I’m writing this post with the assumption Ohio State beats Michigan State, Auburn beats Missouri and Florida State shows up to play Duke.
We’re going to hear a lot of talk over the next few weeks about whether a one-loss Auburn team should jump over an undefeated Ohio State team. Since this is the last year before the end of the BCS system, if there isn’t going to be the “five teams undefeated at the end of the year” controversy, ESPN is going to have to manufacture another one to create page clicks. Though I don’t respect OSU’s record (or OSU in general for that matter), I don’t believe OSU needs to take a backseat to Auburn.
Ohio “We Love Cupcakes” State
Let’s talk about OSU for a second. When the season started, OSU had been ranked as the #2 team in the country after going 12-0 in the previous season. Instead of taking a look solely at last year’s record, I actually looked at the OSU’s schedule. As you can imagine, the Buckeyes’ schedule was toilet-tissue soft. OSU’s most impressive victory last year was a 63-38 shellacking of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. OSU beat MSU by one point, Michigan by seven points, needed overtime to beat Purdue and Wisconsin, and managed to beat UAB by an amazing margin of 14 points.
With that said, the Buckeyes still somehow managed to find themselves as the #2 team in the country. Voters, for whatever reason, liked OSU enough to put them there while being aware about the lack of challenge in the previous and upcoming schedule. More than anything I want OSU to play in the title game, if for no other reason as a personal finger to the people who put Ohio State in that position in the first place. If nobody wanted OSU to play in the title game, the team shouldn’t have been ranked as highly in the first place.
OSU can’t help it plays in a weak conference. But still, it’s the B1G Ten conference. A “power” conference as ESPN and others would tell it. Being that it’s an automatic-qualifying conference (AQ), that means the Buckeyes have to be given the same chances as other AQ conferences. I understand the trepidation about letting OSU in. If you want to look and see where the SEC dominance of BCS title games started, OSU will be found on the wrong side of history. Twice. OSU was badly outplayed in both games. (For even more SEC/OSU embarrassment, don’t forget OSU managed to lose to Florida twice that year. Once in the BCS and once in college hoops in the championship game.)