Buckeyes, Meyer, Will be Watching During Bye Week
By Rob Ogden
With a bye scheduled for this weekend, Urban Meyer and his undefeated Buckeyes don't have the chance to improve their BCS standing. They're hoping someone else will do it for them.
Meyer said he'll be watching Thursday night when a pair of undefeated teams take on top-10 foes.
No. 3 Oregon travels to No. 5 Stanford and No. 6 Baylor hosts No. 10 Oklahoma. Needing some help to move into the national championship discussion, Meyer said he'll be watching with his son, Nathan, as the action unfolds.
"I'll watch them both. Obviously I've got a lot of interest," Meyer said. "Oregon, the style of play that they have - we try to use some of their stuff, as much as we can, because I just think they're really good. But I'm going to watch Baylor, they've got an exciting program, too."
Saturday, No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 13 LSU is of obvious interest to Meyer, as well.
Ohio State is ranked No. 4 in the latest BCS standings and does not have the schedule strength it would need to leap into the top two spots without two of the teams ahead of it stumbling.
"I've been there before a couple of times where some things had to happen right," Meyer said. "For us to waste energy on that, that's not fair to the players we coach. But we'll certainly be watching."
Meyer won't be the only one watching. Quarterback Braxton Miller, linebacker Ryan Shazier and center Corey Linsley each said they plan to take in the action this weekend.
"We're absolutely interested because it's no longer a case of us just playing our best," Linsely said. "We also need someone else to not play their best."
With that in mind, the Buckeyes will certainly be pulling for Stanford and LSU to come away with upsets this weekend.
"I would be lying if I said i wasn't pulling for them," Shazier said. "But I have a gut feeling that at the end of the day, everything's gonna work out for us."
The Buckeyes also must worry about Baylor, who with a couple quality wins could potentially pass Ohio State in the polls.
Linsley is well aware of that fact, and said they have make sure that doesn't happen.
"It's a four-horse race right now. We have to do everything in our power to make sure somebody from behind doesn't jump us," he said. "Coach Meyer said it today, if we beat Penn State 13-10, we're not in this conversation - Baylor jumps us, or Stanford jumps us.
"We gotta put up points and stop these teams. Call it what it is, we're not facing the No. 5 team in the nation so we've gotta put up points and not let them score."
The Buckeyes will return to actions Nov. 16 when they travel to Illinois, with games against unranked Indiana and Michigan to follow.
If the Big Ten standings hold, Ohio State will face No. 17 Michigan State in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.
Still, those wins alone won't be enough. Linsley knows they need more.
"Call it unsportsmanlike, call it running up the score, we're trying to accomplish something that nobody else in our conference is trying to accomplish at this point," he said.
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