By Jim Baird | AM Football Briefing | Sunday, December 4
Is Ohio State In?: Penn State’s come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin has stirred some drama for the playoff committee today. The Committee will have Alabama No. 1, with a one-loss ACC champ Clemson included the playoff field. Based on what the committee has previously said about Ohio State — that OSU and Penn State were not comparable in terms of resumes — it seems likely that the Buckeyes will be in the field as the first ever playoff entrant without a conference championship. The most interesting debate then for the final playoff spot is between a one-loss PAC 12 champion Washington, a two-loss Big 10 champion Penn State and a two-loss non-champion Michigan (a Michigan team who throttled Penn State 49-10).
PREDICTION: Here’s what the committee will do: 1) Alabama, 2) Ohio State, 3) Washington, 4) Clemson, 5) Michigan, 6) Penn State. The Committee leaves in the Buckeyes, who have beaten three top-nine teams. The only movement in the top four is Washington, who hops Clemson on the back of two very strong performances against Washington State and Colorado. PSU and Michigan are both out, but Michigan stays in front of Penn State at No. 5, based on the strength of their head-to-head victory over the Nittany Lions. That seeding would put Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve matched up against the Huskies (though it would be no surprise either if the committee left Clemson at No. 3 and Washington at No. 4, creating a Tigers vs. Buckeyes matchup in the Fiesta Bowl). We’ll know for sure soon enough. The five hour long playoff selection show starts at noon EST on ESPN (with the playoff field thankfully announced during the first half hour).
Your Sunday Group of Five Update: In a sunny, blustery Memorial Stadium, Temple throttled Navy 34-10 to win the American. The victory means that undefeated Western Michigan will represent the Group of Five in the Cotton Bowl, likely against Wisconsin. Navy, upended by injuries, has to regroup as they head to Baltimore next Saturday looking for their 15th victory in a row against archrival Army. Thanks for clicking on The Buckeye Daily — the Ohio State morning football briefing the press, program and fans read, edited by Sporting News college football reporter Jim Baird. Know someone who would appreciate this e-mail? Sign up here or send me a line email@example.com. And join the squad following on Twitter @buckeyedaily.
1) No matter how season ends, young team beat expectations, Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch – December 4
2) Who are national experts picking to make the College Football Playoff?, Bill Landis, Plain Dealer – December 4
3) A Guide to the College Football Playoff’s Selection Day, Eleven Warriors – December 4
4) College Football Playoff committee, take 2 Big Ten teams or you’ll break college football, Doug Lesmerises, Plain Dealer – December 4
5) Final bowl projections: Ohio State could still miss the playoff but…, Luke Zimmermann, Columbus Dispatch – December 4