Look, if you’re reading this article on a pretty niche Ohio State sports blog, I am going to assume that you are in the green portion of the population represented in the graph below. Therefore, you might be an idiot (like us!), but not specifically for your answer to this particular question. So, feel free to internalize this rant at whatever level you feel is appropriate to your specific level of idiocy.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS ARE IDIOTS!
There, I said it. We are all blinded by oddly personal emotions and regional loyalties that fail to withstand the scrutiny of even the flimsiest of logical investigations. For far too many of us, college football fandom replaces having an actual personality, and that’s not healthy.
Case in point, the latest results from SB Nation Reacts. This week, they asked their legion of college football fans around the world whether or not Big Ten teams should have been ranked before the conference’s delayed season officially starts this weekend. And, to my eternal dismay, 63% of them said that Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, et al. did not yet deserve to be ranked.
SIXTY-THREE FLIPPING PERCENT! That’s like if you were sitting around with two of your friends, and someone said, “Raise your hand if you have zero critical thinking skills and your feeble little brain is guided solely by an intense hatred that you have no logical explanation for,” and your two friends both raised their hands!
There is no way to rationalize this as anything other than pure B1G hatred. Perhaps that is borne of how the conference mishandled the cancelation of the season and the painfully slow return of football, or perhaps it is simply a disdain for Midwesterners. If it’s the former, I mean, I kind of get it. But, if it’s the latter, what is your problem, rest of the country? Have you ever been to the Midwest? We are lovely, kind people. We say “please” and “thank you,” and hold the door for you when we are leaving the gas station. What’s not to like?
Of course, it could also be the B1G’s reputation of being aloof and not even attempting to hide their sometimes crippling superiority complex, but even that doesn’t explain how nearly 2⁄3 of respondents could answer this question so brain-deadly.
Now, I have no problem if someone wants to make an argument that preseason polls should be outright banned. Hell, since they have no real impact on anything in the college football world anymore, I’d be fine if the AP and Coaches Polls simply ceased to exist completely.
But, short of going to that extreme, there is no reason to say that teams that are, in fact, going to be playing this season should be prohibited from being included in the poll until they play. If the B1G hadn’t announced a return to play, then sure, of course, keep the conference’s teams out. But, once Kevin Warren and the university presidents announced the reversal, isn’t it the polls’ job to present an educated evaluation of where the teams stack up?
And I know, all of you 63-percenters are saying, “But how can we know how to evaluate teams who haven’t played yet?”
Welp, I don’t know, Cletus, it sure seems like voters can figure it out for preseason polls, and I don’t see you up in arms over that.
“But it isn’t fair that some teams have played games while other teams haven’t. They should have to wait until they play to be ranked.”
Ok, so you’re telling me that you didn’t want Alabama ranked until after Week 4 of this season, since they started a month after other teams did? Or, better yet, in 2019, you wanted the rankings after the first week of play to be No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Hawai’i, No. 3 Miami, and No. 4 Arizona, and then Nos. 5-25 blank, because those were the only teams that played in Week 0?
Get out of here with that weak ass bologna. This is nothing but pure, unadulterated B1Gotry. Yeah, I said it (and I’ll probably live to regret using that term), but come on, two-thirds of y’all are just being dumb, and frankly, I am as embarrassed for you as I am disappointed in you.
Do better, college football fans. We’ve got enough idiocy to deal with this year, we don’t need 63% of you making things worse. Of course, if you are part of the 37% and you want to help balance out the national stupidity, you can sign up here to shares your thoughts on college football and the Buckeyes in the weekly questionnaires.
The one bright side of this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey is that about 42% of folks had the Buckeyes higher than Georgia, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State. However, in this case, my beef isn’t with the people answering the question, my beef is with the people asking it.
Why are we automatically giving ‘Bama the second spot? They allowed 48 points to Ole Miss two weeks ago? Ohio State was No. 2 in both preseason polls, and despite the fact that it appears that the SEC no longer knows how to play defense, Nick Saban and his team are automatically jumping over OSU?
Now, I get that they just beat UGA, so that probably should give them enough juice to jump the Buckeyes, but the issue to me is less that Alabama is ahead of Ohio State, but rather that people are acting like there is some monumental chasm between them; like OSU is just another contender in a chase group that consists of one-loss Georgia, Notre Dame who only managed 12 against Louisville, and Oklahoma State who — no offense — plays in the Big 12.
If you wanted to ask who should be No. 4 behind Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State, I’d give you that. But this unabashed Buckeye erasure is infuriating and I hope that Ryan Day and his coaching staff are mining every last bit of it to use as motivation to get their team primed and ready to demolish anyone and everyone in their path this season.
Finally, before I go and try to reenter some semblance of sanity, the final question — exclusive for Buckeye fans — on this week’s survey is whether or not people feel confident in the direction that the Ohio State program is headed. And while it is still, somehow, not at 100%, it did tick up to 97%. So, that’s good. But, in my last perplexed, virtual scream of this column, I will simply say, “WHO ARE THE 3% OF YOU THAT DON’T LIKE WHERE THIS PROGRAM IS HEADED?”
After some unexpected start and stops, I am back to posting a column every single day from preseason camp until whenever Ohio State’s football season ends. Some days they will be longer and in depth, some days they will be short and sweet. Let me know what you think of this one, and what you’d like to see me discuss in the comments or on Twitter. Go Bucks!