As of this writing, it's been over 24 hours since Ohio State eviscerated Wisconsin on live national television, and Cardale Jones' yesterday morning tweet still speaks to me:
Soooooo Last Night Wasn't A Dream Holy Shit— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) December 7, 2014
It sounds like even King Cardale was surprised by King Cardale, but I wasn't. The only thing smoother than Cardale Jones on Saturday night might have been the celebratory dance moves of Doran Grant and Jalin Marshall. And you can call it a lucky hankering if you must, but I was on the verge of getting naked when Cardale hit 'em with the play action shoulder dip and played Devin Smith into the endzone to open the game's scoring.
Ohio State balled so outrageous on Saturday night, it was damn-near a religious experience to witness alive. All that was missing was a parted Red Sea or Cardale Jones healing a leper at half-field.
And now, the "35-year-old" Cardale Jones leads Ohio State into the sport's inaugural playoff. Can Ohio State beat Bama? Given Urban Meyer will be entering as a 10-point underdog and has a little under a month to prepare... I think the answer is an obvious "oh hell yeah."
Until then, I'm just watching this Vine (and this song) on repeat:
All hail the king.
DISSECTING DOMINATION. Damn, did Bucky get hit with a quick three-piece fade on Saturday night.
During our usual marathon of pregame coverage on 610 (AM) WTVN, sports director Matt McCoy asked me where this OSU team was mentally and emotionally after the shocking death of defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge, the sudden loss of star quarterback J.T. Barrett (who emerged after the sudden loss of previous star quarterback Braxton Miller) and various other setbacks.
My answer: I have no idea.
The reason I knew Ohio State was ready to ride out was because Urban Meyer has worked his tail off to build a culture of resilience and relentless determination within his program. (I got a first hand look at that this summer.)
This season's results are vindication of those efforts. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if I sauntered into Ohio State's huddle and dropped 300 yards of total offense (before inevitably being paralyzed by a blindside hit). That's how much of a fervent believer I am in this team's heart.
Also from Rapp's article: I, like every other story featuring an Earle Bruce cameo, was amused by this:
I spotted my radio colleague, former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce, who accompanied the team at the request of Meyer, and told him, “Holy crap, you were right, Coach.” Earle had boldly predicted that Jones was going to light up the Badgers’ secondary and that he told Herman in no uncertain terms he needed to have the lad throw the ball deep once a quarter.
(Note: I have to try extremely hard to read or say "lad" in a non-English accent.)
Earle Bruce, who had to be one of the nation's most terrifying driver's ed teachers, is one of America's most valuable natural resources; look at Tom Herman acknowledging his greatness:
Tom Herman is so happy he's just kissing Earle Bruce and everything is right for Ohio State. pic.twitter.com/vIObJm5ccv— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) December 7, 2014
GRANDPA COOMBS. I understand recruiting is a 24/7/365 thing, but it's a little ridiculous Ohio State is offering babies now, right?
Last 24 hours WIN Big 10, 2 recruiting visits, MAKE PLAYOFFS, but nothing beats holding my new grandson for 1st time pic.twitter.com/o3XXS4GWi1— Kerry Coombs (@OsuCoachCoombs) December 8, 2014
Impressive that a baby born with Red Bull flowing through his genes was able to take a nap. (Also, I need a non-baby sized pair of those slips. Those are some #phenomenalswag.)
THAT'S CHAMPIONSHIP PEDIGREE. Ridiculous stat here:
Jim Tressel's last OSU recruiting class avoided becoming 1st since guys who finished in '92 w/o a Big Ten title— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) December 8, 2014
#MakesUThinkTakeOfTheDay: I never want Ohio State to not be good at football.
“My opinion, since people are asking? I think the committee needs to be a little more regionalized with people that are associated with the south part of the United States,” Briles told ESPN.com. “I’ll say that. I’m not sure if there’s a connection on there that is that familiar with the Big 12 Conference. To me, that’s an issue.”
First of all: Texas isn't the South. It's just Texas.
Secondly, I too have to remind myself at times West Virginia is a Big 12 team, but still, Art Briles lost by 14 points to West Virginia, a school whose athletic director, Oliver Luck, is on the playoff committee.
Lastly, don't hate the player, Art Briles, hate the "One True Champion" game.
Ohio State is in the four-team playoff because it played in a conference championship game. Baylor and TCU are out because they did not.
The committee’s job was to pick the best four teams, which plenty of people presumably agree they did. Alabama, Oregon and undefeatedFlorida State were shoe-ins. Ohio State, which many dismissed as a possibility the day it lost to Virginia Tech nearly three months ago, gained considerable 11th-hour traction with its 59-0 rout of Wisconsin, especially given the Buckeyes did it with backup quarterback Cardale Jones.
But whether it intended to or not, the committee also sent an unequivocal message to the Big 12 that it ought to implement a championship game ASAP.
And that's all before mentioning another #stonecolduniversaltruth:
The 12 FBS teams Ohio State beat averaged 6.67 victories; Baylor's 10 averaged 5.5 and TCU's 10 averaged 5.4— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 7, 2014
I said all along the College Football Playoffs' true puppet master, ESPN's greed, would be the ultimate deciding factor between Ohio State and TCU and Baylor. But in the end, I don't think the Buckeyes needed the "pedigree, bro" boost.
Given the results and the circumstances, keeping Ohio State out of the playoffs would've been indefensible for anybody not drawing a check from Baylor or TCU.
NINE UNITS FLEXED ON WISCONSIN. Confession: While I predicted Ohio State to roll... not even I foresaw the level of absolute domination — across all three phases of the game — unleashed by the Buckeyes on Saturday night.
In fact, I'm struggling to recall a more dominating, total team performance from Ohio State, and that speaks to another tenet of the culture Urban Meyer is building within Ohio State: the belief in the "power of the unit."
The defense and special teams matched the offense as Cameron Johnston averaged 53 yards a punt, the defensive line recorded three sacks and recovered a fumble for a touchdown, the defensive backs had three interceptions and the linebackers forced a fumble and combined for 25 tackles.
Ohio State out-gained Wisconsin nearly two to one, 558-258, despite running only 56 plays to Wisconsin’s 80. The Buckeyes didn’t turn it over, while taking the ball away from the Badgers four times.
“When everybody steps up the way they did and respond to adverse situations this week,” [senior defensive tackle Mike Bennett] said. “This is a tough team and now it’s a fundamentally sound team and that’s hard to beat. It’s a team with passion and a vision.”
For the record: Cameron Johnston's punts are spectacular to witness in person. Watching his balls tumble through the Lucas Oil Stadium (which was spectacular in its own right) made me feel a certain oneness with Jim Tressel, who I assume was turning up during the game with a warm glass of goat milk.
I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS TWEET. If The Fake Lantern doesn't sweep the Pulitzers then the awards should forever become known as the Fake Pulitzers.
Cardale: The Force Awakens pic.twitter.com/spYKLGTcrG— The Fake Lantern (@TheFakeLantern) December 6, 2014
If Darth Vader tried Cardale Jones like he tried Obi Wan Kenobi, then the Star Wars franchise would only be one installment. Cardale would have obliterated the Empire with a single stroke using an ancient Jedi hustle known as "the hit stick."
LET'S WATCH IT AGAIN BECAUSE WE'RE A FREE PEOPLE. Take a bow, Buckeyes. (Darth Vader wants no part of King Cardale's lowered shoulder.)
I'm biased, but I don't think a team in the country could've beaten Ohio State on Saturday night. And even though King Cardale is making his second career start against Alabama (easily the most formidable foe in the field), I am over the moon that this team will have a chance to prove itself among the nation's best, and so is Mike Bennett:
Sugar bowl here we come!! I've always wanted to play bama. Too pumped— Mike (@mike63bennett) December 7, 2014
Ohio State doesn't play for another three-ish weeks. By kickoff, I will have worked myself into such blood frenzy I'll be calling for a B1G championship game-level of domination against the Crimson Tide, a team who is only sorta good at this whole football thing. (Remember when people thought playoffs would be bad? lololololol.)
AN IMPRESSIVE TBDIBITL YOUTUBE. Reader Sean Gawdy sent this video on drum major David Pettit's final home performance against Michigan, and it's a quality production:
THOSE WMDs. Happy Holidays from Eleven Warriors Worldwide LLC... I too ran out of celebrations at the game... I love the latest "Ohio State effect" post by Remy... Someone should go to jail: Tennessee's president made a "Happy" video to celebrate the Vols' TaxSlayer Bowl bid... While this was diabolical, it was also amazing... Les Miles yet to hear from Michigan... Good point re: Coors' marketing strategy... Just Messi and Barcelona being Messi and Barcelona... The entire list of Pokémon... Is Von Miller wearing Bucky's copse?