Urban Meyer never went undefeated at Florida. That’s right; soak that in for a minute Buckeyes.
Both his National Titles came in a season in which they lost a game, and his only undefeated regular season ended with a loss to Alabama in the SEC title game, preventing a chance for a 3rd title. The reason I’m saying this you ask? Because there were more than a few unhappy fans with the way the Bucks performed this past Saturday. Twitter and forums everywhere were full of criticism over the play calling, use of Braxton and overall feeling of expectations not being lived up to.
As Buckeyes, this is something we should be used to by now, as we’ve seen more than our fair share of games that ended much closer than they should have.
Urban is coming into a situation that no other coach in the country, at any other university, can relate to. He’s coming into a school that expects him to win, win big, and win a National Title right away. I’m by no means saying he’s coming into the hardest situation, Penn State is far and beyond anything anyone has had to deal with. But there is no argument over which college football program has the largest following across the country, that’s us, The Ohio State Buckeyes.
There’s also little argument of which fan base expects the most out of their team, also us. Combine the largest, with the highest expectations, and you’ll get one of the quickest to criticize. What I’m here to do is hit everyone who expects us to score 50 every week with a reality check.
Under Urban Meyer, in their 2006 National Title Season, Florida only scored 30 or more points 5 times. That’s right, in 14 games, only five times. Those games were against Southern Miss, UCF (a much worse UCF team), Western Carolina, Arkansas and us. His ’08 Title campaign? An amazing 12 of 14 games over 30 points (6 over 40 points). Patience Buckeyes, patience.
It is clear our Buckeyes still have quite a few kinks to work out in the offense, and also some on the defensive side of the ball. This is going to take TIME Buckeye Nation. We aren’t going to suddenly click into a 50 point scoring monster over a span of two games, and we certainly aren’t going to do that with Jordan Hall still out with a foot injury and Carlos Hyde up in the air with the knee.
As a fan base we need to see the reality of how extensive this transformation is, and be more accepting of the fact that there are going to be ugly games. We’re going to scream at the TV, we’re going to curse the play calling, and we’re going to eventually have to write columns, tweets, or Facebook statuses about a loss. Whether that’s this year, next year, or next week, only time will tell.
Until that time, we must look at the bright side. Did you see Braxton’s little flick of the wrist to Stoney? Did that not look Troy Smith-esq? Sure it was a short little play, but it took time to develop, and really looked perfectly natural. And hey, from what we could tell, even the students are quickly getting used to the “Quick-Cals.”
These are the things we need to focus on, the development of this young team into what will be the 50 point scoring machine we’re all looking forward to. The best part is, next year would be the PERFECT time for that 50 point average to come out. Let’s not forget just how bad the rest of the B1G looked outside of Sparty. Sure they played Central Michigan, who had a whopping 3 wins last season, but with the rest of the country struggling with lesser opponents, we both should feel confident about these performances.
Don’t cut the Bucks short Buckeye Nation. They have huge expectations within that team and are making us all damn proud to be Buckeyes.