It’s been a good weekend for the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Saturday, they defeated Penn State 63-14 in a game full of historic firsts. One day later, the Buckeyes received a boost in the BCS rankings.
Ohio State is still No. 4, but it’s narrowed the gap to third-ranked Florida State and second-ranked Oregon. The Ducks jumped to No. 2 after beating then-No. 12 UCLA 42-14. Alabama is ranked first.
The Buckeyes were almost eight hundredths of a point behind No. 3 last week. That margin has been trimmed in half.
Ohio State leads by nearly a tenth of a point over No. 5 Stanford, a sizable lead. Baylor and Miami – Nos. 6 and 7 – have considerable ground to make up. Stanford remains the highest-ranked one-loss team. The Hurricanes will have an opportunity to thrust themselves firmly into the national championship conversation this week with a primetime showdown against Florida State looming on Saturday. Win, and they could possibly jump the Buckeyes.
It was another topsy-turvy day in the top 10 on Saturday. Previously undefeated and fifth-ranked Missouri frittered away a 17-point second-half lead and lost to No. 21 South Carolina in double overtime, while No. 7 Miami scored in the final minutes to beat Wake Forest. Missouri dropped to No. 9 and Miami stayed at seventh.
Oregon’s win over UCLA was perhaps the most impressive of the day, even more so than the Buckeyes’ manhandling of Penn State. The Bruins were ranked in the top 15, boosting the Ducks’ computer rating and vaulting them over Florida State.
Michigan is ranked 21st and Wisconsin checks in at 24th. Possible Big Ten Championship Game opponent Michigan State is No. 22.
Fresno State had a scare early Sunday morning, needing a blocked field goal and overtime heroics to survive San Diego State. Had the Aztecs won, it would have enhanced Ohio State’s computer rating. Instead, the Bulldogs are ranked 16th and in position to grab an at-large BCS bid. Undefeated Northern Illinois is just one spot behind Fresno State.