The Buckeyes have a shot to win it all, again.
Ohio State earned its fifth College Football Playoff berth Sunday as the selection committee slotted the scarlet and gray in at No. 4 with a semifinal matchup against No. 1 Georgia set for Dec. 31.
Its fifth CFP appearance in nine years breaks a tie with Oklahoma (four) for the third-most since the playoff began in 2014. Only Alabama (seven) and Clemson (six) have earned a spot in the top four on Selection Sunday more times than the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has the most CFP experience of any team in the 2022 field. Defending national champion Georgia has only appeared in the playoff two previous times (2021 and ’17), and No. 2 Michigan will make just its second CFP appearance after earning a spot last season. No. 3 TCU will make its CFP debut later this month.
In four previous CFP semifinal appearances, the Buckeyes are 2-2. Ohio State beat Alabama, 42-35, in the 2015 Sugar Bowl before defeating Oregon, 42-20, in the inaugural CFP National Championship Game. The Buckeyes returned to the CFP two years later, but were blown out 31-0 by Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.
Ohio State made its next CFP appearance in 2019, losing to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl once again, but got revenge on the Tigers the following season with a 49-28 win over Dabo Swinney and company in the 2021 Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes went on to drop the national championship game to Alabama, 52-24.
This is just the second time Ohio State has entered the CFP at No. 4. The last time Ohio State was the fourth-ranked team in the tournament (2014), it wound up winning a national championship for the first time in 12 years. The Buckeyes were No. 3 in both the 2017 and 2020 CFP, and they were the No. 2 seed in 2019.
Including TCU, which lost the Big 12 Championship Game to Kansas State in overtime on Saturday, Ohio State is one of just five teams to receive a CFP berth coming off a loss. Alabama received the No. 4 spot after losing to Auburn to end the 2017 regular season, Notre Dame was No. 4 in 2020 following an ACC Championship Game loss to Clemson and Georgia was No. 3 last season despite dropping to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
Both Alabama in 2017 and Georgia in 2021 won the national title despite entering the CFP on a loss. Ohio State hopes to become the third team to do so this year.