No bowl should mean no poll for ineligible NCAA squads

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:06 AM ET

Braxton Miller will, one day, win the Heisman Trophy.

Devin Smithís highlight-reel catch in Week 1 is up for GEICO Play of the Year.

And Urban Meyer? Well ... the canít-miss coach has got at least one national championship in him with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

But that title take wonít happen this year because of past off-field violations at THE Ohio State.

The question, then, is why do we spend so much time praising the Buckeyes, when they arenít even bowl-eligible this season?

Maybe itís because they smack of last yearís USC Trojans, which boasts a strong squad on the upswing that couldnít be ignored despite its ineligibility.

Maybe itís because THE Ohio State is still one of THE elite college football programs no matter what tattoo parlours its players visited and no matter how many cars its former star quarterback Terrelle Pryor accepted as gifts.

Or maybe itís because no matter their sentence ó like USC a year ago ó the Buckeyes still pop up in every Top 25 Poll.

And thatís not good for the game.

Does it make sense to even allow a program on any Top 25 ballot if itís deemed bowl-ineligible? Especially when it might upset the apple cart on its way up the poll? (The USA Today Poll has it right by ignoring bowl-ineligible teams.)

On the latest AP Poll, the Buckeyes have climbed to No. 12, overtaking both No. 15 Virginia Tech and No. 17 Texas during the first two weeks of ballots.

Sure, Va. Tech was less than impressive in Week 1 with an OT victory over Georgia Tech, but the Hokies have held their end of the bargain with two wins to kick off the season.

And the Buckeyes didnít exactly light it up last week against the Central Florida Knights, struggling to bury them until two timely third-quarter TDs.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns have hooked two dominating victories over Wyoming, 37-17, and New Mexico, 45-0.

But yet Texas was overtaken by ó and remains behind ó Ohio State in the AP poll.

And Miller, Smith, Meyer & Co. have since snuggled up behind No. 11 Clemson and No. 10 Michigan State, both of which have wins over previously ranked teams.

Why the Buckeyes are even allowed on that poll is beyond me. Itís one less penalty they should be serving.

FIRST & GOAL

Speaking of poll games vs. bowl games: Too many cupcakes could cost the Florida State Seminoles a shot at the title many pundits have put them in position to win. Their early-season diet included games against Murray State and Savannah State ó two weak football sisters or Ďcupcakesí ó and that has critics crawling all over them. For the record, the Seminoles blew out both foes, although last Saturdayís game ó with FSU up 55-0 ó was called in the third quarter due to inclement weather. The fallout suspended most ó if not all ó betting tickets against a spread that was an NCAA-high 701/2 vs. Savannah State. Next up for Florida State? Blue Mountain State, er, Cupcake Wake Forest, which could mean another insignificant blowout

FOURTH & INCHES

The status of Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson (head injury) is up in the air to play No. 1 Alabama. Rumour has it, so is his teamís national title hopes. Oh, wait! Hog hopes were buried in the mud after losing in OT 34-31 to the Louisana-Monroe Warhawks last Saturday ... Howíd you like to retire in your early-20s? Iím sure Utah QB Jordan Wynn doesnít share your sentiment. Heís done football after hurting his shoulder ó again ó in last weekís loss to rival Utah State ... Other wounded QBs include Indianaís Tre Roberson (broken leg), Purdueís Robert Marve (re-torn ACL) and South Carolinaís Connor Shaw (bruised shoulder) ... Thereís a QB controversy at Notre Dame. Everett Golson or Tommy Rees? If Golson, a redshirt freshman, continues to start and do well, watch out for the Fighting Irish ó finally ó in about 2015. Maybe by then, the school will pick a conference and stick with it ... Whatís with NBC using its NFL music for college football (and the UFC)? Donít screw with tradition ó itís annoying. Ya gotta keep íem separated. And itís not a good theme, either ó sounds like a death march.

todd.saelhof@sumedia.ca


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