No Braxton Miller. No J.T. Barrett. No Noah Spence. No problem.
Down to their third-string quarterback Cardale Jones and a team fighting against public perception, the Buckeyes ended the season with a bang.
After a dominating 59-0 win against Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship, most people weren’t buying the Buckeyes’ changes to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.
Well, Jones and running back Ezekiel Elliott had a different plan in mind.
And even after shocking the No. 1 team in America, the public still didn’t give Ohio State much of a chance against Heisman-winner Marcus Mariota and his band of ducks.
As we know, DUCKS FLY TOGETHER. Well, last night, DUCKS FAIL TOGETHER.
The Buckeyes smacked Oregon up and down the field. Running between the tackles, dissecting the secondary. If it wasn’t for a number of fumbles and an interception, Ohio State might have honestly won 63-20.
The moral of the story is this: Excellence isn’t selective.
If a team truly wants to be champions, that team has to be excellent up and down the list. Whether you’re talking about the first string or the reserves, every part of that machine must be all in to win.
And that’s what last night’s national championship showed us.
The same team that was manhandled by an eventual 7-6 Virginia Tech Hokies squad, the Buckeyes continued to build and improve after that September meeting.
Love them or loathe them, the Buckeyes were a testament to fighting the odds, improving and playing with a tough mindset that can’t be shaken. It’s a lesson sports often teach, and it’s a lesson that can’t be forgotten.
The best team on paper might not always win, but the best team – in the end – always finds a way.
So if you’re looking to beat the odds and surpass all expectations, just keep your eyes on the prize, put your head down and power through whatever obstacles stand in your way.
As Ohio State showed, it’s the mindset of a champion.