Buckeyes Jab MSU, But Would They Have Beaten Alabama?
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Buckeyes Jab MSU, But Would They Have Beaten Alabama?

They talked the talk. Could they walk the walk?

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Buckeyes Jab MSU, But Would They Have Beaten Alabama?

At the Senior Bowl, players are asked questions all week long during media times. It's one of the perks of the trip, to get to build your personal brand and credibility as a player yourself, not a player for "________ University."

The former Buckeyes, who are partaking in the Senior Bowl, no strangers to the media themselves, are relishing in the limelight again—just like they have done throughout their careers. This week, it appears they had a lot of fun poking at their Big Ten brethren's embarrassing defeat at the hands of this year's national champion, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“I think we would have definitely done a better job,” Ohio State defensive back Tyvis Powell said this week during Senior Bowl preparations in Mobile, Alabama. “I was shocked Michigan State didn’t score a point. It is what it is. It was very disappointing. But, Alabama, it was their year. I guess everybody has their year and it was their time to win.”

“I didn’t get to watch much film on them, but I know it would have been a hell of a game,” Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett said. “Alabama might have done a little better this year than they were last year. And I think the way we played in the last couple of games, we could have played against any team in the country. I know it would have been another war like it was the year before. So it would have been interesting to see.”

It would have been interesting. To see the 2014 National Champion get the chance to defend their crown was almost expected, and to do so against Saban and his bunch would have made it that much sweeter. Sadly, we weren't treated to that match-up, and had to settle for the beat-down of the Irish as a consolation.

But would that game have gone any differently for us? Before you scoff and click away, think about it.

Turn off the fan lenses and let's talk football for a second.

Sparty handled us, there is no sugarcoating that. Sure, we can blame coaching errors, the weather, Zeke not getting the ball enough, whatever to help you sleep at night. But the fact remains that the better team (on paper that is) got absolutely whooped up and down the field by a banged up Sparty missing their NFL-level signal caller. It's the biggest head-scratcher of the year, how our team, that for all intents and purposes flipped the switch after that loss on Senior Day, lost to them in the first place. Better than us? No. Better that day? Absolutely. They deserved to go on and play in the playoff, representing the conference.

But what if we would have won that game? What if we would have eked out a win that afternoon, and continued the perfect season? Does anything change for us? Do we decide to put Coach Warinner up the booth to oversee the offense, unleashing its full potential? Probably not. I keeping seeing people say "If we would have played like we did at the end of the season blah blah blah..." but don't they realize that we only turned into that behemoth by taking that loss in the first place? We were stuck in neutral until Dantonio flattened one of our tires. That loss put us where we needed to be, whether we like to admit it or not.

Moving on, let's not forget to look at the monster that mauled the team that mauled us.

Alabama. The Death Star. The unstoppable (Zeke might have something to say about this) Force.

They dispensed Michigan State. I loved it; I won't even try to say I didn't. But if we had met with them in the playoffs, as the team we were before the loss, we would have met the same fate. Our offensive line? The same one that got hounded time and time again by Michigan State? With our old game plan, we wouldn't have stood a chance. JT Barrett doing his best 2012 Braxton Miller impersonation? Good luck with that. We'd need it. Our defense couldn't handle a backup from Michigan State running everywhere, could we have handled Derrick Henry? Sure. Maybe. But who knows? Our offense, arguably miles ahead of Alabama's, was stifled by Michigan State. At home. And they couldn't stop a nosebleed against Alabama. The numbers speak for themselves. Watch the games. If we would have kept playing the way we did before the loss, we would have met the same fate. A huge, embarrassing loss on national television.

But who's to say really? When talking about this match-up, it's one big hypothetical. In my opinion, the Buckeyes beat a much better Alabama team on New Year's Day 2015. But that Buckeye team was much, much hungrier all year long then the won we saw. Ohio State, at the end of the year, could have hung with Alabama. I believe that. But the team we saw the other 10 games? Not so much. Not at all actually.

But we'll never know for sure. If you ask me, even at top speed Ohio State wouldn't have beaten this year's Alabama squadron. But they surely wouldn't have been beaten by 38 points. That title is yours to carry, Sparty.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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