Ohio State has better playoff case than Oklahoma

Ohio State has better playoff case than Oklahoma
Coaches Poll sees shake-up after upset-filled weekend
The upsets that churn the College Football Playoff Rankings and bowl projections have finally begun. The first top 10 team to go down was No. 8 Washington State, which lost at home to No. 16 Washington on Friday, costing the Cougars not only a potential playoff spot but also a chance to play for the Pac-12 Championship Game. But the biggest domino to fall so far is No. 4 Michigan, which got run out of Ohio Stadium in a 62-39 loss to No. 10 Ohio State early Saturday afternoon.

The Wolverines defense, which had been one of the best in the nation going into the game, got absolutely shredded from the start.  Ohio State scored more points against the Wolverines than Michigan had given up in its previous five games combined. Michigan is now projected to the Rose Bowl to face Washington. Washington State is projected to the Peach Bowl, where it would face No. 7 LSU. That is despite LSU losing to No. 22 Texas A&M in seven overtimes to pick up a third loss on the season, which puts a spot in the New Years Six in jeopardy.  We will have to see what the CFP Selection Committee says about the Tigers this week, but I am still projecting them to hold on to that spot.

No. 5 Georgia throttled Georgia Tech 45-21 and will move up to No. 4 in this weeks CFP Rankings; however, that should be temporary as the Bulldogs have to face No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game next week, a game that will shake up the rankings no matter the result. That could leave the committee with a debate between current No. 10 Ohio State and No. 6 Oklahoma, which escaped No. 13 West Virginia with a 59-56 win on Friday night.

Michigan completely embarrassed itself against Ohio State — losing 62-39. Their offensive playcalling was predictable and easy to stop. How many times did they run an inside handoff on first down? When the Buckeyes began getting into the backfield and collapsing pockets on Shea Patterson on almost every pass play, did they adjust to max protection formations or keep repeating the same thing and hoping for the best? No. How many passes did Patterson short arm? How many balls did Zach Gentry drop?

AP Top 25 poll: Ohio State up to No. 6 in new college football rankings after beating Michigan

Its not an easy call for the committee, which has had the Sooners much higher than the Buckeyes ever since Ohio State fell 49-20 at Purdue on Oct. 20. However, Oklahomas defense is one of the worst ever for a team with this good of a record. The Sooners have given up at least 40 points in six of their 12 games, including the last four. Oklahomas offense, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Kyler Murray, is a juggernaut, though. The Sooners have scored at least 45 points in every conference game except the one against No. 25 Iowa State.

Ohio State always had the better players — the more explosive players. They just needed to put it all together. Ohio State at their best is a much better team than Michigan at their best. The difference between the teams is Michigan just happened to play better more consistently week-to-week against weaker Big Ten competition. Thats how they built their resume.

Ohio States defense has been much maligned, too, but it is not as bad as that of Oklahoma.  Ohio States offense is not as good as Oklahomas either. The Buckeyes can count a win now over previous No. 4 Michigan, along with road wins over No. 12 Penn State and Michigan State. Oklahomas best win is the one at No. 13 WVU on Friday, plus it gets the win over No. 25 Iowa State.  Oklahoma has a better loss than Ohio State. The Sooners lost to No. 14 Texas earlier this season, 48-45, and will get a chance to avenge that loss in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Bulldogs rise in AP Poll after clobbering Georgia Tech Connor Riley @kconnorriley Posted 7 hours ago The Georgia Bulldogs picked up their fifth straight win on Saturday, as UGA rolled over in-state rival Georgia Tech, 45-21. And this result, coupled with a Michigan loss, moves the Bulldogs up to the No. 4 spot in the AP Poll. Georgia is also No. 4 in the Coaches Poll. The newest College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday.

Bulldogs rise in AP Poll after clobbering Georgia Tech

The CFP Selection Committee will have a lot to pore over, but I think the edge goes to Ohio State for now if it comes down to a final vote between the two. The quality of Buckeyes wins, and especially the dominance of Michigan, overcomes the miserable nature of their loss.

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That is why I have Ohio State over Oklahoma in the No. 4 spot of my new bowl projections at this time. Note that things could change after the championship games, when Oklahoma gets to play a better opponent than Ohio State. The Buckeyes will face No. 19 Northwestern for the Big Ten title. 

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm had a great performance on Saturday, as he connected on 13 of his 16 passes and threw for 4 touchdowns as well. Georgia also kept Georgia Tech to a season-low 128 rushing yards on the day. The Yellow Jackets came into the game with the nation’s No. 1 rushing offense, as they averaged more than 354 yards per game.

Despite that, I am still projecting Ohio State to get that final spot in the CFP. That leaves Oklahoma for the Sugar Bowl to face Georgia. No. 3 Notre Dame capped off an undefeated regular season with a 24-17 win over USC. The Irish have effectively clinched a spot in the CFP with the win, while the Trojans failed to qualify for a bowl.

Ohio State in position for a playoff berth with win over Northwestern

No. 11 Florida throttled Florida State 41-14, ending the Seminoles 36-year bowl streak.  The Gators are still projected into the Fiesta Bowl to face No. 9 UCF.  The Knights beat South Florida on Friday night but lost quarterback McKenzie Milton for the season with a serious injury to his leg.  UCF will play Memphis for the AAC title.

New bowl projections 2018, freshly updated with 1 Saturday left

There are currently 82 teams projected for the 78 spots needed for the bowls.  Because of primary and secondary agreements with the conferences, I do not have spots to place independents Army and BYU.  Army could end up with 10 wins and left at home.  Also, Wyoming and Louisiana-Monroe do not have spots in a bowl in these projections.

With all of this hypothesizing and analyzing and theorizing, it bears remembering that this isnt the BCS. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee is made up of 13 individual humans. There are no formulas at play, there are no algorithms; just a bakers dozen of opinions, and because of that, trying to predict what the committee will do (especially given their inconsistent set of standards) is little more than a fools errand. So, while we might think that weve deduced what is going to happen, theres no real way to know, until we actually know.

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket…. Full Bio

Of course, I wanted them to beat the Wolverines, and I want them to win the Big Ten Championship over the Northwestern Wildcats, but Im trying (very hard) not to be a prisoner of the moment, because this moment is flipping awesome. Had OSU played like this all season — or even just in all of games following the Purdue loss — I would have been beating the drum on their CFP chances. But, they struggled against Nebraska and Maryland, so I am hesitant to believe that they can replicate this type of performance against anyone other than their rivals.

Ohio State was among the biggest winners in the new AP Top 25 poll, as one would expect, following the Buckeyes 62-39 victory over Michigan. OSU jumped four spots up to No. 6 in the new rankings after playing their best game of the season. With the College Football Playoff Rankings show set for Tuesday night, the upcoming week will undoubtedly focus on whether Oklahoma or Ohio State could grab the No. 4 spot on Selection Sunday. Ohio State will play No. 21 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game next Saturday.

Not automatically subbing Ohio State in for Michigan. A 12-1 Buckeye resume would look a bit different than a 12-1 Wolverine resume wouldve, though that surprise beatdown surely covered a ton of ground. I think the decisive factors for the committee in picking Ohio State over Oklahoma will be OUs terrible defense and OSUs big win over Michigan, even though I think OU might end up with the better overall case.

Michigan, meanwhile, dropped four spots to No. 8, allowing Georgia to move up to No. 4, which is where we expect it to land in the new CFP Rankings on Tuesday. Oklahoma rounds out the top five. LSU and Washington State, two teams tied at No. 12, both fell out of the top 10 following Week 13 losses. The Cougars fell to Washington in the Apple Cup, while LSU couldnt outlast Texas A&M in a wild seven-overtime game. Washington, one of Week 13s biggest risers, climbed back into the top 10. 

Before you yell at me about excluding Penn State or Texas: Ill tweak these on Tuesday when the committee releases its rankings, if it seems Ive guessed wrong. Theres just no way to know how far LSU and Washington State will fall after losing, but Im guessing it wont be all that far. Wazzus a scarce 10-win Power 5 team, and LSUs latest loss was one of the most forgivable in football history.

1. Alabama (61) 2. Clemson3. Notre Dame4. Georgia5. Oklahoma6. Ohio State7. UCF8. Michigan9. Texas10. Washington11. Florida12. Washington State12. LSU14. Penn State15. West Virginia16. Kentucky17. Utah18. Syracuse19. Boise State20. Mississippi State21. Northwestern22. Texas A&M23. Army24. Iowa State25. Fresno State

Others receiving votes: Utah State 92, Missouri 88, NC State 39, Cincinnati 33, Stanford 10, Iowa 4, Appalachian State 1, Buffalo 1, Oregon 1.

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,… Full Bio


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