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Buckeyes now embrace the chase for division title

Associated Press Published: September 24, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes ...

BUCKEYES BUZZ: When it was revealed two weeks ago that Ohio State could still win the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, coach Urban Meyer said he was happy that possibility remained but that his team had far too much to worry about before that loomed very large.

Now, apparently, it's looming very large.

Meyer said Monday that he's already spoken to his team about it.

"The first time we talked about that was yesterday in our team 'state of the union' meeting we had, that you have an opportunity to go win your side of the Big Ten," Meyer said. "So that is a goal. And that was not a goal when we were playing UAB and Miami (Ohio) and Central Florida and Cal. It's a goal now. That's why we addressed it."

The Big Ten set up tiebreakers before last season's first season of divisional play which permit teams that are facing a postseason ban to win a division title and take home a trophy. Of course, they are not allowed to play in the Big Ten championship game. The tie-breaker system determines who the representatives are after the NCAA-sanctioned teams are eliminated.

But just in time for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. Big Ten opener at Michigan State, the Buckeyes officially were put on notice: They've got something big for which to play.

"So are we playing for something? You're darned right we are," Meyer said. "It's really important here. Look around. Really important."

CONFERENCE AWARDS: The Big Ten offensive player of the week will be on the opposing team come Saturday.

Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State's massive RB from suburban Columbus, had a career-high 253 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Spartans' win over Eastern Michigan.

The other honorees included Wisconsin LB Chris Borland, from Kettering, Ohio, with 12 tackles including 3.5 for negative yardage in a victory over UTEP, and Nebraska punt-returner Ameer Abdullah, who had an 81-yarder for a TD in a win over Idaho State.

The freshman of the week was Nebraska's Imani Cross, who had 100 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

GONE AT 41: Former Ohio State football offensive lineman Jason Winrow has died. He was 41.

The Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV reported that Winrow died suddenly in his Westerville, Ohio, home on Sunday night. A native of Bridgeton, N.J., Winrow played guard from 1989-1993 under former Ohio State coach John Cooper.

Winrow was All-Big Ten as a senior and was drafted by the New York Giants. He returned to the Columbus area after his career was shortened by injuries, working in private business and also appearing as a college football analyst on WBNS.

He had health problems in recent years stemming from diabetes.

He is survived by his wife and three children. The family was finalizing funeral arrangements.


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