Even on a bye week, the Ohio State Buckeyes’ road to the Playoff became a bit clearer. With the scarlet and gray off and plenty of good football on throughout the day Saturday, Buckeye Nation found themselves glued to the TV, seeing which members of the previously unbeaten would go down.
Thanks to Georgia getting upset at home, many expected Ohio State to jump from No. 4 to No. 3 in this week’s AP Poll. Unfortunately, due to LSU beating yet another top-11 team, the Tigers climbed ahead of the Buckeyes, moving the scarlet and gray back to No. 4 while LSU not only jumped Ohio State but also moved ahead of Clemson and jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 after taking down the Gators. Previously tied with the Bulldogs at No. 3 last week, the Buckeyes actually fell one spot to No. 4 due to LSU’s dominance.
With Georgia losing at home to a South Carolina team that was not only a 25-point underdog but also forced to play their third-string quarterback, that was a huge knock on the SEC. Some expected that they could somehow get three teams into the four-team Playoff at season’s end if they got a little bit of help. Now, they would need a bunch of help for that to happen.
Ohio State is leading the way in the conference, but the Big Ten has six teams that are ranked, three of which are in the top seven: Buckeyes (No. 4), Wisconsin (6), Penn State (7), Minnesota (20), and Iowa (23). Meanwhile, the SEC also has six teams in the top 25: Alabama (No. 1), LSU (2), Florida (9), Georgia (10), Auburn (11), and Missouri (22).
Keep in mind, the Buckeyes still have to play both Wisconsin and Penn State. Luckily for Ohio State, both games are in Columbus. They will host the Badgers on October 26 and the Nittany Lions will come to town on November 23.
They might be the fourth-ranked team, but Ohio State is receiving plenty of first-place votes already (9). with the top-three teams in the rankings receiving the other 53 votes.
Much like the AP Top 25, the Buckeyes are also No. 4 in the latest Coaches Poll, just one point behind LSU. Their four-first place votes are the third-highest, behind only Alabama (44), and Clemson (14), while the Tigers only had three.