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CFP Reaction: No. 2 Buckeyes have huge opportunities to reclaim top seed

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Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and the Buckeyes could move back up to No. 1 down the stretch. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

CFP Reaction: No. 2 Buckeyes have huge opportunities to reclaim top seed

COLUMBUS — The full picture is still incomplete for Ohio State.

It’s already clear, though, what the final pieces would look like for the Buckeyes. And it will be hard to argue against them as the No. 1 team in the nation if the body of work is completed as intended.

That, of course, hasn’t happened yet. Which is why Ohio State again checked in at No. 2 on Tuesday night after the latest rankings for the College Football Playoff were unveiled — and it’s also why it’s a good reason to keep on ignoring the selection committee until it takes the vote that actually matters.

Honestly, it has never been any simpler for the Buckeyes, even if it’s often foolish to try to predict the whims of a voting bloc that is still too small, still subject to recusals from members with a vested interest and still not making it clear what exactly it values from week to week. If Ohio State wins out, obviously it’s getting an invitation to the four-team field — and at this stage it appears almost certain to be heading back to its postseason home-away-from-home at the Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football-Antwuan Jackson

Ohio State and defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson are trying to finish up the regular season unbeaten. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

For the first time in the College Football Playoff Era, the Buckeyes truly can ignore the polls every week. And it doesn’t even need to stress about the seeding, because closing with top-15 matchups against Penn State, Michigan and then potentially Wisconsin or Minnesota would represent three marquee additions to the resumé. What LSU has done so far has certainly been impressive, but aside from the SEC title game, it doesn’t have nearly the room to grow down the stretch.

Of course, Ohio State still has to go handle its business on the field. A loss wouldn’t knock out a team that has been as dominant as the Buckeyes this season, but it would take fate back out of their hands and into the control of those unreliable committee members.

It’s no secret that the stakes are enormous with the Big Ten East Division on the line in the Horseshoe on Saturday. But beyond the conference crown, the next win or two could push the Buckeyes back to the top spot and improve the matchup in the semifinal.

“I think our team knows what’s at stake, we have talked about that,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “But now it’s time to just focus on Penn State.

” … I think [the pressure] goes hand in hand about being at Ohio State. When you’re to where we are at this point of the year, it’s expected. You know you’re going to have a lot of eyes here. But a lot of eyes are on us every week. And I talk to the guys about that — even last week being at Rutgers, maybe it didn’t feel like that, but the whole nation was watching. If you don’t show up to play, then you put yourself at risk.”

That hasn’t even come close to happening for the Buckeyes yet after destroying every opponent so far this season.

And while that blowout streak might eventually come to an end, as long as the wins keep coming, Ohio State should be back to No. 1 by the time the vote actually counts.

College Football Playoff rankings, Nov. 19

1. LSU

2. Ohio State

3. Clemson

4. Georgia

5. Alabama

6. Oregon

7. Utah

8. Penn State

9. Oklahoma

10. Minnesota

11. Florida

12. Wisconsin

13. Michigan

14. Baylor

15. Auburn

16. Notre Dame

17. Iowa

18. Memphis

19. Cincinnati

20. Boise State

21. Oklahoma State

22. Iowa State

23. USC

24. Appalachian State

25. SMU

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Rustycharles mooreKid BuckeyeBrunstarMeatchicken Sux Recent comment authors
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Meatchicken Sux
Meatchicken Sux

So let me get this straight….LSU plays ALL their starters against a 4-6 piece of garbage football team in Ole Miss (you know, the place where Head Coaches buy hookers and have a tryst in his office), give up 38 points and 600 total yards of offense and stay ranked #1. Imagine if Ohio State did the same thing against Maryland..we would drop to #3 or #4…….Sick of the SEC. And you still hear the narrative on ESPN vying to get 2 SEC teams in the playoff……LETS KICK PENN STATES ASS THIS WEEKEND!!!!!! GO BUCKS!!


CFB Playoff rankings are a waste of time until the week of conference championship games. The committee tries to make the early rankings controversial in order to increase TV ratings and interest.

Also, Oregon/Utah will jump to #4 if either team wins out.

Kid Buckeye
Kid Buckeye

Oregon yes but not sure Utah would. The committee likes to fill the playoff stadiums.


Oregon/Utah in the #4 position for winning out the rest of their schedule? That’s a bold statement lol but I would be more than eased to see that happen. Nothing would make me happier than to see four fresh new teams in the playoffs this season who aren’t part of the SEC/ACC conferences.

charles moore
charles moore

the playoff committee is bias against the big ten, they favor the sec over others and thats bull shit


Now as a time tested fan of the Big10, particularly Ohio State and Penn State, it brings joy to my heart to finally see Ohio State getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve but have been robbed of the past few years. If they can finish the season strong and win out the remaining games on their schedule then there should be no doubt left in anyone’s mind that they truely are the number one team in the country. The SEC as well as the ACC have been undoubtedly overrated for years now. It’s time to shake things up and… Read more »


Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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