Ohio State Better Not Forget About Baylor in Its Rear-View Mirror

Andrew CoppensContributor INovember 10, 2013

Nov 2, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer in the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth installment of the 2013 BCS rankings are out, and after Oregon fell to Stanford on Thursday night, Ohio State took over the No. 3 position in the standings, just like the BCS Guru projections from last week said it would. 

All that stands between the Buckeyes and a return to the BCS National Championship game is one loss from Alabama or Florida State. 

The gap between the Buckeyes and the top two is significant enough that Ohio State can't catch an undefeated Florida State or Alabama at this point.

OSU trails Florida State by .069 for the second spot in the rankings, which is a huge gap in a ranking that has been decided by much smaller margins in the past. 

Yet, after the results of this past weekend, at least one person at ESPN is beginning to make the case that Ohio State should have a better shot than they are being given right now:

As nice as it is to dream of moving up, the reality of the situation is that the Buckeyes can't just look forward to the Tide and the Seminoles. They can't forget to give the rear-view mirror a glance from time to time, as well.  

That's because the Baylor Bears, at No. 5 this week, are not far off the pace of the Buckeyes. 

Ohio State's BCS average stands at .893 this week, while Baylor comes in at .862. 

The glance in the rear-view mirror may become a more pronounced stare in the coming weeks thanks to the teams' respective schedules. 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 2: Carlos Hyde #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes tries to jump over Frankie Williams #24 of the Purdue Boilermakers while running with the ball during the first half of the game at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 2, 2013 in West La
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Ohio State has games against Illinois, Indiana and Michigan remaining.

All three of those teams currently have losing records in conference play, and only Michigan has an overall winning record. 

On the other hand, Baylor has Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas left on its schedule.

Those three games all have a chance to have a huge affect on Baylor's standing in the BCS, and should they keep winning, the Bears have the potential to propel ahead of the Buckeyes.

Baylor still has the best part of its schedule happening in the month of November, while Ohio State's biggest win came nearly two months ago against Wisconsin. 

Some Buckeye fans are already ahead of the curve in looking not just forward, but around them as well. 

Not only do the Buckeyes want to see an Alabama or Florida State loss, but a Baylor loss in the final four weeks of the season would also allow them to breathe easier.

Momentum in the BCS standings can be everything, so while it may be fun to look ahead to what could be, the Buckeyes also have to be leery of being caught from behind.  


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