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Urban Meyer: CFB Playoff rankings motivated our players

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It would be typical of the four coaches involved in the first College Football Playoff to say the weekly rankings by the selection committee weren't something their team noticed. But that wasn't the case for Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

Unlike Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Oregon's Mark Helfrich and Alabama's Nick Saban, Meyer said Thursday during a news conference before the College Football Awards Show that he used the weekly release as "motivation for a young team. ... Our players were very well-aware." Meyer said he might have taken a different approach with a more mature team.

Meyer also joked that after Ohio State fell at home to Virginia Tech in the second week of the season, he was thinking "maybe next year" with respect to the playoff.

Saban said he, his staff and his players weren't overly concerned about the weekly rankings.

"We all realize it's not where you are right now, but where you end up," he said. "The challenge is to ... sell that and stay focused."

Saban called it "another distraction you have to overcome," while Helfrich compared it to the distraction that was created by the weekly BCS standings.

Saban also made a point about all the travel involved for the players' families and seemed to hint that the College Football Playoff folks could help out financially.

"I think for the travel that's involved with all the families, that maybe we should do something for the family so that they have an opportunity to get to the game so that they can see the players play," he said.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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