Somewhere, Pac-12 fans are scoffing at the Big Ten.
Through two weeks of the season, the Big Ten is just 2-6 in games against teams from other BCS conferences. Both victories for the Big Ten come from Northwestern.
And week two wasn’t particularly good for Big Ten teams against teams from the Pac-12. Illinois was blown out by Arizona State, Wisconsin was beaten by Oregon State and Nebraska lost a thriller to UCLA.
There’s a chance for the Big Ten to get some of its pride back this week, though, as the conference will put its trust in Ohio State. The Buckeyes will host the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday in The Shoe.
A win for the Buckeyes won’t necessarily save face for the conference, but it will make people feel a little better about the state of the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes (2-0) are coming off a somewhat disappointing 31-16 victory against Central Florida. Cal (1-1) bounced back from a week one loss and defeated Southern Utah 50-31.
The game also marks a brutal two game road trip for the Golden Bears. After they take on the Buckeyes, all they’ve got next week is USC in the Coliseum.
Ohio State, on paper, seems to be better than Cal at most positions and should win this game handily.
However, Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen is a playmaker. On the season, Allen has 11 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown. He could present some serious problems for an Ohio State secondary that has given up several big plays early in the season.
The Buckeyes did get some good news this week, though. Running back Jordan Hall should return to the field, but it is unclear as to how much he will play. And with Carlos Hyde officially out, depth at running back is a huge question mark for the offense.
One player who can’t carry the ball as much as he did last week is Braxton Miller. 27 carries, even for a player like Miller, is too much. Urban Meyer said Wednesday he would like to see no more than 15 carries for Miller.
We will see how that plays out, especially if the game is close. If it is in fact close, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller have more than 20 carries. This isn’t a good thing in the long run.
Ohio State should win this game. But you may wonder a bit if the Pac-12 has a slight mental edge over the Big Ten early in the season.I don’t think they do, but you can’t argue with the results.
Your turn, Buckeyes. The Big Ten is counting on you. Again.