What an awful night January 6th would have been if Ohio State was, you know, good, and had taken care of business against Michigan State in the B1G championship game.
I guess that’s what happens when you play a ranked team.
If you follow me on twitter, you were probably able to tell from tweets like these that I was pretty happy with Sparty pulling the upset. I’ve never been one for sympathy towards those who betray me:
And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one expressing jubilation.
I don’t actually have a problem with Urban Meyer for leaving Florida and jumping to Ohio State the way he did, and I don’t have a problem with him wanting to be a family man (I actually respect him for that), but I do have a problem with him reporting Florida for a violation they didn’t actually commit, and I have an even bigger problem with him telling a recruit not to go to Florida because of character issues in the locker room. So yes, I am very happy that Meyer no longer has a chance to win a national championship. I believe strongly in Meyerfreude, a new word that surfaced on twitter last night that specifically means “Taking pleasure in Urban Meyer’s misfortune”. He seemed to have no problem with Florida’s misfortune of supposedly committing a violation, didn’t he?
But while I was most excited at the prospect of Ohio State blowing its chances at a national title, there was something else mixed in there too. Something akin to relief, perhaps at the fact that now I don’t have to watch the BCS Championship Game rooting for lightning to drop in and force officials to call off the game. I’m going to be watching it in Tallahassee, too, to prove that I can indeed take what I dish out (karmic payback for the days when the same Urban Meyer who I’m now mocking was thrashing Florida State).
Having said all this, I’m not a huge Auburn fan, but I have historically rooted for them more often than not. They hate Georgia and Alabama, two of the most ignorant fan bases on the face of the earth, and they dropped 55 on Rocky Top, which is always good. I didn’t exactly appreciate Wes Byrum’s Gator Chomp in 2007, but I can accept it as a 17 year old kid having fun, and speaking honestly, I probably would have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. So I can root for the Tigers now, and quite easily, over FSU. An Auburn victory would mean that the Tigers would own a sweep over the Gators’ three main rivals, and I love watching Georgia, Tennessee and FSU lose any game regardless of how bad they are.
Before the game kicks off, though, I’m going to sit back and think: what, exactly would it have been like to be watching Florida State and Ohio State? We all know that would be miserable, but just how miserable? Do we root for the Buckeyes to keep FSU stuck at two national titles (while Florida has three), or do we root for the Noles to silence our former coach and prove that he misses Tim Tebow more than he cares to admit? I think at the end of the day, most Gators would swallow their pride and grudgingly root for Ohio State, but not before giving it a ton of thought.
Even worse, though, would be the fact that the SEC’s streak of seven straight national titles would be over- and that would be a crying shame. Ohio State would have beaten two ranked teams, and zero top ten teams. Auburn beat two top ten teams, went 12-1 in the nation’s best conference, won that conference, beat the defending champion of that conference and out dueled the defending Heisman Trophy winner on his home turf. Sure, Ohio State would have been undefeated with the win, but everybody knows that if you dropped them in the SEC, their record would be much worse than it is in the B1G. There’s a reason the Buckeyes are 0-11 against SEC teams in bowl games.
But thanks to Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford and Michigan State’s defense coming up big in the clutch, none of this is going to happen. Langford exposed the Buckeyes’ defense, gashing them for 128 yards on the ground and Cook picked them apart for 304 yards and three touchdowns.
The highlight of the night came in the first quarter. Cook dropped back to pass on a routine 2nd and 14. His receiver, Keith Mumphery, ran a simple 20 yard out pattern, and Cook lofted the ball towards him. Ordinarily, this would be fatal. A real defense would have a safety back there to clobber Mumphery, even if the corner was beaten by as badly as Buckeyes DB Corey Brown was. But then, OSU doesn’t have a real defense. Brown jumped the route, but found himself badly out of position and Mumphery caught the rainbow pass and sprinted 50 more yards for an inexplicable touchdown.
Even though the Buckeyes came back, and actually took the lead, I knew Ohio State was bound to screw up defensively at least once more. And they did, after Sparty had taken the lead back from them, 27-24 with just a few minutes to play. Langford, a power back with decent, but certainly not overwhelming speed, looked like a jet busting up the middle and splitting a pair of Buckeyes who took horrible angles en route to to the clinching touchdown.
Now, the Buckeyes will likely go from playing the ACC’s best team to the ACC’s second best in Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It’s not a done deal yet, but I have a gut feeling that will be the matchup in the Orange Bowl. I think it’s a safe bet that most Florida fans will become diehard Clemson supporters in the Orange Bowl, while we all sit back and wait until January 6th for the real football game to be played.