Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Need to Focus on Spartans, Not BCS Rankings

When Auburn returned Alabama’s missed field goal for a touchdown to secure one of the most bizarre victories in Iron Bowl history, a debate instantly sparked about whether a one-loss SEC champion is more deserving of a title shot than an unbeaten Ohio State team.

The Buckeyes, who despite that debate elevated to the No. 2 spot ahead of Auburn in this week’s BCS rankings, would be smart to tune out the noise and focus on their Big Ten Championship tilt with No. 10 Michigan State.

Ohio State, of course, is coming off a closer-than-expected victory over a Michigan team that finished the season with five losses.

The Buckeyes gave up 603 total yards to a struggling Wolverines offense. Devin Gardner gashed Ohio State’s defense through the air, completing 71 percent of his passes for 451 yards to complement five total touchdowns.

Michigan was just one play away from handing Ohio State its first loss in two years. Trailing by one after a touchdown reception from Devin Funchess, Brady Hoke opted to go for two, and the win, instead of tying the game and forcing overtime. The Buckeyes held when Tyvis Powell jumped the route and picked off Gardner’s pass, preserving the win and Ohio State’s unbeaten season.

The Buckeyes have a much taller task this week in taking down the Spartans.

Michigan State boasts the nation’s top defense, allowing just 237 yards per game. The Spartans are especially stout against the run, surrendering an average of 64.8 rushing yards per game, which…

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