A lot of ranking systems receiver a fair amount of criticism for odd selections throughout the season, but at least one correctly predicted the two teams that landed in the National Championship Game.

The ESPN SP+ Rankings, devised by Bill Connelly, was big on Ohio State all season long and was unbothered by the fact that the Buckeyes appeared in just six games. The SP+ had Ohio State ahead of Clemson the entire way, and that decision looks even better after the Buckeyes dismantled Dabo Swinney’s squad in the Sugar Bowl.

The only team ranked ahead of Ohio State was Alabama which is not surprising. However, the SP+ is predicting a closer game than the current spread in Vegas.

Here is what Connelly says the SP+ sees in the matchup:

Caesars by William Hill lists Alabama as an eight-point favorite over Ohio State in Jan. 11’s national title game. SP+, however, sees something a little closer. With bowl season in the books, it gives Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide a 4.3-point advantage over Ryan Day’s Buckeyes.

If the game comes down to a touchdown or less, one has to feel pretty good about Ohio State’s chances. With a tough defensive front and star quarterback Justin Fields under center, the Buckeyes could be well-equipped for another big upset.

Here is where B1G teams landed inside the top 25:

  • No. 2 – Ohio State
  • No. 10 – Iowa
  • No. 13 – Wisconsin
  • No. 17 – Penn State
  • No. 24 – Indiana