Ohio State moved up into the top six of the College Football playoff rankings, lending clarity as to what will need to happen for the Buckeyes to receive a chance to defend their national championship.
Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma led the way in the top three spots with Iowa and Michigan State following in fourth and fifth.
Either the Hawkeyes or Spartans will presumably be eliminated via a conference title game loss, but the victor would also presumably make the playoff. With Oklahoma no longer playing, that leaves two spots virtually guaranteed. To sneak into the top four, Ohio State would need either Clemson to lose to North Carolina or Alabama to lose to Florida.
The Buckeyes might also need USC to win the Pac-12 to prevent the possibility of being jumped by No. 7 Stanford. North Carolina’s win would increase the Tar Heels’ résumé, but six spots would be an awfully large one-week jump.
College Football Playoff Top 25
5. Michigan State
6. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
9. Florida State
10. North Carolina
13. Ole Miss
17. Oklahoma State