Recently ESPN.com ran a feature where the fans rated the teams that they love to hate. This is one poll that The Ohio State Buckeyes finish up on top. I don’t think that anybody hates the players, the tradition and especially Coach Tressel.
ESPN.com’s Mark Schlabach wondered if it was all the winning that made people hate the Buckeyes. Here in Columbus, OH I keep hearing the Buckeye fans saying that America hates them because they keep losing the BCS Title Game.
So is it the winning or the losing?
They’re all missing the point. It’s neither.
What angers Americans most is that the powerful, vaunted and highly ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes have chosen to hide behind a weak non-conference schedule in order to make it to the BCS Title Game.
But America does not hate the Buckeyes individually. Nearly every single player on the team is on some sort of watch list for an award…beginning with the “Beanie” Wells for the Heisman Trophy. James Laurinaitis is a beast and a two-time All American and Butkus and Nagurski award winner. Malcom Jenkins is a one of the best. The O-line is HUGE! Even the kickers are “Watch-Listed”.
Most Americans would not fault Syracuse, Northern Iowa or even Fresno State for taking on the Ohio University Bobcats, Troy or even Youngstown State as they build their programs. But we’re talking The Ohio State University Buckeyes here. They have not chosen to take the high road and produced a quality schedule.
The 1-AA aka the subdivision is a subdivision for a few reasons…perhaps most importantly 1-AA teams are WEAK!! There are those ones like Appalachian State who beat Michigan last year, but nine out of 10 times Michigan would have beaten them, so let’s not let that instance cloud our judgment into thinking that Youngstown St. is a quality opponent for the Buckeyes. Or even Troy. Or Ohio U.
The Buckeyes have shown no respect for the current BCS Formula…more like they exploit the flaws in the formula to weasel their way into the title games. Under the current BCS Formula a win is a win no matter the opponent. Why the heck not schedule a bunch of scrubs? Why not pit the traditions against the patsies?
Ohio State –v- USC; Ohio State –v- Washington
USC’s tradition and power rivals that of Ohio State. However, the Trojans have chosen a different path to power. They’ve added Virginia, Ohio State and Notre Dame to their non-conference schedule. Like Ohio State, USC will be favored no matter who they schedule so they schedule anyone.
Under the BCS Formula a loss is also a loss. While the Buckeyes are whipping up on the mighty 1-AA Penguins of Youngstown St. in Ohio Stadium the Washington Huskies travel to Oregon to take on the Top 20 Oregon Ducks.
Then they go up against BYU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame in non-conference bouts. Think Washington's Ty Willingham would look like a much better coach with three nice easy wins every year?
To OSU’s credit they have a trip to Southern Cal early in the 2008 season. However, I can’t give them too much credit because they’ve sandwiched that game around patsies.
While USC is out getting their best players on the field, risking injury and showing some pages in their play book the Buckeyes can protect the players and the play book. When the two teams meet Ohio State stands a better chance of having it’s full compliment of players.
The battle cry for Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes was three yards and a cloud of dust. For these Buckeyes the mantra is “three patsies and BCS Bust”…that’s the reason that America hates the Buckeyes.