About Last Saturday

By Jon Thoma on September 22, 2011 at 5:18p
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BOO TO MY FACE, SIR?Booing? Not in the Shoe.

We're pleased to announce the addition of former Buckeye punter Jon Thoma as a contributor to Eleven Warriors. There are a lot of former Ohio State football players, but not many that can write as well as Jon. Feel free to pepper him with questions about hang time and do follow him on Twitter and his personal blog, Thoma Times.

Last Saturday was a little bit unreal. It was the inevitable collision of unrealistic expectations meeting squarely with talented opposition, resulting in the THUD of Buckeye Nation back down to earth. If you thought it was going to be that bad, then your name is either Mark May, or you think like him. So even if you were right, you lose.

Last Saturday felt like USC 2008 to me. We had an old starting quarterback and a young one trying to take his place (and just like '08, the young gun will get his shot). We were missing huge talent due to injuries or suspension (Beanie in ’08, Posey, Adams, Boom, Williams in ’11). We made turnovers at crucial points and struggled to move the ball against an athletic defense in others.

Of course, there are huge differences. Back then, we were a top 5 team with a Little Animal led defense which would rebound from the 35-3 early-season drubbing to nearly beat Colt McCoy’s Longhorns in a terrific Fiesta Bowl. Now? Who are these Buckeyes? Our old quarterback looks terrible, and our young one looked no better. We have two games before we get our stars back, and an unforgiving schedule to look forward to. So what now?

Last Saturday didn’t look like the beginning of the end for Bauserman, it looked like the end of the end. Maybe I was wrong about how good I thought he was going to be, but I still think he has the potential. It is hard to imagine the situation he has had to step into, without any play-making help on the offensive side of the ball. We too easily overlook the dropped passes in our statistic driven culture, but the play at the position has been too inconsistent to dwell on one facet.

Putting Braxton in seems like the easy answer, but he turned the ball over multiple times in limited reps, so that clearly is not the be all end all. And how about the defense? 27 missed tackles in one game? In a word, unacceptable. As hard as it is to admit, this team is not good, and will be a work in progress. Just as hard to admit, I think for the first time in seven years, the Buckeyes are… rebuilding.

The debacle in south Florida reminded me of the empty seats in the ‘Shoe we came back to the week after USC in ’08 against Troy. 2008 was my fourth season as a Buckeye, and the first time I had ever seen the bleachers of Ohio Stadium during a game. It reminded me that we live in a “what have you done for me lately” world where even the greatest fans can become enemies.

The easy thing for a fan to do is boo. Just like a baby cries when it does not get what it wants, uneducated fans will boo. Under appreciative fans will boo. Meanwhile, the kids on the field will continue to try their hardest to win games and put smiles on the faces of those in the stands. A booing fan does not help his team. A booing fan is only joining the defense. If you plan on booing this Saturday, please do everyone a favor and wear black and gold so there is no confusion.

The Miami performance also reminded me that Coach Tressel had bad games too. We can’t be calling for Fickell’s head when he loses a game with a team that lacks talent. Watch the season play out rather than jumping to conclusions. The first to jump to conclusions are always the first to jump off of the bandwagon. Buckeye Nation is not a bandwagon. Buckeye Nation is the greatest fan base in America, and the tough times are when we need to step up and prove that. We can’t abandon our boys when they need us most.

Last Saturday reminded me that learning and improvement come first. We may not have what we want right now, but in no way does that stop us from getting it. Buckeye fans get their first wish with a Braxton start this weekend, and we go from there. There is no better chance for new life than conference play starting in a week. Big Ten season is a whole new season. There is light at the end of the tunnel. When the boys come back from suspension we will all be singing  “Hail, hail the gang’s all here, so let’s win that ol’ conference now!”

Last Saturday was last Saturday. It happened, and it’s over. Now we have nine "next Saturdays" to look forward to. Be positive, be safe, Go Bucks.


Comments Show All Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

Great job Jon. Curious to get your take on the current ST. What do you think of Ben and the boys?

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Corey Carpenter's picture

Good stuff Jon, welcome to The Show!

Bruce's picture

Glad to have you here Jon, good column!

From the 2007 HBO special ---->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI7x_DDPcLo

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

 WTF, like Jon Thoma? For realz?  I've been drinking.......

jenks's picture

I'm about to start. If you're in downtown Cleveland, I'll join you.


Bucksfan's picture

I just hope one day Ohio State gets a coach and a staff that's 1-step ahead of the fans in terms of their personnel, instead of having to re-learn this choose-the-best-QB lesson for the 3rd or 4th time in 10 years.

Too much to ask?

klfeck's picture

I could not agree more. IMHO, the booing that was heard in the stands was directed at the coaches who seemed to be blind to the fact that Joe B was not the best man for the job. This was clearly evident to everyone before halftime during the Toledo game, everyone except the coach who decided to play Joe B the entire game. Its a shame Miller did not play the second half of the Toledo game as he might have been better prepared for Miami.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

Bucksfan's picture

Well, it's been said BY QBs that the QB position at OSU is the most high-pressure job in the state of Ohio.  I don't know how any of them could possibly say that if everyone in the stands just sat there clapping and cheering at overthrows and interceptions as you would at TD's.  It's high pressure because if you don't perform you'll hear about it.  To me, nothing wrong with it.  If booing isn't allowed, then is groaning?  What about whining or bellyaching?  What about just grimacing?  Frowning?  Are we going to start saying frowning at OSU's QB performance "classless?"  Where does it stop with this holier-than-thou sentiment, and where are we going to draw the line?  Nothing?  Are we just supposed to sit there and silently not react to the 15th incompletion, or the 8th consecutive quarter without a TD?

I don't get it.  It's a sport and there are spectators that take it seriously.  People are going to get upset and voice their frustration because of the expectations.  That doesn't make them classless.  That's just life.  People need to deal with it.

To me, classless is trashing the campus, setting fire to dumpsters and cars, beating people up, berading opposing fans in front of children - all things I've observed with Ohio State football fans during 4 years of going to games while I was in college.  Walking through Buckeye Grove, there are All-America plaques missing, and others that are damaged because of people trying to rip them up.  Booing the coaches or the QB?  Yeah, that happened, too.  Big deal compared to the other garbage that makes the news.

klfeck's picture

I agree with the gist of your point. Maybe it is a generational thing all to be blamed on the soccer moms and their influence on society. If you don't have something nice to say... cheer for the losers.... don't keep score etc. Maybe we could have a victory tunnel for both teams after the game............


Oh and btw, why is it ok to boo the opposing team? Somehow that is classy? After they traveled so far and tried so hard. But we fans can't boo the decisions of our own coaches?  Whatever.





Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

razrback16's picture

Agree. This is big boy Division I football. Let's stop with the crybaby $hit. I wasn't at the games this year (I will not pay $$ to watch Bauserman play), but I fully understood why fans were booing. When you're starting and wasting reps on the worst QB on the roster (especially when the best QB on the roster is the one who needs the reps the most), and everyone with any football knowledge knows it, the fans who pay big bucks to come to those games and support the university have a right to let the coaching staff know what they think of their personnel decisions. Even if Fickell is retained, we need to wipe out the majority of our offensive staff and overhaul. Our offensive staff has been substandard for far too long producing only two good offenses in 10 years. Unacceptable at a place like tOSU where top tier talent is brought in consistently.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Great article and welcome aboard. And FWIW, I have worn scarlet and gray everyday this week. I bleed these colors and they DO NOT run with me. And I am in Arizona! #proudtobeabuckeye

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

ih8rolltyde's picture

Worn my Buckeye gear all week too..... In Alabama.....


****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

elloyd1681's picture

"If you plan on booing this Saturday, please do everyone a favor and wear black and gold so there is no confusion."

Love it.  Thanks, Jon.  Go Bucks.


741's picture

An even better suggestion - boo birds ought stay the f*** home rather than poison the atmosphere in the 'Shoe.

BoFuquel's picture

Welcome Jon. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

teakwood's picture

I guess i only really seem to disagree with one thing, and that is the idea that we have a lack of talent.  Experience maybe?  I dont think we looked bad as we looked unprepared for the big game.  Sometimes losses are good, it wakes teams up.  We may not be national champ material but i still believe we can win the Big Ten we have a tough conference this year and thats how ill judge this season.#Young

Buckeye Black's picture

Yep, exactly.  The talent is there, and when defenses actually have to think about covering Posey and the threat of Boom running it, on top of what Miller brings to the table it will be much better.

My only other gripe is that, I'm not so sure the fans were booing Bauserman as much as they were booing the coaches not playing Miller.

klfeck's picture

My only other gripe is that, I'm not so sure the fans were booing Bauserman as much as they were booing the coaches not playing Miller





Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

BoFuquel's picture

Right now only one thing matters. Impede The Stampede. Buffalo it's what's for dinner.Slaughter Ralphie,and serve him at Eat Too Brutus. O H

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Bison is the best. Now THAT would be some tailgating

Bucks's picture

Glad to see you here good sir.

I enjoyed this article immensely. Never easy to take a loss, even worse when certain things are exposed so fully.

At this point in time, I just want to see steady improvement.

Welcome again.

Ethan's picture

This is one of the best starts to an article I've seen on the internets:

If you thought it was going to be that bad, then your name is either Mark May, or you think like him. So even if you were right, you lose.

Normal Buck's picture

Ha!  My favorite passage, as well.  Nice.


BoFuquel's picture

Now Brax take it easy,play within yourself,try not to make mistakes, and let the defense win this game.BUCKEYES FOREVER!!!!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

DallasTheologian's picture

Another thing to keep in mind about Braxton is that the two turnovers were not terrible. The first was a fastball that was a little behind, which, had Stoneburner not knocked into the air would have fallen harmlessly to the turf, and the second can be corrected and probably already has.

BoFuquel's picture


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Jon Thoma's picture

Great feedback everyone! Just want to point out that I never called anyone classless.  I know that Buckeye fans are extremely passionate and that can go both ways.  I was booed heavily on my senior night during my final game in the Shoe, and I deserved it.  I just wanted to illustrate the fact that when a stadium boos the home team, it doesn't fire up the team.  It kind of deflates it.  The players feel that the fans are no longer behind them.  Whether that's what you meant to do or not, that is how it translates to the players on the field.  There was no better feeling as a visiting team than getting the home crowd to boo their own team.  So embarrassing!  But I also understand that booing is a part of American sports culture and some people don't know what else to do besides boo. 

Thanks for your support everyone, I look forward to talking to you all again soon. Beat the Buffs!!

biggy84's picture

What are your feelings on Guiton and Berry not getting playing time?

Scott's picture

I already posted this on another thread, but I think it bears repeating:


We should do everything in our ability to live up to being "The Best Fans in the Land." Lead with integrity, embody class, show respect, and always remain loyal.


There is no place for booing the young men who defend Ohio State every Saturday.

Class of 2008

BoFuquel's picture

Thanks Jon for everything.Let's Buckeye them Buffs.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Jugdish's picture

Thanks, Jon, especially for your comment on booing. I never boo any player at OSU even when I get really disgusted with what is going on in the game. Fans need to stay positive for our team. There are going to be more difficult times ahead, but the Bucks will be getting better and better. Too many damaging things happened this year which is no fault of our current players. I wish the best for Coach Fickell this year and I want him to remain our coach for years to come. He is exactly what the program needs now in terms of integrity and leadership. He will need to look very closely for an OC for next year IMO.

I really feel that the Bucks will be ready for the teams in our division and will be representing the Leaders in the first B1G championship game.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

Maestro's picture

Thanks so much for your perspective.  Much obliged.

vacuuming sucks

bucknut24's picture

Glad you are aboard Jon and I welcome your perspective.  It is sad when booing happens because these are just kids playing the game we love and I don't like it either, however, I don't think there is going to be any booing this Saturday because Colorado will be over matched and most fans want to see Miller and will accept the mistakes he makes.  My concern is when MSU comes to town which will be a much tougher contest.

pasadenabuck's picture

Crap! I'm not ready for rational, level headed editorials that speak of patience, loyalty, and rebuilding...

A fool and his money are soon parted.I would pay anyone a lot of money to explain that to me. -Homer Simpson

Nick1's picture

Representing Stark county well Jon. Looking forward to future articles

VietBuckeye's picture

Nice read! Great job LO!  Keep up the good work!  Go Bucks!

BucksfanXC's picture

This made me realize other players probably read this site too. All of the sudden I feel nervous and excited. What if Beanie Wells reads us talking about the SAOJ, or TP about LeBron in cleats, or what if Little Animal doesn't like one of my comments and hunts me down in the dead of night to feast upon my flesh like I was Tom Brady in the pocket?

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Doug Buckles's picture

Wait, Thoma do you still think Baus might be good? I need that clarified thanks.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I couldn't help but to think that Tressel would have been able to win that game on Saturday. When it was 14-6 in the second quarter, I thought "Keep calm, run DAVE. We'll be right back in this".

Tressel had an incredible ability to win close games. After (not including) the 2001 season, Tressel NEVER lost a game where he held at least a 4 point lead at halftime, and only lost TWO game where he held ANY lead at halftime (Texas '05 and Texas '09 Fiesta Bowl, both three point leads at the half and still took two QB miracles for Texas to win those games). Even the Wisconsin game last year when we went down 21-0, Tressel kept calm, ran more iso plays and slowly crawled back to within a field goal. And good lord was he money on two-point conversions. We didn't need them often, but when we did, it was as if he had a special 20 plays or so that were guaranteed to get us 2 points when we needed it. I just don't feel this way about Fickell so far.

Oh, and when you're DOWN two scores late in the third quarter against the team that hasn't had trouble running the ball against you, at least try a fake punt on 4th and 5. We were in their territory! Our offense couldn't get ANYTHING started! You have to try something to put a jolt in the offense and swing momentum. Even Tressel had trick plays! (Ginn and Posey both have TD passes to their credit)... Tressel also had a wildcat package. Where was that?

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Welcome Jon! It's awesome to get the inside perspective on the team.

flipbuckeye's picture

Great to have you on board. Good stuff.