COLUMBUS – When the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season are announced at 7 o’clock tonight, Ohio State will appear somewhere in them, though not as high as was expected before its loss to Penn State.
But Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he’s not too interested in how Ohio State is ranked for now.
“I won’t look at it,” Meyer said about the rankings at his weekly press conference on Monday. “I’m sure some people will tell me about it, including my person of 27 years of marriage who will tell me about it when I get home.
“I mean, it’s not going to change the way we work. I’m sure we’ll be somewhere around there, but we’ve got to improve and play well Saturday against a very good (Nebraska) team,” he said.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett was as outwardly unconcerned about the playoff rankings as his head coach.
“I don’t care about it too much. There still is a lot of football to be played,” Barrett said.
“Last year we were in it and then there was a game in November (a loss to Michigan State) and then we weren’t in it. The year before that we weren’t in it and then we won a couple games and we were in it. We’re not playing the playoffs this Saturday,” he said.
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan said he was interested, but only in a general way.
“That should be a given at Ohio State, to always be in the conversation about the playoffs and the Big Ten championship,” McMillan said.
Weekly College Football Playoff rankings will be announced every Tuesday in November. The four teams chosen for the playoffs will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 4.
No. 6 Ohio State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) will play Big Ten West Division leader No. 9 Nebraska (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) at 8 p.m. Saturday in Ohio Stadium.
Coming off a 6-7 season, Nebraska was not highly regarded before the season began. And back then Saturday night’s match-up was not considered one of the marquee games on OSU’s schedule. But the Cornhuskers have exceeded most people’s expectations.
“These guys are really good. They’re a top ten team. They play like it. They look like it,” Meyer said.
Nebraska started the season with seven straight wins before losing 23-17 in overtime to Wisconsin last week.
At his press conference on Monday, Nebraska coach Mike Riley looked at this Saturday night’s game and said, “It will be a big chore for us. We have to play a whole, complete game.”
He said the story of the loss at Wisconsin from a Nebraska perspective was that it was a game of lost opportunities, which he described as “somewhat haunting.”
“It was set on a platter for us a couple times in regulation and overtime and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Riley said.
—TICKET PRICES: If the Ohio State Board of Trustees approves, single-game tickets for 2017 OSU home football games will cost between $65 and $190.
The “premium” game tag, with a cost of $190 per ticket, will be applied to the Oklahoma game and the Michigan State game.
Games against Maryland and Illinois will cost $80 each, the Army game will cost $70 and the cheapest game will be the UNLV game with price of $65.
—CAMPBELL UPDATE: Wide receiver and kick returner Parris Campbell is “questionable” for Saturday night, Meyer said.
He was injured in the second half of last Saturday’s 24-20 win over Northwestern and the diagnosis is that he has sprained ankle.
“It’s not bad, but he’s questionable this week. But it’s much better than we thought,” Meyer said.
—INDIANS FAN: Linebacker Chris Worley, a Cleveland Glenville graduate, says he has watched every Cleveland Indians game in the World Series.
In fact, he was watching Game 3 of the Series in his room last Friday night at the Blackwell Hotel, where Ohio State stays the night before home games, when Meyer came around to do a bed check.
“He was like, ‘Go to sleep,’ and I said, ‘I can’t go to sleep,’ ” Worley said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.