Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Buckeye Notion

I'm missing something. I've got to be missing something, right?

Right now I'm looking at the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and I see Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State up there at the top and Ohio State still stalled at No. 6.  And yet all I hear is what a great chance the Buckeyes have of getting into the playoff.

And I just can't see it.

All they've got left now is a Michigan team struggling to get to .500 and  a Big Ten title game against either Wisconsin or Minnesota, which come in at No. 14 and No. 19, respectively. Where's the juice there that propels the Buckeyes past two other teams, unless those teams lose? Is the committee going to suddenly decide in the next couple of weeks that the Big Ten is not what it is -- a second-tier league among the Big Five conferences -- when it hasn't been voting that way all along?

The only way I see Ohio State getting in is if Florida upsets Florida State, Auburn knocks off Alabama in the Iron Bowl, Mississippi State loses to plummeting Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, UCLA knocks off Oregon in the Pac-12 title game or TCU loses to either Texas or Iowa State. And while one of those might happen, not enough of them is likely to.

TCU (No. 5) has two games it should win. A battered Ole Miss team isn't likely to handle Mississippi State, nor is Auburn likely to take down Alabama. And it's not just the teams in front of Ohio State; the Buckeyes stand a real chance of being leapfrogged by Baylor (No. 7) or UCLA (No. 8) if both win out.

Baylor beat TCU and has been on a roll since losing to West Virginia, crushing its three opponents by an average score of 52.3-18.6 -- including a 48-14 whupping of Oklahoma in Norman and a 49-28 stroll past a decent Oklahoma State team. UCLA, meanwhile, just  destroyed a respectable USC team, and, if the Bruins handle Oregon, they could easily bound past everybody.

And Ohio State?

I think at best they wind up the odd man out in fifth. We shall see.

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