With all the drama we witnessed in fashionable Hoover, Alabama last week, it’s easy to forget that the SEC wasn’t the only conference busy entertaining the media. The Big Ten held its media bash last week as well, and though the focus was no doubt on RichRod, there was another story to consider: how will the conference’s best team fare in the national title hunt?
It’s just that there’s this nagging bit of baggage trailing after these guys.
Tired of scarlet and gray in the national championship game? You might not be alone. Ohio State’s poor showings in the past two BCS title games could have reached critical mass with the pollsters.
At least that was the opinion of Buckeyes quarterback Todd Boeckman on Friday at the Big Ten media days. This might be news to those in Ohio, but Ohio State has been ripped by critics after being dominated by Florida and LSU in the final game.
Asked if his team would get the benefit of the doubt from voters if they are in position to play for the championship again, Boeckman said, “If it comes down to it, probably not because of where we’ve been in the past.”
Obviously, OSU will start in the top five in the polls this year. Beat Southern Cal and the Buckeyes can start shopping for sunscreen to pack for Miami. But what if they lose in LA? What if they lose in a close one in LA and run the rest of the table? Or alternatively, what if they win in LA, but drop a conference game? Where does a one-loss Ohio State team fit in the mix and how long are voters’ memories, anyway?
Those will be interesting questions to follow all year, particularly if in the end there are no undefeated BCS conference teams in D-1 football again.