BCS: OSU in position for BCS title game
December, 1, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The faith never wavered within the locker room that the help Ohio State needed would eventually arrive, and the Buckeyes certainly celebrated when it did.
But after spending about 15 minutes partying on the team buses on Saturday, coach Urban Meyer dramatically cut down on the amount of time spent addressing things outside of his control one day later.
The team met on Sunday afternoon, just five hours before it would officially move up to No. 2 in the BCS standings and into position to play new No. 1 Florida State for the national title. But Meyer had barely any plans to talk about that possibility, instead focusing all of his energy on surging Michigan State, which climbed up to No. 10 on Sunday evening to set the table for a marquee showdown in the Big Ten title game this weekend in Indianapolis.
“We’ll spend about six or eight seconds on that,” Meyer said. “There will be no conversation about it, no social networking about it. Our focus is on this game and that’s it.
“It would be a disservice to our players if I went and worried about it, and I’m certainly not.”
The Buckeyes may not be worrying about the polls or computer formulas, but that won’t stop the speculation about their case for playing for the national title despite finishing off a perfect regular season with a thrilling 42-41 win over rival Michigan.
Still on the highway on the way back home, the Buckeyes watched on televisions in their caravan as Auburn pulled off a miracle to upset previously top-ranked Alabama, rocking the buses when the score went final to put them in position to play for the crystal football. But even before they arrived back at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the comparisons of Ohio State’s resume to Auburn’s had already started.
There still remains a .027-point margin between the teams heading into the respective conference title games on Saturday, with Ohio State holding an edge over Auburn in both human polls and in the average computer rankings. On top of that, a one-loss team has never jumped an undefeated squad from a major conference in the history of the BCS, and another win would figure to be enough to keep the Buckeyes in the title game.
Michigan State isn’t in the mix to play for a national crown, but it solidified its candidacy as an at-large BCS selection with another dominant defensive performance in a 14-3 win over Minnesota. Of course, it can also punch a ticket to the Rose Bowl by knocking off the Buckeyes, though the Big Ten would still be in good shape to earn two spots in the BCS lineup despite Wisconsin losing to Penn State and falling to No. 21.
But before either Michigan State or Ohio State can think about where it’s headed for bowl season, there’s still some pretty significant business to take care of in Indianapolis. And clearly for Meyer, that’s the only thing he wants to talk about even after finally climbing into position to play for something bigger.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35