Yeah, I said it. They proved it to me today. They went into a very hostile environment against a fired-up opponent, and shut them down. What I saw today against Washington was a great performance by a young team. 481 yards and 33 points in a PAC-10 building is nothing to be ashamed of. Add into that a big fat zero in the turnover column, and I'm a happy man.
Ohio State today played like the best team in the Big Ten, and in my biased but honest opinion, are now the frontrunners for the Rose Bowl.
Beating Washington 33-14 (and it could have been SO much wider of a margin) gives us a clear route for a while, especially with a series of lower-echelon teams coming up on the schedule. I feel that Ohio State is the best Big Ten squad not only because they are playing excellent football....but the rest of the league is not as impressive.
Here's the only other Big Ten schools who haven't lost yet......
Wisconsin - I've gotta knock them down a peg after letting The Citadel stay tied with the Badgers at 21 midway through the 3rd quarter. Last week's stuggle against UNLV was apparently not an abberation.
Penn State - They've played three games, all against teams ranked in the ESPN "Bottom 10". And one of them was BEATING the Nittany Lions after one quarter today. I'm not impressed yet.
Purdue - Hell of an offense, but not yet ready for prime-time. They've beat Toledo, Eastern Illinois, and Central Michigan. They'll be 5-0 because they play Minnesota and Notre Dame next, but then comes Ohio State. The dream will crash down that day, just like it did for 5-0 Iowa last year.
Michigan State - You're kidding, right?
Indiana - Terry Hoeppner is looking down from Heaven and he's proud. Use it all to build, Hoosiers. But don't get too used to the first-place tie.
That's my rationale, and I'm sticking to it.
In other news, Michigan officially declared Notre Dame as the new member of the Big Ten, and is attempting to schedule them 9 more times in 2007.
Duke is protesting the move, because they desperately want to see what a 2-win season is like.