COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes are the Big Ten champions.
Okay, we’ve said that every year for the past three seasons now. The big emphasis on this year is clearly that the Buckeyes have now clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff, unlike the past two conference title seasons.
What Ryan Day has done in his first year not only as head coach of the Buckeyes but as a head coach in general has been nothing short of incredible, but that’s another story that I will write sometime between now and their CFP semifinal matchup.
The big story now is whether the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes will maintain their No. 1 ranking today on Selection Sunday or if they will fall to No. 2 behind the surging LSU Tigers.
We all know that LSU made an emphatic closing argument on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game as to why they should be No. 1, beating the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs, 37-10. Ohio State, however, has made three emphatic closing arguments in the past three weeks, beating No. 10 Penn State, No. 14 Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin by a combined 53 points in back-to-back-to-back weeks.
Both Ohio State and LSU have very comparable resumes. Ohio State has 5 wins against CFP Top 25 teams while LSU has 4 such wins, although all of them are against CFP Top 12 teams. Both Ohio State and LSU are undefeated and won their conference championships. But, if you’re looking for the most complete and dominant team all season long, look no further than the Ohio State Buckeyes.
While LSU has struggled against a few of their opponents by escaping by a touchdown or less, Ohio State has steamrolled every team that they’ve played this season by double digits. In their five games against CFP Top 20 teams, Ohio State outscored their opponents, 198-72. That’s an average scoring margin of 25.2 points per game against ranked opponents while LSU’s scoring margin vs. CFP Top 25 teams isn’t even half of that, only beating ranked opponents by an average of 12.25 points.
Even when you look at non-conference opponents when it comes to strength of resume, Ohio State played three games against teams that ended up playing in their conference championship game, two out of the three winning their conference (FAU and Miami). LSU’s best non-conference win is against a Texas team that, while many though was a good team at the time, ended up losing five games in the 2019 season. LSU also played an FCS opponent in one of their four non-conference games (Northwestern State) while Ohio State played all FBS teams. The Buckeyes also played a heavy schedule of nine conference games as opposed to LSU’s eight conference games.
There are many other factors you could look at to show why Ohio State deserves the No. 1 seed over LSU, from consistency to defensive efficiency to just top-to-bottom performance.
LSU seems like the emotional choice to be No. 1. Ohio State is the logical choice to be No. 1. We will find out soon enough who will receive that coveted No. 1 spot in the final College Football Playoff rankings.
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