Initial thoughts on Ohio State getting the final spot into the College Football Playoff


It was a great Sunday for the Buckeyes, as the College Football Playoff committee selected Ohio State as the fourth seed and a match with the top overall seed in Georgia. It will be a very interesting game for a multitude of reasons.

Ryan Day and his football team were extremely excited, which isn't surprising in the least, especially after losing to their rivals at home during the last weekend of the regular season. There have been a good amount of thoughts that have crossed my mind since the committee selected the Buckeyes. Here are the ones that have stood out as we will undoubtably analyze this game plenty before it's actually played on New Year's Eve.

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First off, thank you USC and TCU

Really, we appreciate you both choking when it could have been really easy for the Buckeyes to get shut out of the CFP. I can't remember being any happier than I was on Friday night after USC dropped their second game of the season to Utah. The aftermath opened the door for the Bucks and it was more than welcome in Columbus and around Buckeye nation. We should also send a thanks to last years Rose Bowl opponent Utah and their coach Kyle Wittingham. Thanks Utes!

Anything that bothers Jim Harbaugh is a win

When asked about potentially playing the Buckeyes again, Harbaugh dodged the question, saying his "thought was on the ballgame (conference championship)." He didn't want to talk about it and I believe that after their win two weeks ago, that Ohio State was knocked out of the race. Well, that wasn't the case and now there is a potential for the two teams to play with a title on the line, in a neutral stadium.

The Big Ten now knows how the SEC feels

For the first time in College Football Playoff history, another conference aside from the SEC has two teams playing for a championship. The Big Ten now has an argument for the best conference in the country. It doesn't mean that the conference will win a title, but what it does mean is that the committee finally is recognizing that football is played at a high level in other conferences aside from the SEC.

Georgia is TTUN, but with better players

Speaking of the SEC, the Buckeyes opponent is build like TTUN, but with much better athletes. The recruting rankings between the two schools speak for themselves. Their playing styles are extremely similar, with elite defenses and an offense that relies on a ground game and passing to their tight ends. There is no doubt in my mind that Kirby Smart is studying what our rivals did well against us. Ryan Day has to know this and prepare the team to see similar looks.

The team has a chance for redemption

This isn't how any of us envisioned the Bucks getting into the CFP, but that doesn't matter anymore, they are in. I have said that the biggest difference between Urban Meyer and Day is that Urban's team had an edge. They played like they were disrespected. Well, this team has been disrespect and that edge is there. The question is will they use that as motivation or is this who this team is. I'd love to believe that this team isn't that, but we need to see it and this Buckeye team will have the opportunity to do just that.

The health of this team should make them drastically better

There was a laundry list of players who were injured at the end of year, some tried to tough it out, others weren't able to go. There are some interesting developments for the Bucks, does Jaxon Smith-Njigba recover from his hamstring injury to be the receiver he was last year or does he call it and get prepared for the NFL Draft? How about the running back room that has been dinged up all year? Will either of the two best backs TreVeyon Henderson or Miyan Williams have health on their side. Defensively, tackle Mike Hall was on a snap count for the majority of the second half of the season. This time off will help him heal as well. There is no other team in the final four that will have impact players like that return to their teams. This could be a huge turning point for Ohio State.

There is time to self-scout and fix issues

Post-bye week, this team looked nothing like they did before. The toughest games of the year happened and the performances in them weren't stellar. Penn State should not have been as close as it was, same goes for Northwestern and Maryland. Blowout wins against Iowa and Indiana were nice but expected. It was clear the last game of the year wasn't a great game for this team. Over the next three-plus weeks the work needs to be put in. Day needs to figure out why these issues happened and fix them. The scouting of tendencies for themselves and Georgia need to be the best efforts of the players and staff. Now is time to earn that title.

The ultimate goal is still within reach

The season has been broken into four separate parts, win all games before the last game of the regular season. Win The Game. Win the conference. Win the College Football Playoff. Yes, two of those aren't attainable but the ultimate goal is, winning the CFP. This team is going to have to take the most difficult route to do so, having to knock out the defending champs in Georgia with a potential matchup against their rivals for a title. It obviously isn't how we would like the Buckeyes to win a championship, but regardless, the opportunity is still there for them to win.

Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire


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