The Horned Frogs (10-1) climbed two spots, leapfrogging Florida State (12-0) and Mississippi State (10-2), which lost to Ole Miss on Saturday. Florida State dropped one spot to No. 4 on Tuesday, while Mississippi State fell six spots to No. 10.
Perhaps most importantly for TCU, Baylor remains three spots behind the Horned Frogs at No. 6. Baylor defeated TCU 61-58 in October, giving the Horned Frogs their only loss of the season. As a result, some have argued Baylor deserves to be ranked ahead of TCU given the head-to-head victory.
If TCU beats Iowa State on Saturday, Horned Frogs athletic director Chris Del Conte said the team deserves to be part of the four-team playoff.
"If we're successful in beating Iowa State, I would stack our resume up against anybody because of our total body of work," Del Conte said. "We scheduled nonconference. Every single week has been competitive."
The Big 12's involvement in the inaugural Playoff is complicated since, as a 10-team conference, it is unable to host an official conference championship game. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said earlier this week that the conference won't pick between two teams in naming a champion; rather, both TCU and Baylor would be named co-champions if both win on Saturday.
Baylor hosts No. 9 Kansas State, and would normally hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over TCU.
- Mike Fiammetta