Why The Buckeyes Are Out Of The National Championship Picture
It was this year’s Iowa.
Ohio State was knocked out of the 2018 season College Football Playoffs on the road against a middle-of-the-road Big 10 team.
And make no mistake about it, the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning a National Championship are as done as well-cooked steak on a tailgate grill. And here’s why that is the case.
Sure, a team can lose one game and still make the playoffs. But college football has always been about losing to the right team at the right time and Purdue was not that team and the mid-season timing of it is also factor here.
But this was more about just the loss. It was the fact it was a blowout. Ohio State was not ever competitive against a 4-3 afterthought team. That’s something the committee has to consider, even if the Buckeyes manage to win the rest of their games.
The committee should also look at how much the Buckeyes have struggled in other games, too. It came close to losing to a below-average TCU team and it required a breakdown of tackling fundamentals against Penn State, a squad that is not nearly as strong as it was expected to be this year. And OSU had to get its act together in the fourth quarter to beat lowly Minnesota.
The game completely exposed Ohio State, too. Quarterback Dwayne Hasking Jr., threw the ball 73 times. Seventy-three times! That’s a clear sign the team had no running game and its defense could not stop the Boilermakers either.
Frankly, it was only a matter of time before the dam burst for the Buckeyes. The question was, would any Big 10 team remaining on its schedule be the one to do it. Heck, now that it knows how to win (at least once!), Nebraska looms as a threat to beat Ohio State. The Cornhuskers can at least score and are sure to put up points on that defense.
Michigan suddenly does not look like a winnable game so the odds are the Buckeyes won’t be a factor anyway by the time the committee makes its decision.
Maybe the team split at the seams when Nick Bosa announced he was quitting the team. Perhaps that, along with the preseason distractions and Urban Meyer’s ridiculously-short three-game suspension caught up with the players and they lost the urge to compete at a high level.
But one thing is certain: you don’t get blown out by a 4-3 team and make the College Football Playoffs.