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“We’re football junkies,” Ohio State assistant coach Kerry Coombs said. “That was enjoyable. You do watch those guys. You want to watch good teams play and see how their kids stack up against your kids.”

Coombs declined to say if he felt Ohio State could hold its own against the likes of the Crimson Tide and Seminoles.

“I’m not in a place to evaluate that,” he said. “I’d like to think we could hold our own against anybody. We’re looking forward to playing anybody and everybody that shows up.”

The Buckeyes remaining schedule after Illinois is home against Indiana (4-5, 2-3) and then the annual late-November feud with rival Michigan (6-3, 2-3) at The Big House.

After that will likely come the Big Ten championship game _ the Buckeyes have the inside track at winning the Leaders Division title and the same goes for Michigan State in the Legends _ before the final BCS rankings come out along with the bowl bids.

Meyer said the bar is raised as the season builds to a crescendo.

“The message is you have to play great,” he said. “You’re held to (a higher standard) to be even mentioned with those other teams. Be careful what you wish for _ that means you have to practice and play at a certain level.

“We practiced at a very, very high level today. And we all expect them to play at a very high level, because you’re in the same breath with some very, very good teams.”

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Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP