COMMENTARY | Urban Meyer has opened up a can of worms with this one.
On November 11, the outspoken head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes said that he has had OSU at No. 2 in the USA Today coaches' poll all season long . Such an admission is bound to see Meyer be scrutinized for putting his own team in a higher position than where it actually has ended up every single week so far in 2013.
Fans of the Florida State Seminoles -- who are the current No. 2 team -- and the Oregon Ducks, who held the spot for nine weeks before falling to Stanford on November 7, will probably think Meyer's voting habits reek of a bias towards the team that he coaches.
The problem with that theory is, Meyer is absolutely justified in having the Buckeyes at Np. 2.
If you remember, OSU did begin the 2013 season at second in the coaches' poll -- a fair ranking for a team that went 12-0 in 2012, but couldn't be realistically ranked ahead of two-time defending national champion Alabama. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes' run at No. 2 lasted a mere two weeks, because the other coaches decided that Oregon's 59-10 rout of Virginia on September 7 was more impressive than the Buckeyes' 42-7 win over San Diego State that same weekend.
While on paper, a road win over an ACC team looks more impressive than a home victory over a Mountain West foe, the pollsters couldn't have been more wrong on this one. Currently, Virginia is in the throes of a seven-game losing streak, winless in the ACC, and 2-8 overall on the year -- that's about as lousy as it gets for a team in a BCS conference. SDSU, on the other hand, is a respectable 5-4 and appears poised to earn a trip to a bowl game come December. Mercifully, OSU doesn't have to worry about Oregon anymore, but the voters have found a new team for the Buckeyes to be unrightfully stuck behind -- Florida State.
Though it's admirable that Seminoles are a player in the world of college football again, there is zero reason for this team to ranked ahead of the Buckeyes. The usual excuse, of course, is that OSU plays in the Big Ten, which is having a down year. If the Big Ten has been mediocre in 2013, then what word best describes ACC football over the past 13 years?
Words like awful, terrible, and irrelevant come to mind.
It may sound harsh, but that's a pretty accurate description of a conference that has not seen a team finish a year ranked in the top five since the Seminoles ended up fourth after the 2000 season. Since then, the ACC has had a whopping seven teams finish the year ranked in the top 10. People who think this conference has cleaned up its act overnight are sorely mistaken, and the Seminoles could be in trouble when they have to face a team from a BCS conference come bowl season.
So I say keep putting the Bucks at 2, coach Meyer -- it's the least you can do to balance out the mistakes made by the other voters in the poll.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Ohio State Buckeyes for over 25 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Urban Meyer
- Florida State Seminoles