I get it. I really do. We should be all happy with any win over a tough, ranked opponent, regardless of score.
I like to fancy myself as one of the more level-headed Buckeye fans (never once have I uttered the phrase "Fire Fickell"), but even I found myself getting upset towards the end of last night's game, simply because I could already hear they way that the narrative was being shaped by ESPN, which was clearly reflected in todays' polls. Despite beating a very solid, ranked - and what should have been an undefeated - opponent, we still lose ground in the polls to Clemson. Immediately after the game on ESPN's CFB Final, the narrative was "Ohio State beats their first test of the year, but was it IMPRESSIVE enough"? THIS, fellow Buckeyes, is why I found myself getting pissed off when the 2nd-half playbook shriveled and the points stopped coming. Yes, I knew that our defensive front 7 was young and untested. Yes, we thought Braxton might be rusty. Yes, we knew that the schedule up until now had been light. Taking all of these things into consideration, we damn well should be thrilled with the outcome.
I feel like shit for feeling the way that I did, but it was only in anticipation of what was to come, which we have now seen this morning. Ohio State has 3 opportunities this regular season to impress folks, one of which has now come and gone and has done little to calm the contrived media firestorm. The fact is, we all know that Oregon hasn't beaten ANYONE with a pulse, but goddammit, they are FAST and they scored SIXTY SIX points against Nicholls State! Surely Ohio State would have only beaten Nicholls State 42-7. Speaking of Oregon, they beat up on Cal, and won by a greater margin than Ohio State's victory, which obviously means that they'd TROUNCE Ohio State.
Watching the SEC games yesterday, I could already hear the media spin on the fact that only two undefeated SEC teams remain - the SEC is SO good this year that they are "cannibalizing" each other. The league is so tough, that a perennially underachieving team like South Carolina can beat a decent UCF team by three points and not drop in the polls, which is precisely what occurred to Ohio State last year after beating UCF by 15.
So, to all of the threads posted that are criticizing Ohio State fans for expecting too much or being unhappy with a solid win against a ranked foe, you have valid concerns. However, you're being naive by characterizing the fans' reaction to last night's game as nothing more than a temper tantrum thrown because we didn't see the 42-17 score that everyone had been predicting for the last week. The reaction that has occurred is a defensive reaction to the inevitable media criticism that started literally minutes after last night's game. I am not pissed off at Urban Meyer or Tom Herman for closing the playbook, nor am I pissed off at Bradley Roby for having an off night. I'm pissed off because Alabama has looked unintersted for the last two games and has looked downright sluggish all season, yet they get the benefit of the doubt because of what they've done over the last 4 years. I'm pissed off because Oregon gets a pass for playing exceptionally shitty OOC teams, simply because they score a ton and have cool uniforms. I'm pissed off because Ole Miss, at 3-0, was ranked in the top 25 based solely upon their win over a tremendously pathetic Texas team, basically gifting Alabama another "win against a tough, ranked SEC ooponent". I'm pissed off that LSU's starting QB was kicked off his last team due to being charged with sexual assault, their starting RB was charged with yet another assault, and neither of them have gotten so much as a slap on the wrist, because they're in the almighty SEC, yet Ohio State was criticized for having a "culture problem" when Bradley Roby were involved in minor altercations that were ultimately thrown out.
I'm pissed off because there's not another team in the country held to a more unreasonably high standard than The Ohio State University.