I hate Ohio State.
But they deserve to be in the BCS national championship game if they win the Big 10 Championship game against Michigan State on Saturday. I fought for them on Twitter after Auburn beat Alabama, when many said Auburn should jump Ohio State.
Not so fast.
Auburn is right where they belong, and it is painful for this Michigan fan (I did not attend the school because I did not want to pay student loans for the rest of my life) to feel this way. Thank goodness the BCS is going away.
#1. They are undefeated.
Herm Edwards said, “You play to win the game.” If the wins do not matter then why bother playing the games? If losses do not matter, why bother trying to recruit the best players and putting your absolute best effort on the field every game?
#2. Strength of schedule does not matter in this case.
That leads to SEC people claiming their conference is stronger. Yes, the SEC is an outstanding conference and has the powerful teams. However, Ohio State is still undefeated. On Wednesday, Charles Barkley, an Auburn alum, was on Mike & Mike In The Morning and was asked if Auburn should jump Ohio State. He never gave a direct answer, but he did say he hated the strength of schedule argument because it is not Ohio State’s fault the Big 10 is not good. That is when it really clicked for me. The Big 10 is one of the major conferences even if they are extremely weak. You also cannot compare an undefeated team to a one-loss team in another conference.
#3. Yes they would do well in the SEC
The Big 12 imploded a few years ago and many thought Missouri and Texas A&M would not fair well against the all-powerful SEC. They were quickly proven wrong and both teams are still on top. In fact, Auburn will play against Missouri in the SEC Championship game on Saturday. ESPN’s Mark Schlereth said when it comes to football he likes to rate teams with the eye test. Ohio State’s defense is iffy, but an eye test will tell anyone they have what it takes against the SEC.
They barely beat Michigan, but come on! Teams always play extremely well against their rivals. I started at Oklahoma State in 2000 and the Cowboys were not very good, but they always performed well against their rival– the University of Oklahoma. No matter how bad a team is they seem to show up and be a different team against their rivals.
Speaking of OU, remember USC and OU in 2004? Many people thought USC was overrated because the PAC-10 was weak and they could not wait for them to play against a “real” team in Oklahoma. They met in the BCS National Championship game at the Orange Bowl on January 4, 2005. The result? USC beat OU 55-19 and set three game records: Most points scored, passing touchdowns (Matt Leinart, 5) and receiving touchdowns (Steve Smith, 3).
This was the toughest article to write. All I can say is I am so glad the BCS will be gone, and I hope to never defend them again. But if Ohio State beats the Spartans and Florida State beats Duke, the national title game at the Rose Bowl should be between Ohio State and Florida State.