It would be different if, say, Maurice Clarett were still punking things up, if the Buckeyes were accessorizing orange prison jump suits with Big Ten championship rings. It would be much easier to dislike these guys if they were the least bit arrogant. Woody Hayes’ neo-Fascism could suck the life out of any room. The closest Jim Tressel gets to vanity is his special closet time when he picks out that day’s Garanimals.
Let’s see, is it going to be the gray sweater vest and the red tie today, or the red sweater with the gray tie?
These Buckeyes know their act is getting stale. They’ve played in the past two BCS title games and lost by a combined 41 points. That the winners were SEC teams has casual observers howling that Ohio State should be playing in the Sun Belt, that the Big Ten is the Sun Belt.
Eight days from kickoff, these Bucks are aware that their reputation going into 2008 is somewhere between the Washington Generals and Dwight Schrute on The Office.
“Nobody ever remembers the losers,” cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said. “I couldn’t name the last four national championships losers before (us).”
That doesn’t mean they’re going to stop playing. If there is a top story arc to this season, it is whether Ohio State can do it again. Even then, it all depends on what your definition of “again” is. Do you want to see the Bucks a) in the title game again, b) lose the title game again or c) become national champions … again, or at least for the second time in the past seven years.
If you picked a) you’re a Buffalo Bills fan. If you picked b) you’re from Florida or Georgia already figuring your team is going to be there to make it happen. If you picked c), you consider that vial of Woody’s sweat you wear around your neck a holy relic.