Like many of you, I have yet to fully regain my voice after the historic Saturday that took place this weekend. That Team Up North gave Ohio State everything they had and more, and a field goal that was returned for a touchdown by Auburn’s Chris Davis will live on in Tiger and college football lore for decades to come.
As a result, Urban Meyer’s undefeated Buckeyes find themselves ranked second in the nation and are sniffing a BCS National Championship birth with a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game this Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, nothing is ever that simple in the BCS era – at least not for Ohio State.
Auburn’s last-second win over No.1 Alabama and the Buckeyes struggling in The Game has raised a ton of questions for Buckeye fans: should Ohio State be worried about Auburn jumping them next week? Should we be rooting for a big win over Sparty for style points? Does Missouri need to beat Auburn?
No one can answer these questions definitively, but I am here to tell Buckeye Nation to calm down.
The BCS is made up of three separate but equal (Law and Order?) polls: the Harris Poll, the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Computer Rankings. As it stands now, Ohio State is planted firmly at No. 2 in all three of the polls with Auburn at No. 3.
According to BCS guru Brad Edwards, if both Auburn and Ohio State win Saturday, the Computers will not change enough to push Auburn to No.2, saying, “I don’t believe Auburn will gain much more if any on Ohio State.” That leaves the human element to decide who should be at No. 2, and each would have to agree on Auburn.
The Coaches have historically favored unbeaten teams over any one-loss team, even if it does come from the mighty SEC. The Harris Poll will also be hard-pressed to drastically alter its vote after Championship Week.
Obviously, Ohio State has to beat Michigan State, and that should be enough. If the Buckeyes struggle and win ugly, Auburn may have a chance at overtaking the Buckeyes if they beat Missouri by three scores, but even then, the human element will come into effect and they will have to justify placing a one loss team over an unbeaten team.
The big question remains: If both Ohio State and Auburn win on Saturday, who goes to the National Championship? My answer is most likely the Buckeyes.
Photo: USA Today
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