COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State dropped to No. 13 in the latest version of the College Football Playoff rankings, leaving the Buckeyes with a difficult road going forward.
After losing to Oklahoma, Ohio State already needed help to crack the top four of the rankings. They were sixth in the first rankings, which meant that they needed to keep winning and have teams in front of them lose. And on a weekend when that seemed somewhat likely, they didn’t get the results they needed. Oklahoma held off Oklahoma State, Alabama beat LSU, Georgia fought off South Carolina and Clemson outlasted North Carolina State. And, to top it off, the Buckeyes lost by 31 points to Iowa.
A College Football Playoff berth wasn’t a sure thing before the loss, but after a weekend of disastrous results it looks pretty much impossible. Even if the Buckeyes win out, they’ll still have two losses — neither close, and one that was pretty horrifying. More importantly, there are a slew of teams in front of them that need one or two losses, and the calendar is running out of days in which those defeats would be possible.
On Monday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was asked about how he’ll keep the team motivated with a College Football Playoff appearance looking increasingly unlikely.
“That’s something we work on not today, that’s something we’ve been working on all year, and you try to get a close team that cares about each other and plays really hard,” Meyer said. “It’s not going to be some speech I give to the team.
“So it’s a process. It’s a journey that we’re on. And there’s still plenty of things great things ahead.”
The Buckeyes still have a Big Ten championship to play for, and they can easily make a New Year’s Six bowl if they win out. But earning a College Football Playoff spot is always the goal, and Tuesday’s rankings showed that getting into the top four appears to be an impossible task for Ohio State.
College Football Playoff rankings, Week 11
3. Notre Dame
7. Miami (Fla.)
12. Michigan State
13. Ohio State
14. Penn State
15. Oklahoma State
16. Mississippi State
17. Virginia Tech
18. Central Florida
19. Washington State
21. Iowa State
23. North Carolina State
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