Top 25 playoff teams: Ohio State
There's lots of talent on both sides of the ball, but line play will be critical
From May 27 to July 3, Insider's college football experts will preview the season for the 25 teams with the best chance to make the inaugural College Football Playoff, based on Brian Fremeau's post-spring projections. This is the entry for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
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Projected finish: 10-2 (6-2 Big Ten)
Chance to make playoff: 29 percent
Chance to win Big Ten: 30 percent
Toughest games: Oct. 25 at Penn State (70 percent), Nov. 8 at Michigan State (45 percent), Nov. 29 vs. Michigan (74 percent)
Why they'll make the playoff
1. An elite head coach
Before you can think about winning the College Football Playoff, you must first reach the College Football Playoff, which means successfully navigating the regular season. Few current FBS coaches, if any, have a better track record at doing this than Urban Meyer.
In his past nine seasons, Meyer has twice finished the regular season unbeaten (2004 Utah and 2012 Ohio State), two other times reached the conference championship game unscathed (2009 Florida and 2013 Ohio State), and twice won the conference title with a single loss (2006 and 2009 Florida). That's a pretty good success rate of putting your team in position to finish in the top four, which is the new target range for teams hoping to compete for the national title.
2. A difference-maker at QB
To see more of Brad Edwards' preview of Ohio State's playoff chances, and to gain access to all of Insider's college football content, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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The Sooners remain No. 1 in the Playoff Forecast, but Auburn and Notre Dame are on the rise.