With Halloween less than 24 hours away, it somehow seems fitting that the now third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are back from the proverbial College Football Playoff dead.
Maligned after losses to Clemson and Oklahoma, many considered Ohio State overrated and undeserving of the final playoff slot over conference champion Penn State—whom they lost 24-21 too in Happy Valley. They were called “overrated” and “undeserving”. And after their embarrassing shutout loss to the Tigers, as well as a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, many critics wanted to continue the narrative of the Buckeyes being that.
Somehow, someway, things always tend to break in the Buckeyes favor. Like Dracula, just as they to be down, they always find a way to resurrect themselves from the dead.
Just when you count them out, Ohio State seems to find a way to prove you wrong. When you dismiss them and their schedule, their cupcake wins, their big-game losses, head coach Urban Meyer is a master manipulator in turning the slightest sleight into a motivational tool.
What people forget about Ohio State is that they are two years removed from the school’s eighth claimed national title, and have beaten top-tier programs such as Alabama, Oregon, Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan and Michigan State.
Prior to their epic 39-38 comeback thriller against Penn State, many had already preordained the Lions as the new masters of the Big Ten, and that Ohio State would be the proverbial icing on Penn State’s revenge tour.
Many had Lions uber-tailback Saquon Barkley cementing his Heisman with a game of the ages.
Clearly, Ohio State didn’t get the Barkley-Heisman memo, as they held the so-called Heisman front-runner to 44 yards, including eight in the entire second half. Something about Ohio State facing Heisman hopefuls that seems to get them up for big moments.
Melvin Gordon. Marcus Mariota. Amari Cooper all felt the wrath of the Scarlet and Gray. Add Barkley’s name to the list of the sullied victims of the gray-wolf clad Buckeyes on a frosty and cold fall evening in The Horseshoe.
And in dramatic and eerily fashion, the Buckeyes not only vanquished the Lions, but now have a new and more motivated thirst for unfinished business.
Because like Jason, the Buckeyes are back, and are as feared and formidable as ever.