Under normal circumstances, Ohio State would be in a comfortable position in the College Football Playoff discussion. But this is 2020 — nothing is normal.
The committee clearly has a favorable impression of the Buckeyes, who were slotted fourth in the most recent set of rankings. But COVID-19 issues have caused two cancellations for Ohio State, and there’s the possibility of a third if Michigan is unable to resume activities in time for its scheduled game with the Buckeyes on Dec. 12.
That would leave Ohio State with just five regular-season games, short of the six required by the Big Ten to be eligible for the conference championship. That’s according to rules put in place when the league voted to restart its season.
On its face, the lack of an official conference title wouldn’t be a disqualifier from playoff consideration, but in past years the committee has emphasized conference championships as a major criterion for selection to the four-team field.