Fornelli 50 college football rankings: Ohio State has itself in a great position

In last week's edition of the Fornelli 50, I wrote that Ohio State being ranked ahead of a couple of undefeated teams despite its loss was a good sign for the Buckeyes, but I didn't do was go into detail as to why. Well, this week Ohio State becomes the first team in 2017 to be ranked in my top 10 with a loss, and that's an excellent omen for the Buckeyes.

You see, while this is only the second year I've been sharing my top 50 rankings here on CBS Sports, I've kept them on my own for the last nine years. That means I've done them throughout the College Football Playoff era, and there's a definite trend I've noticed over time. In the three years of the playoff era, there have been five teams that became the first one-loss team to be ranked in my top 10 during a given season. In 2014, it was Ohio State. In 2015, both Alabama and Oklahoma were ranked in the top 10 in the same week despite both having a loss. Last year, it was Ohio State and Louisville entering the top 10 in the same week.

Four of those five teams ended up in the College Football Playoff that season. The only one not to was Louisville last year, and as you can see, Ohio State has already done it twice.

I don't think this trend has anything to do with my ratings, but it's proof that losing earlier in the season is better than losing late. Still, it's an exciting trend, and one to be enthused about if you're a Buckeyes fan.

Before we get to the rest of this week's rankings, here's a reminder on how all of this works (full explanation here).

  1. My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings
  2. There is true equality to start as math doesn't play favorites
  3. Wins and losses mean more than anything
  4. The formula is in no way predictive, it's a meritocracy
  5. I won't share the formula, but it works
The Fornelli 50

No longer ranked: Minnesota (31), Kansas State (34), Ohio (37), Maryland (40), Nebraska (50)

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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