I don't want to hear that Illinois has always played Ohio State close. That doesn't matter. There are no excuses accepted.
You are playing in what is perceived as one of the weaker conferences in the country. The Buckeyes must do whatever it takes to separate themselves from the competition. To be considered one of the elite teams of college football they must perform at a level of excellence. To have any hope of advancing to the BCS Championship game they must crush every team in the way.
The defense has had a real setback today. Too many missed assignments and too many missed tackles allow teams behind us to overtake us. Baylor, Auburn, and Stanford are chomping at the bit. Winning unimpressively does nothing for the OSU title bid.
Those fans that give excuses for lack of domination in conference games by a superior Buckeye team are totally missing the point. Ohio State is supposed to annihilate everybody less than Wisconsin and Nebraska (notice I didn't mention that irrelevant team up North).
Simply put, we need "style points". To have any hope of playing in the National Championship we must perform much better than we did today.
Some pivotal things have to happen in order for us to even be afforded the opportunity to play on January 6, 2014. Maybe not getting there would be a blessing because I would hate to see what happened if we perform on defense like we have against Illinois. Alabama or Florida State will "wipe the field with us" (if I can borrow a phrase from Evan Spencer).
Come on Buckeyes. You have to be better than this.