I realize this might not be the best time to bring up this topic up with the Orange Bowl kicking off in just a few hours. I decided enough was enough last night after watching a very inspired Oklahoma team beat up the King of the SEC. What the Sooners did to Alabama last night warmed my soul. Not because an SEC team lost in a major bowl game; but because Oklahoma, a team that was given no chance to win that game and with a redshirt freshman starting quarterback, played with the hearts of champions. They showed more character in one game than I have seen from Ohio State in years.
My disgust with this current Buckeye team started shortly after the loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. I wasn’t upset that we lost that game. I was actually relieved. Michigan State is hands down the better team. You can’t piss and moan when the better team wins. It was also refreshing to lose in conference and avoid the embarrassment of getting destroyed in the national title game. My repugnance for these heartless Buckeyes grew as story after story came through the media as they ran with quotes and rumors of current players. Things no player should think, let alone say out loud.
It all started with Braxton Miller. Apparently Miller is an unhappy camper. He was upset at the “abuse” he took this year. He feels like he carried the ball too much, and Ohio State didn’t use their running backs as much as they should have. He also has major concerns about next season. Rumor has it that Miller (a fifth round draft pick at best) has all but decided to turn pro after the Orange Bowl. I have no issues with that. If the young man thinks he can make it in the NFL, then more power to him. However, his logic for wanting to leave school early is cowardly at best. His concern is that Ohio State needs to replace four starters on the offensive line. They also lose Carlos Hyde and Philly Brown. This is comical. Someone needs to tell Braxton that change is a part of life. He clearly has zero faith in his coaches to recruit players to step up and replace starters.
It should also be pointed out to Braxton that all those carries he was hit on weren’t designed quarterback runs. In fact, the coaching staff called less designed runs for Miller this year than in his two previous years as a starter. It’s not the coaches fault that Miller consistently makes the wrong read on the read option; choosing to run the ball when he should have given it to Hyde. The person that should be upset with “all the carries” that Miller had is Hyde. Braxton cost Carlos at least 200 yards this year. It’s also Miller’s own fault that he can’t read a defense when he drops back to pass. If Neo could see through the Matrix, he would feel the need to run less. If Miller’s first read isn’t open, he runs. Not the coaches fault. When the draft is over, and Philly Brown doesn’t hear his name called, ask him whose fault it is.
If it wasn’t nice enough to see the starting quarterback has no heart, let’s not forget about the starting “All American” defense back Bradley Roby. If you follow Ohio State football, there was one thing that was crystal clear this year; Roby is awful. Mr. Roby had a great year…in 2012. Instead of turning pro after a solid year he decided that he would come back for another season as a Buckeye. At the time Buckeye fans were delighted, but their mood quickly changed. People in the know said that Roby, almost instantly, had buyer’s remorse. After choosing to return, he realized that he should have left school. Like a kid that just got dumped by his high school sweetheart the night before prom, his attitude and body language were appalling all season. Now he has a phantom knee injury, an injury that apparently occurred during the Big Ten title game (even though the entire country watched him walk off the field after that game…with no limp). Still, it must be one hell of an injury not to heal in five weeks, not require surgery, but still allow him to take part in the NFL combine in a few weeks. His knee is fine; the boy is missing his heart.
Those are the two biggest stories to surface from Buckeye camp since the end of the season. Hardly the only examples of how heartless this team has become. There are plenty of stories surrounding senior offensive tackle Marcus Hall. You remember him? He is the kid that came on the field in the Michigan game and punched another player. He then gave the Michigan fans the double bird as he left the stadium. He is very upset about being benched for the Big Ten title game. Apparently he has been making life difficult for the staff with his constant crying about it. This kid not only lacks heart, he lacks perspective as well. He is a victim of his own stupidity, but everyone else is to blame.
Let’s not get started on Noah Spence. We just don’t have time even though it speaks volumes to the lack of heart this team has. If you’re a Buckeye fan, I wouldn’t expect much from this team tonight. Do the Buckeyes have the better coach? That’s debatable. Do they have more talent? Sorry Buckeye fans, it’s an even match up. Will the Buckeyes be motivated to win their first bowl game under Meyer? Not from what I’ve seen. In fact, I am surprised they even made the trip to Miami. I guess they really wanted their free trip to Florida and the bowl game gift basket.