Purdue demolishes Ohio State, knocks Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff race

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Purdue demolishes Ohio State, knocks Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff race

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Purdue demolishes Ohio State, knocks Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff race


Terry Johnson reviews Ohio State’s painful loss to Purdue and explains why it knocks the Buckyes out of the College Football Playoff race.


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Purdue annihilated Ohio State 49-20. This painful loss not only ended the Buckeyes’ perfect record, it knocked them out of the College Football Playoff.

Yes, I am serious. And, don’t call me Shirley.

Let’s be honest: Saturday evening’s blowout loss will sting for the rest of the season. While many college football experts – including our staff – expected a tight contest, no one thought that Purdue would turn the game into a laugher.

Actually, “laugher” might not be the best word describe it. I’ll let Jim Mora explain how many fans felt on Saturday evening.

All kidding aside, the Buckeyes were never in this contest. After Purdue grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Ohio State couldn’t push it in the end zone on first-and-goal from the Boilermaker 7. Two series later, the Buckeyes had first-and-10 at the Purdue 16, but had to settle for a field goal attempt. Blake Haubell missed from 33 yards out.

That miss turned the tide in this contest. Purdue immediately marched 80 yards down the field to take a double-digit lead at the half. While Ohio State would cut the lead to 14-6 early in the third quarter, the Boilermakers responded with a 73-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 15. Purdue landed the proverbial knockout blow on the following drive, stopping Ohio State on fourth-and-goal from the Boilers’ two-yard line.

Things would only get worse from there. Purdue scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a rout.

With the loss, Ohio State is effectively eliminated from the College Football Playoff. Sure, the Buckeyes can still win the division title, as well as the Big Ten championship, if they were to win out. But, that looks like a Korey Stringer-sized if at this point. After all, the offensive line is struggling, the running game is non-existent, and the defense hasn’t stopped anyone other than Rutgers and Tulane. That doesn’t give me a great deal of confidence heading into contests against Michigan State, Maryland, or TTUN.

Nor does it lead me to believe Ohio State would beat Purdue in a potential rematch in the Big Ten title game.

However, for argument sake, let’s say the Buckeyes do win out. Even with a conference title, the Selection Committee won’t put Ohio State in the field. And, why should it? Ohio State only has one win against a ranked opponent and could possibly finish out the year with two. While the Big Ten is certainly one of the best conferences in the land, the fact remains that the league doesn’t have a marquee non-conference win aside from Maryland’s victory over Texas.

In other words: the Buckeyes won’t be able to argue that they belong in the College Football Playoff because they went 12-1 against a tough schedule.

Why do I bring that up? Simple: OSU won’t get the benefit of a “do over” like Georgia did last year. Even if the Buckeyes beat Purdue in the Big Ten title game convincingly, the Selection Committee will punish OSU for losing by 29 on the road. Whether we like it or not (and trust me, I don’t!), not all road losses are the same in the eyes of the committee.

That, my friends, is why the lopsided defeat to Purdue knocks OSU out of the national championship picture. Barring mass chaos over the last few weeks of the season (e.g. 2007), the Buckeyes have no shot at the title. The strength of schedule just isn’t there.

I don’t know what bothers me more: the loss itself or that it relegates Ohio State to spoiler status.

 

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