A convincing 52-22 win over Illinois has propelled Ohio State to a 10-0 record heading into its bye week.
The Buckeyes are in a position very few thought they would be before the season began. Even with Urban Meyer taking over, most figured it would take at least a year for Ohio State to be one of the top teams in the country.
But, even with a 10-0 record, the question remains, how good is this Ohio State team? So far this season, the Buckeyes have played only one team in the Top 25 of the BCS standings. That was a convincing 63-38 win over No. 20 Nebraska.
Other than that, Ohio State has only played two teams with a winning record: Central Florida and Penn State.
Four of the Buckeyes' wins have come by seven points or fewer, including one in overtime over Purdue.
Simply put, it is hard to tell just how good Ohio State really is. There is no question that the Buckeyes are one of the Top 20 teams in the country. They are probably the most talented team in a weak Big Ten, but are they as good as their record indicates?
What makes most experts waver on Ohio State is the fact that the defense is not what most are used to. The unit is average or slightly above statistically, but because it is not one of the best in the country like fans have grown accustomed to over the years, many tend to believe it is a bad defense. That is not necessarily the case.
The offense is better than it has been in quite some time, averaging around 40 points a game. The whole offensive dynamic has changed. Ohio State is passing the ball often and eating up big chunks of yardage, forcing the defense to be on the field much more than it is used to.
Is Ohio State one of the top five teams in the country?
That is part of the reason why the defense has given up so many points on a consistent basis, and part of the reason why Ohio State is the biggest mystery in the country.
After seeing a team for 10 games, it is usually not hard to get a feeling as to how good it really is, but for some reason with this Ohio State team, that isn't true.
With no bowl game or Big Ten championship for the Buckeyes due to NCAA sanctions, the last two games against Wisconsin and Michigan are the last chances to evaluate them.
Those are two of the top three teams on the Ohio State schedule, so it might take until the final game of the season to judge how good this team really is.
While we do not yet know if Ohio State is one of the top five teams in the country like its record indicates, we at least know why that question is still up for debate. The Buckeyes simply have not played anybody of note.
Over the next three weeks we may finally find out just how good this Ohio State team is. We will likely come to find out they are as good as their record indicates.