WARNING: The following contains adult language and situations. Reader discretion is advised.
When I look back on the last two years, even 20 years from now, I'm going to have a hard time getting angry. Yeah, I'll wonder what if – what if OSU wasn't under a bowl ban last year, won the Big Ten championship, and faced Notre Dame? What if they had managed to beat MSU? – but I'm still going to look back at the 24 game winning streak with awe, especially when we realize that it's something we probably won't see again anytime soon.
Yet, as Jeremy Langford broke free to clinch the Big Ten championship for Sparty, things that have been crystallizing over the last two seasons became clear, and it became obvious that the status quo isn't satisfactory.
When I was back in special ops (Oh Jeeeeeeesus, heeeeere we go) we did a lot of complicated stuff. Lots of moving parts, lots of things (literally) flying around, so when we went into planning, before we went and flew we did what's called a sand table rehearsal or walk through. The sand table walk through was critical, and what we did was literally lay out the entire objective, flight routes in and out – everything – on a big-ass floor. We put down duct tape marking the flight routes, and we would literally walk through the mission.
For example, if I was the aircraft commander for a helicopter, I would stand up in front of everyone, and say 'I'm the A/C for Cowboy 19. I'm going to take off from FOB Cobra on green route at 0330Z. I'm going to land at LZ Frankenstein at 0350, heading 175." then the guy in charge of the door kickers would stand up and say, "I'm so and so, and we're getting on Cowboy 19." And so on, and so on, until we completely waked through the entire mission from initial take off to final landing, any contingencies, and any possible backup plans (what happens if an aircraft went down on the objective or en route, what happened if somebody broke, what happened if somebody got ambushed, blah blah blah).
So this one time we were doing this one op at this one place, and about 45 minutes before we had rehearsal, everything got changed. Times, objectives, what units were getting on what aircraft and when, all of it. So when we get to the rehearsal, everything was a hot mess. So you've got 100 or so special operators – aircrews and door kickers – running around like a high school kid with a hard on and no date trying to figure stuff out and get a workable plan together.
We sort it out the best we can, and get to the sand table. The first guy grabs his info and says something like "I'm so and so, and I'm Cowboy 15. I'm departing FOB Cobra at...
...0200...no wait, 0230 now...on green route, to LZ Winchester, heading 140. No, wait, heading 165 now."
"Yes, heading 165."
Then the door kicker stand up, and pretty much stumbles through what he's supposed to do. I can't emphasize how abnormal this is for the rehearsal; you need to know what you're going to do, almost from memory, and know it cold. If you don't, people literally could get killed. But this sand table is a kabuki dick dance, and after about three minutes, and a lot more hemming and hawing, all of a sudden from the back of the room we hear,
"EEEEVERYBODY STOP RIGHT NOW!!!!"
Well, okay then. Standing in the middle of everyone is a guy right out of Hollywood central casting. A big, barrel chested sonofabitch who you knew immediately and without question was the HMFIC.
"Men, your leadership has FAILED you. We gave you a plan, and then WE fucked it up. So what we are going to do is fix this. Rangers, we are going to un-ass the AO, and we are going to UNFUCK OUR SHIT, HOOAH?"
75 US Army Rangers, immediately and without fail replied in unison:
"I need so and so, so and so, and so and so. We will find a room, we WILL unfuck this, and we WILL give you a workable plan to go kill the enemies of America within the hour. New brief time is 60 minutes from now. Dismissed."
They went back, got everything figured out, and we had a pretty good sand table walk through. The actual mission was kind of a shit show, but, like Murphy always say, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. But no one got killed, the mission was accomplished, and we all lived to fight another day.
I tell you this story to tell you that this applies, in many ways, to the 2013 Ohio State defense.
There's no doubt that there are talented players on defense. There is a talented staff coaching them. yet, something isn't right. It's time for someone to step up, gather everyone in a room, and get them all on the same sheet of music.
To put it bluntly, it's time for the Buckeye defense to unfuck their shit.