(AP) — – Almost every major college football team burns with the central goal of playing for a national championship.
That’s also true at Ohio State, only with a twist.
Coach Urban Meyer says a more realistic and reachable goal is to merely be in a position to play for all the marbles, and the fourth-ranked Buckeyes open their November stretch run with a game Saturday at struggling Purdue.
“We don’t go into the season saying we want to win this one, or this one. If you look around there’s not a bunch of goals,” he said Monday. “Our goal is to win the national championship, but we don’t put that down. There’s too many variables involved.”
Instead of reaching for an all-or-nothing prize, Meyer and the Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) hope to head into the stretch run of the season with championships on the line.
“It’s always the same: To get to November and then let’s go try to find a way to win a championship,” Meyer said. “Because there’s injuries and issues you have to deal with. So that’s our focus.”
Ohio State’s season may not have traced the line a lot of Ohio State fans or insiders had plotted before the season even got going.
Due to injuries and suspensions, it seems the cast of characters has changed each week.
Yet the Buckeyes enter their final four games riding a 20-game winning streak and with a world of possibilities.
It’s been so long since they lost that they have to think hard what it felt like.
“It has been a few years. What, the Gator Bowl was the last loss?” tight end Jeff Heuerman said, referring to a 24-17 defeat to Florida on Jan. 2, 2012, that capped a dreadful 6-7 campaign. “We experienced that a few times that year. A lot of the guys remember that. And that’s not something we want.”
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