The Ohio State Buckeyes may be feeling the karma of 40 years ago when you really think about it. It was forty years ago that unbeaten Michigan hosted the unbeaten Buckeyes. As was typically the case in those days, the game was for the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. OSU was ranked number one in the country while Michigan was number four.
The game ended in a 10-10 tie and left the decision of who goes to the Rose Bowl in the hands of the ten Big Ten athletic directors. Back in those days, the conference had a rule that only the champion of the conference could go to a bowl so someone was going to be left out.
Despite the fact that Michigan dominated the game especially in the second half, they lost quarterback Dennis Franklin to a collarbone injury. The injury was ultimately the reason in the eyes of most Wolverines’ fans as to why the athletic directors chose Ohio State. The Buckeyes went to Pasadena and beat Southern Cal while Michigan stayed home.
OSU dropped in the polls after their poor performance at Michigan and as a result, Notre Dame claimed the national title by beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes finished second in the polls while Michigan finished fourth.
Forty years later, Ohio State may themselves on the outside looking in as they continue to pummel Big Ten competition. Head Coach Urban Meyer’s team is scoring almost 50 points per game and will no doubt finish unbeaten. They have Indiana at home and then finish at Michigan where the Wolverines are struggling.
If both Alabama and Florida State keep winning the Buckeyes will not be receiving an invite to the final BCS National Title Game. Regardless of how many points they score and how much they beat teams by, there’s nothing Meyer or anyone else in Columbus can do about it.
Although there is a similarity between the two events spread 40 years apart, OSU will still go to a bowl game unlike Michigan who couldn’t. Either way, you can’t help but feel the frustration emanating from the Ohio State campus already. There are still a few weeks to go, but it isn’t looking good for the Buckeyes’ hopes of a national title.
The team most likely now to face Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game is Michigan State. The Spartans took advantage of five Nebraska turnovers and beat the Cornhuskers 41-28 in Lincoln. The MSU defense was a little more human giving up a 100-yard rushing day to Amir Abdullah but the Spartans still did more than enough get the win.
The Spartans need a win either at snake-bitten Northwestern or home against Minnesota to clinch the Legends’ Division and those won’t be easy by any stretch. Despite a win at Michigan last week, I have to believe there will be questions raised about Bo Pelini staying the head coach at Nebraska.
#7 Auburn got a late gift from two Georgia defensive backs and knocked off the Bulldogs to keep their BCS hopes alive. The Tigers will have a week off before hosting rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl. A win over the Tide would be huge on a number of levels for Gus Malzahn’s team which has made an amazing turnaround in just one year.
#4 Stanford was upset by surging USC last night 20-17. The loss more than likely knocks the Cardinal out of the BCS and gives Oregon control of the Pac-12 North. In a matter of 10 days, Stanford went from a BCS shoo-in to not even playing in a BCS game. There is still a lot time for things to happen however.