Busted Beanie Baby: Are The Buckeyes BCS Hopes Broken?

Shawn CollierContributor IAugust 31, 2008

Yesterday the impossible happened.

Yesterday, what many college football fans across the country consistently hope for transpired.

Buckeye Nation was hushed.

But the way it went down, you do not even wish this upon your worst enemy. Unless of course you are the polar opposite of a fan with class.

In the third quarter of a game against in-state cupcake Youngstown State, Heisman Hopeful Chris "Beanie" Wells went to the ground clutching his right foot.

Sure, he had just fumbled the ball and YSU recovered. Such a play would usually result in moans and groans from the Buckeye faithful. But 105,000 plus went eerily silent, as what would was perceived as the hopes and dreams of the 2008 season lie in obvious pain.

Beanie Wells was helped off the field by Buckeye teammates, and carted to the locker room by medical personnel. X-rays came back negative, which is good, but does not say a lot.

OSU kicker Ryan Pretorious reported, "I spoke to Beanie and he says it's just his big toe and he'll be fine."  

Today on ESPN former OSU Running Back and ESPN Analyst Robert Smith took a more pessimistic approach. His diagnosis, as a best as a non-doctor can, was that despite the positive news from the negative x-rays, the way Wells grabbed his foot appeared more severe. Smith hypothesized that it is a small tissue tear that won't be detected until an MRI is done.

Most likely we won't know anything until Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Until then the #3 Buckeyes will sit back and wait and mentally prepare for what could be a great loss.

But the loss isn't just for Ohio State and all of its Buckeye fans. College football will take a hit too.

Sure, injuries are part of the game and have derailed many talented teams from achieving greatness. Just ask Quarterback Dennis Dixon and the Oregon Ducks.

September 13th, the 2008 non-conference showdown everyone is waiting for, the Ohio State Buckeyes at the L.A. Coliseum versus the University of Southern California Trojans, may have just lost a little luster.

The game will still be huge, but in the Hollywood setting, marquee names help make the plot thicker. College football fans across the country looked forward to seeing if the bruising junior tailback, a top five Heisman Contender, could put his shoulder down and run over USC linebacker Rey Maualuga.

Just as they look forward to seeing if the new gunslinger in L.A., Mark Sanchez, can tear up the highly touted James Laurinitis led OSU defense. Lucky for USC fans and fans of the game, Sanchez is healthy. Maybe not so lucky for OSU.

Sure, this is all hearsay. What if Beanie is a-ok, and good to go on the 13th? Conspiracy theorists will shout, "It's an act! He's faking it!" Mind-games are a part of the game too.

I for one, do not want to hear any excuses as to why OSU did not beat USC come September 13th. Just as I did not want to hear any excuses from USC, if Mark Sanchez would not have been healthy.

Do I think even with a healthy Chris Wells OSU is going to beat USC? After watching the dismantling of the ACC's Virginia Cavaliers, and seeing a QB who missed most of summer camp due to a dislocated knee, I'm not so sure.

Sanchez threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns en route to the route. Okay, Virginia is not supposed to be very good this year, but still.

But let's get back to the task at hand. Is Ohio State's season lost without Chris Wells? Not necessarily. Without him, yes it is more challenging. Surely the game at USC becomes more of a struggle. But even with a tougher Big 10, the schedule is still manageable.

There are three very capable running backs on the depth chart behind Beanie. Sophomore Brandon Saine, a quick back with good receiving hands on short routes. Senior Maurice Wells, who can cut quicker than Emerill in the kitchen. Then finally, red-shirt freshman Dan "Boom" Herron.

Oh and let's not forget that other freshman, Terrell Pryor. Did you happen to catch his 18-yard touchdown run? He looked like he was gliding, not running.

So OSU fans, try to sleep tight tonight as you await word from the MRI Boogieman. Know that while every team enjoys an advantage, no one likes to see a player get hurt. Fans of the game wish Beanie a speedy recovery, while looking forward to the clash of many Rose Bowl's past on September 13th.





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