A Bowl Ban This Year Is Not So Bad

builderofcoalitions's picture
October 14, 2012 at 2:11p

I was considering this idea before last night's game, but I still think it holds a lot of truth.

Maybe a bowl ban this year isn't so bad. I mean, there's a lot to be gained from a (potential) undefeated season even without the opportunity to play after The Game. Before you click away from this post, consider the following...

Would you really want to see this team in a BCS game?
As Buckeye fans, we've had to deal with more than our share of BCS heartbreak. Imagine this team against Alabama or Oregon. Versus the Crimson Tide, the defense would have to be called upon to win the game. Think about that for a moment.

Maybe the Buckeyes could put up some points versus Oregon, but would they really be able to keep pace with the Ducks? I mean, if Indiana dropped 49 (albeit 14 in garbage time), what would Oregon do?

This team is not ready to be a national title contender much less any BCS game. The bowl ban allows the Buckeyes another year before they have to compete at that level.

A weak B1G means an under-prepared OSU team with a pathetic SOS necessary to land in the BCS championship game.
The entire conference is down and that may help explain OSU's fast start and hopefully greater finish. However, the flip side of that is that an undefeated Buckeye team might not have enough points to even be considered for the championship game. And we've seen what happens when OSU walks all over a weak conference schedule and has to play a tough SEC team (or Texas) in a bowl game. A stronger conference means that Ohio State is stronger on paper and on the field. Most likely, the league will be much better next year. Expectations will be lower, so a few surprise non-conference wins will mean a whole lot more to the league's resume.

We don't want to depend on the strength of the conference this season to propel OSU to higher rankings. OSU's weak this season as is the rest of the conference. Everyone can be better next season in order to send what we believe is going to be a juggernaut in the 2013 team.

If the Buckeyes go undefeated, what will they have left to prove?
Alabama is still hungry this year because they didn't run the table or win their conference. A few years ago, they faltered following a national championship because they grew complacent (and had to replace nearly their entire defense). If OSU goes undefeated this season, there will be plenty left to prove. There will be a conference championship and a potential national title within their grasp. Honestly, I feel they will be contenders for the next two seasons with Braxton Miller at QB. Regardless of how much they accomplish this season, the 2013 Buckeyes will be hungry to accomplish more. 

2012 is basically a free year with no expectations and a year to work out the kinks.
A big part of the Buckeyes' struggles this year have to do with a new coaching staff. Additionally, they have to shake off the cobwebs that gathered during a 6-7 campaign. Now, there is inconsistency on offense and a defense that has forgotten who they are. This team needs a year to gel without expectations. At Ohio State, anything less than a Michigan victory, conference championship, and national championship are considered failures. Because of this year's postseason ban, they only have to worry about one of those goals. The pressure can begin next season. Let them get used to the new system and work on improving young players now in preparation for when things get real next season.

Finally, as Buckeye fans, we can get back to enjoying the little things that attract us to Ohio State football.
I'll be the first to admit that ever since the 2002-2003 season, I have obsessed over another Ohio State championship. Early season losses to Texas or USC put me in a foul mood for the rest of the season. Late or mid-season losses to Penn State or Illinois caused me to forget that a conference championship was still within grasp. Troy Smith's magical Heisman season will forever be tainted by his overindulgence-induced no-show in that season's championship game.

Lost were the times when I learned to love Ohio State football. I grew up during the Earl Bruce years where winning the conference title and beating Michigan were still a big deal. Even during Cooper's years, I obsessed over whether this team was truly ready to beat Michigan. The Rose Bowl victory in 1997 will forever be one of my most cherished memories as a Buckeye fan - right behind 2002-2003.

This season is our chance just to enjoy the games and players. Regardless of how terrible they've been at times this season, the Buckeyes are still undefeated. Braxton Miller really is something special and we'll most likely get to see him play for two more years. There's a coach that's changed the culture, injecting it with some juice. He truly loves being at Ohio State. This season has been fun, but it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable had we spent every week worrying about what Oregon or [insert any SEC team here] was doing. 2012 is about the Buckeyes. It's about learning to love Ohio State football once again - especially after the debacle of 2011.

So, for me, the bowl ban is no big deal. I've come to peace with it and am just trying to enjoy the ride. How are you feeling about the ban? Do you wish this team had an opportunity to reap the benefits of an undefeated season with a weak conference slate? Or, like me, you are just trying to enjoy the ride?


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Nick's picture

Still say no. While our defense is bad it is better than Oregon and some other top 25 teams

Adamant73's picture

This is not gonna be a great season unless you are Bama. They will not lose to anyone and the Buckeye's would get beat badly in a potential BCS title game. Bama is the most consistently solid team I've seen in years. They have no weak areas as a team and would gladly play them next year when that entire O-Line graduates plus a few other stud defenders. This is not the year to be second in the BCS

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

We talk about schedules all the time, yet ignore how mediocre Bama's has been. There isn't a team they've beaten that is BCS material.

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

SPreston2001's picture

As much as I hate scUM I would say they are BCS caliber and Bama destroyed them from start to finish...

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

And what have they shown that's made them BCS worthy? Barely beating AF? Beating up on Purdon't, illinois, and UMass?

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

d5k's picture

Technically speaking, they are probably the favorite to go to the Rose Bowl at this point after Michigan State losing to Iowa.  If they beat Iowa and MSU they are basically in the title game vs. Wisconsin where I would favor them.

SPreston2001's picture

@Buckeye Ok you say that but you defend us as if we could pretty much match up with any other team outside of Bama. Who have we beat?? MSU doesnt seem to be as tough as we all thought and Cal nearly came to Columbus and stole a win. Michigan is by far the toughest game on our schedule. Just because I hate them doesnt mean im not gonna respect them. scUM is still the second best team in the B1G (usually) and they will probably go on to represent the B1G at the end of the season. So considering the B1G is down this year I would say scUM is pretty much BCS caliber by default. Our record might mirror theirs if we played the same schedule...

Ahh Saturday's picture

Oregon shut out Arizona, a team averaging 37 ppg.  Think the Silver Bullets could do that this year?

Nick's picture

Against Rich Rod? Yes.

Urban John Simon Meyer's picture

Thank you for that last paragraph. It is good to put things into perspective. How would the Penn State or Wisconsin fans ever make it through the season without having a heart attack if they behaved like many Buckeye fans do?
I was just talking to a coworker about the Tressel years and how quickly fans forget just how good we had it. Nine rips to BCS games, 3 National Championship appearances, 7 wins. Yet all many a fellow Buckeye remember are the 2 losses. They don't remember the spectacular seasons that got us to those BCS berths, they don't remember the wins; just the losses. 
My most memorable game in the Shoe was an OSU loss. It was a night game, College Game Day was there, record-setting sell-out crowd, the bars were hopping, the crowd was there and LOUD into the 4th quarter. And we lost.  Yes, I had to face PSU coworkers the next Monday, yet I would relive that night any day for the rest of my life. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Would I want to see this team in a BCS bowl this year?  I can recall two times in the past decade when people said OSU had no chance in their BCS bowl, and they ended up winning the bowl.  Bowl games are all about matchups.  You have a month and change to prepare for your bowl game.  Alabama wouldn't be as bad of a matchup for OSU as you may think, at least in terms of Bama offense vs. OSU defense.  Good luck moving the ball against that D, though I think we could get some points.  Oregon would be a worse matchup for our defense because of the offense that they run.  We would do better than you may think in a BCS bowl, though. 
I do agree with the other points.  I'm not sure the conference championship would prove anything different this year, considering we play the 3 best teams in the Legends, so we'd get a team that we already beat in the regular season (if we go undefeated).  Not playing in a big bowl against a power team from a stronger conference, though, leaves stuff to be proved.  I do also enjoy watching the Buckeyes this season - probably the most relaxing season that I can remember.  There was never a true expectation to go undefeated, and a loss doesn't really cost us anything but pride.  We're 7-0, and yeah, there have been struggles and frstrations at times.  But those struggles don't matter now - every week is a new game, and a new opportunity to improve.  Calm down and enjoy the ride.  I'm not worried about the AP National Title until there are no more undefeated teams. 

Class of 2010.

TBDBITL0509's picture

I have to echo what SHOWTHEMOHIOSHERE said - this team could win some select BCS matchups, and if there was ever a "good" year to be banned from a bowl, this is it. Though I do have to say that if we're having this kind of reaction to a close or ugly win in 2012, I hate to see what happens in 2013 when it actually counts.

d5k's picture

No, last year was a good year to be banned from a bowl.  A team that is favored to win the conference is not a good year to be banned from a bowl.  This sickens me.

SPreston2001's picture

Wow you guys are delusional if you think we could step on the field with Bama. I love my Buckeyes but geesh are you guys really that blinded by Buckeye fever? Have you not seen this defense?? Its not like our offense is much more than Braxton making plays. You shut down Brax like Bama did Denard and it will get really ugly really fast. Im the biggest diehard fan but come'on guys get real we're just not that good this year. We're 7-0 but lets not act like we've been skating through a tough as nails schedule and destroying people. Take off the blinders....

TBDBITL0509's picture

@SPRESTON I can't speak for anyone else, but I said we could win "select BCS matchups," not against Bama. I personally don't think anyone is beating Alabama this year. 
Now that I take a second look at the above comments, no one said OSU could beat Alabama. Try taking off your blinders...

UncleBuck's picture

If they go undefeted they will come in next year with a huge chip on the  shoulder. Also, the work ethic during the off season will be great because they know it's their chance to prove something.

Maestro's picture


vacuuming sucks

onetwentyeight's picture

I wouldn't want to play Bama -- but anyone else we might've potentially faced in the BCS? I say BRING IT ON. Any of these PAC or Big12 pastries who want to outscore us will be in for a rude surprise against Brax & Co. And if MEATCHICKEN could beat an ACC team in the BCS last season you best believe we could as well. 
LSU and ND have legit Ds but their offenses are as shaky as our D is. It's pick your poison and I wouldn't say we'd be that much of underdogs against them. 
I really think if you step away from the ledge and compare us to other teams playing this year, we're really not that bad. Against hypothetical perfection our lack of defense certainly is grating, but in Real Life we're just flawed in one big way just like everyone else (again, Bama aside). 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

This overreaction to what happened against Indiana has gotten out of hand. You would think they were 4-3 the way you guys have been acting. We're still 6 weeks from the end of the season. I'm sure after that Purdon't loss in 09 people thought that team wasn't capable of winning a BCS game either. :/

If this team is healthy, i'd put them against almost anyone.

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

buckeyeEddie27's picture

The last paragraph is so dead on.  SO dead on.  I feel like the guy who hugs Forrest Gump after his Vietnam speech.  You said it all man.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

d5k's picture

And we've seen what happens when OSU walks all over a weak conference schedule and has to play a tough SEC team (or Texas) in a bowl game.

This sounds like Mark May.  We hung with LSU, beat Arkansas, dominated Oregon and should've beat Texas but for a missed tackle and a great drive by Colt McCoy.  Basically extrapolating from a sample size of 1 (Florida).  And who cares, we had a top 5 decade where we dominated the conference and held our own in every other meaningful game we played except @USC and the Florida national title game.
And no, I categorically would not prefer the bowl ban.  I don't care if we were to lose to Alabama by 50.  I also don't think that would happen.  We would probably be +7 in that game.

baddogmaine's picture

I can't disagre about how you feel but I don't share it. First, a bowl game does not have to mean the NC against AL. It doesn't even have to mean a BCS game. If you're worried about looking bad in a bowl you should have been pleading for Smith to either self-impose or turn down the offerfor a 6-6 team  in 2011. This year we will have earned a bowl of some sort, not just have backed into it because of brand name, and this year's seniors deserve it.
And if we are not ready for a serious bowl then what we need is more practicing, and teams that go bowling get extra practices. Even if this year's bowl results in us getting our clock cleaned there is no down side I can think of to getting the players who will be back next year that much better. And if they end the year with a bad bowl result they start 2013 determined to not experience that feeling again.
I'm all for putting a bright face on what we have, but as far as I'm concerned a bowl ban this year is bad.

JLP36's picture

The bowl ban is horrific.  It could have been offered up last year by a team that did not deserve a bid and who had a lot of seniors and coaches and misc others exiting the program.  This team is deeply flawed on defense, but are there are lot of teams in the world that would absolutely thump them?  No.  Do I think they can beat Alabama? No.  Do I think that anyone else can beat Alabama? doubt it.  Is that a good rationale not to go to a bowl game OR HAVE THE EXTRA MONTH OF PRACTICE THAT GOES WITH IT !?!?!?!?!?! NO!  GENE SMITH ABSOLUTELY BONED THIS!!! The ban is disasterous for the lost practice alone.  And, by the way, I will take my chances with this D and 6 to 8 weeks to prepare and get healthy (plus the 40+ points the O will chip in).  The woes on D show how badly the practice time is needed.


jthiel09's picture

If Gene Smith was a bit smarter he would have done the self-imposed ban for last season. JLP36 hit it on the head, the lost practice time is going to hurt us worse than not having a bowl game.