Ohio State moved up in the College Football Playoff rankings, however it’s probably not to where Buckeye fans want to see their team.
Kirby Hocutt, Athletic Director at Texas Tech University and member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, explained why Ohio State was slated at No. 5 and didn’t jump No. 4 Washington after a blow out win of now-No. 19 Nebraska.
“The selection committee continues to be impressed with Washington and what we see them doing on the football field,” Hocutt said of Washington. “They’ve been very consistent and they’ve handled everything that’s come in front of them.”
Washington is one of the last remaining unbeaten teams in college football, joining the rest of the top four (Alabama, Clemson and Michigan) at 9-0. However, Hocutt noted the selection committee decided the main difference between Ohio State and Washington, aside from Ohio State’s one loss, came in the strength of schedule department.
“Strength of schedule is one component that is looked at in the comprehensive resume of a particular team,” Hocutt said. “Last week, we said, as a selection committee, the margin between No. 4 (Texas A&M) and No. 5 Washington last week was very small. In the eyes of the committee, the one-loss from the team they were being compared against last year was to No. 1 ranked Alabama. Washington continues to impress the selection committee on the field.
Hocutt also said the committee watching the games helps in their Tuesday decisions, which was Washington earned the No. 4 spot.
“Obviously, we watch these games,” Hocutt said. “That’s what’s different: we get to watch these games and we’re watching each and every week. No. 5 Ohio State, a very good football team, they had a very convincing win last week, but Washington has earned that No. 4 spot this week.”
Interestingly enough, following his comment about Ohio State having a convincing win over Nebraska, he disputed how the committee uses at margin of victory as a deciding factor, as well as how it’s difficult to decide what a “convincing win” could be.
“We do not incent margin of victory,” Hocutt said. “It’s hard to define what a convincing win is in the game of football. There’s not a single definition. A 14-point margin can be a convincing win in a particular game and in other games, a 28-point margin is a convincing win.”
In any case, it’s looking more and more that Ohio State has to either beat Michigan or hope for a Washington loss in order to have a chance to get into the College Football Playoff.