Ohio State Football: Want to make the playoff? Don’t lose by 31 to Iowa

IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback J.T. Barrett
IOWA CITY, IOWA- NOVEMBER 04: Quarterback J.T. Barrett /

While the decision to slot Alabama ahead of Ohio State was polarizing, it was the Buckeyes who made the committee’s choice easy.

On November 4th, 2017, the Ohio State Buckeyes essentially lost playoff candidacy when it lost by 31 points to a middling Iowa team. The Hawkeyes were, at the time 5-3, but finished 7-5. Ohio State could have rebounded from this loss if other pucks fell the right way, but they didn’t.

The Hawkeyes can’t be a good enough program to beat the Buckeyes by 31, but college football demands chaos. History revealed a slumping Iowa offense who scored 55 points on the nation’s No. 21 scoring defense, allowing just 19.9 points per game this season.

Don’t try to argue it’s about the brand or the talent of the players; that Iowa loss is nauseating side dish to a committee trying to make the best meal possible.

While fans of the team can note wins over (currently ranked) No. 9 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan State, Michigan, and previously undefeated, No. 6 Wisconsin, it’s essentially irrelevant.

Ohio State fans have to understand it’s about that Iowa loss, and nothing else

Essentially, had Ohio State’s early season loss to No. 2 Oklahoma been its only one, we’re looking at a high-likelihood that the Buckeyes rank number one.

We’re now left with a plethora of tweets delegitimizing Alabama’s success while promoting a two-loss Ohio State team.

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It’s worth noting that we’re in year four of the College Football Playoff system and no two-loss team cracked the field. Had Auburn won, that notion would have changed; they didn’t so it won’t.

Ohio State’s case presented without the Iowa loss made them an inarguable odd-man-out candidate in this particular hand.

Instead, the Buckeyes play in the Cotton Bowl, facing a high-powered No. 8 USC offense, who’s season mirrored Ohio State. Both finished with an 11-2 record and a conference championship but found themselves haunted by losses.

The Cotton Bowl represents a chance for JT Barrett to go out on top of a career of ups-and-downs. However, missing the playoffs left us with one last piece of gold: