The biggest news in this week’s polls, obviously, is former No. 1 Alabama’s loss to South Carolina—bringing about the biggest victory in Steve Spurrier’s tenure as head coach of the Gamecocks.
Sorry, Bama fans, but it looks like the Tide has turned.
In addition to Alabama relinquishing it’s No. 1 ranking, the polls have been somewhat shaken up heading into week seven of the 2010 college football season.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 reasons why Ohio State should NOT be the new No. 1 team in the nation…
For a team that is ranked No. 1 in the nation in both the AP and Coaches polls, it’s absurd that the top-ranked Buckeyes are just No. 6 overall in both “points for” and “points against,” according to ESPN.
I’m not going to sit here and argue that the No. 1 team in the nation should be the top ranked group in every single category—but former No. 1 Alabama STILL ranks No. 5 nationally in “points against,” even after the Crimson Tide’s latest loss to South Carolina.
Plus, outside of a victory over No. 12 Miami (FL), Ohio State really hasn’t faced a challenge; although next week at No. 18 Wisconsin should be interesting.
According to ESPN, No. 2 Oregon ranks No. 1 in the nation in “points for,” with the Ducks averaging 54.3 points per game.
That is well above Ohio State’s offensive output average of 43.2 points per game.
Granted, Oregon ranks No. 20 nationally in “points against” at 16.3 points per game, but that is not too much off from the Buckeyes’ No. 6 ranking in “points against” at 13.5 points per game.
Meanwhile, even No. 3 Boise State ranks higher than the Buckeyes in terms of scoring output—pulling in a No. 4 national ranking in “points for” at 47.4 points per game, according to ESPN.
Sure, the Broncos may be playing in an easier conference and only averaging about four more points per game than Ohio State, but it still doesn’t mean the Buckeyes deserve that No. 1 nod.
Need more reasons? Let’s move on…
No. 4 TCU also ranks well above Ohio State in terms of defensive presence, with the Horned Frogs averaging just 10.3 “points against” per game.
Yes, TCU is absolutely the definition of staple secondary—but regardless of the Horned Frogs solid defense game-in and game-out, this is just further proof that the Ohio State Buckeyes are over-ranked and do not deserve to be the No. 1 team in the nation.
In addition, TCU ranks in the top 10 in both rushing yards (No. 7 nationally) and points for (No. 8 in nation).
No. 5 Nebraska, nearly midway through it’s final stint in the Big 12, ranks No. 4 in the nation in “points against,” with the Cornhuskers’ secondary limiting opponents to just 12.8 points per game.
And even though Ohio State’s defense is very close to Nebraska’s in terms of national rankings, the Cornhuskers will be facing some tougher opponents down the stretch compared to the Buckeyes.
Plus, Nebraska also ranks No. 2 nationally in rushing yards and is No. 9 overall in “points for,” according to ESPN.
Ten rungs below the newly appointed No. 1 Buckeyes is No. 11 Utah.
Yet Utah still ranks higher than Ohio State in terms of “points for,” garnering a No. 3 national ranking in that category while averaging 49 points per game.
In addition, Utah’s secondary has also been superb thus far in 2010, ranking No. 15 in “points against,” limiting opponents to just 15.6 points per game.
Look a little further down that top 25 ladder and you’ll come across the Big 12’s Oklahoma State Cowboys, ranked No. 2 nationally in “points for” while averaging 52.6 points per game.
Keep in mind that Oklahoma State is also ranked No. 2 in the nation in passing yards, garnering 362 yards per game through the air, according to ESPN.
Maybe this just proves that the Cowboys are underrated more than anything else, but I also believe it speaks volumes in wondering why in the world Ohio State is the new No. 1 team in the nation.
One notch below Oklahoma State is Missouri, with the Tigers’ defense playing a major role in a very successful season—as the team ranks No. 3 in the nation in “points against” while limiting opponents to a mere 11.2 points per game.
Granted, the Tigers have an extremely tough road ahead when they play back-to-back matchups against top 10 teams following the team’s road trip to Texas A&M next weekend—but this is still ever-mounting proof as to why Ohio State is absolutely over-ranked and will soon begin to fall.
Could it be as soon as next week?
Absolutely; there’s no doubt about it.
Meanwhile, with the focus now returning to Ohio State, the Buckeyes offense ranks No. 20 in the nation in rushing yards—averaging 217.3 yards per game on the ground.
Once again, I am not claiming that Ohio State should be soaking in the stats and ranked No. 1 in every category—but I do think it will make many question the validity to the Buckeyes being the new No. 1 team in the nation.
Personally, I think there are a good handful of other undefeated teams that deserve a chance at that top-ranked position.
And if things go the way I expect them to go, those “other teams” will soon get a shot at that coveted No. 1 spot.
If you thought Ohio State’s rushing yards per game looked awful on paper compared to other teams, just wait until we talk about the Buckeyes’ passing average.
In the air in 2010, Ohio State is ranked No. 37 in the nation in passing yards—with the Buckeyes averaging 248.5 yards per game.
Ohio State also just barely beat Illinois in week 5, squeaking out a 24-13 road victory.
Yet, somehow, the Buckeyes are now ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Personally, and as stated abundantly, I believe Ohio State is over-ranked; and I truly believe there will be a lot more shuffling to come as the 2010 NCAA football season rolls on…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org