Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE BEST DAMN TEAM IN THE LAND

Photo of the Ohio State football team  by The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
COLUMBUS — Ohio State is the new No. 1 team in the land.

After South Carolina's upset of defending national champion Alabama on Saturday, the Buckeyes sit atop both the Associated Press and USA Today (coaches) polls, which were released on Sunday afternoon.

Ohio State — who was ranked No. 2 last week — moved up to the top spot after cruising past Indiana on Saturday, 38-10.

OSU junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a career-best 334 yards passing on 24-of-30 completions, with three touchdown passes and no interceptions.

The star signal caller said that being ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation is special to the fans, but it means nothing if the Buckeyes don't remain focused on the task at hand.

"I love it for the Ohio State students and fans," Pryor said on Sunday. "But it's a big responsibility and opportunity for us. How we react to being No. 1, and how we stay determined in our focus and in our work habits, will tell us how long we will stay there."

OSU senior linebacker Brian Rolle agrees with his quarterback.

"It's good to be No. 1," Rolle said. "But if we don't play like it every week, then all the hype will be for naught."

The Buckeyes received 49 first place votes in the coaches poll — which is factored into the BCS formula. Ohio State's 1455 total points is more than Alabama held last week at the top position.

Ohio State will have a major test this Saturday night when they head to Madison to take on the 16th ranked Wisconsin Badgers.

Head coach Jim Tressel said the target on the Buckeyes' back is bigger than ever.

"When you take a look at the top week to week, the precarious nature of any ranking is obvious — just review the makeup of the Top 10 between the beginning of the season until now," Tressel said.

"The Buckeyes know what it's like to have a target on our back, especially since we are now well into Big Ten play. We expect that every team will give us its best shot.

"How we respond," Tressel continued. "Will determine our ultimate ranking."