Ohio State Football: Buckeyes have edge over Sooners for 4th CFP Spot

With the dominating win against Michigan the Ohio State football team should be in position to get the 4th spot in the CFP with a win over Northwestern.

As the Ohio State football team prepares for its second consecutive Big Ten Football Championship game, the team’s only concern should be Northwestern. The team cannot control how the College Football Playoff Invitational Committee ranks them in their weekly poll on November 27.

It can control how it plays Saturday night against the Wildcats.  The final performance will impact the Committee’s decision on Sunday.

The noise around making the playoff should be left to us.

The epic beat down the Buckeyes put on the Wolverines puts them right back in the center of the debate.

I am on record, probably to the point of exhaustion, that an eight-team playoff is far better than the eye-test justified four-team invitational we are forced to accept by those in power. Obviously that is a long-term issue so this year a major debate is potentially brewing.

What happens if Ohio State and Oklahoma both win and Alabama beats Georgia and Clemson beats Pitt? How should the Committee reasonably select the fourth team?

Records will be the same, both teams will be conference champions and the offensive and defensive statistics are similar. The Buckeyes have the best win, but they also have the worse loss.

We know each fan base travels well and both programs have the offensive firepower to beat Alabama and Clemson, the anointed favorites of national pundits. The separation criteria will be similar opponents and strength of conference.

Ohio State and Oklahoma both played TCU.  The Buckeyes won 40-28 on September 15, the Sooners won 52-27 on October 20.

The Big Ten went 3-1 against the Big 12.  Besides the win over TCU, Iowa beat Iowa State 13-3 and Maryland beat Texas 34-29.  Kansas beat Rutgers 55-14.

Not an overly large sample size to judge either way, but when all the measurables appear equal, I would justify putting Ohio State in over Oklahoma on conference strength. The Big 12’s second and third place teams lost to the Big Ten’s fifth and ninth place teams.

Haskins’ performance among best by QB in The Game.

This may not play out as both teams still have to win on Saturday and there is still potential for chaos if Georgia wins.  If it does though, the edge leans Ohio State.