Ohio State played better than Oregon and should have won. This is according to SP+ who gave OSU a 59% chance to win the game based on the stats. OSU averaged more yards per play and created way more scoring opportunities. The reason OSU lost was because of terrible 4th down luck. For the yards per play, success rates, and explosive plays OSU was VERY unlucky to only end up with 28 points. It feels like Oregon was better because they ran the ball so easily but based on this OSU was a bit better. SP+ sees OSU as the 5th best team in the country with the 2nd best offense and 41st best defense. I am not here to tell you that OSU is in a good spot and I am pretty disgusted about Coomb's defense but a team with the best offense in the country and a top 25 defense can easily win the championship. The advanced analytics show OSU is not all that far from that type of team.
This isn't a thread about how the defense can get better. It is a thread about IF the defense gets better(which the talent is there to do) what it would look like to get back into the top 4.
OSU's path-Obviously win out, without the win against Oregon there are very few quality wins remaining. PSU(10) and Michigan(25) are currently the only remaining ranked teams on the schedule which makes it really tough. It will be important for the B1G West champion to be highly ranked as well.
Teams to root for
- Iowa-This needs to be the year of the Hawkeye. A huge win over ISU has Iowa in the top 5 and this could be a cheat code into the playoffs. Beating a 12-0 Iowa in the B1G championship game would be a golden ticket ahead of any other 1 loss team.
- Penn State-They will be our best win in the regular season and it is important that they stay a top team. They play Auburn this week and the rest of the schedule is pretty soft outside of a trip to Iowa. If they can beat Auburn this week they should be 10-2 at the worst
- Michigan/Michigan State-The only other ranked team on the schedule just beat Washington ooc and should at a minimum win 8 games this year. They have Wisconsin and PSU to go before playing OSU but could be a quality win. MSU has a chance to go from a scrubby win to a quality win this week with a game @Miami. This could legit be an 8 win team if they are good enough to beat Miami and add another ranked win to the cap of OSU.
- Purdue/Indiana-This hurts as I am also a UC fan but going to need Indiana to put down the Bearcats this weekend. Indiana was blown out of the top 25 by Iowa but a win over UC and finishing with 7 or 8 wins would lead to Indiana being a quality win. Purdue has already beaten Oregon State and if they manage the upset against Notre Dame this week they turn into a quality bowl team instead of some scrubby 5-7 team.
- Minnesota/Wisconsin-Minny similarly have a big opportunity this weekend to beat Colorado and solidy themselves at the very least as a bowl team. Wisconsin is not on the schedule and after a loss to PSU they are a bit behind Iowa in the B1G West race. However they are sitting on a bye and have Notre Dame next week which would be a huge win for the conference as a whole. Wisconsin plays Iowa, PSU, and Michigan. If they can beat ND and handle the rest of their business they will be a highly ranked team that gets a lot of respect for whoever beats them.
I think it is too soon to start talking about the chaos that is needed nationally but this seems to be the most crowded playoff conversation ever. Bama/Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, and OSU/Iowa are all in great positions to win out and stake their claim.