Cincinnati better than Ohio State? One poll and one Kelly think so

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Rankings don't mean a whole lot this time of year, but Cincinnati fans are embracing the new poll results.

That's because the Bearcats are No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, one spot ahead of Ohio State. It's the first time Cincinnati has been ranked ahead of the Buckeyes since 1951 and one of the few times ever that the school can claim state football superiority. At least on paper.

"From my standpoint, you settle that on the field, just as Ohio State has settled it on the field," Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said today when asked whether his team was the best in Ohio. "These are all just hypotheticals now, so who knows?"

The point is moot for the time being. The odds against the two meeting in a bowl game are astronomical, and the Ohio State doesn't come back on Cincinnati's schedule until 2012.

"By that time, hopefully we've continued to accelerate our program so Ohio State has something to gain by playing us," Kelly said. "In years past, it's been such that Ohio State has everything to lose, because they're supposed to beat Cincinnati. If we continue to win and play at a high level, I think that makes it an exciting matchup. Before, this wasn't much of a matchup."

One Kelly has already matched up with the Buckeyes. Kelly's 8-year old son, Kenzel, played as Cincinnati recently in NCAA '10 on Playstation and beat Ohio State 91-0.

"And then I promptly took out him out for McDonald's," Kelly said.