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I know many Buckeye fans feel that Ohio State doesn't deserve to make the College Football Playoffs after the disappointing loss to end the regular season, but the most recent College Football Playoff Rankings left the door open for the Buckeyes to slide into the playoffs, as they were placed at No. 5. All of the teams above Ohio State are in action this weekend and if the Buckeyes are going to have a second chance at a title, this is what they need to happen.
ACC Championship: No. 9 Clemson vs No. 23 UNC
This is the biggest throwaway title game of the coming weekend. Neither team has a realistic chance to make the playoff, as Clemson has two losses against No. 21 Notre Dame and No. 19 South Carolina. UNC is a three-loss team and has a 0% chance of making the playoff. Unless Clemson wins this game by fifty, they won't even be discussed in the final rankings, as they haven't really been considered a contender all season by the committee. UNC's win completely shuts the door on the ACC making the playoffs and that helps the Buckeyes.
Big Ten Championship: Purdue vs No. 2 Michigan
As much as Buckeye fans don't want to see it happen, Ohio State needs their rival to win the Big Ten Title for multiple reasons:
It makes Ohio State's one-loss look a lot better
If Michigan was to lose, they would be considered the better of the two one-loss teams in the nation if no one else was to lose.
Michigan's win keeps Ohio State as the best one-loss team in the nation, and they would be the top option if another top team was to lose.
Big 12 Championship: No. 10 Kansas State vs No. 3 TCU
TCU has taken over as America's team in college football this season. However, Ohio State would benefit from their loss. Kansas State is a three-loss team, and if they upset TCU, they would not be considered for the playoffs. With a loss, TCU could still be considered for the playoffs, as they would have just one loss and have the No. 1 strength of resume in the nation, but with a loss in the conference title game, they would likely drop below Ohio State. It is not a guarantee, so Buckeye fans shouldn't put too much weight into this game, but Ohio State needs K-State to pull off the win.
SEC Championship: No. 1 Georgia vs No. 14 LSU
Georgia has been a rollercoaster this season, they have good wins, and they have some pretty bad wins. They are not a unanimous favorite this season to take home the title like they were a season ago. While LSU has grabbed some fun wins throughout the season, an upset doesn't seem super likely, and Buckeye fans should not root for one either. If it comes down to Ohio State and Georgia as the two one-loss teams, the committee will take Georgia. The Bulldogs have been at the top of the polls all year long for the committee, and they will want the SEC to have a dog in the fight at the end of the year.
Pac-12 Championship: No. 4 USC vs No. 11 Utah
This is the biggest game for Ohio State. If USC loses, Ohio State is in. The Trojans lost to Utah earlier in the year 43-42 in overtime on the road. With a second loss, they would drop below one-loss Ohio State, and the Buckeyes would claim the fourth spot in the polls going into the playoffs. The Buckeyes playoff lives are almost entirely based on the outcome of this game, and they need Utah to beat USC again.