Ohio State comes in at #4 in the initial BCS rankings and the writing is on the wall. They are going to need a substantial amount of help in order to get into the National Championship. The Buckeyes are undefeated, but the remainder of their schedule only currently features one ranked team and that is Michigan in the regular season finale. They will also have the Big Ten Championship to play if that happens, but they are still not getting much help from the rest of the Big Ten and their out of conference schedule was unbelievably weak this year as they played Cal, Buffalo, San Diego State and Florida A&M.
The Buckeyes had a couple of nice wins against Wisconsin and Northwestern on national television, but there will be critics who hold the fact they did not blow those opponents out of the water against them. It is tough to operate in a framework that demands a team pummels its opponents into the ground as opposed to simply winning.
The Buckeyes are staring up at Alabama, Florida State and Oregon. If any two of those opponents go undefeated, Ohio State does not have a prayer to make the title game. And should Missouri go undefeated, they will certainly jump Ohio State in the rankings. The SEC and PAC-12 just offer significantly more competition at this point and that is a problem for the Buckeyes while Florida State has been overwhelming in their dominance this year in addition to the fact they played #3 ranked Clemson in Death Valley and pummeled them. They also could have another matchup with a top 10 ranked opponent in Miami(Fl) in two weeks.
The Buckeyes need teams to fall apart in front of them and it is not entirely clear if that would even be enough to get them into the championship. A 1-loss SEC or PAC-12 team could end up ahead of the Buckeyes such as Stanford if they can beat Oregon in a week and a half and win out the rest of their regular season.
The Ohio State faithful wish the College Football Playoff started a year early to give them the best chance for a shot at the National Title, but this is another year with the potential for more than three undefeated teams at the end with one of them on the outside looking in at the title game. If Ohio State is one of those teams, they are a virtual lock to be the team left out of the mix.