After the Buckeyes' 45-23 loss to Michigan at home Saturday, their chances are slimmer, appearing at No. 5 in the latest rankings with one loss and no chance to play in the Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State will have to wait and see what No. 3 TCU and No. 4 Southern California do in the Big 12 and Pac-12 championships, with likely No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Michigan's spots locked up in the final four.
Here's where Ohio State would likely stand in the College Football Playoff rankings given a few specific scenarios during championship weekend.
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No. 3 TCU beats No. 10 Kansas State in Big 12 championship, No. 4 USC beats No. 11 Utah in Pac-12 championship
Based on how the fifth edition of the rankings is set, if No. 3 TCU and No. 4 USC win the Big 12 and Pac-12 championship games this weekend, Ohio State will be on the outside looking in at No. 5 and possibly play in the Rose Bowl.
No. 3 TCU loses to No. 10 Kansas State in Big 12 championship, No. 4 USC beats No. 11 Utah in Pac-12 championship
This seems to be the scenario with the most questions.
USC would likely jump TCU if the Trojans beat Utah and the Horned Frogs lose to Kansas State, leaving the question of whether the Horned Frogs or Ohio State should take the last spot at No. 4.
According to ESPN's College Football Power Index, TCU has the best strength-of-record in college football, which reflects the chance that an average top-25 tam would have the team's record or better, given the schedule. Even with the 35th-best strength of schedule, one spot behind the Buckeyes, expect TCU to get the advantage over the Buckeyes in this scenario.
No. 3 TCU beats No. 10 Kansas State in Big 12 championship, No. 4 USC loses to No. 11 Utah in Pac-12 championship
This is the scenario most Ohio State fans are rooting for.
With the top three spots secure with undefeated Georgia, Michigan and TCU, Ohio State would likely jump two-loss USC and secure that No. 4 loss if the Trojans lose against Utah in the Pac-12 championship game.
This would likely place No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl against No. 1 Georgia.
No. 3 TCU loses to No. 10 Kansas State in Big 12 championship, No. 4 USC loses to No. 11 Utah in Pac-12 championship
For Ohio State, this would also likely do the trick.
With two losses, USC would likely be out of the running for the College Football Playoff. And while a TCU loss could put Ohio State up to No. 3, jumping the Horned Frogs to set up a rematch against likely No. 2 Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl, it would likely depend on how much the Horned Frogs lose to Kansas State Saturday.
College football rankings 2022
Here's a look at the College Football Playoff's fifth ranking of the 2022 season.
Ohio State (11-1)
Penn State (10-2)
Kansas State (9-3)
Florida State (9-3)
Oregon State (9-3)
South Carolina (8-4)
Notre Dame (8-4)
North Carolina (9-3)
Mississippi State (8-4)
NC State (8-4)
Ohio State football's 2022 schedule
Sept. 3: Ohio State 21, Notre Dame 10
Sept. 10: Ohio State 45, Arkansas State 12
Sept. 17: Ohio State 77, Toledo 21
Sept. 24: Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 21
Oct. 1: Ohio State 49, Rutgers 10
Oct. 8: Ohio State 49, Michigan State 20
Oct. 22: Ohio State 54, Iowa 10
Oct. 29: Ohio State 44, Penn State 31
Nov. 5: Ohio State 21, Northwestern 7
Nov. 12: Ohio State 56, Indiana 14
Nov. 19: Ohio State 43, Maryland 30
Nov. 26: Michigan 45, Ohio State 23
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: How Ohio State football makes the College Football Playoff