This isn’t a surprise to anyone who pays attention to Ohio State football, but us Buckeye fans can be a fickle bunch. So after back-to-back double-digit (but not perfect) wins, we apparently have collectively lost about six percent confidence in the direction of the team. Oddly, despite the hubbub following the Penn State victory the week before, no one in the LGHL portion of the SB Nation Reacts survey lost faith in OSU, as confidence was at 100%. But, only beating Rutgers 49-27 after being up 35-3 at half, and six percent jump ship.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are certainly things to be concerned about when it comes to Ohio State’s execution in both games, but in the middle of the weirdest season in college football history, to be upset about a three-touchdown victory seems pretty shortsighted.
But, that’s how we roll here in Buckeye Nation. We are a people of extreme emotions. We can go from embracing Ohio Versus the World to complaining that networks who make a crap-ton of money from broadcasting our team’s games are actually involved in a vast, international criminal conspiracy to sabotage our program at the drop of the hat.
We have no chill. We don’t know how to moderate our emotions when it comes to college football. But, as I said before the season even started, it’s going to take some time for the team to get to fully operational. Now, I admit that at times, I forget this as well. I forget that this team had no spring practice; I forget that all of the players had to work out on their own for most of the summer; I forget that they were jerked around when it came to whether or not they were even going to have a season to play this fall.
But, when it comes down to it, they are still one of the three best teams in the country, and they’ve still got five games to get better before the selection committee determines who is in the College Football Playoffs.
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What’s funny about it is that while Ohio State fans are freaking out a bit over the last two games, most of the country is seeing them for what they are, all-important dubs in the weirdest of seasons. In the national portion of the SB Nation Reacts survey this week, Alabama took the No. 1 spot in playoff projections, but the Buckeyes came in second, ahead of No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Notre Dame.
What this suggests is that most of the country expects the Tide and Buckeyes to win out and for Clemson — with Trevor Lawrence back at quarterback — to beat the Fighting Irish in the ACC Championship. From there, there is more than a 50 percent voting gap between No. 4 ND and the No. 5 Florida Gators.
Now, for anyone watching college football this season, it should be no surprise that the Big Ten’s already tenuous reputation has taken a bit of a hit with Penn State and Michigan looking like dog doodoo and Wisconsin having only been able to play a single game so far this season.
Ohio State is clearly the top team in the B1G and while they will play a top-10 Indiana a week from today, there is a significant gap between the Bucks and whomever is next in the conference, be it IU, Wisconsin, Northwestern, etc.
While the SEC has certainly been a bit of a dumpster fire this year, they still clearly have more top teams than any other conference, and the normally garbage ACC is aided by Notre Dame’s inclusion this season.
That obviously explains why the Big Ten received the least amount of votes when fans were asked which of the top three conferences in the country is currently the best, in fact, I would have been surprised if the results said something different.
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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!