The College Football Spin Zone

By Jeff Beck on November 4, 2013 at 2:30p
87 Comments

With their win against Purdue Ohio State extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games…and no one seems to care.

You see the national media is way too concerned with the three teams ahead of the Buckeyes in the BCS poll, even when two of those teams had bye weeks. Just have a look at this screenshot from last night:

The Spin Zone

REALLY LOOK at that caption. “Florida State and Oregon’s resumes are impressive, but Alabama’s home stretch is where it shines”. This is the national narrative in a nutshell: all three teams ahead of Ohio State featured with their “quality wins” trumpeted.

The inevitable by-product of said narrative is that the Buckeyes are left on the outside looking in; reduced to a team reeling off “easy” wins in your grandpa’s conference. Twenty-one straight victories don’t make a dent in the national perception because Ohio State “hasn’t played anyone”. 

But saying the Scarlet and Gray haven’t been tested assumes the three teams ahead of the Buckeyes have. So let’s put the “impressive resumes” of Alabama, Oregon and Florida State under the microscope. 

Alabama

The Crimson Tide are current CFB royalty. Winners of three of the last four national championships, it would take a lot to remove them from the No. 1 spot in the BCS. But, the wins of the past have nothing to do with the present and in 2013 Alabama has played just two ranked teams: #6 Texas A&M and #21 Ole Miss.

The win against the Aggies looked impressive at the time, but as the season wore on it became apparent A&M has no defense to speak of. Currently the Aggies are behind Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin in total team defense coming in at No. 98 in the country. Johnny Manziel is a surgeon, but if your defense can’t stop anyone it’s tough to make a case you’re a top team. A&M already has two losses and will probably end up with three after facing LSU in the second to last game of their season. Of course those losses (and defensive stats) are all taking place in the MIGHTY SEC, so they’re glossed over…national perception folks.

Alabama’s other “big win” came against Ole Miss, a 5-3 team that somehow managed to beat LSU. They are currently unranked but again "S-E-C", so that’s not an issue.

Other huge wins came against 4-5 Colorado State, 0-9 Georgia State, 2-6 Kentucky, 3-6 Arkansas and 4-5 Tennessee. Impressive indeed.

Oregon

The Ducks can score in bunches. They’re second in the nation in rushing yards, points and total offense. What’s even more jaw-dropping are the juggernauts those numbers came against: 4-5 Nicholls State, 2-7 Virginia, 4-5 Tennessee, 1-8 Cal, 3-5 Colorado, and 4-5 Washington State.

Oregon is 8-0 and has played exactly two teams WITH WINNING RECORDS. Read that sentence again, then douse yourself in gasoline and light a match.

The Duck’s signature wins have come against #16 Washington (currently unranked with three losses) and #12 UCLA (currently ranked #20 with two losses). The two teams rank 62nd and 54th in the nation in total team defense respectively.

For those counting at home, that’s six victories against teams with sub .500 records and two more against programs with defenses outside of the top 50. Truly a murderers' row.

Florida State

Unlike Alabama or Oregon, six of the Seminoles' eight victories have come against teams with winning records and two of those wins have come against teams in the top 10.

Their thrashing of Clemson was no joke. The Tigers probably weren’t as good as their No. 3 ranking suggested, but they aren’t as horrific as Florida State made them look. Jameis Winston had a field day against a solid defense (currently ranked 23rd in points against and 31st overall) and the Seminole D confused Clemson’s 13th ranked offense all-night long.

Their beatdown of Miami was also impressive. Though maybe less-so. The Hurricanes barely eeked out wins against an unranked North Carolina and Wake Forest before heading to Doak Campbell stadium.

Last night the Seminoles jumped the Ducks in the BCS, and they probably have a case for jumping Alabama as well. But, that would make the SEC's collective head explode so don't count on it.


To recap Florida State is legit. The hype they're receiving is justified and should continue. On the other hand Alabama and Oregon have played just 5 teams with winning records and only two teams currently ranked in the top 25 COMBINED. Those are resumes national outlets find “impressive”.

Meanwhile OSU’s victories are consistently devalued despite coming against 5 teams with .500 or better records and two of the best defenses in the nation statistically: Wisconsin (6th) and Iowa (13th).

It's enough to make you question everything...and maybe you should.

**Immediately attacked from behind, head is bagged and lifeless body is later found floating in Lake Michigan inside ESPN duffle-bag.

87 Comments

Comments

45has2's picture

As long as Espin is the AssEC network, expect more of the same.

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

Buckeye Beast's picture

AssEC: Best name so far. Thank you sir. And the biggest johnson award goes to 45HAS2

It's 5 o'clock somewhere, & Michigan still sucks

el duderino's picture

"AssEC." Bravo. Not sure why anyone downvoted you, so I helped you out there.

"This is a very complicated case: a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous."

buckeyejonross's picture

Because we're not four goddamn years old and need to resort to name calling? O$U is just as dumb?

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

bcksfan07's picture

I agree. Does nothing to further any kind of argument, just makes you look petty and biased.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

And then when we have 500 yards of total offense against MSU in the B1G championship game, it means that MSU's defense was overrated and LOL BOLLMAN!!11!1!!!1!
I really wish NU had kept it together this season, it appears we ripped their hearts out and they gave up on the season.  I really do think they are better than their 0-5 B1G record indicates.  The only teams I wanted them to lose to would have been MSU and scUM -- and those only for selfish reasons with regard to SoS for us.
I do think that the combination of IU (to test our Defense) and potentially MSU (to test our Offense) coming up sets us up to do really well come bowl season.  It will either highlight our strengths, or give us things to fix in December.  Provided we win both, how we win doesn't matter and will serve us well in January.
Side note:  Does any other conference have such vastly different teams in terms of offensive/defensive styles and strengths/weaknesses as the B1G?  It seams like our B1G schedule has the potential to prepare us for any team we could play in a bowl game this year.

holtzy's picture

Wow.  Great article.  It is just amazing how much the media can twist things to whatever scenario fills their wallets the best.

Maestro's picture

Margin of victory, FWIW
Oregon 38.7
FSU 38
Bama 31.5
OSU 31.2
 

vacuuming sucks

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

When Ohio State wins by more than 5 TDs it's running up the score.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Urban Nation Army's picture

Wow. Just WOW. Excuse my language but fuck the media and fuck the BCS
Florida State should be number one.
Ohio State has played as many .500 or better teams as Alabama and Oregon COMBINED. Yet our schedule is weak? Horseshit.

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

WHOLE schedule, not fraction of schedule played so far. Alabama has yet to play LSU and #11 Auburn. With the rise of Auburn their schedule is actually looking tougher than before the season started. Oregon has yet to play Stanford.
I would say Wisconsin/UCLA/TAMU should be a wash, and if Wisconsin keeps winning (given their remaining schedule of BYU, Indiana, Minnesota, and Penn State they'd better absolutely romp if they want to be considered on par with TAMU) and TAMU loses another game, Wisconsin will be ranked ahead of TAMU and very near UCLA, if UCLA wins out.
That still leaves quality opponents for Oregon (Stanford) and Alabama (Auburn) that have no counterpart on OSU's schedule. It's not OSU's fault that Iowa is 5-4, NU has crashed and burned to 4-5, and Cal absolutely cratered to 1-8. But those should have been impressive opponents and they aren't.

chicagobuckeye's picture

Wildbear, I agree that Oregon and Alabama have more difficult top opponents. However, that also assumes they win those games, which I think is an important distinction. Based on the ESPN article you would think that these teams have dominated the top 10 week in and week out. 

WildBear Buckeye's picture

Yep, but if they lose to those opponents they'll drop in the polls below OSU. At that point there will probably be some articles extolling OSU as the new hotness and some others lamenting that "the best team(s) won't get to play for the crystal" or whatever. But who cares, right?

chicagobuckeye's picture

I can tell you one thing, I won't care.

brylee's picture

That's the point that was being made...THEY HAVEN'T PLAYED THEM YET, THEREFORE SOS HAS NO BEARING...YET.

Bucksfan's picture

Who has Auburn beaten?  They lost to overrated LSU, and they beat an overrated Texas A&M in a shootout.  Those are the only 2 quality opponents.  With Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama left, they could conceivably go 1-2 in November to finish at 9-3 with their best win still being A&M.  Ohio State beating Wisconsin is still better than Alabama beating Auburn.

boojtastic's picture

The sports media isn't biased; they're just tremendously, outrageously, colossally lazy.

Matt F's picture

I think you meant highly analytical.

northcampus's picture

Leading the way is the CBS clown show they toss in front of a camera every Saturday afternoon.  Good lord.

fanatibuck's picture

Boojtastic you are giving the media a pass by not recognizing their complete and total bias toward the Buckeyes and the BIG. Calling them lazy is being too kind. The media is corrupt and they are trying to influence voters to dismiss the Buckeyes as championship contenders. WAKE UP BUCKEYE NATION!!!

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

Matt F's picture

The most painful part of the whole process is starting as a clear #2, taking care of business, and dropping two spots. When's the last time that happened, if ever?

Jabba the Hoke's picture

But Oregon was impressive in beating Nicholls.

AeroBuckeye2001's picture

Alabama's "home stretch" includes Mississippi State and Chattanooga. Brutal.

The Ohio State University Class of 2001
BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

Maestro's picture

Shiny

vacuuming sucks

TheShookster's picture

This would have been a great article to post with the poll question "Will you be disappointed if an undefeated OSU misses out on the title game?"
I mean it's ridiculous. I blame Gene Smith, he should have scheduled Nicholls State instead of Cal

cronimi's picture

Maybe not Cal, but Nicholls State would have been better competition than FAMU. I know you're being sarcastic, but especially when the B1G is down, OSU must schedule tougher out of conference. I can forgive Cal (who knew they'd implode this badly), and Buffalo is looking like a better win as the weeks go by. SDSU isn't good, but Vandy put the team in a tough bind and they had to find someone to play. But FAMU is inexcusable.

TheShookster's picture

I decided to give you an upvote because for some reason lots of OSU fans make themselves look stupid on ESPN message boards by saying Vandy was replaced by FAMU. You might see this as insignificant but I see it as THANK GOD SOMEBODY GOT IT RIGHT.
FAMU is completely inexcusable. The Little Sisters of the Poor laugh at FAMU.

CincyOSU's picture

Exactly, the FAMU game was scheduled BEFORE the SDSU game. Whether Vandy dropped out or not, we were going to play FAMU.

vitaminB's picture

FAMU is a better win than Grambling would have been, so we actually lucked out there.

chicagobuckeye's picture

FAMU is inexcusable, but Nicholls State wouldn't have made the schedule better. Its a wash when you get FCS teams. Saying FAMU is a bad FCS team doesn't matter, if its a game your favored by that much it doesn't count.

ejoceans's picture

I'm kinda sick of this crap!  espn HATES TOSU so bad that it doesn't even acknowledge its HUGE win streak?!  Dont even get me or all of us started on mARK mAY and his ignorant ass!! oh well, just had to rant a little about this crap.  Go Bucks! Cant stop, wont stop!!!! haha

Lets do this Brutus

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

I'm not worried about Mark May...  I don't think anyone has taken him seriously in quite some time.
The issue is that there's about 5-10 articles on ESPN right now that are directly addressing and/or allude to the logjam of undefeated teams at the top of the BCS.  Every single one talks about Alabama, Oregon, and FSU, while not a single one mentions OSU.  It is somewhat infuriating that they can talk about FSU needing help to get into the championship (because of Oregon's upcoming schedule) and do not even mention OSU being in the same position.
Last week there was an article about how Alabama, FSU, and Oregon's chances of being unbeaten in the regular season were "IN", and OSU's chances of being unbeaten in the regular season were "OUT".  Wait, I thought we had a weak schedule, but we have the hardest road to being unbeaten?  I guess we're a lock to lose at scUM...

ejoceans's picture

I know none of us care about may but I bet a lot of people sit there and listen to his crap and shake their heads saying yeah, he is right, they don't play anybody and the streak doesn't mean anything and the way they are getting better every week means nothing at all!  But your right, I bet buckeye fans wrote him off years ago.  The thing is for ever one of us there are 3 people out there shaking their heads yes to his stupid comments.  Go Lou!! haha

Lets do this Brutus

Nutbuck1959's picture

ESPN also gives UM a pass.

ejoceans's picture

eh eh eh eh

Lets do this Brutus

GoBucksOSU's picture

Nice research. This says a lot.

igo43's picture

Excellent article. Obviously, ESPN was too lazy to actually perform the research of which you were willing.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

fanatibuck's picture

C'mon guys you are giving them too much credit for being ethical. It's not about them being lazy it is about them being corrupt and trying to manipulate a certain outcome. Wake up guys it is quite simple.
 
 
 
 

THE URBANATOR AND HIS BOYS' JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN; 26-0 IS COMING BABY!!

igo43's picture

I didn't realize calling someone (or an entity, in this case) "lazy" was giving someone credit for being ethical. Lazy, corrupt, manipulation, it all adds up to the same thing: OSU isn't being given their due, in my opinion. If I'm calling someone lazy, particularly someone in the media, it means that they're not doing their job and I'm calling out their journalistic integrity. I preferred to use the term "lazy" because I don't have proof that they're trying to manipulate a certain outcome or not. Call me old fashioned, but I don't like to go over the top with my accusations without having substantial evidence to back it up. Otherwise, I think I sound like someone who's biased and rabidly out of control, and then nobody is going to respect what I have to say. IMHO.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" - WWH

Maestro's picture

Bucks beat a 3-6 FAMU by 76
Oregon beat a 4-5 Nicholls State by 63
FSU beat an 8-1 Bethune Cookman by 48
Bama plays a 7-2 Chattanooga on 11/23, they better win by 80.

vacuuming sucks

ejoceans's picture

Bama 45 Georgia Southern 3! haha so they play both bums!

Lets do this Brutus

ejoceans's picture

Georgia Southern 0-9 too? wow Bama only beats these guys by 42? They haven't won a game this year! Very impressive Tide!

Lets do this Brutus

InTressITrust's picture

Bama has to much class to run the score up on them.  Ohio State on the other hand is classless and would continue scoring even after the game if they could.

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

ejoceans's picture

OSU has played its 5th string in all its blow outs buddy! Not sure who you are watching?? you cant tell your 5th string NOT to score!  Go sit in the corner. lol

Lets do this Brutus

Doc's picture

Sarcasm font EJ, sarcasm font.

"Say my name."

ejoceans's picture

HAHA my bad! But you all know what I mean.  2nd and 3rd team add a few td's on to each of these blow out wins. Go Bucks

Lets do this Brutus

Maestro's picture

Bitten by the sarcasm font, like a snake in the grass.  
5th string?  Remember the scholly reductions, Bucks only have 3 strings these days.

vacuuming sucks

nm_buck's picture

I look forward to the day we can field a quartet

Buckeye_Ryan's picture

Fellow 11W readers, I recommend you bookmark this article so when you hear someone trash talk the OSU schedule, you can quickly pull it up and dispel the media narrative! I know I will...
Go Bucks!

Born a Buckeye, raised a Buckeye, will die a Buckeye.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

They'll just brush it off as a biased Buckeye site.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BammBammRiley's picture

I upvote this article.

Looking forward to when things will actually be decided on the field

BammBamm is my dog, Riley is my 4 yr old daughter, and THE Ohio state Buckeyes complete the three most sacred loves I cherish

addman1405's picture

I dare someone to post this on Reddit. DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU.

Hovenaut's picture

GROAN.

Hate Week runneth over

Ahh Saturday's picture

Seven points is all that it would've taken to blow up the ESPN "weak B1G" story.  Had Wisconsin not been robbed of a win on the road against ASU, they would be 7-1 and our so-called signature win of the year, more impressive than any win Oregon or Alabama have had up to this point.  Had the awful Sparty offense not puckered up their sphincters against the Domers and put up just five more points, they'd be undefeated and right on our heels in the BCS.  The B1G coulda, shoulda, woulda had three teams in the top 10 right now, if Sparty and Wisconsin could've split a TD between them.

HandsOfSweed's picture

Nope. They would just ignore a 1-loss Wisky and come up with yet another false narrative. We cannot win this game. We're simply not allowed to, no matter what.

sbentz4's picture

Preview of next week's BCS Countdown:
15.  LSU - 7-3
or
2. Alabama - 8-1

gobucks1226's picture

I think we can all agree that the top 4 teams are very close and all have faced marginal opponents. So who are their best wins against (current BCS standings)?
Florida St- at #7 Clemson
Alabama- at #15 Texas A&M
Oregon- #19 UCLA
OSU- #24 Wisconsin
Every team but Florida St still has a chance to gain their best win this year (assuming Michigan St wins out), so no need for the outrage today with 5 weeks still left in the season. A lot will change between now and December 8th.

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

If Wiscy hadn't gotten railed in that Arizona game they'd be top 15.

RedStorm45's picture

Johnny Manziel is a surgeon

who averages more than a turnover a game.

TheShookster's picture

I'd rather have Devin Gardner as my QB
said nobody ever, except Brady Hoke...so therefore said 2.5 people ever.

GOOMBAY's picture

This analysis would get blown out in the SEC.

AMSS's picture

Because it's full of well thought out arguments and it draws logical conclusions.

D-Day0043's picture

It will be poetic justice when we win the National Championship this year and make all of these talking heads look like morons. ;-)

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

ogama843's picture

Like we did when we beat Oregon in the Rose Bowl. That was a beautiful thing, and no one gave TOSU a chance. Would love to have that feeling again.

Holy Buckeye!

DNARCO's picture

FWIW - at least they changed the subtitle...originally, the mobile version BS machine read as this:

 
 

Ethos's picture

ha! i love it. What a bunch of tools.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

The regular site had the same thing. I don't usually pay any attention to complaints about bias, but that seems pretty crazy even to me. Not surprising they took it down. Wouldn't be surprised if someone wanted to troll OSU fans, or even Meyer in particular. That sounds like it might have been intended specifically to get under his skin.

Ethos's picture

Wait a minute, didn't someone here tell us to not click on really dumb articles and comment about them, then you go and link an article on espn?
Follow the rules!! ;)

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

SweetBabyJames's picture

if the SEC is such a great conference...then why has one team just dominated the conference for about a half a decade now???

BAR43's picture

Absolutely great read. I still try to hold back the fact the espn and everyone else have their heads up the SEC a$$ and what not trying not to be a homer... but you can't argue with stats... at all. At the end of the day the Bucks still need to beat someone with clout of out conference... until then people will just act like they can't read or understand stats, much of what people in the SEC already are accustom to.

ItsMichiganFerGodSakes's picture

@Jeff Beck out of curiousity how can you call out Alabama by the second sentence and say the past wins don't matter when they've won 3 of the last 4 championships. However, you mention OSU has won 21 straight games twice in your opening paragraph?

Jeff Beck's picture

Simply calling out that the longest winning streak in the nation is garnering Ohio State no respect, which is the exact opposite of what is happening with Alabama.

The wins of the past DONT matter. But we all know that isn't the case. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the nation because of what they've done in the past, not because of who they've played this year. 

I'd just like some consistency. If we are going to base current rankings on historical performance, (which is what is happening with Alabama) then I would like to see Ohio State get some respect for losing their last game nearly two years ago. Regardless of conference strength, its incredibly difficult to go undefeated for one year straight let alone one season and two-thirds of another.

At the end of the day, that's not the point of the article though. The point is the national media is lauding the 2013 Alabama and Oregon teams for quality wins that don't exist.

Buckeye1996's picture

To further your argument Jeff, people seem to forget the fact that 9 of those wins as part of that streak CAME THIS YEAR!

ItsMichiganFerGodSakes's picture

@Jeff Black Couldn't you argue that OSU (like every team) benefit from where they are ranked from the success they had last season from the very week a poll came out?
Also wouldn't article kind of be a mute point in one one week assuming both favorites take care of business this week?

ogama843's picture

What's a mute point? Oh, your a Michigan fan, i can understand.

Holy Buckeye!

InHartWeTrust's picture

The word you were looking for was "moot".  The fact that this was called out, and you still missed it, is absolutely hilarious.
Michigan.  Poor football.  Poor grammar.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

I believe if OSU won their early games by the same margins as Oregon, they'd be slotted right in there between Oregon and Alabama, maybe jockeying with FSU, the way Oregon has been. There's no getting around the fact that, with four (five actually, with Baylor) undefeated teams from BCS conferences, someone has to be on the outside looking in. It almost always shakes out in the end. If not, OSU needs to put up a GIANT score on their BCS opponent, hope for an ugly NCG, and hope the AP decides to split the NC.

SweetBabyJames's picture

if alabama's last seasons matter...than ours should too....
 
people in sec country are mostly dumb hillbillies...still mad at the north supporting civil rights, and all they feel that they have left is college football
 
if you are from the south, and feel like i insulted you...relax, you can read, i wasn't making fun of you...

THE_JUICE's picture

Not from the South, but have spent a lot of time there (and am related to both a 'Bubba' and a 'Bo' thanks to my wife).
There are some rational people there, but it almost seems like the rational ones avoid going out in public so you only see the stereotypical ridiculousness when visiting.

northcampus's picture

What no one talks about when contesting OSU's schedule is just how unlucky the athletic department has been at predicting the sustained success of their annual 'name' non-conference opponents that OSU has pursued.
Look at the marquee opponents OSU has scheduled 6-8 years out (since about the time Tressel arrived) and how they have regressed when OSU finally met up with them in the past 10 years:
Washington State, NC State, Washington, Texas, USC, Miami, Cal.
Out of all those schools, all were very good teams when OSU agreed to home and home games.  I would argue that only Texas was better once the games finally arrived on OSU's schedule.  Imagine if Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Oregon are all mediocre once the Bucks finally play them.  The national media questioning will only continue to question the Buckeye schedule.

You can't spell chump without UM's picture

You can ask any "expert" why Alabama is ranked #1 and most will say because they're the defending champs. But if you're going to use that excuse, then you have to give the same credit to tOSU for going undefeated and winning 21 in a row. 

Brady Hoke ate my comment

JozyMozy's picture

Man, I did NOT need to read this article. Sigh.

kevdale86's picture

These numbers won't mean a thing because ESPiN would just say that the Buckeyes don't pass the ever popular "eye test".

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Excellent presentation of facts.  IF the B1G does well in the post season combined with the four team playoff coming up next season, some of this concern could be mitigated ... somewhat.  Or ... am I being naive?

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

BuckeyeFanInBoulder's picture

This article makes me want to run through a wall.  Do we dare go out on a limb and suggest that the B1G might actually have a winning record this bowl season?  I would love a DVD of that College Football Final episode with Mark and Rece literally soiling themselves.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes my tenure at ESPN.  Mark May has just hung himself in the corner after watching Minnesota dismantle South Carolina.  I'm going to call for an immediate investigation into aliens and/or witchcraft practices on the Gophers campus."

BukFan's picture

They need to schedule at least 1 Top 10 team every year!!!!
Starting now!!!  Cancel the Hawaii game for God's sake!!
Even 5 years ago....Cal sucked.  Cal is not Texas, LSU, or Georgia.   If not, we'll be in the same situation in 2015 with a weak OOC schedule.