So, for a couple of years SB Nation did this thing called FanPulse, and last summer they started rolling it out for the college blogs. Each week, they send out questions to fans who have signed up about college football (and basketball) at large, and specifically how you are feeling about the team that you support.
This year, the program has been rebranded as SB Nation Reacts, but the concept remains the same, and you can sign up here to shares your thoughts on college football and the Buckeyes. Now that we are within shouting distance of the season, we will again be bringing you those results on a weekly basis.
While normally it will be a pretty straight-forward story, this week, I’m going to have to go off a little bit. I understand why 20-25% of people voted the way that they did in the first two weeks when a fall season wasn’t guaranteed (although I still think it is silly), but who amongst the great Buckeye Nation community isn’t confident in the direction that Ryan Day is leading the program?
In Week 3 everybody who responded thought things were going well. Now there’s a group of Ohio State fans who don’t think the team is heading in the right direction.
Admittedly, it’s a small group, but what more do you want from the Buckeyes? They are one of the favorites to win the College Football Playoff, they currently have the second-rated recruiting class (behind Alabama by 0.08 points), and more than a handful of early round NFL Draft picks decided that they would prefer to come back to school for a chance at a title, rather than opting out to prepare for the pros.
I don’t like getting worked up over a crazy 3% in an unscientific, internet poll — I’ll leave that to political Twitter — but as the person who mostly handles the LGHL Twitter account, I’m well acquainted with that 3%.
The Buckeyes are up 28 in the third quarter, and these folks get mad that Day pulls Justin Fields because it hurts his Heisman chances.
Pete Werner has 12 tackles and three pass breakups, and these guys (always guys) still say that he’s an unathletic bum.
Chris Olave catches six balls for 117 yards and a touchdown, and these dudes complain that he’s not as big of a playmaker as Ted Ginn Jr.
The second and/or third team defense gives up 17 points in garbage time, and these experts spout off about how OSU’s defense is destined for mediocrity when the current crop of starters heads to the NFL.
Now look, I get it. You don’t want to get caught up in being an over-the-top fanboy; hell, that’s LGHL’s entire brand. But, may I make a suggestion for this season? Stop it.
It was just 18 days ago when we didn’t think that we would have any OSU games to watch this fall. While there’s no guarantee that this season will play out the way that we all hope that it does, just the fact that there is a season (and the possibility of the Buckeyes ending it hoisting that underwhelming trophy above their heads) should be enough to celebrate.
Obviously we here at LGHL are going to do our best to give you our patent-pending blend of drunken cheerleading, sober analysis, and obnoxious sarcasm, but I encourage all fans to just appreciate the fact that the Scarlet and Gray are playing this year at all. This is a rare opportunity to understand how special these games and this team are to all of us, because they were so close to being taken away.
Ohio State football is family, it’s friendship, it’s identity, it’s tradition. Yes, the results matter to all of us, but in a year when just about everything else has been peak-level shitty, can’t we just all agree to tone down the cynicism and second-guessing a little bit? Some level-headed analysis and constructive criticism is healthy, but showing your ass on Twitter and getting mad online because the Buckeyes didn’t play a perfect game is not.
Go ahead and get fired up at the refs for a bad call (looking at you guy from the Fiesta Bowl who called targeting on Shaun Wade), but even when you are foaming at the mouth and throwing a bowl of Doritos at the TV, take a second to enjoy the fact that you have the opportunity to get pissed about a bad call in the first place.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are going to be really stinking good this year, and even if they don’t walk away with a national title (don’t worry, I’m picking them to), that doesn’t mean that just the fact that they’re playing at all isn’t worthy celebrating.
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!