Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by 70 degrees and sunny skies in Los Angeles. Oh, and a little bit of EW&F.
No, it’s not time for the IlliBuck trophy again… Tuesday’s “news” was full of terrapin conversation, so we go where it leads. As such, here’s this morning’s soundtrack… I’m sure my folks will recognize it.
Everything is sort of quiet around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the holidays are almost here. Since hindsight is 20/20, let’s look back on 2012. Who’s ready to rumble?
The 2012 story didn’t begin on January 1, 2012. Of course, so much had already happened up to that point that I would be remiss without first going back to November 29, 2011 when the hiring of Urban Meyer as the next head coach at Ohio State became official. With that, we also have to think back to December 22nd of 2011, the day the sanctions prohibiting the Buckeyes from playing in a bowl game after the 2012 season, reducing scholarships and prohibiting Ohio State from competing in the Big Ten Championship game was announced.
“Gator don’t play…”
2012 started out with a trip to something called the Tax Slayer dot com Gator Bowl where the Buckeyes squared off with? Of course it had to be Urban Meyer’s old team, the Florida Gators. In a game that was quite honestly hard to watch, the Buckeyes fell 24-17. Unfortunately it was a game that didn’t feel like it was winnable in the end despite the mere seven point deficit. The good news from that day was that on the next day, January 2nd the Gators former boss officially took the wheel driving the Buckeye football program.
Anticipation and predictions
We waited all spring and through a long dry summer to finally see what Urban Meyer’s offense with Braxton Miller at quarterback would look like once it actually came to fruition on the field. Preseason speculation saw the Buckeyes picked to win anywhere from 7-10 games. With the Big Ten being in another of its string of down years, it wasn’t too farfetched to think the Buckeyes could be 10-2 or even 9-3. I think the consensus among people closest to the program were that road games at Michigan State and Wisconsin seemed like stumbling blocks for a young team. I think most thought Nebraska at Ohio Stadium would be a toss-up considering all that Nebraska had returning from 2011. Naturally, we all know anything can happen in The Game.
The first quarter against Miami… Read More
The Heisman trophy has been awarded. The Buckeyes are gaining recruits. Buckeye basketball players are shooting hoops. It’s almost Christmas time. Let’s rumble!
On Saturday the Heisman trophy was awarded to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Why did people outside the SEC region vote for Manziel? Yes, he accumulated 4600 total yards on the season. Sure, he won at Alabama. So, let me get this straight: The requirements to be the “most outstanding player in college football” is to have the most yards and beat an SEC “super power”? Being a leader no longer matters. Neither does keeping your nose clean off the field. Leading a team with the hardest schedule in college football to an undefeated season and spearheading a defense that allows ten (10!) touchdowns for an entire season doesn’t matter either apparently.
I should be ecstatic. Apparently having the name Notre Dame attached to yours no longer guarantees trophy’s the way it has in the past. We all remember when Troy Smith won the Heisman in 2006 and being worried that Brady Quinn might edge him out simply because of the name Notre Dame. After Saturday’s Heisman vote, that is clearly a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it’s been replaced by another stigma or fallacy, and that is simply being associated with the mighty SEC. Why do I say that? Let’s be honest: If Manziel plays for Texas A&M of the Big 12 and has his “Heisman moment” Thanksgiving night against the Texas Longhorns, I don’t care how many yards Manziel accumulated, Manti Te’o would be the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. But because Manziel plays in the SEC and beat Alabama, well, that’s Herculean and should obviously be rewarded.
If you don’t believe me, look at the voting. The southern region of the country ie SEC-land voted overwhelmingly for Manziel. Not really that surprising. The shocker was the amount of folks in the Midwest and East that voted for Manziel. Some surely voted for “Johnny Football” because they dislike the Irish, while others I can guarantee voted for him “because he did what he did in the SEC”. And that’s rubbish.
Manziel was not “the most outstanding player in college football” in 2012, stats be damned. The Heisman has always been an accumulation of stats, team achievement, off the field success, highlight moments and their personal story. With the exception of stats, Manti Te’o trumps “Johnny Football” in every category. But he didn’t win it. He lost to the stigma of the SEC.
How far is this going to go and when is it going to end?
Chills were running down my spine as TBDBITL marched into St. John Arena on Friday night for our Celebration of Perfection. As I looked around at my Buckeye family decked out in their scarlet & gray while singing “Across the Field” at the top of their lungs, all I could think was, “I am so proud to be an Ohio State Buckeye.”
Because I am a member of Block “O,” I had the luxury of sitting in the first row behind the stage and therefore, had a great view of all the evening’s festivities. And lucky for us, Coach Meyer and the team walked right past us to get to their seats, giving us high-fives and smiling at us as we cheered.
It was in that moment, when the team was standing in front of us, when the entire arena was giving them a standing ovation, that I realized it really doesn’t get any better than this…being among my friends, cheering on this team once again, as we did for all 12 games this season. I love being a student here. Transferring to Ohio State was honestly the best decision I ever made. Getting to see this team go 12-0 this year will be something I will never forget. And celebrating their success tonight is also something I won’t forget.
Over the past couple of years, Ohio State football has sent Buckeye Nation on somewhat of a roller coaster of emotions, but Coach Meyer and this team, in particular, the seniors, have turned the tide, and it has been a pleasure to watch. Seeing them hoist their Leaders Division Championship trophy tonight was a great moment.
No, they didn’t get to go to the Big Ten Championship Game. No, they don’t get to go to a bowl. No, they don’t get the chance to play for a national championship. But you know what? It’s okay. They’re 12-0. They made the great state of Ohio proud. And as Coach Meyer says, this team will be remembered. They’ll be remembered in our minds as champions. As leaders. As legends.* And legends are forever.
It is truly a great day to be a Buckeye. 12-OH!
*no pun intended with the division names*
Vince Lombardi used to tell his teams that they would strive for perfection while knowing full well they’d never reach it. However, he knew that somewhere along the way in the pursuit of perfection they would end up being pretty good. By defeating (we can say the M word again) Michigan on Saturday, the Buckeyes achieved perfection. Along the way they faced adversity and doubters but still wound up being pretty good!
The Reckoning: Mission Accomplished
The 109th rendition of The Game was more than an opportunity to finish a season unbeaten (only the 6th in school history) it was a chance to right a wrong. Heading into Saturday, the sting from last years game in Ann Arbor was still there. When Denard Robinson broke tackles for a 67 yard touchdown run in the second quarter all the emotions from 2011 came roaring back. It all finally subsided after seeing Carlos Hyde look to the Ohio State sideline and give Urban Meyer and his staff the “feed me” hand motion of spooning food into his mouth with around three minutes to play indicating he was more than prepared to finish off the game and that there wasn’t a thing the Wolverine defense could do to stop him.
Last week I introduced the idea of The Reckoning and wanting payback for the showboat antics, not to mention the loss in general, of the Wolverines in 2011. When Hyde motioned to Meyer and the Blue’s spirit and will had been broken, that indication and only then finally had The Reckoning been achieved. I didn’t want to see the Buckeyes win; I wanted to see Michigan broken and demoralized. It wasn’t until I read the stat sheet that I realized just how broken and demoralized Michigan actually was.
Silver Bullets to the rescue
Much maligned throughout the season, and rightfully so, the Buckeye defense stepped up huge and shut down the Wolverine offense almost completely in the second half. Luke Fickell and Everett Withers made adjustments at halftime that anticipated every move Michigan would make in the second half. They set up the Silver Bullet’s in a position to pin their ears back and fly around. The results were several big plays including sacks, fumbles and the eventual game clinching interception by CJ Barnett.
Early on in the game it’s easy to assume Fickell wasn’t sure exactly the extent of Robinson’s injury. Were they using him exclusively to run or did he have the treat to pass despite the injury to his right hand/wrist? Around the middle of the second quarter the discussions regarding Robinson abilities on this particular afternoon had to be compelling to listen in on. Ultimately the decision was made that in their opinions he wasn’t going to throw it and that they’d live with the consequences if he did. The gamble paid off, they were right, Robinson made zero passing attempts and his runs were completely shut down.
If you asked me before the game, I’d have almost guaranteed you that my vision of The Reckoning would have been realized by the Buckeye offense with an absolute onslaught of points and Braxton Miller dancing all over the Blue defense. I’m glad I would have been wrong as seeing the Silver Bullets intimidate and overpower the Wolverine offense was special and, in a way, much more satisfying. Read More
Not gonna lie… got a pretty mellow vibe for this week’s updates.