playoff inclusion.
"I believe the committee should and will be consistent," McCaw said. "Mississippi State was No. 1 overall with four relatively weak nonconference games. In my assessment they are looking more closely at quality wins."
Ultimately, McCaw said it will be a major issue when Baylor or any other Power 5 conference champion is left out.
"I am a very strong advocate of the eight-team playoff," McCaw said. "That's the ideal model. At least one will be left out and that's not right. If we play on, for example, Jan. 1, 8 and 15, we've only added a few days."