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