Is Urban Meyer Right for Voting Ohio State No. 2 in the Coaches Poll?

Andrew Coppens@@andycoppensContributor INovember 12, 2013

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The USA Today Coaches Poll doesn't reveal individual votes, (unless you are Lane Kiffin and lie about your vote) but that hasn't stopped Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer from talking about his voting habits this season. 

Earlier this week he revealed he has his Buckeyes at No. 2 in his ballot and has had them there the entire season. 

"I have Ohio State in the top five," Meyer said during his weekly press conference on Monday. "I believe we have Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State."

"I had us No. 2 all year, and I just think we're playing like one of the top teams in the country right now."

Some have been screaming bias. After all, why does his team deserve to be ranked ahead of Florida State? 

However, to coaches like Urban Meyer and his former assistant, and now Wisconsin head coach, Gary Andersen, the responsibility to the game is the most important thing. 

Not only that, but if Meyer was doing it because he was biased, why isn't he voting the Buckeyes No. 1? 

Go big or go home, right?

Yet Meyer has voted his team No. 2 all season long, not just recently because it would boost his team's chances.

Besides, Meyer isn't exactly off his rocker in his voting or rationale (full disclosure, I have voted Ohio State and Alabama as the top 2 teams in the Bleacher Report Top 25 all season long as well). 

Two big facts happen to be working in Meyer's favor:

  • Alabama is a two-time defending national champion and has earned the No. 1 spot until someone beats the Tide. 
  • Ohio State is on a 21-game unbeaten streak; the longest in the nation and one win away from the tying the longest streak of Meyer's career (the Florida Gators in 2008-09). 

Oh and then there's this thing called consistency. 

Let's remember that Ohio State was the No. 2 team in the country to start the season off and they haven't lost a game yet. 

Still, the Buckeyes' hold on the No. 2 spot lasted all of two weeks before Oregon jumped them on the heels of a "big-time", 59-10, win over the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers. 

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 7:  Michael Bennett #63 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sacks quarterback Quinn Kaehler #18 of the San Diego State Aztecs and causes a fumble in the second quarter that Bennett recovered at Ohio Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Columbus

All Ohio State did that week was win 42-7 over San Diego State with it's backup quarterback, Kenny Guiton, replacing an injured Braxton Miller

However, since that time what have Ohio State and Oregon done? Well, the Ducks did their usual November collapse and lost to Stanford last week and Ohio State has gone on to impress more and more as the season has gone on. 

Then there's the fact that the win that pushed Oregon over OSU doesn't look nearly as impressive in hindsight as it did at the time.

Virginia is in the throes of a 2-8 season and are winless in the ACC (a conference many are comparing to the Big Ten). 

San Diego State, on the other hand, is 5-4 and appear to be on its way to making a bowl game this season. Three of its four losses have come to teams that have been ranked this season (OSU, Oregon State and Fresno State). 

Oregon's best win in the non-conference season? Tennessee—a team that is 4-6 and has just one win in SEC play. 

Meanwhile, Ohio State not only owns a win over an above .500 Aztecs squad, but also against a 7-2 Buffalo team that right now is undefeated in MAC play. 

So, which resume looks more impressive in hindsight? 

Had voters known what they know now back then, would OSU have gotten jumped?

Perhaps those that have stuck with the Buckeyes at No. 2, like Meyer, have had it right from the very beginning.

But what about, Florida State, the team behind the Buckeyes in Meyer's poll?

Can one make a great case for Florida State over Ohio State?

Winning over Clemson in dominate fashion is the best win any of the unbeatens have, so you bet there's a case to be made for the Seminoles.  

Therein lies the problem; all of this is subjective in nature—it's about personal preferences and would be matchups—maybes and what ifs.

Until December 7, all of this doesn't matter anyway. It's all opinion at this point in time and Meyer is entitled to vote how he sees fit.

Meyer also seems to take his voting seriously enough that he deserves the benefit of the doubt on this one.

*Andy Coppens is Bleacher Report's lead writer for the Big Ten. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. You can follow Andy on Twitter: @ andycoppens.


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