Ohio State certainly deserved to win the national championship in 2014-15. But did it deserve to have a chance to play for it?
The Buckeyes jumped both TCU and Baylor in the College Football Playoff rankings following a demolition of Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. All three teams had one loss — Ohio State to Virginia Tech, TCU to Baylor and Baylor to West Virginia.
In an interview with ESPN’s Heather Dinich, outgoing committee members answered a number of questions, many pertaining to that decision in 2014.
So did the committee get it right both years?
“I think Ohio State took us off the hook,” said former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese. “If Ohio State hadn’t beaten Wisconsin, or let’s say hadn’t won convincingly, we would’ve had a very, very difficult decision to make. I don’t know how other people would have voted, but my sense was we were really split on it.
“Ohio State made it clear who the fourth team is. We take them and they end up playing magnificently and running the table. And I didn’t think there was much mystery in last year. When Ohio State lost to Michigan State, that probably cleared it up a little bit.”
Former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne admitted not having a championship game hurt the Big 12 in 2014.
“I think the thing that was, as was mentioned many times, when you have a team that plays that 13th game against a supposedly good opponent and you win 59-0, decisively, then not having that championship game certainly was a factor to be considered,” he said.