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Crew fans get more on your favorite team
By Matt McCoy
The Buckeyes climbed into a tie with Georgia for the fifth spot in this week's Associated Press poll. Buckeye great Eddie George, now a college football analyst for Fox, was on the Dan Patrick Show on our sister station AM 1230, Fox Sports Radio. Most of the interview dealt with Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and the latest BCS rankings but near the end, Patrick asked George about his alma mater. Patrick asked the former Heisman winner where Ohio State would fit in the national title picture if they were still eligible.
"I wouldn't put them in the top five. I don't think their defense is good enough to compete with the elite teams," George said. "The Big Ten this year is not very good. Ohio State is the best team coming out of the Big Ten but I think next year is going to be their year. Braxton Miller is phenominal but they still need more playmakers, specifically on the outside at the receiver position to really compete on a consistant basis with the upper echelon teams. They're a very good football team coming out of the Big Ten but in the big picture, they're a top 10 team but I wouldn't put them in the top five."
Earlier in the interview, George was asked for his top five Heisman candidates. He included Braxton Miller in his list but his favorite right now is Colin Klein of Kansas State. His other finalists were Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, Oregon running back Kenjon Barner who George said "could surpass everybody" before all is said and done, and USC receiver Marqise Lee.
My AP Ballot
With Miller leading the way, the Buckeyes have become the only team in the nation to reach double figures in wins.
"I've been fortunate to have a couple top five teams and this (team) probably has more holes than those other ones, however there are also some great performances," Meyer said after the Buckeyes thumped Illinois 52-22 Saturday and now head into their bye week. "We are going to dwell on those weaknesses (during the bye) because those weaknesses get exposed when you play two good teams like we have to finish the season."
Ohio State, which shares the fifth spot in the AP poll with Georgia, closes out the year at Wisconsin on November 17 and home to Michigan on November 24.
"I feel that we're top five worthy," linebacker Ryan Shazier said. "And at the end of the year we trying to show everybody that we're top one...number one in the country...We're just going to show the world what we can really do."
But if the Buckeyes pull off the 12-0 season, finishing number one seems unlikely. Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame all remain unbeaten and are all solidly ahead of the Buckeyes. After surviving at LSU Saturday, Alabama has cleared it's largest hurdle to remain unbeaten. The other three have tough games left, but are they all going to lose?....and even if they all do drop a game, it's no guarantee that the Buckeyes will rise to the top.
Through no fault of their own, The Buckeyes just don't have a super high quality win. They have some nice victories like Nebraska, at Penn State and at Michigan State but the Big Ten is extremely weak. Adding wins at Wisconsin and Michigan would help, but a one loss Alabama or Oregon still might finish ahead of Ohio State.
No matter where they end up, the job done by Urban Meyer, the coaching staff and the players has been amazing. It's essentially the same group that went 6-7 last year. Meyer came in and challenged the team, brought competition into every drill and made players accountable. The team has responded in a big way.
I did think, going into the year, that the Buckeyes would have a chance to win every game, but I doubted they could do it. They still have two tough games left but the 12-0 goal is very much in reach.
If you've followed my AP ballot, I've kind of been in Eddie George's camp. The Buckeyes are a phenominal story and having a tremendous year, but I've had themn slightly lower than they are in the national poll.
I had Ohio State eighth last week, two lower than their actual rank, and moved them up one spot to number seven this week. The difference in my poll and the actual AP vote is I have both one-loss Georgia and Florida ahead of the Buckeyes based on concerns about the Buckeye defense and what I believe are higher quality wins for the Bulldogs and Gators in a much tougher league.
Here is my ballot this week, with each teams rank in the overall AP poll in parentheses.
1. Alabama 9-0 (1)
2. Oregon 9-0 (2)
3. Kansas State 9-0 (3)
4. Notre Dame 9-0 (4)
5. Georgia 8-1 (5 tie)
6. Florida 8-1 (7)
7. Ohio State 10-0 (5 tie)
8. Florida State 8-1 (8)
9. LSU 7-2 (9)
10. Clemson 8-1 (10)
11. Louisville 9-0 (11)
12. Oregon State 7-1 (13)
13. South Carolina 7-2 (12)
14. Stanford 7-2 (16)
15. Texas A&M 7-2 (15)
16. Oklahoma 6-2 (14)
17. UCLA 7-2 (17)
18. Nebraska 7-2 (18)
19. Louisiana Tech 8-1 (19 tie)
20. Texas 7-2 (19 tie)
21. USC 6-3 (21)
22. Mississippi State 7-2 (22)
23. Texas Tech 6-3 (25)
24. Michigan 6-3 (Not Ranked)
25. Kent State 8-1 (Not Ranked)
**AP poll has Toledo, 8-1, 23rd and Rutgers 7-1, 24th**