Ohio State football: The new narrative

Of course when something like “winning a national championship” happens, everyone has something to say.

The theme of my reaction column at BuckeyeSports.com was simple: Ohio State not only won a fancy gold trophy on Monday night, it also wiped out every narrative people have used against the Buckeyes — sometimes more correctly than others — since that stunning night in the desert in January 2007.

Need proof? After the jump, find a sampling of the new narrative from around the web, including writers who cover Ohio State and others more national in scope. 

  • “If Ohio State’s players said they were at a loss for words, the scene early Tuesday morning at AT&T Stadium was worth a million of them. All of the emotions from this implausible football season suddenly came undammed in a burst of joy. Doran Grant and a mass of his teammates dove headfirst into the golden confetti piled inches deep on the turf, then rolled over to carve out angels. Others futilely fought off tears.” — David Briggs, Toledo Blade
  • “This is a victory that resonates throughout — as Meyer, a native of Ashtabula, a graduate of Cincinnati, a coach at Bowling Green and now at Ohio State always calls it — ‘the great state of Ohio.’ “ — Bill Livingston, cleveland.com
  • “The dominance of these Buckeyes (14-1) opens up the question whether Meyer is college football’s top coach, a title most often given to Alabama’s Nick Saban. It’s a subjective title that spurs debate online and through talk radio. Saban’s four national titles (three at ‘Bama, one at LSU) still trumps Meyer by one. However, these Buckeyes showed Meyer at his best, recruiting and then meshing talent into a cohesive unit, developing players to maximize their ability and finally instilling them with confidence and motivating them to victory.” — Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
  • “This wasn’t Ohio State lifting up Michigan State and Michigan. This was Meyer putting further distance between the Buckeyes and the other 13 members of a conference that still looks at Outback Bowl victories over the SEC as celebratory achievements. If you’re a Michigan State or Michigan fan today — and if you’re being honest with yourself — you can’t be happy with the realization that Meyer owns the Big Ten and won’t surrender the title anytime soon.” — Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press
  •  “The beauty of this, for Urban Meyer, is that he will win big regardless. Meyer is building a program that may surpass the one he built at Florida, and it was there for the country to witness in the national championship game Monday night. Ohio State was supposed to be a year away from this, but somewhere in the last six weeks the impossible became inevitable. Ohio State did not just beat Oregon 42-20. It physically dominated the Ducks. Nike founder Phil Knight has spent hundreds of millions on Oregon’s facilities, and you wonder if he forgot to buy a bench press. The truth about this game was that Ohio State players felt it was over before it started. They watched film. They knew running back Ezekiel Elliott would barrel through the Oregon defense.

“ ‘Do what works,’ said Barrett, who started fall camp as the backup, finished the season in a cast and was still the team’s MVP. ‘Today, feed Zeke. Feed Zeke. Zeke is really good. Feed him the ball, let the O-line do their job, move people out of the way, let Zeke run through the holes, everything is going to be all right.’ ” — Michael Rosenberg, SI.com

  • “No question, the Buckeyes have made (College Football Playoff Committee members) Jeff Long, Tom Osborne, Condoleezza Rice and the gang look smart indeed for including the Big Ten champs in their inaugural four-team bracket. But even they couldn’t have possibly foreseen just how drastically their decision would alter the paradigm of college football. Two games ago, Ohio State’s Cardale Jones was a still largely unheralded third-string quarterback. Two games later he’s a national championship quarterback. Two games ago, Jones’ teammate Ezekiel Elliott was not even an honorable mention All-Big Ten running back. Two games and 476 yards later, Elliott could win the Heisman if they held a re-vote this week. Two games ago the Big Ten was still a national laughing stock. Two games later, the Big Ten owns a more recent championship than the SEC. Two games ago, Alabama was the No. 1 team in the country and Nick Saban the sport’s undisputed No. 1 coach. Two games later, Urban Meyer has unseated Saban as college football’s current top dog. And Ohio State is the sport’s new budding dynasty.” — Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports.
  • “I also know that Ohio State hired the man who burnt their house down in 2006, the one who sort of started the downward spiral of the program into obsolescence in the first place, to rebuild them back into a national power. He did that, but college football remains the weirdest for being one of those sports where you say, Oh, that arsonist? Let’s invite him in and hire him to redecorate our house.“P.S. It works!” — Spencer Hall, EveryDayShouldBeSaturday.com

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