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Buckeye Let Down

January 8, 2008 - Seth Staskey
Well, there have been a lot of down moments in my sports life, and Monday's BCS Championship ranks right up there with some of the worst. As a die-hard OSU fan, it was embarassing to watch the team give up 31 unanswered points to a team that doesn't even run the spread. In Arizona last year, everyone talked about the Florida spread and then this season against Illinois it was the same talk of the spread. Well, LSU basically runs a pro-style offense and the Buckeyes still couldn't slow it down let alone stop it. Two things jump out at me: 1. You have to be able to get off the field on third down. You can't let the #2 team in the nation go 10-of-13 on third downs. 2. You have to play with discipline. You can't commit five personal foul penalties and expect to win a big game.

My colleague, Rich Gibson, wrote in Tuesday's BCS package in The Times Leader that it could be time for Tressel to take some heat. I think that's true, but I think it's time that Jim Heacock takes a little bit of heat. The Buckeyes had the nation's top-ranked defense in 19 different categories and got absolutely exposed for the second year in a row when it mattered most.

Now the biggest question leading into spring ball is how many of these players will defect for the NFL. If I were placing a wager, I think Malcolm Jenkins and Vernon Gholston are the only two that will leave. Something tells me that James Laurinaitis and Brian Robiskie will stick around. But, I was also fairly sure last year that Anthony Gonzalez would be back and he was a first-round pick.

While the entire state mourns the loss of a second straight national title game, look at the bright side, there's only a little more than 200 days until Youngstown State comes calling and then a trip to the Los Angeles Colliseum to meet USC in what will be an early look at two teams who could be in Miami next year battling for the title.


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