I have to say that I was rather shocked when I read the newest BCS standing showing Ohio State was ahead of Auburn.
The first thing I thought about was, “Is the SEC too good and does the BCS committee not really want another SEC team in the big game?” After all, the SEC has been in the past seven BCS championship games, winning all of them.
Yes, Ohio State is the only undefeated team in the BCS top 10 besides the true and undisputed No. 1 Florida State. But it is only undefeated because of the head-scratching call by Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Michigan found itself in a tight battle which no one, especially Ohio State, expected. The game came down to the decision to go for the tie or the win with 32 seconds left after Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner threw a two-yard pass to Devin Funchess to make it 42-41.
Apparently, Hoke asked his seniors if they wanted to go for the win or head into overtime with a tie. Considering the disappointing season they have had, they decided to go for it all, the way young players in the heat of battle will do. I guess he found himself in a personal win-win situation. If he goes for it and they get it he’s a hero. If they miss it, like they did, he’s a hero for standing by his players.
But as for Ohio State being undefeated, should it be rewarded for allowing a 7-5 team to push it to the brink like that?
On the other hand, Auburn also benefited from a questionable call by Alabama’s Nick Saban to put in a back-up kicker to win the game from 57 yards out. His kicker, Cade Foster, was not having the best day, having missed three field goals out of four attempts. He missed one from 33 yards after his 28-yarder was negated because of a penalty. The other two were from 44 yards away, 13 yards closer than the final try.
Seriously, what are the odds that a kicker, especially a backup kicker, can step into a pressure-filled, game-on-the-line situation and make a 57-yard field goal?
One of the main issues in the argument to keep Ohio State ahead of Auburn, is the strength of schedule. Looking at Ohio State’s wins, only one comes against a current top-25 team. That was their 31-24 win over Wisconsin.
Auburn has played four BCS top-25 teams, having beat then No. 1 Alabama in a dramatic fashion, gotten a 45-41 win over No. 24 Texas A&M and a 43-38 win over No. 22 Georgia. The War Eagles/Tigers’ — do they really need two mascots, go ahead and drop one already — loss, 35-21, came on the road against No. 15 LSU.
As I see it, Auburn has one more chance to make its claim to play in the BCS championship game if it can not only beat No. 5 Missouri in the SEC Championship game, but do so in a dominating fashion. If it does that it should overtake Ohio State, which is playing in the Big Ten Championship game against a lesser opponent in No. 10 ranked Michigan State.