Reexamining Ohio State and the college football landscape after the Urban Meyer fallout
By now, unless you live under a rock, you are aware of the Urban Meyer scandal at Ohio State and the news that has rocked college football the last 24 hours.
There is still a ton of information to unpack on this situation and that will continue to come out over the coming days. But, what does this mean for the Buckeyes moving forward with just now weeks until the 2018 kickoff?
Urban Meyer was placed on administrative leave, and the athletic department put offensive coordinator Ryan Day in charge of the program and this will likely be a permanent move for 2018, as you shouldn't expect Meyer back at Ohio State.
So we went back and revisited the landscape of college football and our 2018 model without Urban Meyer.
As a reminder, all of our data is concrete and rock solid unless one of two things happen; that would be a serious issue like injury to a starting quarterback or coaching situation. This situation with Meyer forces us to revisit not only Ohio State and the Big Ten, but the national scene and how it will play out.
First off, with Meyer out, the Buckeyes lose about 30 points on our model and that is a huge hit for the second best head coach in college football. How big a hit is that? Well that moves the Buckeyes to the fifth best team in the Big 10 now, as they were number one.
That totally shifts the momentum to Penn State in our Big 10 power rankings and we had to go back and look at schedules.
With Meyer out that is a three game swing for the Buckeyes, going from potentially 12-0, to now 9-3, losing to Penn State, Michigan And Michigan State - and don't count out the neutral site game against TCU in early September.
This also elevates Penn State to 11-1, Michigan to 11-1 and Michigan State to 10-2 in our model, with Michigan now winning the Big 10 with a victory over Penn State, then Iowa in the Big 10 Championship Game.
What about nationally? We had the Buckeyes the number two team in the country in our initial power rankings. Now, they drop like a rock.
Clemson moves into the second slot, Georgia the third and Penn State the fourth. Ohio State now is rated our 17th best team on the initial power rankings.
When we look at the end of the year, where we had Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Washington in the College Football Playoff; and Alabama defeating the Buckeyes for the National Championship - that too has changed.
We now feel Michigan will move into that fourth spot in the playoff, by winning the Big Ten and edge out Georgia due to a tougher non conference schedule.
Miami, Iowa, Oklahoma and West Virginia could have a say, and Ohio State has enough talent to make a strong run. But - it would have to be a Lincoln Riley situation like last year that see's Day coach out of his mind and quarterback play would have to be tops in the country.
This situation rocked the college football world and now you will likely see something many don't want, but it's the nature of the beast.
We now change our projection to Alabama over Clemson in the National Title game.
Yes - Meyer's scandal now will give you Alabama - Clemson part four. Enjoy.