Death at Your Door

By Ramzy Nasrallah on October 2, 2013 at 11:15a

This season is moving too fast. When this weekend bows, Ohio State will have already completed half its schedule.

We should stop and appreciate what the Buckeyes have accomplished in barely a month. It’s absolutely breathtaking if you slow down and really think about it - so take a deep breath and let’s all let our brains digest it together.

Start with a roster almost exclusively comprised of four and five-star recruits that’s managed by a staff of superstars all led by a head coach with multiple BCS title rings and undefeated seasons to his name. Add facilities that are without peer. That’s how the season began.

Now witness its prolific offense (17th nationally) commanded by two quarterbacks who could start anywhere else in the country either handing off to a backfield that goes six deep or throwing to wide receivers with sticky hands and shifty hips.

Put those signal-callers behind the best offensive line it has fielded in a decade. They're scoring 48 points per game for five wins and zero losses. That’s right now.

Add the nation's 18th ranked defense that just held the nation’s leading rusher to 84 yards below his average. Finally, special teams that have allowed a total of three punt return yards this season while yielding a nation-leading 27 kickoff returns averaging just 19 yards per.

It's all going according to plan and you're still breathing - except when you're told that all of this constitutes an overrated team. Now you can't breathe.

Many analysts - most notably ESPN's Mark May - predicted Wisconsin to finally kill off the Buckeyes on the strength of its unstoppable rushing attack. The Badgers were the unanimous pick at ESPN going into the game Saturday that Ohio State won while never trailing. The Buckeyes haven't trailed yet this year.

May then proceeded to say the win he predicted would be a loss wasn’t by a large enough margin to be satisfactory. He’s right about Ohio State needing to win big, especially to score points with humans disenfranchised by its conference - but basic logic suggests that you can’t predict a team to lose and then say it didn’t win by enough points.

UW joined Cal as two-time victims in OSU's streak.

He's trying to have it both ways, but in May's defense he’s also a professional imbecile by trade. Just think of his finely-tuned Ohio State analysis each week as him simply executing his job to perfection.

More than anything, predicting the Buckeyes to lose is a wistful death wish for the Midwest's bully of the 2000s that many hoped would fall on hard times...instead of reeling off 17 straight coinciding with its NCAA punishment.

The irony is that predicting Ohio State to fail when they keep winning has the opposite effect: If May was a smart man [cackling laughter.mp3] he would predict them to win 76-0 every week to all but guarantee it would fail to meet expectations instead of exceeding them.

Still, May is a carnival barker who only shapes the feeblest opinions - but there are opinions that matter. College football is a fickle beast, and Urban Meyer knows that as well as anyone, which is why him not worrying about style points is tantamount to whistling in the graveyard.

He ran the table with Utah and was rewarded with a mediocre Big East champion to destroy with no shot at a title. That shouldn’t be possible anymore for Utah now in the PAC-12, but it’s entirely possible for Ohio State in this Big Ten.

This shrapnel hitting the Buckeyes' credibility is for crimes committed by the entire conference against itself over way too many Januarys. There isn't a strong argument elevating an undefeated Big Ten team above its big conference contemporaries should this all continue through November. 

Nevertheless, if this was Boise and not Ohio State, Pat Forde would be excitedly writing each week about how his pants can’t stop tightening. No one is acting that way about the Buckeyes. Not even us.

Yet prior to winning 17 in a row, Ohio State had lost four straight and seven of 11 games. Regardless of scheduling and proverbial stocked cupboards, this is categorically a miraculous turnaround. Meyer would gain consideration for Big Ten Coach of the Year if there weren’t secret laws against any Ohio State coach winning the award.

But he's not. This team was supposed to be disinterested and dead last year. That death never happened. Now people like May are getting antsy. Ohio State's inevitable demise has got to happen soon. Right?

If Meyer's Buckeyes improbably continue to cheat death for a second straight season, they’ll be 26-0 and either champions of the BCS or invited to some other Utah-like consolation prize. Either way, the good news is you’ll no longer hear about Ohio State being overrated.

No, you will be more likely to hear about how weak the NCAA sanctions were that allowed the Buckeyes to go 26-0 after they were supposedly punished for being the cheatingest cheaters in cheaterville. But don’t get too worked up thinking about that yet with Northwestern, Iowa and Penn State looming.

Especially the Wildcats, winner of one Ohio State game in 42 years. The idea they could end this amazing streak might take your breath away.


Comments Show All Comments

jrich612's picture

Mark May: Professional Imbecile sounds like the name for one hell of a comedy movie, doesn't it?

hit_the_couch's picture

Or his unauthorized biography.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Maestro's picture

I used to think that NFL punter was the greatest job in the world, but professional imbecile ranks very closely.

vacuuming sucks

RBuck's picture

It's definitely the easiest job in the world.

Long live the southend.

Earle's picture

Is it me, or does the filter in the first photo make it look like Bennett is playing for Purdue?

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

Maestro's picture

Oh the HORROR!!!!

vacuuming sucks

Hovenaut's picture

That's 'zactly what I thought....why a 'Due-'Sconsin preview?

Let's do that Trick or Treat thing in a few weeks m'kay?

southbay's picture

It does, except that I don't think Purdue's linemen ever get into Bucky's backfield.

avail31678's picture

2012 Purdue would like to disagree with you...

cajunbuckeye's picture

Half the season is gone? Nnnoooooooooo!

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

buckeyedude's picture

After the relatively weak competition the first four weeks, and now two big time night games in a row for the Buckeyes, I'm geeked!
Great read! So glad you're on 11W, Ramzy!



steveoz49's picture


jayt's picture

Damn ramzy, I need to buy you a beer bro. That was some good stuff!

Doc's picture

Haterz gunna hate.  I'm actually enjoying it.  The more the Bucks win the hotter the hate.  The hotter the hate the bigger I smile.  Every other fanbase in the country, except maybe 1 or 2, are jealous of us.  We are not only dating the hottest girl in school, we married her and our children are not only gorgeous their smart and athletic too.  Just keep winning boys.  Enjoy the ride.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

brylee's picture

DAMN "cheatingest cheaters in cheaterville."

throttlefinger's picture

Like the Braxton or Kenny talk, the program invites a lot of drama from both fans and jackanapes like May. And as Ramzy perfectly points out, more you win, the more craptacular the claims. But how hard and passionately Urban has these guys playing makes it all easy to combat. Even if a loss comes, it won't be because of lack of leadership and effort. Or talent. Urban has remade the program in a short time to something every Buckeye can be proud to support. And because of that, all the rest is just petty noise. 

CC's picture

Did you really use "jackanapes" in a sentence?  +1

Phillips.449's picture

AND "craptacular"!!! That is f&@ktastic!

BuckeyeVet's picture

@Throttle - Next post I'd like to see you work "fools, knaves, & charlatans" into a sentence. Well done!

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

throttlefinger's picture

Do I get a bonus point for adding "bureaucrats"? 

BuckeyeVet's picture

Well, yeah.....

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Sherm's picture

Surely that would be redundant. 

buckeyedude's picture

Don't call him "Shirley."



throttlefinger's picture

+2 Airplane quote. 

TennesseeBuckeye's picture

The only thing holding this team back is the coaches. And maybe for good reason, maybe they don't want them to become over confidant. Lot of new players. Braxton coming back of an injury. The front 7 is awesome. Roby had a bad coverage day last week but he was told to stop the RUN AT ALL COSTS, he did it. I don't think he will be put in that situation the rest of the year at least not until a Bowl game. The loss of Christian Bryant is huge, but This is tOSU and someone will step up. Got a big road game this week, a team who we haven't lost in regulation time since 1958 (OT rule came into play in mid 90's, otherwise it would have been a tie), none the less, they are ranked and it just so happens that ranked (#11) Northwestern squad beat a ranked (#5) Ohio State squad, the only other time both teams were ranked playing in Evanston. A week off and probably well timed, Iowa comes to town, Homecoming game. Iowa is looking tougher than expected. Penn State a rivalry game, at Purdue were we've lost the last three, and that's where it stays. A break on Nov 9th and could be a very important day w/o the Bucks even playing, LSU at Alabama and Oregon at Stanford,on the 10th the Bucks may be #2 or even #1 (Shhhhhh, lets not get ahead of ourselves),
off to Illinois (Thank God, I hate playing them at home when highly ranked), back home against Indiana and off to scUM. It'll be over before we know and we'll be wishing it would continue and dreading the long wait for start of the next season.
Go Bucks!

I may not be able to outsmart too many people, but I can outwork 'em.
Woody Hayes

stantmann's picture

I didn't realize OSU lost 3 in a row in W Lafayette, so I checked, it is actually 2 in a row, 2011 (23-26) and 2009 (18-26). In 2007 OSU won 23-7. Either way, Purdue seems to give OSU a tough game for almost as long as I can remember - Illinois too

lax20's picture

I remember the day that Mark May defended the Buckeyes in their quest for a national championship in 2002.  At the time on ESPN Mark May was teamed with Trev Albert, a former DE from Nebraska.  Trev Albert every weekend did nothing but critiize the Bucks and the B1G all season long as being overrated and not qualified to be in the NC.  WE all know how that season ended.  Now the very man that berated Trev Albert for his criticism has become Trev Albert and Lou Holtz, God Bless Him, is the Buckeyes media champion.

CC's picture

I actually liked Trev Alberts but this was not a smart business plan:
From Wiki:

On September 6, 2005, Alberts was terminated by ESPN for breaching his contract when he declined to report to work; Alberts later claimed he did not want to "play second fiddle" to the more prominent cast of College GameDay, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso.[7]

HandsOfSweed's picture

Are you sure that wasn't just a brilliant bit of cunning and subterfuge on the part of Trev in order to land his dream job as the AD at Nebraska-Omaha?

Young_Turk's picture

Almost as if two hosts, holding contrary views, arguing about them heatedly, is a script in the ESPN playbook.


Stinson's picture

"If May was a smart man [cackling laughter.mp3]"

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." -Wayne Woodrow Hayes

JasonR's picture

Good article, and I don't mean any disrespect by this, but why do we need a constant stream of articles and forum posts about Mark May? Seriously, everyone knows he's an asshat. He wants the attention (and to piss off the Buckeye faithful) and we are giving him exactly what he wants. Can't we all just pretend he doesn't exist or something? 
I mean, look what happened when people stopped watching that Jersey Shore garbage...don't hear much about those clowns these days. Let's give Fat Urkel the Jersey Shore treatment.

The Roadie Buck's picture

Fat Urkel - just spit out my coffee laughing! Great!!

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Great article.  Has a program ever responded to serious sanctions leveled against it as the buckeyes did last season and so far this season?  It had to have infuriated a lot of fans / institutions that tOSU got smacked down by the NCAA (for infractions that continue to look more-and-more trivial with each passing CFB scandal) and ends up hiring the best available coach in the land.  Throw in the facts the bucks now pay assistant coaches the kind of big salaries SEC assistant coaches earn and back-to-back top five recruiting classes with SEC speed AND Midwest power, and you have a bunch of people whose heads are about to explode.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Buckabroad's picture

Fantastic article, RAMZY! Not one point was off the mark.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

ScarletNGrey01's picture

No pun intended?  :P

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

buckeyedude's picture

That is GIF gold right there. Good job, GEOFFRSC.



Seth4Bucks's picture

The problem is Steve Urkel was actually funny and people like(d) him. That comparison is an insult to Urkel!

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Ha, I actually made that graphic. It's from this story from awhile ago. <- - - don't click if you don't want to read about Mark May.

geoffrsc's picture

Sorry, Ramzy, I couldn't remember where I stole it or I'd have credited you. 
Obviously, I love your stuff.

Bucksfan's picture

It's not just Mark May.  Take a look at this bullshit at

Maestro's picture

Those hypotheticals are so lame.

vacuuming sucks

Breakawayspeed's picture

Yep,,,and we get little respect from the clueless jack-wads on The Big Ten and Beyond on the BIGTN as well.  

Brutus's picture

Jackanapes above.  Jack-wads here.  It turns out that if you call anyone a jack-something, it's awesome.  Jackstick.  Jackhole. Jack-knob.  The possibilities are endless.

Phillips.449's picture

I don't know who this Terry Johnson is, but I like his take on the team.  I will pretend the others didn't exist. :)

throttlefinger's picture

Unfortunately everyone is still riding the memory of our FL and LSU beatdowns so it gives these mayors of clown alley and their bursts of supposition any validity. If we are such pushovers, why did GA de-schedule us? Why doesn't Alabama put us on their warmup schedule? Nice way to make a good chunk of change in the regular season, wouldn't it? Guessing this and predicting that about this Bucks team is as interesting as knowing to make a fart sound like the first note to Harden My Heart. Mildly interesting but in the end meaningless.

Knarcisi's picture

I didn't even see who wrote the article and 1/3 of the way through, already knew it was Ramzy.  Another solid effort!

UrbanBuckeye's picture

Mark May thought Ohio State was overrated when he and his beloved Pitt Panthers lost 72-0 to The Ohio State University.

Vonn Bell once asked me in class if he could borrow my pencil and he never gave it back. Ain't even mad.

gutterwaste's picture

Let them hate, so long as they fear

ChazBuckeye's picture

This is one of your funniest pieces yet since I've been reading 11W.  The Mark May stuff and B1G Coaches award still has me smiling and laughing.  Good stuff Ramzy.  Btw, I hung out with your roommate this weekend;-)

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

MN Buckeye's picture

 if this was Boise and not Ohio State, Pat Forde would be excitedly writing each week about how his pants can’t stop tightening.

Still laughing at this image.

45has2's picture

Mark May is an analist not an analyst.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

It always amazes me that the B1G is the ONLY conference that is recognized as weak and undeserving of BCS love.  The American conference (Louiseville), the PAC-12 (Oregon and Stanford), and the ACC (Clemson and FSU) all have doormats and one could argue they are just as terrible as the B1G, but for some reason its overlooked.  I guess it is one more thing that Urban Meyer and his staff can use as motivation if/when tOSU gets a shot at the title.

"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

jbcuky's picture

I don't think anybody is claiming the American Athletic Conference is better than the B1G. If they are, they are crazy.
And yes every conference does have dormats (Kentucky is still in the SEC), but the Pac-12 have 2 of the top 5 teams and another two teams that just beat two of the better B1G teams. Now granted those were games on the road and Wisconsin got screwed by the refs, but they are still loses.

Eph97's picture

What's amazing is after 10+ years of dominating performance on the field, multiple national championship appearances with one win, the most BCS wins, the asshats in the media have never given Ohio State respect even though they quickly fawn over the flavors of the month in the college football world.

ziplock007's picture

I'm just going to say it...
OSU has faced four bad teams in the pre-B1G schedule... Four really really bad teams...  The 17th best offense includes stats from hapless SDSU, defenseless Cal, & helpless FAMU. Don't feel excluded Buffalo, you're terrible too.
While the performance was great, what if they played Clemson, South Carolina, & LSU? They're not the 17th best offense or the 18th best defense.  By the way, Georgia played all three of those top ten teams.
Schedule matters... There's about 75 teams in CFB that would be 4-1 with OSU's schedule and probably another 20-30 that would be 5-0.  Somehow everyone is happy to point that out for OSU, but not for Boise State.

Poison nuts's picture

20-30 teams could beat Wisconsin? Can you Fed Ex me some of whatever you're on? Wisconsin was straight up robbed at ASU. Do they make that field goal if the clock had been stopped at ASU? Don't know for sure, but it would've been likely. Had they won that game, they would be viewed very differently & seen as a legit contender. We'll see how many more games they lose this year...I predict none. OSU will always get everyone's best shot & so far, it's been a while since anyone beat them. I may be a bit of a homer, but I believe wholeheartedly that they'd stand their own against the country's best.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

UrbanCulture's picture

Alabama, Oregon, Stanford, Clemson, Louisville, Florida St, Texas A&M, LSU, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Miami, UCLA, Baylor, Washington, Florida, Oklahoma St are 16 that I'm fairly certain wouldn't have that many problems with Wiscy. Not to mention any of the other big ten teams like NW, Neb, scUM. Throw in Ole Miss, Auburn, and Texas Tech and there are certainly 20 teams that COULD beat wisconsin

Poison nuts's picture

I would estimate that 15 teams could do it - I just think saying 20-30 is selling them very short. 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

UrbanCulture's picture

I feel ya. I was mainly playing devil's advocate.

InHartWeTrust's picture

Does no one else love to be hated?  Let the haters hate, it makes proving them wrong even sweeter.
Ramzy, great writing as always.

CharlieBuckeye's picture

Mark May spelled backwards is Kram Yam - obviously a food staple of his based on the size of his jowls.

"To have a great life simply follow this rule:  Do not bring undo conflict into your life..."

Charlie Baker - OSU - 1986

nm_buck's picture

lol actually it would be yam kram. 
I know where I'd like to kram the yam...

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

Oldschoolbuck's picture

The disrespect is great for UFM's bulletin board.
He's certainly FORGOTTEN much more than I'll ever know about motivating football teams, but I'd make sure all those proud, confident young studs are reminded EVERY DAY what the "nattering nabobs of negativity" in the sports' media think about their talent & team.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Mad Mark May is not worthy of the notoriety you give him.

jreiter81's picture

Steve Urkel, you just had to eat those donuts, didn't you !
Every time Mark May talks, all I hear is Blah, Blah, Blah.

Scarlet & Gray Forever