Football Hayes & Cannon

Hate-Colored Glasses

Binjimen Victor Ohio State Football Buckeyes

It’s a common theme for college football fans to be told they are seeing things through “such and such” colored glasses.

Sometimes, it is fans of a team that hasn’t been relevant in over 20 years thinking they are National Title contenders. Other times, it is a fan from {insert literally any southern team here} thinking they would be the best team in any other conference.

These are things we come to expect and are part of the reason why we all love college football so much. We expect fans to have a different view of their teams than others.

What we don’t expect is the biased view to be coming from “impartial” sources. ‘

This offseason we are seeing what it looks like when the national media and opposing fan bases are seeing the Buckeyes through their Scarlet-colored hate lenses.

It’s not hard to understand why. The Buckeyes have been consistently a great team since 2002. Here are some accolades during that period:

  • Won 10 or more games on 15 occasions
  • 4 Fiesta Bowl, 2 Rose Bowl, 2 Sugar Bowl, and 1 Cotton Bowl wins
  • 2 National Championships
  • 15 wins vs Michigan
  • Approximately 982 first-round draft picks

Like I said, it’s not hard to understand why fans of other teams hate Ohio State. They are quick to point out the 2006 and 2007 championship game losses, but in reality it’s because Ohio State is good. As Buckeye fans, we do the same thing. It’s why we hate Alabama. It’s why we hate Clemson.

The college football fan world hates good teams.

The tough thing is that this year we are seeing a lot of the national media blinded by their Scarlet-colored hate glasses. We see Phil Steele talking about the Buckeyes struggling this year because of his returning starters rating or some weird formula.

His rating penalizes the Buckeyes for losing part-time players who were “starters” while not acknowledging guys like KJ Hill, Shaun Wade, Chris Olave, Binjimen Victor, Jonah Jackson, and Wyatt Davis who played a lot and, in some cases, started numerous games.

Heck, according to him, Wyatt Davis isn’t even a starter, so we definitely can’t count him in his magical metric.

Let’s be real. The Buckeyes are an absolutely loaded team this year. Anyone who tells you otherwise is completely full of crap and seeing things through hate-colored glasses.

Let’s talk this out.

One major point everyone likes to point out is the Buckeyes’ quarterback situation. The national media act like they wouldn’t have had an issue picking Georgia to win it all last year if Justin Fields was their quarterback, but because he didn’t beat out a future Top-10 pick, he is suddenly not very good.

Let’s not forget that last year at this time, Fields was the number two prospect, the eighth-highest-rated recruit all-time by 247 Sports, and the second highest rated dual-threat QB ever by 247 Sports, behind only Vince Young. The young man has talent…a lot of talent. Don’t let anyone make you forget this.

He’ll be throwing to a deep receiving corps. Media will point to the loss of Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, and Johnnie Dixon, but here is the cool thing: the Buckeyes top three returning receivers combined for 117 catches, 1,570 yards, and 11 touchdowns last year in part-time roles.

These stats do not even include Olave, Jaylen Harris, Ellijah Gardiner, and incoming 5-star Garrett Wilson. Meanwhile, part of why everyone is picking Michigan is because of their “dominant” receiving corps. Their returning top three combined for 89 catches, 1,279 yards, and 14 touchdowns with everyone starting all year except for Tarik Black, who was hurt.

The offensive line is another “question mark” many people like to throw around.

They like to say that the Buckeyes lost four starters last year without discussing the guys taking their places or the fact that the offensive line was a liability at times last year.

Only two of those four outgoing offensive linemen were drafted and not one was drafted before the 136th pick. This was not an Ohio State line that we all have come to expect. Stepping into their shoes are three former five-stars who are freshmen or sophomores, and a 2018 All-Big Ten honorable mention graduate transfer.

The offensive line will be good this year…very good.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes were very young last year and ran a very complicated defense. Their much-maligned back seven started four to five freshmen or sophomores depending on the formation. It showed.  You can’t blame anyone for doubting the Buckeyes defense this year based on their performance last year.

Ryan Day saw this and made changes that Urban Meyer wouldn’t. He brought in an actual linebacker coach, a new secondary coach, and an older-but-new defensive coordinator. The talent is there and hopefully, unlike last year, the scheme will be there too.

On defense as a whole, the Buckeyes have the potential to start four former 5-stars and five former 4-stars. The only two that don’t fit into that boat are Damon Arnette and Malik Harrison, who will both be drafted next year.

This defense is loaded with talent and they have the personnel to play with any team in the Big Ten.

To sum it up, a lot of people are counting Ohio State out before the season even starts. And remember, it has NOTHING to do with the players on the field.

There is not a more talented team in the conference than the Buckeyes and they are arguably one of the top-3 most talented teams in the country.

Everything you are hearing this preseason from the national press is from the heart, not the brain. People are tired of OSU always being in the national spotlight. This is their chance to go all in on their hate for Ohio State.

They are completely focusing on who Ohio State lost without acknowledging who they still have on the team. And it’s not like that last group of departing Buckeyes was the only time Urban Meyer hit it big on the recruiting trail.

The good thing for Buckeye fans is that the games are played on the field rather than from the hopeful mouths of folks like Paul Finebaum. Results matter, and closing your eyes when they happen doesn’t make them go away.

College football is the ultimate reality television, after all.

Even if so many who watch it exist only in a world of make believe.

8 Responses

  1. I’m fine with the hate. I think the best gift you can give to a new head coach is a media doubting his team. Easiest motivational situation in the world.
    That said, I agree with the writer that the “losses” OSU has taken from last year to this year are not as dire as people think. Offensive line, I think, will be addition by subtraction mostly. We are back to having a true center playing center, and there’s way more experience than people think. Given the way teams rotate their lines nowadays, counting a teams “returning starters” doesn’t mean what it used to. We lost a lot of receivers, but retain a couple of the best from last year. We keep Dobbins. We lose Haskins, but we gain a guy that had similar numbers to Haskins in his first year in limited action. On defense, we lose Bosa but I think are deeper now than we were last year. Okudah replacing Sheffield is an upgrade. White being out on the field as a starter all year is an upgrade.

  2. The Buckeyes mistake is that its conference partnered with Fox and not with espin. Can you imagine the hype for Justin fields if the B1G was an espin entity such as the esseeesee and aseesee? And since espin dictates the amount of coverage in the sports reporting world, why not give them what they want if you are Phil steele. So, in this day and age – its best to consider the source cause its all about mentions. That said, due to the sheer number of Buckeye lovers and haters, any comment, particularly negative, will stir a lot of discussion and tons of mentions for espin. Go, Bucks!

  3. Branden – HUSH Bro! Right now it is off season and our team is basically shut up in a cage while a bunch of tools and know nuthins are poking them with sticks and throwing feces at them. Yes it is offensive but the good news is that when the season starts and they are “let out of the cage” you are going to see a team that, on both sides of the ball, wants to shove their opponents heads so far up their own backsides that they can suck on their tonsils. Don’t discourage the hate. Don’t point out statistics and logic that might get some of these posers to stop writing trash and feeding the beast. If you’re a betting man (or woman) enjoy the odds. I for one am thinking that after we dismantle Cinti, the tide among the sportswriters is going to start to turn but most will still cling to their beliefs and hope that Nebraska will “put us in our place”. After Nebraska any naysayer will just be obviously prejudicial.

  4. A very talented, unproven QB will be running the Day-Wilson offense? I think I have already seen that movie.

    My thought on the defense was that it couldn’t be worse.

    Urban Meyer is a great coach – Our eyes and the numbers say so. He also had some blind spots for certain players over the years that cost the program – possibly a national championship. Will have to see if Day can avoid some of those things and how he motivates and handles players. It will be fun and interesting.

    Bottom line is it’s always great to be a Buckeye.

    1. I agree. Urban was great, legendary! But I also believe he left at the right time. Getting goose egged by Clemson, having 55 pts hung on us by Iowa, and then the Purdue loss and you can see there were some definite head scratchers… moreover the J.T. thing and QB power dive suggested an out of touch stubborness that had run its course. The offensive scheme was laughable with J.T. Add to that the declining defense and quite frankly it was time. Urban got out of 2018 with a 13-1 Season, B1G Championship, and Rose Bowl win when we easily could have been, and probably should have been, a three loss team (Purdue, Maryland, and PSU). He knew it was time. Some objective fans knew too. Best of Luck to Urban at his next stop. He is a legend.

      1. Can’t argue with that. Great as Urban was, there was some baggage that came with him and there were some spectacular failures.

        I guess I would just be cautious about setting standards too high. If beating Clemson in the semi-finals of the playoffs and Alabama in the championship game is the only definition of success, then Urban was somewhat of a failure – 15 Sugar Bowl aside.

        What Saban and Swinney are doing/have done is amazing – and they have our begrudging respect and hate for that. But their runs will end – eventually and inevitably for one reason or another.

        I think each season is an individual epic of its own. Ohio State went 13-1, won the B1G East and the B1G and the Rose Bowl with THAT defense? That’s pretty dang good.

        1. Thanks for the perspective. I went the first 29 years of my life before seeing OSU win a national championship. In the 17 years since, they’ve won another and been in the title game 2 other times. Compared to my childhood in the ’70s and ’80s and early ’90s, pretty much every season since 2002 (except 2011) has been an absolute joy.

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