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Slim as it may be, there’s still a path for Ohio State to get into the College Football Playoff

We’re all disappointed after another letdown at the hands of Michigan. Ohio State had everything to play for and came up short for a third year in a row. As tough as that pill is to swallow, the sun did come up the next morning.

So, is the season over? For some fans, yes. Even a national championship will not erase the pain of losing to TTUN once again. But all hope is not lost. There is a path, narrow as it may be, for the Buckeyes to get to the College Football Playoff … and just maybe have another shot at the Wolverines.

We realize it’s a long shot, but in the words of Lloyd Christmas in “Dumb and Dumber,” “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

It may not be as much fun to back in, but I think most of us would agree, that it would be better to back into the playoff than to play in a meaningless bowl game.

So, let’s take a look at what has to happen for Ohio State to get a shot at redemption.

 

Georgia beats Alabama in SEC Championship game

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff domino that must fall

Plain and simple, Georgia needs to take care of Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. A Bulldog win eliminates the Tide with two losses.

However, if Alabama were somehow able to catch Georgia sleepwalking and beat the Bulldogs by, let’s say 20 plus, Alabama is in as a one-loss SEC champion. Anything less than a blowout most likely puts two SEC teams in the College Football Playoff.

In the case of a blowout loss, the question then becomes would the committee give UGA the benefit of the doubt as a two-time defending champ? It would be tough to put them in over Ohio State, which lost on the road in a one-score game to the No. 3 team in the country. But that would be a lot of debate. Let’s just get undefeated Georgia in and eliminate some of the debate.

Best Case Scenario for Ohio State: Georgia wins

Washington needs to beat Oregon in Pac-12 Championship game

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff domino that must fall

We feel like there’s a good chance the winner of the Pac-12 Championship is going to claim one of the four spots. However, just like in our previous scenario, an undefeated Washington leaves no doubt, but a one-loss Washington has a pretty good argument … “But we beat Oregon once already.”

If Oregon wins, unless it’s just an absolute demolishing of the Huskies, there’s at least a chance the committee will consider two teams from the Pac-12. And that’s not good for Ohio State.

Best Case Scenario for Ohio State: Washington wins

Louisville needs to beat Florida State in the ACC Championship game

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The College Football Playoff domino that must fall

Even though Louisville stubbed its toe against Kentucky, the Cardinals have a real shot to take Florida State out of the conversation. The ‘Noles haven’t looked particularly good outside of a Week 1 win over LSU. Now that FSU quarterback Jordan Travis is out for the season, the Seminoles certainly don’t look like a top-four team.

If Louisville can get the job done and knock off Florida State, the ACC will be eliminated from consideration. FSU doesn’t have the body of work to overcome a loss, and Louisville would be a two-loss conference champion. Buckeye fans need to root hard for the Cardinals on Saturday.

Best Case Scenario for Ohio State: Louisville wins

Oklahoma State needs to beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game

Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports
Sarah Phipps-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff domino that must fall

Texas is another team right there knocking on the door with one loss. For Ohio State to have a chance, Oklahoma State would need to put the Longhorns into the two-loss category by winning the Big 12 Championship game.

The Pokes have the talent to get the job done. The question is which Cowboy team will show up in AT&T Stadium? Oklahoma State has some really good wins and some head-scratching losses. But for the Buckeyes to have a chance, Texas most likely needs to go down, so that the Longhorns don’t have the data point of a conference title to hold over Ohio State’s head.

Best Case Scenario for Ohio State: Oklahoma State wins

Sorry Buckeye fans, we need to root for a Wolverine victory in the Big Ten Championship

Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/teams/indianapolis/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Indianapolis;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Indianapolis</a> on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.
Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

The College Football Playoff domino that must fall

We know it feels gross, but anything other than a Michigan victory in Indianapolis would be somewhat bad for Ohio State. You want the Wolverines to be as highly ranked as possible as the lone loss on the Buckeyes’ schedule. Most likely, the Wolverines are in, win or lose.

Even if Iowa found an offense somewhere and blew Harbaugh’s club out, it would be next to impossible for the Buckeyes to jump Michigan, but it’ll help Ohio State’s body of work to have just one loss to an undefeated conference champion that is either ranked No. 1 or No. 2. This one isn’t a must have, but it would help as a piece of the puzzle.

Best Case Scenario for Ohio State: Michigan wins

Just to recap ...

Predicting the College Football Playoff rankings after Week 10
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State football’s path to the College Football Playoff

Again, we realize it’s a long shot, but fans can dream, can’t they? Ohio State needs a great deal of help to get into the College Football Playoff, but here are the scenarios that need to happen.

  • Georgia needs to beat Alabama or Alabama beats Georgia badly in the SEC Championship game.

  • Washington needs to beat Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game.

  • Louisville must defeat Florida State in the ACC Championship game.

  • Oklahoma State must beat Texas in the Big-12 Championship game.

  • It would help if Michigan beats Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game.

There you have it. That’s a lot of moving pieces, but all realistic possibilities. Whether it all happens or not … well, that’s a different story. But as long as there’s a chance, we’ll keep our hopes alive.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire