Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, January 23, 2015

OSU’s Greatest Victory In 2014? Denialism

As promised in my last post, I am devoting time and effort to effectively and loudly sing the praises of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes, the undisputed national champions of college football. I especially take great joy in writing the words “undisputed”, as I have long been a critic of the traditional NCAA method of voting on a national champion after the college football bowl season has concluded. For the first time in Division 1 college football history, or FBS level football history, or however one may wish to classify it, the national champion was decided by the results on the field. The way it should be. The way it should have always been.

As I reflect upon the many victories the Buckeyes earned on the field, I truly cannot say one was more important than the other. After all, it was because of each victory earned on the field that made the next victory that much more important. One could follow the string of games as they played out, one after the other. The Big Ten Championship victory over Wisconsin led to The Sugar Bowl opportunity versus Alabama in the playoffs. The Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama led to The National Championship against Oregon.

Of course, after the confetti had fallen, and the pictures of Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer holding the national championship trophy had been taken, one final victory had been secured over an opponent that had long tormented Ohio State’s coaches, players, and fans…

Denialism.

Denialism had taken a very vocal and persistent approach towards Ohio State football since the fateful evening of January 8, 2007. Aided by individuals within the national media such as Paul Finebaum, Pat Forde, David Pollack, Mark May, Gary Danielson, Clay Travis, Tony Barnhart, and Tom Luginbill, Ohio State fans were continually forced to defend not only the performance of the Buckeyes, but the entire Big Ten for a period of eight years. Eight years of being told the Buckeyes were not worthy of national championship contention. Eight years of refusal to contemplate Ohio State as being one of the best football programs in the country.

January 1, 2015 happened to confront Denialism in The Sugar Bowl. And even after Ohio State handed Alabama a 42-35 defeat that should not have been that close, Denialism was not going to go down without a fight…







To give credit, Mark Schlabach of ESPN, a long-time critic, offered a mea culpa. Lo and behold how surprised I was to read this on Twitter…




Mark May has seemingly gone into hiding after Ohio State won the national championship. I believe this Buckeye fan is asking a legitimate question…



Even after Ohio State had defeated Alabama, essentially in their back yard, and had defeated Oregon in The National Championship, Clay Travis was bound and determined to go down with the ship on this sad devotion to Denialism…




I have to agree with the following tweet wholeheartedly…




And this...



Has Denialism been completely eliminated? Sadly, I must state that Denialism is still alive and well. After all, ESPN has an entire off-season to prepare to discuss how the 2014 season must have been an aberration, and how the mighty SEC will come back with a vengeance for the 2015 season. In the meantime, I will content myself to all of the members of the Denialism camp with some wisdom, courtesy of Eddie Murphy, circa 1987…







Friday, January 16, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The NFL...

Before going any further, congratulations to Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes. I am still basking in the happiness of winning the national championship, and will have posts in the future to best articulate my feelings on this accomplishment. Needless to say, I wanted to make sure I added my congratulations to the many that have been directed to Coach Meyer and the 2014 Ohio State coaches and players on this outstanding achievement.
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The popular and probable consensus opinion regarding Cardale Jones and his announcement was that Jones was going to declare for the NFL. Over the previous days, many people asked me for my opinion, and now is as good as any for me to articulate why I believed Jones was going to the NFL ~
Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller were recruited by former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel in the 2011 recruiting class. To shore up his grades, and provide some separation from Miller, Jones agreed to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy in 2011.

Upon returning to Columbus in 2012, Jones was faced with the following realities – the head coach who recruited him was gone, and replaced with someone who neither recruited him, nor wanted him. Braxton Miller had completed a freshman season in 2011 that had captivated the fanbase, as well as the incoming coaching staff. As someone who attended the 2012 Ohio State spring game, the fact that Jones did not garner a single snap in an intrasquad scrimmage spoke volumes about where Jones stood in the eyes of the coaching staff.

And then during the 2012 season, Jones decided to tweet…THIS.

Yes, I guess you could say I was fairly certain Cardale Jones was eventually going to leave Columbus, and probably not in a positive fashion in the eyes of Coach Meyer or any of the other Ohio State coaches.

Jones played sparingly in 2013, and was beaten out for the starting quarterback position by J.T. Barrett in the 2014 fall camp after Miller went down with a season-ending injury. Again, there was speculation that Jones would transfer after losing the job to Barrett, especially after being the starting quarterback throughout all of the 2014 spring practices.

Flash forward to November 29th, 2014. Ohio State is in a dogfight with That Team Up North, and J.T. Barrett is knocked out for the season. Anyone who has listened to me throughout this past season on any of the Men of the Scarlet and Gray podcasts can recall how I often lamented how infrequently Jones played, especially when Ohio State had substantial leads. I actually tweeted after Barrett went down about this…




We all know how gloriously it turned out. I believe @JeffSvoboda articulated it well…




When I think about being 22 years old, with a child to provide for…I can honestly say that I probably would have taken the money. Quite honestly, even without a child, turning down the money at 22 years old would have been probably impossible, as I reflect upon it.







No matter how it turns out in 2015, Cardale Jones has secured his place in the hearts and minds of Ohio State fans going forward. 




Will Jones be the Ohio State starter at quarterback next season?  It is certainly possible, but if Ohio State fans have learned anything this past season, anything is possible, especially at the quarterback position.  Jones does have one advantage going into the 2015 season...




No matter how this all turns out, at least Ohio State fans can count upon Tyvis Powell to keep Cardale Jones in line throughout the 2015 season...



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