The Ohio State Buckeyes have made a habit of winning football games—they’ve posted 17 consecutive victories, including five this season—but they’ve lost ground in the AP Poll almost every week since beating Buffalo on opening weekend.
It raises the question: Do the Buckeyes need to play for wins and style points to reach the BCS title game this year?
After opening the season ranked No. 2 behind top-ranked Alabama, the Buckeyes fell one spot despite defeating the Bulls by 20 in Week 1. A week later, Ohio State dropped again after beating San Diego State by five touchdowns.
Ohio State held serve following two convincing victories over Cal and Florida A&M. The argument could be made that the Buckeyes needed a quality win to not only hold their position, but gain ground on the three teams ranked ahead of them—Alabama, Oregon and Clemson.
Did that happen when the Buckeyes notched a 31-24 victory over No. 23 Wisconsin last Saturday? According to Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer, Ohio State didn’t improve its stock, and in fact lost points in the poll while staying pat at No. 4.
The Buckeyes had a commanding 17-point lead over the Badgers, but abandoned the aggressive offense that produced those points and turned to a conservative approach to to kill the clock in the fourth quarter.
It gave the Buckeyes coaching staff exactly what it was looking for—a victory—but with their tenuous poll position, it left many…