Ohio State Won't Win the Big Ten, But Buckeyes Still Believe They're One of the Top-Four Teams in the Country

By Tim Shoemaker on November 27, 2016 at 6:00 am
Dontre Wilson and Raekwon McMillan lead Ohio State onto the field.

Ohio State will not play for a Big Ten championship.

Despite downing archrival Michigan on Saturday in a dramatic, double-overtime thriller, the Buckeyes will be watching from home next weekend as Penn State and Wisconsin play for the conference crown. The Nittany Lions blasted Michigan State after Ohio State won, so James Franklin’s team will represent the Big Ten East in Indianapolis.

It puts the Buckeyes in an interesting position. They finished the regular-season at 11-1 and have one of the best resumes in all of college football — with wins over the current No. 3, 6, 8 and 16-ranked teams in the College Football Playoff rankings — yet they aren’t guaranteed one of those final-four spots at the end of the season.

Ohio State believes it should be there, though, despite the fact it will not be a conference champion.

“It’s really out of our hands,” Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett said, “but at this time, I think we are one of the top-four teams in the country, personally.”

“Like I said, it’s up to the committee to do their thing and hopefully everything works out in our favor.”

For Ohio State to feel totally safe it needs one of three things to happen next weekend during the conference championship games around the country: Colorado to beat Washington in the Pac-12 title game; Virginia Tech to beat Clemson for the ACC championship or Wisconsin to knock off Penn State for the Big Ten crown.

If one of those three things happen, it’s almost impossible to envision the Buckeyes being left out. But if the Huskies, Tigers and Nittany Lions all claim conference crowns, things could get awfully interesting for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are currently No. 2 in the CFP rankings and when the new batch is released Tuesday, they’re likely to find themselves in the exact same position. But as we’ve learned in the past, not playing on the final weekend of the college football season is never a good thing, and Ohio State will be sitting at home.

Still, the Buckeyes have probably done enough.

Saturday's win meant that much.

“I think we’re one of the top teams in the country,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “And once again, I don’t really know [about the CFP].”

“I go week to week and I love my players.”

View 107 Comments