Ohio State: Breaking down Buckeyes’ bowl projections, postseason possibilities
All week long, our Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes will address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our new daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
Since the Rose Bowl won't be in play, where would 2 loss Big Ten champ Ohio State likely play?
— Doug Brooks (@DesertVol) November 19, 2017
A two-loss Ohio State team that wins the Big Ten championship likely is heading for the College Football Playoff, so there’s no reason to absolutely rule out the Rose Bowl at this point. Given the way the rankings look and the current landscape of teams ahead of the Buckeyes, it’s probably safe to assume they are aiming for that No. 4 spot. Considering the geographic proximity of the potential top seeds, it’s more likely to project that the Buckeyes would play in a semifinal in New Orleans.
I’ve emphasized for several weeks that the Big Ten champion probably will be in line for a spot in the four-team field, thanks in large part to how the selection committee evaluates the league. It’s difficult to imagine those voters continuing to put more Big Ten teams in their rankings every week than any other conference and not rewarding the champion of a league it considers the strongest at the top.
Assuming Ohio State wins The Game to play out this hypothetical scenario and Wisconsin goes to Indianapolis with a perfect record intact, I would bet on the Big Ten being represented in the playoff.
Now, if that doesn’t happen for some reason, Ohio State would be the most coveted team on the market for the New Year’s Six Bowls. The Fiesta Bowl can be ruled out after the Buckeyes spent the last two postseasons in the desert, and the contractual obligations rule them out of a trip to the Orange Bowl. That would leave the Cotton and Peach fighting for the Buckeyes, and my hunch is they would be heading to the Lone Star State if it came to that.
But, again, I don’t think it will. If Ohio State winds up as that two-loss, Big Ten champion, the signs will point to the playoff.