Do the Buckeyes Look out West for a Blueprint?

This is a Guest Post from Chris Jason, a possible future MotSaG blogger.

College football fans around the nation may think that there is no motivation for a team that cannot play in a bowl game this year, which is the case for your 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes. But look no further than the Buckeyes west coast rival, the USC Trojans, for a blueprint for this upcoming season. USC was supposed to suffer for a while (not as bad as Penn State will, but that is a topic for a different day) after getting hammered with a two year bowl ban, a reduction of scholarships by ten for the next three seasons, the vacating of wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons and a disassociation with Reggie Bush. Sound familiar? Well, instead of falling off the map for a bit after a poor 2010 season (8-5) the Trojans fought back and played spoiler to their rivals throughout the 2011 season (10-2, AP #6). This is how the 2012 Buckeyes need to play this season.

USC finished #1 in the PAC12 South Division with a 7-2 record in the conference, a 4-1 record against the South Division, and outscored their division by a combined score of 185-115. This also included a 50-0 drubbing of LA rival UCLA, the same team that then represented the South division in the inaugural PAC12 title game (since USC was ineligible). The Bruins really earned that title game berth (/sarcasm).

What better message would it be to send to the rest of the Big Ten and the Leaders Division than to go into Camp Randall week 11 (with OSU and PSU out of contention) and play spoiler on what is likely to be the national stage? Wisconsin has basically been handed a berth to the Big Ten title game, but how would they react in the title game (or the following season) if the Buckeyes handed them a USC-UCLA type beating? Ohio State could open the doors for one of the underdogs of the Leaders Division, who in all honesty have no chance while Urban is at the helm for the foreseeable future (yes, we are looking at you Purdue and Illinois). A win over Wisconsin will add fuel to the Meyer-Bielema fire that is going to be atop of the Leaders Division for a while.

The only thing sweeter than ruining Wisconsin’s post season/offseason would be to dash the lofty dreams of that team up North. Coming off a Sugar Bowl win and the return of Shoelace for his senior season, (he didn’t really have a choice) the Maize and Blue are picked to win the Big Ten this season. In all honesty Buckeye fans, would there be ANYTHING better than knocking Michigan out of the Big Ten title game, a chance of playing for the Roses and dashing Robinson’s quest for a Heisman in one game? Absolutely not.

The Buckeyes could roll over this season, play .500 ball, feel sorry for themselves and look forward to next season. Or, they could finish in the top 10 of the AP poll, be ranked pre-season top 5 next season, have a Heisman favorite at quarterback and play spoiler to their biggest rivals like Southern Cal did.

Is that enough motivation for this season? I think Urban and the crew believes so.

-Chris Jason


  1. I’ve always thought the “spoiler” mentality was limited to teams near the end of the season. it will be interested to see if Urban can get that attitude all season long.

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