Path To The Playoff: Ohio State, Have Fun

    Follow me … don’t cost nothin’ @PeteFiutak Step Seven: For the love of Urban, HAVE FUN. See if this sounds remotely familiar. A supremely talented team

    April 14, 2015

    Follow me … don’t cost nothin’ @PeteFiutak

    Step Seven: For the love of Urban, HAVE FUN.

    See if this sounds remotely familiar.

    A supremely talented team gets tripped up early but overcomes the shocking loss on the way to a fantastic 11-1 regular season, finishing up with a key win over a fierce rival. After managing to get by an Alabama team with designs on winning the national title, it stopped a high-octane, record-setting offense and its Heisman-winning quarterback dead cold to bring Meyer a championship. The next year, the team was everyone’s preseason No. 1 with everything in place to make it two in a row.

    If you thought the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes return loaded, that’s nothing compared to the 2009 Florida Gators.

    Tim Tebow returned for his senior season after leading the 2008 team past the loss to Ole Miss and promising his Gators to wins over Florida State to close out the regular season, the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, and over Sam Bradford and Oklahoma for the national championship. The real excitement, though, was over a dominant defense that returned all 11 starters.

    They started the season 12-0, but to put it mildly, it was a grind, having no fun whatsoever mainly because they set the goal at being nothing short of the greatest team of all-time. That caused them to play really, really, REALLY tight.

    Meyer was perpetually grouchy, Tebow was concussed by a mega-blast to the head early in the season against Kentucky, and even though there weren’t any real scares outside of a 23-20 win over Arkansas, the team seemed absolutely fried.

    Alabama came into the 2009 SEC championship unbeaten and roaring, coming up with a dominant 32-13 win that made Tebow cry and sent Meyer to the hospital in what became the start of the program’s freefall into a few years of mediocrity.

    So there you go, 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes. There’s your cautionary tale. Meyer is a different man and a different coach now, and the experience from going this before should, in theory, help him and the team going into a year when some are going to expect all-time greatness.

    The marathon-not-a-sprint cliché is dead-on right for this year. It’ll be vital that the November Buckeyes are relaxed and excited to continue to play college football.

    Path To The Playoff: Ohio State
    Step One: Accept that the quarterback situation is going to be a distraction and just live with it
    Step Two: You’re the defending national champion. Act the part
    Step Three: Dominate, just in case
    Step Four: Depth, depth, depth. Use it
    Step Five: Don’t keep the other team in the game with giveaways
    Step Six: Stay interested until Thanksgiving
    Is It Going To Happen?

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