At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ latest contest …
What happened: The Buckeyes (1-1) fell at home to No. 5 Oklahoma, 31-16, in the largest margin of defeat in Columbus for an Urban Meyer team and the largest margin at Ohio Stadium since 1999. In what was billed as a potential playoff preview and a Heisman Trophy showdown, only one award contender really showed up. While the Sooners’ Baker Mayfield completed 27 of 35 throws for 386 yards and 3 scores, counterpart J.T. Barrett finished with 19 completions on 35 attempts for 183 yards, no touchdowns and a pick.
Oh, yeah, and this:
— Brady Vardeman (@BradyVardeman) September 10, 2017
What it means: As far as the Big Ten race, nada. But it was a marquee loss against a marquee opponent in a marquee game, and the kind of result that’ll stick in the minds of College Football Playoff selection committee members the way the Bucks’ win at Norman did last fall. The road to a return to the playoffs isn’t closed, and yet a loss this complete, on this stage, makes the road much rockier, especially from a perception standpoint. There’s a long way to go — remember Virginia Tech in 2014? — but if Ohio State is to return to college football’s Final Four, it’s going to need some help. And maybe a lot of help.
Projected record: Massey Ratings — 9-3; TeamRankings.com — 10-2
Projected postseason destination: Orange Bowl, Dec. 30 in Miami Gardens, Fla., versus an ACC opponent.
Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $165
Up next: vs. Army on Saturday. The Black Knights (2-0) outlasted Buffalo 21-17. Get your option hats on: West Point quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw already has carried it 34 times for 324 yards (9.5 per pop) while backs Darnell Woolfolk (6.0 per carry), Kell Walker (7.6) and Calen Holt (7.3) are all averaging at least 6 yards per carry. A struggling secondary won’t get much of a challenge in terms of the passing game, but this one figures to be a test of mental discipline and tackling, tackling, tackling. If it’s a test at all.