Kenny Guiton, who?
After suffering (yes, suffering) through the first half of the season, Ohio State football fans are ready for basketball to begin — at least Joe Bauserman does not play that, right?
The Buckeyes are dazed and confused at 3-3 and relief is not nearby. The NCAA ruled starting running back Dan Herron ineligible until the week before Thanksgiving, and Wisconsin comes to Columbus in two weeks.
But after poor showings against Miami and Michigan State, followed by a cosmic collapse against Nebraska, Bucknuts might even cringe at the idea of playing Illinois next weekend — on the road, where the team is 0-2.
Buckeye fans have two fingers pointed: one is obscene and directed at the NCAA, and the other is focused on coach Luke Fickell, who might want to tune up his resume.
Rarely does Ohio State have more excuses than wins. With a rookie head coach, an injured freshman starting quarterback, a Steve Bellisari-esque backup, a suspended running back and ongoing NCAA shenanigans, the message is clear yet still hard to swallow.
This is a recipe for a bad football team.
Other programs have made feasts of five-loaves-and-two-fish talent. Ohio State has croutons and fish sticks.
The number-one reason that Columbus is shocked is because of unreasonable expectations. The last thing this program needed was expectations of another Big Ten title or a Bowl Championship Series game in January. Anyone remember Tressel’s first year in office? It wasn’t pretty. The Buckeyes lost to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl to finish at 7-6.
But that season had its highs too. Ohio State beat Michigan on the road. Bellisari finally ran out of eligibility but not before giving up one final game-changing interception in the bowl game.
Ohio State won the national championship the following year.
Keep your pants on, folks. That won’t happen this time.
But the Buckeyes have a future. Guiton (see third paragraph) is next on the depth chart behind Bauserman and is among four quarterbacks who will be upperclassmen in two years.
Ohio State football is not in shambles, but the first step to fixing a problem is admitting that it exists. Even if this year is an anomaly because of suspensions, T*rr*lle P***r’s inglorious exit and a rushed coaching transition, the Buckeyes have a mess to clean up. First on the agenda is convincing recruits that tradition still reigns in Columbus. Next is finding a permanent head coach who can put an end to the Tressel era. Fickell is not a horrible coach, but he is not the best fit for the job and keeping Tressel’s staff intact was more of an act of necessity and sentimentalism than wisdom.
Stock up on Advil, Buckeye faithful. This one won’t be pretty. But if Michigan could recruit Denard Robinson as a lousy team and be 6-0 a year after Rich Rodriguez got fired, then Ohio State can do it too.