As more Top 25 teams fall, the chance for two Big Ten playoff teams grows.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach at least feels that way, as he has both Ohio State and Michigan in his College Football Playoff predictions at Nos. 3 and 4. The Buckeyes and Wolverines are joined by Alabama and Louisville, which just routed then-AP No. 2 Florida State, 63-20.
Through the first two seasons of the CFP, no conference has ever sent two teams, though the Big Ten has had a representative in each of the first two years. Ohio State, of course, won the first CFP when it beat Alabama and then Oregon.
But the Big Ten love doesn’t stop there. In Schlabach’s “next four in contention” list, he includes Michigan State. The Spartans went to No. 18 Notre Dame and beat the Irish 36-28.
The Spartans built an early 29-point lead and then held on for a 36-28 win at Notre Dame. It was Michigan State’s first win in the rivalry since 2010 and its first in South Bend, Indiana, since 2007.
On his Heisman update, Schlabach has J.T. Barrett ranked third behind Louisville QB Lamar Jackson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. In Ohio State’s impressive 45-24 win at Oklahoma, he passed for 152 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 74 yards.