Moments after Ohio State clinched the Big Ten Championship with a resounding 45-24 victory over Northwestern, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer made his case to the College Football Playoff committee for his team to make it in as one of the top four teams.
“All you have to do is look at the body of work,” said Meyer. “We went on the road and had some tough wins. TCU, Penn State, Michigan State, and then to come back and play against our rivals the way we did, and then we went and represented the [East division] and had a great game here [at the Big Ten Championship].”
Meyer finished his remarks with one final statement: “I think we deserve a shot.”
Urban Meyer makes a compelling argument for his team with the points that he listed after finishing off a 12-1 season with a Big Ten Championship before bowl selection, but will the argument be compelling enough to sway the committee for one of those coveted final four spots?
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Ohio State is going to be vying for that No. 4 spot in the rankings after a day of no serious chaos in the top of the college football landscape as Alabama and Clemson both won their conference championship games, topping off undefeated seasons for both and punching their tickets to the playoff. Notre Dame had a bye this week as they don’t belong to a conference but the resounding sentiment is that they will get a playoff spot after a 12-0 season. That leaves Ohio State to compete with 12-1 Big 12 Champion Oklahoma and an 11-2 Georgia team that barely lost to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game for that final spot in the College Football Playoff.
There’s a general feeling across the college football landscape that Oklahoma will get the fourth spot after handling their business against Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game.
However, according to the latest metrics by ESPN, signs are pointing to a possible playoff berth for Ohio State as they currently have the fourth-best odds to make the playoff.
The metric for Strength of Record also has the Buckeyes at No. 4 ahead of both Georgia and Oklahoma.
So let’s break this down. Ohio State is 12-1. They are the Big Ten Champions. They have one of the top four strength of records in the country. They also have better wins than either Oklahoma or Georgia.
Now, we can’t mention all those positives without listing the one big negative which is Ohio State’s 29-point loss to Purdue.
But here’s the thing. Is the committee really going to value one loss more than all of those impressive résumé boosters? Unfortunately, I think they will and that means the Big Ten champion will be shut out of the playoff for three consecutive seasons even though it is arguably the best conference in the country.
Now, if Ohio State doesn’t make the playoff today – which it doesn’t look like they will – they have to take the blame on themselves for that loss to Purdue and struggling with some below average teams throughout the course of the season.
If Ohio State were to miss out on the playoff for the second consecutive season, a trip to the Rose Bowl will be a very welcomed consolation prize for the Big Ten champions as they would spend the New Year in Pasadena playing in the Granddaddy Of Them All against the PAC-12 champions, Washington.
Ohio State will learn their final bowl season fate today at 12:30pm ET when the final Top-6 rankings of the College Football Playoff are unveiled. The College Football Playoff Selection Show begins at Noon ET on ESPN and you can bet that the Buckeyes will be tuning in for that.
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