With Johnny Manziel making all the news early and the Pac-12's incompetent refs grabbing the headlines late, a little something else out West kind of went unnoticed. Urban Meyer is plotting a long-awaited rematch with Nick Saban.
We mentioned yesterday that Alabama has a pretty smooth path to the BCS title game after surviving Manziel and Texas A&M on Saturday. But that's nothing compared to Ohio State's red carpet treatment.
After demolishing Cal in Ohio Stadium at Strawberry Canyon with backup QB Kenny Guiton, the Buckeyes are ready to dig into the Big Ten. And judging by how things went for the B1G on Saturday, it looks like the Buckeyes will dominate the conference again.
Ohio State ascended to No. 3 in the latest simulated BCS standings, behind Alabama and Oregon.
|44||55||San Jose State||0||0||17||0||0|
Keys: Md = Median ranking of 31 computer ratings; CM = Colley Matrix; JS = Jeff Sagarin; KM = Kenneth Massey; RB = Richard Billingsley; CPU Avg. = Computer Average.
Explanation: This rankings method is a simulation of the actual BCS standings with the following variations: 1) The AP Poll is used in place of the Harris Interactive Poll, which is not published until after the first weekend of October; 2) Four of the six BCS computer ratings are available - Colley Matrix, Jeff Sagarin, Kenneth Massey and Richard Billingsley; 3) The other two computer ratings - Anderson & Hester and Peter Wolfe - will not be available until late-September or October, so they're replaced by the median ranking of 31 computer ratings.
^ Penn State is ineligible for inclusion in official BCS standings.
The Buckeyes now are in the on-deck circle, but they'd probably need more than a loss by either team to get into the BCS title game. They're likely to get leapfrogged by Stanford if the Cardinal defeat the Ducks to win the Pac-12 North, and they will also get jumped by LSU if the Tigers upset the Tide.
Still, finishing undefeated this season will yield considerable rewards for the Buckeyes, no matter what happens anywhere else. For now, all Ohio State can do is run roughshod over the Big Ten and keep Meyer unbeaten (15-0 and counting). To be sure, Meyer is eager for another shot at Saban, and this time, it'd be for something bigger than the SEC championship (as hard as that is to believe).
Week 4's BCS impact games
Rankings in simulated BCS standings.
No. 23 Arizona State at No. 4 Stanford (7 p.m. ET, FOX): Yes, we have mentioned that September scheduling in the BCS era is a wasteland, and this is the game of the week simply because it's the only game matching up top 25 teams (and barely at that). Todd Graham got away with very poor late-game management against Wisconsin thanks to the Pac-12's even more incompetent officials. He won't be so lucky on the Farm.
Auburn at No. 6 LSU (7:45 p.m., ESPN): The top-ranked Tigers -- Auburn, that is, according to the Colley Matrix -- are a surprising 3-0 after rallying past Mississippi State last week. But they're not quite ready to challenge the Bayou Bengals, who have their eye on the No. 1 rankings that really matters.
Boise State at Fresno State (9 p.m. Friday, ESPN): The catastrophic flooding in Colorado forced the postponement of Fresno State's game in Boulder last week, and now the Bulldogs will be playing perhaps the biggest game in program history with nearly two weeks off. A win here may very well position Fresno State for a run at a BCS at-large berth. The Broncos are finding themselves in the unfamiliar position of playing the spoiler.
Kansas State at Texas (8 p.m., ABC): Mack Brown says his team can still win the Big 12. We might need only one game to find out. Defending Big 12 co-champ K-State is trying to claw out of the embarrassment of losing to FCS North Dakota State in the season opener, and it won't be in the mood to take it easy on the Longhorns.
No. 5 Clemson at NC State (7:30 p.m. Thursday, ESPN): A year ago, Florida State blew whatever slim BCS chances it had by losing early at NC State. Will it happen to Clemson? Those Thursday night games can produce some very strange outcomes.