Editor's note: This story was published Tuesday night, before it was reported the Big Ten is expected to change its minimum games requirement to allow Ohio State to play for the conference championship. It has been updated.
The College Football Playoff selection committee's top four has been the most confounding combination of boring and wildly uncertain, and it's all because of No. 4 Ohio State.
Once again, nothing changed in the committee's top six -- and yet it's all written in pencil as the Buckeyes' story continues to unfold by the hour, the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the sport and the conference championship games the weekend of Dec. 18-19 can rearrange it all.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the Big Ten is expected to change its minimum games requirement, paving the way for Ohio State to play Northwestern in the conference championship game. This comes on the heels of the Buckeyes' matchup with Michigan getting canceled. Indiana, which would have represented the East instead of the Buckeyes, announced on Wednesday evening that the team was pausing practices because of COVID-19 issues within the program. Purdue, which is supposed to play Indiana on Saturday, also paused team activities Tuesday as it waits on COVID-19 results.
Within a span of hours on Tuesday, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana all came to a screeching halt -- headlines that overshadowed Tuesday's rankings, the third of five from the committee. The rankings were mostly more of the same, though two-loss Iowa State jumped up to No. 7 ahead of undefeated No. 8 Cincinnati, making the Bearcats' long-shot playoff bid even longer. With Coastal Carolina ranked No. 13 following its win against BYU, the Chanticleers aren't even in New Year's Six Bowl range yet.
And so the spotlight remains on No. 4 Ohio State -- and the 13 people who are tasked with judging the Buckeyes.