Would Associated Press Vote Ohio State No. 1 If Buckeyes Are Lone Unbeaten Team?
When you look at the BCS standings the Ohio State Buckeyes are nowhere to be found. The same goes for the two polling components of the BCS, the Harris Poll and the Coaches' Poll. Look at the computers and the Buckeyes aren't there either. However, in the Associated Press Poll the Ohio State Buckeyes are sitting at No. 5, right behind the other big four unbeaten teams.
So do the Buckeyes have a shot at the title?
If people start losing they most certainly do. Ohio State closes out the season over Thanksgiving weekend by hosting a struggling Michigan Wolverines team. If they finish unblemished, which is a very real possibility, the Buckeyes would be sitting at No. 5, should all things hold chalk.
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But, what if, as we've seen happen several times, teams start tripping themselves up? What if Texas A&M or Georgia clips Alabama? What if Texas somehow finally shows up for game and they take down Kansas State? What if USC gets their act together and outscores the Fighting Irish? And let's not forget that Oregon State, Stanford and either USC or UCLA has a shot to beat Oregon.
Should Ohio State be crowned by the AP if they other major unbeatens go down?
Or, perhaps three of the four lose and we see a one-loss team in the title game beat an unbeaten squad to finish the puzzle.
Sure, we're talking about a perfect storm of upsets and teams falling and failing to show up in a very short period of time—a lot of "didn't we almost have it all" moments on the gridiron.
Yet, if it does transpire, the Ohio State Buckeyes, in year one under Urban Meyer, with no games played since November 24, will be waiting to grab the AP national title. A team with "nothing to play for" according to most entering 2012, will have a title that certainly should stand up in the pantheon of college football history.
It's been almost a decade since USC hoisted their AP title following the 2003 season and 2004 BCS bowls. The Buckeyes would not have a Rose Bowl win to help them out a la the Trojans.
However, if all four teams ranked ahead of them lost, the Buckeyes would be the likely top team entering the bowl season they won't be participating in. Or, should three teams lose, the Buckeyes would be a likely No. 2 team behind the other major unbeaten. A loss by that hypothetical team in the BCS championship game could pave the way for a title in Columbus.
A look at the AP, a group no longer associated with the BCS following 2003's split title, would help make it seem they'd love for this scenario to play out. A split title would help push their poll into relevancy and make folks notice their decision on the champion. So, you have to believe the AP is hoping they get a shot to crown a champion and stand in opposition, with cause, to the BCS that's forced them closer to irrelevance.
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If, and it is a BIG if, the Buckeyes are the lone "major" unbeaten, then I expect the AP to crown them as their champions. You should too. And if Louisville has to to be thinking, Can we ever catch a break?
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