The #4 Ohio State Buckeyes beat the #16 Northwestern Wildcats 40-30 on Saturday at Northwestern, scoring the final seven points thanks to a defensive play at the end of the game. As we reach the halfway point of college football's regular season, a time when a team's ranking in the polls finally means something, the burning question on the minds of many college football fans is, "Are the Buckeyes overrated?"
Ohio State's ranking didn't change in the new AP Top 25 Poll, and the Buckeyes received only 54 less votes than #3 Clemson. That hasn't stopped a lot of people ragging on Ohio State for a close win against Northwestern, though.
The Buckeyes' win over Northwestern yesterday marked their 18th consecutive win, which is the country's longest winning streak, so why are some people down on Ohio State?
According to FOX Sports' Greg Couch, the Ohio State Buckeyes looked like "the little guy playing over his head" yesterday and made the Big 10 look like a "second-rung league." Those are pretty harsh words for a team that put up 40 points in a win on a #16 ranked team's turf, but Couch isn't the only one who thinks the Buckeyes aren't deserving of their ranking.
I'm sorry but the Buckeyes are substantially overrated. Hopefully they get it together.
— Mike Terry (@ItsBigMikeT) October 6, 2013
Everyone on Twitter at the half: "Northwestern is for real!!!!!" ... Everyone on Twitter now: "Ohio State is overrated, has beaten no one!!"
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 6, 2013
Do you think Ohio State is overrated? Respond below.
Ohio State had three turnovers yesterday, including two fumbles and one interception. The lead switched back and forth throughout the game, and if not for two scores late in the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes would have lost.
The offense's (at times) sloppy play and the defense giving up 30 points explains why some folks are down on Ohio State. Plus, most fans expect a team that highly ranked to have all the kinks worked out by the halfway point so that close games like that don't happen.
“There is a perception of Northwestern that they’re well-coached and don’t make mistakes,’’ head coach Urban Meyer said. "That's true." Meyer also referred to the game as being "real football" and said that Northwestern has "very good players players, borderline great players at some positions.”
Northwestern was unbeaten going into the Ohio State game, so maybe the Wildcats are simply better than they're being given credit for. Close games happen, even for the best football teams, and time will soon tell if Ohio State is truly deserving of being a top five ranked team.