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Column: Polls are stupid, but I’m fine with where Ohio State is currently ranked

Also, Danny Kanell is still a clown.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, remember all the way back, six or seven years ago in August 2020 when in the both the AP and Coaches preseason polls, the Ohio State Buckeyes were ranked second, hot on the heels of the Clemson Tigers with a healthy number of first place votes to boot?

Fast forward a month and a half and the Buckeyes haven’t taken to the field yet, but they have already dropped out of the rankings all together, then jumped back in, but now seem to be stuck in sixth place?

I don’t think that anybody with a brain needed these past six weeks to convince them that the polls are stupid, but can you believe that for the vast majority of college football history they are what determined the sport’s champion (and in some cases champions)? Really dumb, huh?

But here’s the thing, these days, the polls only matter for entertainment purposes — no, not those entertainment purpose, like actual entertainment purposes. They give fans reasons to pump their chests and/or complain, while also providing pundits like Danny Kanell an opportunity to show just how obtuse and intellectually dishonest they are.

But as we inch closer and closer to OSU finally kicking off their season, it is worth taking a sober look at where they sit in the national title pecking order. According to the most recent national titles odds published by BetOnline.ag on Monday morning, the Buckeyes are back where they were to start the season, just ever so slightly behind Clemson.

While I fully intend to pick Ohio State to win the national title when we unveil our (delayed) preseason predictions later this month, I am totally fine with Dabo’s boys occupying the top spot for the time being.

Oct. 5 National Title Odds

Rank Team Odds
Rank Team Odds
1 Clemson 2/1
2 Ohio State 11/4
3 Alabama 13/4
4 Georgia 12/1
5 Florida 14/1
6 Penn State 28/1
7 Oregon 33/1
T-8 Michigan 40/1
T-8 Notre Dame 40/1
T-8 Wisconsin 40/1

One of the express reasons that guys like Wyatt Davis, Thayer Munford, Shaun Wade, and (post-cancellation) Justin Fields said that they wanted to come back for another season in Columbus is to make up for what happened against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl last December.

So, while it might be annoying to be stuck behind them yet again — not to mention watching the Bucks on the outside of the top-5 for literally no discernible reason — I am pretty confident in saying that this all gives Ryan Day’s team a little extra motivation when it comes to play and preparation.

The polls will undoubtedly work themselves out after Oct. 24 when the Big Ten season starts, just in time for them to become completely irrelevant again when the College Football Playoff committee begins releasing their rankings a month later.

While the polls are pretty pointless nowadays, the CFP committee is the exact opposite in terms of power, but still pretty close in terms of cluelessness. Their inability to adhere to any type of coherent or consistent criteria has both helped and hurt Ohio State in the past. However, unlike with the polls, the committee actually matters. And thanks to the Big 12 essentially eliminating itself from the playoff discussion already (settle down Oklahoma State), the Buckeyes almost certainly control their own destiny yet again.

Beat the rest of the B1G, as they are expected to do, and OSU will be back in the College Football Playoff with an opportunity to extract a measure of revenge on Clemson... assuming they avoid the ACC landmines and are actually ranked highly enough to make the playoff this year.


After some unexpected start and stops, I am back to posting a column every single day from preseason camp until whenever Ohio State’s football season ends. Some days they will be longer and in depth, some days they will be short and sweet. Let me know what you think of this one, and what you’d like to see me discuss in the comments or on Twitter. Go Bucks!