The 118th iteration of The Game did not disappoint between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines. Unless, of course, you are a fan of the Buckeyes.
While we’ve seen it happen before — Ohio State lose to Michigan and still make the College Football Playoffs — it seems unlikely that OSU gets into the Playoff following their crushing defeat to Michigan.
College Football Playoff Ranking Prediction: Ohio State Falls Out
It should be noted that predicting the College Football Playoff Rankings during the midway point of a Saturday slate of games seems ridiculous. But for Ohio State fans, and perhaps a few more fanbases this season, that’s the next task on the horizon.
We’ll take a quick look at what this means for Ohio State going forward.
1) Georgia Bulldogs
Again, we’re predicting the College Football Playoff Rankings before all the games in Week 13 are complete. That includes the Georgia Bulldogs against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
However, it’s safe to assume that this UGA team will easily cruise past their in-state rival.
The ‘Dawgs are heavy favorites and have what essentially looks like a play-in game next week in the SEC Championship Game on the horizon. As long as they don’t look too far ahead, they should cruise past Georgia Tech and maintain their No. 1 spot.
2) Michigan Wolverines
This one is easy: The Wolverines take the spot of their rival Ohio State after defeating the Buckeyes during the noon slate on Saturday. Michigan wasn’t as convincing as you’d expect in this game, as it felt like Ohio State found a way to lose this one.
Michigan defeated Ohio State and now begins preparations for Iowa in the Big Ten Championship. Defeat the Hawkeyes and it’s smooth sailing into the No. 2 seed come next Sunday.
3) Washington Huskies
As above with Georgia, we’re predicting an easy win for the Washington Huskies in the Apple Cup against Washington State. The Huskies took an early lead and certainly have the better roster overall than the Cougars in 2023.
MORE: What is the Apple Cup?
Michael Penix Jr. should strike fear into any opponent this on their schedule, and that includes a rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Putting Washington here and, skipping down just one spot, putting Oregon at No. 4 makes the Pac-12 Title Game a play-in game all the same. That’s the right move here.
4) Oregon Ducks
Leap-frogging from sixth to fourth, the Oregon Ducks are arguably one of the hottest teams in the country right now. They dismantled Oregon State and sent Jonathan Smith packing to Michigan State in the process.
Heisman Trophy frontrunner Bo Nix leads the Ducks, and a statement game in the Pac-12 Championship is on the horizon for Nix and Oregon. A play-in game against Washington would seal their resume as being significantly better than a potential 13-0 Florida State team without their star QB Jordan Travis.
5) Florida State Seminoles
This one hurts. Not just as a Florida State alum, but as a fan of chaos, this is beautiful chaos in the wrong way. FSU dropped a spot last week following the catastrophic injury to Jordan Travis and unless they’re convincing with a win over Florida in the night cap of the Saturday slate, there’s no way they jump into the top four.
The committee understands that Oregon and Washington would essentially eliminate one or the other and that’s what FSU would hope for if this situation were to pan out in this manner. Win your game against Florida, knock off Louisville in the ACC Championship, and allow the teams to fall as they may. You’ll get in, eventually, FSU.
6) Texas Longhorns
This prediction sits after the Texas Longhorns dismantled the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Friday night. Texas looked every bit the part of an elite team and should be considered in the running as the best one-loss team next to Oregon.
Texas has a brand-building opportunity in the Big 12 Championship Game and will face one of the Oklahoma schools again. They likely need some help to jump into the top four, but hope is not lost for a possible CFB berth with Oregon vs. Washington and FSU sans Travis playing two tough games.
7) Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has a chance to do the chaotic, and that’s beat Auburn and, ultimately, Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. It’s hard to envision a College Football Playoff without Alabama, and if they win the SEC over Georgia, it’s even harder not to see both programs in the Playoff.
MORE: What is the Iron Bowl?
We’ll get to that next week following the SEC Championship Game, but for now, the Crimson Tide need to handle their business against Auburn.
8) Ohio State Buckeyes
The big slide stops here for Ohio State. It’s hard to argue they don’t drop past all the other one-loss teams, solely because of timing, and not because of how impressive their loss was. Sure, they lost to who is the No. 2 team in the country now, but it wasn’t convincing for the Wolverines.
In fact, it was more worrisome for the Buckeyes and, whether you want to believe it or not, OSU fans, Ryan Day’s on the hot seat following his third loss to Michigan.
Sure, OSU was the committee’s No. 1 seed for awhile, but Kyle McCord’s inefficient play with the game on the line and the OSU defense’s inability to stop Michigan on the ground in crucial situations should worry the committee as much as it does us here at CFN.
9) Missouri Tigers
The dream season continued on Friday night for LSU as they stomped their hated rival Arkansas in the Battle Line Rivalry. Missouri’s hopes for a New Year’s Six Bowl are alive and Brady Cook and Luther Burden can put a stamp to their sensational season in the process.
10) Penn State Nittany Lions
While James Franklin’s Penn State Nittany Lions struggled in their biggest games, they handled their business and then some against inferior foes in 2023. At 10-2, Penn State is one of the top teams in the country, no doubt.