Roughly two weeks after the original report from Andrew Lind that Ohio State would be wearing their black out uniforms next Saturday against Nebraska, and after teasing it earlier this week, Ohio State has made it official. For the first time since the 2015 matchup against Penn State (which the Buckeyes won 38-10), Ohio State will be donning the all-black alternative uniforms.
These are, essentially, the same uniforms as they were in 2015. The only difference comes down to the Nike template they’re using. Nike’s newest template is the “Vapor Untouchable” style, while the 2015 editions came via the “Mach Speed” templates.
While I’m personally a big fan of the black out uniforms, and themed crowd stuff in general, this game is scheduled for 12 noon ET. If this was a night game, I’d be all in on the black uniforms. However, wearing them during the day? It just feels a little silly.
“The college football season doesn’t really start until either Alabama or Ohio State loses for the first time. Interest in the sport immediately spikes and remains at a higher level for the next few weeks, as everyone realizes once again that just about anyone can lose on just about any Saturday.”
It’s strange to think about, but there really is a lot of truth to this thesis, and an interesting amount of history behind it. Since Urban Meyer’s hire in 2012, Ohio State and Alabama have been in an unbalanced (because Alabama is still quite a bit ahead) battle for power in college football.
Even though the two teams have only faced off once, in the 2014-15 College Football Playoff, it feels like they’re pretty closely connected. Each school is always watching the other from afar, seeing what the latest development is, and more often than not, questioning if what “we” have is capable of beating what “they” have.
Beyond that, Ohio State and Alabama have gotten into a bit of a habit of losing at some point in the season, only to come back stronger than ever, before tearing through the rest of their schedule, sometimes on the way to a title. Ohio State got their chance in 2014, losing to Virginia Tech, before eventually surging to win a National Championship. Since then, it’s been all Alabama.
The Tide lost to Ole Miss in 2015 before going on to win the national title. The two took a break in 2016, as both fell to an outstanding Clemson team (two very different losses, obviously, but still losses all the same). Last season, both teams lost to solid ranked teams (Oklahoma and Auburn), but only one was able to recover and, well, not lose to Iowa by 31 on the way to another title.
“Ohio State doesn’t need to make Day its next coach after Meyer, and it doesn’t necessarily need to promise him the job in 2019. It’s one of the best jobs in the country and would draw interest from the best available candidates.”
What is going on at Ohio State? It’s been the talk of the town, and of a lot of national college football coverage since Saturday. For good reason, too, because the Buckeyes were dominated by Purdue to the tune of a 29-point loss, one of the worst in school history (don’t step to me with any Woody Hayes losses, nothing that happened before the 1980s matters now).
That loss brought to light the question that some of us have been asking for several months now. Is Ohio State being held back by Urban Meyer? Would the Buckeyes be better off with someone like Ryan Day at head coach, rather than the admittedly legendary Meyer? It’s a really tricky question to answer without angering just about everyone, and I think Alex does a good job of looking at the very real possibility that Ohio State has a new head coach next season.
Now obviously, Ohio State can’t fire a coach with a 77-9 record in his seven seasons in Columbus. The message that would send to prospective coaches would be one of extremely high, unreachable expectations, and it would likely drive away quite a few candidates. That isn’t the question though. This is not about Ohio State firing Urban Meyer. If they wanted to do that, they could’ve done it in August.
What it is about, is Meyer’s performance as a coach at Ohio State right now. Not his performance from 2012-2014, when he racked up a good chunk of those wins. This is about Ohio State getting crushed in each of their last four losses, to Clemson by 31, Oklahoma by 15, Iowa by 31, and Purdue by 29. Obviously Clemson and Oklahoma were great teams, but the Iowa and Purdue losses are extremely concerning.
With massive losses to mediocre teams seemingly becoming a trend, and Meyer looking consistently more stressed out on the sideline, I think questions about his performance, his recent hires of close friends and family, and his recruiting struggles are more than fair; they’re necessary.
Buckeyes in the NFL
Last night’s NFL game between the Dolphins and Texans was one of the least Ohio State affiliated of the entire season. The Texans, since cutting Braxton Miller, are completely without Buckeye representation, while the Dolphins have just a duo of linebackers in Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker.
While the Dolphins lost big time, it was still a good game for those two. McMillan led his team with nine tackles, and Baker added six, though only one was a solo. Both players have shown steady improvement this season under Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke, and seem to be well on their way to long NFL careers.
Buckeyes in the NBA
It’s been a solid start to the season for Ohio State’s basketball alumni. Of the five former Buckeyes in the NBA (Mike Conley, Evan Turner, D’Angelo Russell, Kosta Koufas, and Keita Bates-Diop), three have seen playing time during this young season, with Mike Conley averaging nearly 20 points a game (5.75 APG, 4.75 RPG) for the Grizzlies, Russell at 13 (6.5 APG, 3.5 RPG) for the Nets, and Turner adding nearly ten a game (5.25 APG, 3.5 RPG) for the Trail Blazers.
Bates-Diop and Koufas have yet to see the court this year, but it feels like a debut is coming soon, at least for KBD (#FreeKBD)