Time for a Reality Check for Buckeyes and their Fans

“A funny thing happened to Ohio State during its bye week: The Buckeyes became a contender.” [Associated Press]

Um, no they didn’t.

I saw a lot of similar sentiments on twitter following Michigan State’s last second win against Wisconsin. Buckeye players tweeted things like “Dear World, we are back”. Fans and writers alike started laying out the course of events that could transpire to get the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game.

Here’s the thing though- a Wisconsin loss did not make the Buckeyes suddenly better. Yes, the Buckeyes only lost to Michigan State by three points, but what short memories we must have if we don’t remember how badly the Buckeyes were out-played in that game. It was only a last minute, prevent defense inspired drive that kept Ohio State from being shut-out at home for the first time in an eon.

Just use the eye test for a moment. Is Ohio State the best team in the conference this year? Even the most loyal Buckeye supporters would have to realistically doubt that.

Even if you think that they are, what really changed Saturday night? The Buckeyes still have games against the rest of the teams in the ‘Leaders’ division. The only division game they have played was against Illinois. Beat Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana and Penn State and the division is yours anyway realistically.

My optimism for that table run is at an all-time low by the way. And I don’t really want to discuss the game at the end of the season right now.

I also can’t help but feel that the loss at the hands of the Spartans may have just motivated the Badgers for Saturday as opposed to helping Ohio State in some way. They dropped all the way to 12th in the AP poll, and 15th in the BCS rankings. Yikes.

Coaches tell teams all the time to focus on the game at hand, and I think that is a pretty good idea for Buckeye fans this season. Watch the games each week. Enjoy the wins when they come. Watch for progress from some of these young players. But don’t get caught up in standings and records.

Maybe the players need to believe that a Big Ten title is still in play. That’s fine I suppose, but if you use that for motivation, what do you do when they are eliminated?

  • Clown Baby

    My wish is for OSU to play respectable on Saturday and win that one at the end of the year. If this Buckeye team wins the B1G, it says more about the sad state of the conference than it does about OSU being champions.

  • LittleWahoo

    Boom will have to have Heisman like performance. I don’t like all this Bravado by the players. Humbleness makes a sneak attack far easier.

  • mgbode

    i’m thinking the Penn State v. Ohio State game is going to make the Browns/Seahawks and Jags/Ravens games look like offensive explosions.

    i’m out of town, so maybe i’m disconnected, but i don’t think many need a reality check on the buckeyes. we (along with USC) are in NCAA purgatory and need all this to wash away before we can get back to being ‘good’

    also, shouldn’t we “forfeit” our opportunity to play in the conference championship now while we technically still have a chance (along with the bowl) to stem the tide on NCAA sanctions coming anyway? this season has been fruitless, why waste a future season with a bowl ban too?

    and, as long as we keep beating Michigan, it’s all good.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    I don’t get the sense that most OSU fans really think the Buckeyes have a shot. Most people I know, including me, are anxious to just get through the season and begin the coaching search.

  • mgbode

    @Bison – who is going to take the job if the NCAA doesn’t give us a final ruling?

  • Gbwoy

    I think it’s mostly talk radio that wants to promote the idea that OSU can still contend. I’m sure there are some fans that think this too, I just don’t know any of them.

    The truth is this: Wisconsin is a better and more talented team than us this year. I’m not even sure I would take the 2009-2010 version of the Buckeyes to win vs. the 2011 Badgers (they’d have a better shot though). You can’t be severely deficient in one significant aspect of football and expect to beat a more talented team.

    Anything is possible, but I’m not going to be upset no matter what happens on Saturday. With the regular caveat of the Buckeyes getting completely embarrassed, of course.

  • christopher


  • NoVA Buckeye

    cleveland aint a buckeye town. half of the people who live there are penn staters anyways

  • Ha. Touche Christopher.

  • Blue Lightning

    @nova buckeye uh, no.

  • Dee P

    I’m a realist, and yeah I agree that the Bucks aren’t the best team this year…BUT…with that said – I’m holding out hope for that “table run” you mentioned….Go Bucks – Revenge Time is coming for those wacky Badgers.

  • Buckeye fans have had nothing to be happy about all year. I don’t think they’re going to beat Wisconsin, but if they do, I like their chances against the rest of the teams on the schedule. I put the chances of OSU being in the Big 10 title game at about 15%, but still, I can’t kill OSU fans for being excited for this game and trying to have a little hope.

  • Du

    Ahhhh no. Agree Rick and thought the same thing while reading Doug Lesmerise’s PD article on Monday.

    Here’s another reality check: Luke Fickell is still the coach of this team. Lack of talent or not, and although not really his fault for being put in this situation, Luke is just way too green at this point.

  • BisonDeleSightings

    @mgbode – I expect them to have a ruling by then. And that weasel Urban will take it.

  • Buckit

    So now we can’t even hope? What Cleveland fans always do?

  • Tom

    Go Green!

  • Buckit

    HA, Rick

  • Joseph

    You were wrong Rick.

    Ohio State could easily be 7-1. Miller going down against Nebraska saved their game.

  • Josh

    As usual you were wrong Rick. I love those Buckeye haters because it gives the program the motivation it needs to prove them wrong. The Buckeyes are contenders this year with a team that has been destroyed by suspensions, players moving on and injuries. Hats of to the coaching staff to recruit at such a high level. Go Bucks!!!