Tom Herman and Ohio State football haven’t been on the best of terms this fall, but the Buckeyes are going to need help from their old assistant coach if they’re going to make the playoffs.
That appears to be the reality after Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff rankings were revealed, with Oklahoma ranked No. 5 ahead of No. 6 Ohio State.
The Sooners host Texas in the Big 12 championship game Saturday, while the Buckeyes play Northwestern in Indianapolis. With the way those four teams currently are sorted by the CFP committee, it probably takes an Oklahoma loss for Ohio State to jump up.
Here’s the full #CFBPlayoff Top 2[?]5[?] rankings for games played through November 24.
Is your team in? [?] pic.twitter.com/L3TlkqmqCA
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 28, 2018
Of course, that’s assuming Georgia doesn’t upset Alabama in the SEC championship game. The No. 1-ranked Tide figure to be in the playoff win or lose, and the Bulldogs would make two SEC teams for the second straight year with a win.
Ohio State was left out of the playoff as the Big Ten champion last year, the committee pointing to an ugly road defeat to Iowa as part of the reasoning. A 49-20 loss to 6-6 Purdue in October could be in the Buckeyes’ undoing this time around.
If Ohio State doesn’t get in, that would be three straight years the winner of the Big Ten championship game doesn’t quality for the playoff. Probably not what Jim Delany had envisioned.
So, Oklahoma or Ohio State: Is there any debate left?
Oklahoma edged out Ohio State for the No. 5 spot in the CFP rankings.
The Sooners might be sitting pretty. Three of the previous 4 teams ranked No. 5 entering conference championship week went on to make the Playoff. pic.twitter.com/uUmMxwOxMm
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 28, 2018
I've come around to argument for #Oklahoma over #OhioState, but one point I don't understand — people bringing up 1-point road win over "terrible" Maryland team. No difference than OU's 1-point home win over 6-6 Oklahoma State. Both Maryland and OkState beat Texas.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) November 28, 2018
CFP chairman Rob Mullens on Ohio State: "The defense played better against Michigan, but that still is probably the shortcoming. Their offense has been able to carry them."
Rob Mullens on Oklahoma: "While their defense has been a challenge, their offense has been superior."
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 28, 2018