COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–If Ohio State’s going to return to the College Football Playoff this year, it needs some serious help.
In the latest CFP Rankings released Tuesday night, the Buckeyes are ranked 6th. The top 4 teams earn spots in the National Semifinals December 31st.
5th ranked Michigan State takes on Iowa Saturday night in the B1G Championship Game, and the winning team will certainly earn one of the four playoff spots.
Clemson takes on North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game, and if UNC pulls the upset it could open a spot. Alabama plays Florida in the SEC Championship game facing the same win-and-in scenario.
Even with an upset in one of those games it may not be enough for Ohio State to slide into the 4th playoff spot. The CFP committee has talked about its favoring of conference champions in their selection of teams to the playoff and last year all four teams who made the playoffs were conference champions. It’s feasible if Stanford defeats USC Saturday in the Pac-12 Championship game the Cardinal could get a look for the final spot as a league champion even though Stanford has lost two games.
Ohio State appears to be a strong candidate for the Rose Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. Other possibilities include the Sugar Bowl and Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The Rose Bowl’s traditional Big Ten tie means OSU could get that spot, but the losing team between Iowa and Michigan State Saturday may have just as strong a case to take that spot.
The final playoff pairings will be announced Sunday at 12:30 p.m. with the bowl game selections to come at 3 p.m. Sunday.