Ohio State fans aren’t going to be too happy about this perspective.
If Oklahoma can avenge its only loss of the season by beating Texas in the Big 12 Championship game, they should earn a spot in the college football playoffs. Period. Forget style points if Ohio State blows out Northwestern. This comes down to two (well, technically three) games and Ohio State isn’t in any of them.
The second game that makes a difference is Alabama versus Georgia. Miracles can happen, but it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Alabama this year. Not Georgia. Not Oklahoma. Not Clemson or Notre Dame.
But this is college football. Anything can happen. If that “anything” turns out to be a Georgia win, then that’s the scenario where OU might actually get pushed out of the playoff hunt even if they win. Alabama would drop from their #1 spot to #4 and still go to the playoffs.
The third game that technically makes a difference is the ACC championship game. Clemson is heavily favored over Pitt, but here’s the thing. They were heavily favored two seasons ago when Pitt shocked Clemson at Death Valley 43-42. Again, anything can happen in college football.
A Pitt win or an OU loss coupled with an Alabama win may be the only scenarios that put Ohio State in the playoffs.
My not-so-bold prediction is that OU beats Texas, Alabama beats Georgia, Clemson beats Pitt, and Notre Dame eats pizza while watching others play championship games. OU moves up a spot from #5 and faces Alabama in the playoffs.