Urban Meyer: Ohio State is No. 2

Updated: November 12, 2013, 12:14 PM ET
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Urban Meyer has Ohio State right where he has had it all season in the coaches' poll -- at No. 2 -- but at least one player thinks the coach is selling the Buckeyes short.

"I'm a little biased," wide receiver Evan Spencer told reporters Monday. "I think we'd wipe the field with both of them."

"Them" would be unbeaten Alabama and Florida State, who are 1-2 in this week's BCS standings.

Later, Spencer took to Twitter to apologize for his bravado.

The Buckeyes, who have won 21 games in a row, needed some help from Oregon to move up a spot in the BCS standings for the first time this season, climbing to No. 3 after the Ducks lost at Stanford on Thursday.

Meyer, however, already had his team ranked ahead of both Oregon and FSU, so the top two in the country in his opinion hasn't changed heading into Saturday's game against Illinois, which has lost 19 consecutive Big Ten games.

"I have Ohio State in the top five," Meyer said during his weekly news conference Monday. "I believe we have Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State.

"I had us No. 2 all year, and I just think we're playing like one of the top teams in the country right now."

The Buckeyes had a chance to watch the rest of the leading contenders for the national championship over the weekend thanks to a bye week. From Meyer on down through the coaching staff and players, they were certainly interested observers.

"The message is you have to play great," Meyer said. "You're held to [a higher standard] to be even mentioned with those other teams. Be careful what you wish for -- that means you have to practice and play at a certain level.

"We practiced at a very, very high level today. And we all expect them to play at a very high level, because you're in the same breath with some very, very good teams."

Left tackle Jack Mewhort, one of the team's captains, doesn't want to get caught up in the hype and instead is taking things one game at a time.

"I don't want to talk about [the BCS]," Mewhort said. "Right now, we're just focused on beating Illinois. If we ever come to that hurdle, we'll think about that then.

"[Alabama is] a great football team, obviously; No. 1 in the nation, so they're doing something right. If we ever get that shot, I think we'll be ready for it."

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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