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Strength of schedule is one of the harder criteria to measure in an evolving college football landscape

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Also, remember when the BCS era made three undefeated teams a worst-case scenario?

Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“Strength of schedule is at the heart of virtually every college football argument between October and January each year. Hell, it’s a point of debate for every college sport. The schedules are too varied and not comprehensive enough.”

-Bill Connelly, SB Nation

One thing I learned today, is that S&P+ guru Bill Connelly is not a fan of strength of schedule arguments. Let’s be honest though, at one point or another, we’ve all complained about Ohio State’s placement in the rankings, arguing that having to face a conference foe on the road should mean more than Alabama winning at home over a non-conference team. “But who have they played?” (On repeat.)

Strength of schedule has never been easily defined -- similar to the catch rule in the NFL, it’s sort of open to interpretation. Ask three different people (writers, players, coaches) and you’ll get three different answers. There aren’t exact parameters to consider, or a consistent algorithm to take the human element out of the decision. And it’s an argument that the Buckeye faithful will still probably be making in ahead of when the playoff teams are announced, especially if there is a potential for OSU to be on the outside.

Connelly explains how, with Power 5 teams scheduling up to three non-conference competitions each season, the ability to effectively compare schedules is only getting more difficult. Despite this, the College Football Playoff committee still includes the metric as their criteria for choosing the best four teams in the nation.

“If it had existed in 2010, the Committee would have had to divide two spots between undefeated TCU and Stanford, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State, all of whom had one loss. SEVEN Power 5 teams got through conference championship week in 2008 with just one loss.”

-Ryan Nanni, SB Nation

Doesn’t it seem like the BCS era was forever ago? Well, it wasn’t, and it often saw the championship filled with either two undefeated teams, or a very good one-loss team. Now that we are in the College Football Playoff committee era, there’s a lot more opportunity for an exceedingly larger pool of playoff-caliber teams to make an argument for inclusion.

As noted above, the strength of schedule argument is still used by the committee -- and fans far and wide -- and can certainly give credence to putting a two-loss team into the playoff over an undefeated team who faced inferior competition all season. Penn State almost became the first two-loss team to make it to the playoffs in the CFP era in 2016, but ultimately finished on the outside looking in, at No. 5.

Even with the first set of CFP rankings being released earlier this week, the committee is pretty clearly hoping that the college football landscape does some work to help narrow in on the best four teams. With so many factors, like strength of schedule and head-to-head matchups, there are enough mitigating criteria to essentially negate any advantage one team may have over another, especially if you are inclined to argue.

Either way, the Buckeyes currently sit at No. 6 and Ohio State fans have absolutely no doubt that this team will snag one of the final four spots. Over confident? Probably. Chances that actually happens? Pretty damn good. (Don’t @ me.)

Holtmann Era Begins in Columbus

-Ohio State Buckeyes

We are just a week away from the start of Ohio State’s basketball season, and all eyes will be on the new head coach for the men’s squad, Chris Holtmann. After coming in to a seemingly complicated situation, one that saw one of Ohio State’s most cherished coaches, Thad Matta, “part ways” with the program, Holtmann has his staff in place and has brought in a few key recruits to keep the program afloat in 2017.

Before the start of the season, Holtmann and the Buckeyes will play an exhibition game against Wooster on Nov. 4. It’ll be a home game for Ohio State, who will tip-off at Value City Arena on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and will begin the latest tradition -- inspired by the football team — of singing Carmen Ohio with the fans following the contest.

Ohio State assistant coach Ryan Pedon graduated from Wooster in 2000, but will be on the winning side of history in this matchup. Ohio State and Wooster first played back in 1905, with 12 total games over the duration of the series — the Buckeyes lead 8-4.

Will that streak continue on Saturday? They have a good chance with Holtmann, Pedon, and staff looking to start off their new basketball era on a good note.

“This is the first season for Notre Dame as a member of the Big Ten for men's hockey. The Buckeyes and Irish were together as members of the CCHA in 1981-82 and '82-83 and then from 1992-93 when Notre Dame rejoined until 2012-13 when the league was disbanded.”

-Ohio State Buckeyes

The No. 16 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will face the No. 10 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a two-game series this weekend, the first puck drops Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Columbus. This will mark the first time the Buckeyes will face Notre Dame since 2014, with Ohio State leading the overall series 35-32-10.

The last time these teams met, the Buckeyes came away with a 5-1 victory thanks to seniors like Kevin Miller, Janik Moser, Luke Stork and Matthew Weis. Looking for a similar finish this weekend, the hockey team is a lot younger, but not any less capable of pulling off the victory. The Buckeyes will meet the Fighting Irish again on their ice in Indiana next week.

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