When you lose five of your last six games and fall to 2-5 in your conference, you’re bound to continue to plummet in the rankings. The Ohio State Buckeyes are learning that the hard way the past month or so. They were the No. 2-ranked team in the AP Poll and on the verge of being No. 1 before losing at Minnesota on December 15. On Monday, they fell out of the latest AP Top 25 for the first time this season.
Whether it’s not being able to find a consistent second scorer besides Kaleb Wesson, struggling to make shots, or even having defensive struggles at times, the scarlet and gray are in one heckuva downfall, one that they must get out of sooner rather than later before it’s too late. Unfortunately for them, the Big Ten is one of the best and deepest conferences in college basketball so the road certainly won’t get much easier the rest of the season. In fact, according to Ken Pom’s ratings, Ohio State has had the 24th-toughest schedule so far this season and of the 14 toughest remaining schedules, 12 of them are Big Ten teams.1
Speaking of the Big Ten, the conference has five teams in the top 25: Michigan State (No. 11), Maryland (17), Iowa (19), Illinois (21), and Rutgers (24). Along with the Buckeyes, Michigan also fell out of the poll. Remarkably, Dayton (No. 7) is not only the only team in Ohio that is ranked but also higher ranked than any Big Ten team as well.
After Gonzaga had been the No. 1-ranked team for the past few weeks, Baylor (finally) jumped them in the rankings. Baylor (33 first-place votes), Gonzaga (31), Kansas (one), San Diego State, and Florida State round out the top five.
After they were once considered one of the best teams in the country and even had the second-best odds to win the national championship a few weeks ago, the Buckeyes have fallen to No. 13 in Ken Pom’s latest ratings. They have a 112 adjusted offensive rating (22nd) and 90.4 adjusted defensive rating (23rd).
Luckily, it’s only January so the Buckeyes have some time to figure things out. That said, if head coach Chris Holtmann and company don’t figure things out and improve this season, the downfall could potentially continue. Here’s to hoping they are ranked in the AP Poll once again sooner rather than later.