In the newly released polls, the Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked No. 6, soaring up six spots after their offense had its way against Big-Ten rival, Michigan State. In doing so, the team that lost its starting quarterback before the season even began has found itself in a position many would never have predicted.
That is, we could very well see the Buckeyes in the 4-team college football playoff, as coordinated by the NCAA to determine college football’s champion.
Ohio State does not control their own destiny at this point, their loss to a 5-loss Virginia tech team being the game standing in their way. However, the Buckeyes may be in a position to get the help that they need, coming in the form of the opposition’s schedules.
Ohio State has a relative cake-walk down the stretch against Minnesota, Indiana, and a Michigan team that is falling apart at the seams. Minnesota would be their toughest challenge, currently sitting at 7-2. Additionally, both No. 1 ranked Miss. State has a crucial contest coming up against No. 4 ranked Alabama next week. If Alabama pulls off the win at home, then Miss State would likely fall out of the top four spots. If Miss State wins, Alabama can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.
I, like many others, continue to believe that Florida State isn’t as sharp a football team as many would deem them to be. With games against Miami, Boston College, and Florida remaining on their schedule, FSU could potentially be involved in at least one more close game this season.
Otherwise, No. 3 ranked Oregon has injuries, but should be able to handle their last stretch without a problem. No. 5 ranked TCU’s biggest obstacle would be Texas, who completed the upset win against West Virginia last week.
If either FSU, TCU, or Oregon lose in their remaining weeks, Ohio State should have the inside track to the four-team playoff. That’s a big "if," but we’ve certainly seen stranger things happen in college football.