Ohio State beat Michigan in a double overtime classic. What does it all mean for the College Football Playoff and the Big Ten championship?
Ohio State 30, Michigan 27, 2 OT: What Does It All Mean?
It might not have been the greatest Michigan-Ohio State game of all-time, but …
It’s not all that far off.
Michigan had that game won in several ways, but it left the door open.
The two Wilton Speight interceptions were killers – with both leading to easy scores – when the Wolverine defense was dominating.
There was a score there for the taking before Speight dropped a snap deep in Buckeye territory.
There was chance after chance to put the thing away – until it didn’t.
Everything worked, everything was there for the taking, and all the opportunities were in place for Michigan to win – until it didn’t.
The defense did everything it could, but it was obviously gassed in the end, J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense kept plugging away, and in overtime, the Buckeye O line took over and finally gained the upper hand.
And with the win, give credit to the Buckeye defense for making just enough big plays – Raekwon McMillan had himself a GAME – and to …
J.T. Barrett cemented his legacy
It wasn’t always pretty, and he was guessing way too often – completing just 15-of-32 passes for 124 yards with a pick – but he took a beating running for 125 yards and a score on 30 carries, got the key overtime fourth down run on inches, and came up with a second straight win over Michigan.
He’s not going to be in New York for the Heisman, and he’s not going to earn any All-America honors, but for a young team in need of a veteran leader – even this late in the season – he pulled off the win the team needed to have. And now …
That could’ve turned out to be the greatest third-place game ever
Everyone, you need to get past the idea that it matters to the College Football Playoff committee that Ohio State is No. 2 in the latest rankings, or even the next rankings.
On resume, it absolutely deserves to be in, but the committee will put in conference champions first, and then have to argue it out when it comes to the Buckeyes.
With wins at Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and now over Michigan, no one has a better resume, but unless the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championship, the CFP isn’t a given.
To keep going through this, we still don’t know just how much the committee is going to value being a conference champion if Alabama, Clemson, and Washington win their respective conference championships, and if Penn State wins the Big Ten title. (Obviously, this is written before the end of MSU vs. PSU.)
The bowl pecking order
Michigan looked good enough to be a lock for one of the New Year’s Six bowls, probably the Orange vs. either Florida State or Virginia Tech – if Clemson wins the ACC title. If Ohio State isn’t in the College Football Playoff, it’ll be in the Rose Bowl. While that’s not what the Buckeyes might like, it’s not a bad consolation prize if everything goes wrong.