Ohio State 'Without a Doubt' Deserves CFP Bid After Michigan Loss, Kevin Warren Says

Adam WellsNovember 26, 2022

COLUMBUS, OHIO - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches a replay during the fourth quarter of a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)
Ben Jackson/Getty Images

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren is making his pitch to the College Football Playoff selection committee for Ohio State in the wake of the Buckeyes' 45-23 loss to Michigan on Saturday.

Speaking to ESPN's Pete Thamel, Warren said "without a doubt" the Big Ten should have two teams in the playoff.

"Clearly, Michigan and Ohio State are two of the best four teams in the country, and I think today proved it," he added. "Great football game. Epic football game. Without a doubt, I think I think they are clearly two of the best football teams in the country."

There was a lot of debate coming into the game about whether the loser of The Game should still be one of the top four teams when the final playoff rankings are announced.

Ohio State and Michigan entered Saturday ranked No. 2 and 3 in the most recent playoff standings. Both teams were 11-0 and the winner would advance to the Big Ten Championship Game.

Boo Corrigan, chairman of the College Football Playoff committee, told reporters on a Tuesday teleconference after the latest rankings were released that Ohio State's season-opening win over Notre Dame is a factor they consider now that the Irish are playing much better.

"Two well-balanced teams, both in the top 10 offensively and defensively," Corrigan said of Ohio State and Michigan. "Ohio State does have the win over Notre Dame, which I believe at this point as a committee, as we talk about it, that stands out a little bit to us as we're going through this."

It's unclear at this point how much the Buckeyes' 22-point margin of defeat on Saturday will impact the committee's overall view of the team. This was a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter before Donovan Edwards' 75-yard touchdown run made it 38-23.

C.J. Stroud's interception on Ohio State's next possession set up another Edwards touchdown, this time an 85-yarder. The loss also ended the Buckeyes' regular season, with Michigan advancing to the Big Ten Championship Game next week.

Georgia (No. 1) and TCU (No. 4) were the other teams in the top four in this week's playoff standings.

Ohio State's win over Notre Dame could be a huge difference-maker for the committee. The Fighting Irish, ranked No. 15, will play No. 6 USC on Saturday night. If they win that game, it makes the Buckeyes' victory over them on Sept. 3 look even better than it does right now.

Other games that Ohio State will be keeping an eye on take place next week. No. 1 Georgia will play No. 5 LSU in the SEC Championship Game. TCU will play either Kansas State or Texas for the Big 12 championship.

LSU also has to take on Texas A&M on Saturday night.

USC also has to play the Pac-12 Championship Game against an opponent to-be-determined.

Based on the number of things that need to break right, it seems like a long shot that Ohio State will be a top-four team when the final rankings come out on Dec. 4. But there is at least a chance that it could happen.