What is the reason OSU has performed poorly in these three big games on the national stage?

Ohio State brought a perfect undefeated 2006 regular season record into the title game before getting blown out to Florida 41-14.   The following year, Ohio State lost to Illinois in the regular season, but somehow made it back into the title game before getting whipped to LSU 38-24.  This season the #5 Buckeyes played their third regular season game at #1USC where they were embarassed 35-3.   These three games were not close or respectable losses, but were just humiliating losses for the Ohio State football program.

What is the reason that OSU has performed so poorly in these three games? The list of reasons to question are the player personnel, Tressel and his coaching staff being outcoached, the Big 10 Competition weaker than other BCS conferences competition they face, or is it just plain bad luck?

Is it the player personnel?  Does OSU not recruit or have the same type of talented players as Florida, LSU, and USC?    Perhaps these teams have better football players than Ohio State.   Maybe Ohio State recruits great athletes, but not as great of football players as these three teams. Since Tressel and Carroll became coaches at USC and OSU, it appears that USC has been able to produce not only better college football players, but those college players have become better NFL football players, such as Carson Palmer and Reggie Bush than probably any current OSU NFL player.  Watching the game tonight, it obviously appeared that USC’s quarterback was a much better QB than both Boeckman and even the #1 recruit Terelle Pryor, their running backs seemed to be more elusive and tougher to tackle than our running backs (including Chris Wells, even though he didn’t play and the score would have still been similar).

Perhaps it is not just necessarily the talent, but the core problem is the offensive line.  In all three games, the offensive line looked slow and sluggish, allowing the three teams to make our QB’s life a living hell. Hence, Troy Smith was running for his life when he was QB against Florida, Boeckman and Pryor couldn’t escape if their life depended on it because of the other teams defensive pressure on the quarterback. Maybe we need to recruit offensive linesman that can actually block and are faster and more mobile han these slow 300 plus pound guys. All three teams just blew right by the OSU’s offensive line. I think Ohio State should concentrate on recruiting faster and better offensive linesman in the future. Maybe our running backs and quarterbacks would have better protection to throw and run the football if we had better offfensive linesman.

Not only on the offensive side of the football, but also the defensive side as well. The defensive linesman seemed to have trouble pressuring the quarterback and getting sacks or stopping the run.  Florida, LSU, and USC all were able to pressure the offensive front and make it tougher for the quarterback to throw or the running backs to run.  Why couldn’t OSU’s defensive line do that against Florida, LSU, and USC?  It all starts up with the defense up front to get by the offensive line to let the linebackers and cornerbacks make plays.  Maybe it is not the defensive line, but the defense in general on the national stage. After all, the defense gave up 41 points to Florida, 38 points to LSU and 35 points to USC.

Has Tressel and the coaching staff been outcoached against these three top teams?  After taking over as head coach at Ohio State, he has beat Michigan 6 out of 7 times, won a national championship in his second season, but now his record and reputation is starting to tarnish a little because of these three big embarassing losses.   Did Florida, LSU, and USC’s head coaches come up with a better game plan and better on game coaching than Tressel?  Does Tressel not come up with any second-half motivation for the Buckeyes?  Is Tressel to soft as a head coach?  Maybe, these coaches know how to maximize their talent on the field better than Tressel can.  Kirk Herbstreit even made a comment during the game it looks like USC is playing a junior varsity team out there.  Maybe its not all of Tressel’s fault, but the other coaching staff, such as Heacock and Bollman’s poor coaching for the offense and defense.  

Is the Big 10 competiiton just weaker than the other BCS conferences competiton that they face?  Maybe if Ohio State was in the SEC or PAC 10, they wouldn’t be winning conference championships and would truly convey the type of football team they really are.  The rumor is some of the SEC teams have faster players than Big 10 Players. When Florida played OSU, they looked much faster on the field than Ohio State. Perhaps if they were in a more competitve conference, they would be better prepared to play teams that were just as good of teams on the national stage.

Is it bad luck? Does Ohio State just have trouble and choke in big games on the national stage? Their player personnel could possibly be equal to USC, Florida and LSU, their coaching just as good and the conference competition just as good as Florida, LSU and USC conference’s competiton they face. Could Ohio State in general just have bad luck and can’t win big games when they are on the national stage?

What do you think is the reason OSU has performed poorly in these three big games on the national stage?

2 Responses to “What is the reason OSU has performed poorly in these three big games on the national stage?”

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  2. Paul says:

    Well, before the game against UF, a black cat ran across the locker room shortly before tOSU took the field, at halftime against LSU Tressel walked under a ladder, and then Saturday, Boeckman knocked over the salt shaker during dinner.

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