Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
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David Briggs

Is Ohio State in playoff mix?: Breaking down Briggs' AP vote


Couple quick thoughts from my latest ballot in the AP college football poll:

■ We’ll have more on this in the coming days, but, yes, Ohio State is back in the national title race. Don’t ask how. The Buckeyes just are, a weekend of chaos cracking open the door for the first two-loss playoff team. Think about it: With the Pac-12 — and possibly two-loss Notre Dame — out of the picture, that leaves teams from the other four power leagues to claim the four playoff spots.

Here’s what needs to happen for Ohio State — which I vaulted eight spots to No. 8 after its dusting of Michigan State — to have a chance:


Ohio State safety Damon Webb returns an interception against Michigan State Saturday. Even with last weekend's upsets, the Buckeyes are a long shot to make the playoffs.


1. Win out, preferably with decisive wins over Michigan and Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.

2. Oklahoma wins out.

3. Alabama wins out, leaving Auburn or Georgia with at least two losses and no league title.

4. Miami wins out, leaving Clemson with at least two losses and no league title.

Even if all that happens, Ohio State may still be left out. In fact, on principle, no team that has twice had its doors blown off deserves a playoff invite. But the Buckeyes will no doubt be in the conversation. 

■ I made the leap and put Michigan back in the poll, voting the Wolverines 21st. That’s more a reflection on the strength — or lack thereof — of the fringe top 25 teams than anything. UM still hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record. But the Wolverines can change that in a big way Saturday at Wisconsin. Beat the Badgers, and they’ll really climb, setting up a likely top-15 showdown against Ohio State. Not so bad for a down year. 

• My full vote: 

1. Alabama

2. Miami

3. Oklahoma

4. Clemson

5. Wisconsin

6. Auburn

7. Georgia

8. Ohio State

9. TCU

10. Oklahoma State

11. Notre Dame

12. Central Florida

13. Washington State

14. Southern California

15. Penn State

16. Memphis

17. Mississippi State

18. Stanford

19. Washington

20. Michigan State

21. Michigan

22. West Virginia

23. Iowa State

24. LSU

25. Boise State

Contact David Briggs at dbriggs@theblade.com419-724-6084, or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.

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