The fourth and final College Football Playoff spot could very well come down to Ohio State or Alabama on Sunday.
If the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday, the Buckeyes would likely vault themselves into the top five. The real question, in this case, would be if they jump Alabama to get into the top four.
That was a big topic of discussion during the College Football Playoff rankings selection show on Tuesday night. And ESPN analyst Rece Davis said it would be a no-win situation for the committee if the fourth playoff spot comes down to the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide.
“Here’s the thing that I almost feel sorry for the committee with, if it comes to that,” Davis said. “If it comes down to it’s clearly an Ohio State vs. Alabama decision, they can’t win. They have no shot at winning. Because if they choose Ohio State, they’ll go ‘three times in four years, the shell game goes around and they stack it up to favor Ohio State.’ Or oh yeah, ‘they give Alabama credit all the time.'”
In the penultimate rankings, Ohio State was No. 8, Alabama — following a loss to Auburn — was No. 5 and Wisconsin moved up to No. 4. And with the way the latest rankings look, if No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Oklahoma and the eighth-ranked Buckeyes win their respective conference championship games, two-loss, Big Ten champion Ohio State vs. one-loss Alabama would be the College Football Playoff selection committee’s only question.
It won’t be an easy question to answer, according to ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.
“It’s about the eye of the beholder. It’s subjective. It could go this way, it could go that way, if it ends up coming down to those two teams,” Herbstreit said. “What could hurt Alabama is the way they played in the last two SEC games against Mississippi State and Auburn and the fact Ohio State would have a Big Ten championship. Rece, you said this in the opening comment, the only way Alabama could get in over Ohio State — because it’s not going to on paper — is if the committee, the coaches in that room, looked around and said, ‘I wouldn’t want to play them.’ “
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