Ohio State’s chances to get back to the college football playoff got a boost this week with the news that more Buckeyes than expected will be back in Columbus next season.
The Sporting News declared them among the teams to come out best when all was said and done and decisions had been announced:
The Buckeyes traditionally take heavy losses to the NFL Draft each year, and cornerback Denzel Ward, defensive end Sam Hubbard and linebacker Jerome Baker were expected departures. Ohio State, however, kept receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin and defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. That’s a better outcome than expected in Columbus, and whoever takes over at quarterback will be a lot more comfortable with that.
The bad news, though?
Clemson (fresh off stealing Fairfield offensive tackle Jackson Carman, the No. 1 prospect in Ohio) is an even bigger winner as an even larger number of Tigers unexpectedly announced they are staying in school.
Could we have a third postseason matchup of the decade in the works?
Way too early to tell, but there is no doubt these schools now operate in the same orbit.
Both teams are back to chasing Alabama, which saw its usual array of early departures but welcomes back several youngsters who starred in the Crimson Tide’s national championship game victory over Georgia (after Alabama ran over Clemson in the semifinals).