COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State moved up to No. 8 in the latest version of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, one spot ahead of its No. 9 ranking from last week.
While that might seem like a lot of ground needed to gain with less than a week until the final rankings, it’s possible that a win against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game could vault the Buckeyes into a playoff berth.
Though Ohio State certainly wouldn’t turn down help from TCU in the form of an Oklahoma loss, a win against Wisconsin would likely at least put the Buckeyes in a battle with Alabama for the No. 4 seed.
A couple teams ahead of them are guaranteed to lose, making those teams likely to fall below Ohio State if the Buckeyes win — which is the only scenario in which this matters. If Ohio State were to win, the loser of Auburn/Georgia would almost certainly drop below the Buckeyes, and that should also be the case for the loser of Miami/Clemson (especially if it’s the Hurricanes who lose).
For now, though, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is trying to keep his team focused on the task at hand against the Badgers. He said he’d talk to them about the playoff — though primarily about how to tune out the noise brought on by playoff talk.
“Certainly, I’ll talk to our team about it because the term around here is laser focus,” Meyer said on a teleconference Sunday. “Our laser focus is on Wisconsin and nothing else.
“I’ll visit with our players before they meet with me because I don’t want to hear about [the College Football Playoff] on social media. Focus on your responsibility. When they do, we’re a heck of a team. When they don’t, we’re like everybody.”
College Football Playoff Rankings, Week 14
7. Miami (Fla.)
8. Ohio State
9. Penn State
10. Southern California
15. Notre Dame
16. Michigan State
18. Washington State
19. Oklahoma State
22. Virginia Tech
23. Mississippi State
24. North Carolina State
25. Fresno State
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