Remember the scene in Back to the Future when a time-traveling Marty McFly wakes up from what he thinks was a bad dream, only to have his teenage mother tell him he’s safe and sound back in good old 1955? Well, that’s the same feeling I had this morning as a Buckeye fan when I read the stories about last night’s game at Miami. As it turns out, the nightmare I witnessed was a reality: four pass completions for 36 yards — two of those completions and 23 of those yards coming in the final minute when the game had already been lost — Miami running back Lamar Miller rushing for 184 yards (including ripping off 54 of those on Miami’s first play from scrimmage); allowing Miami a 14-play, 8:48 drive to ice the game in the fourth quarter; turnovers; poor pursuit angles, poor tackling, and a certain pick-six dropped by the defense…
Need I go on? Since I’m a bit of a Buckeye masochist, I shall. Not one of the Buckeyes’ four catches were by a WR or TE. The four completions were the fewest Ohio State has had in a game since 1989. This was not just the Buckeyes’ worst performance on the road since getting destroyed 35-3 at USC in 1998….this was the worst road performance since quarterback Steve Bellisari was arrested in November 2001 for running a stop sign and squealing his tires with a blood alcohol percent (0.22) that doubled-up Ohio’s legal limit (0.10). And as a result of this craptastic performance, OSU has fallen out of the AP top 25 for the first time since 2004.
So why, you ask, am I reciting Ohio State football stats and recounting my Buckeye misery in a Blue Jackets hockey blog? I am doing so to preface my plea on behalf of Columbus sports fans to the Blue Jackets: pretty please with sugar on top, DO NOT SUCK this year. Just don’t. We won’t be able to handle it.
Entering this year’s football and hockey seasons, it was already a rare instance of being more hopeful for the Blue Jackets than the Buckeyes. The CBJ have made what seem to be all the right offseason moves, bolstering the offense and the defense and cultivating young talent in the minor league organization. The Buckeyes, however, began their nose-dive from glory just before Christmas when the initial announcement that five key players were in trouble for trading “treasured” Ohio State keepsakes for tattoos. (Stay classy, fellas.) Nine months later OSU has replaced one of its most successful coaches in history with a guy that should realistically be leading a MAC team; replaced its starting quarterback with a slow 26-year-old former minor-league baseball pitcher who probably woudn’t start for most MAC teams; replaced a star WR with a band of butter-handed freshmen; and tried to replace a starting RB with a capable junior back-up, until said back-up also got nabbed / suspended for taking cash handouts from a booster. Even the Buckeye Nation True Believers who held onto the hope that sound recruiting and superior talent would carry us to a successful season — “Maybe we’ll drop a game somewhere en route to a victory in the Big Ten championship game and a Rose Bowl appearance…” — are lining up this morning to throw themselves off the Lane Avenue bridge.
We’re bracing for an ugly, ugly football season; the likes of which can only be soothed with a playoff series or two at Nationwide Arena. With apologies to Princess Leia: help me Rick Nash, you’re my only hope.