For once in the state of Ohio, Ohio State is not the best ranked team and possibly not the best team in Ohio. Cincinnati is the better ranked team and possibly is the best team in Ohio. (Take note I am referring to this year not past years.)
Cincinnati is ranked #5 in the BCS and AP while being ranked #6 in the USA Today Coaches poll. They are off to an impressive 6-0 overall start and are 2-0 in conference play.
Ohio State is ranked #19 in the BCS, #18 in the AP, and #17 in the Coaches poll. Ohio States record currently sits at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
But the statistic that really sticks out is that Ohio State has played teams with a combined record of 26 wins to 21 losses with 3 teams having a .500 or better record. Cincinnati on the other hand has faced teams with a combined record of 17 wins and 20 loses with, like Ohio State, 3 teams with or over a .500 record. Also Ohio State has faced their only ranked opponent so far in #3 USC and lost by a score of 18-15 while Cincinnati beat their only ranked opponent so far which was #21 USF 34-17.
The Big Ten has the following teams ranked in the BCS: #6 Iowa, #13 Penn State, #19 Ohio State, and #21 Wisconsin. Ohio State already beat Wisconsin but still has to play #6 Iowa at home and #13 Penn State at Beaver Stadium.
The Big East has #6 Cincinnati, #20 Pittsburgh, and #23 West Virginia. Cincinnati plays #23 West Virginia at home and plays at #20 Pittsburgh.
Gauging from that stat Ohio State plays in the tougher conference, for now.
Cincinnati has scored 244 points to only 86 points given up and Ohio State has scored 196 points to 98 points given up. You can't gauge anything from this because of the teams they are playing.
Also for once Cincinnati has or had, depending on how you look at it, a Heisman Trophy candidate in Tony Pike. Ohio State has no Heisman hopefuls at the moment and their quarterback Terrelle Pryor has looked less then stellar this season.
Even with these stats and what not it is still too hard to tell who actually is the better team. The only way we can find out is by seeing who ends up where in the rankings at the end of the year or by letting these two teams play at a neutral field. (This would be nice but it won't happen)
Both teams have their plusses and negatives but in my opinion this year Cincinnati is the better team regardless if you think they play "cupcake" teams.
But obviously Ohio State will always be the best team in Ohio, at least for now...
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!