Unfortunately, I no longer live in Ohio, so I can’t stick a thermometer up Buckeye Nation’s ass to get an accurate reading on its stress level right now. It’s probably high, despite the Buckeyes’ 60-35 victory over Illinois yesterday.
It’s a tired topic and no one–especially Tinsley–really cares about the plight of Buckeyes fans. We’re a loathsome bunch. I get that. You try living in a state that’s simultaneously important as an election bellweather (still 11 million people, believe that) and sh*t upon as a national punchline because the statewide mythos is still tied up somewhere between 1946 and that time the Cuyahoga caught fire (f*ck you and your flyover state and LeBron jokes).
But we care a lot about football, especially whether or not the Buckeyes are getting their fair share of national title shine for a team that’s won 22 straight games. Granted, it isn’t the prettiest football known to man, which is why Buckeyes fans are prone to anxiety. Ohio State gave up 35 points, 420 yards of total offense and allowed Illinois to hold onto the ball for 31 minutes yesterday–all way more than the team’s allowed on average this season.
And this cannot happen for a title contender. Not in the B1G, which pundits and voters have ruled as the weakest automatic qualifying conference outside the American. Chances are Baylor–and not Stanford, for reasons listed below–will leap-frog the Buckeyes in the polls if not this week then in weeks to come if both remain unbeaten.
That’s okay. There’s nothing Ohio State can do at this point to overtake Florida State or Alabama to reach the title game. Ditto Baylor, because Baylor’s offense is SkyNet and a win over highly ranked Oklahoma State next Saturday would all but affirm their resume. These are things you cannot control, Buckeyes fans, neither can you Mark May’s jackassery nor the outsourcing of the state’s last working class jobs. The universe tends to unfold as it should, and people will talk, point, laugh and condescend as they always have.
However, you can control your emotions and shift that anxiety into excitement for the final four games of the year. The Buckeyes still haven’t lost since 2011, and might not by season’s end. Not many fan bases can look forward to the same.
– Heya, above you can find your touchdown catch of the year, courtesy of UCF’s J.J. Worton. You cannot dispute this. His catch tied the game with Temple with a little over a minute left in the game. UCF would eventually add a field goal in overtime to avoid the upset, but the Knights owe Worton a beer when they get back to Orlando for keeping their BCS hopes alive.
– Okay, so: Wisconsin racked up 552 yards of offense on the ground yesterday against Indiana. Wisconsin, as Rece Davis put it, “[was] doing to Indiana what it always does: hits them in the face with a shovel.” Here’s all of that face-hitting with a shovel put into “wowza!” stats we can all appreciate:
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) November 16, 2013
That was Wisconsin's 8th rushing play of 20 yards or more in this game. Virginia Tech had 4 through ten games.
— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) November 16, 2013
– No one should have to live in a world where Duke is 8-2 entering the thirteenth week of the season, controlling its ACC Championship Game destiny. No one. Which is why the Blue Devils’ 48-30 victory against a poopy Miami (Fl) squad should merit more attention from Chicken Little, Apocalypse-barking right-wing pundits than whatever the most recent Obamacare f*ck-up is.
– And above is your most ridiculous touchdown catch of the year, because Holy Sh*t.
With 25 seconds left, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall chucked the piggy into a double-covered Ricardo Louis who somehow came up with it for a touchdown after two Georgia defensive backs dunce-bumbled it. The score gave Auburn the 43-38 victory, a 10-1 record and now a supremely juicy Iron Bowl match-up with Alabama on November 30.
Oh, and here’s Georgia’s reaction:
What an image of utter disbelief on the Georgia sideline. What a finish. pic.twitter.com/2OkVCLY1Af
— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) November 17, 2013
– And Stanford lost! Go figure. The Cardinal went to South Central to battle USC–which College Gameday’s Lee Corso surprisingly picked as the upset around noon EST–and dropped the contest 20-17, allowing Oregon to control its own destiny in the Pac-12 (the Ducks beat up Utah, 44-21, whom Stanford lost to a few weeks ago). I figure this is the point where people stop trying to make that horrible argument that the Pac-12 is just as strong as the SEC, but I’m not that hopeful.
– Oh, and Baylor won again, 63-34, over Texas Tech, if you’re into that sort of thing. As stated above, Baylor should be ranked ahead of Ohio State in all of the polls and Ohio State fans should come to grips with that.
– Once again, Steve Spurrier is a folk hero like the greatest Mark Twain characters. Real respects real, always.
— Spurs & Feathers (@SpursFeathers) November 17, 2013
GIFs: GIFSection.com, SB Nation GIF; Photos: Getty