As we stand one week away from the preliminary BCS rankings, Ohio State currently sits 3rd in the coaches poll and 4th in the Harris poll. In my best judgement, it seems as though the national championship contenders front runners are Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State. There is still some teams with an outside shot, such as an undefeated Louisville, UCLA, Miami, and even Missouri or Baylor. Potentially, a 1-loss SEC or PAC12 team could also make the title game. Obviously, this second group of teams would need to get a lot of help. Below I have ranked teams with a chance to make the title game (note: some teams need a LOT of help, but crazier things have happened in college football):
- Alabama (6-0)
- Oregon (6-0)
- Clemson (6-0)
- Florida State (5-0)
- Ohio State (6-0)
- LSU (6-1)
- Texas A&M (5-1)
- Louisville (6-0)
- UCLA (5-0)
- Miami (5-0)
- South Carolina (5-1)
- Baylor (5-0)
- Stanford (5-1)
- Missouri (6-0)
- Texas Tech (6-0)
The line separates the front runners from the rest of the pack. Now in terms of the Buckeyes, their bye week went perfectly. First, they didn’t lose, obviously. Second, Oklahoma and Georgia all went down in upsets, ending their title hopes. Third, Georgia’s loss could potnetially weaken what was a very strong win for Clemson, which could come into play if both teams are undefeated battling for the last spot in the BCS Title game. Lastly, and most importantly, Stanford fell. Now, if Stanford beats Oregon, it is likely both teams will be behind an undefeated Ohio State. With Clemson and Florida State knocking off one or the other, the winner of that game will likely have to lose for Ohio State to jump them. This leaves a scenario in which Ohio State needs Florida State, Clemson, and Oregon to lose once to feel confident.
Ohio State has a weak schedule, though, and their best wins have come against ranked teams who are no longer ranked in the coaches poll (Wisconsin is ranked in the AP). The only tough game left on their schedule comes against a Michigan team that lost an ugly game to Penn State in four overtimes saturday. The Buckeyes will be rooting for a team like Michigan State or Nebraska (both hovering near becoming ranked again) to go on a run so the Buckeyes could have another potential top-15 opponent on their schedule. A nightmare scenario could involve Ohio State winning out and missing out on the title game in favor of a 1-loss SEC or Pac12 team jumping them. Politically, Ohio State is a big time money draw for the BCS and that does play a role in the final decision. We will continue to keep you posted on Ohio State’s title hopes each week. Here are some teams with a chance at an upset that Buckeye fans will hope for:
Thurs: North Carolina at home against Miami. Miami needs to lose so they can knock off Clemson or Florida State down the road.
Fri: UCF on the road against Louisville. Its highly unlikely Louisville would jump Ohio State if both teams remain undefeated, but this is just to be safe.
Sat: Florida State over Clemson. Florida State might jump Ohio State, but Clemson has that win against Georgia that makes them a stronger BCS title candidate at this point.
Auburn over Texas A&M. Auburn is ranked and looking for a huge statement when and here’s there chance against Johnny Football.
Ole Miss over LSU. Ole Miss nearly upset Texas A&M last week and they’ll have another chance at home against LSU this weekend.
Stanford over UCLA. Stanford beating UCLA would end UCLA title’s chances. Both these teams would then have a crack at Oregon. However, a one loss Stanford could potentially jump Ohio State.
Florida over Mizzou. Missouri isn’t a sexy name but is an undefeated SEC team that will jump Ohio State if they win out. Its best they lose now before they become a serious threat to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State over Iowa. Obviously, Ohio State needs to win out to play in the title.