MADISON, Wisc. — It didn’t come easily, but Ohio State got a much-needed big win against No. 8 Wisconsin on Saturday.
In addition to solidifying their place as a top Big Ten contender, the Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) also ensured they remained in the No. 2 spot of both the Coaches Poll and AP Top 25 that came out Sunday.
A loss likely would have been the only thing that could have cost the Buckeyes their spot behind No. 1 Alabama. Third-ranked Clemson looked disappointing in its overtime win against North Carolina State — the unranked Wolfpack missed a 33-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have beaten the Tigers — and No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Washington both had off weeks (though Michigan did leapfrog Clemson in the AP Poll).
Previous rankings (Coaches/AP): No. 2/No. 2
New rankings (Coaches/AP): No. 2/No. 2
Last result: 30-23 overtime win at No. 8 Wisconsin on Saturday
What it means: Even though the Buckeyes looked lost in the first half, any doubts about the quality of this win will likely remain in the short term. One week later, when the details of games fade away, the fact is that the Buckeyes will have beaten Wisconsin by the same margin Michigan did and done so on the road instead of at home. On top of that, the Buckeyes now have two impressive road wins against ranked teams. There was never going to be a chance of Ohio State jumping Alabama after the Crimson Tide destroyed No. 9 Tennessee, 49-10, but the Buckeyes are widely viewed as the second-best team in the country and the most worthy challenger to Alabama.