The USA Today Coaches Poll was released today and the Ohio State Buckeyes did not make the Top 5. A somewhat shocking development as many see them as National Title contenders. Even B/R Matt Miller was surprised:
What Miller is alluding to are some of the teams that are ranked ahead of the #6 ranked Buckeyes. That list includes Florida State and 1 followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and then Auburn. Leaving the Buckeyes 6th. While polls aren’t as important as they have been in the past, due to the new playoffs, it is still important that the Buckeyes make a good impression on the committee choosing the 4 teams. Placement on polls and in the computers can greatly influence that impression.
Here is what USA Today had to say about the Bucks:
6. Ohio State: A win away from playing for the BCS championship, the Buckeyes instead settled for an Orange Bowl date with Clemson. The next step to the inaugural playoff is in reach if the defense lives up to its billing and if QB Braxton Miller can stay healthy. Miller’s durability will be of utmost importance this year since his line and his ball handlers will be short on experience and Kenny Guiton, who backed him up capably, is gone. The D-line will be formidable indeed with DT Michael Bennett anchoring the inside. DEs Joey Bosa and Noah Spence provide strength on the edges, though the latter will miss the first two games completing a league-imposed suspension.
They make some great points regarding Miller’s health and the quality of the defensive line. The Buckeyes have fortified their weapons on offense over the last 2 years and should reap the rewards this year. How the offensive line steps up and grows will play a huge role in Miller’s success in the read option offense.
Thankfully the playoff system makes these polls less powerful but they still can have an impact.
What do you think of the #6 ranking?