ESPN's Pat Forde ripped the Buckeyes the other day. He was very blunt about the fact that they do NOT belong in the BCS MNC game again next year.
If you've ever seen lions maul a water buffalo, you've seen the last two title games. You've seen a fierce pair of SEC teams -- Florida last year, LSU this year -- blow the vulnerable Buckeyes back to the Bratwurst Belt by a combined 41 points. You've seen the best of one league flex, and the best of an inferior league collapse.
You can't help but agree with his reasoning. They were outmanned, outcoached, and didn't know what to do once they got hit in the mouth. We as fans suffered through it last year...and then were AGAIN subjected to 50+ days of ESPN nonsense about how this year the Buckeyes could matchup with LSU. I would love to be a fly on the wall in their production meetings for College Football Live leading up to the MNC game. Even Herbie wasn't too giddy about his alma mater's chances. Fortunately, he was calling the game for ESPN Radio and was able to use that as his "excuse" to avoid having to make many strong statements regarding the outcome of the game.
Long and short...the BCS exec committee needs to get together and amend their agreement to state the following:
As long as Ohio State continues to avoid playing other top BCS schools in non-conference (this does look to be changing as they go to USC in 2008) and dominate in a dismal Big 10 with an antiquated offense, then they are no longer allowed to play in the BCS Championship game. To gain reinstatement, they must demonstrate the ability to come from behind, overcome adversity, and run an offense scheme derived since 1980.
Ohio State is nothing but the bully of the Big 10. They intimidate undermatched teams (scheduling a 1-AA school EVERY year and then half of the Big 10) and then shy away whenever they go up against a program of equal talent. In most games, their superior talent overcomes poor scheming, coaching, and preperation...but once they run up against a team that is their equal, they wilt faster than a bluebonnet by Memorial Day. Think about it. What "big wins" do they have in the past few years?
They've beaten Michigan the past few years, and then the Wolverines went out and were soundly defeated in their bowl game by another BCS team...so you have discount Michigan's ranking IMO. Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl??? I think it's safe to say that Notre Dame had no business being in a BCS bowl...but the hype around Weiss and Quinn elevated them in the rankings. Their win in Austin last year vs a UT team running out Colt McCoy in only his 2nd start...was it THAT impressive??? Other than their wins over Michigan, I can't find any game in recent memory that they won where they were either the underdog or "equal" to their opponent.
They are tied with USC for the best record over the past 5 years or so. They do a good job winning virtually all of the games they're supposed to win. That's what a great program does. However, I just can't put them in the elite category until they win a big game or two...and to do that they need to make some significant changes in their program. Rich Rodriguez is going to make the necessary changes at Michigan...but if the Buckeyes aren't able to modernize their offense and develop mental toughness, their "success" (if you can call it that) will soon go by the wayside.