[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]COLUMBUS – With all the confetti cleaned up down in Arlington after their 42-20 win over the Oregon Ducks in the 2015 College Football Playoff title game, and their eighth national title in their grasp, the once much-maligned Ohio State Buckeyes earned the last laugh at the hands of haters and critics everywhere.
A long-time target of derision for their BCS title game failures, choking in big games and recent off-the-field scandals, loving to hate the Ohio State Buckeyes has never gone out of style.
As trendy and chic as buying Apple’s latest overpriced—and overhyped—gadgets or talking trash online in Call of Duty, the Buckeyes often made for an easy target. After beating Oregon, a case can easily be made that the Ohio State Buckeyes have surpassed the likes of the New York Yankees, Miami Heat, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Dallas Cowboys as the team all sports fans love to hate.
Going into their 125th season of collegiate football down on the banks of the Olentangy, not many outside of Ohio gave the Buckeyes much of chance after Heisman Trophy hopeful in quarterback Braxton Miller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Naturally, the so-called “experts”—mainly in Bristol—immediately dismissed the Buckeyes chances after second-stringer J.T. Barrett took over.
If you’re a Buckeye fan—or hater—naturally you were asking yourself, “who is this J.T. Barrett kid?”
After leading the Buckeyes to a 34-17 win in his first-ever start, Barrett would struggle at home against Virginia Tech in a 35-21 home loss. Right on cure, the anti-Ohio State trolls would pounce on their favorite prey’s setback as if it was proverbial catnip in calling the Buckeyes “overrated” and many other choice words that I will choose to omit from this column.
That being said, the ever-strong hate for Ohio State was in full effect.
After the loss to Tech, the Buckeyes would roll off six straight wins—including a controversial win over Penn State, 31-24 in double overtime—before dispatching of the defending conference champion Michigan State Spartans, 49-37 in East Lansing.
Whether or not this was the game that lit the spark in the Buckeyes, but as per the norm, many didn’t give the Buckeyes much of a chance against the team that pounded Miller and the Buckeyes into submission in last year’s conference title game, 33-23.
After a 31-24 win on the road in blustery conditions in Minneapolis against the Golden Gophers, 31-24, many were still skeptical of Ohio State’s chances of making the first-ever College Playoff following their loss to Virginia Tech. And after losing Barrett in a 42-28 win over archrival Michigan, third-string quarterback Cardale Jones out of long-time pipeline, Glenville High of Cleveland had the enviable chance of beating the second-ranked defense in college football in Wisconsin.
Needless to say, Jones played lights out in Ohio State’s 59-0 romp over Wisconsin, but despite that many “experts’ nationally felt that Baylor or TCU out of the Big 12 deserved to go to the college playoff instead of Ohio State—who would leapfrog the Horned Frogs on the final day.
Thanks to the Buckeyes getting in over the Horned Frogs, the Buckeyes became the most hated football team in the Lone Star State not named the Washington Redskins, as JFK-sized conspiracy theories would spring up as to how and why TCU/Baylor were snubbed in favor of Ohio State.
If you were a Buckeyes fan during this last month and a half, you’d swear that it was like the scarlet and grey that we all wear so proudly was a living and breathing bulls-eye, as fans from TCU, the SEC would chime in over the Buckeyes being not worthy of the No.4 spot. And having to hear infamous Buckeye hater in ESPN “analyst” Mark May vehemently and passionately make his case of any team other than the Buckeyes. In the end, watching May sit in his cushy studio chair and proverbially sweat thru his packed-on makeup, proved to be most rewarding.
Going into the Alabama game, there was the usual pro-SEC/anti-Ohio State talk of the Buckeyes dismal record and Nick Saban being the second coming of God in college football. All week long, Buckeyes fans were subjected to a 24-7 round-the-clock reminder of how great Alabama was and how much more superior that the SEC was courtesy of the conferences paid-for Bristol-based megaphone and perpetual cheerleader in SEC sports—ESECPN
Whatever respect I once had for ESPN, I had lost during Alabama week, as I was subjected to non-stop coverage of Saban’s record vs. Urban Meyer, the blatantly obvious bias towards Ohio State and the sheer amount of hate on social media towards Ohio State, simply based on the smug and condescending arrogance of SEC Nation.
Following the Buckeyes 42-35 win over the Crimson Tide, you could swear that a pin dropped in Bristol and on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line, as ESPN’s own Paul Finebaum stated that the South hadn’t been this depressed since Appomatox.
While some parts of the South still harbor some resentment for the “War Of Northern Agression”, Ohio State’s win over Alabama was seen as more of a liberation of the media-generated hype of SEC supremacy.
If that was the second coming of Appomatox, then Meyer was the second coming of Ulysses S. Grant, with Saban being Robert E. Lee.
Not only did Ohio State proverbially kick the door down, it blew it off the hinges entirely thanks to it’s 6’5, 250-pound quarterback known as 12-Gauge.
Next came the high-flying multi-uniformed–and ever-so-stylish– Ducks from Nike U.—I mean, Oregon—and their Heisman Trophy winning Hawaiian-born quarterback in Marcus Mariota.
One would think that after dispatch the big bad Crimson Tide that most people would want to see the Buckeyes win right? Wrong. Those same people who were still bitter over TCU/Baylor getting snubbed and SEC Nation decided to band together with B1G turncoats to form perhaps the biggest transcontinental coalition ever assembled against one college team.
You had fans from Dallas-Fort Worth and Waco allying with fans from the heart of Dixie, Pac-12 supporters and Big Ten fans from Happy Valley, Ann Arbor and East Lansing just to see Ohio State lose again on the big stage.
Never in my entire lifetime have I seen such a unified and mutual disdain for one college team, but after Ohio State won, this is perhaps the sweetest sports victory of my lifetime, as it silenced the haters and “fans” entirely.
Monday night’s win has never made me more proud to be a family alumnus of the Scarlet and Gray, and a man who bleeds these colors everyday. This is more than just OSU’s eighth title, this is a title that validates the committee’s decision.
This a benediction and vindication of a program and a conference that has FOR YEARS been looked down on, beaten down by the “experts” in the media for being dirty—or most recently running up the score on Oregon with a late touchdown.
Funny how coming into the title game, “fans” of Oregon were talking about how they dropped 59 points on Florida State, are suddenly whining about a late Elliott touchdown in a game where they had four turnovers, yet only managed a field goal and one touchdown.
This from the much-vaunted and “high-scoring offense”—another ESPN-generated myth, that Ohio State dispelled—in burrowing from Stanford, Oregon and Auburn in physically wearing down the much lighter and overly-matched Ducks all night long.
If you’re a fan of Ohio State, you thought Oregon were supposed to be SO MUCH faster than the MUCH SLOWER Buckeyes from the inferior Big ten, right?
Perception didn’t equal reality for Oregon on Monday.
And for those crying about Meyer running up the score on Oregon late, please see the results of the Ducks 2014-15 season, look in the mirror and move along.
FYI: the complimentary butt-hurt cream is in the mail via FedEx, and a trip on the wahbulance has already been booked for you.
As Kirk Herbstreit stated in the Rose Bowl, can we dispel the notion of OSU not being able to win the big game against quality teams? Ohio State beat three ranked teams in a row in 13th-ranked Wisconsin, top-ranked Alabama and second-ranked Oregon with a third-string quarterback in Jones.
Lost in all of this is the tragic death of Kostas Karageorge, which would only unite the team and fans, most evidenced by defensive tackle Michael Bennett wearing his No.53 in his honor. As I stated before, no one outside of Ohio gave the Buckeyes a shot–let alone a prayer–all year, but the football gods finally decided to smile on Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes once more.
In emerging victorious, the Buckeyes blocked out the negativity of the Mark May’s, haters, trolls and UO bandwagon “fans” by playing traditional B1G 10 smash mouth power football.
At the end of the day, the once much-maligned Buckeyes and one-time punching bag of the national media by the likes of #ESECPN and jealous B1G fans will now have to face and deal with the reality that the Scarlet and Gray stand on top of college football once more, and won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon thanks to a stacked team set to return the likes of Ezekiel Elliott and Joey Bosa.
James Franco from “The Interview” says it best in the video below, which represents how all in Buckeye Nation truly feel about haters.