Real Pod Wednesdays: Why We Still Feel Good About Ohio State's Playoff Chances Despite the Disappointing Cancellation of The Game

By Dan Hope and Colin Hass-Hill on December 9, 2020 at 9:16 pm
Trey Sermon vs. Michigan State
Tim Fuller – USA TODAY Sports

Although there's reason to be disappointed this week, there's still plenty of feel good about.

The disappointment is obvious – Ohio State won't be playing Michigan this year for the first time in over 100 years – and we couldn't start this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays anywhere but there as we reflect on what we'll miss as we don't get to watch the Buckeyes play the Wolverines this weekend.

The good news for the Buckeyes, though, is they're still sitting a good position to make the College Football Playoff, especially now that they are locked into the Big Ten Championship Game. Ohio State could certainly help its cause by dominating Northwestern, and we discuss why we think that should be the expectation for the Buckeyes next weekend (17:40), but also why we're not sure that will necessarily even matter (23:50), as we think there's only one scenario – Florida beating Alabama in the SEC Championship Game and Clemson beating Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game – that spells any real trouble for Ohio State's playoff chances, if it even does, as long as Ohio State wins next weekend's game.

At the risk of sounding like a homer or a hypocrite, Dan explains (38:05) why he changed his mind from last week about the Big Ten's decision to remove the six-game minimum, and why he ultimately believes the Big Ten got it right by changing the rules to allow Ohio State to play in the Big Ten Championship Game over Indiana.

Then, we share our takeaways from the 52-12 win over Michigan State, including the impressive performance by Max Wray and Ohio State's other fill-in starters on the offensive line (49:50), how impressive Justin Fields was given the circumstances (56:10), Trey Sermon having a breakout performance (58:55) and Haskell Garrett's emergence as a stud defensive tackle (1:03:25).

In Three Things We Think (1:11:00), we talk about how it looks like Jim Harbaugh is actually going to get a contract extension at Michigan, how it helps Ohio State the longer Harbaugh stays at Michigan and Tom Herman stays at Texas and why this year has made the case for the College Football Playoff to expand to eight teams.

Finally, we answer your questions (1:27:05) about Zach Harrison's development, whether Miyan Williams could be a factor at running back and the proper way to eat French fries.

Listen to this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above or click subscribe to listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or several other podcast platforms.

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