We should have seen this coming.
Buckeye Nation was down on their team after the loss to Oklahoma, but wanted to believe that there was a growth process taking place, that things would get better. There were new coaches, a new system, and Urban Meyer told us repeatedly that he liked where his team was.
Then came Penn State, and the fool’s gold that came with that win.
Sure, the Buckeyes beat the second-ranked team in the nation, but lost in the euphoria of that win was the sloppy play and mistakes that made that game close. We forgot about all of that with the win.
We should have remembered.
The Buckeyes played the same sloppy game in Iowa City, but this time they were not able to overcome their ineptitude by dominating play at the line of scrimmage. Instead, it was Iowa who dominated in the trenches on both offense and defense.
The Hawkeyes also avoided the errors that the Buckeyes made two weeks in a row.
It was a combination of events that lead to a blowout of historic proportions. Iowa scored more points against the Buckeyes than Iowa has scored in any one game vs. OSU in the previous 100 years of competition between the two schools. The sixth-ranked Buckeyes were simply ground into the dirt under the onslaught that led to a 55-24 humiliation at the hands of the unranked Hawkeyes in Kinnick Stadium.
It took all of eight seconds for the writing to appear on the wall about this game. On the first play from scrimmage, J.T. Barrett was intercepted for a pick-six. The Buckeyes rallied to tie the game with a touchdown drive, but Iowa answered with a field goal to regain the lead. The Buckeye defense had no answer at all for the basic but effective Iowa offense that moved the ball at will. The OSU offense was able to hang for a half, but the Iowa defense took over the line of scrimmage in the second half, and that was the end of OSU’s chances for a rally.
The loss exposed the Buckeyes as a team that can dominate lesser opposition, but is not competitive against teams with even close to the same talent level. Losses to Clemson, Oklahoma, and now Iowa attest to that.
There is that pesky win over Penn State… the same Penn State that lost their second-consecutive game today, this time at East Lansing.
Maybe that wasn’t such a great win after all.
There’s no debating, however, just how bad the loss to Iowa today was. It was the kind of loss that will still sting years from now. It is a low point of epic proportions in the history of OSU football.