Ohio State Wins Big; Pat Forde Still Delivers Backhanded Compliment

HD Handshoe - BlockONation.com@BlockONationAnalyst IOctober 19, 2008

The Ohio State Buckeyes must feel like Rodney Dangerfield, because they are once again getting "no respect."

The defense played great!

The offense was back!

The Buckeye machine was running on all cylinders in East Lansing Saturday afternoon, to the tune of 45-7.

Most of the media and fans outside of Ohio didn't expect Ohio State to win so convincingly.

Actually, most of them didn't expect Ohio State to win at all.

Many, if not most, of the so-called experts picked Michigan State to pull off the big upset win and end any talk of the Buckeyes making it to a BCS game, or God forbid a third-straight BCS title game.

Pat Forde wrote a story for ESPN.com about Pryor telling Coach Tressel to bench him if he didn't lead the team down the field on the first few drives.

Mostly through the article, Forde recapped how the game played out, and he even seemed to give the Buckeyes, and specifically Pryor, credit for a big win in blowout fashion on the road.

Then, after setting up the dominos, seemingly building up Pryor and the team for a great performance, in typical ESPN, Mark May and Pat Forde fashion, he wrote two little sentences right near the end of his story that knocked them all back down, and I quote:

"Buckeyes fans love wearing jerseys to games, and all of them should come with a chip on the shoulder given the state's wounded reaction to criticism of Ohio State's serial pratfalls in major national games.

First there was Florida, then LSU, then USC—but now, returned to the safe (and slow) harbor of the Big Ten, the Bucks are rolling once more." -- Pat Forde, ESPN.com

You can read the whole story here.

You know, it's just like ESPN to allow their analysts to write and publish these kinds of articles, so I'm not completely shocked, but I am perturbed by it all.

Basically, those two sentences are what stand out to me in his entire story, and sadly, I believe that's how Forde wanted it. It was no accident. That's fine. I guess he thinks we deserve it.

I'm still trying to figure out how you can bash a team for losing four games in three years, two of them to national champions (FLA and LSU), one to the No. 1 team in the nation (USC) while undermanned, and one to an upstart BCS team in Illinois.

Any team and fan base in the nation would take those credentials any day and their lying if they say they wouldn't.

Let's not forget that the Buckeyes were the underdog against LSU in Louisiana and a HEAVY underdog against USC in LA.

Meanwhile, Florida was the heavy favorite vs. Ole Miss, just like USC was vs Oregon St. and Stanford and so was LSU last year vs. Kentucky and Arkansas.

It doesn't begin to make sense why people hold upsets against Ohio State from two years ago.

If Ohio State beats Penn State next week, will it just just mean that Penn State was overrated? I've already heard OSU doubters say this about MSU so I'm sure the same fate will befall PSU should the Bucks prevail.

The funny thing about how Ohio State is portrayed by ESPN as "choke artists" in big games out of conference is that we are not alone!

The Buckeyes are 1-2 in BCS title games but an overlooked 4-2 in BCS Bowls overall.

But do you ever hear much about Oklahoma losing four- straight BCS Bowl games? Not really.

How about the Sooners being 1-2 in BCS title games, one of which was a 55-19 beat down by USC? (55-19 is worse than 41-14 isn't it?)

How about Florida State being 1-2 in BCS title games?

Every chance ESPN gets to remind fans nationwide about the USC game, you bet they do it!

Nevermind the fact that Beanie Wells didn't play.

Nevermind the unfortunate fact the Todd Boeckman did.

Nevermind the fact that Terrelle Pryor barely saw the field in that game or that once OSU was behind, he didn't see the field at all.

All they know is USC crushed Ohio State 35-3 and the Bucks shrunk once again on the national stage.

Two weeks later, No.1 USC lost 27-21 in Corvallis to unranked Oregon State on Thursday night. They made Quizz Rodgers look like Barry Sanders or Walter Payton that night allowing him 186 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

This season, Oregon State (4-3) has losses to Stanford, Penn State, and Utah but they beat No.1 USC, yet somehow, USC has been forgiven for losing with some ESPN "experts" reducing the significance of the loss by referring to it simply as a hiccup.

Well, it worked because after dropping to ninth briefly, USC is back up to No. 4 in the ESPN poll and No. 6 in the AP poll.

Guess who's driving the bandwagon for the Trojans?

Mark May of course!

This guy couldn't stop slurping USC if his life depended on it, so much so that I wonder if he drools and spits more on set than an excited Lou Holtz?

And here all these years, I thought that guy went to Pitt.

I wonder how often ESPN mentions Florida losing at home in Gainesville to Ole Miss, and yet they are back up to No. 5 in the ESPN poll and No. 7 in the AP poll.

That would be pretty much NEVER.

It's only been three weeks, but it has been swept under the rug as if it happened decades ago.

The Gators only dropped eight spots from No. 4 to No. 12 after that home loss to the unranked Rebels (2-2 at that time) and then two weeks later when they beat a vastly overrated LSU team, ranked No. 3 at the time, they jumped from 12th to fifth.

Laughable, is the media love-fest with USC and the SEC conference, to say the very least!

Ohio State dropped from fifth to 14th after losing to USC.

After four-straight wins with Beanie Wells back in the lineup along side Terrelle Pryor, who supplanted Boeckman as the starter, Ohio State has only moved up two spots to No. 12.

I wouldn't call that fair or just but it is what it is. 

The Buckeyes just need to take care of business and win.

After the convincing win over No. 20 Michigan State yesterday, coupled with  losses by No. 9 BYU and No. 11 Missouri and a weak performance by No. 10 Georgia, the Buckeyes could be ranked as high as No. 8 when the polls come out later today.

Penn State comes to town next week.

Rumors are that ESPN will be in Columbus for College Game Day.

No doubt, the experts will pick Penn State and ESPN just wants a birds-eye view along with the satisfaction of shining a spotlight on the Buckeyes unravelling in another nationally televised game.

Penn State however has not beaten OSU in Columbus since long before joining the Big-10 in 1991.

To be a bit more precise, it was 1978. They have lost seven straight on the road to the Buckeyes, and Jim Tressel is 5-2 vs the Nittany Lions, losing in 29-27 2001 and 17-10 in 2005.

Last year in Happy Valley, the Bucks rolled to a 28-6 win, despite a whiteout of 110,000+ fans. Todd Boeckman played his best game as a Buckeye QB, but for him, it's all been downhill from there, and that's why Pryor took over.

Penn State, who soundly defeated Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined score of 94-24 in the last two weeks, could make a case to leapfrog Alabama up to No. 2 after the Tide eked out a 24-20 home win against Ole Miss and two weeks ago before an off week, escaped Lexington with a 17-14 close call over Kentucky.

If Ohio State can continue the trend of beating Penn State at home, they could very well be back into the top five.

Much to the dis"May" of ESPN and their experts, they can't af"Forde" to disrespect Ohio State much longer.


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