If there’s one thing you can consistently say about the weekly College Football Playoff rankings it’s that they always create conversation. Tuesday was no different.
Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama — in that order — were in the top-four spots in Tuesday’s release of the initial CFP rankings. Notre Dame and Baylor were right on the bubble at fifth and sixth, while Michigan State, TCU, Iowa and Florida rounded out the Top 10.
There were some things that went as expected — Clemson and LSU taking the top-two spots, for example — as well as some things that maybe caught many by surprise — Alabama, with one loss, finding itself in the top four ahead of unbeaten teams such as Michigan State, Baylor and TCU.
That’s about par for the course with these rankings, though. They don’t really mean anything until the final ones are released, but they are designed to give college football fans an inside look at what the committee is thinking. There’s always going to be constant debate throughout the process.
The Buckeyes won the national title a year ago after they debuted at No. 16 in the committee’s initial rankings fully proving it’s not really about where you start, but where you finish. Well, this season, Ohio State won’t have to worry about that; the third-ranked Buckeyes have to feel much better about their current position.
If they do in fact like their spot, you won’t hear about it. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer admitted earlier Tuesday he forgot the committee’s first rankings were going to be revealed that night. He did say, however, he will address them briefly with his team.
They likely won’t be brought up again after that.
“It’s always good to have that quick conversation because they’re going to be having it with someone,” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches weekly teleconference. “I don’t know if I’ll do it today, but at some point we will here in the next day or two.”
The Buckeyes find themselves in a much different position than they did a year ago at this time. They’re in control of their own destiny as opposed to being forced to hope for certain dominoes to fall like last season. A large part of that is the fact Ohio State is currently undefeated; it doesn’t have that early-season loss on its resume like it did one year ago.
The Buckeyes also have an opportunity to improve their resume and earn their best wins of the season in the coming weeks. Ohio State’s schedule is extremely backloaded — as are several of the Big 12 teams' — and it will finish with No. 7 Michigan State and No. 17 Michigan in back-to-back weeks.
It doesn’t really matter how a team gets there, just that it does. One thing is for certain with Ohio State in 2015, though: Its path to the College Football Playoff is much clearer than it was one year ago. The other teams involved? Not so much.
“Ohio State would not have made the BCS [if it were still in place last season] because there was only two,” Meyer said. “You just look at these schedules coming up, ours and others, whatever comes out tonight is going to change drastically within the next few weeks.”