Sunday, September 16, 2012

Top 25 Recap: Ohio State, Others (Excluding USC, Virginia Tech) Survive Upset Bids

By HD Founder

Braxton Miller had the best game of his Buckeye career as the No. 12 Buckeyes (3-0) were fortunate enough to avoid the upset bug Saturday.

After leading 20-7 at the half, the OSU defense gave up a ton of yards and 21 second-half points, in what is one of their worst performances in years.

With the score tied at 28, Miller found a wide-open Devin Smith for a 72-yard-touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 35-28.

On their ensuing drive, Cal QB Zach Maynard overthrew his intended receiver and cornerback Christian Bryant intercepted the pass with under a minute and a half left to seal the win.

Miller finished the day 16 of 30 for 249 yards and four touchdown passes with one interception and had 12 carries for 75 yards and one rushing touchdown. The defense MUST improve, but as long as Miller is healthy, he is a Heisman front-runner and the Buckeyes will have a great chance to win every game.

The Top 10

No. 1 Alabama has no trouble steamrolling Arkansas 52-0. No. 2 USC did not fare so well—dropping their fourth straight to the Stanford Cardinal.

No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Oregon both cruised to 63-14 wins over Idaho and Tennessee Tech, respectively. No. 5 Florida State shutout Wake Forest, 52-0.

No. 7 Georgia blasted Florida Atlantic by a final of 56-20.

No. 8 South Carolina routed UAB (Ohio State's week four opponent), 49-6.

No. 9 West Virginia coasted to a 42-12 win over James Madison.

No. 20 Notre Dame suffocated No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing, 20-3.

11-25 Notable Games

No. 14 Virginia Tech did what they pretty much always do every year and laid an egg vs. an inferior opponent, losing 35-17 to previously winless Pittsburgh.

No. 23 Tennessee led No. 18 Florida at the half, but the Gator defense was too much for the Vols in the second half and Florida remained undefeated with a 37-20 victory.

No. 19 Louisville held a 39-14 lead over UNC early in the fourth quarter, but had to withstand a late charge by the Tarheels and held on for a 39-34 win.

What these Top 25 results mean for Ohio State

USC will likely drop down to the 13-15 range and Michigan State might stay in the top 25, or drop out altogether. The teams that beat each of them, Stanford and Notre Dame, could both jump up near the top 10.

It looks like the best case for Ohio State is they move up to No. 10 ahead of USC and MSU. The worst case is they move up to No. 11. I don't think ND jumps OSU, but the voters could definitely and deservedly reward Stanford with a top 10 slot.

It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win. And while many of the experts and our own fans will be down on the Buckeyes after this, I, for one, believe winning a close game like this can be very beneficial as the season plays out.

— HD


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