OVERRATED OR UNDERRATED: OKLAHOMA AND OHIO STATE
Sam Mayes from the mMm Ranch will be doing his “Overrated or Underrated” throughout the entire Fall to add on from the mMm Ranch’s radio segment that we all are accustomed to. He will discuss a single topic and talk who, what, and why that someone, or something, is “overrated” or “underrated”.
Overrated: Sooners Have No Chance To Win In Columbus
Since the clock struck zero in last year’s 45-24 beating that Oklahoma took from Ohio State, all I’ve been hearing is that they have no chance in Columbus this season. It is a constant reminder to fans and media that the Buckeyes did come into Norman and put on one of the best performances in college football a year ago. There is no denying that Ohio State dominated that game and had better talent.
However, to me, that storyline should not be on what happens from year-to-year, but to evaluate each team for what they are. It is lazy to say that a team will make the same mistakes from one season to another. This is a game that Oklahoma will have the best player on the field in Baker Mayfield–a guy that played poorly a year ago. Who knows what would’ve happened in last year’s game if he had played up to his potential.
When you look at the game, there are some areas that do give Oklahoma an advantage. One being that Ohio State’s secondary just does not have the same horses they had a year ago. The guys that they have are extremely talented, but they don’t have three first-rounders like the Buckeyes had in 2016. This is that one area that Oklahoma may have a big strength against with their ability to get the ball out quick. With Mark Andrews’ big progression over the off-season, I’m buying that he will create some issues on safeties in coverage.
Joe Mixon looked like the only Oklahoma player that belonged on the field a year ago. That won’t be the case on Saturday night when Orlando Brown, Obo Okoronkwo, Baker Mayfield, and Mark Andrews win their respected matchups throughout this game. If the Sooners can win just one or two more matchups consistently, then they will have as good of a chance to win this game as Ohio State does. For that, the thought that this 2017 Oklahoma team will not be able to win in Columbus because of what happened a year ago is completely overrated.
Underrated: The Aspect Of A Game Like This
So often in sports, we get into how big a game is, but do not stop and look at just how much of an impact a game like Oklahoma and Ohio State has. My senior year at Oklahoma State, I got to play at the Rose Bowl against UCLA. That field has had plenty of historic players play on it before, and I am lucky to be able to say I stepped on the same turf. Even without the parade, the pageantry, and the national attention, it was a game I won’t ever forget.
Let me give you a background on just how big Ohio State football is in that state. Growing up, there were Catholics who were Irish fans, and then everyone else were Buckeyes. Ohio Stadium in itself was just a place people wanted to see. I remember that it felt as if someone would miss a meal for a Buckeyes’ game.
This is what makes these kinds of games special. Both of these programs are not only a staple in the country, but are embedded into everyday life in their respected states. I loved playing in places like Lincoln, Norman, and College Station. The venues were more than just football, they were beacons for their own communities and still are today.
The game on Saturday is one that players on both sides will remember for the rest of their lives. Not often do programs of this magnitude have a bout in the regular season. I hope when Oklahoma walks into that stadium for the first time on Friday, each player takes a deep breath and smiles knowing what they are about to get the chance to do. Very few football players get the opportunity to say they have played in a football game like this with so many implications, let alone play in a venue like Ohio Stadium. This is definitely an impactful game for each teams’ season, but the impact on each individual’s life playing in this game is underrated.