The inaugural 2013 BCS standings were released Sunday evening, and despite winning a nation-leading 19 consecutive games, the Ohio State Buckeyes opened at No. 4 behind Alabama, Florida State and Oregon.
That means going undefeated won't be enough for Urban Meyer to get his Buckeyes into the national title game—Ohio State will need a lot of help along the way.
The Buckeyes need two of the teams ranked ahead of them to lose, while they'll need a number of Big Ten squads to step up.
Which teams should Ohio State fans be rooting for to increase the Buckeyes' chances of earning a bid to the national championship?
Here's a look at four teams that could help Ohio State down the stretch.
There was a time earlier this season when some were bracing themselves for another undefeated showdown between Alabama and LSU this November.
The Crimson Tide are still unbeaten, but the Tigers have dropped two games on the road to Georgia and Ole Miss.
Despite its blemishes, LSU will still challenge Alabama. The Tigers will have a bye week before their matchup with the Tide, and quarterback Zach Mettenberger has the tools—and the weapons on offense—to give Alabama all it can handle.
Florida State looked dominant in its 51-14 thrashing of Clemson, a performance that vaulted the Seminoles above the Buckeyes in the rankings.
Florida State is rolling, beating its opponents by an average of 40 points per game so far this year.
The only ranked team left on the Seminoles' schedule is No. 7 Miami.
Led by quarterback Shane Morris, the Hurricanes have an explosive offense that's averaging 42 points per game. Miami will need that offense to keep pace with the red-hot Seminoles, who will have a week off to prepare for the November 2 matchup.
The Stanford Cardinal kept Oregon out of the national championship last year by beating the Ducks 17-14 in overtime.
It would benefit Ohio State greatly if history repeated itself.
Oregon has a brutal stretch of games to close out the year, including three matchups against ranked teams (No. 12 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford and No. 25 Oregon State).
The Ducks will have to hit the road for their game against Stanford, and Kevin Hogan, Tyler Gaffney and the Cardinal's power offense will look to keep Oregon's uptempo attack on the sideline.
Like it or not, it's in Ohio State's best interest for Michigan to be successful.
The No. 22 Wolverines are the only ranked team on the Buckeyes' remaining schedule, and grabbing a signature win over a ranked Michigan team, on the road, will boost Ohio State's resume.
Frankly, that resume won't stack up to any of the teams ranked ahead of Ohio State if the Buckeyes remain undefeated. But if those teams do fall, the Buckeyes would benefit from posting a victory over a nationally ranked Michigan team, if only to keep lesser-ranked teams at bay.
David Regimbal is the Ohio State Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report.
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