There was noise coming from the South last week, with three coaches from the Southeastern Conference taking shots at the lack of ranked teams on Ohio State's schedule.

There was noise coming from the South last week, with three coaches from the Southeastern Conference taking shots at the lack of ranked teams on Ohio State's schedule.

Arkansas' Bret Bielema, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Mississippi State's Dan Mullen cast aspersions about the strength of the Big Ten compared with the SEC. The song was carried on from last year despite Ohio State's rise to the first College Football Playoff national championship, beating Alabama of the SEC along the way.

Then all three of those coaches suffered home losses on Saturday, the most stunning being Arkansas' loss to Toledo of the Mid-American Conference.

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Through it all, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he was oblivious as his team, fresh off a season-opening win at Virginia Tech, beat Hawaii 38-0 five days later. But when asked Monday how he would assess the Big Ten in comparison with the SEC, he cut off the questioner.

"I don't have any idea. I don't know where people have time to do all that," Meyer said. "I don't know anyone else's schedule. I don't care. I'm going to work on punt (team situations) when I'm done here in a minute. … We have enough issues. I've been asked that question, 'Did you hear what this guy said?' I'm like, 'How did they say that?' I don't know."

He said it's not yet time to judge any team's strength.

>> Video | No time for SEC coaches' comments

"This time a year ago, we were a really bad team, and we got better, probably because our focus is on getting better and better and better," Meyer said. "I don't ever want to hear that. If I ever hear one of our coaches talk about another conference, that's a problem because I'd want to go check what they're doing during the day."

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Weber on the way

In preseason camp, freshman running back Mike Weber was showing promise before he suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. But he said on Twitter on Sunday that he thinks he's about ready to return, and Meyer confirmed that.

"Mike Weber should be coming back this week," Meyer said. "He'll be a guy that will probably play."

Line adjusts

The offensive line had trouble handling the blitzes Hawaii threw at it from behind a three-man defensive front, one reason the Ohio State offense struggled to play consistently.

Running right at them with Ezekiel Elliott turned out to be the remedy.

"That's kind of what we were asking for on the sideline, the offensive line, because we came in with a game plan, and it didn't work necessarily as well as we wanted to, and, you know, go to what works," left tackle Taylor Decker said. "We like running tight zone right up the middle."

tmay@dispatch.com

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