COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The politicking has already started elsewhere, but Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn't going to the stump for his team. At least not yet.
Meyer has refused to enter into any public debate about whether his team deserves to play for the national title, a conversation that at least one team behind his has been more than willing to join, with Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs comparing the third-ranked Tigers and the No. 2 Buckeyes.
Instead, Meyer said Ohio State's focus is on making a statement Saturday in the Big Ten championship game against No. 10 Michigan State, and that afterward he may have something else to add.
"I'll have a comment on Sunday," Meyer said during his weekly news conference Monday. "We have to play a game. For someone to ask about something after this game, I mean, that's cheating our football team.
"There will be no conversation about what happens after this game until after this game."
Auburn has another game to play, as well, but Jacobs didn't waste time touting the Tigers as worthy of jumping the Buckeyes into position to play for a crystal football.
Jacobs made reference to a "struggle" for Ohio State in its 42-41 win over rival Michigan that preceded a wild 34-28 win for Auburn over then-No. 1 Alabama. He went on to call it a "disservice to the nation" if the Tigers are excluded from the title game, although neither Meyer nor the Buckeyes had any response to those comments when they spoke with the media Monday.
"That's the beauty of the position that we're in," senior center Corey Linsley said. "We really do control our own destiny. We just have to win this game, and then it's all set for us. We have done everything we need to do up to this point, and we can't start doing things we haven't done. We've never paid attention to the BCS -- I mean, I have a little bit -- but it's never been our primary focus throughout the week.
"The goal wasn't to jump somebody in the BCS or anything like that. Our primary focus was to win the game by as many points as we needed to win. We can't start treating stuff different now."