Coach Urban Meyer is hard at work preparing for 2013. What will it take for Ohio State to compete against the SEC?
Certain movie scenes are burned into the collective memories of the American public. Think about the top movies throughout the years, and I am guessing you will be able to quickly remember specific scenes.
What do movie scenes have to do with college football, you might be asking?
Based on the recent 2013 BCS Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame, it reminded me of this scene from "The Green Mile". It truly seemed as though college football fans were being subjected to witness some form of cruel and unusual punishment.
It is difficult to find the appropriate adjectives to describe the BCS Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Domination? Obliteration? Annihilation?
Visions of the 2002 national championship game between Miami (FL) and Nebraska, as well as the 2005 national championship game between USC and Oklahoma, were running through my mind as I watched Alabama defeat Notre Dame, 42-14. In all three games, one team looked completely superior to the other to the point of embarrassment.
2002: Miami (FL) 37, Nebraska 14.
2005: USC 55, Oklahoma 19
2013: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14
Yes, it is very easy for an Ohio State fan to write an article, ignoring or conveniently forgetting how Ohio State was embarrassed on the national stage in both the 2007 and 2008 national championship games. While Ohio State was soundly defeated by Florida (41-14) and LSU (38-24) in the BCS Championship Games, it is important to remember that Ohio State actually led in both of those contests. Ohio State, for a brief period, was seemingly competitive. Nebraska in 2002, Oklahoma in 2005, and Notre Dame the other evening were never threatening to their opponents.
The idea of the SEC remaining dominant throughout the remainder of this decade is certainly possible. Alabama head coach Nick Saban truly has assembled an assembly-line of superior talent. While players such as Trent Richardson leave for the NFL, an incoming freshman such as T.J. Yeldon arrive, and the football team seemingly does not miss a beat at all.
And then I thought of this small scene from the movie "Miracle", and how it could possibly apply to Ohio State football under Urban Meyer for 2013 and beyond:
Substitute the words "Eastern-bloc" with "SEC". Obviously, we are talking about football, not hockey.
Watch that clip, and think about how Coach Meyer is focusing on developing Ohio State into a program that can not only dominate within The Big Ten, but can play toe to toe with any of the top programs in the SEC.
Within that clip, you will hear the actor Kurt Russell make the statement, "My goal is to beat 'em, at their own game."
And that is why, despite the relative carnage and wanton destruction I was witnessing on my television set (as well as the occasional Brent Musberger leerings at Katherine Webb), my thoughts went to that specific movie clip, and I thought of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Another line in that clip..."Beat the best team in the world. Gold medalists in '64, '68, '72, and '76. Pretty loft goal, Herb."
The response? "That's why I want to pursue it.".
And I believe Coach Meyer is following the same mindset as he tries to build the Buckeyes, to compete against the best in college football today.