For the last three weeks Ohio State has been slotted No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and after beating Michigan last weekend the Buckeyes are considered firmly ensconced in that position.
Well, former Wolverines star and current ESPN analyst Desmond Howard has a question: Why?
In an interview with SundayTradition.com, Howard repeatedly wondered how the playoff committee could have Ohio State as a “solid No. 2” despite a loss to Penn State and close wins over Northwestern, Michigan State and Penn State.
“No one has ever asked (CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt), ‘Why is that so? What did they do that was so impressive to you or the committee that they’re this solid No. 2?’” Howard said. “I’m not saying they’re not one of the best teams in the country and one of the best four because I think they are.
“But Alabama is a solid No. 1. They kicked the snot out of most people … how is (OSU) a solid No. 2? Outside of the Oklahoma game … that’s way back in September. At some point, you have to judge them by the rest of the damn season, too.”
Howard said Ohio State was destined to make the playoff, despite not playing in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game, because they’re ranked No. 2.
“Now you won’t move them from No. 2 to No. 5,” he said. “If you flip them with Clemson, and put them at No. 3, you kinda gotta move them from No. 3 to No. 5 if Washington wins the Pac-12 and Clemson wins the ACC and you want to put Penn State or Wisconsin in … but with (OSU) at No. 2, it’s practically impossible for things to go as scripted and to move them out of the No. 2 position.
“My thing is I just want to know what was so impressive about them that they’re a solid No. 2. People just assume, ‘Oh, that’s Ohio State. You’re No. 2. That’s cool.’”
Howard was a receiver and kick returner at Michigan from 1989-91, winning the Heisman Trophy his final season in Ann Arbor. He is now an analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay.