What does FiveThirtyEight have Ohio State’s chances of making the College Football Playoff?

·3 min read

The Ohio State football team has begun to show signs of life after starting the 2021 season slowly. But, now that the coaching staff has a better idea of where some of the young talent should be plugged in on this team and the best scheme and style to make it all work together, we’ve seen the Buckeyes look more like the Buckeyes of recent years past.

So much so that after being a bit of an afterthought in the College Football Playoff race after the loss to Oregon, OSU is now back in the thick of things. But how much it is in the mix varies on who you’re talking to, or what you are reading.

If you’ve been around for a while, we’re sure you are aware of the folks at FiveThirtyEight, a website built on analytics and probabilities used to predict a wide array of things, including sports — most notably in our sweet spot — the College Football Playoff. ESPN likes to lean heavily on their model, and we even check in on it from time to time as well.

Now that we’re halfway through the season, it seems fitting to see what FiveThirtyEight has to say about the chances of Ohio State getting into the College Football Playoff. We know that OSU is ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, but what are its chances taking into account the remaining schedule and all the other teams that are out there when you take all the metrics upon metrics mix it up in a can and dump it out?

Well, according to FiveThirtyEight, Ohio State has the sixth-best chances in the country to make the College Football Playoff. OSU currently has a 27 percent chance of making the final four teams behind Georgia (72 percent), Oklahoma (48 percent), Alabama (40 percent), Iowa (38 percent), and Cincinnati (27 percent).

Now, while that doesn’t seem like great news, the model does allow for a couple of variables that you can check off. One of them is the possibility that the Buckeyes win out. In that case, Ohio State has a greater than 99 percent chance of making the CFP if it wins out according to whatever formula goes into how the sausage is made. That would most likely include a win over potentially Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game.

So, while FiveThirtyEight has OSU with just the sixth-best shot at making the playoff, the model clearly thinks it controls its own destiny.

These percentages and predictions will all change by week with new rankings and new results, so we’ll continue to check up on what’s going on over there. In the meantime, enjoy the bye-week and get ready for what we hope is one whale of a second half of the season.


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