That fucking celebration.
I woke up the day of the Michigan State game to unreal news: my roommate had secured two tickets to the game. I had already committed to go to the Michigan game the following week, and I figured the only other question I needed to answer was whether or not I wanted to join the Buckeyes in the B1G Championship game, then the Orange Bowl, then of course the National Championship.
...Or not. With one field goal the season was essentially over. I don't want to rehash what happened out on the field that day, but good god it was awful to watch. I will always remember the 6x Uber charge following that game, and the four mile walk back to my apartment from the horseshoe after deciding that was too much. A day that started with such hope and promise ended in a sobering two hour walk home through rainy Columbus.
I made a pledge when Ohio State won the national championship that I would not complain about anything related to Ohio State football for five years. It's a rule that Bill Simmons created back in the days when he used to actually write. I've tried my hardest to abide by it, and I'm really hoping this article is going to help.
What if Michael Geiger missed that kick?
Ohio State Michigan State finishes regulation locked in a 14-14 tie, the Buckeyes go on to win 36-28 in Triple OT
At the coin toss, a poised J.T Barrett smirks, CALLS HEADS, and wins the toss. Barrett proceeds to pull out his inner Matt Hasselback and boldly proclaims to the officiating crew and Michigan State team captains that, "We want the ball, and we're going to score." The rest of the conversation is lost as the Ohio State crowd roars in deafening approval. The stadium is literally shaking.
Ohio State gets the ball and on the first snap Barrett fumbles the snap and takes a two yard loss. Urban Meyer flings his headset further than he did against Alabama, and orders offensive coordinator Ed Warinner to go coach from the press box right then and there. What follows is an epic three overtime affair that is highlighted by an absurd 20 consecutive rushes by running back Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke's 77 extra yards in overtime extend his 100 yard game streak to 15, and Elliott is firmly in the thick of the Heisman race.
The Spartans, down to the Ohio State one yard line and facing 4th down, sub in Connor Cook to hopefully push the game to a fourth overtime. Cook takes the snap under center, but his desperation pass falls incomplete as he is flung to the ground almost immediately by a blitzing Darron Lee. The play is reminiscent of when Ken Dorsey got flung to the ground by Cie Grant, and Land-Grant Holy Land runs an awesome post pointing this out which gets a ton of #likes.
Ohio State Travels to Michigan, wins 42-13
And there is not one difference that occurs the entire game, because I don't know how that game could have been any more satisfying.
Prior to the B1G Championship Game, Barrett throws his arm out after a reporter referenced his 'weenie arm' again
Barrett explains that he is so sick and tired of hearing about his weenie arm that he challenges backup quarterback Cardale Jones to a deep ball challenge right then and there. Jones promptly launches an 80 yard bomb, and Barrett unfortunately strains his rotator cuff in the heat of the moment. While the injury will not require surgery, Barrett will be unable to throw until February and is thus out for the rest of the season.
Ohio State inexplicably falls behind Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Notre Dame in the playoff committee rankings
Despite an undefeated record, the committee decides that these four teams have a better "body of work" than the Buckeyes. ESPN and other networks consistently show Cardale Jones struggling to hit open receivers against the likes of Hawaii and Western Michigan, and Vegas opens up the B1G Championship with Iowa as 4.5 point favorites.
Ohio State Defeats Iowa 59-0 in the B1G Championship
Cardale Jones is named MVP thanks to his new found ability to not under throw deep balls. Jalin Marshall, Mike Thomas and Braxton Miller combine for over 300 receiving yards and four touchdowns, but there's only one moment that everyone talks about from this game.
Up 31-0, the first half could not be going any better for the Buckeyes. After a desperate Iowa deep ball is picked off by Tyvis Powell at the Buckeyes 15 yard line, there are just 10 seconds left in the half. Satisfied with his 31 point lead, Urban Meyer calls for a simple inside hand-off to Elliott...which he promptly busts for an 85 yard touchdown. Elliott, upon reaching the end-zone, hikes his jersey up to his preferred crop top length, and strikes the Heisman pose.
Eleven Warriors comes out with a new t-shirt called "85 yards through the heart of America" with a picture of Elliott doing the Heisman pose. They sell out within minutes.
The Playoff Committee names Ohio State the 4th seed even after Notre Dame beats Stanford
Notre Dame fans still have Ohio State to blame for the end of their season. Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma are the first three seeds in that order, and ESPN begins to salivate at the thought of an Ohio State-Alabama rematch.
Ezekiel Elliot wins the Heisman over Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson.
Elliott makes headlines after cutting off the bottom half of his tuxedo on live television. No one seems to mind. Elliot wins the Heisman, and his victory speech is nothing more than him "salmoning" for five minutes until the screen goes to black.
Ohio State beats Clemson in the Orange Bowl
Jones regains his "haunted downhill shopping cart" style of running at the perfect time, and Ohio State squeaks by Clemson 31-28. Joey Bosa records his second straight game with five sacks, pushing him to just one sack shy of Mike Vrabel's Ohio State record of 36 sacks.
Ohio State is down four with under a minute left, but Mike Thomas becomes the first known human to successfully run a double stop and go, breaking both the corner and safeties ankles on his way to a wide open 60 yard game winning touchdown. If you're having trouble imagining this, think about both the corner and safety doing this:
Alabama beats Oklahoma convincingly, setting up the Ohio State-Alabama rematch that so many predicted before the season started.
Ohio State defeats Alabama behind the arm of Braxton Miller after Cardale Jones and Tyvis Powell inexplicably get lost in downtown Phoenix following a way too intense game of hide and seek
Before the game Meyer insists to sideline reporter Erin Andrews that this year's version of Braxton Miller is still unable to throw...until a smirk crosses Meyer's face and Braxton Miller exits the locker room...wearing number five.
Miller's escape ability, combined with another vintage Elliott performance, propels Ohio State to another 42-35 win over Alabama. On the last play of the game Alabama has one last shot at a Hail Mary, but a miscommunication at the line of scrimmage between the Alabama offensive line leaves running back Derrick Henry matched up one on one against Bosa. Henry winds up on his back along with Alabama quarterback Jake Coker, and Bosa can't help but shrug his way into the Ohio State record books as the Buckeyes' all-time leader in sacks.
So yeah, one missed kick could have potentially led to another third string quarterback leading the Buckeyes to the national championship. Also another Buckeyes running back winning the Heisman in a year ending in five. Plus another B1G title. Don't forget the two more playoff victories! And of course Urban Meyer's first ever undefeated national championship season. Sound crazy? It shouldn't, because it's basically everything we predicted just five short months ago.