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Ohio State drops to No. 3, five Big Ten teams remain in AP Poll

BY RYAN PROBASCO | SEPTEMBER 04, 2013 5:00 AM

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The latest AP Poll was released Tuesday morning with five Big Ten teams — the same number as in the preseason poll — present in the top 25. The conference’s top-ranked team, Ohio State, dropped one spot to No. 3 after winning handily against Buffalo this past weekend.

Being the top ranked team in the conference won’t change the Buckeyes’ approach week to week, head coach Urban Meyer said during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference. He was adamant about how important it is for his team to continue to be the aggressor in games instead of adopting the satisfied mentality many top-ranked teams develop.

“Being the hunted [team], that’s when you worry about complacency. That’s when players start thinking they have the answer,” Meyer said during the teleconference. “Some people think we’re the hunted, and I don’t think that way at all. We’re the hunter.

“If you’re the hunter, that usually equates to being hungry. When you’re the king of the hill, you just battle that bad word, complacency.”

Four other Big Ten teams were ranked in the AP’s first regular-season poll. Michigan remained at No. 17, and Northwestern and Wisconsin both jumped a few spots to No. 19 and No. 21. Nebraska fell four spots to No. 22 after narrowly beating Wyoming, 37-34, on Aug. 31.

Michigan to host Notre Dame for the final time in the foreseeable future

Michigan is set to play host to Notre Dame for the final time Saturday night until at least 2020, because of the teams’ agreement to take a hiatus from the rivalry. The teams will play for the final time under their current agreement next year in South Bend, Ind.

Wolverine head coach Brady Hoke has been very outspoken about the impending hiatus, and even went as far to claim Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the rivalry back in May.

“As a guy who grew up loving college football and grew up loving those big games, there were always games that you were interested in,” Hoke said during the teleconference Tuesday. “I hope for college football that this series comes back. I know we have two more games, but I hope it comes back.”

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has defended his university’s decision to opt out of the rivalry, citing scheduling concerns due to the school’s decision to play five ACC teams every year. The two head coaches haven’t spoken since the hiatus was announced, but Kelly noted he doesn’t feel Hoke has been out of line in his remarks.

“He’s never been one to show disrespect to anybody or anything,” Kelly said during his news conference on Tuesday. “It’s really, for me, about two programs that share a border, which it makes sense to play. I get that.

“It’s just there are so many complexities with our schedule and our agreement with the ACC that it’s difficult and frustrating. I can see the frustration that would be there."

Several notable Big Ten games in Week 2

Despite the reputation of the nonconference college football season, several Big Ten teams have bucked the trend by scheduling difficult out of conference opponents to begin their seasons.

Aside from the Michigan-Notre Dame matchup, notable games involving Big Ten teams this weekend include Syracuse-Northwestern, South Florida-Michigan State, Navy-Indiana, and Cincinnati-Illinois.

Hoke noted the importance of scheduling strong opponents during Tuesday’s teleconference, and even applauded Michigan’s decision to open against Alabama last year, even though the Crimson Tide defeated the Wolverines, 41-14.

“We opened up with Alabama last year; some people probably think we were crazy,” Hoke said. “Personally, I think it was one of the best things we’ve done. No one likes to lose, obviously, but I think it taught us a lot as a staff and taught us a lot as a team.”


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