- KC Joyner, NFL Insider
Up until the 1965 season, the college football national champion was largely determined via the Associated Press and United Press International rankings that were tabulated at the end of the regular season. Back then, the bowl season was seen as an add-on to an already completed season rather than as a continuation of that season, and therefore it didn't factor into the national championship ranking.
If we used that method to determine the national champion today, the Ohio State Buckeyes would not have won that honor, but their No. 4 ranking in the latest AP Top 25 poll indicates they would have come close to it.
What has to be frustrating for Buckeyes fans is that even if they would not have won this regular-season honor, there is a strong case to be made that Ohio State should still be in the running for the season-ending AP national championship that will be decided after the bowl season concludes even though it is ineligible to play in a bowl.
There are a handful of smaller reasons the Buckeyes should get a little more respect, and one very big reason. Let's start with the smaller cases:
KC Joyner examines the Ohio State Buckeyes' season and whether they could have ended the season as a split national champion if they were eligible.