Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We Almost Stole a National Championship

Before this season began the Buckeyes were ranked no higher than 10 by anyone in the country. This was supposed to be a rebuilding season for us. After graduating (and losing early) an unusually high number of players everyone expected our team to be devastated on both sides of the ball. But, we kept winning game after game and when we crept up to number one in the rankings, I thought we might actually have a chance to sneak in a National Championship during this "off season". After the loss to Illinois and our precipitous drop with so few weeks of the season left, I just knew we were done. We needed for six teams ahead of us to lose in just three weeks of playing time. And you know what? They did. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the National Championship game for the third time in just six seasons.

There are those who would say we didn't deserve to be there. Ohio State plays a weak schedule. And considering we were chosen to finish 3rd in the Big 10, it was amazing that we were there. But, we were. Unfortunately, we looked rusty again last night. And, uncharacteristically sloppy and undiscplined. Turnovers, in-fighting and personal fouls cost us the game, even after a fast 10-0 start kicked off by a 60+ yard run by Beanie Wells and a monster stiff arm on another play that seemed to set the tone that the Buckeyes were going to get physical with LSU.

It was a weird year. The Bengals were expected to make the playoffs and did not (didn't even come close). The Buckeyes who were not expected to even make the Rose Bowl proved they are a great team by going to the big game for the third time since 2002. And, all indicators are they might be able to get back there again next year. But, for now, football season is over (except the NFL Playoffs) and I'm looking forward to some golf.

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