Buckeyes take sledgehammer to college football landscape

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NEW ORLEANS — The certainty of where we’re headed was everywhere, from a jubilee on a margin to a glorification in a locker room to a existence that this spectacularly pleasing diversion is changing before a really eyes.

That was Alabama’s Nick Saban during a podium, a game’s biggest manager and biggest personality, resigned — wait, shamed — by what only happened. It was Cardale Jones, Ohio State’s carefree, loosey-goosey celebrity of a third-string quarterback, skipping all a approach to a hovel after engineering a inconceivable in his second career start.

And there was Ohio State manager Urban Meyer, a designer of this monumental 42-35 upset that altered everything, this seismic change in how we consider about college football, smiling and putting a night’s poignant moments into transparent context.

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“That was a sledgehammer game; that was a classic,” Meyer said. “So we are good enough.”

Good adequate to kick No. 1 Alabama. Good adequate to send a definite summary that a male who started this whole SEC prevalence in 2006 during Florida — a male who built a mantra and a account that became a life of a possess underneath Saban’s Alabama teams — is doing it again during Ohio State.

And forcing everybody in a Big Ten to keep adult or get run over.

Wouldn’t we know it, as predestine would have it, what Ohio State achieved late into a night on a initial day of 2015 was a ultimate topper to what transpired progressing in a afternoon that put an exclamation indicate on a postseason for a ages for a Big Ten. Three large wins — including Michigan State over Baylor, Wisconsin over Auburn — have unexpected knocked laterally all we knew to be loyal about a game’s pecking order.

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The Big Ten, everybody — for a adore of Woody Hayes, a Big Ten — is in a flitting line and picking adult speed. That’s right, speed.

“I don’t caring about a SEC; we honour a SEC and what they have done,” pronounced Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett. “But during some indicate we have to ask yourself: are we going to mount adult like a male and do something about it?”

That’s only what this Ohio State team, this collection of players built in a mold of an SEC team, did from a impulse it stepped into a biggest diversion for a module given it was emasculated in back-to-back BCS National Championship Games in 2006 and 2007 by — we guessed it — SEC teams.

This time it was Ohio State that tranquil a line of struggle and forced Alabama to urge off a heels. This time it was Ohio State that tormented and punished a Alabama offense into a mild 2-of-13 acclimatisation rate on third down.

This time it was Ohio State that played so well, with so many bad vigilant and so small courtesy for a male on a other side of a ball, that biggest, baddest celebrity in a diversion was left with really small to say.

The final dual times Alabama was in this situation, when a deteriorate finished with play diversion losses, Saban was steamed that his group played like it didn’t caring and finished a indicate to fume about it after a diversion — and sneer during it weeks and months later. This one was different; this was a beaten coach.

He sat during a lectern and for a initial time in maybe ever during Alabama, he didn’t have control of a room. Because he didn’t have answers.

“We’re really disappointed,” Saban said.

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Then Nick Saban, a towering of a male who never veers from a excuse-free process; who never allows any form of dignified victories to strech a wall of armor he has built around this behemoth of a program, did something we never suspicion I’d see or hear.

“I consider there’s a lot of winners on this team,” Saban said. “And we don’t consider we indispensably have to get a prize to be a winner.”

Buckeyes’ jubilee (Getty Images)

Yes, everyone, that happened. It happened and as a difference transient Saban’s mouth, we indeed felt contemptible for him.

This is what happens when clever leaders of a godlike unexpected turn really mortal. Saban’s famed defense, a substructure of what has propelled his module to 3 inhabitant titles given he arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007, couldn’t stop Ohio State and it’s third-string quarterback.

A third-string quarterback who 4 months ago, would’ve laughed during a suspicion of personification in this game.

“Me, then? No way,” Jones said.

But there he was, a child who hasn’t been fazed by anything. Not by a concern of a moment, not by an early interception that Alabama incited into a 21-6 lead that looked like it was a beginnings of a rout. He only kept playing.

The third-stringer who began a deteriorate so distant behind on a abyss draft — behind starter Braxton Miller and backup J.T. Barrett — was thrown to a tip of it when it mattered many by some kind of weird turn of fate.

In any of a dual many critical games of a season, a third-stringer who Meyer admits he never suspicion would play quarterback during Ohio State, has been a best quarterback on a field.

“It’s surreal,” Jones said.

Not as surreal as this: when a Tide went adult 21-6 mid by a second quarter, that was Jones who was walking down a dais calming his linemen and Ezekiel Elliott (230 yards, 2 TDs) and all of those chosen receivers with SEC speed Meyer has recruited to Columbus, that “this damn diversion ain’t over yet.”

It was Jones, a nonsensical child with a rocket arm, who was perplexing to reason it together in a impulse when it could’ve all depressed apart. He threw for 243 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 89 yards (43 net after sacks) and countless pivotal initial downs on quarterback energy runs.

He finished throws in a flitting diversion that he hadn’t finished in his prior start opposite Wisconsin, opening adult a whole offense and forcing Alabama to cover a whole field.

“He has so much feverishness on that thing, he can fit it in anywhere,” pronounced Ohio State wideout Jalin Marshall. “You have to respect that arm. Once we started creation plays in a flitting game, they were in large trouble.”

And so was a SEC’s prevalence in a college game. One year is an anomaly, dual is a trend.

After Florida State kick Auburn in final year’s BCS National Championship Game, Ohio State did a honors by knocking off Alabama in a initial ever semifinals of a College Football Playoff.

The diversion is changing, all right. It’s not only one discussion or one group or one coach, it’s a group that might as good be a CO duplicate of a aristocrat they only dethroned.

Before they took a margin during a Superdome, Meyer reminded his group of a Big Ten’s success progressing in a day; of Michigan State’s quip win over Baylor and Wisconsin’s quip win over Auburn.

The Buckeyes kick both of those teams this fall. They belonged here.

“He pronounced we were personification a best group in a world, from a best discussion on a planet,” Jones said. “He told us to go infer we belonged.”

They did only that.

In a sledgehammer of a moment.

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