With the final week of the regular season now on the minds of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Scarlet and Gray will enter the last game of the year still ranked at No. 2 in the College Football Playoff poll. Michigan, OSU’s opponent this Saturday, retained its No. 3 ranking as well.
There was little shakeup in the top of the poll, as Alabama remained in the top spot for the fourth straight week. At No. 4, Clemson also held onto the final playoff spot available. Louisville, ranked at No. 5 last week, fell to No. 11 following a loss to Houston.
At No. 5 and No. 6, the first two teams out of the playoffs, Washington and Wisconsin will both be looking to make a case in the conclusions of its respective seasons. Washington currently leads the Pac-12, and will need to beat Washington State for a title shot. A conference title could help solidify the Huskies as a playoff contender.
Penn State, the current East Division leader in the Big Ten, moved to the No. 7 spot, and will be facing Michigan State in its final game. If OSU defeats Michigan this Saturday, and Penn State picks up a win, the Nittany Lions will be headed to Indianapolis for a chance at the Big Ten title.
In the West Division, Wisconsin simply needs to beat Minnesota this weekend to reach the Big Ten title game. However, a loss to OSU earlier this season could spoil any playoff aspirations for the Badgers, regardless of a conference crown.
The decision by the committee in regards to the fate of the potential Big Ten champion in the playoffs over potential one-loss teams such as OSU and Michigan will be made exactly a week from Tuesday. The Buckeyes will need a win over the Wolverines, and a little love from the playoff committee for a chance at another national title.