Coming in to the 2012 season, one of the things that drove me nuts was the '12-0 AP National Champions' mantra by the birther/truther wing of the fanbase. I loved the Matt McGloin-ish moxie, but I thought that we were putting far too much pressure on an Ohio State team that was one season removed from 6-7.
Yeah, to hell with all that. 12-0 AP NASH'NUL CHAMPEENS PAAAAAAAWWWWWWLLLLLLL. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Saturday was one of the most satisfying wins I've had as a Buckeye fan, and with the way things shook out on Saturday, OSU now has a realistic shot at being #1 in the AP poll.
Did I mention I can't stand Gene Smith? I did?
As Urban Meyer would say, the great thing about being 11-0 is a chance to be 12-0, especially with that 12th win against Michigan. But before we get to them, let's talk about what a great win Ohio State had against the Badgers. Because after this win, and another half dozen or so that could've gone either way, the Buckeyes are living a semi-charmed kind of life, are they not Mr. Third Eye Blind?
I want something else
To get me through this
Semi-charmed kind of life
I want something else
I'm not listening when you say
Your 11-0, 'something else' (Michigan) week SMR follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
John Simon, DE: Great players rise to the occasion in big games. Simon did that on Saturday, registering four sacks and being a disruptive force on the line all day long. Simon is going out with a bang, and will be playing on Sundays come next September. It's sad to see him move on, but he has been the epitome of a Buckeye, especially over these last two seasons.
Philly Brown, WR/PR: Two years ago, Wisconsin ended Ohio State's national title dreams on essentially the first play of the game by returning the opening kickoff for a TD. On Saturday, Philly Brown kept OSU's slim shot at half a national title alive by returning a first quarter punt 68 yards, right up the gut for a TD. He was also OSU's leading receiver, catching 4 passes for 48 yards.
Carlos Hyde, RB: One of the maddening things was the fact that Carlos Hyde wasn't fed the ball more. He only had 14 carries on the game, but did have 87 yards and 2 TD's, including the game winner in overtime. As strong as he was running when he did get the ball, you wonder what he would've done if he had gotten 25 or 30 carries, and whether the game would have even gotten to overtime in the first place.
Ryan Damn Shazier, LB: Shazier had the play of the game, forcing Montee Ball to fumble on the one. That play kept Wisconsin out of the end zone, and for the moment, changed the entire dynamic of the contest. That's to say nothing of his super human recovery from a collision that would've given basically any lesser man a concussion or at the very least sidelined them for the rest of the game. Ryan Damn Shazier.
No one: When you move to 11-0 and win the Leaders division outright, that takes a team effort, and no one is deserving of being called a junk bond. Well done, ringbearers. Well done.
Buy: Leaders Division Champions. This was a longshot at the beginning of the season. Out of the gate, OSU looked to be the second best team in the division, and maybe the third or fourth best team in the conference. But Saturday, the Buckeyes rose above everyone, and are now one of two unbeaten teams left in major college football.
Sell: AP National Champions. All of that said, I still think that getting to and staying number 1 in the AP poll is a bridge too far. Notre Dame is still undefeated and eligible for the BCS title game, and with the loss of Oregon and Kansas State, the undead that is the SEC will surely rise again. A lot of things need to fall into place, the main thing being...
Buy: Beat Michigan. We have waited a year for this. Last year was a heartbreaking loss and a fall to 6-6, but we got Urban Meyer out of it. I think we'd take that deal 20 times out of 7. I know I would, and now, this is where the Urban Meyer hire gets put to the ultimate test.
Sell: Losing To Michigan. No one wants that, least of all Meyer. Too much is riding on this – undefeated season, inaugural game against UM for Meyer, and seniors like John Simon playing their last game ever as a Buckeye. It all comes down to this.
We're going to have a ton of coverage this week leading up to The Game, and I'm glad we could kind of sort of kick it off with this article.
It's Michigan week, kids. We can sleep when we're dead and losing is not an option.
Go Bucks. Beat That Team Up North.