Tag Archives: J.T. Barrett

The Power of the Unit: How this statement will be tested for Ohio State

By Kaleb Page

For the Ohio State football team the past few days have seen more adversity thrown their way than most teams might experience in an entire season. If you look at any photos, press releases, etc. the mantra for this team is “Power of the Unit.” A mantra that holds that everyone on the team makes the unit not just one single player, also that in order to be a success it is how strong of a bond the team has. This mantra is surely at its toughest test as we make it to the end of the college football season.

Saturday was something that everyone in the state of Ohio and Michigan would say is “The Game.” The rivalry was like most years of the game full of intense moments and a hard-fought match up despite the records. Despite the end result, with Ohio State pulling away late to win 42-28; the win felt empty.

In the fourth quarter J.T. Barrett was running a play he had run hundreds of times during the season. A read option play where he could hand it off or take off and in this case Barrett took off up the field. As he was tackled his leg fell under a Michigan player and then more fell on top. As the pile got up; Barrett did not. After being carted off the field it was discovered that Barrett wouldn’t be back for the rest of the season with a broken ankle, thus ultimately throwing another plot twist in already what was a season full of twists for the buckeyes.

Even though this could affect what Ohio State does for the college playoff and will be a test on how well the coaches can get the team to play despite a loss on the field, there was event prior to “The Game” that makes the one above pale in comparison.

Early Wednesday morning a walk on defensive lineman and wrestler at Ohio State went missing. Kosta Karageorge was known by teammates to be a funny, kind and a gentle giant. As a senior he was supposed to be honored at the final home game of the season against Michigan. Unfortunately for all the hopes and wishes to be found safely in time to be back with the team, Karageorge would not be there Saturday. This story ended with the ultimate sadness that Karageorge was found early Sunday morning dead of what was concluded to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

This heart-break and sadness will test this team in not just the way of losing someone to play. It will test how true this team is in its togetherness and ability to be there for one another. Urban Meyer said this week, “I can just say, this is an extremely close team that does a lot of things together and cares about each other.” If this statement is as true as Meyer says, then this team should be able to rally around each other in this tough time losing not only a teammate but a close friend forever. Something they will have to do relatively quickly for a big test yet ahead of them.

This Saturday night is the Big Ten Championship game between this Ohio State team and the Wisconsin Badgers. If Ohio State plans on making it out of Indianapolis with a win and the shot at being in the first edition of the college football playoff, then they better be as strong a team as they say.

One thing is for sure when it comes to this team in particular, they have all the reason to not show up Saturday. Whether it is because they have lost their second quarterback of the season, the pressure of doubters saying how can they even be in the playoff discussion or for the fact they lost more than a teammate but a friend forever over the holidays; this team has all the reason to fold in.

Hopefully they do play to their mantra of the “Power of the Unit” and show what it truly means to be a close-knit team willing and able to persevere through anything as long as they are together.

College Football Playoff Committee Faces Massive Media Scruntity

By Nick Muhl

This year’s NCAA college football season marks the first year of the new college football playoff. The four teams are to be selected by the college football playoff committee, which is made up of 11 individuals (originally was 12, Archie Manning stood down due to medical reasons) all coming from different backgrounds. Some of the committee includes members from the college athletic community like Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich and former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt. Others were questionably chosen because of their noted fandom of the sport, like former Secretary of State Condelezza Rice.

The criteria the committee will analyze during their decision in picking the final four teams is as follows: Wins, Head-to-Head results, conference championships, strength of schedule, common opponents, and injuries to key players. The final criteria listed, injuries to key players, may present the committee with one of the toughest decisions it has ever faced.

While the criteria for the each committee member to consider is listed, the amount each criteria applies to the to voter’s decision is entirely up to them. The process for the committee will be completely subjective, meaning some members may hold a season-ending injury such as Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T Barrett as more damaging to the Buckeyes than another committee members.

Jason Kirk, writer for SB Nation, published an article on October 28th, titled 9 Potential Problems with the college football playoff committee. Long before Ohio State Quarterback J.T Barrett went down to a broken ankle, Kirk predicted that the criteria for “key injuries” could be troublesome for the college football playoff committee to analyze and explain its level of importance.

“The committee will consider “other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.” That “postseason performance” part hasn’t been explained much, but it sounds troublesome.”

Kirk also cites the hypocrisy of the criteria itself. For instance, there is no criteria for factoring in Ohio State’s win over a Cincinnati team with a then healthy starting quarterback. Cincinnati now looks like a week non conference win for the Buckeyes, considering the Bearcats season deteriorated after losing starting quarterback Gunner Keil.

By no means am I a Buckeye supporter, in fact as a Michigan Wolverine fan I would somewhat enjoy to watch Buckeye fans cringe as they miss out on the first college football playoff. However, one has to wonder if the committee would factor in a season-ending injury to Jameis Winston, quarterback for the Florida Seminoles. The Seminoles have gone undefeated in a power five conference, but only have one team left on their schedule that they defeated – Louisville, who remains ranked. Compared to the Buckeyes, who do have one loss, strength of schedule should play a significant factor in the eyes of Buckeye fans. The same goes for TCU, and even Baylor, who despite defeating TCU trails them in the college football playoff standings. What if Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin, currently in the top 5 of the Heisman watch list, was to go down this week in practice? How about Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty who left their game early due to concussion symptoms while Baylor barely hung on to a victory over Texas Tech?

A college football playoff that was created to lower the criticism of who is named the national champion of college football, now has the NCAA facing possibly the most postseason scrutiny ever. With conference championships remaining, the committee has very little football left before they make their final decision. One has to question why the NCAA gave the voters the subjective choice on how to order their criteria by importance. Now the Ohio State Buckeyes and Baylor Bears, who were already possibly facing the outside looking in to begin with, may be punished and kept out of the playoffs due to their quarterbacks injuries.

No matter what the final decision is, the NCAA can look forward to the many questions it will receive from the media and fans regarding how they came about choosing the final four teams.