On Saturday afternoon, I wrote that the Ohio State Buckeyes needed a flashy blowout win over Penn State in order to become bigger players in the National Championship picture. As if they had read my article, they delivered in a big way.
What made it even more important that they get a blowout victory was the performances displayed by Alabama, Oregon and Florida State, the three teams ahead of them in the standings. All three teams blew out their respective opponents and scored at least 42 points. Oregon defeated UCLA 42-14, Alabama beat Tennessee 45-10, and FSU defeated NC State 49-17.
What made those games even more valuable, from a BCS standpoint, is the fact that they came against teams in their respective conferences. If you are able to blowout teams that are in your conference, you’ll look that much better in the computer, and all three teams did just that. The Buckeyes needed to follow suit if they wanted to boost their National Championship case.
The Buckeyes then delivered one of the most impressive performances of the day. They took a 42-7 lead into halftime and ended up winning 63-14 over their division rivals. Braxton Miller threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 68 yards and a pair of scores. Carlos Hyde rushed for 147 yards on just 16 carries, a 9.2 yards per carry average, and scored two touchdowns. Simply put, it was a domination.
Blowout wins, no matter who they come against, are important from a computer standpoint. Being able to dominate teams the way the Buckeyes did will go a long way in their National Championship hopes. While their strength of schedule is still considerably lower than that of Alabama, Florida State and Oregon, the only way to maximize the value of a weak schedule is with blowout wins like this.
There’s still a long way to go in this year’s college football season, and a lot can still happen. After the way that the Buckeyes took care of business in Columbus, OH, hopefully they impressed the computers and boosted their BCS National Championship game hopes.