Ohio State Buckeyes still No. 2 in playoff ranking



Most experts believe Ohio State (11-1), even though it won’t play for the Big Ten championship, stamped its ticket for the playoffs with a 30-27 victory over Michigan in double overtime Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

“It’s highly unlikely for Ohio State to move from No. 2 to No. 5 without playing in the Big Ten championship,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, a Centerville native and former OSU quarterback, said on the playoff-ranking broadcast.

No team has made the playoff in the first two years of its existence without winning a conference championship.

Even without a Big Ten championship, Ohio State has a resume second to none. It has victories over three teams in the top 10: No. 5 Michigan; No. 6 Wisconsin; and No. 9 Oklahoma. Its only loss is to No. 7 Penn State.

After losing to Ohio State, Michigan dropped two spots. Clemson moved from No. 4 to No. 3. Washington moved from No. 5 to No. 4. Wisconsin’s and Penn State’s places in the rankings didn’t change.

The Buckeyes ranked sixth in the first playoff rankings and then climbed to fifth. They have been No. 2 for three straight weeks.

Alabama (12-0) ranked No. 1 for the fifth straight week. The Crimson Tide and No. 17 Western Michigan (12-0) are the only undefeated teams left in the ranking.

The games to watch this weekend in regards to the playoff rankings are:

• Pac 12 championship game: No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 4 Washington, 9 p.m. Friday.

• SEC championship game: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 15 Florida, 4 p.m. Saturday.

• ACC championship game: No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 23 Virginia Tech, 8 p.m. Saturday.

• Big Ten championship game: No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 7 Penn State, 8 p.m. Saturday.

Here is the complete top 25: 1. Alabama; 2. Ohio State; 3. Clemson; 4. Washington; 5. Michigan; 6. Wisconsin; 7. Penn State; 8. Colorado; 9. Oklahoma 10. Oklahoma State; 11. Southern California; 12. Florida State; 13. Louisville; 14. Auburn; 15. Florida; 16. West Virginia; 17. Western Michigan; 18. Stanford; 19. Navy; 20. Utah; 21. LSU; 22. Tennessee; 23. Virginia Tech; 24. Houston; 25. Pittsburgh.


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