The first of those opportunities came last Saturday against Michigan State and Long and the committee made good on his statement as the Buckeyes 49-37 win vaulted them to No. 8 in the rankings released Nov. 11.
Ohio State moved up six spots with their two-score win over the Spartans, who fell to 12th. The Buckeyes also passed Auburn, Kansas State and Notre Dame, all losers last weekend, and passed Nebraska and two-loss Mississipi. The Cornhuskers are the second ranked Big Ten team at No. 16 while Wisconsin checked in at No. 20. Nebraska and Wisconsin square off in Madison this weekend. Minnesota, Ohio State's next opponent, is ranked No. 25.
The Buckeyes are still four spots removed from a spot in the final four with those spots currently occupied by Mississippi State, Oregon, Florida State, and TCU. Despite the fact that the Buckeyes are still on the outside looking in, Ohio State safety Vonn Bell said his team belongs in the thick of things.
“I think so,” he said. “We came out and played. It was a great team win. We came and made the plays when we needed to.”
“We showed the world. They've been talking about (Michigan State’s) defense, that they can play with anybody in the country and you saw our offense shove it down their throat. That’s a good team. Everybody’s on the same page so it was a good win.”
The Buckeyes jumped Auburn after the Tigers fell to Texas A&M 41-38 while Kansas State lost to TCU 41-20 and Notre Dame lost 55-31 to Arizona State. While Ohio State is focused on Minnesota this week, Buckeye fans will have their eyes on a few other games that could impact the top of Nov. 18 rankings.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, clearly focused on the remaining games on Ohio State’s schedule, said he isn’t in a position to say whether his team belongs in the national championship picture.
“I don't know enough,” he said when asked if he considers Ohio State a playoff team. “I think it is. I love my team. I haven't studied the other teams really. If I have to go fight for this team, what they've done is very impressive. That loss the second game hurts us. I'll take the hit for that, because that was a young team that's playing at an extremely high level right now.”
College Football Rankings Top 25
- Mississippi State
- Florida State
- Arizona State
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
- Michigan State
- Kansas State
- Notre Dame
- Georgia Tech
- Texas A&M