Desmond Howard doesn't get why Ohio State is ranked No. 2
INDIANAPOLIS — Desmond Howard has a bone to pick with the selection committee.
The ESPN College GameDay commentator isn’t sold on the College Football Playoff process and the subjectivity involved. He watched the ranking shows and he’s still waiting on selection committee chairman Kirby Hocutt to answer a question about Ohio State.
Howard doesn’t understand why the Buckeyes are considered a “solid No. 2.”
“No one has ever asked (Hocutt), ‘Why is that so? What did they do that was so impressive to you or the committee that they’re this solid No. 2?'” Howard said. “I’m not saying they’re not one of the best teams in the country and one of the best four because I think they are.
“But Alabama is a solid No. 1. They kicked the snot out of most people…how is (OSU) a solid No. 2? Outside of the Oklahoma game…that’s way back in September. At some point, you have to judge them by the rest of the damn season, too.”
Howard referenced the fact that OSU struggled against Northwestern, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. He also talked about how the Buckeyes, many felt, were outplayed by Michigan and barely won in double overtime.
All of those close calls, he said, should’ve prevented them from sitting in the driver’s seat for a College Football Playoff spot without a conference title.
“What game impressed you about (OSU)?” Howard said. “That’s what I what to want to ask Kirby Hocutt.”
Even though OSU has three wins vs. current top-10 teams — two of which came away from home — Howard said that Clemson was more deserving of the No. 2 spot.
Clemson, on the other hand, has zero wins vs. the current top-10. Alabama doesn’t have any, either. But Howard maintained that Clemson — based on how it played recently in wins vs. Wake Forest and South Carolina — showed him more lately than OSU.
Even without a conference title game to play in heading into this weekend, Howard said he felt OSU was safe for a spot in the final four. It has the No. 2 ranking to thank.
“Now you won’t move them from No. 2 to No. 5,” he said. “If you flip them with Clemson, and put them at No. 3, you kinda gotta move them from No. 3 to No. 5 if Washington wins the Pac-12 and Clemson wins the ACC and you want to put Penn State or Wisconsin in…but with (OSU) at No. 2, it’s practically impossible for things to go as scripted and to move them out of the No. 2 position.
“My thing is I just want to know what was so impressive about them that they’re a solid No. 2. People just assume, ‘Oh, that’s Ohio State. You’re No. 2. That’s cool.'”