COLUMBUS – Despite losing Heisman Trophy hopeful in Braxton Miller in a 42-7 blowout over the San Diego State Aztecs, the Ohio State Buckeyes may have won on the field, but lost off of it in the polls.
The Buckeyes (2-0) dropped to No.4 in the AP Poll and No.3 in the USA after initially being ranked second at the start of the season. While many can attribute this to Ohio State’s less than challenging schedule in playing unranked teams in Buffalo and San Diego State, but can one really justify the reasoning behind the Buckeye’s slide in the polls?
While the defending back-to-back national champion Alabama Crimson Tide holding firm atop both polls at No.1, Oregon would garner one vote in both the AP and USA Today polls at No.2 and Clemson would leapfrog the Buckeyes at No.3.
If you’re a Buckeyes fans wondering, how is this possible, look not further than the Tigers and Ducks schedules.
Oregon plays quality competition in the form of Tennessee, 19th ranked Washington, #16th ranked UCLA and the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal or the road. While some may scoff at the notion of the Ducks actually playing someone in such a wide-open conference as the Pac-12, Clemson, thanks to it’s 38-35 win over No.5 Georgia and games against top ranked teams such as Florida State and their freshman phenom quarterback Jameis Winston and Heisman contender Jadaevon Clowney and the 13th ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.
So is it a case of strength of schedule, or national and conference perception? For the Buckeyes, it could be a bit of both.
Thanks to the B1G 10’s lackluster flops in bowl games, Ohio State’s shaky resume of winning against quality competition, combined with the recent “Tattoogate” scandal, Ohio State is playing not only against the likes of Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan, but also against the perception of the B1G 10 as being slow, out-dated and sorry.
Sorry, Buckeye fans, but someone has to tell the truth, might as well be this writer.
While playing against the 20th ranked Badgers, 17th ranked Northwestern Wildcats—a dangerous sleeper if taken too lightly—and the 11th ranked Michigan Wolverines looks good in terms of padding it’s resume, the Buckeyes may have shot themselves in the proverbial foot in not scheduling games against top-ranked—or highly-rated teams early.
Couple that with the recent loss of Miller, and the Buckeyes have the potential to not only lose for the first time on Saturday evening against a heavy home underdog in Cal, but also witness a real drop in the polls, along with their already unfavorable perception as a legit BCS contender outside of Columbus.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] and follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber