Everyone knew the decision over the last team to make the College Football Playoff would be contentious. If recent reports are accurate, Ohio State only made it into the playoff over Baylor by a few votes.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jimmy Burch, Baylor coach Art Briles says a "source" (the scare quotes are Burch's) told him the College Football Playoff Committee took a vote on whether Ohio State or Baylor would be No. 4. According to the source, Ohio State won by an 8-4 vote. Had two of the committee's 12 members flipped the other way, the vote would have be deadlocked.
Briles has good reason to complain, but he shouldn't blame the committee: if Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had vouched for either Baylor or TCU as a conference champion, Baylor could have been in the Sugar Bowl instead of Ohio State.
In summary: a reporter said Briles said an unnamed source said it was an 8-4 vote. It's a good thing Baylor lost to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl to make all this confusion moot.
The only problem is, Briles is likely speaking out of... turn. According to College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock, Briles or his source is full of it.
. @BHancockCFP told me today that because the votes are taken by secret ballot on computers, "an 8-4 vote would not be possible"— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) January 21, 2015
If Briles' source is in fact correct, it would defy the playoff committee's selection protocol.
The 12 committee members each vote separately at individual computers, and via secret ballot. In other words, the only way the committee members themselves would know how anyone else voted would be to ask, or to look at another committee member's computer as he or she voted.
Good thing that's settled.