The Ohio State Buckeyes were sixth in the initial rankings for the 2018 College Football Playoff, which was announced by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Tuesday night.
The Georgia Bulldogs (No. 1), Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 2), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 3) and Clemson Tigers (No. 4) represented the top-four, with two more Big Ten Conference teams -- the Penn State Nittany Lions (No. 7) and Wisconsin Badgers (No. 9) -- also in the top 10.
The Buckeyes (7-1) were behind No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners, who went into Ohio Stadium in Columbus and defeated Ohio State, 31-16, in the second week of the regular season. However, since that loss to Oklahoma, the Buckeyes have rattled off six straight wins, including four in a row in the Big Ten.
Oklahoma lost to unranked Iowa State, 38-31, at home on October 7.
Since the loss to Oklahoma, the Buckeyes have averaged 50.8 points per game, including 39 in a come-from-behind win over Penn State at Ohio Stadium last Saturday night.
With the Buckeyes down by double-digits for much of the game, senior quarterback J.T. Barrett completed all 13 of his attempts in the fourth quarter with 38 and 10-yard touchdown passes to junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, as well as the game-winning 16-yard throw to senior tight end Marcus Baugh with 1:48 left in regulation.
The College Football Playoff semifinals will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on New Year’s Day. The winners of those contests will face off in the National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday, January 8, 2018.
The Buckeyes have participated in two of the previous three College Football Playoff tournaments, winning as the No. 4 seed in 2015 by upsetting the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide, 42-35, and then, crushing Oregon and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, 42-20, in the National Championship Game.
Last season, the Buckeyes were shut out, 31-0, in the semifinals by the eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers.