Oh man! What a disaster for the Buckeyes. They didn't show the Steelers/Browns in Cincinnati (weird) and they didn't show the Bengals/Ravens in Columbus (not so weird, I guess).
The Buckeyes were actually outplayed on both sides of the ball by Illinois. I expected a competitive game. But, our defense shocked me with their poor play. It was almost like the Florida game all over again.
I'm trying to find the good news in this defeat. It, of course, dashes any hopes of a national championship no matter how everyone else finishes. They will never give the Buckeyes a shot since they no longer have an unblemished record. Since both OSU and Michigan lost going into the Big Game, I actually expect that game to be a great one as each team tries to prove we're the better team.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year anyway. No one expected us to even win the Big 10, let alone the National Championship. I guess rather than taking this defeat as a huge disappointment, we should look at the earlier part of the season as an unexpected bonus. Next year is our year.
OTOH, the Bengals did manage to pull off a victory over what has turned out to be the lowly Ravens. Their defensive secondary has been even more decimated than our linebacker corps. Yet, we managed zero touchdowns against them (a troubling statistic). Even with them giving us six turnovers again, we only managed 7 field goals, which was enough to win the game only because their offense was even more inept and self-destructed every time they got close enough to score. The game was an effective shut out, with Baltimore putting up one touchdown near the end to only lose 21-7.
The good news is we know our defense can stop someone. The not-so-good new is it's the worst offense in the NFL. But, a W is a W.