A September home loss has knocked Ohio State down, but the Buckeyes are anything but out of the College Football Playoff picture.
Ohio State’s comeback bid fell short in Saturday’s 35-28 loss to Oregon. The Buckeyes (1-1) fell to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 poll while the Ducks (2-0) vaulted eight spots to No. 4.
There remains plenty of time for the Buckeyes to climb back into the CFP picture, and their schedule is highly favorable to do so.
Ohio State’s next two opponents, Tulsa and Akron, are a combined 0-4. The Buckeyes then enter their Big Ten slate, but they don’t play another team currently ranked until hosting current No. 10 Penn State on Oct. 30.
The only other ranked team on Ohio State’s schedule ahead of a potential spot in the Big Ten championship game is the regular-season finale at Michigan. The Wolverines creeped into the polls at No. 25 following Saturday’s victory over Washington (0-2).
Winning out would give the Buckeyes a strong chance to return to the CFP, and oddsmakers believe that is likely to happen.
Ohio State’s title odds lengthened to +900 at DraftKings following the loss, but the Buckeyes remain the fifth betting favorite behind Alabama (+180), Georgia (+330), Oklahoma (+750) and Clemson (+800), which also has one loss. Ohio State is also fifth at BetMGM, where the Buckeyes are being offered at +800 behind Alabama (+220), Georgia (+375), Clemson (+700) and Oklahoma (+750).
After the Buckeyes lost to Alabama in January’s title game, Ohio State was installed with the third-shortest odds at both books at +400 at DraftKings and +500 at BetMGM to win this season’s CFP.
Oregon is now sixth at both books, offered at +2500 by DraftKings and +3000 by BetMGM.
Meanwhile, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud continued to build his Heisman Trophy resume despite the loss. He is the fourth betting favorite at both books (+1000 at DraftKings and +1100 at BetMGM) after passing for 484 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon.
He did throw an interception with 2:50 remaining that all but sealed Oregon’s victory. Stroud was still named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week and has thrown for 778 yards and seven touchdowns through his first two games.
“It starts on my behalf to lead the team as the quarterback,” he said after Saturday’s loss, per the Columbus Dispatch. “I definitely will do my part to get us back to where we need to be.”
–Field Level Media