General

Buckeyes stay at No. 10 in third College Football Playoff rankings

(Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Much like the Ohio State Buckeyes, every top-10 team in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings won this past weekend. With that, the top 10 remained the same in the latest Playoff rankings, which were revealed Tuesday night. With the top-10 teams remaining the same, the Buckeyes still need the same things to happen to the rest of the top 10 in order to have a shot at the Playoff, it’s just that now, they have one less week for those things to happen.

While all of the top 10 won this past Saturday, College Football Playoff chairman Rob Mullens also mentioned that the scarlet and gray are “not as sharp as they were in the middle of the year” following the Buckeyes’ 26-6 win at Michigan State.

“The committee left them at No. 10, but when you look at it, the teams ahead of them took care of business as well,” he said during Tuesday night’s show. “We know they still have their quality wins over Penn State, Michigan State is certainly a quality win, they beat TCU in Texas when TCU was healthy. So those are all good wins, and they keep finding a way to win.”

Much like they have all season, the SEC continues to dominate the latest rankings. They have four teams in the top 25 this week: No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 Georgia, No. 7 LSU, No. 17 Kentucky, and No. 21 Mississippi State. With two-straight shutouts, the Crimson Tide continued to dominate and prove that they are by far and away the best team in the country. They will hold that top spot until they lost, which may not be this season.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten has four teams in the top 25: No. 4 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 14 Penn State, and No. 22 Northwestern. That last team is key. At the moment, the Wildcats lead the Big Ten West division. If they continue to win and rise up the rankings paired with the possibility that the Buckeyes win their final two regular-season games, it would mean that the Big Ten Championship game would feature two ranked teams. That means Ohio State could add another quality win to their resume if that is the case. There are a lot of “ifs” there, but it’s still a possibility.

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, Ohio State’s chances of possibly making the Playoff continue to dwindle. There’s still a chance, but those odds will continue to decrease as long as other teams in the top 10 continue to win. The Buckeyes will continue to regret their lousy performance in their loss at Purdue, but what’s done is done. It’s not their fault that teams such as TCU have been really overrated this year. That loss at Purdue stings and could eventually cost them a spot in the Playoff, but what’s in the past should remain there. The Buckeyes can only care and worry about what’s in front of them. Not only do they have to win out, but Ohio State also needs some help as well. Score margin could potentially matter, especially considering the Buckeyes not only need to win but do so impressively. Winning is important, but so is passing the eye test. They haven’t done so over the last few weeks even though the Buckeyes are still 9-1, so passing the eye test while winning out could loom large. Everything will eventually work itself out, but Ohio State needs plenty of help if they want any shot of making the Playoff.

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season along the conference championships, time is slowly dwindling. Then again, never count out the Buckeyes or craziness in college football. It can happen. Ohio State just has to control what they have to control at this point.

Key regular-season games remaining for teams currently ranked ahead of Ohio State:

  1. Alabama (10-0): vs. Auburn
  2. Clemson (10-0): vs. South Carolina
  3. Notre Dame (10-0): vs. No. 13 Syracuse, at USC
  4. Michigan (9-1): at No. 10 Ohio State
  5. Georgia (9-1): vs. Georgia Tech
  6. Oklahoma (9-1): at No. 9 West Virginia
  7. LSU (8-2): at Texas A&M
  8. Washington State (9-1): vs. No. 18 Washington
  9. West Virginia (8-1): at Oklahoma State, vs. No. 6 Oklahoma