COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State played arguably its worst game of the season on Saturday, but it didn’t matter in the polls.
In fact, the Buckeyes moved up in the Coaches Poll.
The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) were ranked No. 8 by the coaches and No. 6 by the AP after losing to Penn State in their seventh game of the season. However, the week before that loss the Buckeyes came through with a huge win at Wisconsin. The Badgers’ continued high ranking ensures that Ohio State will keep its high floor intact.
That showed in the latest polls, as the Buckeyes moved up two spots in the Coaches Poll to No. 6 and remained at No. 6 in the AP Top 25.
Previous rankings (Coaches/AP): No. 8/No. 6
New rankings (Coaches/AP): No. 6/No. 6
Last result: 24-20 win vs. Northwestern on Saturday
What it means: Along with Louisville, which ranked No. 5 in both polls, voters clearly view Ohio State as the class of the one-loss teams. There’s no way the Buckeyes are going to catch the four teams above them in the polls if those squads remain undefeated, but they’ll get a chance to remove Michigan from that category.
Ohio State will also have a chance going forward to make an even bigger impression on voters. The Buckeyes will take on Nebraska next, and the Huskers didn’t fall far after an overtime loss at Wisconsin. And then, of course, there is the aforementioned game against the Wolverines.
When it comes to the College Football Playoff, Ohio State may be viewed more favorably by the CFP committee that places a premium on quality wins. The Buckeyes boast victories at Oklahoma and at Wisconsin, both of which are top-15 teams. The loss is hardly inexcusable, too, given that it came against Penn State on the road.