First posted at Inside The Shoe, written by Brady.
Disclaimer: My tone for today’s column may be a little harsh. It has a lot to do with the upcoming kick in the balls the Buckeye’s are facing in August but also reflects my feelings on the 7 game lead that my beloved Indians choked away to the Tigers over the course of only two weeks. I knew the other shoe would eventually drop at some point this season but I wasn't prepared for that mammoth lead to evaporate in less than a fort night.
I mean seriously, WTF is Carmona doing out there? Why can’t anybody hit the ball all of a sudden? How is Austin Kearns still earning a major league paycheck? All of these questions are enough to drive a man to the brink of insanity. I live and die with my teams and sometimes the line between them becomes a little fuzzy. Just thought I would throw that out there before today’s rant.
I am not sure how to feel about this upcoming season. Usually this time of year I am glued to the recruiting websites and lapping up any little piece of information about the Buckeye’s from any number of websites. As we all know, this year as been a lot different. It has been a living hell with the public flogging that Ohio St. has taken in the press and from opposing fan bases. It sure feels like the media blitz on OSU has been over the top and certainly worse than any other of our violating brethren faced (Alabama, Oregon, USC etc..). Does anybody else feel the same way? When the Trojans and Crimson Tide were being taken behind the woodshed, I remember reading numerous stories but don’t recall the scathing criticism and daily beat downs by reporters that our fan base has had to endure this summer.
Perhaps I am just being a homer but it feels like the Buckeye’s have been unfairly tagged public enemy #1.
August 12th will be one of the worst days in the long and illustrious history of the Ohio St. football program. It is anyone’s guess as to what punishment the NCAA will hand down to the bucks but I think we all can agree that scholarships will be lost and bowl eligibility is likely gone for the foreseeable future. Where does that leave us for this upcoming season and beyond? Let’s take a look at the possible penalties and sanctions that are likely to affect the bucks after the NCAA has its’ say.
I have mentioned vacated wins in previous posts and I pray this is the only punishment that is handed down. Wishful thinking you ask? You bet your ass it is but a man can dream can’t he? The very idea of pretending like games in the past didn’t happen shows how ridiculous the NCAA can be. Who knows? Maybe they have hired Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones to knock on every door in the state and wave that flashing light wand in front of our faces. Until that happens I am pretty sure we all know who won those games even if it doesn’t appear in the “official” record book. They might even take down the banners and flags that signify those championships throughout the shoe. No problem. I will just by my own knock off versions from Ebay and hang it in my living room while watching the games. See where I am going with this? Every fan remembers these games no matter how bad the NCAA wants to erase them from the books. ESPN Classic will always be there so I say vacate away!
We now move into the more serious problem that will likely hurt the team for years to come. Losing scholarships is something that can be quite detrimental to the success of a college football team. As we all know, teams are in a constant state of flux and scholarships are the currency that is used to fill those voids left by graduation and early entry into the NFL. Taking away any number of scholarships can seriously hurt the chances of filling all positions with quality players that can help this team win. Obviously, the less we lose the better but the domino effect it can have is just as devastating. Many players that sign on the dotted line early effectively become some of the best recruiters for the school. We have seen time and time again stud recruits for Ohio St. hit the phones in attempt to lure more stud recruits to the team. If there are less scholly’s to give, there are less star players to convince other desirable players to sign.
I like to call it the “hot girls in high school” effect. The hot girls back in high school would hang together and end up recruiting other hot girls to run with them. Before you knew it, there was a whole pack of hot girls that would rule the school and have guys falling over themselves for their affection (I swear this made sense in my head before I typed it out). If you take those original hot girls out of the equation, they end up getting dispersed into their own little cliques throughout the school. What I am trying to say is losing scholarships sucks. Let’s hope the university doesn’t lose too many of them.
Finally, the dreaded Bowl Ban is a distinct possibility. What am I saying? It is definitely going to happen. There is no doubt in my mind that OSU will lose its’ bowl eligibility this coming year and possibly the following season as well. I was holding out hope earlier in the spring that we could avoid this one but the more crap that leaked out the more it convinced me this was inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, this sanction may be the worst one to stomach. The football season is so short and everyone looks forward to it all year. If the team has to play two seasons with no shot at playing in the postseason, it is going to sting. Sure we can still try and win the Big Ten and hopefully keep kicking the crap out of Michigan but the ultimate goal is to end up in the title game. Without a shot to do that, recruiting will take another hit and the fans/players will be left with an empty feeling at the end of the campaign. I hope against hope that this sanction doesn’t come down the line but the way the rest of the off season has gone, I’m not holding out too much hope.
This is going to be a long summer and the shit storm won’t stop until these sanctions are finally handed down. It will be such a relief once everyone can get back to bitching about the passing game and wondering who will tote the rock. Unfortunately we still have a month and a half before that can happen. Just pray that the worst of it has passed and no other enterprising reporter decides to dig something else up.