After giving this some serious thought and looking at the schedules, I concluded that Ohio State's chances of going to the NCG is almost ZERO!
I know I know, that's a bold statement when you're talking about one of the powerhouse programs with the longest winning streak in college football, but it is what it is.
Here is my reasoning:
1) Alabama will go undefeated and go to the championship game.
2) Stanford and Oregon play in one of the big time primetime games left. Surely, one will win.
3) Clemson and Florida State will play in the other big prime time games left. Sure, one will win here as well.
4) The winner of the Stanford, Oregon game will solidify its place at #2. Stanford's computer numbers are great, and its only the poll numbers that are keeping them from the top 3. If they win, they will be #2, I would put all my money on that. If Oregon wins, then they will keep their spot at #2 and further solidify that position. Either of these teams will not lose another game. Sure, can crazy upsets happen, yes. But with a very weak Pac-12, and looking at their schedules, it's highly unlikely.
5) The winner of the Clemson, Florida State game will also leapfrog us in every poll, and solidify their spots as #3. And with their remaining schedules, there is a good chance the winner of this game will also go undefeated.
6) Even if Alabama drops one, the winner of the above games will STILL be ahead of us in the polls and in the computer rankings.
7) 2 of the hardest 3 strongest teams on our schedule are ones we've played and computers already hate us, don't see that changing.
IMPROBABLE PATH TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Alabama loses 1 (no guarantee we jump them even if they lose 1 with SEC Poll bias)
The winner of Oregon vs Stanford, and the winner of Clemson vs Florida will have to lose one game on their remaining schedules.
POSSIBLE? yes.....likely? nope
If we go undefeated and win the Big 10 we will play either Stanford or Oregon in Rose Bowl the week before NCG.