Following the official announcement of the current BCS standings Sunday night, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the team in a "State of the Union" address, and Meyer's instruction to his players was, "Embrace it." Meyer isn't worried about the Buckeyes being better than Bama, Oregon, or Florida State right now. Meyer just wants his team to be the best team on the field on any given Saturday.
Meyer makes a good point that the Buckeyes must take the rest of the season one game at a time. The Buckeyes are within striking distance of a BCS Championship bid, but the only aspect of that process Ohio State can control is winning their own games over the remainder of the season. "Take it one game at a time" is a clichéd perspective, but the Buckeyes' best bet is to do exactly that.
The "one game at a time" approach has worked for 19 consecutive wins in a row. This season, the Buckeyes have found themselves in a position to fight through adversity for wins. The team lost quarterback Braxton Miller to injury for a couple of games early in the season--although, when your backup quarterback is Kenny Guiton, that's not the same level of adversity other teams might face if their starting quarterback were injured.
The Buckeyes were missing their top running back, Carlos Hyde, for the first three games of the season as he served a suspension for an off-the-field incident, and Bradley Roby, the team's best defensive player, was absent for the season opener due to a one-game suspension. Starting safety, and captain, Christian Bryant was lost for the season after breaking his ankle at the end of the victory over the Wisconsin Badgers. The team has stayed focused, and continues to win game after game.
Ohio State had to fight through a tough game, and some very poor performances on both sides of the ball, to eventually prevail against Northwestern. Last week's game against the Iowa Hawkeyes wasn't any easier, but the team keeps finding ways to overcome mistakes and gut out victories despite the circumstances.
An implicit component of Meyer's directive to the team applies to fans as well. Everyone, from the team to the fans, should focus on enjoying this phase of Buckeye football history. Nineteen-game winning streaks don't come to pass very often--as a matter of fact, the current streak is tied for the second-best in Ohio State football's storied history, with the record well within reach at 22 consecutive games, achieved by the 1967, 1968 and 1969 Buckeyes.
As the 2013 Buckeyes take it one game at a time to try to establish the best winning streak in program history, they're aiming for another record at the same time. Urban Meyer's best consecutive wins streak came at Florida, and ended at 22, when Alabama pulled the rug out from under the Gators in the 2009 SEC Championship Game.
This is a special time in Buckeye football history. The team, and the fans, should take Urban Meyer's advice, and embrace it.