After demolition of Oklahoma, you better believe Ohio State is a title contender
Coming into Saturday, the obvious storyline was whether or not young Ohio State was ready for this kind of a moment.
After all, this was the least-experienced team in the country. This was Oklahoma, which throttled just about everyone last year en route to the College Football Playoff. This was the road, where the young Buckeyes hadn’t been before.
Somewhere between one of Noah Brown’s 15 touchdown catches or one of Denzel Ward’s monster hits, it was made perfectly clear: Ohio State is definitely, without a doubt, a legitimate national title contender.
That’s what a three-touchdown victory over a Big 12-favorite showed. Oklahoma, despite all of its experience, was no match for the Buckeyes. That young, inexperienced secondary didn’t wilt in the moment.
Basically, they dominated.
The Buckeyes picked off Baker Mayfield twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Right when this happened, you got the sense that it was going to be a long night for the Sooners:
Not so basic.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 18, 2016
It was like that all night for Mayfield, who was supposed to “light up” the Buckeyes. That definitely didn’t happen. In fact, Mayfield should’ve probably gone through concussion protocol after some of the hits he took.
This was complete domination, exactly the way Urban Meyer drew it up.
It seems like a long time ago that Meyer called this group the most-talented he’s ever had. Really? How could he say that after the Buckeyes just broke a record for underclassmen in the NFL draft? Or what about the 2014 group that steamrolled Alabama and Oregon to a national title. Wasn’t that group more talented?
After watching what OSU did on Saturday, I believe Meyer. This group did something that neither of those two ever did. They went into a top-25 team’s building, and stole the show.
Already, this team is on a much different path than the two before it. They definitely look further along, too. That’s what Saturday night showed us.
Now the conversation will shift to whether or not Ohio State can run the table in the B1G. The Buckeyes got through their monster non-conference showdown in convincing fashion and now have to wait a little while for their next headliner game.
As we saw from last year’s team, OSU doesn’t always get up for those games. It might not be easy to come down from the high of Saturday night in Norman. Despite all of their success in the Meyer era, the Buckeyes have never had that big of a non-conference win.
The hype is only going to grow with each win. For now, the Buckeyes have a firm strangle-hold on a playoff spot. Even better for OSU, it can lose a B1G game to a top-25 team and probably still find itself in the top four.
The Buckeyes set themselves up in ways they never have. Two months from now when teams are promoting their playoff résumés, OSU will come back to Sept. 17. They had the guts to schedule a home-and-home against one of college football’s traditional powers. Regardless of whether or not Oklahoma turns its season around, OSU will get credit for that.
On Sunday, OSU will in all likelihood find itself at No. 2 in the Associated Press poll. But there’s a much different feeling heading into B1G play compared to last year’s team, which held on to the No. 1 spot despite its repeated struggles in victories.
This year’s group is in prime position. OSU made a loud statement to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee on Saturday night.
Without a doubt, they heard it.