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Ohio State's CJ Stroud Unsure If He'd Participate in Non-CFP Bowl After Michigan Loss

Erin WalshNovember 26, 2022

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud looks for an open pass against Michigan during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes fell to the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 45-23 on Saturday, and now the team's College Football Playoff chances are in jeopardy.

If Ohio State isn't selected for the College Football Playoff, star quarterback C.J. Stroud said Saturday that he's unsure if he would participate in a non-CFP bowl game, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Adam Rittenberg @ESPNRittenberg

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Buckeyes?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Buckeyes</a> QB C.J. Stroud: “This is the game that everyone wanted.” He hasn’t decided if he’d play in a non-CFP bowl. <a href="https://t.co/NjS7mYTDL1">pic.twitter.com/NjS7mYTDL1</a>

Georgia, Michigan and TCU are the only remaining undefeated teams in the Associated Press' Top 25 poll and are the front-runners for the CFP. Ohio State's loss put it with USC as one of the top five teams to post one loss this season.

It's no surprise Stroud is considering sitting out a non-CFP bowl game, as he is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2023 NFL draft. There would be no reason to risk an injury if the Buckeyes aren't competing for a national title.

Stroud entered Saturday's game as a Heisman contender, having completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 2,991 yards and 35 touchdowns against four interceptions in 11 games, in addition to rushing for 77 yards.

However, his performance against Michigan likely dropped him from being one of the top contenders. He completed 31 of 48 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions in Saturday's loss.

Stroud had a far better 2021 campaign, completing 71.9 percent of his passes for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns against six interceptions in 12 games. It's a tough break to see him take a step backward this season, especially with the NFL draft this spring, but there's still little doubt he'll be a top pick, even if he loses the Heisman Trophy race.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams appears to be the front-runner for the Heisman, having completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 3,480 yards and 33 touchdowns against three interceptions in 11 games.

The Buckeyes finished the 2022 season with an 11-1 record, and now they'll have to wait for their CFP fate to be determined.