Ohio State’s shocking loss to Purdue has many Buckeyes fans wondering if they can still make the College Football Playoff. Given the first set of rankings have yet to be released, there is still plenty of time for Ohio State to get back into the playoff picture.
It is worth noting that Purdue was just 3-3 when Ohio State played them. It is not what the committee might refer to as a “quality loss.” If Ohio State finds themselves in a situation where their resume is being compared to other teams, the loss to Purdue could come back to haunt them.
The Buckeyes still have games against Michigan State and Michigan along with potentially the Big Ten title game. If all goes as planned, the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game is likely to advance to the conference title game. If Ohio State loses against Michigan, they are unlikely to have a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
According to SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s S&P+ strength of schedule index, Ohio State currently ranks No. 54. This number is likely to go up with their upcoming games.
With Ohio State’s loss, my prediction for the current playoff standings has Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame as the top four teams. Ohio State is still likely to be in striking distance with Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida all looking to improve their resumes as one-loss teams.
LSU has a good chance to be in the initial top four despite having one loss. According to SB Nation, LSU has the fifth most difficult schedule, by far the toughest of any of the contenders. LSU has wins over Georgia and Auburn. Their lone loss was a narrow defeat to a good Florida team. LSU has a chance to look even more impressive with upcoming games against Alabama and Texas A&M.
Much has been debated about UCF and whether they deserve to be in the playoff picture. It is true that UCF does not have a quality schedule, but there is something to be said for winning 20 straight games. UCF and other top Group of Five teams find themselves in a difficult predicament as they are encouraged to play tougher competition, but few top teams want to schedule them.
UCF’s AAC schedule is a bit backloaded as they will face the other top teams in the conference come November. It will be interesting to see how the committee treats them in the initial rankings.
We are still a week away from the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings being unveiled. Here’s a look at my prediction for where the teams stand now.
College Football Playoff Rankings Predictions: Week 9