We all know the Ohio State Buckeyes aren't eligible for postseason play, but we can still speculate on how they would do against the nation's best teams.
With two games left in the season, they are the only 10-0 team in the country, and only three of their opponents have stayed within one score of them. Some are even making the case that Braxton Miller deserves Heisman consideration.
If the Buckeyes could make a legitimate run at a BCS title, how good would their chances be?
Let's take a look at how the Buckeyes match up with the nations five other unbeaten teams.
No. 9 Louisville
The Cardinals are the least highly regarded of all the unbeaten teams. Though a team should never apologize for being undefeated, the Cardinals haven't beaten a ranked team all season. The only ranked team they have scheduled is No. 23 Rutgers in the season finale on November 29.
Despite relatively meager competition their defense allows 22.3 points per game. It makes you wonder how they would stand up against a team with as many weapons as the Buckeyes.
This would be a great matchup of quarterbacks. Sophomore Teddy Bridgewater has been great for the Cardinals this season with 2,434 yards passing, 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Miller has been even better, though.
The Buckeyes' QB has accounted for 2,919 yards and 27 touchdowns.
He simply affects the game in more ways than Bridgewater. Both teams run the ball effectively, but the Buckeyes' offense has too many layers for the Cardinals' defense to contain.
In addition to that, their ball-control attack isn't likely to have as much success against the Buckeyes. The Nebraska Cornhuskers did put up 38 points against the Buckeyes with a dominant run game, but ultimately they couldn't keep pace.
The same thing would likely happen to Louisville.
No. 4 Notre Dame
The Irish were exposed by Pittsburgh on Saturday. They won the game of course, but their inconsistency at QB can't be ignored. This is truly a great defense, but there's only so much they can do against a dynamic talent like Miller.
Turnovers would be a major key in the game, and the Irish QB tandem has combined to throw eight interceptions in 255 attempts.
The Irish run the ball almost as well as any team in the nation. They have averaged 200 yards on the ground per game, but at some point either Everett Golson or Tommy Rees would have to make some plays with their arm.
The Irish wouldn't be able to contain Miller and the Buckeyes offense enough to compensate for their inability to move the ball through the air.
The Buckeyes would beat Notre Dame.
No. 3 Oregon
This is where things get tricky for the Buckeyes.
The Ducks may have the best offense in the nation. You may get some arguments on that from Kansas State and Buckeyes fans, but the Ducks are scoring an insane 54.3 points per game this season to lead the nation.
Their defense looked terrible against USC on Saturday, but they were able to out-gun them. What this game exposed—to a certain extent—was the Ducks' less than spectacular play in the secondary.
The Trojans scored 51 points against them, but was this a product of an amazing college quarterback and equally or more amazing receivers?
I think so.
Matt Barkley is a solid college quarterback, but Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are next level. Add to that the emergence of freshman Nelson Agholor, and that's a handful for any secondary to handle.
The Ducks hadn't allowed anywhere near that amount of points to any team prior to the USC game. The previous high was 34 points in the season opener. If you saw that game, you'd know the score isn't an indication of how big of a blowout it was.
The Ducks led 50-10 at the half; the other 24 points come against second-stringers.
This defense would be better against the Buckeyes. Even though Miller is an amazing player, he doesn't have the weapons at receiver the Trojans do—then again nobody does.
Oregon would defeat the Buckeyes.
No. 2 Kansas State
I'd pay to see this game. Collin Klein is my choice for Heisman, but I can certainly understand the hype behind Miller. Seeing them play head to head would likely go a long way in crowning the winner of college football's most prestigious award.
Oh well, more dreams.
Their attack is primarily on the ground, but because of Klein's ability to make plays through the air, they are more dangerous than a team like Nebraska.
The Wildcats are more than just a Heisman candidate quarterback. For all the attention Klein and the offense gets, the defense only allows 18.6 points per game.
They have the athletes at linebacker to contain Miller.
Jarell Childs and Arthur Brown are both gifted seniors that proved their ability to handle a dual threat under center against Geno Smith and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Childs didn't play in that game, but Brown made an impact with eight tackles and a interception. The Wildcats held the Mountaineers to just 14 points.
The Wildcats have the ability to light it up on offense, but they are also one of the nation's most well-rounded teams.
Kansas State would beat the Buckeyes as well.
No. 1 Alabama
This is the only matchup that could actually get ugly for the Buckeyes. The Tide's defense is so athletic at almost every position, it would force Miller to be a one-dimensional quarterback. They have the speed to contain him and keep him in the pocket.
He's shown he can be effective in that role, but could the Buckeyes' offensive line keep Clint Mosley and Adrian Hubbard off him?
I doubt it.
Even more pressing is the fact that Alabama absolutely stuffs the run. It has allowed only 597 yards on the ground this season.
On the other side of the ball, the Tide running game would trample the Buckeyes' defense. Consider the fact that Nebraska ran for 223 yards against the Buckeyes' defense; imagine what T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy would do to them.
Alabama has averaged 209 yards on the ground running against better defenses than what the Buckeyes have.
Alabama would blow out the Buckeyes.
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