Why Ohio State is unequivocally one of the four best teams.


The college football playoff committee has set forth a standard that a non-conference champion or independent must meet, to play in the college football playoff. The standard is rather simple and sounds essentially like a team must meet the eye-test. A non-champion or independent can be chosen for the college football playoff under the circumstances that the non-champion or independent is unequivocally one of the four best teams in the country. During the last two weeks, we have heard it said repeatedly, that Ohio State must, unequivocally, be one of the top four teams in football to get into the playoff. Verne and Gary from “Sec on CBS” even defined the term ‘unequivocally’ during the iron bowl. But what does it all mean? How do we know that Ohio State is, undeniably one of the best teams in America?

Recent History

We know by looking at recent history that Ohio State is undeniably or unequivocally one of the best. Now I know certain fans of a particular university in the south are going to say “don’t live in the past” or “the past doesn’t matter.” Yet they would be the first ones to bring up the number of championships that their team won thirty years ago under coach Bear Bryant, but I digress. In the last four seasons, the Ohio State Buckeyes have a win-loss record of 49 wins and just 4 losses. That’s a win percentage of .925. In that same span, Ohio State has accomplished more than anyone in college football.  They have completed two undefeated regular seasons, won a Big Ten championship, won a national championship,  completed win streak of 23 games and another win streak of 24 games. There isn’t another team in in the country, that has been more consistent and has won at the level that the Buckeyes have in the last few years. Thats undeniable.

This season

Because I’ve talked about the past, I should talk about the present as well. This season, Ohio State has an average margin of victory of 21 points per game. In the entire country, that is second only to Oklahoma.

Why is margin of victory important? Because we need some basis of comparison in order to accurately answer the question of who the best teams in the country are. The first and most obvious comparable variable is head-to-head match ups. OSU has only played against one team that is ranked ahead of them as of now. They played against Michigan State two weeks ago and lost by a field goal on the last play of the game. So it is obviously fair to say that Michigan State should be ranked above Ohio State because MSU won the head to head match up. On the other hand, Ohio State hasn’t played another team this season that is currently in the top four. So how do we compare these teams? We can use the teams average margin of victory; which basically says on average Ohio State beat every one they played by three touchdowns, while another team may have beaten the teams they played by less or more than that. This is an unbiased way to judge how well a team has performed, due to the fact that every power five team in college football plays essentially the same level of competition.

S.o.s rankings are irrelevant. 

The naysayers will say that other teams had stiffer competition than Ohio State and Oklahoma. That simply isn’t true. The Crimson Tide has played only two games against teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. They lost one of them. Not to mention, the second best team in the SEC, the Florida Gators, that have absolutely ran through the conference this season, lost 27-2, the first time they faced another major program from outside of the SEC. The same was true last post season, when the SEC won just two out of seven bowl games, its teams played in. Its safe to say, that the almighty SEC hasn’t looked all that mighty as of late; so why should SEC teams get more credit for playing against each other when they have shown time and time again, in games against major non-conference opponents(including Ohio State), that the SEC is not what it once was.

Lastly, Ohio State’s major non-conference opponent this season was Virginia Tech in Week 1. They won by a score of 42 to 24. I say that to say, everyone essentially plays the same level of competition. The myth that SEC teams play a gauntlet of a schedule that is harder than everyone else’s schedule simply because its the SEC, is simply not true.

There is absolutely no doubt that Ohio State has proven to be one of top programs in country, if not the very best program in America over the last four years. If we go strictly by the numbers where records are the most important statistic, head to head wins are the second most important and margin of victory (a more objective stat than s.o.s) as the third most important statistic, the top four team performances this season in order are:

Clemson 12-0
Oklahoma 11-1
Michigan State 11-1
Ohio State 11-1

Ohio State is undeniably and unequivocally one of the four best teams in America.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: