Sure we could name off college football teams that have dominated like OSU this year. At least every other year it seems like we praise that super elite college power that just rips their opponents. USC or Oklahoma or the Hurricanes…even since 2000 we have seen the juggernauts. However, this OSU juggernaut is different. What has stood out about those other teams is the personnel. They have freakish physical talent that makes opponents look small and slow. Bigger, faster, and stronger defined the other elites.
While I never played on a National Championship team, I was fortunate enough to play for some competitive teams in the national title hunt. Even the identity of those teams was Orlando Pace, Eddie George, Terry Glenn and Andy Katzenmoyer. These were superior players on a different physical level.
The 2006 Buckeyes have a different identity. Don't get me wrong, OSU has a Heisman on this team. And they have Ginn and Jenkins and Gonzalez and Pittman and Wells and Pitcock and many others. You can expect some big time NFL signing bonuses in the near future. But quite honestly there have been other powerhouses with All-Americans on the field and even future All-Americans in back-up roles.
The reason I say I have never seen a team like this is because of the execution. IT LOOKS LIKE OHIO STATE HAS MORE PRACTICE DAYS THAN OTHER TEAMS. IT LOOKS LIKE OHIO STATE PRACTICES LONGER HOURS WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER TEAMS. IT LOOKS LIKE OHIO STATE HAS MORE WALK THROUGHS. IT LOOKS LIKE OHIO STATE HAS MORE FILM STUDY.
Even the brightest NFL scout can't clearly differentiate the 40 yard dash times of the Buckeye players against the Golden Gopher players on a Saturday afternoon. OSU safeties look fast and big, but all Big Ten opponents have fast and big safeties. Tressel's guys just line up in the right spot and they finish in the right spot. This team is about being well coached as much as it is about having high profile players.
OSU is extremely complete. I watch as much football as anybody, and I have never been so taken back after games. I say to myself a few times a game, "OSU is just smarter. They are coached better." If coaches are the ones playing chess, OSU players understand why they moved each piece in that chess game.
The credit goes to the head coach. He calculates every detail. Books handed out to his team in the summer, off-season team-building activities, roommate assignments, and travel details all play a role in a 44-0 thumping of Minnesota. All the little things add up to a more complete team. Nobody has any business being where OSU is after losing nine starters on defense and five guys to the first round.
Last April, fans needed a "cheat sheet" watching the defensive backfield during scrimmages because people weren't sure which newcomer wore which number. Is that guy a corner or a safety? Is that guy a sophomore or a freshman? Well we know now. The rapid mental rise of these players is incredible.
Quick thoughts about the Minnesota game...
- Scoring drive by the offense followed by a three and out by the defense followed by another scoring drive by the offense. That is putting pressure on an opponent.
- Wouldn't mind seeing Dominic Jones in a Scarlet and Gray uniform.
- The ball was on the ground too much.
- Penalty costed OSU points late in the first half.
- What a start to the 2nd half! Seven points off the Smith pick followed by seven points off the O'Neal pick.
- That is a whole lot of offensive balance coming at a great Michigan defense.