Not surprisingly, we had a huge shakeup in the BCS rankings after Kansas State and Oregon both tumbled out of championship contention with shocking losses last Saturday.
Notre Dame is the obvious No. 1 choice (even if they're behind Alabama in my Top 25), and the Irish came within a few poll points here and there of getting a perfect 1.000 in their BCS rating—a designation that means every pollster and computer ranks a team No. 1.
Notre Dame's BCS standing is of passing concern to Big Ten fans, though, especially since Nebraska's the top Big Ten team at No. 14 and Michigan's latest foray into the Top 20 at No. 19 is unlikely to last much past 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Ah, but if Ohio State were bowl-eligible, the Big Ten would have a real dog in this BCS Championship fight—which is a good thing to have this late in the season. Three weeks ago, we projected Ohio State to be sixth in the BCS rankings if it were eligible. The methodology is all present in that link, so we'll try not to repeat too much of it as we ask this question once again: Where would Ohio State be in this week's BCS Rankings?
NOTE: We're going to do some math in this post. If that makes your eyes glaze over, just scroll down to the Brutus Buckeye picture. Also, consider learning math; it's good for you.
First of all, we know exactly where Ohio State would be in the computer rankings, because all of the computers have their full rankings posted. And you will probably be surprised how much the computers like the Buckeyes.
See here, with Ohio State's effect on its immediate competition in the rankings:
(Just a reminder: High and low poll ratings, as marked by italics, are thrown out of the BCS calculation. The remaining four polls for each team are what go into their poll percentage numbers in the BCS. These are the BCS rules, not ours. Links in the header go to the individual rankings so you can see for yourself.)
Yep, that's Ohio State firmly in third place in the computer polls—ahead of even Alabama and well ahead of human poll darling Georgia. Remember that.
Now let's talk about those human polls. As always, Ohio State is not eligible for the Harris Poll or USA Today Coaches Poll. As such, we don't know exactly where the Buckeyes would land in those polls, and there's no perfect way to project that.
What we can do, however, is look at some other polls. Namely, the AP Top 25 and the ESPN.com power rankings. Those polls don't march in lockstep with the Harris and Coaches polls, but they do bear some pretty significant similarities down the line.
Like the Harris and Coaches polls, Notre Dame and Alabama are Nos. 1-2 in the AP and ESPN polls. In the AP, Ohio State is at No. 4, trailing Georgia. ESPN.com has Ohio State at No. 3, right in front of Georgia. There's also a CBSSports.com power poll that's got OSU at No. 4 and Georgia at No. 13, but that Georgia figure is about all we need to spike that one.
So let's play this one accordingly. Let's say Ohio State is No. 4 in the Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the Harris Poll. As we did in Week 10, we'll keep the poll percentages the same per ranking (granted, it wouldn't work that way in real life, but it's the best we can do) and just shift teams down accordingly.
And here's the BCS ranking we'd get as a result:
Yep, that's Ohio State smack dab at No. 3 in the BCS rankings if it were allowed to be there. One spot away from a shot at the BCS National Championship with essentially two weeks to play.
One thing to note in particular: Ohio State's gigantic advantage in the computer polls eliminates any chance Georgia might have to move ahead in close polling.
And that's not even taking into consideration how much different the Buckeyes' poll treatment might be if they were eligible for the postseason.
All of this is to say we're perilously close to the point where Ohio State fans should start feeling screwed out of a national championship bid. We're not officially there yet, but one bad loss by Notre Dame to USC is all it'll take for this season to go down in Buckeye lore as the championship season that should have been.