The penultimate edition of the college football playoff standings was released Tuesday night, and despite Ohio State’s devastating loss to Michigan last Saturday, the Buckeyes are currently ranked No. 1. 7 and they’re not exactly over it yet.
Now before we continue, some of you will have to put your feelings in a closet and close the closet door, because those feelings serve no purpose here. no one needs to hear how the state of ohio doesn’t deserve this or that or you don’t want to see them embarrass you any more than they already have. this is simply asking and answering a question that many buckeye fans are asking right now. no one is trying to irritate you.
first, let’s answer the big question: can ohio state make the playoffs? the answer, with just a bit of convolution, is yes.
The Buckeyes are in seventh place, which means three teams ahead of them should fall by the wayside. and the way the remaining schedule is set up, that’s just not going to happen.
but there is still a way.
here is the top 10 of cfp. it doesn’t make much sense to go further.
10. oregon9. baylor8. old lady 7. ohio state6. notre dame 5. state of oklahoma4. cincinnati3. Alabama 2. Michigan 1. Georgia
We must first understand three permanent obstacles. First, the state of Ohio will not be able to get ahead of the second champion. Second, Ohio State can’t beat Michigan, even with a loss to Iowa (unless something crazy happens). Third, Grand Champion XII will also be ahead of Ohio State. oklahoma state is already ahead of them and wouldn’t go down after a win. Plus, with Baylor just a couple of spots behind, they’d probably jump ahead of the Buckeyes thanks to the conference title. however, it is interesting that the committee dropped baylor one spot after a win last week.
With those three things understood, some workarounds need to be found, as there is only one spot available from osu’s perspective. First, a reasonable loss to Alabama in the championship game of the second will likely keep them ahead of Ohio State. We’ve seen too many playoff votes over the years to expect OSU to get the benefit of the doubt against the SEC, especially when they haven’t won it week after week this year.
So, if you’re interested in rooting for the Buckeyes to make the playoffs, you’ll be rooting for an emphatic Georgia victory over Alabama. they need to make crimson tide look bad, like auburn did. but not letting them win or come back or anything else that happened in that game.
but wait, there’s more. Ohio State will also need a Cincinnati loss to Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday. that game starts at 4:00 p.m. m. in abc.
while supporting the cougars, you’ll also want to support utah over oregon in the pac 12 championship game on friday. that’s just in case. Oregon may or may not be out of the picture, but you don’t want them coming back with a conference crown.
if all three things happen: 1) georgia wins big; 2) Cincinnati loses; and 3) oregon loses, so there is only one final step left.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the Irish were done playing until bowling season.
Fortunately for the state of Ohio, however, the Notre Dame football program does not have a head coach.
if brian kelly didn’t even want to be there, why would the committee give them the thumbs up on buckeyes, especially when you look at ohio state’s wins compared to notre dame’s?
The Irish do not have a win over a ranked opponent this season and have a common opponent in the Buckeyes. Notre Dame beat Purdue by 14 points. ohio state beat the kettles by 28 points.
chestnuts have a win over no. 11 state of michigan and losses or not. 10 oregon and no. 2 michigan the only loss of notre dame came to no. 4 Cincinnati.
would the committee prefer a two-loss ohio state team with one coach over a one-loss notre dame team with no head coach?
Speaking after the rankings were released, committee chairman Gary Barta was asked how much they consider the absence of a coach.
“The committee has in our protocol the ability to look at players who won’t be available or coaches who won’t be available and then take that into account along with our other protocol, our other criteria. when the championships are over and if someone is in our discussions that they have a player who will not be available, and the committee feels that it is likely to affect the outcome, but those are the words in the protocol, then that can be discussed and that can be considered . and each of the 13 members can weigh it any way they want to weigh it, compared to head-to-head competition and ordinary opponents and all the other things we weigh.”
in other words, a committee member may consider coachless notre dame to be as important as a team winning a conference championship or having an additional loss.
if it all comes down to ohio state and notre dame for the final spot, not having a head coach would give the irish an extra hit on their record to match osu’s two losses. those two programs would then be compared on an equal footing. And when you look at each team’s wins this year, it would be hard to take the Irish over the Buckeyes.
So, long story short, crazier things have happened.
especially this season.