A week ago, there was no reason to pay attention to the College Football Playoff rankings. For Ohio State, the loss to Iowa made the issue one of fantasy.
Now, however, we might all be living in some kind of Candyland, because the Buckeyes are right back in the mix.
The third edition of the rankings were released Tuesday evening and Ohio State came in at No. 9, one spot in front of Penn State at No. 10, and one spot behind Notre Dame at No. 8.
The top six looks like this: 1) Alabama; 2) Clemson; 3) Miami; 4) Oklahoma; 5) Wisconsin; 6) Auburn.
Coming into the release tonight, the Buckeyes had a fairly clear road, provided Alabama, Miami, and Oklahoma all win out. Having Clemson up to No. 2 already, however, might pose a problem. If Miami beats Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, will the Tigers drop out of the top four and allow an 11-2 Ohio State team to sneak into the top four?
There is still plenty that can happen, which means that it likely will.
Having Ohio State just one spot behind Notre Dame is a good thing because the Buckeyes would soon have a conference championship as their major trump card, which would move them ahead of almost certainly any other two-loss team — provided Miami, Alabama, and Oklahoma win out.
Ohio State and Notre Dame being separated by one spot is meaningless since OSU could add an additional win against a very good opponent.
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) November 15, 2017
Buckeye fans who want Ohio State going to the playoffs will need to be rooting for the Canes, the Tide, and the Sooners.
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The full rankings are below.
College Football Playoff Rankings
Dropped from rankings: Virginia Tech 17, Iowa 20, Iowa State 21