Any team that found itself perched at No. 1 or No. 2 and on its way to the national championship game acted as if that rarefied air was too difficult to breathe. As a result, Ohio State backed into the No. 1 ranking without having played in the two weeks since it beat Michigan, 14-3, on Nov. 17. The Buckeyes climbed from No. 5 to No. 1 without even putting on their helmets. And LSU got a reprieve and a ticket to the big game after failing to hold the No. 1 spot twice.