Meyer, Spencer Confident in Buckeyes

By Kyle Rowland on November 11, 2013 at 5:03p
Evan Spencer on Alabama and Florida State: "We’d wipe the field with both of them."

Urban Meyer revealed Monday that he has Ohio State ranked second in his Coaches Poll ballot, sandwiched between Alabama and Florida State, the two teams keeping the Buckeyes out of the national championship game. A majority of the country views the Crimson Tide and Seminoles as a notch better than Ohio State.

Evan Spencer shares the dissenting opinion.

“Well, I guess I’m a little biased, but I think we’d wipe the field with both of them,” the Buckeye wide receiver said. “We’re going to go ahead and handle our business and play our best game every week. We know that we just have to go out and execute. If we go out and execute for a full game, there’s nobody in the country that we feel can hang with us when we’re executing the way that we can.”

When pressed for who the second team was beyond Alabama, Spencer said, "Whoever," but it’s hard to find chinks in Spencer’s argument when one considers Ohio State’s won its last 21 games. The Buckeyes might not “wipe the field” with all comers, but confidence has been instilled during the current win streak.

Meyer spoke in a far different tone. He admitted Ohio State is on the outside looking in, adding that the team uses its status as motivation.

“I think there are some very good teams out there,” he said. “I really enjoyed watching the Oregon-Stanford game, two very good teams. I saw Alabama-LSU, excellent teams. I watched some of Baylor-Oklahoma. I watched as much football as I could get my hands on. My impression, Alabama-LSU, that was high-level football, so was Oregon-Stanford. So we have a lot of respect for those teams.”

So why does he have his own team second?

“We’re playing like one of the top teams in the country right now,” Meyer said.

The final three regular season games can serve as a springboard for Ohio State, a neutral point or disaster. College football has proven time and again that it’s one of the most unpredictable sports, which Meyer is well accustomed to after BCS chaos throughout his tenure at Utah and Florida.

In 2004, he busted the BCS with the Utes, then overcame what many viewed as an insurmountable Michigan lead during championship week in 2006. The latter years at Florida produced heartbreaking losses to Alabama.

“I’ve been in this situation before. You have nothing to do with nothing other than getting ready to go play, because there is so much football to be played.” Meyer said.

The message to the team is win the game, but a carrot also dangles overhead. The Buckeyes must play great, something Meyer is well aware of. Another issue is not overlooking any opponents, including an Illinois team that’s lost 19 straight Big Ten games. Meyer said that’s impossible because Ohio State has invested way too much into this season.

“Do we have to win with the style points? No,” Meyer said. “You have to play great, though, or you'll no longer be in the same breath with those other teams.  To maintain that status you have to play very well.”

Not one to welcome distractions, Meyer could be heading that direction with assistant coaches mentioned as possible head coaching candidates. Last week, Meyer met with former longtime Ohio State administrator and current Florida Atlantic athletic director Pat Chun about the Owls’ vacant job.

It was rumored that Luke Fickell interviewed with Chun, though Meyer quickly shot those murmurs down. But what is certain is that Meyer and Chun did speak.

“We talked about names. Pat is a great friend,” Meyer said. “There’s nothing more I’d like to see than Pat Chun be successful. He’s also very respectful of this time of year for us. The No. 1 thing is we talked about a profile because that’s a unique place.”

Then Meyer gave Chun a list of staff members that could be the right fit. He would not elaborate on who or how many.


[Photo: Kirk Irwin Photography.]


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trock's picture

Is there audio of Evan Spencer's comments? I've been told it was taken out of context.

Buck_YES's picture

I don't really think it was taken out of context, but here's the link from the plain dealer, you can decide for yourself...

Kyle Rowland's picture

It wasn't taken out of context. Wiping the field might be going too far on his part, but obviously players are eternal optimists. They're going to say and believe they can beat anyone.

trock's picture

After hearing the audio it is clear nothing was taken out of context. Personally, I don't have a problem with the comment.
If Bama or FSU need this comment to motivate them, then something is wrong with them.

NeilAve's picture

i'm sure ESPN didn't take it out of context at all. I'm actually not surprised it's not the 'The Lead'

Chilimac419's picture

The psychological warfare begins .... And I love it ...  Go bucks   Only getting stronger 
ttun= kardasians

rcdunn1010's picture

I find Meyer's comments particularly interesting seeing as he usually down plays OSU when talking to the media.  He seems to be building them up much more now... Perhaps trying to help our perception with the media (a lost cause).

DaiTheFlu's picture

I thought this too, at first. But, much like the first several games last year, UFM made it very clear to all who watch his team that he expects high level football, which quite frankly, we are just now starting to see out of all three phases of Ohio State football. Now that the team has proven to coach what they are capable of, he will 100% go to bat for his team in the media.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

LouGroza's picture

Already the top link/story on ESPN. That didn't take long. The Spencer comment, that is.

Blue Eyed Buckeye's picture

Am I the only on that has noticed that the Buckeyes have only gone down in the rankings every week they've played football and have only gone up in the rankings when they don't play football. 

I nominate our new strategy is to just take bye weeks for the rest of the season.

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

Boooo! No more bye weeks ever! As punishment for 2 bye weeks this year, I propose that OSU play 2 doubleheaders next season!
What am I supposed to do on Saturday afternoons in the fall without buckeye football? It's what allows me to mask my drinking problem!

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

Spencer admitted that he was biased. I'm not sure about "wiping the floor", but I believe OSU has the players to beat either team as well. I've watched Alabama play twice this year (VT and LSU) and neither win impressed me. They are the top dog right now and rightfully so until someone beats them, but I just want the Buckeyes to get that chance.
Any national championship appearance would be great so that is what I'm hoping for, but I would prefer it to be against alabama. If we were to beat FSU, then we'd have to listen to all of the "the REAL national championship game happened in the SEC Championship" nonsense.
Still a lot of football to be played though...

Josh P's picture

If you aren't impressed by Bama yet something is wrong with you. 3 of the last 4 speaks for itself just as much as 21-0 does.  

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

3 of the last 4 speaks for itself

To be blunt, it speaks as to how much luck is involved in getting to the BCSCG.
Alabama is a very good team. The notion that there is some vast gulf between Alabama & other teams that have consistently played at a high level (Ohio State, Oklahoma State, LSU, Stanford etc) over the past few years needs to be put to rest.
Edit: Upvoted to counter the DV

onetwentyeight's picture

To be blunt, a lot of those players involved in the first 3 are playing on Sundays now. This 2013 edition of Bama has essentially 1 great win - this past weekend. They squeaked by a now-2-loss A&M team while Johnny Football made their vaunted defense look like a WAC team. They beat a very very sad, mediocre VTech team as their "marquee" OOC win. Not impressed. 

onetwentyeight's picture

I'm not even exaggerating about VTech being a shitty OOC win. VTech lost to D U K E this year. DUKE. 

LSU isn't where they were a few years ago but they're not a bad team either. But they're arguably the only half-decent team Bama has a "good win" against. I'm sorry, I just can't call escaping in a shootout with Manziel where Manziel put up like 500 yards and 5 tds on you a "good win". 

btalbert25's picture

So beating a 3 loss LSU was better than beating  a 2 loss A&M team?  

onetwentyeight's picture

Their defense actually looked functional for large stretches of time vs LSU. So yes, that kind of matters? 

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

I admitted that Alabama is the top dog in the sport. They've earned that by winning 3 of the past 4 national championships. I just don't feel that this year's edition is as formidable as the 3 teams that have won it all for them in recent years.
The accomplishments of previous seasons shouldn't count so much (although I know that past successes and failures do weigh heavily in the minds of voters). Alabama gets credit this year for their work over the last 4 years just the same as OSU still gets punished for losing the championship games in 2006 and 2007, despite the fact that all of the faces and philosophies have changed since then. 
Last year, I think Alabama would have crushed the Buckeyes despite our 12-0 record. This year, I don't believe that is true. The 2013 buckeyes look a lot better than the 2012 team and the 2013 crimson tide looks worse IMHO than the 2012 team. The way that I see it, there are two 9-0 teams with similar levels of talent. Hopefully they get to meet on the field so I can find out if I'm right.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Also, kids tend to talk in hyperbole. 
I have a few buddies at work who root for a C-USA team. Whenever that team wins, no matter how close the game was, they always say something like,"we whooped that a--!" When I respond, "But didn't y'all win on a last second FG after giving up 185 yards rushing?" they give me a puzzled look.
I actually think what Spencer said is very smart from a PR/politicking perspective. Of course, it worries me from a locker room, don't-get-ahead-of-yourselves perspective, but maybe that's a necessary risk these days.

BuckeyeSouth's picture

I was at the Bama/LSU game Saturday night and it was an impressive win, but the whole time I couldn't help but think that they are, indeed, beatable this year.  In the end, the Buckeyes may not get to play them but if they did I'd feel like they have as good of a chance of beating them as anyone.
On a side note, Alabama's "Million Dollar Band" wasn't worth a nickel.  Most boring halftime show I've ever seen.

Champions.  Undisputed.  

Josh P's picture

Everyone knows where the Best Damn Band in the Land is located.  That's not up for discussion. Yes Bama is beatable, but they're still a damn impressive football team.  Being this cocky didn't get us to 21-0 and it won't get us to the NCG.  As far as I'm concerned, there's 4 (I've been a Stanford believer all year) really really good football teams at the top of the rankings and the chance to get the challenge of playing any of the other 3 would be an honor.  4 more wins and we'll be in the rose bowl whether it's on New Years or a few days after.  Embrace it and enjoy what's probably gonna be the longest win streak we watch the Bucks go on in our lifetimes.  

Josh P's picture

Also, just to clarify, I have no problem with Meyer and Spencer being this cocky.  As fans, lets just shut up and let what happens the next few weeks happen. 

IBleedSandG's picture

Embrace it and enjoy what's probably gonna be the longest win streak we watch the Bucks go on in our lifetimes.

This! +1.


Maestro's picture

God forbid somebody actually says something interesting.

vacuuming sucks

BoFuquel's picture

Can we get FSU an S. I. cover. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Johnveetee's picture

The Colossus: colossal kiss of death

Jhesse17's picture

Am I supposed to be shocked at Evan Spencer's quote? If you don't believe you're the best who else will?

fanatibuck's picture

Exactly!! I'm glad the players have this attitude. It helps them stay fresh and motivated.


BuckeyeDynasty's picture

I have no problem with the comments, So what, how else should he feel when he is constantly hearing in the media and from the so called "Experts" that his team is third,fourth, and fifth best??? having to turn on the TV and hear people talk about 1-loss teams possibly jumping his unblemished one, having to hear time and time again that his team is "Overrated" and "Doesn't play anyone", meanwhile hes won 21 games in a row (Impressive in any conference, hence why its the longest streak in the nation), Coming off a string of dominant victories, and realizes that his team is just now starting to play its best football. Hes confident in and proud of his team, and he feels disrespected nationally, as he should.
Nothing wrong with him saying he thinks he plays for the best team in the Nation, hes just tired of the national Alabama and Florida State Love fest.

Hovenaut's picture

Spencer doesn't strike me as a cocky kid....I actually sense the frustration in his comments as OSU gets no love from the polls.

His being a "little biased" towards his football team is no different from the Buckeye nay-sayers - a "little biased" themselves.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

as OSU gets no love from the polls

Is this really true though? Yes, it's a little obnoxious that OSU's BCS average is closer to fourth place, one-loss Stanford than it is to second place FSU, but does it really matter? By all even moderately reasonable accounts Stanford can't pass OSU. OSU is ranked ahead of Stanford in both human polls and will stay that way unless OSU loses. So really, this is about whether OSU should be ranked ahead of FSU and/or Bama. With all three being undefeated, there's clearly nothing terribly unfair about the current ranking, right?

Citrus's picture

I don't believe in bulletin board material. However, voter perception is important. At least the conversation is shifting from "tOSU has no chance" to "can tOSU beat FSU or 'Bama." Comments can push the conversation in that direction. Because a talking head or two will jump on these comments and take the "controversial" opinion that tOSU is better. It all starts with one.

onetwentyeight's picture

Everyone forgets Meyer was the guy who politicked his way INTO the BCS NCG in 2006 ahead of then #2 Michigan. It wouldn't surprise me AT ALL if he okay-ed (or at least tacitly allowed) Evan to go off like this. Trash talking has its benefits, chiefly among them is grabbing HEADLINES and MEDIA ATTENTION. Even if most people will ridicule him, his bravado at least plants the idea in people's heads that hey this group of buckeyes is brash and hasn't lost in forever. Maybe we should give them a shot at (Bama, FSU, etc). 

Because right now, every little bit of media attention matters. Barring a miracle, we're trying to essentially "Lobby" our way into this thing. Meyer has already done this before once, and I know he knows what he has to do this time around. 

nm_buck's picture

Those are great points... at this stage of the season... it really doesn't matter if it's locker room material.  We need people talking about us... we need to be in the picture.  If enough people get offended, maybe the voters will say "the hell with it, lets put tOSU in the NC and watch them get beat."
Kinda like 2003...

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

btalbert25's picture

He knows the team is finally in position where he can start politicking for them.  Threw much of the year they didn't look like they could hang with FSU or Bama.  Now they are looking great and as though they may be able to give anyone a run for their money.  Meyer knows his team is ready, and he can start lobbying.  I don't know why he doesn't have his team number 1.  They've won 21 in a row.  I'm have a feeling he'll probably bump them up for that final poll.  Are there other B1G coaches with a vote who will help skew the rankings come that final poll? 

ScarletGray43157's picture

Spencer's quote is now on the front page of  Somebody better tell him to remember Terry Glenn's smack before an epic Michigan loss.  Or just tell him not to ever give an opponent bulletin board material.  Stupid move, at any level.  Talk after the game is over, if at all, because the scoreboard says all that needs to be said.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

WildBear Buckeye's picture

So, I would normally agree completely, except ... there is no game yet.
It's a terrible idea to talk smack before a game that's already set. At best it makes you sound like a jerk, at worst it's incredibly embarrassing. But Ohio State needs help getting into the NCG in the first place. Worrying about the outcome of that game is putting the cart before the horse. If this helps sway voters in any way (frankly, I can't imagine it would), why not try? I don't see a downside.
+1 to you, by the way. We might disagree, but I like having this conversation.

GOOMBAY's picture

I have some solid inside info that Spencer has since retracted his statement and offered the following correction: "Stanford would wipe the floor with anyone so long as they play Stanford football. All hail, ESPN. End communication."

AkronBuckeye13's picture

I like the confidence that he has in the team. Also he is probably frustrated that the Buckeyes have won 21 straight and people everywhere are talking about why a one loss Stanford squad and a Baylor squad that has played a weaker schedule than Ohio State should be ahead of them in the polls.

Blackbeards Delight's picture

Please tell me the truth, is everyone really hating and trying to spin BS into facts about The Buckeyes? I try to be SUBJECTIVE but I just need to know if I've truly become a homer. I realize the BIG is beyond suspicious but Texas Tech 34 Minnesota 31, Michigan State 17 TCU 16, Northwestern 34  Mississippi St 20, Georgia 45 Nebraska 31, South Carolina 33 UM 28, Stanford 20 Wisconsin 14
These games were all competitive, even if the bulk of them were losses. So even as bad as the BIG is being made out to be, they still competed with these conferences respectably. In most cases they were probably ranked lower than their opponent. Oh well it would have been easier to just say the BIG is sheet! Like the rest of the media heads.

"Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23yr, it's what's for breakfast"

- Me


vitaminB's picture

Evan Spencer has just introduced us to the national media.  Every interview from here on out should be about how much better we are than FSU or Bama.
Q: So Braxton, how do you think you'll fare against the Illini this week?
A: Doesn't matter.  The only thing that matters is Florida State and Bama are shit and we would crush them.  We would even crush a fantasy all star team created by drafting players from both squads.  We are football elite right now.  My man Carlos will eat their children.  All praise to Warren G. Harding.  I'm out.

PhoenixBuckeye's picture

I can't help first post on this site just has to be in reply to an "All praise to Warren G. Harding" post. Love the comment...and love the site. As many Ohio State transplants to other states and countries know, listening to hometown radio that doesn't involve the Buckeyes just isn't worth listening to. God bless the invention of the Internet so ElevenWarriors could exist.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

Not my first post but I live in the state between Alabama and Louisiana in the heart of sec country and have to hear about those two not to mention Ole Miss and Miss. St. Not to mention that I have to live in a state that adjoins where Bert lives. It gets super old real quick. 11W is my coping mechanism, kinda like Buckeyes Anonymous.

DannyBeane's picture

The fact that we have such high caliber players as Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde and they are playing to the best of their abilities right now and might not play for a National Championship is really grinding my gut the wrong way. Here's to hoping next years playoffs are everything we wanted and more.