Ohio State still 4th in CFP rankings after cancellation

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Ken Ruinard

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, left, pats Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) on the shoulder following their win over Pittsburgh in an NCAA college football game in Clemson, S.C., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP, Pool)

Ohio State held on to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night after having its previous game canceled, landing behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson for a second straight week.

The selection committee's top seven teams were unchanged from last week's rankings after the playoff contenders either won comfortably or didn't play because of COVID-19 issues.

Texas A&M (6-1) was in fifth and Florida (7-1) sixth.

Ohio State (4-0) had to cancel its game at Illinois last week because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the program. It was the second game of the season the Buckeyes have missed out on. One more cancellation would leave them ineligible for the Big Ten championship game and unable to play more than six regular-season games.

No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0) also had its last game canceled. The Bearcats are next scheduled to play Dec. 12 at Tulsa.

The College Football Playoff has set no minimum number of games played to be eligible for the playoff. It's just going to be up to the selection committee to figure out how many is too few.

“There is a discrepancy sometimes between a team that plays eight or nine games and a team that’s played three or four games and frankly that’s a problem (in ranking teams),” said selection committee chairman Gary Barta, who is Iowa's athletic director.

Barta said the committee discussed ranking Texas A&M ahead of Ohio State, but for now the Buckeyes and their potent offense led by quarterback Justin Fields are holding down the final playoff spot.