College Football Playoff selection committee chair Gary Barta acknowledged Tuesday the Ohio State schedule dilemma but said the committee couldn't drop the No. 4 Buckeyes in the rankings.
"It was talked about a lot," Barta said in response to the Buckeyes' condensed schedule. "And, specifically, talked about in the room about whether or not Ohio State goes to No. 4 or if Texas A&M flips and goes to No. 4 and Ohio State goes to No. 5, a lot of discussion about that.
"At the end of the day, the offensive firepower of Ohio State - all of the weapons they have, the win over Indiana - and then we did have an extra game to evaluate in Texas A&M, they beat LSU 20-7."
The Buckeyes, who've played only four games all season, pulled out of action on Nov. 28 against Illinois because of COVID-19 concerns. Their placement in the top four generated controversy a week ago because of their shell of a schedule.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M has played seven games, winning six of them and losing only to No. 1 Alabama.
"At the end of the day, the committee just decided Ohio State was still a better team than Texas A&M," said Barta.
The Buckeyes are slated to return Saturday against Michigan State before closing the regular season versus Michigan. They would need to play both those contests to get to the six-game benchmark mandatory to qualify for the conference championship under Big Ten rules.