July 23, 2014

Ohio State’s one-game season

On Saturday afternoon I drove to the barbershop to get a haircut where I was greeted by the owner who happens to be a war veteran that has more opinions than there are topics. Just my kind of place. I was sporting an Ohio State hoodie and upon sitting down, he asks me if I think the Buckeyes will beat Wisconsin this afternoon. I replied, emphatically.

“I sure so. I hope that they mash them and Urban runs up the score on them too.” He then proceeded to talk about how great it would be to see this team finish undefeated in Urban’s first year coming off a 6-7 season prior to his arrival.

“I agree, but you know what?” I said, “this is a single game season and it starts and ends next week against the Wolverines. No question I would love a win today, but given the circumstances of this season, next week is all that matters.”

He steps back, “WOW! There’s a lot of hate in there. You are a true Buckeye fan.”

Truth be told, it is how every true Buckeye fan thinks, including him. It is really one thing that this whole state can share collectively and is sincerely one of the greatest weeks to be a part of, in my opinion. You know that feeling when you walk into a place where you do not know a soul and suddenly run into a friend that you least expected to be there? That instant bond and common ground is a great feeling. That is how I feel about this whole week.

In fact, I was included on a string of 50+ texts over the last two nights that were nothing more than one-liners and pictures completely trashing the Wolverines. A couple were scUM fans which made it more fun, but I only knew 2 of the 8 people included and not one person missed a beat. Normally those “chat-room” type text chains would drive me insane, but I smiled at each one.

“If you need a motivational speech for this game, you probably won’t touch the field that day.” – OSU safety Orhian Johnson.

There is a lot of young talent on this team that has a small part of me concerned that they have never dealt with success at this level, such as being 11-0 at The Ohio State University. The much larger part sees the press conferences and twitter feeds from so many Ohio State coaches constantly talking about this Saturday and I feel much more at ease. As we talked about last week, I do not know if it is a product of Urban Meyer and his staff, or just the innate crazed desire that these players have to win that they will not accept anything less. It seems obvious, it really does, but if you think back to that Purdue game and recognize just how bad this team wanted such a meaningless game, you can only assume that it largely comes from the coaching staff.

“We have a saying, ‘A team that refuses to be beat, won’t be beat,’ ” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “Somehow, someway.”

To me, “somehow, someway” speaks directly to the Ohio State defense. Almost exactly a month ago, we all collectively started freaking out about this team’s defense, myself included. How is a team that is known to be so fundamentally sound on defense, suddenly so porous? Who is going to step up in the absence of all the injuries? How do they fix all of these issues on the fly?

Truthfully, even right now I do not have an answer for any of those questions. It has been a collective effort as it should be from the defense, but no single player has emerged that was not already at the forefront. Johnathan Hankins, John Simon, Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby have already asserted themselves as dominant forces on defense to this point. While Zach Boren is not the dynamic player that these guys are, he has certainly filled a much needed hole on this defense and is clearly learning more each week. Over the past few games, this defense has stepped up and become the deciding factor in these games.

To be honest, I planned on spending more time talking about how much the defense has stepped up as of late and going into great detail on specifics. But it’s Hate Week and we all know where the focus should be. Here are a handful of tweets from TTUN faithful:

Denard is the best tailback in Mich history….we are coming for you urbz…#goblue #beatohio

Hope that team down south is enjoying their undefeated season, because it ends in 5 days #GoBlue #BeatOhio

Mercy rule by half time? Can we get the #BeatOhio chants going?

You may question my fandom with this next comment but I’m throwing it out there anyway. I enjoy Brady Hoke as the Wolverines head coach. Don’t get me wrong, I hate everything about that team but he truly is good for the rivalry to be renewed. His weak schtick by calling the Buckeyes “Ohio” is one of the poorer degrading attempts that I have seen, but it shows that he gets it. He is the reason for these delusional but fun tweets and his recruiting style will most certainly help get this rivalry back to where it was in years past. We can all agree that as much fun as it is to beat them, we would all rather competitive on much more of a meaningful stage.

Well, regardless of sanctions, that stage has been set for Saturday afternoon and if you somehow need some help getting ready, I borrowed and will leave you with this.

Enjoy Saturday.

Go Buckeyes!!!

Images courtesy of nytimes.com, thebuckeyebattlecry.com, and threeandoutscout.com

  • FearTheRoo

    Go Michigan!

  • mgbode

    O-H

  • Dee P

    I-O!!!

  • JK

    I can see tOSU scoring a late TD to put the game out of reach and Coach Meyer going for 2.. How awesome would that be?

  • Feartheroo

    What do the Ohio Bobcats have to do with this?

    …strange

  • Chuck Norris

    Hahahahaha!

  • TSR3000

    GO BLUE!!!

  • Dave

    I don’t care how sad it sounds, but that would really make the whole season for me.

  • JK

    Ask Brady Hoke

  • Garry_Owen

    Followed by an onside kick.

  • Garry_Owen

    Just another team that we always beat, that’s all.

  • Garry_Owen

    So you like war veterans with opinions about everything?
    Well let me tell you about . . .

  • Garry_Owen

    The whole state of Michigan . . .

  • Natedawg86

    What does an average UM student get on his SAT’s – drool.

    How do you get a UM grad off your porch – pay him for the pizza.

    How many UM grads does it take to change a light bulb – Can’t be done, it’s a graduate course

    Why is the UM football team like a possum – they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

    Did you know that a UM grad

    …tried to put M&M’s in alphabetical order.

    …thought Eartha Kitt was a set of garden tools.

    …tripped over a cordless phone.

    …spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said “concentrate.”

    …at the bottom of the application where it says “sign here,” put “Gemini.”

    …asked for a price check at the Dollar Store.

    …sold his car for gas money

  • cmm13

    YEAH!!!!

    … seriously… go…. leave, get out of my state the moment the clock hits zero on Saturday and we’ve hung another embarrassing loss on you.
    BEAT MICH-AGAIN!!!!

  • theherd10

    Freaking Hoke. He’s like most of the Ohio-born M*ch*g*n fans I know – became a scUM fan just to be different and be the sand in everyone’s craw. Someone on another site ran down the list of names that Meyer has gone head to head with in the SEC – and consistently defeated – then pointed out that Hoke is nowhere near that class of coaches. I agree. Would love to see another “because I couldn’t go for three” moment out of Urban Saturday. Go BUCKEYES!!!!

  • cmm13

    Did you hear they closed the UM library? – apparently someone stole the book.

    Sad news, the UM cafetria no longer serves ice. – the kid who knew the recipe graduated.

  • OSWho?

    The funny thing is, how many OSU fans have actually gone to school there? 25%? Maybe even 30% would be a stretch…

    …very nice list of overly generic insults

  • Natedawg86

    Assuming you went to UM (since your generic statement infers, and possible tOSU insult(?) about % fans), was that your senior thesis? What did you get on that paper?

  • Natedawg86

    BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GO FOR 3!!!

  • OSWho?

    I couldn’t care less about UM or OSU. I graduated from UA and am not ashamed. Why? 3 wins in 3 years? who cares…at least I don’t claim to be a fan of a school I have no connection to.

  • Natedawg86

    1. Why would you have to go to a school to root for them?
    2. Why do you care who others root for?
    3. Why would you be ashamed if your alma mata was not good at football? (Mine is not good at producing a good football team, but is one of the best at engineering and producing leaders. We were 0-13 my senior year)
    4. Why are you reading this post and trolling the comments section
    5. Was your name supposed to be OSUWho?

  • JK

    Do you live in Ohio? Boom. You have a connection to OHIO State.

  • JK

    Cute name by the way.

  • Natedawg86

    I am going to also add that if your dad is a fan, you would inherit a natural fandom even if you no longer live in the state.

  • OSWho

    Ohio State is a SCHOOL. Does living in Ohio mean I have to root for the Ohio Bobcats too? If I went to high school at St. Ed’s should I root for St. Vincent-St.Mary in Akron instead?

  • JK

    A school…….. with a football team.

  • Dave

    That’s pretty big leap to assume that none of us have any connections to Ohio State. Just cause you don’t, doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t.

    Just some misplaced anger, it’s cool.

  • Dave

    I think my favorite part of this week is all of the people who hate Ohio State, still find their way to an article dedicated to the Buckeyes, then assume nobody has ties.

    Are you that unhappy that you have to start fights that have nothing to do with you?

  • cmm13

    Root for whomever you want, just don’t tell us about it on a website dedicated to Ohio Sports in a thread dedicated to Ohio State vs. Michigan.
    UA must be even below UM to not be able to figure this one out.

  • cmm13

    I didn’t attend the University of Cleveland Indians either, is it okay if I root for them?

  • Garry_Owen

    So, what’s worse? Claiming to be a fan of a team with which you have no connection, or actually being a vocal hater of a team with which you have no connection?

  • Dave

    Ha – people without opinions are boring.

  • Dee P

    Why did michigan switch to artificial turf? To keep the cheerleaders from grazing on the field.

  • Dee P

    I thank God everyday that my parents passed down their Buckeye fan hood to me. Life would suck so bad if they were from the state up north.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen this year. This is the Seniors’ bowl game. There’s no reason to hold back. I’ll be shocked if Meyer doesn’t let them play the whole game, regardless of the score.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Graduated from UA? When are you going to go to college?

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    The akron supporters here also pull for TSUN? How totally expected of them