The Buckeyes lose, again, 38-24.
The first quarter looked good for OSU. In fact, that early touchdown, to me, was troublesome after remembering what happened last year. But we kept the momentum, taking a 10-0 lead.
By that time, the Tigers settled down and started playing their game, quickly putting the noose around the Buckeyes. Making the game a rerun of last years game.
In a season of surprises, this was not an upset, or a surprise. Ohio State fell apart.
For sure, the Buckeyes were perhaps the most-maligned No. 1 team in recent memory, with critics attacking them all season. Tressel gave his players a 10-minute DVD filled with insults hurled at them by television and radio announcers, hoping it would motivate his team.
Instead, the Tigers ravaged the nation’s best defense and showed that maybe all those naysayers were right.
Interesting article from Sportsline’s Mike Freeman:
When Bucks mess with the best, they can’t count on the Vest
NEW ORLEANS — You probably didn’t see this.
It happened in the first half when the game between Ohio State and LSU was not yet an ugly blowout, not a game that would later raise questions about the big-game coaching ability of Jim Tressel and cause people to attack the Big Ten as an overrated, bloated shell of a conference.
It was still competitive when Glenn Dorsey and several of his LSU friends came crashing through the middle of the Buckeyes line and put pressure on quarterback Todd Boeckman. In the seconds afterward, two Ohio State players would start bickering with each other, right there on the field.
It was a pedestrian argument between the two players, not a fight, not a heated discussion. Still, it was eye-opening and also a sign of a meltdown to come. It was as if those players — and maybe the entire Ohio State team — knew the noose was tightening even in the second quarter, and it was only a matter of time before they were dead Buckeyes.
Before you could finish your beer and bacon cheeseburger, the game was over.
Ohio State brought it’s slow-ass players and corn-fed bullies into New Orleans and were utterly embarrassed, 38-24, by a speedier, better-coached group.
If Ohio State played in the SEC, it’d be known as Mississippi State.
There are three inescapable truths to arise from this game:
First, the Big Ten is awful. The Big Ten makes the Big East look like the NFC East.
Second, the SEC has more than earned its star reputation. It’s the sexiest, most formidable conference in college football. Nothing comes close. It keeps proving it again and again.
“SEC! SEC! SEC!” chanted LSU fans.
Go ahead and crow. You earned it, SEC fans, with a second straight baseball-bat beating of Ohio State.
Actually, Ohio State is 0-9 in bowl games against the SEC.
Another take from ESPN’s Pat Forde
Buckeyes and BCS title game: Third time’s a harm
With the 2007 football season complete, here’s the gameplan for 2008:
Jim Tressel’s Ohio State team has lost back-to-back games for the BCS national championship.
We need border patrols along Interstate 10, from Jacksonville to Pensacola. A coast guard blockade at Biscayne Bay. And the FAA should redirect all inbound flights to South Florida from Ohio.
If you see a silver helmet and a sweater vest coming, contact authorities.
Because next year’s BCS National Championship Game will be played in Miami, and the Ohio State Buckeyes aren’t invited. Especially if the Southeastern Conference champion is invited.
If you’ve ever seen lions maul a water buffalo, you’ve seen the last two title games. You’ve seen a fierce pair of SEC teams — Florida last year, LSU this year — blow the vulnerable Buckeyes back to the Bratwurst Belt by a combined 41 points. You’ve seen the best of one league flex, and the best of an inferior league collapse.
Nobody wants to see it a third time. Give Ohio State credit for consistently being very good — but until Jim Tressel’s team proves it can step up to the highest level of competition and actually stay on the field with an SEC opponent, stay away.
When the program’s bowl record is 0-9 against the SEC, the evidence is overwhelming.
Buckeyes fans are fond of breaking into impromptu group spelling bees, shouting out “O-H-I-O.” When an SEC team shows up on the other sideline it should be “O-H-N-O.”
They’re also fond of calling their school The Ohio State University. It might also now be called The Overmatched State University of the BCS.
This time the final score was healthy-and-loaded LSU 38, in-over-its-head Ohio State 24. And it wasn’t that close. Once again, the Bucks got their fans excited by scoring early — ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown last season, jumped out 10-0 this time.
Then, once again, it was time for southern-fried dominance.
The Buckeyes aided in their own demise by committing a spate of personal-foul penalties. By blowing coverages. By getting a key field goal blocked. By showing neither the composure nor the competitiveness of a champion.
“They didn’t fight back like an SEC team would do,” said LSU safety Harry Coleman, who filled in superbly for injured All-American Craig Steltz.
The Big Ten has been the baby’s crib. Ohio State has coasted through that league 15-1 the past two seasons, only to collapse in the face of an SEC champ with a lower BCS ranking and a worse record.
How much negative momentum had the Buckeyes encountered in strolling to their 11-1 record? How much adversity had they overcome? Almost none.
They were tied with Wisconsin heading into the fourth quarter before pulling away. (The Badgers, by the way, lost to SEC opponent Tennessee in the Outback Bowl.) In their only other serious second-half fight, they seized up and lost at home to Illinois. (The Illini, by the way, were nudged by 32 in the Rose Bowl.)
So, no, the Buckeyes weren’t ready for what LSU threw at them. Not ready to win the battle in the trenches, not ready to match speed on the perimeter, not ready to calmly and smartly execute under a mountain of pressure. LSU figured to be better at a majority of positions but wound up better at virtually every position but running back.
Combine that lack of toughening with vivid memories of the destruction in the desert against Florida and you know why so many of us were concerned about Ohio State’s fitness for this battle. Especially if you saw a fully loaded LSU from earlier in the season, before the SEC wars began wearing it down.
Ohio State, meanwhile, now symbolizes the pigskin Peter Principle. The Buckeyes have achieved just enough the past two seasons to rise to a level where they’re incompetent.
It’s a tough thing, putting together an overachieving season and seeing it end in embarrassing fashion. Especially since the Buckeyes know what this means — another year of “S-E-C” chants and barbs about flopping on the big stage.
If you struggle to take criticism, then you need not be at Ohio State or not be playing the game of football.”
Well, good. At least Tressel knows what he’s in for.
And he should know not to bring that weak Big Ten stuff back to the BCS National Championship Game again next year.
But the Buckeyes deserve some credit. Before the season started, they were expected to be third in the Big 10. They did better than anyone expected.