COLUMBUS, Ohio — Week 12 of the college football season was the polar opposite of the week preceding it, with no upsets inside the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings.
As such, there likely will be little movement in the latest CFP rankings that will be released Tuesday night. Many teams near the top of the rankings faced overmatched foes. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson faced FCS opponents in Mercer and The Citadel, respectively. No. 3 Miami (Fla.) handled Virginia, No. 4 Oklahoma overmatched Kansas and No. 5 Wisconsin put away Michigan. No. 6 Auburn rolled ULM, while No. 7 Georgia took care of Kentucky. Only No. 8 Notre Dame faced any sort of challenge, and the Irish eventually put away Navy in a 24-17 win.
What does that mean for the No. 9 Buckeyes, who dominated lowly Illinois in a 52-14 win? Let’s get to this week’s projections.
Ohio State College Football Playoff projection
Nov. 18 was never going to be a good day for the Buckeyes with all those teams ahead of them facing such weak competition and Ohio State also having no chance at putting up a quality win. Pretty much the only chance for something favorable to happen would have been if Navy had been able to pull the upset and definitively clear Notre Dame out of the way, but that didn’t happen. The real action will come in each of the next two weekends, with rivalry games and conference championships able to sort out the playoff picture.
As of now, the top five figures to include Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Auburn and Georgia should follow in that order. Notre Dame struggled against Navy, but not so much that they’d drop a spot, so it’s most likely that the Irish will remain eighth and the Buckeyes ninth.
The Buckeyes obviously would love to be higher, but with much left to gain and other teams set for a fall there’s still a path for them to finish in the top four the week it actually matters. At this time three years ago Ohio State was eighth, so it’s certainly possible to gain more ground.