Ok­la­homa should be ahead of Ohio State

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Sports - Podol­ski can be reached at mpodol­ski@news-her­ald.com; on Twit­ter: @mpodo

While it’s not likely to hap­pen, Ok­la­homa should be ahead of Ohio State in the first Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off rank­ings for the Soon­ers’ head-to-head win over the Buck­eyes, Sports Ed­i­tor Mark Podol­ski writes.

When all else is pretty much equal, a head-to­head matchup is the eas­i­est and fairest way to break a tie.

“The eye test” is a pop­u­lar thing th­ese days as it per­tains to col­lege foot­ball rank­ings, and in some cases that’s not a bad thing.

Some might say that in this par­tic­u­lar case, but when rank­ing Ohio State and Ok­la­homa it’s not that com­pli­cated.

The 7-1 Soon­ers de­serve to be ranked ahead of the 7-1 Buck­eyes. It prob­a­bly won’t hap­pen when the first Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off rank­ings are re­leased Oct. 31 on ESPN.

Un­like the Bowl Cham­pi­onship Series, which used com­put­ers to rank teams, the CFP com­mit­tee is com­prised of in­di­vid­u­als, and thus rank­ings are sub­jec­tive.

Let’s ex­am­ine each team’s case: OHIO STATE » The Buck­eyes have wins over In­di­ana (49-21), Army (38-7), UNLV (54-21), Rut­gers (56-0), Mary­land (62-14), Ne­braska (56-14) and Penn State (39-38).

The win over Penn State is by far OSU’s best win to date, and its sched­ule gets more dif­fi­cult with road games at Iowa (5-3) and Michi­gan (62) and a home con­test with Michi­gan State (6-2).

When an­a­lyz­ing Ohio State, it’s easy to fall in love with the win over the Nit­tany Lions, and right­fully so. The 18-point come­back win was epic, and it’s fresh in ev­ery col­lege foot­ball fan’s mind.

That’s what those on the CFP com­mit­tee are — fans, just like you and I. They’re in­flu­enced by re­cent re­sults, and it’s easy to chalk up a per­for­mance such as the Buck­eyes’ 31-16 loss at home to Ok­la­homa in early Septem­ber with the de­fense of it be­ing the sec­ond game of the sea­son.

Fans of strength of sched­ule can use OSU’s record of it op­po­si­tion, which is a solid 30-23. That fig­ure is helped by play­ing 7-1 Ok­la­homa and 6-2 Army. OK­LA­HOMA » By com­par­i­son, the Soon­ers’ strength of sched­ule loses out to the Buck­eyes.

Ok­la­homa’s op­po­nents are a com­bined 27-38, thanks to 0-8 UTEP and 0-8 Bay­lor, a team OU strug­gled to beat, 49-41.

OU has also beaten Ohio State (31-16), Tu­lane (56-14), Texas (29-24), Kansas State (42-35) and Texas Tech (4927).

Its lone loss is to Iowa State at home, 38-31. At the time, it looked like a bad re­sult, but Iowa State is 6-2 af­ter beat­ing TCU on Oct. 28.

That win has cre­ated a four-way tie atop the Big 12 among 4-1 teams Iowa State, Ok­la­homa, TCU and Ok­la­homa State.

The Soon­ers can make up for that lack­lus­ter SOS by win­ning out. They play at 7-1 Ok­la­homa State Nov. 4, then host 7-1 TCU and 5-3 West Vir­ginia. Kansas (1-7) won’t pro­vide much help in the SOS cat­e­gory.

What will help is the head-to-head win at Ohio State, much the same way it helped the Buck­eyes in 2016 get into the CFP with­out play­ing in the Big Ten Cham­pi­onship game. CFP PRE­DIC­TION » The com­mit­tee has proved to be un­pre­dictable, so ig­nore this week’s As­so­ci­ated Press and Coaches polls.

Here’s one man’s guess how the CFP com­mit­tee’s Top 4 might look on Oct. 31:

1. Geor­gia, 2. Alabama, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Ohio State.

Top 10

1. Geor­gia 8-0 (3) 2. Alabama 8-0 (1) 3. Notre Dame 7-1 (4) 4. Ok­la­homa 7-1 (6) 5. Ohio State 7-1 (7) 6. Penn State 7-1 (2) 7. Mi­ami (Fla.) 7-0 (8) 8. Wis­con­sin 8-0 (9) 9. Clem­son 7-1 (10) 10. Iowa State 6-2 (NR) WATCH LIST » Ok­la­homa State, Vir­ginia Tech, TCU, Wash­ing­ton, USC

This week’s top games Oct. 31

• Bowl­ing Green at Kent State, 8, ESPNU

• Mi­ami (Ohio) at Ohio, 8, ESPN2

Nov. 2

• North­ern Illi­nois at Toledo, 6, ESPNU

Nov. 4

• Penn State at Michi­gan State, noon (WJW)

• Auburn at Texas A&M, noon (ESPN)

• Wis­con­sin at In­di­ana, noon (WEWS)

• Ohio State at Iowa, 3:30 (ESPN)

• Iowa State at West Vi­rig­inia, 3:30 (ESPN2)

• Wake For­est at Notre Dame, 3:30 (WKYC)

• Clem­son at N.C. State, 3:30 (WEWS)

• South Carolina at Geor­gia, 3:30 (WOIO)

• Stan­ford at Wash­ing­ton State, 3:30 (WJW)

• Ok­la­homa at Ok­la­homa State, 4 (FS1)

• Min­nesota at Michi­gan, 7 (WJW)

• Texas at TCU, 7:15 (ESPN)

• LSU at Alabama, 8 (WOIO)

• Vir­ginia Tech at Mi­ami (Fla.), 8 (WEWS)

• Ore­gon at Wash­ing­ton, 10 (FS1)

• Ari­zona at USC, 10:45 (ESPN)

Heis­man watch

1. J.T. Bar­rett, QB, Ohio State

2. Saquon Barkey, RB, Penn State

3. Baker May­field, QB, Ok­la­homa

4. Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame

5. Bryce Love, RB, Stan­ford

Mark Podol­ski

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.