Thursday, May 30, 2013


Nick Saban
I logged on to Twitter the other evening only to find myself bombarded by tweets regarding some so-called derogatory comments about the Ohio State football team by Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Buckeye fans were absolutely livid over words uttered at the SEC spring meetings in Florida by the four-time national championship winning coach, calling him names that shouldn't be repeated on this forum — or anywhere else for that matter.

Of course, having such an inquiring mind as the one I possess, I went forth to find out what Saban REALLY said about Ohio State, because, let's face it, Buckeye fans' hearts can be a lot bigger than their brains sometimes.

The comments which have created the firestorm came after Saban was asked his thoughts on the possibility that if Ohio State were eligible last season, Alabama would've been watching the national championship game from home, instead of playing and winning it over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

"How well would (Ohio State) have done if they played the six (SEC) teams ranked in the Top 10?" Saban said. "Would they beat them all? Would they beat three of them? And I think they have a really good team and Urban (Meyer) is a great coach. I’m not questioning any of that. 

"I’m just saying that’s where strength of schedule and who you play don’t get sort of accounted for quite equally."

To be quite honest, I don't see where Saban said much of anything in that statement. 

He never said Ohio State wasn't a good team. In fact, he said "they have a really good team." 

He also never stated that the Buckeyes would have been steamrolled by SEC competition. At worst, he said the Buckeyes would have won three of those games, which means they only would've lost once, being that the most "Top 10" SEC schools any team faced was four (LSU and Florida). So in actuality, Ohio State fans should feel flattered by Saban's sentiments.

I do believe — whether Buckeye Nation wants to agree or not — that Saban is correct about the strength of schedule issue. It isn't fair for a team possessing quality wins against Top 10 competition to take a back seat in a championship game to a squad who plays the "little sisters of the poor."

I agree with OSU head coach Urban Meyer that by season's end in 2012, the Buckeyes could've played with any team in the country, including Alabama. But that doesn't change the fact that their schedule was south of embarrassing.

Now, I don't care that Ohio State escaped with a three-point victory over Indiana or had a desperation last-second score to force overtime with Purdue. I mean, in 2002, the Buckeyes had victories of a touchdown or less in six games — including Purdue — and still went on to win the national championship against one of the greatest college football teams of all-time in the University of Miami.

But it remains a humbling reality that the Buckeyes went unbeaten in 2012 without beating a single team in the top 20 (final AP poll). 

In this world, you have to have credentials, a resume to get where you want to be. And seeing your top wins — the highlights of your resume — coming against No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Nebraska is like expecting an acceptance letter from Oxford because you have an A.A. from the University of Phoenix.

The bottom line is, Buckeye fans need to get a grip. Be happy with the direction of the program, and not worry about what a coach in another conference has to say about your favorite football team.

Which in all reality was absolutely nothing at all.