Why Scheduling Navy is a Huge Mistake

osuHelmetI am not what you would call an honorable man. Sad to admit, but it is true. My apple tree in the backyard hangs over my neighbor’s fence (He’s a jerk so I’m not cutting it). If I leave my toothbrush downstairs I will use my wife’s instead. I don’t wash my hands after relieving myself, unless there is another person in the restroom. Yes, I am basically a little league version of a sociopath and I’m ok with that. Despite my genuine lack of decorum, I still respect people who do have integrity. Especially the kids who choose to serve for our country while receiving an education. The Ohio State Buckeyes will open up the 2014 season against an entire team full of these honorable men on August 30th, and I think this is a huge mistake.

Playing a triple option team such as Navy, Ohio State’s first opponent, brings many unnecessary headaches to a coach. Only 4 of the near 120 FBS teams run this old fashioned system in today’s flashy times. No defensive players on Ohio States 2014 roster have ever played a snap against a triple option squad in college. This means that during Ohio States few weeks of training camp, plenty of time will be spent preparing a young defense for a game plan that will be used once all season. The 2009 squad had a helluva time of playing the Midshipmen week 1. That year the Bucks squeaked away with a 4 point win after looking very confused on defense, only to go on and win the Rose Bowl in January. How much will this game help the young secondary’s progression in coverage? How much will this game help anybody on the roster? With a new look back seven, this game week one is nothing but a major annoyance at best. And let’s not even talk about the worst case scenario. This year just seems to be really bad timing to be playing a team such as Navy. After last year’s defensive issues and now with the loss of Miller this game is downright scary. With that said, I believe there never is a good time to play a triple option team such as Navy, Army or Air Force.

Navy is not your regular mid -tier school. They may have similar talent to the Akron, FIU or Michigan (had to) programs, but they have much more heart and discipline. They annually give big time programs scares and have some upsets on their resume recently. After the 09 nail biter against the Buckeyes, they beat Notre Dame two years in a row; in fact they doubled them up 35-17 in 2010. Navy nearly knocked off South Carolina in 2011, falling 3 points short. Add in a few wins the next few years against Indiana, Pittsburgh and almost another defeat of Notre Dame last year, it is clear to see Navy is one mid major who won’t lay down for the power 5 (or wherever Notre Dame decides they are at). The issue is Navy is thought of as a MAC-like football team. A close win or Woody help us, a loss to the Midshipmen would be devastating to a program such as Ohio State. I remember laughing my arse off after Notre Dame got waxed by them a few years ago. Karma could bite me this weekend.

If Ohio State comes out and takes care of business, nobody will understand how difficult the task was. In reality, Navy is an extremely tough team to prepare for and play against. No squad can just show up and beat them, especially with an inexperienced defense. Don’t tell that to the local radio guys or the ignorant fans who expect Ohio State to throttle Navy this Saturday. I sadly feel they could be in for a rude awakening. The situation is all risk and no pay off.

The last reason I hate the idea of playing one of the military academies is personal. I have a lot of hate and anger inside of me that only comes out during Ohio State football and basketball games. I’m not proud of it, my family isn’t proud of it, and there is a good chance my wife will be talking to a divorce lawyer come November. Sad to say, I have to sling insults at the other team’s players and coaches. There is no stopping it. When things are going south in a hurry for the Bucks, the only thing keeping me from making cyanide smoothies is to berate the looks and actions of Ohio State’s opponent. It really calms the nerves.

“Nice tackle but you’re still fat gut-boy.”
“Wow, great punt hairdo, does your girlfriend make you keep the helmet on in bed? You’re ugly as sin.”
“Keep talking trash you worthless thug, you look like you smell terrible.”

These examples are a few of the cleaner comments that will come out when my anger flashes. They’re not funny and usually lack sense or taste (I’m still apologizing to my family for one comment I made during the Fickell year; I shocked myself when it came out). Horrible I know, especially since I’m now 5 to 8 years older than these student athletes. I can’t help it, and I won’t be able to stop it from happening this Saturday, which makes me feel even worse. I will be saying horrible things about young men who are giving up their lives for our country and there is nobody else to blame but Gene Smith. If the Buckeyes were playing Mountain Men Tech or some other Bologna State school on Saturday I would have no problems putting those jabronis in their place from the comfort of my couch. But no, thanks to Gene’s scheduling I will be insulting some amazing men to their faces (well sort of).

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Always, it’s what I do. Maybe Ohio State will come out and play like they should this weekend; I still don’t see why Ohio State should take the risk against such a tough matchup with Navy. Considering the Midshipmen usually play like Tarzan but get the rep. of Jane, it’s just not worth the hassle. Even with a dominant win, nobody on the playoff committee will blink an eye. A struggle could really put the final four out of reach right out of the gate. The few positives such as getting a game in an NFL stadium (Baltimore) and playing one of the NCAA’s most prestigious programs do not really move the teeter totter at all. I doubt any of our beloved Bucks will be telling their grandbabies about that time they played Navy.

Still, don’t get me wrong, I am very excited. No more time for boo-hooing. This weekend is going to be very interesting and boy oh boy am I ready. Fall is almost here which means my apples are starting to drop into my neighbor’s yard; and come Saturday at noon, I’ll be six pumpkin beers deep, ready to sling heinous insults at some honorable young men. I just wish it was against any other school than Navy.

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