clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Ohio State worse than much of the SEC West?

Lazy stereotype-mongers think Ohio State would be the fifth-best team in the SEC West this season. Would they?

Bloggers of the Internet readying their hot sport takes.
Bloggers of the Internet readying their hot sport takes.
Hannah Foslien

If you're at all familiar with the mindless derivative Internet group think ideology that Ohio State's schedule isn't just weak, they somehow aren't a very good team at all, you will not be surprised that some of the more vocal proponents of such drivel have suggested that, were Ohio State in the SEC, they would be the fifth best team in the SEC West this season.

For some perspective, let's quickly review some of the other like things said about the Buckeyes by these types. Since Urban Meyer accepted the head coaching position at Ohio State, those have called Meyer the fakest coach in America, and have done all but accuse Meyer of being an accessory to the murder Aaron Hernandez was charged with, and much more. These types are no fan of Meyer, and by extension, The Ohio State University, and it allows them to color their perspective.

The claim that Ohio State is overrated, and more specifically, that the Buckeyes would be the fifth-best team in the SEC West this season, is based on their perspective that Ohio State's defense has looked weak against sub-par offenses through the first three games of the season. Surely the defenses in the SEC West haven't done anything like that, right?

Alabama, ranked first by some of this ideology in SEC power rankings, beat unranked Virginia Tech 34-10 in week one, and following a week two bye, beat ranked Texas A&M 49-42. Texas A&M has a good offense, so although Alabama's defense gave up a lot of points, it was admittedly not to a team like the Buffalo Bulls. Alabama is currently ranked number one in the nation, and, frankly, they deserve it. They're coming off of two consecutive National Championship wins, they're undefeated, and because of their victory over A&M last week, they have beaten a highly ranked opponent.

LSU is the second-best team in the SEC West according to those, and they did secure a week one victory against ranked Texas Christian University, but their other two wins came against Conference USA's University of Alabama at Birmingham and Ohio's own Kent State University. UAB is currently 0-2 with a loss to Troy University on top of the loss to LSU, and Kent State has one win so far this season, over Liberty University. LSU has scored 138 against 61 points scored by their opponents.

Texas A&M is the third-best team in the SEC West, according to them. Aside from losing to Alabama, A&M has beaten Rice University and Sam Houston University, and allowed those two teams to score a combined 59 points against their defense.

Ole Miss is listed as the fourth-best team in the SEC West on like power rankings, but consider that they barely edged out Vanderbilt in a 39-35 win. Vanderbilt is currently tied with Kentucky for last place in the SEC East. Their other two wins came against Southeastern Missouri State and the severely underperforming Texas Longhorns.

Ohio State, with a 3-0 record heading into the fourth week of the season, has allowed a lot of points from lesser opponents, that much is true. At this point, Ohio State has scored 134 points and allowed 61 points. San Diego State University has been the weakest opponent Ohio State has played, and they did limit the Aztecs to just one touchdown. The Buffalo Bulls scored 20 points against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes doubled their score. There aren't many teams who could hang 51 points on any team with their backup quarterback in the game, but the Buckeyes did it with Kenny Guiton.

Ohio State's strength of schedule is generally considered to be weaker than each of the SEC West teams that those would rank above the Buckeyes, and there's no disputing that, at this point, the Big Ten is a weaker conference than the SEC. It's undeniable, and it's outside of Ohio State's control. Losses last week from Wisconsin (regardless of how crazy the loss was) and Illinois to Pac-12 teams do not strengthen Ohio State's case, with both of those teams appearing on Ohio State's schedule in coming weeks.

Most people won't try to argue that Ohio State should be ranked above Alabama at this point, and I am no exception. LSU's points for and points against are extremely similar to Ohio State's, with the Tigers scoring 138 compared to Ohio State's 134, and LSU allowing 57 compared to Ohio State's 61, and while one of their opponents thus far was ranked, the other two were definitely not. Texas A&M's only loss came to the top-ranked team in the country, but they allowed a ton of points to lesser programs. Ole Miss has yet to play a ranked team – Texas had fallen out of the top 25 by week three, when they played Ole Miss – and they have allowed 71 points to those opponents so far this season.

What those kind of bottom feeding Internet trolls have said about the Buckeyes is always good for a laugh, and ultimately doesn't matter, but if their perspective is primarily based on a defense allowing points to a lesser opponent, it is a factor which applies pretty consistently to teams in the SEC West that those consider to be superior to Ohio State.