After the third round of College Football Playoff rankings, the top four teams have remained constant. By no means are these rankings secure though, especially for No. 4 Ohio State.
The Buckeyes were expected to extend their record to 6-0 this weekend in a heavily-favored matchup with rival Michigan. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the Wolverines were forced to cancel the game due to a significant COVID-19 outbreak in their program.
With the Big Ten requiring conference championship teams to have played at least six games, Ohio State could be held out of the final if they can’t book a replacement game.
Being held out of the conference championship would also have huge implications on the Buckeyes’ potential CFP berth. ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit says Ohio State fans should be rooting heavily for the Crimson Tide in the SEC championship if they want to strengthen their playoff hopes.
An SEC championship win for Florida would likely mean OSU gets the boot.
“Ohio State fans should be the biggest Alabama fans going because if Alabama knocks Florida out, Ohio State is in the four,” Herbstreit said. “If Florida beats Alabama, and Clemson beats Notre Dame, Ohio State will be left out. It will be Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida, and Alabama and Ohio State will be out.”
There’s still a chance Ohio State holds their fate in their own hands though.
Big Ten conference athletic directors are expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss potential changes to the six-game rule. Herbstreit said conference officials have indicated a willingness to move around schedules to benefit the Buckeyes.
“The question I have is if they don’t get a game, and they’re sitting there (at 5-0), the AD’s have made it very clear they’re willing to reevaluate how many games you have to play to qualify for the Big Ten Championship,” Herbstreit said. “If they take that away and say it’s 5, and that would open up for Ohio State to get to Indianapolis. If they were to win that game and finish 6-0 and be a B1G champ, it would be interesting to see if that would be enough for the committee to put them in at six games.”
There’s a lot of hypotheticals swirling around the Ohio State program right now, but we should have at least some answers tomorrow.
Stay tuned for updates on the Big Ten’s decision.
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