No. 2 Ohio State in prime position for BCS title game spot

No. 2 Ohio State in prime position for BCS title game spot
December 1, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Vinnie Duber

Chris Davis ran a missed field goal all the way back for a game-ending score to topple No. 1 Alabama. But he didn't run it far enough to get the Tigers past the Buckeyes.

Though it's still a close race, speculation that Auburn might jump ahead of Ohio State proved incorrect, as the Buckeyes were the new No. 2 team in the country when the latest batch of BCS standings were released on Sunday night. Alabama's Saturday-night loss moved Ohio State into the top two, and if the Buckeyes can best the Michigan State Spartans in the upcoming Big Ten title game, they'll remain one of two undefeated automatic-qualifiers and likely earn a spot in the national championship game.

Ohio State had quite the scare in its game against Michigan, eventually prevailing thanks to Brady Hoke's failed decision to go for a would-be game-winning two-point conversion. But as the Buckeyes, along with new No. 1 Florida State, remain undefeated, they earned an edge over the 3-4-5 trio of one-loss SEC teams: Auburn, Alabama and Missouri.

[MORE: Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 14]

However, if the Buckeyes are going to reach the BCS title bout, they'll have to first fend off the Spartans this week. After its 14-3 win over Minnesota, Michigan State reached the top 10, jumping up one spot from No. 11. A Michigan State win would guarantee the Spartans a spot in a BCS bowl game.

Though the BCS would still be very realistic possibility for Mark Dantonio's team even with a loss in the Big Ten title game. That's mainly thanks to a loss by Wisconsin over the weekend, an upset defeat at the hands of Penn State that knocked the Badgers from No. 15 down to No. 21. That knocks the Badgers out of BCS contention, meaning the Spartans won't have to compete with them for a BCS spot. A Clemson loss and the fact that Pac-12 teams Arizona State and Oregon sit behind Michigan State in the standings marks more good news for the Spartans.

So, it's safe to say that there's a lot on the line when the Buckeyes and Spartans meet in the conference championship game.