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Ohio State’s road to the College Football Playoff

The Buckeyes will have to win out, and need some help.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

“When you look at last week and what the special teams did and what the defense did, the committee put Ohio State at No. 10.”

- Rob Mullens, College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chair

With the latest CFP rankings dropping last night, the Buckeyes stood pat at the No. 10 spot despite a 20-point win on the road to a rival who, at the time, was ranked No. 18. The ranking may be a little frustrating for Ohio State fans who might feel as though they deserve to be higher, however with the way the rest of the season will play out, the current ranking actually doesn’t matter all that much.

While the Buckeyes likely don’t fully control their own destiny, there seems to be a pretty clear road toward the playoff, all obviously assuming they win out — a feat that would include a win over No. 4 Michigan which, depending on the score, could be enough on its own.

Alabama and Clemson will likely win out, locking down the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the playoff. No. 3 Notre Dame will also likely win out, barring a stumble this weekend against Syracuse and having no conference championship game to play. This leaves just one final spot remaining for a few different teams in contention, including Ohio State.

As previously mentioned, winning out would take down the Wolverines, clearing the No. 4 spot and giving the Buckeyes a massive résumé booster. With Northwestern cracking the top 25 (No. 22), Ohio State could get two top-25 wins under their belt to end the year. Assuming Alabama wins out, Georgia would lose the SEC title game, and LSU is not making it with two losses, so they are both out as well.

Oklahoma and West Virginia still have to play each other to end the regular season, giving one of them a second loss. The winner of that game will play in the conference title game, potentially as a rematch depending on what happens in the initial meeting and also the Iowa State vs. Texas game this weekend. Should the winner of the regular season matchup go on to lose the Big 12 Championship, they are out.

Which leaves us with only Washington State, although even a Pac-12 Championship might not be enough to get the Cougars into the playoff with a weak résumé in an extremely weak conference. After all is said and done, should Ohio State win the remainder of their games and secure a Big Ten title, we just might see a Bama/OSU rematch.

“I know how serious this game is for us as a team, but I am looking forward to going back home.”

- Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State Quarterback via OSU Athletics

While many fans are already looking ahead to the marquee matchup with the Wolverines, Haskins and the Buckeyes know there is still another game to be played this weekend, one with a little extra meaning for the man under center.

Haskins grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey, but moved to Maryland in ninth grade. There, he attended Bullis High School in Potomac, Maryland, where he passed for over 5,300 yards and 54 touchdowns. As a consensus 4-star prospect, Haskins was originally committed to the University of Maryland, but eventually flipped to Ohio State.

Haskins is not the only player of note from a Maryland high school on the Buckeyes’ roster, however. Chase Young, the highest-rated recruit of the 2017 class, attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, while Isaiah Prince and Keandre Jones also attended high schools in the Terrapin State.

OSU has had a ton of success recruiting in Maryland over the past few years, and as the early frontrunner for 2020 defensive end Bryan Bresee out of Damascus, MD — the No. 1 overall player in the class — that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

Around Campus

Men’s Basketball

Ohio State’s freshmen put on a clinic in their 107-61 beatdown of Fort Wayne on Sunday. Duane Washington Jr.’s six three-pointers tied the program record for most threes in a game by a freshman, last achieved by D’Angelo Russell in 2015. In his first career appearance as a Buckeye, Jaedon LeDee dropped 16 points while also adding four blocks and four rebounds. On the defensive end, Luther Muhammad held Fort Wayne’s leading scorer and Preseason All-Summit League Team John Konchar to just 13 points. Heading into the game, Konchar was averaging 21 points per game.

Women’s Basketball

Ohio State assistant head coach Patrick Klein was recognized as one of the top assistants in the country as he was included in Fansided’s list of 30 up-and-coming coaches. Klein, who was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2016-17 season, is in his fifth season working alongside head coach Kevin McGuff. In that time, Klein has been involved in over 160 wins, five NCAA tournament appearances, two Big Ten titles and a Big Ten Tournament title.

Men’s Ice Hockey

After a 1-0 shutout of Colgate on Saturday, sophomore goalie Tommy Napier was named the Big Ten Third Star of the Week. Napier’s 24-save effort against the Raiders was his second shutout of the year, ranking second in the NCAA with a .957 save percentage. It was his third career shutout and second career Big Ten weekly honor. The No. 6-ranked men’s hockey team is currently 6-3-1 and will open a four-game homestand this weekend against Wisconsin.

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