Once again, the College Football Playoff Committee ranked Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State 1-4 in its third ranking of the year on Tuesday. The top four have remained the same since the first ranking was announced on Nov. 24.
However, those rankings will more than likely look different once the final CFP rankings are announced on Dec. 20. Alabama, of course, will have to knock off No. 6 Florida in the SEC Championship Game to remain No. 1, while Clemson and Notre Dame will face off in the ACC Championship Game. If Alabama and Clemson were to win, the ACC will likely get the Irish in the playoff as well.
Of course, if Notre Dame knocks off the Tigers, then Clemson’s playoff dreams will end in Charlotte. That brings us to Ohio State. Of the five teams mentioned, the Buckeyes will by far play the fewest games of anyone in the playoff picture.
Ohio State has played just five games to this point and learned Tuesday its game scheduled against Michigan on Saturday has been canceled due to COVID issues within the Michigan football program. It marks the third game this year involving Ohio State that has been canceled, one due to the Buckeyes’ own COVID issues.
“This year is unusual. The difference in the number of games played is a problem when you are trying to evaluate teams,” College Football Chairman Gary Barta said.
Some have wondered how it is fair for an Ohio State team that can play no more than six games and maybe not even play for a conference championship could be considered over a team, like No. 5 Texas A&M, who will play nine games.
And if a 5-0 or 6-0 Ohio State does make the playoff, how is it fair if they play five or six games less than any of the other team in the playoff, which clearly will give them an advantage from an injury and rest standpoint.
“We are taking that into account. What you see in front of you 1-4 and 1-25, the committee has taken into account, and talked a lot about the differences in games,” Barta said. “But at the end of the day, to be real simple about our job, it is to identify the best 25 teams in the country and for the playoff the best four.”
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