Ohio State to play final games to make CFB playoffs


The first question on the minds of all Ohio State fans when they heard that there was a chance the Buckeyes should cancel last Saturday’s game against Illinois was whether the Scarlet and Gray would play enough games to make the college football playoffs. Due to the Big Ten rule that a team must play six games to be eligible for the Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State’s decision to ultimately call off the game against the Fighting Illini – the right decision, by the way. passerby – puts the Buckeyes as almost a lock for the playoff selection committee to have some really serious questions.

What worked in Scarlet and Gray’s favor was Tuesday night’s playoff standings. In the second top 25 produced by the playoff selection committee, Ohio State remained in 4th place despite not playing this week and being close to be eligible for the conference title match. This week, Buckeye fans cared little that their team was behind a one-loss Clemson squad – which was the main talking point at the top of the top ranking – and were just happy to still be in the top. four.

The Scarlet and Gray stayed ahead of No.5 Texas A&M, although selection committee chairman Gary Barta noted it was a close decision after the Aggies won their sixth game of the l year against LSU on Saturday.

“What I can tell you is that there was a discussion in the room about the possibility of placing both Ohio State and Texas A&M in this fourth slot,” Barta said. . “The firepower and explosiveness of Justin Fields and Master Teague and Garrett Wilson, all those offensive weapons, the fact that they beat the No.12 team (Indiana) the last time they played. It was said they played four and Texas A&M played seven. It was certainly discussed.

“When it comes to Texas A&M, defense is what the committee sees and what is most impressed when it comes to Texas A&M. They have one hell of a defense. They beat Florida’s No.6. They only lost against Alabama. The committee continues to keep an eye on the Texas A&M attack. This match against LSU, 20-7.

“When these two teams are put together this morning and last night, there just wasn’t enough to put Texas A&M ahead of Ohio State. Good discussion, but the state of Ohio came in at # 4 and Texas A&M at # 5. ”

That’s the good news for now, but the weeks ahead will be interesting and if / how the Ohio State game will determine if the Buckeyes can stay in the top four.

The main topic of discussion over the next few days, and potentially beyond, will be whether the Buckeyes can play the next two weeks in order to get to the Big Ten Championship Game. The Scarlet and Gray took positive steps to play this Saturday against Michigan State when it was announced that those who had not tested positive or were not in close contact would train on Tuesday. This remains a daily situation, however, and could change at any time with more positive tests.

Then there’s the rivalry game in two weeks against Michigan. The Wolverines moved all of their activities to virtual on Tuesday due to COVID-19 concerns. If it turns out that there is an outbreak within the program, The Game could be in doubt on December 12.

And while Kirk Herbstreit suggested that Michigan could “wave the white flag,” before apologizing and correcting itself, in order to sabotage Ohio State’s chances of playing in the Big Ten Championship Game, he said. is a conspiracy theory that no logical person should maintain. If the Maize and Blue are healthy enough to play, you can be sure they will want to play the Buckeyes to end the season.

Where not playing the Big Ten Championship Game, for whatever reason, could become an issue for the Scarlet and Gray is that a conference title ultimately becomes a feather in the hat of the teams that win them and who have historically been a key piece of the puzzle to making the Playoffs – the 2016 Ohio State team is one of the few exceptions.

The selection committee will be looking at the fact that the Buckeyes don’t make the Big Ten Championship game the same, whether it’s because of a rule created by the conference or because it doesn’t happen on the field.

“One of the criteria we use is a conference championship,” Barta said. “If a team is playing or not playing in a conference championship, that’s certainly one less yardstick that we can assess. It is not the only one, but one less that we have. I guess that’s the best way to answer that. This is one less information. This is an important element, but we have to evaluate one less. “

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Another topic of conversation is the number of games played. The Scarlet and Gray are the only top 10 team to play less than seven games with just four games completed in 2020. Ohio State is hoping to play two more and more of the conference championship game, but nothing is promised this season. .

Barta admitted that although the selection committee announced that there is no minimum number of games to participate in the college football qualifiers, the number of games played does play a role as it is another data point. added.

“The release that there is no minimum requirement is the management committee. Then, while we met as a selection committee, we did not want to frame a specific number, ”explained Barta. “That being said, it’s absolutely something we talk about and have to consider as part of the evaluation because the more games we can watch, the more we are able to evaluate a team. Although there is no fixed number, there is no minimum requirement, this is one of the factors we talk about when we talk about comparing different teams.

While the number of games played hasn’t seen Ohio State drop from the top of the playoff standings in the first two weeks, it could if the Buckeyes aren’t able to play later for several reasons. . But if the Scarlet and Gray are able to make it into the games the next two weeks, earn two wins, and play and win in the Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State will make the college football playoffs.


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