Ohio State projected to return to Top 10

COLUMBUS, Ohio — What will the recent college football chaos mean for Ohio State when the latest College Football Playoff rankings are released Tuesday night?

The Buckeyes opened at sixth in the first College Football Playoff rankings but fell to 13th after a humbling 31-point loss to Iowa on Nov. 4. Now, though, it appears the Buckeyes are ready for a bounce in the positive direction after thrashing Michigan State by a 48-3 margin and then watching higher-ranked teams fall by the wayside.

No two-loss team has made the CFP in the brief history of this current playoff format, though recent results are making it possible for that to change this year. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t interested in hearing any good news, though, as he noted in his Monday press conference.

“There will be zero conversation around here,” Meyer said. “Especially when you talk to the players, there will be zero conversation about what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future. Zero.”

“Zero conversation about what happened in the past and what could potentially happen in the future. We gotta really have a good Tuesday practice and I’m going to be out of my damn mind about that. There’s going to be zero conversation about that, other than play really hard in Tuesday’s practice and get ready for the game on Saturday.”

And while Meyer doesn’t want his players thinking about the playoff, there’s no reason why reporters and fans can’t engage in some fun projections. So let’s get to it.

Ohio State College Football Playoff projection

Nov. 11 was a really good day for the Buckeyes, but don’t expect those favorable results to bear fruit right away. Ohio State should crack the top 10 of the rankings, but the real gains will come if the Buckeyes keep winning and claim a conference championship. That would mean adding quality wins against Michigan and Wisconsin, with at least some contenders adding losses along the way. (How much carnage will happen is uncertain but it has to be some amount — a few of these top teams will play each other.)

As of now, the top five figures to include Alabama, Oklahoma, Miami, Clemson and Wisconsin. Auburn and Georgia should follow, and it would make sense that the Tigers would be ahead of the Bulldogs after stomping them.

The most likely landing spot for Ohio State figures to be in the next tier with some other two-loss teams. Notre Dame seems like a good candidate for eighth, with the Buckeyes probably No. 9 or 10 either immediately ahead or behind USC.

The Buckeyes would obviously love to be higher, but with much left to gain and other teams set for a fall there’s still a path for them to finish in the top four the week it actually matters.

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