Ohio State’s College Football Playoff Odds After Michigan’s Loss
Could Ohio State miss out on the College Football Playoff even if it wins out?
As of this moment, Ohio State is ranked No. 5 in the college football playoff rankings and the Buckeyes should move up three spots and be ranked No. 2 in the country after No. 4 Washington, No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Clemson were upset on Saturday. The Buckeyes had a 62-to-3 dominating win versus Maryland Saturday afternoon.
Ahead on its schedule is Michigan State and Michigan, who like Ohio State and Penn State, has one Big Ten loss. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Ohio State wins out, beating Michigan and giving it its second loss in the conference.
Beating a top-tier team like Michigan while already being ranked No. 2 in the country, Ohio State would certainly be in the top four and make the college football playoff, right? Well, maybe not.
If Ohio State does win out, it would finish 8-1 in the Big Ten conference. The only problem is that if Penn State wins out, too, it will also finish 8-1 in the Big Ten, and with its head-to-head win versus the Buckeyes, it would represent the Big Ten East in the conference championship game, not Ohio State.
That wouldn’t be the case if Michigan had won Saturday night and its only Big Ten loss was against the Buckeyes at season’s end. That would create three-way tie atop the Big Ten East, and the Bucks would represent the division in the conference title game.
Could Ohio State slip into the college football playoff without winning the conference title? One thing that the playoff committee really values is conference championships.
However, it’s ultimate mission is to put the four best teams in the playoff. If the committee determines that OSU’s one of the four best teams in the country, they should make the playoff, right?
But what about Penn State? How far would they move up in the rankings if this were the scenario? Could the Nittany Lions slip into the playoff with two losses, including a 49-to-10 beat down versus Michigan, if they win out and knock off either Wisconsin or Nebraska in the Big Ten title game?
What about Wisconsin? Could they make the playoff with two losses if they beat the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten title game?
It will be interesting to see how No. 4 Washington and No. 3 Clemson’s losses factor into the whole equation as well. Would the Huskies get bumped up above Ohio State if it has one loss and still wins the PAC 12, even if Ohio State beats a tough Michigan team while being ranked second in the country?
Again, how much will the college football playoff committee value a conference champion, and how much will it take into consideration the strength of each conference? Another thing to take into consideration is Louisville. If they win out with only one ACC loss, how will that change things, considering the fact that Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is the Heisman front-runner?
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All the Buckeyes need to focus on is winning the next game. It seems as if they have a clear shot at making it to the college football playoff, but perhaps it won’t if it doesn’t win a conference title. It’s always fun to play the ‘what if’ game.
Regardless of any scenario mentioned above, the Buckeye football team is a conversation and an argument starter. Ohio State just needs to win the argument on the football field for its fan base.
Nevertheless, if Ohio State wins out, it will put itself in a good position to make the four-team playoff. However, thanks to Michigan’s loss to Penn State, the Wolverines could very well ruin Ohio State’s national title hopes, even if Ohio State beats them head-to-head.
Thanks a lot, Michigan!