The recent winning ways of the Ohio State Buckeyes mean very little until the the program can defeat an opponent of some substance.
A 55-14 drubbing of the 4-5 Illinois Fighting Illini is expected of Ohio State at this point. If the Buckeyes stumbled and the final score was much tighter, it would have reflected far more poorly on the program than any type of positive impact from winning another game decisively against an inferior opponent.
All that matters for the Buckeyes this season is next weekend’s contest against the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans.
The Buckeyes possess an impressive offense and talented defense. Very few teams in the country are playing as well at the moment. But the College Football Playoff committee places a heavy emphasis on strength of schedule, which is a detriment to Ohio State’s chances.
Plus, another loss by the Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend — the one team to beat Ohio State this season — will continue to haunt the hottest team in the Big Ten Conference.
There is no denying what Ohio State is currently doing, though. The Buckeyes are racking up points and massive chunks of yardage each and every week.
During Saturday’s contest against Illinois, Ohio State posted its fifth 50-point effort in six weeks. Nearly every weapon on the Buckeyes’ offense was effective and made plays. Quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns before being pulled for backup Cardale Jones. Jones threw two touchdowns as well and even ran for 47 yards during a limited appearance.
Ohio State is currently rolling. However, that early-season loss and a weak slate of games will prove to be problematic for head coach Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes.
Everything is riding on next weekend’s contest against the Spartans. And it still may not be enough to sniff the inaugural College Football Playoff.