Ohio State Fans Need To Get a Grip

12-0. The only undefeated team in Division I. The best team in the Big Ten. I get it Buckeyes fans, “you” didn’t lose a game the entire season. You also weren’t eligible for the post season because former players on your team sold rings for tattoos, took jobs they weren’t required to actually work, received illegal gifts, and your beloved former head coach lied to his own compliance people.

The popular Buckeye sentiment is to blame Gene Smith for not self-imposing a bowl ban last year thinking that the team would be eligible this year. I hate to break it to you, but there is ZERO evidence the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions (COI) would not have imposed an additional year of sanctions. Remember, your former head coach lied to his OWN compliance people. Let that marinate for a while.

That’s the equivalent of your children doing something stupid at school and instead of confessing their sins they lie to you in hopes that you’ll work it out with the teacher. How would that go over at home?

In reality, Ohio State was handed a gift from the NCAA for its token cooperation. Ohio State was already on probation and had it (Smith, Gordon Gee, etc.) not cooperated with the COI, the school could have faced similar infractions to what USC faced for Reggie Bush. Sure, the individual crimes weren’t the same, but in totality they were fairly close.

No, I don’t think it’s fair that the son pays for the sins of the father, but it’s the system that we operate under, so it is what it is.

This past season was good for Ohio State. They faced what is likely, until 2013, their easiest schedule in at least a decade. Half the schools in the Big Ten had new coaches, half featured new offensive coordinators, and half featured defensive coordinators. That spells mediocrity. And Ohio State’s non-conference schedule is, in a word – terrible.

Sure, California was scheduled when they were good, but what the excuse for Miami, Central Florida, and Alabama-Birmingham? The fact of the matter is, when the Big Ten is as terrible as it is, year in and year out, Ohio State needs to schedule better teams out of conference. Ohio State should also consider playing outside of Columbus. Yeah, Michigan got killed by Alabama, but they were smart enough to do it in a neutral location.

Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin - three unranked teams that Ohio State almost lost to. Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, but it means something when voters decide where teams are ranked.

You really think your team is the third best team in the country after sneaking by those teams and getting lucky against Michigan and Michigan State? It isn’t.

You think you would have beaten Nebraska in the Big Ten championship because you beat them in the regular season? Maybe, but Nebraska thought the same after beating Wisconsin in the regular season.

Here’s what I know, your Buckeyes played 12 games in one of the worst BCS conference this year; two of its better teams were ineligible and were forced to send its third best team to the conference championship. That team then destroyed the best team in the other division, then went on to get rolled in Rose Bowl.

Ohio State won 12 games on a prayer, because if you think that team wins each game if they’re eligible you’re high. In a private moment, Urban Meyer says the same thing. The team had nothing to play for but pride, and all that other stuff that means nothing in rankings and standings.

The team bucked a lot of trends this year, but to expect that next year the championship goes through Columbus is one of the funniest things I’ve heard since Browns actually thought Chip Kelly would leave Oregon for Cleveland.

Get. A. Grip. Buckeyes fans. Remember what conference you play in, your schedule, and the negative perception the voters and everyone outside the State of Ohio has of you. One loss in 2012 and the team likely would not be in the Top-15.

Indiana. Purdue. Wisconsin. Pick your embarrassing loss.

12-0 is something for the players to celebrate, because they overcame the “sins of their fathers”. That isn’t reason for you to think that your team had a chance against Alabama or Oregon.

In fact, the only team that had a chance again Alabama Monday night was Oregon. Ohio State would have likely lost by three or four touchdowns.

Here’s something you can hang your hat on: you aren’t the most delusional fans in sports. Cleveland Browns fans have you beat in that game by four touchdowns.

The reality is, Ohio State could contend for a national championship next year, and it is OK for fans to be excited about that, but be honest about where the team is and where it’s going.

Ohio State should be in Pasadena next year, but will it be for the Rose Bowl or the BCS National Championship game?