A win is still a win

Fundamental rules apply…And a win is still a win…

Like the grief process…It's funny how we, as OSU fans adapt so quickly to increasingly-frightening reality. When the Bearcats scored first, I thought "Well, there goes the shutout". When they scored again, I thought "Well, there goes the spread". When the Bucks didn't get a first down on their first three possessions, I thought "Gosh, this is going to look bad for our national rankings". The thinking devolved from there to "I hope we can get back in it" then "at least make it close" and then to "It's always better to lose early in the season" and to "I can't believe we really won". Kinda like if your kid comes home ten minutes late, you really light him up. If it's an hour late, you are just glad he's safe…

Busted again…You lose by the busted play and – occasionally – you win by it, too. How many blown blocks, bad routes and gimpy assignments contributed to Ohio State's early downfall? Then, that all became offset when Krenzel turned some sandlot busted plays into gainers and, ultimately, the winning score. The whole busted-play karma can help a team prevail in a given game but the odds – and the line – say you won't make a productive season out of that habit…

And busting Craig again…Against Washington State, Krenzel had some el stinko moments but we justified them all due to 1) The wind affected him 2) He stayed away from turnovers and 3) He made good decisions. In the Cincinnati sequel (El Stinko II), there was no wind, egregious turnovers and bad decisions. We are not exactly pining for the days of Bellisari yet, but it's hard not to be a little envious – week after week – in looking at the quality of opposition's QBs, like Kingsbury, Gesser or Guidugli…

As Rick Minter discoveredA sigh is just a sigh. And a win is still a win…

The young bloods…I am a big Lydell Ross fan, both last year and this year, as well. Some people forget that he is even younger than Clarett (weird, but true). Flydell was a difference maker last Saturday and I look forward to a lot of two-back sets for the next three years. That becomes even more of a realistic option when you look at the scant contribution of our fullbacks, so far…

Big two, little eight?… More like the Three Pretenders and the Aching Eight. The bad news for the Big Ten becomes the good news for our Bucks. The Big Ten/Eleven started out lousy this year and then it got worse. Yes, PSU, Wisky and the Buckeyes are holding their own but last weekend continued the litany of embarrassing performances: Wake Forest (yes, they play football…) beat Purdue, lowly San Jose State beat Illinois at Illinois, Indiana scrambled to beat Central Michigan, Northwestern had to score often and late to subdue Navy and Michigan (yes, they still play football, too…) overpowered Utah 10-7. The Buckeye-Bearcat game fit right in, somehow…

No place like home…Although all of us soothsayers said that the Next Best Thing to playing at home would be to play on the road an hour from home at a "neutral field" with the majority of the fans being Buckeyes. We need to sayeth a different sooth. Well, how about going to Chicago to play the truly-awful Northwestern Mildcats in two weeks? If that doesn't work, it could be a long season with Camp Randall Stadium, Purdue and Illini all looming on the road. Gosh, those just don't sound like tough games (see previous notes…) but the Bearcats proved you can't take anything for granted this year…

The defensive Gamble…If Chris Gamble was asked to do anything more, he would need a cape. As our most electrifying receiver, he has also become an electrifying punt-returner, plus he broke a kickoff 96 yards (plus or minus a holding call…). Then to top all that, Tressel brings him in as a cornerback at crunch time! And all Super Chris does is intercept a pass in the end zone. Now, I am all for the Woodson-style heroics, but what does that communicate to the other eight or nine alleged CB's? Britton, Jacobs, Underwood et al are waiting for the positive spin on this one. And as I promised the elder McNutt, I'm not going to say anything negative again this week about young Richard.

NFL burlesque…It's a given that the No Fun League needs to throw as much junk at the fans as possible to stifle the chronic yawns. But, man, in a great college football struggle, the throw-in sideshow just comes off as crap. All the junk-hype music between plays and the silly announcements and…well, you get the picture. Maybe these stadiums need to address the "product problem" and not focus as much on the public address…

Halves and half-nots…After a bad first half the previous week against the Cougars, we fans were lulled into a complacency-of-sorts with a bad first half against those Bearcats. Sure enough, the Buckeyes stormed back on the field as Big Bullies but they couldn't convert a fourth down and seemed to lose interest again. How to get these guys to play at high-end for 60 minutes? That's what separates the level OSU is at from the next level up…

You must remember this…And a win is still a win!


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