Rumors of Ohio State's demise have, it seems, been greatly exaggerated.
The Buckeyes—on the heels of a few very interesting weeks in college football—have climbed back to No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and while they'll need some help to have a shot at a spot in the final four, they're not out of it yet.
As of this week's new rankings, the top four teams remain Alabama, Miami (FL), Clemson, and Oklahoma, respectively. But there's plenty of room for advancement within those ranks for the teams on the outside looking in. Georgia (No. 7) will still play the winner of Alabama-Auburn (No. 6) in the SEC Championship Game, leading to all kinds of chaos potential. Miami and Clemson will meet for the ACC title in a few weeks, meaning one of them will fall out of contention. (If you're a Buckeye fan, pull for Alabama and Miami to make unblemished runs of it.)
In Big Ten news, unbeaten Wisconsin is also hanging out just outside the top spots at No. 5. They'll be just about guaranteed a playoff spot if they can upset Ohio State in a few weeks, provided the Buckeyes make a clean getaway from Ann Arbor on Saturday; meanwhile, Ohio State's hopes hinge on a few specific scenarios that won't matter a bit if they can't string together back-to-back wins to close out the schedule. (A little help from Stanford in felling No. 8 Notre Dame wouldn't hurt, either.)
The full rankings are below. Does Ohio State have a prayer?
College Football Playoff Rankings Week 13
|9||Ohio State||9-2||Big Ten|
|10||Penn State||9-2||Big Ten|
|13||Washington State||9-2||Pac 12|
|16||Michigan State||8-3||Big Ten|
|19||Oklahoma State||8-3||Big 12|
|23||Boise State||9-2||Mountain West|