Ohio State Needs To Win With More Style
By Matt Natali
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State has yet to lose a football game under second-year head coach Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes boasted a Heisman Trophy favorite entering the 2013 and have passed their first two tests by an average of 27.5 points per game.
But the national pundits and pollsters are not buying into it yet. Starting the season ranked No. 2 in the country, Ohio State dropped to No. 3 in the Associated Press poll last week despite beating Buffalo in the season-opener and the Buckeyes took another step back in the AP’s eyes this week, dropping to No. 4 following a 42-7 win over San Diego State.
Ohio State (2-0) also dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 in the Coaches Poll this week.
In the swan song season of the BCS model to determine a national champion coupled with the perceivably weak schedule and the shortcomings of the Big Ten Conference from top to bottom, Ohio State not only needs to win games but needs to win with style.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is not shaken, though.
“I think in the end, everything’s going to work out. The best teams will be up there (in the national championship),” Meyer said in his weekly press conference Monday.
However, Oregon traveled across the country and throttled Virginia on the same day Ohio State cruised past an SDSU team that lost to FCS Eastern Illinois in the season opener. Oregon leap-frogged the Buckeyes in the rankings and Ohio State is not going to earn any glamour points from the voters or computers without putting up gaudy numbers against an average schedule (see the 2004 undefeated Auburn Tigers, left out of the national championship game).
Rooting For The Enemy
It also won’t hurt to get some help from No. 11 Michigan, No. 17 Northwestern and No. 20 Wisconsin early in the season. Each team is off to a good start and it will bolster Ohio State’s credibility if those teams remain ranked when the Buckeyes play them in the conference portion of the schedule.
Michigan had a nice win over No. 21 Notre Dame last week, Northwestern topped Cal on the road to open the season and Wisconsin has an important match-up on the road Saturday with Arizona State (received 64 votes for the Top 25 this week). Not to be overlooked, Illinois (9 votes) had a respectable win last week over Cincinnati and has an important match-up this week with No. 19 Washington.