Battle For The Big Ten

By Alex on October 18, 2010 at 4:00p
43 Comments
Devin Barclay FTW again?

The loss to Wisconsin stings bad, and will for a while, but just like in years past, Jim Tressel's team needs to regroup and refocus their goals for the 2010 season. With the national championship a long shot for the Buckeyes (unless 2007 deja vu goes down), the mission has to be to win a sixth consecutive Big Ten championship. The loss in Madison puts the Buckeyes in a tough spot, as not only do they need to win out, but need some help, no longer controlling their own destiny.

While many things can happen in the next five weeks or so (it is college football we're talking about here), as of today the Buckeyes trail Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Iowa in the conference title hunt, with Northwestern just a half game back as well. MSU, as the only undefeated team overall, controls their destiny atop the standings right now, but will have the Badgers, Hawkeyes, Boilermakers, Wildcats, and Bucks gunning for them and will have to avoid the added pressure that comes with that territory. The scenarios are almost endless as to what can happen the rest of the way in Big Ten season, but as things stand today here is what the Buckeyes need to happen in order to at least clinch a sixth consecutive shared conference title.

First, and foremost, Ohio State needs to win out. Beating Purdue next week, taking down Iowa, and demoralizing Michigan (again) will take care of some teams in their way in games that they can control. Playing these teams gives Ohio State the chance to control that part of the conference race and all you can do right now is worry about what you can control. If OSU can roll the Boilermakers, Minnesota, Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan, they will be 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference, still needing a little help, but putting themselves obviously in the best possible scenario to win the Big Ten.

As for the competition, Ohio State does not play Michigan State and Northwestern. Sparty goes to Northwestern next week and follows with a trip to Iowa the week after. Those two games will go a far way in determining the final outcome in the standings, but if you're a Buckeye fan root for MSU to lose as much as they can, being that have no control over their track to Pasadena. Northwestern already has one loss and they play a few tough games, including Iowa, in their final slate, so I think they will lose at least one more.

The Bucks need Iowa to win until the match up in Kinnick on November 20. Iowa plays Wisconsin and MSU the next two weeks and beating those teams will help Ohio State big time. After that they play Indiana, NW, the Bucks, and Minnesota, so if they can get by the next two weeks they have a really good chance of winning the conference. By Ohio State beating Iowa, they good guys will own the head-to-head match up in a tie-breaker, but we REALLY need the Fighting Kirk Ferentz's to take down Bucky and Sparty the next two weeks to play in a pseudo-Big Ten championship game in Iowa City.

Finally, the Bucks play Purdue next week and if they win that game, they should be good on that front. They already beat Illinois who has two losses in the conference so they're OK there as well, and Michigan, also with two conference losses, should go down a few more times before the Buckeyes hopefully make it seven in a row in Columbus on Thanksgiving Saturday. I think it's safe to say Indiana, Minny, and Penn State are out of this picture, so it's really up to the Bucks to win out and get some help from Iowa the next few weeks to get out to Cali again this year.

What do you think is going to happen the rest of the way? I know the negativity is high after Saturday's loss, but put things in perspective and know bouncing back and regrouping from these games is what Jim Tressel does best. Will the Bucks run the table the rest of the way? Will they at least get a share of their sixth straight Big Ten title?

43 Comments

Comments

RBuck's picture

Well, we can always dream.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Alex's picture

As a bonus...it's an extreme long shot, but in the BCS Standings, here are possibilities of the Bucks getting back into the mix a la 2007:

#1 Oklahoma: @ Mizzou at night this week, @ Texas A&M, @ OK State, potential B12 Championship game----root against them every week

#2 Oregon: Plays @ USC in two weeks, vs Washington, @ Cal, vs Arizona, and @ Oregon State---root against them every week

#3 Boise State: Tough to see them losing but Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, Fresno State, and Nevada are our best chances----root against them every week

#4 Auburn: vs LSU this week, @ Ole Miss, vs UGA, @ Bama, SEC Championship----root for them to lose this week and wait and see on the rest

#5 TCU: vs Air Force this week, @ Utah, vs San Diego State (watch out for Brady Hoke)----root for them to lose every week

#6 LSU: @ Auburn this week, vs bama, vs Ole Miss, @ Arkansas, potential SEC championship game (not likely thought)---root for them to beat Auburn and Bama and then lose to Ole Miss and Arkansas

#7 MSU: @ Northwestern, @ Iowa, @ Penn State---root for them to lose all their games, we need as much help as we can get

#8 Alabama: @ Tennessee, @ LSU, vs Miss St, vs Auburn, potential SEC championship game---root for them to lose at least 1 more game

#9 Utah: @ Air Force, vs TCU, @ Notre Dame, @ SD State, vs BYU---root for them to beat TCU and lose 1 game (any is fine as long as they beat TCU)

 

So yes, it's an uphill battle but I think it is possible...we need the 3 SEC teams to give us a little help, but I think the only problem there is the winner of the Auburn-Alabama game...Boise State is least likely to lose out of all these teams....I think oregon goes down at least once...Oklahoma will be tough every game, but it is possible...I think MSU loses this week @ NW and @ Iowa the following week as well...We NEED Utah to beat TCU at home and lose one of their other games

hallow74's picture

Like I said earlier, Go Hawkeyes!  Then in November we can go paint that pink locker room Scarlet and Gray.   

iball's picture

Maybe we just don't deserve to win the B10 this year. We were soundly beaten by B10 football at it's down and dirty core. If Sparty wins out, and yea, I hope they do, then they deserve it.

My hope for the rest of the season is that we don't accumulate any more inj's, the offense finds some sort of rythym, and maybe JT admits at some point, he, at the least, needs to take a look at what he is really doing.

Sure, Im a bit on the disillusioned side of things right now. And it is just football. But, when you start to feel like what you are rooting for each week, may not really be what you think it is, it just hurts. Feels like you just caught the girl of your dreams cheating on you. After all, this is Ohio. Football is part of our culture, like hockey to Canada. Im not ashamed to admit that.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Kansas City Buckeye's picture

Let me get this straight.  You are openly cheering for another team to win the Big 10.  Before I comment further, I just want to make sure I read that correctly.

tomcollins's picture

To be fair, it is D'Antonio's team and a team that hates Michigan almost as much as we do.  They deserve it more than we do.  If we win it, I want to actually earn it.  I felt dirty when we "split" with PSU the year they beat us.

BigRedBuckeye's picture

How would it be similarly dirty to "split" with a Sparty team we don't play? I.e. they lose at Iowa on the 30th but then we take care of business on the 20th?

But we could see a dirty split with Wisky if we both win out, no? 

I guess this begs the question...if Sparty stumbles twice, and if both we and Wisky win out (and thus both teams have 1 conf. loss to end the season), Wisky will go to the Rose Bowl based on the head to head tiebreaker. But will we still be considered co-champs, ala PSU in 2008?

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

tomcollins's picture

It's just most likely going to be a massive split if we get there.  1-loss MSU, 1-loss Wisconsin or 1-loss Iowa.  I wouldn't feel bad about splitting with Sparty if we both won out.

You are correct on the co-champs assumption.

RedQueenRace's picture

I won't root for MSU to win the B10, but I am not going to root against them on the basis of giving us a chance to backdoor our way into a shared title.

iball's picture

Kansas City Buckeye, yes my friend you read that correctly. So please comment further, I am very intrigued to hear your opinion on why that is wrong, or right, whatever your opinion maybe. Plus, Im in a bad mood, so I cant wait for you to walk right into a verbal buzzsaw. Elaborate, my all knowing friend.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Kansas City Buckeye's picture

I just never thought a self proclaimed Buckeye fan would want another team to win the Big 10.  Why do you want another team to win the Big 10?  I want the Buckeyes to win every game and win the conference every year.  But realistically that is not going to happen.  Seriously, how many times do you expect them to go undefeated?  I don't understand all the depression in Buckeye nation.  Being in the military, I am exposed to a wide variety of fans.  Whenever Oklahoma, or Florida, or USC of Alabama loses, their fans look ahead and try to figure out what its going to take to get to the national title game.  They do not throw in the towel until there are 2 losses.  Hell Florida has NEVER even had an undefeated season.  They pick up the pieces and move on to the next opponent.  

Maybe its because of my experiences in the military, but my emotional state will never rest on the actions of a bunch of kids who play a game.  When I was sitting my ass in the hot desert sun, I looked forward to getting back to watch them and cheer them on to victory in every game.  I longed for those crisp autumn Ohio air and Buckeye football.  I used to brag that Ohio State had the best fans in the land.  But its becoming clear that our fans only cheer for the Buckeyes when they win.  

Perfection would be great, but there is a reason it rarely occurs.   

JakeBuckeye's picture

He's the same Buckeye fan that will be rooting against Ohio State to some extent in every game from here on out to prove himself correct. There's a lot of those amongst us in today's age.

BigRedBuckeye's picture

It appears so. I understand his sentiment, but I would still never root for another team to win our conference. Sparty beat Wisky, and we lost to Wisky. If we beat Iowa and Sparty loses to Iowa, I have no qualms sharing the title with them. I place no stock in "style points", i.e. whether we got out-Big-Tenned by Wisky or not; I place stock in wins. At the end of the day, IF you win is more important than HOW you win. 

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

JakeBuckeye's picture

"needs to take a look at what he is really doing."???

Ohio State fans are the college football equivalent to a teenage girl who eats the world's largest sandwich, then takes a flight to a deprived African village and cries that she's hungry.

I'm so sick of some of our fanbase. We're just such ignorant and arrogant assholes sometimes. This quote doesn't necessarily depict what I'm saying, but stuff like that really tips the iceburg after you hear enough crap in one weekend.

iball's picture

Jake Buckeye, although ignorant and arrogant in its own nature, to make the corelation between OSU fans and spoiled rich children visiting African nations ,as you so eloquently stated, is a quite clever, yet cliche statement of current OSU fan expectations.

However, since you included "we're" in front of the put-down directed towards myself, Im going to assume that was directed towards yourself also.

But what exact quote doesn't necessarily depict what you are saying? Because Im saying Tress needs to hire some strategic offensive help. But it seems you were so intent on giving me the internet "burn" that you failed to clearly express your own opinion.

Ironic, since I am the ignorant and arrogant one. Your ball chief.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

JakeBuckeye's picture

One would think we're the modern day Illinois football program the way you speak of the changes we need so desperately. "You win some, you lose some," is the quote often used by people. At modern day Ohio State it goes more along the lines of "You win a lot, you lose a little." I'll take the latter one, which happens to be the one I currently get to enjoy.

No changes needed, chief.

JohnBoy's picture

Jake,

 

I will agree with you that alot of fans are over the top. But you can't make everyone as optimistic as you. I would tell you that alot of OSU faithful are frankly tired of the big game losses and big letdowns. It's one thing to have a down year and get beat in a game or two...hey that's football. But, we have gotten our asses beaten and thoroughly embarrassed in the spotlight in alot of these games. I don't need to rehash them.  I think calling for Tressel's head is outlandish. I think expecting changes on our staff based on performance and keeping up with trends is reasonable. Programs get stale. Things change.

Also, as we have bantered about before, some of these so called elite players are not. Our team by nature receives alot of hype in the media and can lead to false presumptions and speculation about the skill and quality of new and returning players. None of our coaches would ever say publicly that we are weak in an area. As you saw Saturday night and as I have said many times we are very average, actually bad in alot of areas on defense. I told you that I attended the IU game...sat in 23AA right on the railing behind the team. I told you that I would compare them to some of the SEC squads I have seen this year. (LSU, Alabama, Florida). The d-line just doesn't pass the look test. Throw the numbers out....those are padded against lesser teams.  We have never recovered from the loss of Dantonio. Our recruiting has been subpar on the d-line. We have whiffed on big recruits there and at linebacker. We have had to sign 1B so to speak in many cases. This is a fact.

Personally, I am glad that we now have a conference title game coming and 12 teams. I am not interested in just beating Michigan or being a statistically great team. I want to see us do to Florida what they did to us..... complete with all the shit-talkin' about how there are 5 other teams in the BigTen who could beat them!  We need our conference to be better so that we can be better. I would like to see us win another title and be on the cutting edge of recruiting and strategy. It bothers me that when we know the game is the biggest...we look lost.

We cough up alot of money to support OSU football. We're paying our coaches handsomely if not excessively. Why can't we expect development, progress, and accountability? Why is it okay for the special teams to not get fixed week after week? Could you get away with that at your job? I mean Christ.... it likely cost us the NC. How much cash is that worth? Millions?

I'm not asking for perfection.....just progress and respect from college football nation for our team's performance against the best teams. That's what college ball is all about anyway....it's about where you are from.

 

Thank you sir! May I have another?

JakeBuckeye's picture

I don't believe I'm being overly optomistic, to be honest. I mean, somebody the other night tried to tell me that this was still a great current team. I don't think they're great this year, just a solid, good football team not good enough for a national title this year but still solid enough to compete for a Big Ten Championship.

I guess what I don't understand is why people think this program is getting stale. I'm just enjoying the golden age of Ohio State athletics, football included.

JohnBoy's picture

They ARE good. They could likely win out for sure!

But, knowing what you saw Saturday night...do you want us to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl?

I think we all know what likely would happen. That's what everybody is so upset about.....there is no faith that we are gonna outplay, outhustle, or outcoach the best.

Just sayin'

Thank you sir! May I have another?

iball's picture

So you're satisfied with one title in 42 years and this being the "Golden Age" of OSU football. Youare being optimistic and that's not a bad thing, however, the way you put it makes it seem like this as goood as it gets, and we should be happy about it.

Well if this is as good as it gets, then that is very disheartenong. because i don't see any MNC's coming soon, especially how the offense is being handled.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

JakeBuckeye's picture

We've won one national championship in the BCS era. Only two programs can say they have two.

iball's picture

Yea and only 3 programs can say they've lost more than one.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

Doc's picture

The one we one was with Cooper's kids.  JT is a great coach, but he needs to do some serious evaluation of himself and the coaching staff.  Bollmann isn't getting it done and neither is Siccliano(sp?).  We deserve better.  Losing on the biggest of stages is weak sauce.

"Say my name."

M Man's picture

wtf?

And I was criticized for suggesting on these pages, three weeks ago, that just maybe some of you might wanta root for Michigan to beat MSU for your benefit......?

JakeBuckeye's picture

I didn't see you posting that, but that did cross my mind when you two were playing. My hatred just took over though.

vidstudent's picture

The big problem is that Michigan State's running out of big games to worry about.  They have Northwestern and Iowa left as the tough part of their schedule; their other games are two teams of walking wounded and one team that's walking coachless.  I don't think Northwestern is a threat to them this year (oh, please, prove me wrong); thus, it's up to Iowa to stop them.

Nicholas Eckert

vidstudent

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Win out and a BCS bowl is to me almost a given, with the championship a big longshot, but still a shot.  I've spent the last 2 days purposely not reading/watching ANYTHING about college football, trying to get the taste of horrific defense and special teams play out of my mouth.   I fully expected to come on here today to a full on negativity shit storm, but most comments seems to echo my own thoughts - sure, the loss sucks, but all is not lost, we still have games to play and asses to kick, so let's get to it.   Purdue, you picked the wrong week to come into town, we already wanted to pound you silly before, now it's x10.

Hoody Wayes's picture

As far as the BCS goes, Ohio State was ranked number one on Saturday, November 10, 2007, when it was defeated by an unranked Illinois, 28-21, in Columbus. One more game remained on its schedule, a 14-3 victory for the Buckeyes over 12th-ranked Michigan, in AA. Losing late didn't keep Ohio State out of the MNC.

With seven weeks remaining in the college football season, chaos within the BCS Top Ten is highly probable. All the teams ahead of Ohio State are vulnerable. 

If Ohio State wins out, playing in either the Rose Bowl or for the MNC, will be no surprise. 

Paul's picture

I stayed away from all things Ohio State until now. I couldn't bring myself to read,watch, or listen to anything concerning the game. After taking time to regroup and re-evaluate. I look to the Oklahoma Sooners as an example of what lies ahead for us. They have had a track record similar to ours the past seven plus years.

Last year was much more devastating than Saturdays's set back losing Sam Bradford to injury in the first game therefore derailing National Championship hopes.

As I look at the initial BCS rankings Oklahoma is right back on top and in control of their destiny.

When you consider the Blue Chip talent we have recruited at every position and how this years class and next years class are shaping up, I have every reason to believe we will be in the discussion for at least the next five years if not longer moving forward.

Be positive, it's fine to be pissed and disappointed but all is not lost!!!!

 

Go Buckeyes!!!!

 

O.H......................

There are winners and there are losers, and then there are "THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY"

FOOTBALL BUCKEYES!

anchorman's picture

We will win against Iowa and SCum. We will win the Big Ten and be playing in a BCS bowl game! Period!

Paul's picture

Kudos to you!! This team will not fold. Bonus silver lining: An even more focused and

fired  up TP returning for a senior season to lead this team and take care of unfinished business,

and I don't want to hear about losing seniors and bla bla bla.... We're loaded behind our current crop of talent and our current secondary isn't much to write home about.

Keep the faith.

There are winners and there are losers, and then there are "THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY"

FOOTBALL BUCKEYES!

MackRM408's picture

When we win out we will be playing in the Rose Bowl on January 1. Im being overly optimistic but I feel they are going to scorch the earth through the remaining 5 games.

BuckeyeChief's picture

The amazing thing about this all is that it could just be one game that they where off, and not be challenged the rest of the year. Unfortunately with out a play-off...

 

Another point i'd like to make is this: I am tired about getting hyped about recruits who are 50/50 on panning out. I am done getting excited about them. For the people who can't wait for the Kenny G/Taylor  Graham/Braxton Miller era...wake up and smell the coffee, 'cause the grass isn't always greener.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

JakeBuckeye's picture

TP's saying stuff I like to hear on twitter right now. We'll see in the coming weeks if it is from his heart...

"Now the fun starts! Adversity is a beautiful thing in a way. Wether in sports or in life! You all will face adversity. What's the next step?"

http://twitter.com/TPeezy2

Hoody Wayes's picture

Put yourselves in their shoes. I bet they're ready for Purdue, right now. Losing to those bastards last year seemed to re-calibrate the Bucks.

Bucksfan's picture

I'm an ardent Buckeye fan, too, and of course I root for my alma mater like there's no tomorrow.  But I'm certainly more than capabale to give credit where credit is due, and if that means being critical of the Buckeyes for their effort in a big game with the conference title on the line, and subsequently congratulating Michigan State, Iowa, or whoever it will be (except Michigan) on rising up and winning the Big Ten, then so be it.  It's hard to win the conference, and it's hard to get to the Rose Bowl...if it weren't, then your name is USC.

It doesn't make you a bad Buckeye to admit Ohio State isn't the best Big Ten team in 2010.  And yes, you have a right to be pissed when your team is loaded with 5 star talent in all the important positions and can't deliver.  But that's sports.

Go Bucks!  Wouldn't want to be Purdue this weekend.

Kansas City Buckeye's picture

For those of you who want to throw this team under the bus, Rob Oller put it best:

"Another dose of reality: Woody Hayes had two perfect seasons ('54 & '68) in 28 years. Bear Bryant had three in 25 at Alabama"

http://twitter.com/rollerCD/statuses/27759601988

Now lets get behind them and cheer them on to a Big 10 Title.

Bucksfan's picture

And they only played 9 games.

Pam's picture

“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft; on the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them.  Keep believing.”

 

-Bo Schembechler

nickma71's picture

Ohio State should win out. Then again, they should not have lost Saturday, even with injuries on defense and inexperenced players. The question mark is Oregon, who has a tough schedule. If Oregon wins out, MSU will draw those idiots from Idaho. The Rose Bowl is contracted to pick a non A-Q team if the Big Ten or Pac Ten send a team to the Championship game. I think MSU also wins out, and I want them to win out. They will physicaly beat Boise down. Yeah, I am a hater. The day they win a big game, I will respect them. Beating Little game Bob in a BCS game is not a challenge, considering the 5 straight he has dropped, including several in embarassing fashion against one dimensional WV.

JoshAlum's picture

I nominate this guy for Offensive Line Coach:

Nevada's O-line's have over-performed, running an offense where they constantly see 8, 9 men in the box, with less than 5 star talent.

http://www.nevadawolfpack.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=10000&ATCLID=549139

Also, he looks like an offensive line coach should.