“But For Ohio State” -Pac 12 Shows BIG TEN Not NOTORIOUS
Columbus, Ohio… Story By Michael Goins…To make this article understandable to the average non-sports fan, I need to first lay the groundwork for proper consumption. As Columbus residents, we are all familiar with the “But For Ohio State” commercials that flood the local airwaves. As music fans that have been on the planet at any time within the last 20 years we are also familiar with music artists such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael and Janet Jackson and Prince. Chances are, you’re also aware of the most popular rapper in history, The Notorious BIG. Ah, how appropriate a name to base this article.
The “But For Ohio State” catchy title is part of the Universities 2.5 billion fund raising campaign. Let me give you some proper context. The commercials kind of go like this, “But For Ohio State”, the world would come to an end. “But For Ohio State” nothing would be possible. Get the picture. They’re the kind of commercials that gives the rest of the world another reason to not like them. However, since the commercials look to only appear to run locally, there is no national impact or reason to fuss. In all honestly, though, some of the commercials tell good stories that have an impact on good people.
However, as it relates to Big Ten football, because of it’s accuracy, this catchy title, “But For Ohio State”, is one the Big Ten should adopt as its theme for this season thus far and beyond. For a second straight year, the much anticipated matchup that features the Big Ten vs the Pac-12 took place this past weekend, and for the second straight year, the Pac-12 got the best of the Big Ten, with the exception of Ohio State, which won its rematch with California. The Buckeyes swept Cal in its two game series an appeared as the only bright spot in the two year contest.
The big question here is which conference needs the bragging rights more, the Pac 12 or the Big Ten. Well, it depends on how you look at things. The Pac-12 needed the bragging rights to propel and solidify it into the national elite conference discussion. The Big Ten needs the bragging rights to keep it in the national elite conference discussion.
Why is this so important to Ohio State? It’s simple, without a vibrant Big Ten conference, chock full of competitive teams from top to bottom, all the “Bum Of The Week” Big Ten conference victories Ohio State gets this season won’t help them get into a national title game, if the perception is that the conference is not an elite conference persists. With the way the Big Ten is sliding, even winning the Big Ten Championship won’t save Ohio State. It goes without saying, that a one loss Big Ten team will not make it to the national title game. In order for Ohio State to punch their ticket to the big game, they must go undefeated. Within the conference, everyone, including me, expects them to do just that.
There are two times a year a conference has to establish itself on the national stage. Those two times are bowl season and the non-conference schedule. OK, so let’s not go too deep into New Years day and the Big Ten, because that is a losing conversation for the Big Ten. But this past weekend could have turned the tide just a little.
The big problem I have is that I really think this Ohio State football team is good. The problem is that I don’t know how good and I have nothing to base my opinion on except the practice sessions I’ve seen, and the athletic look and feel of this team during those sessions. Last years bowl ban isolated Ohio State from the national competitive platform, and we only have depth charts and high school athletic rankings to guide us. How many five star recruits Ohio State has vs a common SEC team, for example.
Why this middle of the road opinion, well that’s simple. Being banned from bowl participation last year means we’ve only seen Ohio State vs Big Ten teams and weak, let me go further, very weak, let me go a little further, extremely weak, non-conference opponents. Based on that, we just don’t have the evidence to show us that Ohio State is good on the field. In contrast, however, we have the very strong evidence of New Years Day and the Pac-12 matchups to tell us the rest of the Big Ten is Not BIG, and definitely not NOTORIOUS.
Is Ohio State ready for Alabama, Oregon or some of the other elite teams of the FBS. I am willing to wager Coach Meyer doesn’t want to go anywhere near that conversation until after a few more recruiting classes are under his belt.
In the meantime here is what we have in the Big Ten. What we think is a real good Ohio State team and 11 other teams that are suspect. “But For Ohio State”… As it relates to Big Ten football, You betcha!!