Does Ohio State Really Deserve No. 3 BCS Ranking?

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Does Ohio State Really Deserve No. 3 BCS Ranking?
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Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes barely held onto their No. 3 ranking in the BCS this week.

Team A in college football has a point differential of +382. Their opponents' combined record on the season in 46-56, and one of their wins has come against a currently-ranked team this year. This team is ranked in the top five in the BCS standings.

Team B in college football has a point differential of +306. Combined, their opponents this season have a record of 45-57, and just one victory for Team B has come against an opponent that is currently ranked. Team B is also in the top five in the BCS standings. 

Team C in college football has a point differential of +404. Their opponents have gone a combined 46-46 this season, and one of the teams that this team has defeated this season is still ranked. Once again, Team C is also ranked in the top five in the BCS standings. 

Team A is Ohio State. Team B is Oregon. Team C is Baylor. 

What doesn't seem to make sense is the order that these teams are ranked in the latest BCS standings, especially No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Baylor. While Baylor is extremely close to jumping Ohio State already, their stronger strength of schedule and more convincing wins should have catapulted them ahead of the undefeated Buckeyes this week. 

 

BCS Top 5 (per ESPN.com):

1. Alabama (.991)

2. Florida State (.966)

3. Ohio State (.887)

4. Baylor (.886)

5. Oregon (.792)

 

Who should be the No. 3 team in the BCS standings?

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Baylor has been impressive every game this year and has only faced one true scare in Kansas State, whom they defeated by 10 points in Week 6. Most impressively, the Bears have handled their last two opponents, both of whom have been or are ranked this season.

It started with No. 22 (AP Poll) Oklahoma two weeks ago, when Baylor decimated the Sooners 41-12. The conclusion of that game also marked the conclusion of critics claiming the Bears hadn't beaten a quality opponent yet. Following the big Oklahoma win, Baylor put a beat down on a previously-ranked Texas Tech squad 63-34.

So not only does Baylor have more impressive wins than Ohio State this season, but they've played a harder schedule as well. The Bears have outscored their opponents by 98 more points than the Buckeyes have while also playing one less game. 

For the Buckeyes, they can only beat who they play. However, when teams don't dominate weaker competition, it looks bad on paper and in the computers.

Ohio State let Illinois stick around with them on Saturday before pulling away late in the fourth quarter for a 25-point win. The Buckeyes also defeated a 6-4 Iowa team by just 10 points and a 4-6 Northwestern squad by 10 points as well, as a fumble recovery in the end zone as time expired made what was really a four-point game into a 10-point game. The only team that Ohio State has beaten that is currently ranked is Wisconsin, and they only beat them by a touchdown. 

More will be known in the coming weeks as Baylor and Ohio State finish off their seasons. Baylor takes on a very good Oklahoma State squad next week and Texas two weeks after that. Ohio State finishes off their season with Indiana at home and Michigan on the road, a game that could be tricky to win given the rivalry between the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Presumably, the Buckeyes would then meet Michigan State, perhaps the top defensive team in the country, in the Big 10 championship game. 

Even though it's close either way, for now, Baylor should be No. 3 in the BCS standings, while Ohio State should be a fairly close No. 4. In the hidden story line of this college football season, both teams know that No. 3 means a likely trip to the national championship in January should No. 1 Alabama or No. 2 Florida State be toppled by the end of the season. 

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