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Published: Thursday, 10/8/2009

The End Zone: Ohio State

Ohio State beat writer Matt Markey Ohio State beat writer Matt Markey

It's therapeutic that everyone keeps saying the polls don't mean anything. Otherwise, the Buckeyes would be headed for the Oprah show to sit on the couch and sob about their self-esteem issues. Imagine the group hug that would ensue. This week, Cincinnati leaped over Ohio State in the AP poll based on the strength of the Bearcats' victory over a winless and ridiculously inept Miami team. Ohio State's win over a then-3-1 Indiana apparently had less value.

Twice this season, the Buckeyes have won but dropped in the poll. The only time they moved up was after beating Illinois, but a bunch of other teams lost that week to make room. If ACORN was not busy with so much sleazy political high jinks, we'd swear it must be involved in the voting here. Just for comparison purposes, USC lost and dropped from third to 12th but jumped up five spots by winning the next week. Are there style points involved in the voting? Any Russian Olympic judges?

Oklahoma is 2-2 but still ranked, so there appears to be some kind of gridiron gerrymandering at work here. Ohio State — the team so many love to hate — plays under a different set of criteria. Nationally, only Rush Limbaugh running for mayor of Berkeley would face a more prejudiced constituency.

Remember those elections Sadaam used to win with 100percent of the vote? They don't seem so smelly now.

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