The Ohio State football team (9-0, 5-0) is showing confidence moving forward, after moving up to No. 3 in the BCS Standings following then-No. 3 Oregon’s loss to then-No.5 Stanford.
As of right now, the two teams ahead of the Buckeyes, No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State, seem to have an insurmountable lead over OSU in the BCS standings. The Buckeyes currently sit .069 points behind the Seminoles in the latest rankings, while the Crimson Tide lead overall by .034 points.
Despite the disparity, junior wide receiver Evan Spencer said OSU could take down the other top teams.
“I guess I’m a little bit biased, but I think we’d wipe the field with both of them,” Spencer said after practice Monday.
Social media exploded following Spencer’s comment, with discussions about who exactly the wide receiver was referring to. Spencer took to Twitter himself Monday evening with a pair of tweets to offer an explanation.
“I did not mean to disrespect any FB team today. I am confident in my team, and as is evident in the video (of the interview), I was having fun…” Spencer’s first tweet read. “… With the media answering their questions. I should have chosen my words more wisely. There was no intent to disrespect any other team,” he finished.
An OSU spokesman followed Spencer’s tweets with his two minutes later, echoing what he said.
“Just spoke to Evan Spencer. He said he was having fun with the media today and he did not intend to disrespect any other team,” the tweet read.
Later, he added that the Buckeyes just need to carry out their game plan and they will be able to beat anyone that comes their way.
“We’ve just got to go out and execute,” Spencer said. “If we go out and execute for a full game, there’s nobody in the country that can hang with us when we’re executing the way that we can.”
Redshirt-senior safety Corey “Pitt” Brown echoed Spencer’s sentiments.
“I think we could play anybody if we have the right game plan and everybody comes to work and play hard like I know we can.” Brown said.
Coach Urban Meyer said his coaches poll ballot has not changed as the season has progressed in terms of the top two, with Alabama sitting at No. 1 and OSU at No. 2.
“I believe we have Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State … I had us (at No. 2) all year, I just think we’re playing like one of the top teams in the country right now,” Meyer said.
Meyer said he had the opportunity during the bye week to watch the other top ranked teams play.
“There’s some very good teams out there. I really enjoyed watching the (Oregon against Stanford) game. Two very good games. I saw Alabama and LSU. Excellent teams … A lot of respect for those teams,” Meyer said.
Meyer added to keep up with the teams ranked around them, the Buckeyes need to play at a high level for the remainder of the year.
“The message is you have to play great. We do. I mean, you’re held to be even mentioned with those other teams, be careful what you wish for,” Meyer said. “That means you have to practice and play at a certain level.”
Redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort said he isn’t thinking about a potential matchup with a team like Alabama, but said if it comes to it, the Buckeyes will be ready.
“I don’t want to talk about that. Right now, we’re just focused on beating Illinois and if we ever come to that hurdle, we’ll come to that then but they’re a great football team, No. 1 in the nation so they’re doing something right,” Mewhort said. “If we ever get that shot, I think we’ll be ready for it.”
Mewhort added that the focus needs to be what is on the schedule ahead of them, and not about where they are in the BCS.
“In the locker room, I think there is some discussion but as far as the team goes, we try not to get ahead of ourselves. We know we have to win every game in front of us,” Mewhort said. “When the time comes, I think we’ll talk about that but right now, I think we’re just focused on winning our division and winning the Big Ten so if we handle our business, we’ll be all right.”
In the last two games, OSU has racked up the style points, outscoring Penn State and Purdue by a combined 119-14.
Brown said putting up big margins of victory isn’t a goal every week for OSU, but the team comes out and tries to play its best no matter the circumstances.
“We come out every week trying to play at the highest level we can possible so its not too much of a big difference,” Brown said.
OSU is scheduled to continue its quest for an undefeated season Saturday at noon when it travels to Champaign, Ill., to take on Illinois (3-6, 0-5).
Correction: An earlier version of the story said Evan Spencer said he thought OSU could beat Alabama and Florida State, however Florida State was never mentioned specifically in reference to top ranked teams.