COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State football opened the season by beating a top-five opponent by double figures at home, while Alabama eliminated Utah State, a Group of Five team, as the top two teams in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll.
The Crimson Tide kept their top spot after Week 1, while the Buckeyes dropped to No. 3 thanks to Georgia getting away with Oregon in a neutral spot. A week later, OSU beat Arkansas State by a wide margin, while Alabama limped off Austin, Texas, barely escaping an upset in a game that came down to Bryce Young breaking up a sack.
Now both teams are 2-0, and the Bulldogs’ game against Samford is expected to be a blowout. They may have the strongest claim to be in the No. 1 spot, so where does that leave Alabama and Ohio State?
“The good news is we’ve already played a top-five opponent,” coach Ryan Day said after beating Arkansas State. “So we’ve already proven ourselves in a way.”
There’s merit behind that statement, but it also has far less value now that Notre Dame is 0-2 after Marshall defeated the Irish, 26-21, in South Bend. Now that bargaining chip is off the table for a team that has yet to play its best game. But the same can be said for Alabama, which needed a late-game boost to beat a team that played most of the game without its starting quarterback.
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