Ohio State Football: How Buckeyes Compare to Top BCS-Bound Teams
After an undefeated season, Ohio State fans are left wondering, "what if?"
The Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason, and therefore will end the season without so much as a bowl appearance.
However, many in Columbus believe that this team would have been capable of great things if they were given the opportunity.
While the 2012 Ohio State team will not get a chance to play against the top teams in the nation, it is interesting to think about how the games would have turned out.
Here is a breakdown of what would happen if the Buckeyes were to play these squads.
The most amazing thing about Oregon's loss to Stanford this season was the fact that the team was held to only 14 points all game.
In all other games, the Ducks were able to break 40.
The high-powered offense is led by an outstanding running back in Kenjon Barner, as well as dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota. All of the skill players are extremely fast and difficult to take down.
While Ohio State likely does not have the ability to stop this offensive force, the defense can slow it down by forcing turnovers.
Against Stanford, Mariota had his worst game from an efficiency standpoint. He completed only 56.8 percent of his passes and threw an interception.
This could be a similar type of game that the Buckeyes played against Taylor Martinez and Nebraska. Running back Rex Burkhead had a big day and the Cornhuskers scored 38 points, but three interceptions helped decide the game in Ohio State's favor.
Ohio State has one of the better secondaries in the country, and it has forced 14 interceptions compared to only 15 passing touchdowns this year.
Oregon also has not encountered a mobile quarterback at the level of Braxton Miller, so the offense should be able to score enough points to make this a competitive game.
Outcome: Ohio State 38, Oregon 35
This game would be a polar opposite of the one against Oregon, as Notre Dame boasts one of the top defenses in the country.
In order to win this game, Ohio State would need a big contribution from Carlos Hyde.
Top running backs have been able to get past the Irish this season, including Ray Graham of Pittsburgh and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor.
However, this team has used a bend-but-don't-break model to be successful this season, and getting into the end zone has often been a problem. Still, Hyde has proven with 16 touchdowns that he has the ability to get the tough yards.
While Braxton Miller might struggle, he might not be needed.
Offensively, Notre Dame does not offer much of a challenge. Everett Golson has been inconsistent all year, and the team needs big running plays in order to win.
If the Buckeyes could keep Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood in check, they would have the upper hand.
Outcome: Ohio State 20, Notre Dame 17
It only takes one look at Alabama's dominant win over Michigan to tell you everything you need to know about this game.
Although it was the first game of the year, the Crimson Tide did anything they wanted offensively and scored 41 against what turned out to be a pretty good Michigan defense.
In all other games, the Wolverines averaged only 16.7 points allowed per game.
For all of the talk about Alabama's defense, the offense is very good, with two big-time running backs in T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy. Quarterback A.J. McCarron takes over when it is needed, like in the SEC Championship Game.
Additionally, you need balance in order to do anything against the Tide's defense, and the Buckeyes do not have it. Alabama would be able to shut down the running game without problem.
If the two ended up playing in a hypothetical national title game, Ohio State would continue its losing streak against the SEC.
Outcome: Alabama 31, Ohio State 17
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