Could Ohio State Still Make the College Football Playoff?


Clemson is in with a win.

A victory over the Florida Gators in the conference title game on Saturday will give Alabama a fourth win over a current Top 25 team, albeit none in the Top 15. And the victor of the Big Ten title game between Iowa and No. 5 Michigan State figures to be a playoff lock, too. It's amusing, maybe all it took to get the Spartans rolling was a humbling loss and an upset without their best player?

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual still hosts the Pac-12 champ, which would be No. 7 Stanford, and since Iowa is in the semifinal, the Rose Bowl would most likely take the next-best Big Ten team, No. 5 Michigan State. So at two losses, with the most recent being absolutely embarrassing, Florida is likely out of the playoff race regardless.

The selection committee was spared the anguish of considering independent Notre Dame, which lost on a last-play field goal to Stanford late Saturday night, suffering its second loss.

Ohio State's case: The Buckeyes just throttled MI, finally looking like the No. 1 team, we've known lurked in them all season.

Here's the boring truth about Saturday's conference championships: They may not bring any chaos at all. They're focused on a win and then paying attention to the final rankings released on Sunday. Translation: Oklahoma is in.

Alabama vs. Florida (Saturday, 3 p.m., at Atlanta, CBS). The Sooners made one final impression on the CFP committee with a 58-23 rout of No. 17 Oklahoma State (10-2). The Warhawks, just 1-10 with one game left to play in the 2015 campaign, last played at Oklahoma in 2013, with OU winning 34-0. The Tar Heels have been rolling ever since.

North Carolina's resume would be significantly strengthened by a victory over the top-ranked team. 1 and 2, respectively, also face CFP-ranked foes in their conference title games. Does that jump North Carolina over Ohio State and Stanford?

Ohio State's best shot comes if Stanford and either Clemson or Alabama lose.

"I think that opens up a really, really interesting debate", ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said, if Clemson is upset by North Carolina.

"Those are two more pieces to those resumes that allowed us to look deeper into that No. 1 and No. 2 ranking", Long said. That's a potential advantage for the lower-seeded Sooners. No easy task for the Sooners, but they prevailed 52-16 and moved up to number 12. This playoff is tough to make as only four teams get in out of all the D1 schools.

Ohio State then must hope the selection committee overlooks its lack of a conference title.

They would also have the most impressive win in college football if they beat No. 1-ranked Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Long said the committee debated for a while whether Clemson or Alabama is No. 1 and had several revote.