Last night’s big road conference win in Happy Valley against an unranked Penn State (5-3, 3-1 B1G) team has the Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 B1G) moving up three spots to #6 in the latest Associated Press Top-25 poll. The Bucks are ineligible for the Coaches Poll and the BCS rankings due to their current bowl ban.
After a slow start once again, Ohio State road the momentum of a Ryan Shazier pick six early in the second half to beat the Nittany Lions 35-23 and avenged yet another loss from their 6-7 campaign of 2011. The Scarlet and Gray is now 9-0 on the season and 5-0 in the B1G, good enough to stand alone atop the Leaders Division by a game over the just-beaten Nitts and by two games over the previously favored Wisconsin Badgers (6-3, 3-2 B1G).
The Big Ten Conference has already declared the Bucks eligible to win the Leaders Division trophy and with each passing week that looks more and more likely.
Ohio States remaining schedule has the Fighting Illini (2-6, 0-4 B1G) visiting Columbus this Saturday followed by a bye week, a trip to Madison, WI to face the Badgers and a home date with the Michigan Wolverines (5-3, 3-1 B1G) on November 24th to close out the 2012 college football season in Columbus.
Three teams ahead of the Buckeyes in last week’s AP poll lost this weekend (#2 Florida, #7 Oregon State and #8 Oklahoma) but the Buckeyes were only able to leap ahead of two. A single one-loss team (LSU) still leads the Bucks in the polls.
Even though they’re ineligible for post season play, the Buckeyes have had an outside shot of claiming half of a split national championship if the Associated Press were to rank them #1 in their final poll. The AP is not tied in with the BCS so they’re able to name whichever national champ they see fit. The coaches poll is a different story, who by contract must declare the winner of the BCS National Championship Game their champion at season’s end.
The top five teams in the country according to the Associated Press are now Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and LSU.
Nebraska is the only other Big Ten team currently in the rankings, now sitting at 21st in the country after being unranked a week ago.
Link: FULL POLL RESULTS