Football

Buckeyes Had Their Chances, Committee Got It Right

 

Let me start by saying this: As most readers know, I am a loyal Buckeye who revels in Ohio State’s football tradition and history.

As an eight-year-old dork, I once had my picture taken with All-American nose guard Jim Stillwagon outside the Biggs Facility after the spring game in 1968. My first game in Ohio Stadium was Archie Griffin’s 239-yard explosion onto the scene as a freshman against North Carolina in 1972. John Hicks once handed me his filthy, sweaty chin strap after a game the following year and I cherished it, despite the foul smell.

I cried myself to sleep after the Rose Bowl loss to UCLA on Jan. 1, 1976, knowing a national championship just went poof. I never liked Bruins Coach Dick Vermeil from that moment on.

There was no decision where I would attend college. Looking back, I am not even sure I applied to another school. As a student, I loved walking across the Oval (even in the snow) and sitting by Mirror Lake staring at that majestic fountain, thinking about what was ahead in my life.

I graduated from the university 10 years after attending Archie’s first game.

No matter how the rest of the country thinks of him, I still regard Woody Hayes as one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.

And now, at the age of 58, I only want to live long enough to see my kids get married, to maybe see a man walk on Mars, to see the national debt erased — and to see the Buckeyes gain an advantage over Michigan in the all-time series. (Ohio State currently trails 57-50-6 only because the Wolverines rolled up a 12-0-2 head-to-head record from 1897-1912 and a guy named John Cooper treated the rivalry like an intramural softball game).

Then I can die happy.

I also want to die in a year after the Buckeyes win The Game, knowing the fans Up North are miserable for another long year. If that’s the case, I will have gone to my grave having a better year.

All that sentimental stuff being said, I believe the College Football Playoff committee got things right Sunday.

No, they got it exactly right, placing Alabama (11-1) ahead of the Big Ten champion Buckeyes (11-2) at No. 4.

As a former college football writer for a newspaper, I voted on the AP’s top-25 for several years. I voted on the Heisman Trophy and various All-American teams for more than 20 years. I tried to be objective then.

So I tried to shed my scarlet-and-gray affiliation over the weekend, and wondered what I would do if I were in the shoes of the committee members.

And I would have done the same thing.

I just wouldn’t have felt right about putting a team with two losses, especially one loss by 31 points to an unranked team, into the playoff with the chance to win a national championship.

That loss was unbearable and un-defendable. No team with that much of a talent advantage should lose to another team by more than four touchdowns, even on the road (but that is what can happen when one coaching staff gets out-prepared and out-thought by another).

Let’s face it, I am not sure the Buckeyes would fare much better facing No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in 28 days as they did a year ago in that humiliating 31-0 loss in the Fiesta Bowl. They surely would have been almost a double-digit underdog to the Tigers this time around.

If you didn’t see Clemson crush Miami 38-3 because the Ohio State-Wisconsin game was on TV at the same time, know this: This Tigers team may be better than they were a year ago. Their defense certainly is better than the one that held Ohio State to that giant goose egg.

I am not saying they couldn’t beat Clemson in a rematch. It’s just that they would have to have played a near-perfect game to do it. And I am not sure I trust Urban Meyer and Kevin Wilson to come up with a game plan to move the ball consistently on Clemson.

And Ohio State was anything but perfect Saturday night in Indianapolis.

By the time it ended, I am not sure Wisconsin is one of the 10-best teams in the country. Its defense is great, but the Badgers’ quarterback isn’t elite. He’s serviceable at best.

To illustrate how only four or five plays can skew the final score of any football game, if J.T. Barrett had been sharp Saturday, the Buckeyes would have beaten the undefeated Badgers by about 42-6.

Now I love J.T. What’s not to love? His leadership and toughness are unquestioned. He will go down as not only one of the greatest players in Ohio State’s history – but in the Big Ten’s history.

He played six days after having knee surgery, but he had five of the worst throws/decisions of his career on Saturday.

The first was an interception that handed Wisconsin its first touchdown on a silver platter. The second and third were missed throws to wide-open receivers in the second quarter that would have stretched Ohio State’s lead to 28-10 at the half. The fourth was that ill-advised short toss toward tight end Marcus Baugh that was intercepted late in the third quarter, giving the Badgers another short field to cut the lead to 24-21. And the fifth was the final third-down play in which he pulled the string on a relatively easy throw to a wide-open J.K. Dobbins. It was a perfectly-designed play in which Dobbins may have scored, if only Barrett had hit him in the chest with the pass. That would have put the game away and given the Buckeyes a two-score lead with less than three minutes remaining.

Now, if he makes those throws, or any of those throws, and doesn’t have the two interceptions, the Buckeyes would have put the Badgers away early and run up a lopsided victory.

And with that, would they have received the benefit of the doubt as a better selection than Alabama? Only the committee knows the answer, and I am sure they will never reveal it.

I also took issue with Meyer’s decision on fourth and a long yard at the Wisconsin 3-yard line late in the game to kick the field goal to make it 27-21. I know what he was thinking: The Badgers can’t drive the field on my defense to score a winning touchdown. He turned out to be right.

But right then, he should have been thinking bigger picture. He should have delivered the knockout blow and given the committee something more to consider. I know he wasn’t thinking about the playoff at that moment – he was thinking how to win the game. But then again, I like Ohio State’s chances on fourth-and-one to put the game out of reach, given their offensive weapons – with the right play call. Even if the play failed, they would have left the Badgers on their own 2 or 3-yard line. And with the Badgers’ offense, and their inconsistent quarterback Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst likely would have played it close to the vest. I am sure he did not want Hornibrook, who doesn’t handle pressure well, dropping into his own end zone with the game on the line.

But that’s all hypothetical conjecture.

Now, the Buckeyes have no choice but to head to the Cotton Bowl, and they have a much better chance to win to end the season, facing Pac-12 champ USC (11-2). They will be favored and should win — if they do not play a sloppy game. Barrett should be fully healthy by Dec. 29.

Think of this, too: What would be the aftermath nationally if Ohio State had gained a controversial playoff berth – again – and been walloped by Clemson – again?

The fallout would have been embarrassing and brutal and it would have had lasting effects. It may have prevented the Buckeyes from ever getting into the playoff again — if the decision was close.

That 2014 title in the first-ever playoff, in which they received the benefit of the doubt to slip in as the No. 4 seed, would have been long forgotten.

No, the committee did the right thing.

As much as it pains me to say it.

Jeff Snook, a 1982 Ohio State graduate, has written 12 books about college football.

 

59 Responses

  1. I’m glad Barrett is gone. He was nothing but a fullback that throws. I’m waiting for Meyer to leave. he’s not the same since the early days of Florida. This coming from an SEC fan and graduate The Citadel South Carolina. He lost it at Florida.
    he’d repeating himself at Osu and I warn fans bout him.

    1. I’m glad Barrett is gone. He was nothing but a fullback that throws. I’m waiting for Meyer to leave. He’s not the same since the early days of Florida. This coming from an SEC fan and graduate of The Citadel South Carolina. He lost it at Florida. He’s repeating himself at Osu and I warn fans bout him.

  2. I completely agree with the article and more important I agree with the idea that the only way to avoid such a substantive argument in the future is to expand the playoff. There will always be an argument about who gets in, but maybe not as substantive as it has been the past few years. Go to a ten or eleven game regular schedule and at least eight, if not fourteen teams, with a first round bye open. In any case, again, great season Bucks and I feel lucky to be a fan. Go Buckeyes.

  3. I am as big a fan of OSU football as anyone on earth. Got that out of the way. This team does not deserve the final 4 PERIOD. JT is not a championship QB. I appreciate Coach Meyer’s loyalty to his senior QB and yes he has a lot of records and wins but, If any of the other 3 QB’s would have been under center OSU would be undefeated and playing as the number one seed. That game on Saturday should have been 50-10 and Wisky got a TD against our 3rd team D. I have never seen a QB as scared to throw the ball as much as JT. Leader yes, Great young man no doubt, role model for young kids hell yes, QB for The Ohio State Football team NOPE.

  4. The committee needs to PUBLISH its set of criteria for selecting its top 4 teams and tie a scoring system to it:

    Example: Conference Champions, minimum of in-conference games, final records, strength of schedule (after the season is over), FBS schools only count, etc. and list each of them as a % of determining score. i.e. Conference Championship 40%, # in-conference games 20%, final record 20% Strength of Schedule 15% anticipated “tv eyeballs” 5%(which we all know is meaningful)

  5. I just don’t understand any of this. Alabama lost to Auburn who didn’t even win their conference but they are in. 2016 Ohio State lost to Penn State but Penn State won the Big Ten Championship. 2015 Ohio State lost to Michigan State and Michigan State won the Big Ten Championship. Arguably OSU should have been in 2015 and 2016 based on what the committe has just pulled with Alabama.

    1. V, all four of the playoff teams only had one loss this year, but only one. As for Alabama, yes, they lost to Auburn, but that Auburn team beat both Alabama and Geogia (both of whom are in the playoffs) and was ranked #2 heading into the SEC championship game. Ohio State’s stunning blowout loss to an unranked Iowa team kept them out this year, period. As for prior years, Michigan State didn’t do the B10 any favors (especially with the skeptics of the B10) by getting crushed in the 2015 playoffs. Ohio State added chapter 2 to that book by getting manhandled in the 2016 playoffs. The B10 can help their national reputation enormously by doing well in the bowl games.

  6. As mentioned once, NCAA football is the only contact sport in the world where the championship participants is chosen in a beauty pageant. If the committee is so wise, why don’t the #1 selections always win the championship? The present system demeans conferences, drives lack os sportsmanship (eg, running up scores), enhances rancor among fans, and leads to a month of self-important talking heads spouting biased views (even during game broadcasts). Football as a spectator sport was better before TV.
    A better (but not perfect) scheme would be 8 teams: 5 PC champions, 1 or 2 group of five teams and 2 or 1 at large selections.

  7. Spot on! So no need to ramble about spilled milk. 2/5 power conferences are not represented, and 1/5 due to the thinnest margins. Believe it is time we begin talking about expansion. Knock out a cup cake game and play this first round at home this past weekend. That would of forced OSU at AL and settle it on the field. Very few sports like boxing, figure skating, gymnastics and a few others are settled by judges scores and football should not be one of them. For any but, but, the lower divisions have 16 teams, NCAAM play and travel far more than football, and there are 30+ teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, yet they get 16 teams in, there are 120+ FBS teams and only 4 get into the playoffs, enough said.

  8. I don’t have a problem with Alabama making the playoff but I have a huge problem with the way that decision is being portrayed and that includes stating unequivocally “the College Football Playoff committee got things right Sunday.”
    They made a decision, where arguments could be made for several teams being chosen the last one in. The rest is nothing but pure speculation based on no discernible objective criteria.
    Joel Klatt (link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wey_zwwncJ8 ) did an incredible break down about the inconsistency and contradictory messages being sent by the committee during its short history.
    As I said it doesn’t bother me that Alabama was chosen but as Klatt points out, it is an insult to hear the head of the committee claim it was an easy, clear cut choice, one week after he said the margin between 5 through eight was razor thin.
    Klatt’s video goes into a lot of other inconsistencies, which underscores the absurdity of the claim that Alabama was a clear cut choice and is well worth watching.

  9. Evidently beating Michigan, winning the BIG title, and playing USC in a major bowl game is now the definition of a disappointing season. Having the BIG Quarterback of the Year is another rock solid sign of failure. Of course, their is an alternate way to view the year, but that would make too many of you angry. So I won’t mention it.

  10. I think the Committee got it right, it has never been the most deserving teams should make the playoffs… it has always been the 4 best teams make the playoffs. This is why in 2015 I thought OSU should be a lock for the playoffs because we were clearly one of the 4 best teams in the nation that year… Regardless who we lost to and when, we were one of the 4 best teams. This is why I think the CFP is a sham. The committee is too worried about protecting their decisions with checking off boxes… this is not how they should vote. They should just say, “who are your top 4 teams right now?” and let them vote. I’m as big of a buckeye fan as there is, but there is no way I can believe that we are a top 4 team this year… after watching all of our games. Top 10 yes, top 4 no.

  11. excellent article i agree 100%. Ohio State would have a problem with Clemson again . and i think they would have beat Wisconsin easily if Barrett could throw farther than 15 yrds

  12. If Samar be a bigger fan than you but I totally agree. The Buckeyes have only themselves to blame. If they win at Iowa they are in case closed. They lost and a cohance at a national championship was lost with it. Just like in 2015 they lost do not whine about the other teams credentials.

  13. The 55-24 loss to Iowa kept the Buckeyes out of the playoff. And I still can’t get that ugly game out of my mind.

  14. My take is that Buckeye fans, like all fans, are chasing the media mythical hype to the point of ignoring the obvious established greatness of emerging from a football season as champions of the Big Ten! That on the field fact is being deminished!! A great accomplishment becomes chopped liver. It was not the high esthetic standard of beauty that the series of blowouts and torrid executions of some half decent teams suffered at the hands of this Buckeye team. They created a standard of play that ultimately they coudn’t pull of against a strong, physical Wisconsin team. So like Jeff Snook I am pissed. Spoiled to the point of saying they weren’t good enough. But there is a part of me that sees the fight of this 2017 team and wishes that it was still in the hunt for the mythical! But lets remember the accomplishments. I like our prospects against USC !

  15. Some good points, however, In the college playoff world, going to the Cotton Bowl Is now why these kids came to Ohio State. As alumni and fans we might think it’s ok to play USC, but the PAC 12 and the BIG got robbed.

  16. Don’t agree with the article but you are entitled to your opinion. Something to ponder, should BIG have a championship game? If we didn’t have one this year Wisky would be in wouldn’t they? The game cost the league a ton of $, probably shows why we need an expanded playoff to 16 teams…Go Bucks, beat USC!

  17. If JT Barrera and the whole team, defense included, could play like they did in the 4th qtr of the PENN ST game, I think the BUCKEYES could beat anybody. But you just never know which team is going to show up. I’m an OSU Alum of 35 years and a die hard fan but don’t think our average game would beat OKLA or Clem average game. Just too inconsistent.

  18. Four years of Urban Meyer and J.T Barrett.

    Year one 2014, 14-1, but Cardale Jones won the last three. J.T lost to Virdingia tech.
    Year 2 12-1, lost to Michigan State, and din’t get to the conference championship.
    Year 3, 2016 11-2 lost to Penn State, no conference championship , lost to Clemson in play-off.
    Year four 12-2 Big 10 conference Championship.

    Total during his career. 49-6. An impressive record. But the big question looking back will be, how did he win all those games and have only one conference championship, and no playoff wins. 40-6 is an incredible record. But in terms of what stands out in his era, Cardale Jones 11-0, one conference champion and 1 national championship.

    With the team not making the playoffs this year, Cardale Jones ‘ legacy is complete. In 20-14 he was injured. In 2015 they had one big game they had to win, and they lost it. College and NFL star Zeke Elliott got 10 carries. J.T got 30.

    IN 2016 the team they had to beat Penn State, They lost.

    IN 2017 the team they had to beat was Oklahoma. The team they couldn’t lose to was Iowa.

    The question with J.T will aways be, how could he win so many little games, and lose so many times to teams that gave them the Big 10 East title and cost them a chance to get to the Big 10 Championship.

    Given the 12-0 season in 2012 and The 12-2 season in 2014YOu have to note, it’s been a steady decline in the second half of J.T.s career. Ohio State Lost 4 games n his last two years and 2 in his first two. Things didn’t get better. It’s been a frustrating few years. A slew of talent has come through the program. We were playing many years with half an NFL squad on the field.

    Accept for one brilliant 11-0 stretch piloted by Cardale Jones it’s hard not to ignore the wasted opportunities. The last game being a microcosm of the whole four years, he won, but even winning he always came up a bit short. His pick six made the game close. (7 points) His missed open receivers kept it close (21 points), his inability to punch the ball into the end zone left another 8 points on the table In my mind he’ll aways be the guy who couldn’t win the big one.He won the game it goes down as a W, but instead of 56 to 14, it ended up 27-21. It was a win but also a loss.

    But the good thing is, Meyer isn’t going to bench him despite Haskins having a stronger arm, more accuracy down field and being much quicker finding an open receiver, that is the way it was going to be even if they blew out Wisconsin. So in effect, even though Haskins would have given us a chance, that wasn’t going to happen. J.T. was going to get us blown out, Wisconsin played as bad as we did in many ways. Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia are a lot better than Wisconsin. Whether or not they would have been better if Haskins had played we’ll never know. All we know is under J.T Barrett, we were losing to Michigan 20-14. Haskins put up 17 points in 24 minutes. The Game would suggest Haskins was the better option, but we’ll never know. And that will always be my J.T. Barrett opinion. He did really well, but the other guy might have done better. We’ll never know. It’s just a big question mark.

    And to simplify even more, just say “He never won the big ones.” And when he finally did win some big ones, it just wasn’t enough.

    An as for Meyer, two losses a year is becoming pretty common. he should ask John Cooper how that worked out for him.

  19. you said and felt everything i wanted to say today.
    thanks for articuling it so precisely. Go Bucks

  20. Great article, Jeff. It hurts not to be picked and I watched enough Clemson and Oklahoma games this year (including Clemson’s game last night). I agree with you that our chances of beating these top 4 teams are slim. This is not based on how we lost to Clemson last year but based on our team that has been inconsistent all year while Clemson and Oklahoma are much improved from last year. We have talent on our team but all year long we have had issues in the secondary, linebackers, discipline, kicking game, passing game, etc. Something wasn’t clicking on this team.

    I don’t think Alabama deserves to get in based on their resume but losses mattered a lot this year to the committee and our two losses, especially the Iowa loss were too much to overcome. Alabama played an easier schedule and wasn’t as dominant as previous Alabama teams, but they didn’t have two ugly losses like we did.

    Finally, since I live in the Bay Area and watch a lot of PAC12 games, I can tell you SC will be a tough team to beat. If it weren’t for all the injuries they had this year, especially on the O line, they would have been undefeated. They have a ton of speed, two good backs, and Darnold is the real deal. We haven’t beaten SC in a long time and I hope we do this year, but with this inconsistent OSU team, I am not so confident.

    Still, though, we had a great year and we bounced back well from a 31 points loss to Iowa. The team could have folded but it didn’t. Go, Bucks!

  21. Great article Jeff. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve also enjoyed reading your books. Still a good year despite missing the playoff. The playoff has overshadowed many things that used to define a great season. Beat TTUN, win the Big 10, and win the Rose Bowl which usually meant beating the Trojans used to define a great season for the Buckeyes. Now it’s the playoff or bust and nothing else matters. Let’s win the Rose (Cotton) Bowl and finish off an old time great Ohio State season.

  22. The best way to express frustration with committee is to boycott watching playoff. Three teams from the southeast and one from Oklahoma! Who wants to watch that? NO ONE FROM BIG OR PAC should tune in. That’d teach the committee to leave out BIG CHAMPIONS.

  23. I agree with you that we didnt deserve to get in. But what about Wis? They lost to the #5 team by 6 points and Alabama lost to the #7 team by 12 points..The commitee obviously doesnt care about SOS. So then UCF should be in.

  24. Agree 100%. Ohio States’s two losses versus Alabama’s single loss, with one of Ohio State’s losses being an embarrassing ‘taken behind the woodshed’ 31 point loss to an unranked team, coupled with JTB’s declining level of play over the last 5 games of the season (54% completions with only 10 td’s to 8 int’s versus an almost 70% completion rate with 25 fd’s to only 1 interception over the first 9 games), yes, the selection crew made the right and safest choice.

  25. Nobody thinks you’re an SEC shill. Don’t need to wave the chin strap. I just don’t like the “it’s a given” type statement of “the committee got it right”. I really don’t like the “we’re just going to embarrass ourselves” attitude.

    Alabama got in because they started the year at 1, based on previous year’s results and recruiting estimates, and kept winning unimpressively. Near the end of the year Georgia had moved past them. Georgia then fell by 23 to Auburn, and we had ourselves a new SEC super team – for a few weeks. Alabama plays super team tough for 3 quarters so it’s still a given Alabama is one of the best. Then that all changes in one game and the narrative has to be quickly rewritten to keep Alabama a given. We get 2 teams from the SEC, 23 Point Loss and The Given. I’m wondering why they left out Super Team because they might be the best team in the SEC.

    I think Iowa played a great game against us. They had all the home field momentum in the world as well. We did not respond and were not prepared. I think it would have been a very good win if we could have pulled it off. Most of what passes for experts on ESPN would tell you that would have been a nothing win. I look at the Ohio State defense in the first 3 – 4 games and see a night and day difference compared to last 3 – 4 games. All I heard, for a few weeks, was how much Auburn improved over the year. Never heard any of that about Ohio State. From what Kirby said today about why Alabama got in, Wisconsin wouldn’t have gotten in if they managed to steal the game last night with a late pass.

    I will give the SEC credit for one thing, you would never hear any of them worrying about embarrassing themselves. I would have loved to have gotten in. The possibility of getting one more shot at flag boy would be reason enough for me.

  26. it’s pretty pathetic how wussy and afraid some OSU fans are of Clemson–my goodness put on some big boys pants–sure,, clemson is good and their coach is a good guy and we lost LAST YEAR to the ventual national champion with a ocne in a generation qb in D.Watson……but SYRACUSE beat Clemson THIS yEAR….then Syracuse didn’t win another game all year..think about that..and dont give me their qb was hurt blah blah–OSU has done with with backup–the committee makes excuses for clemson and bama and holds them to a different standard than everyone else…

    1. Todd, Ohio State didn’t just lose one game, they lost two, and one of those losses was a scalding if not unexplainable embarrassment to Iowa. Every team in the playoffs had a loss this year, but only one. Still, in my opinion, that was not the crime that kept Ohio State home. In those single losses, did any of the other playoff teams experience anything even remotely close to the woodshed beating that Ohio State experienced to an unranked team? Short answser, no. At times, Ohio State has looked crazy good this year. At other times, unexplainably bad. JTB has also not played his best ball of the year over the last 5 games, more of the opposite. It’s my conclusion the “Jekyll and Hyde” personality of Ohio State kept them out of the playoffs. Period. The selection crew has been burned two years in a row by a B10 team. A fluke? I hope so, but that won’t buy OSU any favoratism points. So, the safe pick was Alabama.

  27. Yes you got it right!Great article.The Buckeyes are a year away.Good luck Bucks!Beat USC

  28. We are on the same page, Jeff, including Woody Hayes. I was at the 1968 Michigan game (as a boy with my dad, uncle, and cousin) where Woody went for two after the touchdown that put Ohio State up 50-14 (the final score). I have met Archie Griffin twice (once at the Ohio State vs. Colorado game in Boulder, and at an alumni event in Pittsburgh). I was at the Oklahoma loss earlier this season. I agree, the Iowa loss was inexcusable, and it exposed all of the Buckeyes’ weaknesses. Many of those have been corrected, but it’s too late. Leaving two power 5 conference winners out of the “tournament” is just inexcusable, however. They must fix the system and expand to at least 6 teams, if not 8 (will probably be 8 in say 10 years or so, finally). I will always be a loyal Buckeye fan. Dave – Ohio State Class of 1977 (B.S. Mechanical Engineering)

  29. And force Alabama to play us in Indy so we can whip them again.

  30. I totally disagree with Jeff on this…so the argument I’m hearing is that well..we lost to Clemson last year…sorry–different team, different year…and MIGHT have got smoked this year…conjecture/guessing…of course the iowa loss was ridiculous….but what we are comparing here is Alabama and OSU—I saw nothing in this article supporting why Alabama should have got in over OSU……we can’t/shouldn’t compare this alabama scenario with last years OSU because that OSU team had beat three top 8 teams..this years alabama had nothing similar at all….those were 2 different years with two different scenarios and OSU’s resume was extremely better than this years alabama….this years OSU team vs alabama—-the committee said just last week how close teams 5-8 inc. bama and OSU..were…unlike last years osu and penn st….so..this week alabama didnt play and OSU beats the last undefeated power 5 team on neutral field and wins their conference championship–arguably the best conference top to bottom…and all the sudden the 4 main things the committee is to take into acct (really only 2 would apply for bama and osu)..dont matter because alabama and osu arent comparable teams like implied the week before?? how does that make any sense at all? osu won their conference AND had 3 wins better than anything alabama had, inc 2 tope ten wins (with teams still in the top 10 despite theor losses to osu)..and a 45 point demolition of msu..who is still rated above lsu..bama’s best win…an lsu team that lost to a team called troy…..alabama also has as a victory against a non-fbs team–does that even count as a victory?? alabama refuses to play home and home games because they are afraif to go north and play on someone else’s home turf–check out their schedule the last 5 years…so all this article–and the committee tell me..is that it’s come down to overly subjective conjecture and one bad game against iowa..not the entire resume–because when you put OSU’s resume against Alabama’s AND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, it’s not really that close–3 better wins..much better for OSU..and a conf title to boot…and oh yeah–that team bama got clobbered by just lost by 3 touchdowns………so with all due respect,, please clarify how the “committee got it right”..because all i see is conjecture and putting in bama because well, it’s bama…..that all said can’t change anything this year so I hope the Buckeyes get well=prepared to go beat USC, who has a winning streak against us……Go Bucks! you SHOULD be in the playoff! and btw,..if this year alabama team is in then 2015 OSU most certainly should have been….

    1. Perfect summation. I’m wondering now if maybe Jeff is posturing for a potential hiring at the SEC Network known as ESPN? His arguments are as weak and nonsensical as that entire cast of clowns on that network.

  31. Great article. I agree with almost every single point.

    The only problem was Alabama didn’t deserve to be picked. We all know that. They appeared so far this year to be the weakest Alabama team in the past 10 years. And they were the 3rd best team in the SEC.

    The committee said they thought Bama was a better team than us all year. I’m sure every one of those committee members felt even more strongly that Bama was even more way better than us in 2014. They were wrong then, and they were wrong today.

    There were no good solutions to come up with a 4th team – except for my idea. Give Clemson a bye.

  32. Interesting analysis, Snooker, but no. Just no. It’s not that any of your salient points against the Buckeyes are untrue – they’re spot-on.
    But my question has conversely been, “If not the Buckeyes, who?”
    The Committee’s incredibly weak “They were #1 most of the year” (referring to ‘Bama) was based on what? The SEC being perennially overrated and…a last-second win over an eminently average Mississippi State team? An LSU team that lost to Troy at home? Couldn’t have been the beatdown they took from a 3-loss Auburn team that got waxed in their conference championship because ‘Bama couldn’t win the one tough game they had all year? Where, exactly, was ‘Bama any different from UCF? Except UCF went undefeated. Even scheduling, much less playing, an FCS opponent the week before a rivalry game? Then LOSING the rivalry game in beatdown fashion anyway DESPITE guaranteeing that there would not be any opportunity for a trap game? The Buckeyes could have used that layup to prevent a trap game.
    Yeah, we took a beatdown from Clemson last year. LAST year. Clemson also is undefeated against us.
    But you gotta get back in the saddle and finally break the trend.
    Like you and most Buckeye fans I know, I’m skeptical they could’ve done it, but I’d rather they be in the ring to try it because now there isn’t even the chance of Miami 2002. They weren’t supposed to win either.

    1. You are right Andrew. You could have even added. CEO Meyers Florida Gators didn’t have much of a shot at beating the 2006 Buckeyes. But somehow CEO Meyer destroyed the Buckeyes ON THE FIELD, where opinion is relegated to it’s proper place………on the fringe.

  33. Excellent article Jeff, no need for me to post. You have it covered!!

  34. Great article and I agree with the writer, Jeff Snook, 100%! At this point, I don’t see anybody beating Clemson and OSU surely wouldn’t! I just can’t understand what JT is looking at when he threw some of those short passes Saturday night against Wisky. Also, he’s never anywhere, anytime consistent on the long ones. I like JT a lot, but he’s just not accurate enough to make it to the next level! I believe he would be an asset to the Buckeye coaching staff in the future. He is a good leader and football savoy. Anyway, it would be great to see the Buckeyes end up in the Cotton Bowl against USC with a resounding victory and I hope JT and the rest of the team has a great game! But they will have to do better than against Wisconsin and assuredly that fiasco against Iowa! That was the killer for the Bucks to get to the National Finals. I hope Clemson pounds Alabama into submission and it would be good to see Oklahoma win it all! At least OSU can say they got beat by the National Champions! GO BUCKS BEAT USC!!

    1. Says who that the Buckeyes wouldn’t beat Clemson. BIAS? Bias is unbeaten or even close to matched. But that’s fiction, not reality. The Buckeyes earned the right for inclusion by way of winning the conference. USC earned an argument to Ohio State being in. UCF earned a right to argue that THEY deserve to be in over both. Alabama on the other hand has earned exactly NOTHING except 3rd place in their own conference.

  35. As painful as it is, I completely agree with you. The Iowa loss was inexusable. I also don’t think we would beat Clemson. QB play in my mind has been hot against bad teams but cold against better teams.

    1. There’s that ugly word BIAS again. “YOU DON’T THINK” “we” (whoever that mysterious WE is) we would beat Clemson. Based on what criteria? The we lost to Iowa? Or was it that sterling win over mighty Syracuse (ooops) that convinced you of that foregone conclusion that Clemson would beat WE?

      The entire idea behind this rapidly become degenerate playoff system, was to eliminate bias FOR THE CURRENT year to select the 4 best teams based on the facts, not personal bias. THEY HAVE FAILED, and it really is that simple.

      MAYBE Ohio State shouldn’t be in the playoffs, but, Alabama shouldn’t even have a mention in the conversation. THEY ARE ONLY THE THIRD BEST TEAM IN THEIR OWN WEAK CONFERENCE. Why is Auburn, who IS the second best team in their Conference, and stomped Alabama to end the season, not in ahead of Alabama? What, only the results ON THE FIELD for the Buckeyes only negatively impact decision making?

      The Buckeye loss was inexcusable, BUT, the Clemson loss to a really awful Syracuse team is fine?

      The only argument FOR the Buckeyes getting in should come from USC and the PAC 12, and UCF.

      Yep, results on the field matter, especially down the stretch. Alabama looked even less inviting than buzzard feast when they should have been playing their best football over their last 4 games. They lost to Auburn and they failed to make their Conference title game…………..just like the Buckeyes from last year, lets just wink and nod to them.

  36. I respect your unbiased approach Jeff. But you and others, and the committee, are overlooking the Michigan State game. If ugly losses are weighted, then dominant wins against quality teams should also be weighed. OSU beat #15 MSU 48-3. Alabama has no such win. Bama’s two best wins were over LSU & Miss. State. Ohio State has two better wins in Wisconsin & Penn State. The Bucks also have comparable wins vs MSU and Michigan. OSU owns the overall resume. And of course, OSU owns the conference title.

    1. Yup. 48 – 3 is better than any other beatdown of a top team in the nation this year.

  37. Who gives a crap whether or not Clemson “whooped the crap” out of the Buckeyes in the “2017” semi final? Last years team is NOT this years team and circumstances are different. If you’re basing your idealism on last year, you are equally as pathetic in your thought process as the supposedly unbiased playoff committee. Last year happened last year.

    Alabama ended this season playing like discarded roadkill. They DO NOT belong in the 2017 playoff. They are AT BEST the 3rd best team in that weak SEC conference.

    Had the committee discarded the Buckeyes and selected USC they would have had an acceptable. Their argument for alabama shows a clear bias.

    Your article is written on a false flag pretense. Last year didn’t happen EXCEPT for preferential bias. This decision by those goofs is as horribly wrong this year, as it was last year. Penn State should have been in the playoff last year with the Buckeyes playing USC.

    At WORST for Ohio State THIS year, they should be getting ready for the Cotton Bowl against Alabama.

  38. Just because you are a buckeye fan doesn’t mean you are right. Every metric for the playoff favored Ohio State. So don’t come here and piss down our backs and say its raining. Alabama did NOTHING to get in. They won a beauty contest just like they did in the BCS era. The only team they played who was halfway decent beat them by 2 touchdowns. OSU had defeated more top teams than Alabama. They held a win over #4 Wisconsin and a conference title. What the hell did Alabama have? They looked pretty beating has beans. Oh and the Iowa game? Doesn’t matter. Anyone remember 2014 when OSU got torched at home by virginia tech. And PLEASE try to say its different. I would love to shove someone’s nose in some facts by trying to hang that one out there.

    The horse shit you are shoveling only calcifies how corrupt this system is when everyone and their mother could see Alabama measured up less than Ohio State. So now you have to write some article to placate the masses. Let me tell you something. People don’t need the truth explained to them. Its self evident. Its only bullshit, lies, and deceit that need “explaining”.

    Playoff committee is ESPNs bitch. Don’t be the same.

  39. Don’t know who wrote this but can’t be that big a fan. Archie couldn’t play as a freshmen. You couldn’t play until your sophomore year when he played

    1. Just as fyi…from Wikipedia…
      Griffin introduced himself to OSU fans as a freshman by setting a school single-game rushing record of 239 yards in the second game of the 1972 season, against North Carolina, breaking a team record that had stood for 27 seasons. His only carry in his first game had resulted in a fumble. He broke his own record as a sophomore with 246 rushing yards in a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Over his four-year collegiate career, Griffin rushed for at least 100 yards in 34 games, including an NCAA record 31 consecutive games.
      Career rushing statistics[edit]
      Year Att Yds Avg TD
      1972 159 867 5.5 3
      1973 247 1,577 6.4 7
      1974 256 1,695 6.6 12
      1975 262 1,450 5.5 4
      Career[5] 924 5,589 6.0 26

  40. Finally the love affair with JT Barrett will be over and we can get back to the sky being the limit! Love the person he is and the intangibles he brings but I certainly haven’t enjoyed watching him. Passing Drew Brees and setting OSU and Big Ten records…blah, blah, blah!!! Never have I gotten so little from someone who is supposedly so historic. I am fairly confident we may have missed another title while placating JT the last three seasons! I will most likely forget about him when the calendar turns to 2018. Sorry JT. I appreciate you, nothing personal but I CAN’T WAIT to see someone new under center!

  41. I agree. Would have loved to see the Buckeyes in the CFP again, but as you noted, had they played Clemson and again gotten skunked, OSU, the Big Ten and fans would never have heard the end of it. Clemson just hasn’t been kind to the Buckeyes since old Woody attempted to land that lame haymaker on the young, well-padded, helmeted Clemson player decades ago.
    I’m sure there will be many for whom anything less than being in the Playoffs – and winning the National Championship – is unacceptable. Their lives revolve around Buckeye victories – sad, because life’s about much more than that.
    For me, thanks J.T. for four great, spectacular, all-time best, record-setting seasons. You weren’t perfect, but neither were we. You made us all proud, you and all the other seniors and juniors who will play your last game against USC in the Cotton Bowl 26 days from now.
    I hope you all go out on a resounding, victorious note – maybe even good enough to cause the CFP selection committee to wonder, “Maybe we should have chosen the Buckeyes after all!” GO BUCKS!!!

  42. Agree. Hope Haskins gets some PT in Cotton but he won’t. JT has the ability (see the pass to Terry M) but its few and far between. Awful INTs. Burrow or Haskins hit those plays to Dixon and KJ

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