Like most years, when football season rolls around, everyone from the players, coaches and fans have grown to expect two things. Beat Michigan and win a National Championship. This season came to a climax similar to Ohio State’s season in 2003. That year, we came off of a huge National Championship win against the University of Miami. We had one loss but were still in a position to go to the National Championship again if we won our final game. This year, it was Clemson. In 2003, it was Michigan. In both cases Ohio State played their worst game of the season and the other team played their best.
In 2003, Coach Jim Tressel’s motto for the entire season was don’t get caught looking at your ring. Coming off a National title the year before, it was hard not to. What he meant by that was, the more you look at what you did in the past, the easier it is for someone to sneak up on you and take you out. That year, that’s exactly what Michigan did. Although Ohio State is a young team this year, I believe they started believing the hype that surrounded them at the wrong time. All season, aside from Penn State, they have played like a determined team. In the college football playoffs they played like they were all first round draft picks right now and Clemson should just get out of the way so they can play for another title. That’s where they failed from top to bottom.
Now, what does this give us for next season? Unlike our 2003 season where we lost many veteran starters, this team has a more veteran team coming back. Here’s what it will take to win that National Championship trophy next year.
- Leadership – When you have a young team, leadership can lack but with a veteran team it is essential to going all the way.
- Newbies Stepping Up – We will still lose some key starters and those newbies who have only gotten experience in practice will need to grow up fast and be a significant part of the offense and defense.
- Coaching adjustments – Urban Meyer always has his team ready but will they utilize every player in the right way in order to capitalize on every possession.
If Ohio State does those things, there is no reason we should not be playing for a National Title next year. Time will tell.
Maurice “Mo” Hall