i'll leave the therapeutic deconstruction of yesterday's punishing loss to the professionals.
On Ohio State's uncanny knack for the close game:Bob Kravitz
of the Indy Star: "It's always something with Ohio State, a team that gets a perverse charge out of walking this weekly tightrope. The first few times it happens, it feels a little bit like dumb luck. But then you look at the numbers, and realize the Buckeyes have won 11 of their past 12 games in contests decided by seven points or fewer."Jeff Washburn
of the Lafayette Journal+Courier: "Ohio State is, well, Ohio State. They thrive on the sensitive nerve endings that accompany an athletic contest such as the one played deep into the chilly night on Saturday."ESPN's Maisel
: "They call it Tresselball here. If you want pyrotechnics, go to Oklahoma. Tresselball depends on defense, regards field position as paramount and slowly, inevitably pressures the other team until it cracks."Matthew Zemek
at Fox Sports: "Ohio State doesn't impress you with flash and dash; the Buckeyes simply don't flinch. And while they don't blow you out of the water, they almost unfailingly do just enough to win each and every ballgame they play...Just enough, just a little bit better, just a little bit more airtight, just a little more mental toughness - that's the Ohio State Buckeyes for you, and if you haven't gotten used to it by now, you never will."
It's fairly clear to me now that OSU does get its share of breaks, but they're just as capable of manufacturing them as they are in letting the football gods parachute them in at critical moments. During the game yesterday I marveled at how many times an OSU cornerback batted away a sure 7-yard slant pass (OLB Hawk, especially); how many Buckeye punts were downed inside the 10; how the secondary never let anyone get behind them for a big play, no matter how many eons Orton had in the pocket. After a shocker loss to open the season against a quality Bowling Green squad, I stated
that Purdue's "seat at the kid's table is now open, and you'll have to beat michigan and osu on the road to get up from it again." I stand by that belief, but it doesn't blunt at all the pain of coming so damn close.
Note from public affairs office to Joe Tiller: It's expected that ranked team coaches use sentences with verbs and a noun or three in postgame conferences. Acting like the pissed off kid on the empty playlot doesn't help the team, the fans, or the institution. Carr, Tressel, and hell, even Bowden would've done better in your shoes today. We still love what you've done over the past seven years, but the real sea change in the program's
perception still begins at the top.