Ohio State Checks in at No. 1 in the First College Football Playoff Rankings of The 2023 Season

By Chase Brown on October 31, 2023 at 7:15 pm

Ohio State is No. 1.

After an 8-0 start to the season, the College Football Playoff committee ranked the Buckeyes as the best team in America on Tuesday. Ohio State is ahead of Georgia, Michigan and Florida State, who rounded out the top-four teams. Washington and Oregon are the first two teams out at No. 5 and No. 6.

Rank # Team Record
1 Ohio State 8-0
2 Georgia 8-0
3 Michigan 8-0
4 Florida State 8-0
5 Washington 8-0
6 Oregon 7-1
7 Texas 7-1
8 Alabama 7-1
9 Oklahoma 7-1
10 Mississippi 7-1
11 Penn State 7-1
12 Missouri 7-1
13 Louisville 7-1
14 LSU 6-2
15 Notre Dame 7-2
16 Oregon State 6-2
17 Tennessee 6-2
18 Utah 6-2
19 UCLA 6-2
20 Southern California 7-2
21 Kansas 6-2
22 Oklahoma State 6-2
23 Kansas State 6-2
24 Tulane 7-1
25 Air Force 8-0

Ohio State's best wins of the season include then-No. 9 Notre Dame in Week 4 and then-No. 6 Penn State in Week 8. The Buckeyes also have two additional wins over Power Five opponents with winning records, beating Maryland at home and Wisconsin on the road. 

"As we looked at it, the big win at Notre Dame, the win over Penn State, the top-five defense, the difference makers on offense like Marvin Harrison Jr., who is an elite player – as we looked at it, we came to a conclusion as a group that Ohio State deserves to be the number one team," CFP committee chairman Boo Corrigan said after the rankings release.

Overall, ESPN’s College Football Power Index rates Ohio State’s strength of schedule after nine weeks as the 15th-toughest in the country – 34 spots higher than Florida State, 60 spots higher than Washington, 85 spots higher than Georgia and 96 spots higher than Michigan. Ohio State’s unbeaten record combined with its SOS ranks Ohio State's strength of record as the best in college football, according to ESPN's FPI.

With Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Florida State and Washington as the top-five undefeated teams, Corrigan said the committee felt, based one strength of schedule and strength of record, that their rankings were the most fair to what has occurred after nine weeks in college football.

"The 13 of us came to the conclusion that this was the right order for the top-four slots," Corrigan said.

On Saturday, Ohio State will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, to battle 6-2 Rutgers at SHI Stadium. Then, the Buckeyes will return to Columbus and host Michigan State (Nov. 11) and Minnesota (Nov. 18) to wrap up its home schedule at Ohio Stadium.

As it stands, the 119th edition of The Game would be a top-three matchup between Ohio State and Michigan in Ann Arbor. Over the next three weeks, the Wolverines will face Purdue at home and Penn State (Nov. 11) and Maryland (Nov. 18) on the road.

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