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Ohio State Football: Back-to-Back Losses Have Buckeyes Searching for Mean Streak

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on during warm ups prior to the Discover Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2014

Winning 24 consecutive games will give a team a lot of confidence.

That's natural. Reaching that level of success doesn't happen by accident. Feeling self-assured is inherent.

But what happens when that team is knocked off its mountaintop? 

That's a question Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes are trying to answer this spring.

Ohio State, of course, just watched its historic run come to a crashing halt. One victory away from playing Florida State for a national championship, the Buckeyes faltered in a 34-24 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

Four weeks later in Miami, Ohio State dropped its second consecutive game against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Clemson took control early in a 40-35 victory over Ohio State.
Clemson took control early in a 40-35 victory over Ohio State.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Did a sense of entitlement poison the Buckeyes? According to Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone, Meyer wouldn't go that far. 

"I felt last year, I don't want to say the word entitled, but I felt like there was..." something. Meyer didn't specifically say what he thought that was, but he did expand on his thought.

"I like an angry and blue-collar team," Meyer said. "Were we that? I don't know."

It's easy to understand why Meyer likes angry teams. His best squads were mad about something.

In 2006, Meyer led an angry Florida Gators team all the way to Glendale, Ariz., for a matchup against Jim Tressel's top-ranked Buckeyes. With a national title on the line, Meyer's Gators expressed that anger in a laughable rout over their heavily favored opponent.

According to Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, Meyer preached this message as soon as he took over at Ohio State in 2012.

"The ’06 (Florida) team was very angry," Meyer said. "That’s a coach’s dream, to coach an angry group of guys that are on a mission. A complacent, entitled group? That’s a nightmare."

Down the stretch of the 2013 season, Ohio State may have been slipping toward that sense of entitlement. Comments from Buckeyes wide receiver Evan Spencer last November certainly reflected that.

But nothing diffuses a sense of entitlement like defeat and the Buckeyes have felt that blow the last two times they've taken the field.

Rest assured, Meyer will spend the entire offseason reminding his team of that. And come fall, the Buckeyes will be plenty angry and ready to take out their frustrations.

 

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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