Urban Meyer: Penn State deserved to be in playoff after winning Big Ten

Dr. Saturday
Ohio State lost to Penn State in 2016. (Getty)
Ohio State lost to Penn State in 2016. (Getty)

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer believes Penn State should have been a part of the College Football Playoff.

The Nittany Lions missed out on the playoff — to Meyer’s Buckeyes — after winning the Big Ten title.

Penn State finished the season with two losses while Ohio State had just one. That loss came to Penn State via a blocked field goal attempt. The Nittany Lions lost to Pitt and Michigan in the first four weeks of the season before winning nine-straight games on the way to the Rose Bowl.

Ohio State beat Michigan and the three teams finished in a tie atop the Big Ten East standings. Penn State won the three-way tiebreaker and got to the Big Ten Championship Game vs. Wisconsin while Ohio State played one fewer game and made the playoff.

Low was asked for further context to Meyer’s comments after he tweeted the coach’s quote Thursday night. It’s easy to wonder if the OSU coach is saying that Penn State was deserving of the playoff over his team.

After Ohio State was selected to the playoff ahead of Penn State in December, here’s what Meyer had to say when he was asked about his team’s inclusion over the Big Ten champs.

“But the people wanted a College Football Playoff. I wish there was a way. But there’s five conference champions, and there’s a whole regular season before your conference season that you have to play, too,” Meyer said. “I’m not sure there’s an easy answer.

“I was part of the BCS twice, too. I remember 2006 [at Florida], it was a dogfight to get into that game. There’s a lot of controversy about that, as well. I’m not sure there’s an easy answer … I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Even though Meyer won’t — and shouldn’t — explicitly say that he believes Penn State should have gotten into the playoff over his team, it’s hard to read his comments from December and not believe he thinks that’s the case.

If Penn State was deserving of being in the playoff because it was a conference champion, so were Clemson, Alabama and Washington. All three of those teams had one loss and a conference title. It’s nearly impossible to say a two-loss Big Ten champion deserved to be in the four-team playoff over one of three one-loss conference champions. You can’t apply the championship criteria to just one conference.

At this point in the playoff’s history, having one loss may more important than having a conference title. In three years of the playoff, no two-loss team has made the final four. If a similar situation to 2016 arises this season, we’re fascinated to see what the committee does.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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