The Great Debate: Should Ohio State or Alabama Make the Playoff?

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS  The Ohio State Buckeyes have presented their case. Now, the Buckeyes wait for the 13-member jury that is the College Football Playoff selection committee to determine their fate.

And in the meantime, there will be arguments. Ohio State fans will passionately plead for their side. Alabama supporters will disagree.

“Conference championships should matter!”

“Well, it didn’t for you last year. That’s pretty convenient.”

Ohio State improved to 11-2 following its 27-21 victory over the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game. Urban Meyer immediately started the campaign for a trip to the playoff.

No two-loss team has ever reached the season-ending tournament, so the Buckeyes could be moments away from making history.

Or not.

Nick Saban and his Alabama squad watched the games from Tuscaloosa, yet the 11-1 Crimson Tide are an enormous threat to Ohio State’s championship dreams. Their only loss this season happened at Auburn, a top-10 team.

“The committee only cares about having their precious Tide involved.”

“I’m sorry, I must’ve missed the game they lost by 31 points.”

For Ohio State fans, the similarities between the 2016 Nittany Lions and 2017 Buckeyes should be cause for concern. While the paths do not perfectly parallel each other, Penn State lost to Michigan 49-10 last season, and Iowa smashed Ohio State 55-24 this year.

The beatdown at Kinnick Stadium could keep Ohio State out of the playoff.Matthew Holst/Getty Images

If history is any indication, the SEC powerhouse will return to the College Football Playoff instead of Ohio State.

“Yeah, but Ohio State beat Oklahoma last year. That’s why the Buckeyes were in. Alabama’s best win stinks!”

“You realize Florida State was a national championship favorite before the quarterback got hurt, right?”

“Oh, a 6-6 team? That Florida State team?”

The big question is how the panel views Alabama’s victory over Florida State. The Crimson Tide dominated that season-opening showdown, building a 24-7 lead before the injury to quarterback Deondre Francois that changed FSU’s season.

Without question, this conversation is pure guesswork by the committee. Would the ‘Noles have finished 9-3 or 10-2, giving Alabama a legitimate marquee win? Although we cannot know the answer, the panel operates with the ability to factor in injuries, much like when Clemson’s Kelly Bryant exited the…

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