Perception equals reality in the BCS......Should we be double checking our reality?

HotSauceCommittee's picture
September 5, 2013 at 10:48p

With all the talk this week about team performances, good and lackluster, poll movement, and OSU's potential I find myself worried about our 2013 Buckeyes. Not in a the sky is falling kind of way, more of a 'do I find myself, an educated Buckeye fan, buying too much into the hype' type of way. Did all the time I spent reading about Braxton and the boys this summer overly enhance my opinion of the team? Did all the reading make me think this was the year instead of looking at the fact that we are building something potential great, but might be a year or two away? Before I get blasted, I realize week one is week one and this team has plenty of room for growth and maturity.

I was in The Shoe for the Buffalo game. What I saw was a great 1st quarter offensive outburst. Then the same mentality that plagued the 2012 team set in.....complacency and not keeping the foot on the pedal. This worries me more than the soft coverage, breaking in a sophomore lineman or cramping. While the game was never in doubt, and Urban was playing with lineups (probably too soon into the game), the fact that we didnt hang 50 on Buffalo is troubling. The second and third quarters were boring. The offense consistently put the defense in bad situations and the stadium fell silent, eerily similar to last season......Braxton, at times, looks like he has no rhythm or intensity. When he hits his stride he is damn fantastic, but the lulls take over far too often. I think we can all agree we want a team that runs over and through opponents, not a team that limps to finish games.  Now a W is a W, but my post is about national perception. While other top 10 teams were playing solid openers (Clemson-GA, SC-UNC, Bama-VaTech, etc.) or blowing the doors off of FCS or lower tier teams, OSU was letting Buffalo off the hook. Some of you will say Buffalo is a really decent-to-good MAC team that has a dominant LB and a chance to finish near the top of the MAC, but come on, it was Buffalo and it was a MAC school. We didn't have to embarrass them to impress. Thinking ahead, what happens when Baylor bashes Buffalo this week and OSU only beats SDSU by 20 points. Do we see another drop in the polls, this time 4 or 5 spaces?

Again, I believe our Buckeyes will pull things together and roll through the Big 10. My hopes are that as the team comes together they begin to impress before the national perception knocks us too far down in the polls to catch back up. We can only ride the F the media and F ESPN train so far. Perception does matter in the current BCS format. I loved the ride the 2012 Buckeyes gave us. It was a season to remember. I would take another season like that any year, but a similar season this year coupled with our weak schedule wont get us into the national championship game if we fail to impress. Based on reading this site everyday, I feel many of you have the same underlying and often unspoken worries.

Looking forward to seeing an angry and focused team this week. Looking forward to hearing some of the ESPN clowns gush over Miller's athletic ability and Shazier's smacking opposing running backs. Looking forward to the pundits raving about Meyer's recruiting class and his Big 10 dominance. Mostly, I am looking forward to reading this in a few weeks and laughing my ass off at worrying about nothing.

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brylee's picture

I am looking forward to reading this in a few weeks and laughing my ass off at worrying about nothing.

Me too!

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Relax.  It will be ok.


I like cookies.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Not trying to be chicken little. Just thinking out loud that maybe this team isn't doing itself any favors by playing down to their competition.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

Understood.  What you had was a moment of deju vu.  It's ok.  It was only similar to those shady gray shadows lurking behind the door that disappear when you swing the door open.  You know the shadows...the shady ones.  They gnaw at the edges of your sanity with that fear of the one perfect storm that could sweep your Buckeye hopes and dreams away in a teary-eyed scarlet and gray blur.
Ignore those shadows.  They are from the past.
The days of routinely "playing down to opponents" is gone at Ohio State, for the most part.  There will be no lack of motivation under Urban Meyer.  Only hunger.  Angry hunger.
You are either motivated, or you don't play.
Don't misunderstand me.  I don't say that there will never be a lapse in effort or efficiency on the part of individuals or units.  But these will be shown, especially through the new cooperative charting project at Eleven be greatly diminished in this season.
So like I said.  Relax.  Get comfortable.  Kick up your feet, if you can stay off em.  Put a coaster under your favorite adult beverage and fire up the grill.
You are going to enjoy this season.

I like cookies.

Haybucks's picture

Last year was an awesome ride, grateful for the successful season, but unsatisfied since we were knocked off the wave by the NCAA. This year our ride will be daunting, but sure to be exhilarating with the potential of riding it to the end. 

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


dkgaffney's picture

If the Buckeyes keep winning, they will not drop out of the top 5.  This team will develop into a really good one and has a good chance to run the table thanks to a light schedule and an average conference.  Not time to freak out

Squirrel Master's picture

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

BuckeyeChris's picture

This schedule, more than the team, is my main concern.
The team gave up (what?) 59 points to Indi-freaking-ana last year, and still ran the table.
The bigger issue ... the bigger "worry" for OSU fans should be this schedule. I firmly believe that every SEC team is going to NEED to lose 2 games in order to be held out of the championship game.
I fear that this last week was just a snap-shot of what's to come. Oh, sure, OSU beat Iowa by 20 to improve to 7-0, but South Carolina beat (say....) Florida to improve to 6-1. Guess who would probably jump OSU (or at least move up vs our stagnation) that week? 
I fear that this schedule is so weak, and the B1G is so disrespected that OSU may end up being the best 4th ranked team in history. 

The Rill Dill's picture

Baylor put up 70 points and EIGHT HUNDRED yards against  Buffalo.  Reality is reality, also.  I thought Urban will never let off the throttle?  Does an angry team only score seven points in a half (at home) versus.....anyone?  The hype meter is pegged!!

Brent Clay's picture

I think this was a very well written article that speaks lots of truth.  The bucks do not look like a number 2 team in the nation.  Most top 5 teams will dominate an entire game against teams like Buffalo....
I'm sorry, but we looked pretty horrible that game. Then in the San Diego State game, we come out at half time looking like we are suffering from "FOOD COMA" form eating a Buffet at half time.  I am really serious when I say the Buckeyes still have a lot to work on, especially O-line and D-backs!  (We do not have what I would call a "BUCKEYE DEFENSE")  We should have racked up quite a few sacks these first few games as well as not allow the big running plays.  If we keep this pace we will loose at least 2 games in the BIG 10.
What scares me is, what is going to happen when we are in a close game down to the wire and we are known as a team that cannot score a TD in the 4th. quarter?  I love my Buckeyes, but, we are not looking too impressive!
At the end of the day, maybe I am wrong!  Maybe the Bucks only play to the level of the opposite teams and will rise to the occasion when they up against a worthy opponent!  If this is the case, we are still in trouble, this should never happen!
Let the bashing begin!

cplunk's picture

The 2002 champion Buckeyes looked awful all year long. They escaped against worse teams time after time. There were a million reasons to believe they had no business in the title game, where of course they beat one of the most dominant looking teams in NCAA history, a team that had just been crushing people.
Not saying you're right or wrong, but this is the problem with the eye test; It means nothing. Football games are won based upon specific matchups in specific situations on each play, the success of the scheme to create or utilize this matchups, and the execution of the player(s) in taking advantage of that specific matchup. It is play by play. Entire game results can and do depend upon things little things fans never see and wouldn't recognize if they did. Which team is "better" actually has almost nothing to do with winninga football game. It is just too general.
But here is the other problem with the eye test; it means everything. It means everything for the reasons you are talking about in the selection process for a national title game. Polls suck, but they exist, they matter, and they are entirely based on the eye test.
For me it boils down to this:
1) I hate that the polls matter, but until next year they do
2) The eye test is a horrible way of predicting who is better, and who is better doesn't matter in terms of predicting who would win a theoretical matchup anyway.
3) Unfortunately the eye test is exactly what pollsters use.
4) That means for this year, your point about perception is very true. We can be left out of the title game because we don't look good
5) I don't buy any of the statements that we'd loss to Clemson, Bama, Oregon, or other top ranked teams because they look smooth answer don't, or because they beat Team A by thirty while we only beat Team B by seven and Team B is from a conference we perceive as weaker. Football doesn't work like that on the field. Games revolve around far too many small things and tiny variables to predict that way. Most fans (and media) simply don't know the game at the real level it is played.
So what's a Buckeye fan to do? Simple, worry about the game in front of you. Root for your team and enjoy watching them. You can't control the polls, and honestly it doesn't matter if OSU is "better" than anybody. It doesn't matter who else beats whom. Root for OSU in their game this week, every week, against whomever th schedule, the polls, or the bowl selection process puts in front of us.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

We slipped again in the AP Polls due to perception. Again, I don't want to see a team embarrassed, but we let up a bit again in the second half yesterday. If we play a weak schedule youhave to look impressive.

oh_dad55's picture

Remember ESPN All Access last year?  The coaches were telling the team about all the hard work they were going through, and how it would put them in the position to dominate in the fourth quarter because the other team would be worn out.   Hmmm.


WC Buckeye's picture

Just keep winning. We can't control voter agendas, ESPN scheming/hype (if you believe that's happening), or what happens/doesn't to other teams. We CAN control mistakes (looking at you, Mr. Hall), effort, and attitude. Let's do that first and let the rest happen as it will.

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.