The Ohio State football team earned the esteemed No. 1 ranking from the CFP Selection Committee in their initial poll. Will the Buckeyes be able to keep it?
I’m going to be honest, the College Football Committee surprised me ranking the Ohio State football team No. 1 in their initial poll. Although I am in agreement with their choice to slot the Buckeyes atop of the list as they have been the most consistently dominant team in the country through 10 weeks.
The first rankings told us a lot about how the committee views teams and conferences, but this poll could change dramatically before the final release in December. In fact, both playoff matchups as of right now are regular season games that take place Nov. 9th with Alabama hosting LSU and on Nov. 23rd as Ohio State takes on Penn State in The Shoe.
The Big Ten led all conferences with six ranked teams and the SEC is right behind with five, all of which are in the Top-11. At face value, both of these elite conferences are a lock to send a representative to the CFP, but are also in a prime position to have an argument for a second team.
The loser of both the Alabama-LSU and Ohio State-Penn State games will have a strong case for the fourth and final spot. Especially if Oregon and Utah both stumble again and Oklahoma is unable to get help from ranked teams in the Big 12. The one outlier to this argument is Alabama.
If the Crimson Tide were to fall to the Tigers this weekend at home, I believe they are on the outside looking in as far as the CFP discussion barring major unforeseen chaos. Alabama certainly wouldn’t have near the resume any of the other teams in contention would aside from Clemson.
But the Tigers would be deemed a conference champion whereas the Tide didn’t even win their own division. However, the Nittany Lions wouldn’t have their hands tied.
Penn State already has two ranked wins over Iowa and Michigan and will have added Minnesota to make three.
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That’s a legitimate case for the Nittany Lions to make the Final Four, especially if they play the Buckeyes tough in a close game.
If LSU is able to beat Alabama the Tigers assert themselves as virtual lock for the CFP, but if they lose they will still have a strong resume in the eyes of the committee. Ohio State is in the same boat, though the Buckeyes do have a more difficult final stretch than the rest of the country.
With wins over Penn State and Michigan Ohio State is undoubtedly in. However, in the event the Buckeyes drop a game, most specifically the showdown versus the Nittany Lions. if it’s a close game don’t count them out.
Truthfully, they may not even fall out of the top four as the committee outlined their strong feelings toward Ohio State being the No. 1 team in the country.
November is going to be an action packed month of college football as always. But for the first time we saw a team from outside the ACC and SEC at the top of the first rankings from the CFP Selection Committee and that honor goes to the deserving Ohio State Buckeyes. But will Ryan Day’s team be able to maintain their spot for the next six weeks?