There are a lot of different scenarios in which Ohio State can still make the 2017 College Football Playoff, and those will play out throughout the day on Saturday as conference championships get underway. The Buckeyes currently sit at No. 8 in the rankings, and the most important piece of their CFP run will be a win over an undefeated No. 4 Wisconsin team on Saturday night for the Big Ten Championship.
Assuming the Buckeyes do get the win, they’ll need some help from some of the other games earlier in the day to push them into the top four.
We’ll be tracking the outcomes of these big games and what the results mean for an on-the-cusp Ohio State team.
As things develop throughout the day, let us know how you think they will impact OSU in the comments below.
No. 3 Oklahoma beat No. 11 TCU for the Big 12 title
Baker Mayfield led the Sooners to a conference championship to cap off a season filled with the QB showing incredible talent and astonishingly little common sense. After creating a forever rivalry with Buckeye Nation by planting the OU flag at the 50-yard line in The ‘Shoe, Mayfield has continued his quest for the Heisman trophy with a win over TCU.
The win actually helps the Buckeyes. If the committee is going to put a two-loss team in the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma would have had the upper hand over the Buckeyes, thanks to their win over Ohio State in September. Luckily, Mayfield and team didn’t get their second loss, and will move into bowl season 12-1.
Of all the things the Buckeyes need to happen to make it into the playoffs, the first piece is now in place.
No. 6 Georgia gets the win over No. 2 Auburn for the SEC title
Good news, folks. Georgia got their revenge against Auburn for earlier in the season, and walked away from Saturday’s game as the SEC Champions. With the Bulldogs’ win, Auburn becomes a three-loss team, and doesn’t have “conference champion” on their resume to fall back on, which is good news for the Buckeyes.
Despite Georgia having one loss this season, they’ll likely get the conference’s bid over Alabama for the CFP -- unless the committee decides (for the first time) to put two teams in from the same conference.
With Oklahoma winning earlier in the day, the Buckeyes are now two steps closer to a College Football Playoff berth. Ohio State is likely on its way to controlling its own destiny in tonight’s primetime matchup.
No. 1 Clemson keeps the top spot over No. 7 Miami for ACC title
In one of the more expected outcomes of the day, the Clemson Tigers got the win over Miami in the ACC Championship game Saturday night. The Tigers should keep the top spot heading into the College Football Playoff semifinals and Miami is likely out of the conversation.
All three things that the Buckeyes needed to happen today, did.
At this point, Ohio State shouldn’t have to worry about anyone jumping them in the rankings and with their win over Wisconsin, are definitely in the conversation for yet another CFP berth. Despite a solid first-half, their turnovers and offensive struggles could make the committee’s decision even more difficult, and force them to consider whether the Buckeyes or Bama will get the fourth spot.
We’ll find out tomorrow. The CFP Selection Sunday show will kickoff at Noon ET (semifinalists should be announced around 12:30 p.m. ET).