AP Top 25: Where was Ohio State football on Nathan Baird’s final ballot in the college rankings?

COLUMBUS, Ohio — All results considered, Ohio State football had the second-best performance of the four teams who reached the College Football Playoff.

That will either be small consolation for Buckeye fans or another “What if” in a season full of them. That 42-41 Peach Bowl semifinal loss to Georgia showed OSU belonged in the playoff and could back up its claim that, at its best, it was as good as any team in the nation.

Voting in the AP Top 25 poll, though, is always about resume. I don’t try to out-think the results from August-December and wasn’t about to start Monday night.

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Michigan won at OSU. TCU then beat Michigan on a neutral field. So I saw no other option for my top four than Georgia-TCU-Michigan-Ohio State.

In a perfect world, the best two teams reach the championship and the winner takes the No. 1 vote. Georgia completely dismantling TCU in the first half ruined those optics. Really, though, it only confirmed the Bulldogs’ status as the clear-cut No. 1 in a season that at times lacked such clarity.

The rest of the top four takes care of itself. Ohio State could have jumped Michigan if it had beaten Georgia. It didn’t. It’s that loss that ultimately relegates the Buckeyes to a ranking lower than their collective talent probably deserves.


1 Georgia 15-0

2 TCUs 13-2

3 Michigan 13-1

4 OSU 11-2

5 Tennessee 11-2

6 Alabama 11-2

7 Tulane 12-2

8 Penn State 11-2

9 Kansas State 10-4

10 Washington 11-2

11 Utah 10-4

12 Clemson 11-3

13 USC 11-3

14 Florida State 10-3

15 LSU 10-4

16 Oregon 10-3

17UCLA 9-4

18 Oregon State 10-3

19 South Carolina 8-5

20 Texas 8-5

21 Mississippi State 9-4

22 Notre Dame 9-4

23 Purdue 8-6

24 Louisville 8-5

25 NC State 8-5

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