Poll position: Buckeyes carry Big Ten flag

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A close call caused Ohio State to slip a bit nationally.

But the Buckeyes still won again, and that's enough to put them at the top of the conference heap after three weeks.

One by one the Big Ten squads ahead of the program in the rankings have tripped up and dropped in the polls, leaving Ohio State and its unbeaten record as the highest-rated team in the league with the non-conference schedule winding down.

The Buckeyes showed some weaknesses in the 35-28 win on Saturday over California, and that led to the voters dropping them down to No. 16 in the latest AP poll released on Sunday morning.

But Michigan State's loss to Notre Dame opened the door for Ohio State to claim the top spot for the Big Ten, while also taking a little bit of shine off the showdown against the Spartans that will open league play on Sept. 29.

Along with Michigan State, here's a quick glance at how the rest of the ranked teams on Ohio State's schedule fared:


  • Rank: No. 18

  • Date: Nov. 24

  • Where: Ohio Stadium

  • Last week: Ranked No. 17; won 63-13 against Massachusetts


  • Rank: Received five voting points

  • Date: Nov. 17

  • Where: Camp Randall Stadium

  • Last week: Receiving votes; beat Utah State 16-14

Michigan State

  • Rank: No. 21

  • Date: Sept. 29

  • Where: Spartan Stadium

  • Last week: Ranked No. 10; lost 20-3 to Notre Dame


  • Rank: No. 25

  • Date: Oct. 6

  • Where: Ohio Stadium

  • Last week: Receiving votes; won 42-13 over Arkansas State