With the current BCS system, you have to win, and win big, if you want to be in the national title game. Such is the issue for the Ohio State Buckeyes, who are expected to seemingly beat every opponent by 60 points or more if they are to remain in the title hunt. Ohio State did fine in a 60-35 win over Illinois, but it wasn't enough in the eyes of the AP voters, who bumped Baylor above the Buckeyes.
Ted Glover at Land-Grant Holy Land refused to get bogged down into the complexities of BCS implications, and instead chose to celebrate the Buckeyes' recent success.
There is a sizable contingent of folks that are never going to give OSU any credit for what they do, to include some of Ohio State's fans, fergodsakes, and they'll look at today's result (well, they already are) and say 'how can you consider OSU a national title team when you give up 35 points to Illinois?'
I refuse to look at the negative in this, because they just tied the longest winning streak in school history. Think about that for a minute. In the long history of OSU, and all the great coaches, all the great players, and all the great teams, the Buckeyes have gotten to this point exactly once before.
Mark Primiano at the Champaign Room was impressed with Illinois's ability to bounce back -- something Illini fans haven't seen in recent years.
- Resilience. I've leaned on this word plenty of times this season, but it just works. Even after starting down 28 points the stupid safety and the sideline coach fight (more on that later), the team doesn't lay down. It's ugly and painful, but unlike the last two years this team actually fights back. Makes it a bit less disheartening.
The Buckeyes got off to a hot start, scoring four straight touchdowns to open up the game. Three came from Braxton Miller, whose 70-yard run started off the festivities, but those were the only three scores he would have all day.
After that opening 28-0 run, Illinois actually outscored the Buckeyes the rest of the way by a margin of 35-32. The Illini got a special teams touchdown, three scores from Nathan Scheelhaase, and a strong game by receiver Steve Hull, but were completely unable to contain Carlos Hyde, who ran 24 times for 246 times and four touchdowns.