Dustin Fox played football for Ohio State. In fact, he helped win a national championship for Ohio State in 2002. He felt that the Buckeyes deserved to make the playoff this year based on resume, but he didn’t think the committee would agree. He thought the committee would go with Alabama.
He was right.
“My gut was right with what the committee thought about Alabama being one of the best four teams in the country,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan host said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I’m not surprised that Ohio State didn’t get in because they lost by 31 to an unranked Iowa team. You could make the argument that if you lose by 31 to an unranked opponent, you don’t even deserve to be in consideration. They fought their way back to win their final four games of the year.”
Ohio State ended the season with a 39-38 win over No. 9 Penn State, a 48-3 win over No. 16 Michigan State, and a 27-21 win over No. 6 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship – a game in which the Buckeyes never trailed.
“I think their resume was pretty impressive,” Fox said. “It was. Three wins against top-16 teams in the college football rankings – which is more than any win that Alabama has – and they won their conference and Alabama did not. They’re 11-1, they lose to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, and that was a game that, frankly, I thought Auburn dominated. But I can understand why they put them in, and the committee obviously loves the SEC.”
For the first time in the four-year history of the playoff, the committee selected two teams from the same conference. No. 3 Georgia (12-1) will face No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Rose Bowl, while No. 4 Alabama (11-1) will face No. 1 Clemson (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl.
“I just think what’s interesting is we’ve got two conference champions from Power Five schools, including USC, that played this past weekend. Alabama did not,” Fox said. “Alabama played an FCS school. Of course they took care of business on the rest of the games that they played this year, but it’s one of those deals where what I think the committee looked at was the eye test. They felt like Alabama, if they went head-to-head with Ohio State, they feel like they’re better than Ohio State.
“I think Ohio State deserved to get in based off their resume, but Alabama played who they played,” Fox continued. “They obviously had that one loss to Auburn at the end of the season, but they still get in because they’re Alabama and they’re really good. I’m not taking anything away from them. They’re awesome. I watched them a ton early in the season, and I thought they were the best team in the country by far nearly the entire season.”
No. 5 Ohio State (11-2) will play No. 8 USC (11-2) in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.