BCS Standings 2013: No. 4 Ohio State Closes Gap, Shows Style Points Still Matter

Andrew Coppens@@andycoppensContributor IOctober 27, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 28:  Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sneaks up on Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes while Meyer is being interviewed for television after the Buckeyes defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 31-24 at Ohio Stadium on September 28, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

From the outside looking in, not much changed for Ohio State as the second BCS Standings were revealed on Sunday night—after all, the Buckeyes are No. 4, just like last week. 

A look inside the rankings reveals a different story for Ohio State though, and it's good news if you are an Ohio State fan. 

Not only did Ohio State make a jump in its own BCS average, it also closed the gap on the No. 3 spot as well.  

Despite staying in the No. 4 spot in the standings, Ohio State's BCS average went from .8553 to .8840.

That may not seem significant to the naked eye, but in the world of the BCS, where thousandths of points can mean the difference between the national title and a regular BCS Bowl, a jump like that is meaningful.

It wasn't the only jump that mattered either, as Ohio State also closed the gap on the third spot as well.

Last week the Buckeyes sat .0767 points behind No. 3 Oregon, but this week OSU stands just .037 behind No. 3 Florida State. That's a jump of .0397 in just a week.

One could be tempted to see a path to higher rankings for Ohio State based on the results of this week's BCS standings.

However, this jump could be temporary in nature, and is likely based on what happened to everyone else around Ohio State this past weekend.

Inside the BCS formula, it was the computers that actually helped Ohio State out in closing the gap, as they made a 9 percent jump from the first standings to this week (.790 to .880) in the computer portion of the formula. 

Ohio State's computer rankings went from having two No. 8 rankings and a No. 7 last week to just one No. 8 and no worse than No. 5 in any other computer poll this week. 

So, what was the difference to the computers? 

Part of it has to do with a Wisconsin Badgers team that moved up to No. 24 in the BCS standings this week, but a lot more has to do with the words a lot of people aren't a fan of—style points. 

Wisconsin's ranking alone isn't enough to carry Ohio State to that big of a change in the BCS average, but putting up the second most points ever against Penn State sure didn't hurt, and neither did putting up the biggest margin of victory of any of the top four teams (49). 

It did nothing in the human polls though, as Ohio State's average in both the Harris and Coaches Polls dropped from last week to this week. 

The good news for Ohio State is that opportunities to dominate exist in the coming weeks with Illinois, Purdue and Indiana coming up in the next three games. 

Though, one has to wonder—just how far could dominating wins over the next three games carry this football team?

Ultimately, the style points are helpful to Ohio State's case, but they may not be enough to get them any further than where they stand today.


*Andy Coppens is the lead writer for the Big Ten. You can follow him on Twitter: @ andycoppens.


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