The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 17, 2013

Crimson Tide rolling, still on top

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“There will be no official comment until Monday whether the Finebaum show will run 24/7 continuously until kickoff of the Iron Bowl,” was the tweet from the official account of talk radio show host and the SEC’s resident instigator Paul Finebaum after Auburn’s victory.

Moving up: Baylor slipped past Ohio State and into No. 3 in the latest Top 25. For Buckeyes fans, it’s just another slight. For Bears backers, a small bit of vindication for a team that started the season unranked and has now matched the best ranking in program history. The Bears were No. 3 in 1953.

Baylor has 1,351 points and Ohio State has 1,343 in the poll after the Bears beat Texas Tech 60-34 and the Buckeyes won 60-35 at Illinois.

The gap between the two has been shrinking for weeks, though the Buckeyes are still likely to hold onto to third in the BCS standings when they are released later — but for how much longer? Still, it does seem like an odd time for Baylor and Ohio State to switch spots.

The Buckeyes got sloppy against a bad Illinois team, but otherwise continued to plunder the Big Ten.

Baylor is coming off its best two victories of the season against Oklahoma and now fading Texas Tech, which has lost four straight.

Neither Baylor nor Ohio State has played a particularly daunting schedule. Ohio State’s rates No. 72 in Division I according to Sagarin ratings. Baylor’s is No. 85. Wisconsin is the best team either has faced, and the Buckeyes beat the Badgers 31-24 back in late September. The Bears continue to lead the country in margin of victory (43.8). Ohio State is at 30.6.

The Bears play No. 11 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday, their toughest test yet. Win that, and they could start pulling away from the Buckeyes, who have won a school-record 22 straight games but get graded on a tougher scale than any team in the country.

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