No question, that 31-16 home loss to Oklahoma on Sept. 9 was messy. Even more unfathomable was getting blown out 55-24 at Iowa.

But that was then.

If the commitee really believes its mission is to put the nation’s four best teams in the playoff, Ohio State will be among them.

Put it this way: If you hooked up Dabo Swinney to a lie detector and said, “Who would you rather avoid—Alabama or Ohio State?’’—he would very quickly say, “the Buckeyes!’’

And now that J.T. Barrett has Ohio State’s offense hitting on all cylinders,  a rematch against Oklahoma would be a very different contest.

Despite its two losses, Ohio State has the best resume. It has beaten No. 9 Penn State and No. 16 Michigan State, plus a good win at 8-4 Michigan. The 27-21 win over No. 4 Wisconsin should put it in the playoff.

Alabama? It beat No. 17 LSU and No. 23 Mississippi State. Its third best win is over No. 25 Fresno State, which is likely to fall out of the rankings. Its 26-14 loss to Auburn, which just got drilled by Georgia, was not the stuff that playoff dreams are made of.

The Buckeyes also are a conference champion, which Alabama is not. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.