The Ohio State Buckeyes have yet to lose in 2013 but some open minded fans recognize this is not the best team Urban Meyer has had. In fact, this probably isn’t one of the best five teams Urban Meyer has coached over the course of his career. The cupboard was quite bare when he entered Columbus, Ohio last year. He has done an amazing coaching job to remain undefeated but the level of competition is nothing compared to that of top notch SEC teams. If Ohio State can run the table and win the B1G Championship against Michigan State they will have a shot at the BCS National Championship game. Unfortunately, most analysts agree that game would not be to the liking of Ohio State fans.
Can Ohio State Compete with Alabama?
If the national championship game were to be played next week the Alabama Crimson Tide would be two touchdown favorites versus Ohio State; maybe more. Experts recognize Ohio State does not have the depth nor speed to compete with the best teams in the SEC right now. Some would argue that Ohio State would have multiple losses if they played in the SEC. We will never know if this would be the case but we can make deductions based on what our eyes tell us. Any objective college football fan can clearly see that Ohio State is good but not nearly good enough to compete with Alabama at this point.
One any given day a college football team has the “chance” to beat another team. When looking back on the 2002 national championship game between Miami and Ohio State there is no argument to be made Miami was the better team over the course of the regular season. On that particular night Ohio State happened to be the better team. If they played 10 times Miami would have won eight games. I am not discounting the Ohio State national championship as I have no dog in the fight. I could care less who wins the national championship as I simply love great college football. Any fan that has watched more than two games can see that Alabama is far superior to Ohio State at the moment.
The Lack of Power in the B1G Conference
Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are the class of the B1G Conference. I honestly believe the championship game between Michigan State and Ohio State is going to be a great game. In fact, I would give the edge to Michigan State right now just because their defense is so strong. They lead the nation in many defensive categories and can shut down almost any offense in the country. If Michigan State can dictate the pace of play in the B1G Championship game I have little doubt the game will go into the 4th quarter as a one possession game.
For every Michigan State and Ohio State there is a Purdue and an Indiana. The bottom half of the B1G Conference is horrendous. Actually, horrendous probably isn’t strong enough of a word. These teams would get annihilated in almost any conference in the country. Heck, they would probably end up in the bottom half of the MAC. This is one of the reasons Ohio State continues to get shunned in the polls. Winning against Illinois, Indiana and Purdue means almost nothing. In fact, the win is going to come at a cost unless the final score is 63-0. I recognize there is nothing Ohio State can do about the lack of strength in the conference but the fans can accept the competition is nowhere close to that of the SEC or even the Big 12, Pac 12 or ACC at this point.
The B1G Conference is very strong at the top but as we have seen in past years they struggle mightily during the bowl season. The lack of competition during the regular season shows up when these teams have to play different offenses from teams in the southern part of the United States. If a statistical study were completed it would show that warm weather teams end up much higher in the rankings than cold weather teams. There are many reasons for this but one of the reasons is warm weather teams can play football much longer in the year when compared to cold weather teams. Florida State can practice outside until late November and early December. In Columbus, Ohio they have already moved their practices indoors or they are learning how to throw the ball in the snow.
Whether or not Ohio State can beat Alabama in 2013-14 may never be determine. What we know is the experts would make Alabama a two touchdown favorite versus the Buckeyes and that is all we really have to go with at the moment.
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