Buckeyes deserve title shot

Sorry 'Noles

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Every year the BCS creates more and more chaos. Weather it is Northern Illinois getting in a BCS game last year or an undefeated team getting left out. The Bowl Championship Series is coming to an end after this year, but this might be the most chaotic and controversial.

Only two teams can play for the National Championship. This year there are five teams this year that are worthy of playing in the National Championship. Those teams in include Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, and  Baylor.

The BCS standings currently sit like this: 1) Alabama 2) Florida State 3) Ohio State 4) Baylor. So, if the season ended today the national championship would be Alabama vs. Florida State. If that were to happen there would be some extremely unhappy OSU fans. Given the Buckeyes are undefeated, of course.

Obviously if the season ended today there would be some unhappy teams. But, this is college football. Things will not stay the same. But if they do who should get in?

The BCS says Alabama and Florida State, but that is not who I believe should get in. The two teams that should be playing for the title are Ohio State and Alabama.

Alabama is the obvious team who gets in. They have impressive road victories over Texas A&M and Ole Miss. Ole Miss may not be an elite team, but the Rebels do have victories over Virginia Tech, Texas and LSU. The Tide have also beaten LSU in Tuscaloosa. TJ Yeldon is the best running back in the country, AJ McCarron is going for his third national championship. The offense has looked beatable at times, but they have earned their number one ranking. Plus, I will never bet against Nick Saban.

This is where it gets interesting. Urban Meyer recently voted his buckeyes as the number two team in the  country. Meyer is right, OSU is the second best team in the country.

Let’s start with the schedule. Ohio State has beaten a good Wisconsin team that would be in the top-10 if it wasn’t for a referee meltdown in Arizona State. They also beat a then-ranked Northwestern team that has since been on a down-spiral. Many people will complain about the buckeyes competition despite those two wins. Poor competition is obvious, but we can’t hold that against them. They have won every game by double digits, excluding the Wisconsin game (in which they never trailed), this year. It is not their fault that the big ten is bad this year. Plus, they were supposed to play an SEC team this year. Vanderbilt was supposed to play them in week four, but canceled about a month before the season started. Yes, everybody OSU was scheduled to play an SEC team that beat Florida and Georgia this year. But, it was a team from the conference that can do no wrong, the SEC, that backed out at the last moment.

It’s not the offense the critics are concerned about. Braxton Miller is finally playing like the QB he was before the MCL injury. Miller is 8th in total QBR and that includes when he was playing hurt. The biggest reason the buckeyes are elite is Carlos Hyde. Hyde served his suspension and has since been on a fierce mission to be the first running back to gain 1000 yards in a season under Urban Meyer. Hyde is back in shape and has been a force. Hyde is averaging a whopping 7.3 yards a carry. That is behind the best offensive line in the country that features four seniors. All of those factors lead to the fact that the offense is rolling. As a unit they are averaging 48.2 points a game. That is 5th in the FBS. They are also second in the country in rushing this season. I think everybody would agree that OSU’s offense can score with anybody.

Everybody likes to pick on the OSU defense. Haters will say that the Buckeyes defense is not as good as Florida State’s or Alabama’s. But, the numbers tell a whole different story. They are 8th in the FBS in points allowed with only 17. That is with Bradley Roby missing the Iowa game and the season opener. Ryan Shazier was also playing hurt for much if the year. The defensive numbers actually show the Buckeyes as one of the premier defensive teams in the country.

There is also the fact that if the Buckeyes finish the season undefeated they will have won 25 straight games. That is a feat that is near impossible. How can voters keep the Buckeyes out after winning 25 straight games. I don’t believe people realize how hard it is to go undefeated in college football (just ask Oregon). There is a reason that only one or two teams go undefeated each year, much less two years in a row. They have the best coach, a star quarterback, an elite offense, and pretty good defense to go along with an impressive win streak. How can one ignore all those things?

Then there is why FSU should be left out. Let’s take a look at Florida State’s schedule. Their best wins are Miami (Fl) and Clemson. The Miami (Fl) win looks impressive, but are the hurricanes really that good? The Canes don’t have a key win this season. They beat a Florida team that has to beat either South Carolina or FSU just to get bowl eligible. FSU’s opponents have a combined record of just 54-49. Right now, the Duke Blue devils would be playing them in the ACC championship game. That conference is supposed to be tough? The Big ten is bad, but at least Michigan State will be in the top 10 when they play the Buckeyes in the big ten championship. Duke has beaten one team even close to quality and that was a Miami (Fl) team that is in a down-spiral.

There is also uncertainty of the eligibility of FSU QB Jameis Winston. Winston is being investigated for a sexual assault case. While the case will likely be dismissed it could be a potential black cloud hanging around the NCAA, especially if he plays in the title game. Plus, it could certainly have an effect on Winston’s play.

While FSU has a great defense ( 2nd overall) and offense (4th overall), I don’t believe they would beat the buckeyes on a neutral field. Florida State’s weakness on defense is on the defensive line. The buckeyes strength is on the offensive line. That would give a huge to the buckeyes on offense. Meanwhile, the Florida State offense hinges on passing the ball. The Buckeyes secondary is finally rounding into shape. Bradley Roby finally looks like the sure-fire first round pick he was last year and Doran Grant has developed into a reliable number two cornerback. Plus, Florida State and their freshman quarterback have not faced the pressure the bucks will be able to get on them. Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett would be coming for Winston. Plus, FSU just doesn’t have Urban Meyer. Why should Jimbo Fisher have the benefit of the doubt over Urban Meyer?

Baylor would be in this discussion, but there lone quality-win so far has been over an Oklahoma team that hasn’t beaten a team that is currently ranked. Baylor has a chance to get in because they do have some touch games coming up against Oklahoma State, TCU and potentially Texas in the Big 12 championship game. But, Baylor’s non-conference schedule was even worse that Ohio State and Florida State’s.

Baylor’s defense actually has not been that bad. A matter of fact there is no reason to think they are anything but above average. They are only giving up 15.4 points a game. That is 7th in the NCAA. But, the major question is how they will do against offensive gurus Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Obviously, they lack the talent on defense that Ohio State and Florida State has. In my opinion, Ohio State and Florida State would both score at least 50 on Baylor.

The offense is obviously among the best in the game. Better than Florida State or Ohio State’s? Maybe, but not much better. All three could score with anybody in the country. Seastrunk is a great running back, but I would take Carlos Hyde and TJ Yeldon every time.

So, at the end of the day Baylor just doesn’t have the talent or coaching of a FSU or OSU. They are a good team, but I would compare them to a 2009 Cincinnati Bearcats. A great offensive team playing  teams that they can outscore. When they play a team with talent on defense it could all fall apart.

So, an Alabama-Ohio State game would be the best game for a national championship as it currently sits. Urban Meyer vs. Nick Saban, Braxton Miller vs. Alabama’s defense, a great Ohio State offensive line vs. a great Alabama defensive line. This would be the best game for college football.

Putting the Buckeyes in over Florida State would be a controversial decision, but the correct one. They are the same team, but the buckeyes have Urban Meyer and a win-streak that simply cannot be ignored. No matter how it plays it out, I’ll make a bold prediction and say that the SEC reign of seven straight championships will come to an end this year. Either Baylor, Ohio State, Stanford , or Florida State will get be the champs.

Either way, Auburn beating the tide sure would make this debate easier. War  Eagle!