Urban Meyer has been here before. He has led an undefeated Utah team to a BCS Fiesta Bowl blowout of Pitt. He coached the Florida Gators to not one, but two national championship game victories, in 2006 and 2008.
In just his first year at Ohio State, he led the postseason-banned Buckeyes to a 12-0 record. Now, in Year 2 in Columbus, his team once again sits atop the Big Ten with a perfect, 7-0 record – but the Buckeyes are only ranked No. 4 in the first BCS Poll behind Alabama, Florida State and Oregon.
In what he has termed his “state of the union” address to his players on Monday night, Meyer told The Columbus Dispatch’s Tim May that he had a very direct message for the team with regards to the ranking: “Embrace it.”
The concept is pretty simple, and, again, it comes from a coach who has been there and done that. If his Buckeyes enjoy the fact that they are a top five squad instead of sulking over not being Nos. 1 or 2, those rankings will sort themselves out.
In the meantime, there’s only one thing his team can do, and that is to embrace their undefeated record – and keep it going.
“My comment was ‘We are indeed in the mix. Embrace it,’ ” Meyer said. “ ‘In the mix for what? Don’t worry about it. … You just have to go out on Saturday and be the best team on the field (that night), not in the country.‘ ”
OSU’s 19-game winning streak is the longest active in the entire nation, and only three games short of the program record of 22 set in 1967-1969.
If they can manage to extend it past that mark of 22, and up to 25 (with a Big Ten championship game victory following the regular season), they might just have more than a school record.
They may have the chance to compete for the BCS national title.
That is an opportunity this team would surely embrace.