Ohio State football: Complacency not a problem for the Buckeyes

Kirk Irwin

Mistakes against the Buffalo Bulls last Saturday will help the coaching staff keep the Buckeyes focused going forward.

Good is the enemy of great, according to business author Jim Collins, and his philosophy is echoed by leaders everywhere, from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, to my daughter's high school band director. Good is the enemy of great when "good" breeds complacence. The Buckeyes did some things well against the Buffalo Bulls--and they did other things just poorly enough to keep their focus in the right place as they prepare to take on San Diego State.

We all remember that the Buckeyes had some uneven performances along their way to a perfect record last season (like, I dunno, maybe this one), and perhaps it helped them remain undefeated. After all, Ohio State was rarely strong enough last season to simply coast through much of anything.  Urban Meyer rarely seems satisfied regardless of how well his team performs. He does not simply tolerate "good," or allow it to interfere with "great."

Meyer said in Monday's press conference that complacency from the Buckeyes isn't going to be a factor after Saturday's win over Buffalo, even though Ohio State did win by 20, and San Diego State is coming off of a 21-point loss to an FCS opponent, Eastern Illinois University. Many teams would just assume that a win is forthcoming against the Aztecs on Saturday, and other coaches might allow their teams to hold that assumption. Not Urban Meyer.

For a team with a current 13-game winning streak, favored to win every game on their schedule, some focus and perspective is imperative if the Buckeyes want to duplicate their 2012 success. There will be no resting on their laurels for the Buckeyes this week, no looking past the San Diego State Aztecs. Everyone at every level of the organization--from Urban Meyer to the players to the trainers--is held accountable for things that weren't up to this team's standards against Buffalo.

Urban Meyer is well-known to be a perfectionist, and extremely competitive, and Ohio State's schedule supports the possibility of another undefeated season in 2013, but complacency could derail the whole thing. Meyer sees the mistakes committed by his team against the Buffalo Bulls as, "...a great opportunity for us to coach them hard and get better (today) and Wednesday."

Could Ohio State beat San Diego State if they are merely good? Well....probably, especially if the Aztecs can't get healthy, or are as cavalier with the football as they were against EIU. Could they win most of the games on their schedule by being just good? That's probably true too, especially if the lower half of the Big Ten struggles like they did last season. Ohio State's goals for this season extend beyond just being good. Being good gets you a bowl game in Tampa and a noon kickoff. This team wants to be great, and they have the potential to get there. That requires attention to all the details, and regular, consistent, execution.

Being great means winning the turnover battle. It means converting that 4th and short to extend a potentially backbreaking drive. Being great means not allowing any pick 6s, no matter how great the linebacker is. Being great means tackling well in the open field, sustaining blocks for both pass protection and to open holes, and in staying on schedule on offense and defense. Ohio State didn't meet every threshold for being great against Buffalo. It doesn't mean they were bad, no matter what any overzealous AP voter or frantic sports radio caller might say. But they weren't great. You need to be great to win a title.

Meyer will expect this team to be less good and more great against the San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday, but he likely won't be satisfied even if they do, and that's the best case scenario for the Buckeyes.

Matt Brown contributed to this report.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Land-Grant Holy Land

You must be a member of Land-Grant Holy Land to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Land-Grant Holy Land. You should read them.

Join Land-Grant Holy Land

You must be a member of Land-Grant Holy Land to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Land-Grant Holy Land. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker