Ohio State may feel lucky to have made the College Football Playoff after suffering a loss to Michigan in the regular-season finale for both teams, but if things shake out correctly, the Buckeyes may get an attempt to avenge that loss before this season concludes.
Of course, that assumes that No. 2 Michigan takes down No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, while Ohio State – which enters the College Football Playoff at No. 4 – will have the difficult task of knocking off the defending national champions in No. 1 Georgia on Dec. 31 in Atlanta.
But, as those games approach, it’s hard not to consider what a potential national championship game at SoFi Stadium on Jan. 9, 2023, in Los Angeles, Calif., might look like between No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State.
“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, but that would be unbelievable, right?” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Sunday. “That would be historic to have that kind of opportunity. To say we haven’t thought about that, of course we have. Everybody has thought about that.”
As much fun as it might be to consider the matchup, Ohio State still enters the semifinals as an underdog to the Bulldogs, who will carry a 13-0 record into what is essentially a home game for Georgia.
The Bulldogs have not lost since last year’s SEC Championship Game – a defeat to Alabama, which Georgia avenged in the title game – and have been ranked atop the AP Top 25 dating back to the final poll of last season.
“It’s going to be a great matchup,” Day said. “I’ve got so much respect for what they do in all three phases. So coaches, players, staff members – we’ve just got to do everything we can to maximize this month and get ready to play a really hard fought game on (Dec.) 31.”
But over this next month as Ohio State and Georgia prepare for the semifinal to see who will face either Michigan or TCU, Day said the Buckeyes are going to focus on the matchup in front of them.
“That’s where our focus is going,” he said. “How we got here, at this point, I guess, doesn’t really matter. Now that we’re here, it’s time to go play.”