I may be in the minority (although I think its more 50/50), but I think having high expectations for this team, and every Ohio State football team is perfectly fine. There has been a lot written over the last couple of days, including during the Buffalo game, about fans and their thoughts on the way the team performed. This begs the larger question of what level of expectation do you want? I have spent time down in Tuscaloosa, I have been to Baton Rouge, I have attended a couple Auburn games and visted UGA a few times. In each of those stops in SEC country, especially in Tuscaloosa, expectations arent high, they are astronomical, and I love(ed) it. Watching a game in Bryant-Denny, you better expect perfection or fans will question your dedication and very existence as an Alabama fan. One example comes to mind. I was seated in the student section watching the game in 2004 against Mississippi State with my friend who attended Alabama. This was the Mike Shula era and during the spell of a 6-6 season and 3-5 SEC record including a loss at Tennessee and an beat down at home against South Carolina. The team had already lost a couple games and Ken Darby took a hand-off and went for 5-6 yards. I clapped, along with my friend and most of the stadium, while a handful of students were complaining. I looked at them funny and my friend asked them why they were bothered, it was 1st and 10 and Darby just rumbled for 6 on a nice little run between the tackles. One (or two, can't remember exactly) responded to the question and a part of the response stood out, "This is Alabama and that ain't good enough." They were bothered that Darby didnt see the hole on the right side, instead spun, juked left and went for 6 instead of a possible TD. I was confused then, considering the team was below .500 in SEC play and from what I remember, looked pretty weak on both sides of the ball so some success was surely warranting at least a smile. Btw, Ken Darby finished that game with around 200 yards and Bama won.
Today, we look at Bama football and see an unbeatable force and since 2006 we look at the SEC and see crystal balls, 4 Heismans, and really just college football dominance (also the NFL draft is SEC heavy). Sure there are reasons and I am a believer that the recruiting practices down there in SEC-land are sketchy and probably do include money to recruits. However, I also believe that one reason their teams play such an intense style of football that can put opposing teams in a hole even before kickoff is how passionate their fans are and how hight the expectations are down there. Particularly at Bama, its national title or you fire people. Many fans on here have been upset at the way other fans have criticized this team after their performance against Buffalo, but shouldnt we, at The Ohio State University, expect near-perfection each and every week? If anything, it puts pressure on the team and coaches to get better. I dont want to become an SEC program but I do want to play football like one and it starts with expectation. Bama beat a decent team in VT 35-10 at a relatively neutral site that could, by ACC play be a very dangerous team if they can figure out an offense. In comparison, we beat a mid-tier MAC program 40-20, at home. They didnt impress on offense and a large part of that is their offensive line going through growing pains. But my bama friends have informed me the heat is on down there and Im not talking about the weather outside. Basically, they expect the line to be at last years level by next week and are pissed off about their performance against VT. Hardly any apologists down there in TTown. High Expectations = success. I understand some get bothered by fans with extremely high expectations, but theres a reason for it: we want perfection every single snap and, as it is at Bama, it should be Crystal Ball or bust every year.