The College Playoff selection committee will reveal its penultimate rankings tonight and then we’ll know. We’ll know if there’s some reverse engineering afoot. If the late-season Ohio State comeback, which was such a jam in 2014, has blinded the group into denying the obvious. The obvious being that Oklahoma is a better football team with a more impressive body of work.
It’s a situation in search of a debate. Yet we’re having it anyway.
Rewind to last Friday. Oklahoma was No. 6. Ohio State was No. 10. The Sooners went on the road and posted an impressive win over West Virginia. The Buckeyes stayed home and laid a biblical beatdown on hated Michigan. One of those wins — the latter — was a bit more impressive. But was it enough to paper over a season full of sleepwalking, a 29-point road loss to Purdue? A near-miss against lowly Maryland just seven days earlier that required a quarterback mis-fire to an open receiver in overtime?
We’ll find out tonight. If Ohio State somehow leapfrogs Oklahoma, the game is rigged. It won’t be on merit. And it will render this weekend’s conference championship games largely meaningless. If the Buckeyes handle Northwestern as expected, they’ll be in, no matter what the Sooners do.
I’ll be the conspiracy theorist. Oklahoma can’t jump over Ohio State, even though beating Texas is a better win. Ohio State, cynically, could jump Oklahoma with another 59-0 type blowout. That’s just how these things work. It should be different. It’s not.
The Big 12 game is early. Urban Meyer will know how big an offensive number he’ll have to post. Playing in a dome gives his team a huge advantage over speed-challenged Northwestern. It could be a less a football contest than an audition. Considering the 62 they put up against Michigan, it could get ugly.
This is to say the game may still be rigged, even if we don’t find out for sure tonight. Brace yourself.