THE Ohio State Buckeyes are two wins away from an undefeated season, and the sports world is barely talking about it. Since the Buckeyes aren’t bowl eligible, people are giving this team less respect than Houston received last year during their 10-0 start. Around the country, the Buckeyes aren’t even being given Boise State treatment, in which at least a minority were questioning if the Broncos were legitimate national championship contenders. Ohio State cannot go to a bowl game, cannot be ranked in the coaches’ poll, and cannot be ranked in the BCS. This leaves the final AP poll as this team’s second trophy to chase besides the Big Ten Leaders Division Title.
Not since 2004 has there been a split national title in college football, but the possibility is more real than ever.1 Alabama, Notre Dame, and Oregon all have tough tests remaining on their schedule in terms of rivalry or conference championship games, and is not to too farfetched to think each could fall by season’s end. ‘Bama will most likely face Georgia in the SEC championship, Notre Dame heads to Southern Cal the last week of the season, and Oregon will face undefeated, rival Oregon State and could possibly face the Trojans of USC in a Pac 12 title game. Kansas State should cruise through mediocre Big 12 teams and find itself undefeated heading into the bowl season. The opportunities for the top teams to lose are there, the Buckeyes may just need to turn into the Luckeyes.
The bowl season, a time where Ohio State will be idle and all the other top teams will be in action. A prime opportunity for each of the four teams ahead of Ohio State in the AP poll to lose.2 Ideally, for Buckeyes fans, the season ends with a one loss team winning the BCS title game and all hell breaking loose.3 This would be the Buckeyes only shot at a split national title. While Ohio State may need a lot of help to get to the top of the polls, let us remember the last weekends of the 2007 season when OSU jumped from 5th to 1st in the polls in just two weeks.
Regardless of whether or not this season ends in championships, the truth of the matter is the Scarlet and Gray is only two wins away from a perfect season. Perfection is what we’re all taught to strive for, but at the same time we’re taught that perfection is impossible. My good friend Julius Campbell says it best in Remember the Titans.
“Now, I ain’t saying that I’m perfect, ’cause I’m not. And I ain’t gonna never be. None of us are. But we have won every single game we have played till now. So this team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight. And, uh, if it’s all the same to you, Coach Boone, that’s how we want to leave it.”
Despite all the outside distractions, sanctions, and critics the Buckeyes have faced, this team can still be perfect.
There’s been some less than perfect moments throughout the year. The comeback against Purdue, close calls against Indiana, Sparty and Cal, but the bottom line is that this team 10-0.
10 wins, 0 losses, and 2 games remaining. A trip to Camp Randal Stadium in Madison, and a visit from the Wolverines are all that stands in the way of perfection. No matter the year, winning either of those games is never an easy task. However, Ohio State is sure to be favored in both games with Wisconsin and Michigan fielding average football teams.
Just those two wins can take Kenny Guiton from being Joe Bauserman to being Craig Krenzel. Two wins and Braxton Miller will be 12-0, a feat not achieved since Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. Two wins and Urban Meyer becomes the most famous man in Ohio.4
Just two wins against traditional rivals, several losses from the best teams in America, and changing the minds of college football writers stand in the way of a Buckeyes’ national title. It’s not likely, but if it all worked out, wouldn’t that be just…well…perfect?
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)