Public perception is a funny thing to fight, and it appears that might be one of Ohio State’s toughest opponents this season.
For the second week in a row, the Buckeyes posted a relatively easy victory against a nonconference foe Saturday in Ohio Stadium, and for the second week in a row, they dropped a spot in the Associated Press’ writers poll.
Even worse for the Buckeyes, they dropped a spot in the coaches’ poll – which is part of the eventual BCS rankings at the end of the season – to third place after yesterday’s 42-7 victory against San Diego State.
OSU was passed by Oregon in the coaches’ poll after the Ducks posted a second straight dominating victory, this one at a Virginia team that beat BYU – which embarrassed Texas last night – in week one. The Buckeyes actually received two first-place votes to Oregon’s one but finished 18 points behind the Ducks overall.
Meanwhile, in the AP poll, Ohio State was passed by Clemson, which posted a 52-13 win vs. South Carolina State and also watched the team it beat in week one, Georgia, down No. 6 South Carolina yesterday. Oregon is also ahead of the Buckeyes, who are fourth.
So far, it’s clear OSU – which went 12-0 last year to finish as the only undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision but still did not receive strong consideration for the national title – will have to post some big wins, both against the ranked foes still on the schedule as well as some large margins of victory, to earn voters’ respect.
The good news is, though, that three top-25 teams are on the schedule still, including Michigan, which moved up to No. 11 in the AP poll after its Saturday night win vs. Notre Dame. Northwestern is up to 17th after beating BCS teams Cal and Syracuse to start the year, while Wisconsin checks in 20th after consecutive shutouts to open the season.
Among the rest of the Big Ten, Nebraska is 23rd while Michigan State, Illinois and Penn State received votes.
Two-time defending national champion Alabama, which was idle, stayed at No. 1 in both polls.