If Ohio State runs the table and wins the Big Ten, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit still doesn’t think the Buckeyes can jump a one-loss Big 12 champion Oklahoma.
Herbstreit hopped on Pardon The Interruption moments ago to discuss college football and the playoff race, which is very much underway.
One of the biggest developments in this week’s initial College Football Playoff rankings was Oklahoma being slotted ahead of Ohio State. Both teams have one-loss, with the Buckeyes’ coming at home to the Sooners 31-16. Ohio State has looked stronger in recent weeks, but the definitive head-to-head win is still apparently enough to keep OU at No. 5, with OSU at No. 6.
Herbstreit weighed in on the debate, which is pretty comparable to the TCU/Baylor debate of 2014 (which ultimately turned into the TCU/Baylor/Ohio State debate by year’s end, as it turned out), and said that based on the committee’s rankings this week, he doesn’t see a scenario where Ohio State can pass Oklahoma if both teams win out.
He also believes that even if Ohio State had slotted in ahead of Oklahoma this week, if both went on to win out, Oklahoma would ultimately finish ahead in the standings.
There are still plenty of data points to collect, before we really have to worry about this debate. Oklahoma has a very tough road game at Oklahoma State this weekend, and follows it up by hosting one-loss TCU. After that, the Big 12 now has a title game. Ohio State has a tricky trip to upset-minded Iowa, vs. Michigan State, at Michigan, and a potential showdown with undefeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Title game.
With these two teams, as well as a pair of undefeated SEC squads, Clemson, and Notre Dame all among the programs in the mix, we may have the most dramatic Playoff race to date brewing right now.