Though they still need to handle their business (and as reiterated ad nauseam get some help from the remaining opponents on either Alabama or Florida State's schedules), Ohio State finds themselves in uncharted territory in 2013.
Following the upset loss of Oregon on the road against Stanford this past Thursday night, the Buckeyes move to a season high ranking of 3rd in the final season of the BCS standings. Alabama and Florida State remain one and two for a second straight week. Though Baylor is fourth behind the Buckeyes in all both major polls and the Harris (which constitutes 1/3 of the BCS rankings), Stanford's computer average of 3 puts them ahead of the Bears and around .02 points behind the Buckeyes.
On Baylor's end, however, their schedule strength is about to see a sudden bump over the next several weeks. Texas Tech (who though no longer ranked have the talent to play with Baylor), 12th ranked Oklahoma State, former perennial in the BCS mix TCU, and 24th ranked Texas finish up Baylor's schedule. Only 18th ranked Oklahoma is in the same ballpark of opponents the Bears have faced so far. If Baylor survives the gauntlet, it's possible they wind up ahead of the Buckeyes in the human polls as well as the computers at season's end.
For Ohio State, however, they simply need to keep winning their games, preferably with enough cachet to continue garnering the third place subjective votes they've been getting. Michigan, who's done Ohio State no favors with their play in recent weeks and finds themselves underdogs to lowly Northwestern this week, probably won't be the schedule strength booster they were once presumed. A one-loss Michigan State could help, but depending on how the next four weeks play out, likely won't carry as much cumulative weight as the trio of Tech, Oklahoma State, and Texas.
If Urban Meyer's team completes a second straight undefeated regular season and so much as one of the two teams in front of them stumbles on the way to their respective league championships, Ohio State will have a very strong case to play for their second ever BCS crown. If the Buckeyes themselves trip up, well they won't have to worry about politicking, style points, or any of what we've come to expect this time of year during the last 15 years.
Here are the complete Week 12 BCS standings:
|BCS||Harris Poll||USA Today||Computer Rankings|
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