They're also seeking a second appearance in the four-year history of the College Football Playoff. ACC champion Clemson will keep its No. 1 ranking and play in the Sugar Bowl, while Big 12 victor Oklahoma and SEC champ Georgia likely will be ranked second and third and play each other in the Rose Bowl.
No. 4 Wisconsin had its playoff aspirations nearly assuredly extinguished after its 13-game winning streak ended in front of a packed house at Lucas Oil Stadium. That drew howls from those favoring conference champions being rewarded. The only question now is the seeding - and whether Oklahoma has a legitimate case for No. 1. Presumably, the playoff will include ACC champion Clemson, SEC champion Georgia and Big 12 champion Oklahoma. Georgia is still looking for that first national championship since 1980, and if it can win the semifinal the Bulldogs will be back in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The win, which was buoyed by a slew of explosive plays from the Buckeyes' speedy skill position players, figures to incite tremendous debate among the College Football Playoff selection committee in advance of Sunday's final rankings reveal.
Surprisingly to many, it was the Crimson Tide that got the final spot over Ohio State. If reason were to follow, the Buckeyes win in the conference title game would have created the separation necessary to get them in.
We're sticking with what we said earlier in the week.
It goes without saying that Delany is someone who has a lot of clout in the overarching process of all this - though, clearly, he did not have enough to ultimately get Ohio State in over Alabama. Also the wins we had, the big-time wins and all the other stuff they consider.
"We deserve a shot", Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told reporters after the game of his team's Playoff likelihood. While the Badgers enter the weekend having lost four of five, Ohio State has fallen in three of its last four since winning its first four games under new coach Chris Holtmann.
The Trojans probably deserve more consideration given how they finished, but the lack of a resume-building win outside of Stanford coupled with that ill-fated loss to Washington State on September 29 won't be enough to forgive another loss to Notre Dame. The Big Ten rushing champion has been sensational all season and put himself into Heisman Trophy contention by giving the Badgers a different look.
It's quite a fall for the Tigers, and they'll probably be ranked higher in the final rankings. The Big Ten has a zillion living alumni, and now three of the four teams in the playoffs are located in the southeast, a lack of geographic diversity that is bad for television ratings.
Van Ginkel came up with another huge play when he ripped the ball away from running back Mike Weber and recovered it on the Ohio State 11, but the Badgers still had to settle for a 28-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 21-10.
Why we lost to Manchester United - Wenger
Regardless of that result, United will remain in the title hunt when their hated neighbours arrive at Old Trafford next weekend. And I believe that at the back we did not start well, at all.
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