By Ron Johnson
There must be something in the water. Or maybe it’s the tequila. Or maybe it’s the scotch. Either way, people are being idiots if they are buying in to the concept that Ohio State is going to win the college football playoff.
But yet, they still put all the hype around a team that is destined to fail.
Here is how the experts see the rankings heading into this weekend.
12) Utah Utes (AP No. 13)
11) Ole Miss (AP No. 12)
10) Oregon (AP No. 8)
9) Penn State (AP No. 10)
8) Texas (AP No. 7)
7) Alabama (AP No. 9)
6) Washington (AP No. 5)
5) Oklahoma (AP No. 6)
4) Florida State (AP No. 4)
3) Georgia (AP No. 1)
2) Ohio State (AP No. 3)
1) Michigan (AP No. 2)
It is rather amusing how the Buckeyes always seem to find themselves close to the top but are never able to reach the brass ring. Looking at the top 12, I see a slew of teams that could take down the Buckeyes. Oregon has been a dark horse for far too long. Not since the era of Marcus Mariota have the Ducks been this much of a threat this deep into the season. Then we got Washington who has been the BCS before and knows what it is like to get beaten badly.
Then you got the victim of the SEC Curse, Oklahoma. While they have not been able to exorcise that demon, and the fact that they are realizing “if you can’t beat them, join them,” the Sooners are still a legitimate threat if they lay claim to their final Big XII Title. And while I personally don’t like them, the Seminoles are indeed for real. They have managed to lay claim to the ACC, barring any catastrophes down the road.
And then there is Georgia. People thought the Bulldogs would falter due to the loss of several key players in the draft. But Georgia has been the team to beat all season. And whoever joins them in the SEC Championship Game best to realize that Kirby Smart got his team playing for a chance a 3-peat. Alabama looks flawed. Texas looks vulnerable. And Penn State couldn’t take the Buckeyes down when they had the chance to.
But every year, like Dallas Cowboys fans, experts flock to the Buckeyes expecting Ryan Day to magically make them unstoppable. However, Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines have made themselves a dangerous threat to the entire Big Ten, including Ohio State.
Has any of those experts ask themselves what happens if the Buckeyes lose any of their remaining games, including this weekend against Wisconsin? While Marvin Harrison, Jr. has been their biggest catalyst this season, Ohio State is still a team not to bet all your chips on. In a conference that has the Badgers, Nittany Lions and the Wolverines, can one really go all in on the Buckeyes without hesitation?
The answer is no.
I have seen Ohio State go crazy on less-than-stellar teams. But these are teams that in all likelihood will never play in any of the New Years’ Six Bowl games. Seeing them have trouble against Penn State is proof that anything is possible.
The Buckeyes have been to the mountaintop before. But they met teams like Florida and Alabama and became nothing more than an appetizer to the dining of the SEC. While neither of those teams look as strong this season, there is a team in that conference that can hold their own against them. And we haven’t even talked about Notre Dame. While the Irish have an outside shot at the CFP-12, they still have a shot.
There are teams that look more complete than Ohio State. Yet, when you look at the other schools, they are getting a fraction of the hype. Yes, this season has been all about Coach Prime and the Buffs, but the fact is in the middle of those conversations, Day’s Buckeyes have always been on everyone’s tongues.
But this is the one time where Ohio State should not be a hot topic. They’re good right now, but will they show this same swagger against a motivated Michigan team looking to return to the Playoff?
Bottom Line: Don’t go all in on Ohio State unless you truly believe that God Loves the Buckeyes.