Home NCAA Buckeyes AD Infuriates Fan Base By Downplaying Michigan Rivalry

Buckeyes AD Infuriates Fan Base By Downplaying Michigan Rivalry

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Buckeyes AD Infuriates Fan Base By Downplaying Michigan Rivalry

The looming threat of a third consecutive loss to the University of Michigan Wolverines has sparked intense discussions among Ohio State Buckeyes fans and officials.

The possibility of Ohio State dropping three straight rivalry games for the first time in over 25 years has set the stakes high for the upcoming matchup in Ann Arbor on November 25.

However, Buckeyes Athletic Director Gene Smith has taken a pragmatic approach to the situation. In an exclusive interview with Eleven Warriors, Smith emphasized the importance of focusing on assembling a championship-caliber team and winning the games leading up to the Michigan showdown.

“I haven’t really talked specifically about Michigan. We have a lot of other games before we get to them,” Smith said. “Right now, you’re focused more on developing your roster and team. We need to ensure we have our starters and build depth. So, our focus is on getting ready for Indiana, our first contest. The game against Michigan won’t matter much if we don’t take care of business in Bloomington.”

Smith also expressed the belief that the narrative surrounding Michigan would be different had Ohio State narrowly defeated the University of Georgia in the previous season’s College Football Playoff semifinal matchup.

The Buckeyes fell just two points short of securing a spot in the national championship game, where Georgia subsequently dominated TCU with a resounding 68-7 victory.

“It’s so funny, everybody’s so focused on just one game,” Smith said. “We were basically one point away from being in the national championship game, and I think had we got that two points we needed to convert and ultimately played TCU – I feel confident we would have performed well and won a national championship – I’m not so sure about all this chatter.”

Had Ohio State won the championship, Smith contends that there would be significantly less attention given to Michigan’s recent success in the rivalry. He emphasized that focusing solely on one game overlooks the achievements of the team and the close calls they had in their pursuit of a national title.

While Ohio State ultimately ended the 2022 season with consecutive losses and fell short of winning the conference or a national championship, Smith looks back fondly on the team’s accomplishments.

Smith’s perspective, however, might not be shared by a majority of Buckeye fans who believe that losing to Michigan taints the entire season.

Winning a national championship would have been a significant achievement, but some supporters argue that falling to their archrival diminishes the overall success of the team.

Nevertheless, Smith and the Buckeyes remain determined to rectify the past two years’ losses in the rivalry and aim to reclaim their dominance in the upcoming 2023 season.

However, Smith’s ultimate goal remains capturing another national championship, regardless of the obstacles Ohio State must overcome to achieve it.

“At the end of the day, I want to win the biggie, I want to win the natty,” Smith emphasized. “Whatever it takes to get there, I’m all in for it.”

As the offseason progresses, Ohio State fans eagerly await the team’s preparations for the upcoming season and the critical clash against Michigan.

As usual, the rivals appear to be on a collision course – and a playoff spot is most likely to be on the line. 

 

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