COMMENTARY | While the Ohio State Buckeyes prepare for their Saturday matchup vs. the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten championship game, the off-field conversation has been about whether the Buckeyes deserve a chance at the BCS national championship. While the popular line of thinking is that the Auburn Tigers, coming off of their win over #1 Alabama, should jump Ohio State in the BCS rankings, there are plenty of statistics that prove otherwise. Let’s break down the three main arguments fans and analysts alike are using to discredit Ohio State and its #2 ranking: Argument 1: Strength of Schedule The all-too-popular argument when it comes to discrediting Ohio State is its strength of schedule. Ohio State’s schedule is ranked 61st toughest in the country, according to sagarin.com. This would appear to diminish the glamour of the Buckeyes’ 12-0 record heading into the Big Ten championship. Why, then, does Florida State’s 66th-ranked schedule never get mentioned? That’s right. Florida State has a weaker schedule than Ohio State does. It is, of course, this line of thinking that catapults Auburn in front of the two aforementioned teams, with Auburn playing the 26th-toughest schedule in the nation. However, if you believe a one-loss SEC team deserves to make a jump, then why wouldn’t Arizona State (10-2), which has the 4th-toughest schedule this season, jump Auburn? The “strength of schedule” argument is more than flawed, but with the way the Buckeyes have been criticized for their weak schedule, one would be led to believe that Florida State had played an SEC-caliber schedule as well. Top 3 based on “strength of schedule:” 1. Auburn Tigers 2. Ohio State Buckeyes 3. Florida State Seminoles Argument 2: Style Points If you’re argument is that the BCS is flawed because it is based on style points, well, you may be right. However, arguing that Ohio State would deserve a shot because of the lack of style points would be a ludicrous argument. The best of the three teams is clearly Florida State, helped, of course, by the weakness of the schedule. The Seminoles have an average margin of victory of 42.6 points per win. Ohio State comes in at 27.9 points, while Auburn comes in way behind with an 18.8-point margin of victory (and, remember, one loss to LSU). The Buckeyes have the biggest win on the season, with a 76-0 drudging of Florida A&M. And it’s worth nothing that the Ohio State Buckeyes haven’t lost a regular season football contest since November 26, 2011. …
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