One-loss teams Auburn and Missouri will play Saturday in the SEC Championship game, hoping a win there will hurdle them into the National Championship Game. To do that, they'll need to leapfrog a possibly undefeated Ohio State team. And one unlikely ally helping Auburn and Missouri plead their case? Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
In 2006, before taking over at Ohio State, Urban Meyer argued his then fourth-ranked, one-loss Florida Gators should jump over Ohio State, USC, and Michigan to play in the title game because those teams didn't have as tough a schedule. (Via The Cleveland Plain Dealer)
He said, "We're going to tell a group of young men, who just went 12-1 in a most difficult schedule against six ranked opponents, that they don't have a chance to play for a national championship? I'm going to need help with that one." (Via ESPN)
Now, Meyer might want to back away from that.
Meyer is the head coach of undefeated Ohio State who has only defeated two ranked opponents thus far and nearly dropped to unranked Michigan over the weekend. They'll need to defeat 10th ranked Michigan State this weekend to stay undefeated. (Via WXYZ)
But, that'd make only three ranked opponents, a far cry from the six Urban Meyer's Gators played in 2006. Who DOES play six ranked opponents this year?
Well, Auburn and Missouri of course. Both have already played five ranked opponents so far, both defeating four of them. Their matchup in the SEC title game will be the sixth ranked matchup between the two opponents. (Via KOMU)
A writer for USA Today's "For The Win" argues the SEC schools have a case. "Auburn and Mizzou have played brutal schedules. Their sole losses came against two elite teams that would each bury Ohio State."
But, a Fox Sports writer says don't get ahead of yourself. "... it's never — ever — going to happen. As long as Florida State and Ohio State are in the top two in both human polls, that's it. It's over."
In 2006, Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators DID make the National Championship game and demolished previously undefeated Ohio State 41-14.