Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes for being selected for The 2016 Fiesta Bowl. The players, coaching staff, and Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer are to be commended for a tremendous 2015 season, with the opportunity of beginning 2016 on a positive note against a well-regarded and highly-ranked team from the University of Notre Dame.
Am I disappointed that Ohio State will not repeat as national
champions, as the Buckeyes were not picked as one of the four best teams
in the country by the College Football Playoff committee? Absolutely.
Do I believe Ohio State ranks as one of the four best teams talent-wise
this season? Absolutely. Do I believe Ohio State deserved inclusion
within the College Football Playoff? No.
As so many of you witnessed throughout 2015, as I did, Ohio State
never seemed to play up to their potential. All season, Ohio State fans
waited and wondered for the juggernaut that finished the 2014 season
with a mighty and triumphant flourish to appear. That team finally
appeared with the demolition of That Team Up North on November 28th,
with a resounding 42-13 victory.
Unfortunately, the Buckeyes had not demonstrated the same type of
intensity and domination throughout most of the 2015 season. Yes, there
were flashes ~ at Virginia Tech. At Rutgers. Ask yourself – what kind
of performance was registered against Hawaii? Northern Illinois?
Did that Ohio State team look like one of the best teams in
the country at that point? With the eyes of the nation watching, Ohio
State played listlessly against Michigan State, and lost, at home, to a
team playing two backup quarterbacks. I was there, in the stands of Ohio Stadium - trust me. The better team won that day, plain and simple.
Before I am besieged by multiple tweets and comments, let me simply
remind you that my thoughts are similar to other former Buckeyes, such
as Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Spielman, and Matt Finkes. If former players
could see the same type of issues that faced this team this season, and
have the same type of reaction by the ranking that led Ohio State to the
Fiesta Bowl, how far off can I be?
Would I have liked The Rose Bowl over The Fiesta Bowl? Yes – who is
not awed by “The Grandaddy Of Them All” on January 1st? I am intrigued
by the idea of playing against Notre Dame, a team similar to Ohio State
in the sense that both teams are only a few points away from being
undefeated. I will offer up an analysis of The 2016 Fiesta Bowl as it
gets closer and closer to January 1st.
In the meantime, I urge you, and the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes, to think in the vein of Henry David Thoreau ~ “Make
the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and
cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To
regret deeply is to live afresh…”.