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Buckeyes jump up one spot to No. 8 in fifth Playoff rankings

After the Ohio State Buckeyes took down Mich-Again Saturday afternoon, it looked as though they were somehow in the driver’s seat for one of the four spots in the Playoff. Then, after Buckeyes fans were forced to root for Alabama immediately after the Buckeyes took down Michigan, the Crimson Tide were upset by Auburn, completely throwing a wrench and possibly even ending the scarlet and gray’s hopes of making the playoffs unless some chaos occurs during conference championship weekend.

If Alabama would have beat Auburn, it would have most likely led to the SEC Champion, ACC Champion, Oklahoma, and Ohio State making the playoff, assuming the Buckeyes take care of business against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game Saturday night. That became even more clear after Notre Dame was upset by Stanford late Saturday night.

With all that said, following the Irish getting upset, the Buckeyes jumped up to No. 8 in the latest and second-to-last Playoff rankings of the season ahead of Conference Championship Saturday.

Plenty is on the line this Saturday. As it looks, whoever wins the ACC Championship between Clemson and Miami will be in the Playoff; whoever wins the SEC Championship between Auburn and Georgia will be in; if Oklahoma beats TCU in the Big 12 Championship they’ll be in; and the fourth spot is in question. If undefeated Wisconsin — who is the last remaining Power 5 team in the country — beats Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, the Badgers are in. Plenty of questions will arise if the Buckeyes take down Wisconsin.

If Ohio State wins Saturday night, that fourth Playoff spot, unless other chaos takes place, will be between the Buckeyes and Bama. The Crimson Tide have just one loss on the season compared to Ohio State’s two, but the scarlet and gray will have a conference championship, something that the committee continues to say is important. The Buckeyes will also have three wins — against Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State, and No. 16 Michigan State — that are better than Alabama’s best win against No. 17 LSU.

Due to the reputation and having one less loss, Alabama1 could get in the Final Four over Ohio State. It’s all just up to the College Football Playoff Committee.

Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt tried to clear some things up Tuesday night, but just remember, he’s only one person of the many in the committee. Others could have different viewpoints and opinions.

“There was a clear cut with the top four teams in the rankings,” he said. Which says a lot about how he views Wisconsin, even though the Badgers had a weak strength of schedule during the regular season.

Some believe that Bama would no matter what get the spot ahead of Ohio State, Hocutt said something important, that there is “very little separation in the committee’s eyes between teams five through eight.” Remember, the Buckeyes are No. 8, Alabama is No. 5.

While Ohio State’s 31-point loss at Iowa was brought up once again and could be the lone reason why they miss out on the Playoff, Hocutt admitted that the Buckeyes have been playing well lately.

“The way that Ohio State has played and executed these last three weeks have been very impressive,” he said.

The final (and most important) rankings will be unveiled on Sunday during the College Football Playoff: Top 25 Selection Show, which begins at 12 p.m. ET.

  1. although they will be sitting on their couches watching all of the football being played on Saturday much like us. []