After watching Ohio State defeat Michigan in overtime and then taking care of its own business by beating Michigan State on Saturday to win the Big Ten eastern division and qualify for the conference championship, Penn State remained at seventh in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, which were released on Tuesday night.
The Nittany Lions were ranked seventh a week ago, after moving up from eighth the week before.
Here are the full College Football Playoff Rankings.
— CFBPlayoff (@CFBPlayoff) November 30, 2016
The lack of movement for Penn State in the rankings does not bode well for the Nittany Lions. PSU does play for the Big Ten Championship this Saturday night against Wisconsin, who is ranked sixth, which does help. Looking in front of Penn State, is Michigan and Ohio State, two Big Ten teams who aren’t playing for the conference championship, but are still ranked ahead of both schools that are.
Regardless of any outcome this weekend, the second ranked Buckeyes will make the playoffs. That win to Michigan proved to be huge in the eyes of the committee. That’s not anything someone will argue.
However, this is where it gets interesting. What needs to happen for Penn State to sneak into the top four? Does there need to be mayhem during the conference championship games this weekend? However, if there are upsets this weekend, does that not bode better for Michigan, even if Penn State wins the Big Ten Championship?
We cannot answer any of those questions or know for certain what the committee will do in any of those scenarios, however, it is certain, backed up by these rankings, that losing to Ohio State in overtime is still important in the eyes of the committee despite the two-loss resume that Michigan has, including a stumble to Iowa earlier this season.
Additionally, after the rankings were released on ESPN, the chairman of the committee appeared on the network and made a clear statement that PSU has an uphill battle to secure a playoff spot by Sunday night.
Committee Chair Kirby Hocutt on No. 7 PSU & No. 2 Ohio State: “They are not close in eyes of the Selection Committee” pic.twitter.com/Jq0sYsF5C4
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) November 30, 2016
#7 Penn State faces #6 Wisconsin on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 8pm.