It’s now been just over a week since Ohio State’s win over Oregon in the National Championship Game. It’s set in now. The title is in Columbus. It’s yours, forever! While the newness of being National Champions is still fresh for Ohio State fans, it’s already time to start turning the page. Spring football will be in swing in just under two months. With so many players coming back, it will be time to defend. The trophy is still traveling around the state to different functions, but soon it’ll be locked in the trophy case, only to come out for cleaning. The machine of college football will begin again before we know it.
The machine that is college football fans will crank over again too.
Fans will saddle up again for another season, and expectations, even after a National Championship, will never been higher. Of course any time that we experience success, we crave more of it. It’s not greedy, it’s human nature. Those on top, want to stay on top. Empires have collapsed throughout history. None of them crumbled without a fight. There will be frustrations. Some teenager won’t do the right thing, and grown men will curse at him. Ohio State will someday lose again. But the best thing for an Ohio State fan, is that the Buckeyes will again be on top. It’s not that a lot of people don’t realize that, but we all should.
Go over the history of Ohio State Football since John Cooper: Two National Championships, Eight outright or shared Big Ten Titles, Ten BCS Bowl Games (six in a row at one point counting the vacated 2010 trip. SEC Honk will fight that, but they went, they know what they saw on the field), four National Championship Games, and with the glaring exception of Michigan games, Cooper was very successful in his own right.
This isn’t meant as some puff piece though. It’s meant more as a warning. Because looking back on those accomplishments, you’d think an Ohio State fan would be pretty satiated? Nope. Also during that time, as social media was evolving, outcry from fans began to swell with it. A couple of losses to fast SEC teams in the National Championship, a tough loss to Texas, two losses to USC. There were websites like “Fire Jim Tressel.com.” Facebook pages dedicated to the same cause. All of a sudden beating Michigan, winning the Big Ten, and going to a BCS game wasn’t enough anymore. There was even the moment in the 2009 season when Tressel responded to criticism after Ohio State’s 18-15 loss to USC. Yep, some of the same fans who know The Senator as a beloved figure, who toasted him when he was announced in this year’s class of the College Football Hall of Fame, actually called for him to be fired.
Yes, someday in the future, Ohio State will lose again. Which should make this run of success in the Buckeyes history that much sweeter. The Buckeyes have dealt with a Show Cause Penalty, loss of scholarships, and an official vacated season. The worst Ohio State had to “endure?” One 6-7 season three years, a one year bowl ban, and an interim head coach in Luke Fickel who was a part of the staff that just won Ohio State’s National Title last week.
Looking back on what happened with Tressel, and it did happen, and it was against the rules (no matter what we may argue) that is peanuts compared to that of other programs.
In the SEC:
Alabama won a National Title in 1993 with Gene Stallings, then abruptly had to give up 30 scholarships because Antonio Langham signed with an agent while he still played for the Crimson Tide. Alabama would then hire Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, and Mike Shula. DuBose allegedly had an affair with a secretary, Franchione left for Texas A&M after drowning in NCAA red tape, Price was fired before he coached a game for allegedly buying strippers on the university’s dime, and Shula was fired for not being able to clean up another NCAA recruiting mess left by DuBose. Even Nick Saban was 7-6 with a loss to UL-Monroe his first year in Tuscaloosa.
Florida continues to blame Urban Meyer for their failings, even though the program went to a Sugar Bowl the second season after he stepped down. Over 30 arrests in the program during Meyer’s tenure is excessive, and something that falls on the head coach and will follow Meyer, but no one in Gainesville said anything when Florida ripped off two National Championships. While Gator fan may blame Meyer, It’s Will Muschamp who was the coach during their downfall. It’s Muschamp who was given four years to see some light at the end of the tunnel, and in the end it’s Muschamp who Florida’s failures fall on. The arrest record with Meyer will always be a note in the conversation, but as a program, any coach who steps away without NCAA violations and with two titles has to apologize for nothing. Heart problems or not.
Look in the PAC 12
Contrary to Urban, Pete Carroll may always have some explaining to do when it comes to USC. Before him though, Paul Hackett was 19-18 overall as the Trojans Head Coach, and USC lost eight straight times to UCLA (’91-98). After Pete Carroll the program vacated a Heisman trophy, lost 30 scholarships, had a two-year bowl ban, fired his successor and fired an Athletic Director (all the while, Carroll is enjoying success in the NFL while not having to worry about anything related to recruiting and is showing off the type of motivator he really is). USC began 2012 ranked 1st in the country, only to finish 7-5. Steve Sarkisian is a good coach, but has his hands full.
Finally look at your biggest rival.
All Michigan wanted to do is win. All Michigan has done lately is lose. Michigan hasn’t had any major NCAA violations. Only one investigation for a practice time violation. New coaches, and new philosophies since Lloyd Carr has only netted Michigan more coaches and more philosophies. Save the Sugar Bowl win in 2011, it’s been one step forward and two steps back for Michigan. Lloyd Carr retired in 2007. If you want to include his last season, Michigan has hands down had a rougher stretch the last eight years than Ohio State. No show cause penalties. No free tattoos and test drives. No bowl bans, except for their own record.
Here Ohio State fan is. A National Title to start the College Football playoff era, one of the youngest teams to win a title, and in a place where winning a conference title (in a conference who’s profile is FINALLY trending up) feels almost as certain as death and taxes, it’s pretty good to be a Buckeye fan right now.
It’s been pretty good to be a Buckeye fan for a long time.