Even with their mistakes throughout the game, it appears as though the Ohio State Buckeyes did enough in their 28-17 win over Penn State this past weekend to move up in the rankings. In a surprising move, the Bucks have jumped LSU and reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings that were released Tuesday night. It was their balance, consistency, and dominance that got them to take over the top spot once again.
“It’s probably that complete team piece,” College Football Playoff chairman Rob Mullens said. “Ohio State’s been really good on both sides of the ball. …The win over Penn State solidified that Ohio State is better than LSU on defense.”
Even with the hiccups that the scarlet and gray had against the Nittany Lions last Saturday, they still dominated the game. The Buckeyes struggled in the third quarter but did enough the other three quarters to put the game away. Ohio State still has arguably the best defense and one of the best offenses in the country. The committee noticed that.
Looking ahead, Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor to take on No. 13 Michigan this Saturday. Then, with their win over Penn State this past weekend, the Buckeyes have already clinched the Big Ten East division and will take on the winner of No. 8 Minnesota and No. 12 Wisconsin, who also matchup on Saturday.
Remember all those naysayers continue to say that the Big Ten isn’t that good? Well, you’re wrong. Even if the bottom of the conference might be really, really bad, the Big Ten has six teams in the rankings, all of which are in the top-17. Joining the Buckeyes are Minnesota (No. 8), Penn State (10), Wisconsin (12), Michigan (13), and Iowa (17). There’s a reason the Nittany Lions only dropped two spots after their loss in Columbus.
“Ohio State has been a complete team all year, and the win over Penn State impressed the committee,” Mullens said during a teleconference following the newest rankings being revealed.
The fact that the scarlet and gray already jumped LSU and reclaimed the No. 1 spot is quite significant. Not many people thought they would do so this soon, but with games against No. 13 and then either No. 8 or No. 12 looming, Ohio State could very likely remain No. 1 if they win the next two games. No one can make a stronger closing argument and statement than the Buckeyes.
Even though LSU will take on No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship, it could still be pretty tough to surpass the Buckeyes again, given Ohio State’s remaining games. Plenty can change given the outcome and score differential, but the Buckeyes reclaiming that top spot even before The Game this weekend is a very, very good thing for Buckeye Nation. Keep in mind, the No. 1 team in the Playoff will avoid a (most likely) undefeated and defending champion Clemson team in the semifinal.
Here's a full look at the November 2️⃣6️⃣ #CFBPlayoff Selection Committee Rankings.
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— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 27, 2019