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.