The National Narrative (A Defense of Ohio State)

ATXbucknut's picture
October 21, 2013 at 5:02p

The debate over who is most deserving to play in the BCS NC is in full swing. It is amazing to see how passionate some fans and even national commentators are in their advocacy of Oregon/FSU/Baylor/Mizzou as the most deserving team to play in the title game. Two points are taken for granted by everyone (even seemingly by most Buckeye fans):

1. Alabama is the only no-brainer for the NCG.

2. OSU is the least deserving of the title contenders, less so than almost any 1-loss SEC team.

Propaganda and Thought Reform

11W user GOALSCORER9 a few weeks ago penned a fantastic synopsis of how we arrived at the present national narrative as it relates to OSU.  Picking up the narrative on OSU as it has been evolving the last 6-7 years, propaganda forwarded by popular media pundits averring that OSU is unworthy of title consideration has moved from the realm of hypothesis and opinion to that of scientific fact. Many ardent OSU fanatics (even, to my horror, at least one 11W staffer!) have abdicated as torch-bearers for OSU FB and resigned themselves to the "fact" that OSU is less-deserving of title consideration. This narrative is based on two fundamental subjective assessments that are necessarily repeated incessantly in order to be persuasive:

1) OSU hasn't "looked" as good as other top 5 teams. (What pundits really mean is that OSU hasn't looked as flashy).

2) OSU has a much weaker schedule. (Strength of schedule is also a subjective assessment; how you construct the algorithm used to measure schedule strength is inherently subjective).

Propaganda (in the generic sense of the word...I avow no conspiracy against OSU) proliferated by a small cadre of passionate OSU-hating pundits has conditioned the national narrative, and, ultimately, helped reform the thoughts of even many of those who count themselves part of Buckeye Nation.

Through Repetition and Replication, Opinion Becomes 'Fact'

An opinion, when repeated and replicated enough, becomes a central part of the national discourse on a subject.  The opinion that OSU is unworthy has been endlessly repeated by Mark May, Clay Travis, and other trolls, eventually adopted by somewhat more reasonable commentators like Colin Cowherd and Dennis Dodd, and replicated by (collectively) millions of re-tweets. It is now accepted as an almost unassailable prophesy that OSU will be left out in the cold come January.

The fact is that we don't know who can beat whom until we see two teams play.  Championships aren't won on paper or in the television studios where Mark May sits excreting verbal horseshit each week. They are won on the field.   Remember that OSU was a heavy underdog in the 2002 NC game, just as they were heavily favored in the 2006 NC game. Neither game went as predicted.

Recipe for a National Championship

OSU's second-half performance against Iowa presented a recipe for a national championship. Our Achilles' heel is our pass defense.  Our strength is our offense.  If we sustain long, clock-devouring drives on offense as we did in the second half against Iowa (and NW) while avoiding turnovers, our weak pass defense becomes a non-factor.  Iowa held the ball for fewer than 7 minutes in the second half.  No team in the country can score on our secondary if the opposing offense doesn't have the ball.

Don't Believe the Hype

Keep fighting the good fight, fellow 11Wers.  OSU has every bit of a legitimate claim to the title game as FSU, Oregon, or even Alabama (yes, aghast, I said that).  Don't believe propaganda to the contrary. Until we lose on the field, we deserve to be in the title game as much or more than any other team.

The process of thought reform through repetitive and widely-disseminated propaganda was perfected by the original OSU-hater, the be-all-and-end-all of Buckeye trolls (just ask Jesse Owens, may God rest his soul):

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention.  It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.  Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success."  -Adolf Hitler

Comments Show All Comments

Johnny_Buck71's picture

Agreed and nice explanation. But it's hard to convince anyone to accept the alternative lacking any data. What's the signature out-of-conference win for the B1G? Notre Dame over Michigan? Ohio State's signature win is over WI. WI certainly isn't getting any love. I think it's likely we slip again this week if Missouri wins. We and the rest of the B1G need to win out-of-conference. It's that simple.

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. - Yogi Berra

ATXbucknut's picture

I don't disagree.  The B1G as a conference played a pretty crappy non-con sked. We didn't have any signature wins, but no horrible losses (Northern Illinois over Iowa and UCF over PSU don't look so bad anymore).
But even if the B1G as a conference had one or two awful losses the conference's strength should not be an indicted of one specific team.  That is, one can only argue subjectively that OSU has no claim to the title game because the B1G is awful.  Remember the ACC in the 1990s? It was an atrocious football conference, but that didn't stop voters from placing some awesome FSU teams in the title game or awarding them the NC after bowl season (prior to the BCS).
The only FACT is that we don't know who is better than whom until teams actually meet.
The narrative that the B1G is so awful that OSU is undeserving of a title shot is fallacious. No one argues that undefeated Baylor should be left out even though Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa, Kansas State lost to North Dakota State, and Kansas lost to Rice.
The national narrative is a sham.

Maestro's picture

Did someone say

vacuuming sucks

ATXbucknut's picture

I knew it was a matter of time before someone chimed in on that. I didn't necessarily figure it would be you, Meastro, but I knew somebody would. LOL.

D. Anthony's picture

We have been a ball control offense, especially the last 2 games but this offense has too much talent to be Braxton and Hyde producing 85% of the offense. We're built to be a hurry-up, quick strike team who can get the ball to numerous play-makers throughout the entire game. Once in a while we can button it up and play close to the vest but that really not how Urban and Herman's offensive philosophy. I think the D line wreaking havoc is the key, they gotta get the ball back for the O and make them feel ok about taking some chances like big-play offenses should.

D. Anthony

ATXbucknut's picture

The beauty of this offense, in my opinion, is that it can be a quick strike offense when things are clicking, but if things aren't clicking (due to weather, injuries, or something intangible), we can button it up as you say and win with a ball control offense. Prior to this year--and throughout JT's tenure--our offense only won through the latter.
I wonder if Baylor or Oregon can button it up and become a power run team if their quick-strike offenses aren't working for whatever reason.

cajunbuckeye's picture

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

buckeyedude's picture

The problem, yet again, is the media(in this case, ESPN). They have an agenda.
You're absolutely correct, ATXBUCKNUT. Repeat a lie long enough, and it magically becomes fact.
Nobody gave OSU a chance back in 02, except the Buckeye players themselves, their coaches and fans.




You really have to wonder that if we would move up even if the teams around us start losing. That would be the best proof the narrative you speak of has really taken over. We may go unbeaten and actually fall behind more than one 1-loss team, maybe even a 2-loss team if they decide to be jerks.
Back in 2002 when the first BCS came out I think we were 6th (if my memory serves correct) and we slowly moved up. I do remember us making it to No. 1 then falling back to No. 2 (likely after the Purdue or Illinois game because we squeaked by an unranked team). Sound familiar? Back then the media liked us a little better than they do now. Yeah, 2006 and 2007 did not go well for us but why in the hell are we being punished for that 6-7 years later?
Here's a question. If we had the 2002 team this season, with the schedule we have this year, would be still be 4th in the BCS? I'd have to think that team would be penalized today.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

BenW's picture

It's really remarkable that 06 and 07 hurt us so badly on the national stage. Does ESPN remember Alabama from those years? .500 overall and below .500 in the SEC and lost to a .500 Louisiana-Monroe team at home (Saban's first year)

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

The real head scratcher is how Oklahoma has managed to avoid the same scrutiny. They to lose to the Glenville Tarblooders coached by John Cooper if matched up in a bowl game.

allinosu's picture

I prefer to make the argument for all undefeated until all the cards are played as clemson and louisville should have. They look pretty silly now. BUT these are some very good points and if it was so cut and dried these so called experts wouldn't miss half the time. Did you ever notice on their prediction battles they have between them the LEADER is mostly around 67%. Sounds like guessing to me.  

Oyster's picture

You will still have the same issue next year.  Which are the 4 most deserving teams?  #5 still gets snubbed and will have a 'compelling' reason why they should be included.  The simple way to solve the problem, win your conference and you are in.  All conference winners get a shot.  Don't like not having a shot at the ring, stop complaining and win your conference next year. 

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Catch 5's picture

The big difference is that rarely, if ever does the #5 team have a legitimate claim to being the best team. That is the point, after all - to find the best team. Yes, people will complain sometimes that #5 got left out, that they were more deserving than #4, but we aren't trying to find the 4th best team in the country are we?
No. Pick the 4 best teams in the country. The teams that have proven the most and who can claim - based on the regular season results -that they are the best in college football. When we get away from that (and we probably will) college football as we know it will change dramatically.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Oyster's picture

Yea, you are probably right.  Besides, the #4 team really has no chance at winning it all anyway, huh?

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Catch 5's picture

That's not it at all.  Look back at the BCS years - name for me a year when a 4-team playoff wouldn't have solved the problem.  More often than not the BCS got it right and 4 teams wouldn't have been needed, but on the often enough occasions where a deserving team was left out (Auburn '04, Kansas St '11) 4 would easily have taken care of it.
What makes CFB so great is the regular season.  Nowhere else is every game so important to the final outcome.  The season is not a try-out for some post-season playoff, it IS the playoff.  The more teams we bring into this tournament, the less the regular season will mean, and that is what makes college football so great.
The point is not that the #5 team couldn't compete with the other 4 - there are usually several teams in the top 10 that could likely upset any of these teams - but that they haven't earned it.  Somewhere along the way, they had a loss or two that they shouldn't have and/or their schedule didn't allow them to prove their worth while other's did. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Doc's picture

Great post ATX.  We are being lumped in with the rest of the B1G, just like the SEC is being lumped in with Alabama.  Alabama has won the last 4 MNC, the SEC has won the last 7(2 of them because of us).  We flamed out on the National stage two years in a row.  We got torched by USC on national TV.  We lost to USC, Texas(twice) on national TV.  People do not remember our victories, or don't want to remember our victories.  Even with the scandal fatigue going on now OSU is perceived to be a bunch of cheaters, Da U isn't, but we are!
I honestly don't think that we are one of the top 2 teams in the country yet.  Our defense gets torched by mediocre, at best, QBs and offenses.  Iowa shouldn't have even been close, and I'm afraid PSU is going to end the streak this weekend.  Until we start blowing teams out, and the other B1G teams start winning OOC games the lie will continue to be fact.  IF the B1G is so bad and we are one of the top 2 teams in the country, why have we had such tough games with "overrated" Nerdwestern, Wisky and Iowa?  We are a good, not great, team.
With all of that said.  If we are one of the only remaining undefeated teams left standing at the end of the season we most definitely deserve to be in the MNCG.  If we get there we damn well better win it, or face the music.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

I agree with everything you said, except the Buckeyes losing Sat night. 

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Doc's picture

Believe me I want to be wrong myself.  I just have a bad feeling this will be it.  Hackenburg is a big, strong kid and seems to be pretty accurate throwing the ball.  It's going to take a disciplined defense to shut him down.  It can be done, and I believe we can do it.  My feeling is more of a "luck running out" type thing then anything else.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

d5k's picture

Is it possible to agree with this post and still think we are correctly ranked at #4?  I think the other 3 teams are a bit better but a lot will happen in the next 6 weeks.
Definitely disagree with the blowhards that think it is a chasm.  We aren't Louisville or Boise State.
This hypothetical would be my fear in terms of the propaganda:  FSU or Oregon loses but the other wins out.  We win out.  Alabama is undefeated playing a 2-loss opponent in the SEC title game.  Then the media starts putting Bama in the title game regardless of outcome despite the 2 undefeated teams due to the perceived strength of their schedule (their schedule is average actually and weak relative to the other SEC teams, no real fault of their own).

cinserious's picture

all I have to say is there better not be any rematches for the final BCS title game. That 'Bama/LSU shit still pisses me off. If a team from the SEC wins the conference championship with zero or one loss, go ahead and place them. It should be either 'Bama or Mizzou. Like a poster said above, WIN YOUR DAMN CONFERENCE!
After that, its either Ohio State (conference champion), Oregon (champ), or FSU (champ). If the Bucks go undefeated and win the B1G, we're in over a 1-loss Oregon or FSU.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Qujo's picture

Let's just win out. We can' t control the media, but our team can control its destiny to a point.
personally we may be left out of the NC, win the Rose (undefeated) and still win the AP NC or at least share it. 
Regardless I am enjoying this team and this season and if we don't get in, I'm not gonna grow gray hairs over it. 
Urban has the program headlining for success over the next 5-6 years and if he decides to stay longer then possibly over the next decade the way he is recruiting. 
I'm gonna sit back drink some bourbon and enjoy the ride. 

Our arch rivals.... 11 National Championships, 10 before 1949 - eight of eleven shared. Trying to respect them... trying.... Ugh!

WildBear Buckeye's picture

Can't agree with the first half of the OP - way too much conspiracy theory about ardent hatred of OSU. But couldn't agree more with this:

OSU's second-half performance against Iowa presented a recipe for a national championship. Our Achilles' heel is our pass defense.  Our strength is our offense.  If we sustain long, clock-devouring drives on offense as we did in the second half against Iowa (and NW) while avoiding turnovers, our weak pass defense becomes a non-factor.  Iowa held the ball for fewer than 7 minutes in the second half.  No team in the country can score on our secondary if the opposing offense doesn't have the ball.

When things are working, OSU can score in two ways: the "Oregon" way and the "Alabama in the days of Mark Ingram" way. Mix up your drives as a combination of the two and no defense in the country can stop them.
Unfortunately, against NU and against Iowa (and before that against Buffalo) the offense had long stretches of ineptitude, putting an already-stretched defense in an even more difficult position. That's a recipe for 41-14 in the NCG. Yikes.
Defense may win championships, but right OSU's best defense is OSU's offense keeping the opposing offense off the field.

ATXbucknut's picture

Propaganda (in the generic sense of the word...I avow no conspiracy against OSU) proliferated by a small cadre of passionate OSU-hating pundits has conditioned the national narrative...

I'm actually with you on the conspiracy point, Wildbear. I do not believe that there is a well-orchestrated conspiracy to keep OSU out of the NCG, but the hardcore contingent of OSU-hating pundits (Travis, May, etc.) are waging campaigns to de-legitimize OSU, which seem to be having an effect based on the current national narrative.

d5k's picture

I know everyone loves to say "keep the ball out of the other offense's hands" but you aren't really doing that.  They still get the ball after you score/punt/fumble/INT even if you took 7 minutes off the clock instead of 3.  What you are actually doing is limiting the number of total possessions for both teams at the end of the game.  If you play it out perfectly somehow with clock management and luck and get 1 extra possession in each half that is different than "playing keepaway" or whatever.  The only way to keep the other offense off the field is quick defensive stops.  And the better team should want to increase the number of possessions due to the law of large numbers ignoring mitigating factors that may or may not matter like fatigue.
Sorry, just have to get this logic fail off my chest.  

BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

When I was watching College Football Live on Monday , everyone basically said (even the SEC guru guy) that IF Ohio State can win out and be Undefeated come time for bowl selections, that Ohio State WILL be in the NCG. So just win baby, just win. Hard to keep a 25-0 Ohio Sate team outside looking in. Its so hard to go undefeated in this day and age of College Football. And to go 2 seasons in a row is damn near impossible. CFB has changed so much over the past 10-20 years or so. There is talent everywhere. Its not just the BIG schools anymore like it used to be back in the day. Every team has players who can flat out ball. Like i said , talent is everywhere on every team. So just win out, just win!!!!!GO BUCKS!!!!

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

theOSUdug's picture

 in the television studios where Mark May sits excreting verbal horseshit each week

hahahaha killing it, I just laughed out loud on the train....solid commentary, but like other's have saiid, the stats outweigh the idea of an undefeated team reaching the national championship just because they are undefeated. 
I'd love for my Buckeyes to represent the great state of Ohio on the gridiron this January, but if we are 1 of the 3 undefeated teams at the end of the season.....I just can't see it happening. 
But, you bet your ass I'll be at the Rose Bowl, and they better serve us up an SEC team by god....cause Urban will have those boys hungry and angry.  Time to start swaying the one sided statistic of bowl wins against the SEC.  (I still count the arkansas win)

jkrk's picture

knew Hitler was an SEC fan.