Ohio State winning was a preconceived conclusion, likely to be the final result officially determined for the championship weekend, but…
Ohio State winning was a preconceived conclusion, likely to be the final result officially determined for the championship weekend, but the first was adopted.
What was important was everything else and how much: Could No. 6 Buckeyes trounce Northwestern make their victory look more impressive than No. 5 Oklahoma? And should No. 1 Alabama Eviscerate No. 4 Georgia the way it already had its 12 previous opponents, which gave it a quick kick of consideration?
At the kickoff, Oklahoma had succeeded in defeating No. 1
4 Texas and Georgia had come within a touchdown of taking down the tide after almost all of the game. The Sooners had made a convincing argument for including a top 10 team – and Bulldogs might have been even more impressive in its loss. Ohio State needed something close to perfection, as it fell in its 45-24 victory over Northwestern.
Nothing about Ohio State’s performance-Dwayne Haskin’s brilliance, the mediocre defense – was even the slightest bit surprising, beyond perhaps the Northwestern third quarter. When Buckeyes has fought this season (in a loss for Purdue and against Maryland, above all), it has often been from the beginning to get back in three or four quarters. Against the wild cats, Ohio State looked promising and showed defensively the quarter and left Haskins an almost impossible task. Quarterbacks, which ended the night 34 of 41 with 499 meters, five touchdowns and one intercept, could not have done much more than he did – but Ohio State needed complete control. Instead, the rest of the team gave their quarterback less help than it should have, commit nine penalty for a total of 90 meters and let Northwestern get its way, especially in the field play. (The Wildcats backupback, John Moten IV, ripped off a 77-yard touchdown in the first quarter.)
Yes, the Buckeyes became big, but they looked sloppy for several moments than any competitor should win against a four-loss opponent-especially during a season where three of the four College Football Playoff teams will be unanswered headlines in the semifinals. The big ten may not have made Ohio State any benefit with its wrinkled divisions. Only an all-out kitten of the wild cats would give positive feelings, but Buckeyes made their lives harder on Saturday night, because they have the whole season. This defense went to Saturday No. 57, in terms of points, in FBS, so that the opponents average 160.6 rush turns (62) and 237.6 meters in the air (No. 75). It is the worst Buckeyes unit of coach Urban Meyer’s seven-year job in Columbus, the limiting factor in an otherwise impressive season where Buckey’s sophomore quarterback often saw part of a Heisman winner.
Haskins continued fighting until the end On Saturday, which never lets Northwestern go closer than the 24-21 differential, it hit a touchdown halfway through the third quarter. From there, Ohio State put a touchdown on a fast 60-meter unit, where Haskin’s finished passes nine, 16 and 29 meters. After the wild cats blocked a field goal on the next Ohio State unit, Buckeyes bumped another impressive march down the field, this time 75 meters at just 1:23, thanks in large part to a 63-yard Johnnie Dixon reception.  At that time, the Ohio State victory seemed in hand – as it was, and Haskins and Company set a fourth quarter touchdown on the way to victory. When Northwestern fell out of reach, Buckeyes needed to bury them – as they did – but the game was less wrinkled than the final result, and the CFP committee will take this into account. And after a dramatic and full season, Buckeyes ended on Saturday, it seemed worse at a playoff dock than they had entered it one day when they needed to skip at least two teams in the position. They are 12-1, Big Ten-master, and without any connection, it’s an impressive achievement. But thanks in part to Standard Meyer’s team has put this decade – as well as the idea that Northwestern was just a key player or two away from winning out – Buckeyes ending the regular season with a emptiness. If their name is called into the fourth playoff place tomorrow, it will be because the play committee saw a lot of the rest of the game not on Saturday, at the end of a confounding season for a wildly talented team.