It’s hard to get a bigger statement win than Oklahoma pulled off Saturday night at Columbus, Ohio. The Sooners won, 31-16.
Led by QB Baker Mayfield, the Sooners rocked Ohio State to deliver a major blow to the Buckeyes’ reputation as a leading College Football Playoff contender. In a showdown between the No. 2 and No. 5 teams in the country, the No. 5 team rolled on the road.
What does this mean for Ohio State? Well, because it’s not a Big Ten game, the Buckeyes can run the table, win the Big Ten Championship Game and make the four-team playoff again. Of course, Ohio State went 11-1 in the regular season last year and didn’t need to win its division to make the playoff. Though the Ohio State-Michigan-Penn State games involving those teams still matter more than anything else, Nittany Lions and Wolverines fans might be feeling a little more confident after Saturday’s Sooners win.
That won’t happen this year. The Buckeyes have to win the Big Ten East and then the conference title game. Things could get messy if Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan split their games — like they did last season — but the Buckeyes have a ton of work to do on offense to if they want to beat either the Nittany Lions (at home on Oct. 28) or the Wolverines (on the road on Nov. 25). And then Ohio State has to beat the West Division champion.
That’s for way down the road. Right now, Ohio State has to regroup, starting with next Saturday’s game against Army. With two more games against UNLV and then at Rutgers, the Buckeyes have time to fatten up and improve before the schedule gets tougher.