… and now we live in a world where the champion’s only loss was to a, somehow, 7-6 Virginia Tech team that partook in a game where zero points were scored in regulation by either team.
But that would be petty and considered “living in the past”, right?
Yes and no… that Virginia Tech team went 5-6 after their early season win at the Horseshoe, including the bowl game victory. The Hokies most famed defeated came against Wake Forest, a team winless in the conference. The game miraculously finished 6-3 double-overtime, but was tied at 0-0.
Although that’s not whole story and it surely isn’t the reason why people were “haters” of Ohio State or the Big 10 this year.
Look at the conference: The gulf in class between top teams—Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin—and the rest of the Big 10 was too horrific, which forced people to question the true might of the top trio. Note: Wisconsin lost to LSU 28-24 and Michigan State lost to Oregon 46-27. Both claimed season-ending redemption in bowl games, albeit other competition, against Auburn and Baylor, respectively.
It was intriguing that Cardale Jones found it necessary to speak out against the so-called “haters” after their win over Oregon. After his performance in the Big 10 championship, the Sugar Bowl and National Championship, he didn’t have any haters. When the question is, “Should he go pro after just three games?”, you’ve validated your skill. At 6-5, 250lbs. Jones showed speed, pocket presence and a cannon arm that resembles the likes of Ben Roethlisberger. Not a like-for-like comparison in every instance, but similar builds.
All I gotta say is…….. Hi Haters 👋
— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) January 13, 2015
By extension, a lot of people were already picking the Buckeyes because of Jones and Ezekiel Elliot, and the team had a top-20 defence (#15), giving up an average of 328 yards per game. Also, the Ducks were without a handful of key players – some through injury and others through stupidity.
In the National Championship game, Oregon only put up 20 points, which was 1.2 points below the season average that Ohio State allowed.
Quite frankly, the Buckeyes never looked like a team that was going to lose on Monday, even when they went down 7-0 after Oregon’s opening drive. The ball game could’ve been called when Dwayne Stanford dropped that wide-open 3rd down pass. Ohio State would go on to hold Oregon 2-for-12 on 3rd down; 0-for-2 on 4th down. The Buckeyes were 3-for-3 on 4th down, including a time where the QB sneak was thwarted at the line and Jones cleverly brought the ball to the outside and dove for the 1st down.
So, does Ohio States’ win signal that the Big 10 is back?
No. Ohio State just showed they were a class above and, now, are frontrunners to dominate the Big 10 again. The potential of having all three outstanding quarterbacks returning to campus in 2015 only magnifies the current divide in the Big 10. Regardless of who is under centre, the Buckeyes will be loaded and defensive coordinators will be crying over how to stop Elliot, who rushed for 696 yards and total of eight touchdowns in a three-game span.
Roll on year two of the College Football Playoff.