Ohio State has finished the 2012 season undefeated, marking the return of Urban Meyer to the college game. Because of NCAA sanctions the Buckeyes are banned from the postseason and are not voted on in the coaches’ poll. The AP has chosen to continue voting on Ohio State on a weekly basis, most recently ranking the Buckeyes as the No. 4 team in the country.
Now that Ohio State has finished with a perfect season, questions are going to mount as to where the AP voters will place the Buckeyes after this week and to close the season.
While it is likely they will receive No. 1 votes in the poll, would you put them at No. 1 on your ballot if you had one?
To me this is a tough call.
With a season-ending win over Michigan the Buckeyes could have sealed a national title berth if not for the improprieties by the team during the Jim Tressel regime. Ohio State has become the elephant in the room for college football, and the AP voters know it.
You look at what this team has accomplished on the grandest stage of college football, and as a fan of the game you nod and smile in delight. Then reality sets in. This team is done for the season.
The magic in Columbus is over, and no one knows how this story could have finished. Jim Tressel and selfish players ended this national title run before it began.
The move to fire Tressel and hire Meyer was a great one, and it has led to the rise for the Buckeyes. It is a new program and a new era for this team, but they are still pushing through the shadows of times that are past them.
See why this decision is so hard?
For me the Buckeyes don’t belong at No. 1 in the AP.
They have no shot at winning the national title and finish with two fewer games than a BCS champion—albeit a possible one-loss team. There is no reason to place the Buckeyes at No. 1 today or in the next month.
I do believe that the Buckeyes should finish at No. 2 in the AP to close the season, and I would vote on them as such if I had a vote in the poll.
What about you? How would you place this team?
The Buckeyes have been virtually unstoppable in Big Ten play and have done the nearly impossible by finishing undefeated. They have a good shot to return next year and win a title, but to finish the 2012 season No. 1 would be too much.