Buckeyes Move Up To Fifth In Playoff Poll

With one weekend to go and a matchup with 13th-ranked Wisconsin to go in the Big Ten title game, Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night. The loss of J.T. Barrett, at least for one week, did not handicap OSU too badly.

At one point Saturday afternoon, Ohio State had lost its starting quarterback to injury, Florida State and Mississippi State were in dogfights against their rivals and Baylor was holding on to a lead vs. Texas Tech.

In short, it looked like massive chaos was on its way to the College Football Playoff rankings.

Instead, we have relative calm but one major surprise.

The top two spots -- Alabama at No. 1, Oregon at No. 2 -- remained the same but No. 3 Florida State and No. 4 TCU flipped spots, with the Horned Frogs jumping to three and the unbeaten Seminoles falling to fourth.

Meanwhile, Ohio State jumped up a spot to fifth and Baylor moved to sixth after fourth-ranked Mississippi State fell Saturday to rival Ole Miss.

But there's still plenty of shakeup to be had on championship Saturday. Each of the top six teams play, and Ohio State also must prove it can win without J.T. Barrett, who is out for the year with a broken ankle, in the Big Ten title game vs. No. 13 Wisconsin. But the new rankings show it might be tough for OSU to leap TCU with a final-game win, as some had predicted earlier.

Alabama will take on No. 16 Missouri in the SEC title game in Atlanta while Oregon tries to gain revenge for its regular-season loss vs. No. 7 Arizona in the Pac-12 title game in Santa Clara, Calif. Florida State will face 11th-ranked Georgia Tech in Charlotte in the ACC title game, while in the Big 12, TCU finishes with Iowa State and Baylor hosts No. 9 Kansas State.

With one game for each team to play and conference championships still to be weighed, a lot can happen in the final day of football. And a chance to play in the four-team bracket would be welcomed by OSU senior Evan Spencer.

"It's kind of cool to think about it with this being the first one," he said. "I don't want to say it's a trial run but it's new to us. We have to go out there and play our best football every time that we play from now on, and coming up with Wisconsin this weekend, we know that they're a real good team. We know that they do what they do well on offense and they're going to stay true to what they do on defense. We know we're going to go out and playour best, and if we play our best football I think we're a good enough football team that we can compete with anybody. I think that the playoffs are really exciting and I'm excited to see how everything works out."


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