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Urban Meyer: ‘I don’t think these kids care’ about rankings

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Senior wide receiver Devin Smith (9) and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith (84) celebrate during OSU’s 52-24 win against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

Senior wide receiver Devin Smith (9) and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith (84) celebrate during OSU’s 52-24 win against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md.
Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

In college football, anything is possible.

The phrase “any given Saturday,” while cliché, rang true last week as a handful of ranked teams fell to lower-ranked or unranked opponents.

With that being said, the No. 15 Ohio State football team is sitting in an interesting position.

If the bricks fall in the right way, the Buckeyes could have a long-shot chance at making it in to the first ever College Football Playoff, something OSU coach Urban Meyer said he addressed with his team.

“We do that every year this time of year and I just show the rankings and I show the teams … they are going to hear it and I don’t want them to hear much about it at all after our conversation,” Meyer said Wednesday. “When you look at it, everything is wide open. College football, this is a pretty open year.”

OSU junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren said no matter where the Buckeyes rank nationally, the mindset remains the same.

“I think guys know (where we stand). Stuff got pretty crazy last weekend, but I think our attitude — we just try to go out and get better every week and we can only control what we can control,” Boren said. “We are going to go out, try and win every game, win a Big Ten championship and then after that we will see how things stack up and hopefully it will work out for us.”

Meyer added that even though he held a team meeting regarding the issue, he does not want it blown out of proportion.

“I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. We talk about it briefly, and we move on. I don’t think these kids care,” Meyer said. “I am hoping that they just want to get better and the thing we are most concerned about is we had momentum and it’s been taken away so we have to keep that momentum somehow.”

That momentum the Buckeyes carried was because of back-to-back games in which the offense produced more than 1,200 yards combined — including 710 against Cincinnati, eight yards short of a school record.

Boren said Wednesday that the offensive surge is because of the experience that the Buckeyes gain with each week.

“I think we have grown a lot the past few weeks. We started off a little bit slow, but we started to get a little bit of momentum and we have definitely grown the past few weeks and we are still nowhere near where we need to be,” he said. “We just have to keep growing.”

Meyer said he is concerned about continuing to grow throughout the course of the team’s second bye week in a month.

“The first one I think came at the right time. You could see we played pretty well afterwards. This one, I don’t know,” Meyer said. “All I know is it remains to be seen. It is uncomfortable to be honest with you. I am not used to the two (bye weeks) in the first six, seven weeks in the season. I always do research and this has never happened to us before. I don’t want to be paranoid, but I am.”

OSU senior defensive lineman Steve Miller didn’t seem as worried as Meyer, as he said Wednesday that while the timing of the bye week has been awkward for him, it provides opportunities for other players.

“I say it’s been strange, because it’s real early. And we really aren’t that really banged up yet, so it really isn’t that bad to be taking a break,” Miller said. “It’s been more laid-back for this break. Just trying to get some of the young guys ready.”

The Buckeyes are scheduled to return from their bye week Oct. 18 to host Rutgers at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

 

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