In the end, the on-field results should limit selection controversy.
But at the moment, there are different takes on the Big Ten’s chances. Ohio State is in great shape, as both CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm and USA Today’s 13-person panel agreed the Buckeyes will make the College Football Playoff. But Michigan? There isn’t a consensus.
In USA Today’s panel, Michigan came in No. 3 after Alabama and Ohio State. That means, yes, the Wolverines would meet Ohio State in a semifinal. Clemson picked up the No. 4 spot.
But as for Palm, he makes his projections by thinking how the actual CFP selection committee thinks. He also looks at how the field would look based on only results from this season — no looking ahead:
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
Where’s Michigan? Palm has the Wolverines fifth and just out of the semifinals. But with Texas A&M playing dominant Alabama this Saturday, the top-4 will look much different — especially if the Aggies find a way to shock the Crimson Tide. Ohio State also has a tricky game at Penn State at night.
Palm also ranks the Top 25 teams, with Wisconsin at No. 9 and Nebraska at No. 11.
Palm thinks the committee would hesitate on ranking the Huskers any higher because the schedule hasn’t been difficult yet:
The Cornhuskers haven’t lost but haven’t really beaten anyone to make you take notice. It’s not a Baylor-level schedule, but not terribly exciting.
Remember, the real College Football Playoff rankings don’t come out until Nov. 1. So there are still two weeks of games to go until fans get a real look at how the committee thinks.