How The Proposed 12-Team College Football Playoff Would Impact Ohio State

The Buckeyes would have made the playoff every year since 2014 under the proposed format.
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Ohio State has appeared in the College Football Playoff four times since its inception in 2014, which is tied with Oklahoma for the third-most appearances of any school and trails only Alabama and Clemson with six appearances each.

But now that the format is on the verge of expanding from four to 12 teams, it’s easy to wonder if the Buckeyes will ever miss the playoffs again.

In fact, if the proposed format had been intact dating back the inaugural College Football Playoff, Ohio State would have been the only school to participate in every playoff thus far.

The brackets would have been as follows:


First-round byes: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Florida State and No. 4 Ohio State

First-round games: No. 20 Boise State at No. 5 Baylor, No. 11 Kansas State at No. 6 TCU, No. 10 Arizona at No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 9 Ole Miss at No. 8 Michigan State


First-round byes: No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 Oklahoma

First-round games: No. 18 Houston at No. 5 Iowa, No. 11 TCU at No. 6 Stanford, No. 10 North Carolina at No. 7 Ohio State and No. 9 Florida State at No. 8 Notre Dame


First-round byes: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Washington

First-round games: No. 15 Western Michigan at No. 5 Penn State, No. 11 Florida State at No. 6 Michigan, No. 10 Colorado at No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 9 USC at No. 8 Wisconsin


First-round byes: No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama

First-round games: No. 12 UCF at No. 5 Ohio State, No. 11 Washington at No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 10 Miami (Fla.) at No. 7 Auburn and No. 9 Penn State at No. 8 USC


First-round byes: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Oklahoma

First-round games: No. 12 Penn State at No. 5 Georgia, No. 11 LSU at No. 6 Ohio State, No. 10 Florida at No. 7 Michigan and No. 9 Washington at No. 8 UCF


First-round byes: No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma

First-round games: No. 17 Memphis at No. 5 Georgia, No. 11 Utah at No. 6 Oregon, No. 10 Penn State at No. 7 Baylor and No. 9 Florida at No. 8 Wisconsin


First-round byes: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Notre Dame

First-round games: No. 12 Coastal Carolina at No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 11 Indiana at No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 10 Iowa State at No. 7 Florida and No. 9 Georgia at No. 8 Cincinnati

It’s worth noting that Ole Miss, Arizona and Kansas State lost three regular-season games in 2014. The same goes for Wisconsin, USC, Colorado and Florida State in 2016; Auburn in 2017; Washington, Florida, LSU and Penn State in 2018; Wisconsin in 2019; and Iowa State in 2020.

Ohio State, meanwhile, has lost three or more regular season games just three times since former head coach Jim Tressel took over ahead of the 2001 season (four in 2001, four in 2004 and six in 2011).

Another notable part of the new format includes the first-round games being played on the home field of the higher-ranked teams. That means Ohio Stadium would have hosted playoff games in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

While not everyone is in favor of playoff expansion, there’s no arguing it would be cool to see a teams from south of the Mason-Dixon Line come to Columbus in mid-December.


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