With the top-4 teams in the country taking care of business this past weekend, they remained the same in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. Due to that, it also means that the Ohio State Buckeyes are once again the top-ranked team in the country according to the committee, one week after jumping LSU for the No. 1 spot.
“Ohio State now with their impressive win over Michigan on the road has four wins over top-25 teams. LSU has three very impressive wins over top-25 teams,” College Football Playoff selection committee chairman Rob Mullens said Tuesday night.
“Both really have dynamic offenses. Both have good defenses; Ohio State’s is just a little ahead at this point.”
Heading into conference championship weekend, the Buckeyes remaining atop the rankings is quite significant, just like it was last week when they (surprisingly) made the move to No. 1. With the Buckeyes, LSU, and Clemson the only remaining undefeated teams in the country, it means that the top-ranked team avoids the other two undefeated programs until the national championship, while the other two will have to face each other in the semifinal.
So, about the semifinal. If the Buckeyes take care of business and beat Wisconsin — who climbed to No. 8 this week — for the second time this season, it’s likely that the scarlet and gray will remain the top-ranked team in the Playoff. If that does happen, they will likely play either the Pac-12 champ or Big 12 champion. That’s where things get weird.
Those two games will feature No. 5 Utah vs. No. 13 Oregon and No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Baylor, respectively. Even if Utah wins, it doesn’t mean the Utes are automatically in. If either winner has a 2014 Ohio State-esque statement, like when the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin, 59-0, in the Big Ten championship during to force their way into the inaugural Playoff, that team will likely be the fourth and final team in the semifinals. Oh, and we haven’t even discussed the SEC championship game, which features No. 2 LSU vs. No. 4 Georgia. Even if the Tigers lose, it’s likely that they will remain in the Playoff simply because of their resume throughout the regular season. That would mean that both Georiga and LSU would make it. That’s where things could get interesting and it would likely turn into the Pac-12 and Big 12 both being very angry.
With all that said, let’s get back to the Buckeyes. They lead the way in the Big Ten, much like they have throughout the season. Along with Ohio State, the conference also has five other teams in the top 25: Wisconsin (No. 8), Penn State (10), Michigan (14), Iowa (16), and Minnesota (18).
Even though many stated that the Buckeyes had an easy schedule for much of the season, they beat four ranked teams and have a chance to add another top-10 win to that resume this weekend.
Things could get very interesting this weekend, especially if LSU loses. That, along with what takes place (and the scoring margins) in the Pac-12 and Big 12 championship games will play a key role in who makes the Playoff this season. As long as Ohio State takes care of business, they have nothing to worry about. The only thing that would matter is who their opponent would be in the semifinal.
Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 2️⃣5️⃣ rankings for games played through November 30.
Is your team in? 👀
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) December 4, 2019