COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State will likely find itself well outside the playoff picture in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings, but the Buckeyes will still have a chance to make up the required ground thanks to their Big Ten title game berth.
There will be some big shifts in the Tuesday College Football Playoff rankings, though the wild results came at the top — far ahead of where Ohio State sat in the rankings. No. 1 Alabama lost decisively to No. 6 Auburn, and No. 2 Miami was thoroughly outplayed by Pitt the day after Thanksgiving. The only other loss in the top 10 came from No. 8 Notre Dame, who might not even make a New Year’s Six bowl now after a third loss.
What do those results mean for the Buckeyes, who fought their way to a 31-20 win against Michigan? Let’s get to the projections for this week.
Ohio State College Football Playoff projection
Because Ohio State has two losses, the amount of chaos the Buckeyes need was always going to take time. They got a couple of much-needed results in the final weekend of the regular season, with Miami losing to almost certainly deny the ACC a shot at two playoff teams and Notre Dame fully eliminating itself from the picture.
The problem, though, is that Alabama was expected to clear out two obstacles for Ohio State and instead the Crimson Tide added to the problems. An Alabama SEC title would have taken care of Auburn and Georgia, clearing the way for the Buckeyes to swoop in and take the No. 4 seed. Instead, the picture is now much more complicated with all three teams alive heading into the SEC Championship weekend.
The top four of the ranking figures to include Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Auburn in some order. Where Alabama stands will tell a lot about the future. The Crimson Tide will most likely be slotted in the No. 5 spot ahead of Georgia. (That’s no worry for the Bulldogs, who would certainly jump Auburn and Alabama with a conference title.) Expect Ohio State to likely be No. 8 behind Miami.
The good news for Ohio State is a couple teams ahead of it are guaranteed to lose, especially if the Buckeyes win — which is the only scenario in which this matters. Let’s say Ohio State beats the Badgers. The loser of Auburn/Georgia will almost certainly fall below the Buckeyes, and that should be the case for the loser of Clemson/Miami (especially if it’s the Hurricanes who lose). That would set up a battle between the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide for the fourth and final spot. Either way, it won’t be a fun decision for the committee.
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