Where would the Ohio State Buckeyes sit if they were bowl eligible?
Just about everything has gone right in 2012 for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Urban Meyer has seemed to implement his spread offense to perfection in his first year as the team’s head coach. And perfection is currently the best word to describe the team as they hold an undefeated 10-0 record. Quarterback Braxton Miller’s strong campaign should certainly earn him some Heisman consideration. With the Big 10 having such a down year, the Buckeyes are often a forgotten bright spot.
The Buckeyes, however, are not bowl eligible thanks to sanctions handed down by the NCAA to the school over the summer. Which may actually be a good thing for BCS supporters, as another undefeated team would certainly make an already unclear situation a little more muddy. Would the Buckeyes be placed into a top four scenario with the Kansas State Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish? Or would they sit behind the Alabama Crimson Tide and several other strong one loss teams.
Well, currently the AP poll sees them slotted in sixth position, just behind the Georgia Bulldogs and one spot ahead of the Florida Gators. Both the Bulldogs and Gators are 9-1, as is Alabama who sits in fourth.
While polls and rankings can often lead to a lot of mistakes and decisions that will leave you scratching your head, sixth spot actually seems about right for the Buckeyes in the grand scheme of things. Although undefeated, their conference has had an exceptionally rough year and they have yet to really beat anyone of consequence. They have only defeated two ranked teams all season, the Michigan State Spartans and Nebraska Cornhuskers, and both were barely in the top 25 when they played them.
Hurting the Buckeyes is the fact that they didn’t play the upstart Northwestern Wildcats, who have had a fairly strong season to date. A win against the Penn State Nittany Lions should have also been a bigger deal, but heavy sanctions have left most of the country feeling there is something lacking with Penn State this year. Even though the way the Big 10 is playing this season indicates they are probably one of the better teams in the conference right now. Ultimately the Buckeyes just haven’t had as tough a schedule as the other top five teams.
Ohio State closes with the Wisconsin Badgers and a grudge match with their rival the Michigan Wolverines. If they can win out, then it just gives more evidence as to why a playoff system will be a welcomed sight to many college programs. Looking at the entire top ten for 2012, expanding it to include more teams asap, would really make a lot of sense.
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