Why Doesn't This Hurt Worse?

By Nicholas Jervey on December 8, 2013 at 7:00a
What is there to say?

Michigan State has robbed Ohio State of a national championship yet again, making it the greatest nuisance to Ohio State's title dreams besides That School Up North, and it hurts.

This ought to provoke the worst, meanest sort of behavior; riots, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Burnt couch is a traditional sacrifice to the football gods, but if any Columbus resident set fire to a couch after losing the Big Ten Championship Game then it hasn't shown up in any crime reports. None of the expected riots have come to pass. 

After a loss, one would expect angry fans to be out in force, but Ohio State fans have shown uncharacteristic grace. At a time when Buckeye fans usually blow their tops over losses, fans have been acknowledging this Buckeye team's weaknesses and praising Michigan State's strengths. Nobody is calling Michigan State a bunch of scrubs. Even the calls for Coach So-and-So to be fired, the universal constant after big losses, are quieter.

A few hours after the Big Ten Championship Game, it's painfully clear that Ohio State has fallen short of the lofty goals for this year. So why is everyone in such good spirits?

Much like the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, college football has two separate, opposing reasons for existing. The two are contradictory viewpoints, and fans internalize both to some degree. Neither of them is going away.

One perspective: college football is designed to promote sportsmanship. The ideal of the student-athlete appeals to innocence and purity. This is the perspective the NCAA and Big Ten like to promote.

Another perspective: college football is designed to make people angry. It's not enough that football is a brutal, hard-hitting sport, it's a spectator sport as well. If the boys in green maul the boys in scarlet, the crowd demands that the boys in green must be hung by their thumbs.

Ohio State showed tremendous focus and effort, which is why so few people are in the thumb hanging camp right now. Michigan State acquired a nightmarish 17-0 lead at the start of the game, but the Buckeyes showed admirable fight in retaking the lead. Coming against an opponent as fearsome as Michigan State, Ohio State's rushing attack was confirmed to be every bit the terror fans thought it was. Any residual anger has been directed at the coaches rather than the players.

If any single Buckeye has a right to be aggrieved after the Big Ten Championship Game, it's Carlos Hyde. Hyde ran over around, and through Michigan State's defense for 118 yards. His 6.6 yards per carry were triple what Michigan State's rushing defense averaged.

And yet, trailing 27-24 late in the fourth quarter, the coaches would not give him the ball. They gave the ball to Braxton Miller for two predictable and futile runs.

Ohio State went 24-1 over Mr. Hyde's junior and senior seasons. He will leave Ohio State never having won a Big Ten title.

Mr. Hyde could have screamed and shouted about the coaches neglecting him in the second half, and he would have had a decent justification for tantrum-throwing. Instead, he reacted to the loss like this:

Interviewer: What was Coach Meyer and what were you guys like in the locker room?

Hyde: People were quiet. I spoke up, and I told everybody, pick your head up and don't let this affect you that bad where you go out and make a dumb mistake or go out and make a wrong decision, so you know I just told everybody to keep their head up and we'll get ready for our next opponent.

Interviewer: Does it feel odd in some ways to have a loss? It's been so long.

Hyde: I mean, it's football. That's what happens, it's either win or lose.

Mr. Hyde knows the truth about football, something obvious that people often forget: football is a game we play for fun. Losses happen, and though any team would prefer winning to losing, some kinds of losses don't feel so bad.

The Big Ten Championship Game illustrates what it means to lose to an opponent one respects. Maybe Buckeye fans are nostalgic for Tresselball, which Michigan State plays with as much panache as possible for an intentionally dull system. Maybe it's relief that another Big Ten program is ready to bear some responsibility for the conference's fortunes.

It could be happiness for Mark Dantonio, who has affection for Ohio, or for Spartan fans who after seeing their team passed over again and again deserve this. Per Dantonio:

Spartan Nation is something special. They've been with us through thick and thin. I'm so happy for the people that have come down here. Take a boat load of people to Pasadena. I'm thrilled for the people that live out in California. We have a large fan base who live out there.

I don't know. It's just nice to make people happy I guess, simply put as that. I'm really excited for our football team. I'm excited for our players because they put in so much work. I'm excited for Mark Hollis. When he became the athletic director, he said he would not stop until we put our feet in the middle of those roses at the Rose Bowl. Now we've accomplished that. We'll be thereBut just so happy for our football team, our players, everybody that surrounds the program.

Heck, it could be as simple as Ohio State and Michigan State's shared disdain for Michigan. Whatever it is, fans have found a reason to bond.

Here's another theory for why Ohio State fans aren't as glum about the loss as usual: losing relieves the pressure to be perfect.

The 24-game winning streak is one of the greatest stretches for any program in college football history, and all the while Ohio State fans had to deal with intense media scrutiny. Every game was judged for style points, every commitment studied for recruiting violations, every parcel of punishment by Meyer pored over by critics. Losing, lousy as it is, relieves the tension.

This sense of contentment will not stay intact much longer. Seeing Auburn, lucky as a dog with two d---s Auburn, in the national championship game may break the trance. Ohio State's defensive failings in this game showed the kinds of errors that lead one to suspect coaching as the root cause, and that would put the blame on Luke Fickell, Kerry Coombs, and/or Everett Withers. But those errors can be addressed after the bowl game. For now, staff continuity is crucial.

The overarching emotions I feel are pride and respect. The pride comes from Ohio State weathering the storm, coming so close to the national championship game; the grudging respect is for a Michigan State squad that showed it was the better team.

Rage may win out over sportsmanship eventually; again, they're the two emotions that will never leave college sports. But look – a number of potential bowl opponents await Ohio State, most likely Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It's an intriguing matchup, and I can't wait to see what Mr. Hyde does, win or lose.


Comments Show All Comments

lax20's picture

Thank you Michigan St for letting the Buckeyes know they were not ready for Prime Time  by saving them from another embarrassing loss in the NCG.  Unlike the author of this article, I am extremely disapponted in how this team lost.  The question remains can Meyers put on the big boy pants and grow a set of balls to fire the defensive coaches with the exception of Vrabel.  Fuckel, Groomes and Withers have to go with no exception.  They cost a talented team a B1G championship and a possible NC.  Sorry, this does hurt.  If I am a big time defensive recruit, I would go elsewhere for my development.

Jonnferrell's picture

This was not a defensive loss--it was a team loss.  The offense is just as culpable as the defense.  

"I miss Brady Hoke."

Exhortera's picture

The defense has been suspect all season. 

buckeyedude's picture

I get what your saying John, but OSU did come back and score 28 points on definitely the best defense in the nation. The defense, as in other games, just could not cover anybody. We all knew the D would cost us a game eventually.
Truth be told, our D secondary was horrible this year. I don't know if it's scheme or lack of talent, but something drastic needs to be done. I remember guys like Shawn Springs and Mike Doss. Those guys could ball.



jaxbuckeye's picture

What!?  This is absolutely a defensive loss.  The offense has carried the defense for far too long. We all knew someday it would bite the team in the ass.  Not only is this team NOT the best in college football, it's not even the best in the weak-ass B1G.  Let THAT sink in for a moment. 

andyb's picture

yeah I really must disagree with you...24 points should have been enough to top Sparty last night. I mean they scored 14 on Frickin Purdue for gods sake...It was a tough game and both teams played their hearts out...but you just can't ignore the short comings on Defense for this team anymore.

4thandinches's picture

The offensive play calling was just as culpable. If we stick to Hyde and be less predictable we win easily. Herman has to take a lot of the blame on offense.

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

Spikebone's picture

Just a thought, if I were a stud defensive back being recruited wouldn't I see OSU's struggles against the pass as an opportunity to jump right in, be a hero and save the day. Well at least that's how I may try to sell it to A 17 yr old... This loss sucks, I pin the largest share of the burden on the DBs. Oh well :/

Stuck in Ann Arbor for work, I can confirm she is indeed a whore.

DefendYoungstown's picture

You can try to sell a youngster on that but I'm not sure the youngster would play right away. We sat Vonn Bell (who by the was was a 5* recruit) on his ass all season. You can't tell me that he wouldn't have done better than some of the guys we had on the field.

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

Rjpfish2's picture

UFM plays the best players. Period. He has shown that with Bosa. I too wondered why a Ron Tanner, Eli Apple, or Vonn Bell couldn't at least be given a shot to make a play. But the coaches get to see the players at practice and during film sessions so I'm sure they know what they're doing.

Spikebone's picture

I was surprised to not see some of them get playing time at points this year. I guess they aren't picking up on scheme or ready. I trust Urban and staff to make those calls though.

Stuck in Ann Arbor for work, I can confirm she is indeed a whore.

buckeyepastor's picture

Something tells me you're not a big time defensive recruit and that you don't have a clue what guys like Spence and Bosa think about playing defense at OSU. 

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

BuckeyeTerp's picture

I'm sorry you feel that way, but please don't let this be a reason to freak out. We lost, and we underperformed, but for somebody who I presume has had little to no experience coaching a football team, let alone a major D1-FBS contender, your argument is short-sighted. 
Please don't be an embarrassment to the rest of the fanbase. The work Urban has done over the past two years is nothing but excellent, and 1 loss doesn't mean it's time to go back to the drawing board. I have faith Urbz with figure it out, make a statement in the Orange Bowl, and continue with that momentum next year with a strong freshman class. 
As always, Go Bucks.

armybuckinva's picture

Great article.  Happy for Dantonio, and that's an understatement.  

Clinger76's picture

I hate that the Bucks have to win every game every season to have any kind respect around the nation. If we win, 'we don't play anybody', if we lose, 'well they have been suspect all season'! I'm sick and tired of the media being down on the Buckeyes EVERY damn year!! It's all Bullshit!
We played hard last night, Not hard enough. They out played, out coached us in every aspect! Kudos to MSU, their defense is legit!!
heres to wishing we get BAMA in our bowl game!

"If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats, But if you take no risks, you will earn no victories."

bucknasty13's picture

It's going to happen until the rest of the conference picks it up.  Maybe after this years bowl games.  Who knows?  OSU must win their bowl game as well.

419Buckeye's picture

I agree that the rest of the Big Ten needs to get it together, but right now with Sparty, it doesn't seem like we're alone anymore at picking up the slack. If Michigan State can win the Rose Bowl and we can win the Orange Bowl (or whichever we may end up in), that could be huge for the Big Ten's perception from the media and the rest of the nation. 

BuckeyeEd's picture

Sparty is a class act.....They made less mistakes and deserved to win......I will continue to root for "The enemy of my enemy" in all games (Except when they play my Bucks). I hate to lose as much as Urban does.....but I would rather lose to Sparty than to TSUN, FSU, or another SEC Team. SPARTY....RESPECT!!

sharks's picture

MSU is a hard team to hate.  Big time talent, incredibly talented and discplined defense, and well-coached.  As I was watching the game, I had this uneasy feeling every time they flashed the FSU game score- I do think there is a little bit of relief to be had; I don't think we would have matched up to the Noles very well.  Sad day for all, especially the seniors, but time to get back to work.  350-some odd days til we beat UM in the Shoe.

A man got to have a code...

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

MSU is a hard team to hate.

Any team that gets in Ohio State's way isn't hard to hate at all.

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

GregB's picture

It does hurt....bad.....but I am less angry then sad.  Opposite of how I usually feel.  The D had its issues for sure but if you look at the field position the offense gave up tonight after the onside kick and blocked punt you have to blame the O for not givng our D enough help at crucial times.  We needed a couple first downs on those possessions and then we had FGs for sure and maybe TDs.  
BTW, where is midrange passing game and screens other than WR screens.  Very uncreative play calling against a D that knew what was coming in 4th quarter.
I love Urban Meyer, but he was JT tonight.  Riding two guys and defense knew the plays

TMac's picture

It Sucks!  It Hurts! - BUT, in the back of your mind you always knew that Defense wins championships. Cliches don't just happen, they are forged over time, history has spoken......and our Defense hasn't been championship worthy all season.  Maybe a loss is more acceptable now than on an even bigger stage in Pasadena.  I wanted to play for it, I wanted to be there watching, but I also want to Win the damn thing when we do get there! And we will, just not this particular year. 

ONE Not Done!

wolfman's picture

This article really hit home for me.  I share many of the same feelings.  Deep down I was hoping we wouldn't play in the NCG, but I was looking forward to playing a PAC-12 team in the Rose Bowl.  Now I would settle for an SEC team in a bowl game.

buckeyedude's picture

Imagine for a moment, if you can, what this team would've looked like without Carlos Hyde. That's next year. This team doesn't even make it to the B1G CG without him. And with all due respect to EzE, he's got some very, very big shoes to fill.  And the O-line is going to be rebuilding. And we could very well be without Ryan Shazier on D in additioin to Roby. Next year is rebuilding/reloading year. 
Pat Narduzzi just out-smarted our Mensa O-coordinator.
But I agree with Nick. This one doesn't seem to hurt as bad as 1998 for some reason. MSU played with nothing to lose. They were going to the Rose Bowl regardless, win or lose. So they let it all hang out.
OSU played tight, and made major mistakes on D to put OSU in a huge 17-0 hole. I feel the worst for Carlos Hyde. But I think he's going to get a big payday on draft day.



GregB's picture

It doesnt hurt as bad as 1998 because Sparty was undefeated in conference play too!  They werent some 5-3 team coming to CBus to dash our hopes. Sparty was better then their #10 ranking and I hope they absolutely mangle Stanford.  No comparison to other times Sparty broke our hearts. This wasnt really an upset. I know the odds say it was, and I think we bet them 6 out of ten but none of them would be blowouts.

buckeyepastor's picture

Apart from scratching my head at the calls on that 3rd and 4th down when we were still only down by 3 and he put it in Brax's hands instead of Hyde's, I don't think we called that bad of a game, offensively.   To me, Hyde has fought for and gotten so many extra yards when he should have already been down it should have been a no-brainer to feed him on those two plays.   I know that many thought we tried to throw too much when it wasn't there, but I think that was necessary and apart from a couple of ill-advised throws into coverage most of our incompletions were thrown to receivers who were there and didn't hold onto the ball or had it knocked away at the last second.   Herman dialed up plays that were there and it was left to the receivers to make plays - they didn't.   We did come out extremely tight in the first quarter.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

gwalther's picture

The best team in the B1G this season held up the trophy in Indy last night.
On the plus side, this could be a positive for the conference going forward. Take care of business in Pasadena, Sparty.

Class of 2008

buckeyestu's picture

I have a lot of respect for Dantonio he is a classy person. All winning streaks will come to an end eventually, and i have no problem with this streak ending by losing to Sparty and Dantonio. I wish them good luck at the Rose Bowl. Urban needs to act to get this defense cleaned up. It is a poor defense, it is not championship caliber. I believe the talent is there and more is coming, the talent needs to be coached up properly. I have bit my tongue all year about the poor performance by the defense.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Agree with the sentiment here. Have to respect Dantonio big time. Also, who can forget the major role he played in our NC in '02?
I'm very, very disappointed, of course. But not too surprised, especially after last week's squeaker at scUM.
As for the issues last night: D needs work (duhhh!); not sure why some of the stud youngsters haven't played up to their high rankings (THAT is most likely due to coaching); let's get that fixed one way or another.
The play calling on the 4th down at the end of the game MAY be a case of being too smart by half. As an OC, you know your tendencies; you have to assume a smart DC like Narduzzi does as well. What do you normally do in that situation on offense? RIDE HYDE.
Instead, thinking that's what the D is expecting, you run the QB. Give Sparty credit, they made a play (blown block?)!
Anyhooo, this has been an amazing ride!
I say we start a NEW winning streak come January!
"...we will fight to the end for O-HI-O"!

JeffCoBuck's picture

I'm surprisingly calm, as well, oddly enough. Heck, in my younger days, my dad bought me one of those foam "Ohio State Bad Call Brick"s to abuse whenever something bad because I usually allowed my emotions and temper to get the best of me in situations just like last night.  Maybe it's the perspective of age or something, but I'm OK.  As someone else up the comments section said, we hadn't lost a game in almost two calendar years.  We had a shot to win our conference (about ten other B1G teams would've liked to have been there last night).  But more importantly, this game didn't take food off of my table, money out of my paycheck, or health from my family.  It was just a game.  As sure as I am that Urban and the guys "want to make the Great State of Ohio proud", they needn't worry - I'm a proud Buckeye anyway.  Crap happens.
Now, had this been last week's Game we were talking about and we lost, you could disregard the entire first paragraph.  J/K.  Maybe.

419Buckeye's picture

I was wondering the same thing on the bus ride back from the conference championship game. I think it may be a combination of a lot of things. Between mutual hatred for That Team Up North, Dantonio, Tresselball, and fear of how an Ohio State-Florida State matchup could've resulted in disaster for us

onetwentyeight's picture

Everyone's riding Meyer for "predictable" playcalling but you have to look at the circumstances. Brax finished 8/21. He had number of throws to his receivers when they had single man coverage down the field. Either due to drops or deep balls fluttered just out of reach, we weren't able to convert those opportunities. And when push came to shove Urban decided to try to win the game on the ground. Which is just hard to do when you can't punish MSU for stacking the box like they did. Brax isn't an NFL QB yet (and honestly, will never be). Sparty wanted Brax to beat them with his arm and he couldn't. I don't see how this is the fault of UM's playcalling. 
And despite ALL OF THIS, our offense still averaged 6.8 yds a carry against the undisputed best Defense in the country. Scoring 24 pts on Sparty is about as good as you can hope for. You just can't let a Bollman-coached offense roll up 400 yds on you. 
I'm not even mad. I love Brax but he was a Tress recruit. Urban's spread qbs usually are some sort of huge monstrous Tebow/Cam Newton types who are less fragile and have cannon arms for the deep ball (ahem, Cardale). The offense will actually get better once he has his own recruits in place. And here's to hoping Fick is eased out next year and when we finally make it to the big stage again we won't be a one dimensional team.
It's just a relief not having to have nightmares about what Rapist Winston will do to Fick's D now. And we get to hopefully see the prideful SEC Elitists at Auburn get blown to smithereens by a truly dominant Seminole team. Maybe OSU even beats a deflated Bama in the Sugar as well (anyone remember Utah in 09?) 
POSITIVES. *sigh*.

45buckshot's picture

I'm not sure you should have high hopes for the offense improving. This might be the best offense we see in a long time. What all these spread-to-run teams need is a legitimate threat to run up the middle; that's what keeps the defense from being able to defend the edges. With Tebow, UM3 had a big QB that could run up the middle. This year, UM3 had El Guapo. It doesn't matter what position does it, QB or RB, as long as there is someone big enough to do it. 
So when UM3 finishes getting "his own recruits" in place, we'll see if it includes someone big enough to run up the middle like El Guapo. See, i don't think UM3 would have recruited someone like El Guapo; like all these teams (Oregon, especially) the coaches are so enamored with speed--they love recruiting speed freaks--that they overlook how important it is to also have power.
Maybe EzE can do it, or Dunn or Ball will emerge... but i doubt it. Cardale is never going to start at QB unless there are injuries. 
So i wouldn't expect more from the (historically high scoring) offense. The frickin' defense needs to get fixed. 
But, like others have said, i'm happy for Dantonio. If he was still our DC we would have won that game ;)

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
—G.K. Chesterton

Exhortera's picture

Actually, it hurts pretty bad.

TilstheHun3's picture

I'm with you... I'm glad for some it isn't hurting as much, that must be nice, but I was ALL IN with this team and really thought the Buckeyes would win this game... Honestly, still shell shocked. This one hurts.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

Exhortera's picture

Let's go beat Clemson.

buckeyepastor's picture

For me, last night wasn't so crushing for a lot of reasons.   Partly that I'm 40 and realize 24 in a row against any schedule is incredible and that ultimately a loss occurs.  Partly because seeing MSU end it is better than seeing TTUN or Wisky or some SEC school end it, adding to the overwhelming narrative about our team and conference.   Partly because we continued to do well the things we do best.   Partly because we did know, all year, that we had these glaring question marks on a very good football team and those question marks (secondary/pass defense and pass offense) got exposed.   The loss last night didn't feel good, but it made sense.   1998 loss to MSU, 1993 and 1995 and 1996 against Michigan, 2007 vs. Illinois, those losses were like watching an episode of the Twilight Zone - a team playing completely out of character.   Last night, we looked in many respects the way we have all year - mostly stifling the run, getting decent pressure on the QB, allowing way too many completions and yards after catch, not getting off the field on third and longs, strong success in the run game, lack of consistency and toughness from our receivers.   
Maybe I'm alone in this, but I add Zach Smith to the list of coaches that may be under-achieving in their job.  Philly and Smith are good receivers, but I didn't see a big jump in either of them this year.  Spencer got better as a blocker as did Fields (though Fields had no where to go but to get better as a blocker), but no one by the end of the year had become that "go to" guy that we looked to for that hard to find 5-7 yards.  I know that MSU has a great defense, but all year corners or safeties have been able to push our receivers around.  They're good, but not greatly improved in my opinion.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

buckeyerose's picture

It hurts, it hurts like hellfire but I think maybe it doesn't hurt so much cause we lost to one of our own and not the all mighty sec.  
Dantonia was one of our own and it's good to see him succeed where Nick Saban didn't.  lol  
I think we maybe should be promoting Mich State for the Championship game.  Their defense is legit.

First ever undisputed National Champions! OH! 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

When the basketball team lost to Wichita State, it didn't bother me all that much. This does. While it doesn't compare to the '07 NC loss to Florida, it is above the '10 loss to Wisconsin.

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

jaxbuckeye's picture

Wow.  I am shocked that this doesn't bother many people.  I guess too many of you live within the tOSU footprint.  Try living in the heart of SEC country and listening to people tell you everyday that the Buckeyes are overrated, haven't played anyone, etc.  The reality is that Michigan St was the first decent team they've played in the 23 game winning streak and they lost.  It completely invalidated everything they've done during the streak.  Now when one of these SEC homers states that any team could have won those games, there's nothing I can say.  In fact, internally I'm likely agreeing with them. 
Ultimately Urban reaps what he sows.  Defense was a GLARING weakness for two years now.  Instead of going out and finding a 1st class DC, he chose to be loyal to the "true Buckeye".  That of course is ridiculous because it's ultimately a disservice to the thousands of other "true Buckeyes" and further validates the national narrative that tOSU is a fraud.  We'd better hope that next year doesn't come down to us and an SEC team for the 4th and final spot in the playoffs because we'll likely be on the outside looking in.

johnblairgobucks's picture

I'll agree with some of what you said.  If we draw Clemson in the Orange Bowl and Our defense gets exposed by Boyd, Watkins, random 4.4 speed RB, and Chad Morris game plan tOSU will fall behind an equal record ACC team in pecking order. 
After watching last night's game, I really want tOSU to recruit some receivers over 6'02".  MSU's WR's made our DB's look bad, and our WR's made their DB's look phenomenal.  Maybe they are, what they are, and if so, that needs to be a priority that get changed. 

Torpedo Vegas's picture

The thing that hurts for me is that this is exactly what an OSU win in the 07 National Championship game would, and frankly should, have looked like. Urban Meyer finally got Tressel'd. 

Youngbuck85's picture

This hurts very bad.... Worse than any loss I've ever seen. Two years completely down the drain and nothing to show for it. Hate to be pessimistic but this offense is as good as we will ever see and all the stars were aligned this year. Bad play calling and coverage breakdowns lost us a game that we easily rushed the ball in, blocked a punt, and won the turnover battle. Such a winnable game. Heartbroken.

PAWEST1202's picture

i'm not as upset as i thought i would be but i had to leave for work after the tying score in the 3rd quarter. The loss was coming at some point and there are much worse teams to lose to. We lost to someone who deserved it and someone that has a chance to not look as helplesss as Wisconsin has over the past 2 years in the Rose Bowl
I guess we can take solace in the fact the Florida State is going to blow the doors off of Auburn on the biggest stage available.

Rjpfish2's picture

Hate to harp on a missed call, but how about that reviewed ball-spot in the 4th quarter? I'm surprised more people haven't brought that up. The dude was a full yard short!  They reviewed it without requiring a challenge, so they must've know it was bad. Why review things if there is obviously "indisputable video evidence" from multiple angles and the call is still muffed? Anyone got a screenshot of that?

KLF Buckeye's picture

I am one of those wondering why it doesn't hurt worse. I guess it is because I am just accepting what I had been trying to ignore all season. Defense wins championships and we don't have a championship quality defense. I don't know enough about X's and O's to know exactly what changes need to be made, but it is clear we have to do something new.

harleymanjax's picture

We all knew that replacing so many players on defense this year would eventually cost us a game, it just sucks that it cost us a national championship 

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

4thandinches's picture

I think what really hurts is that we gave up the game. Coming into the second half we were ticking like a clock and even went up seven. And then what the hell happened? Worst offensive play calling the past two years. If we keep to our game plan all year with Hyde we run the clock out and kill their spirit. And then the defense gave up in the middle of the fourth quarter. Hard to blame them with the defensive play calling and the offense consistently going three and out. 
Why wasn't there any more Dontre on the field? Just to spread them out so we can run n-s. Why did we try to use Carlos to spread them out? 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

osubuckeye4life's picture

I think it didn't hurt as bad since the writing was on the wall. This team has been playing with house money for two years and it finally caught up with them. All week I was nervous about last night because MSU was the first truly legit team the Bucks had faced in over 2 years. I knew that if this team was truly at the next level they would take care of business last night. That didn't happen so they still have a lot to work on before the bowl game and before next season. The most important thing now is seeing how they deal with this first loss. 
I felt much worse after '98 because it was such a shock and that MSU was vastly inferior to tOSU it was just like so crazy that I never thought in a million years Sparty would take us down that year. 

Boomcat's picture

I can handle losing, but its the way we lost this game that I struggle to cope with. Everything was uncharacteristic. If our offense was taking advantage of the opportunities it had and we cut the stupid plays out, I would be fine with this. Because honestly, FSU would demolish us easily. I'm not being a downer there, I'm being realistic. But to see this team and coaching staff basically implode on itself when it was crunch time just makes me sad.

zenshade's picture

The loss was definitely disappointing, because it just felt like they'd find a way to win. They had for 24 games in a row. And the posters above belittling that with "MSU was the first decent team we played" deserve to be bitch-slapped back to reality. There were several teams that played close to as well as MSU did, during those 24 wins in a row. Its an absolutely great accomplishment any way you look at it.

To my eyes though, that kind of loss seemed inevitable. And I think it had way more to do with the players than bad coaching. The fact is we seem to be seriously lacking in both the defensive playmaker and the defensive intelligence categories at the present moment. A good defense requires both. And while we have some great physical talents, they're average in the instincts and knowledge departments. We need a few of the young players to emerge with both attributes. How many times did we see players in great position this season simply fail to make a play on the ball? How many times did we see missed tackles? And give up long plays because of bad positioning/angles? Way, way too many.

The other primary flaw of this team, and also it's greatest potential strength, is Braxton Miller. He has regressed these last few games, inexplicably. MSU defense was good no doubt, but the offensive plays were there to be had. Braxton just plain missed too many of the easy plays, especially those last couple of drives. I think if the Wisconsin or Iowa Braxton had shown up, we could have easily scored 40 plus on the "great" Spartan defense.

I almost feel like Herman panics a bit when Braxton is off and becomes predictably run oriented.

But it is what it is. Braxton HAS to become more consistent running the offense for this team to reach the next level.

roamingbuckeye's picture

oh it hurts all right. but couch fires and riots happen after wins. after losses everyone just goes and sits at home and drinks their troubles away. The quietest saturday nights I ever saw on campus were after losses.  After the 07 Illinois game I walked from Gateway to Lane an hour after the game and saw maybe a dozen people.

"I just cant wait to play football." -UFM