Last we saw Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, they were running down Penn State in the 4th quarter and hopping in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten. Last we saw J.T. Barrett he was firming up his travel plans for the Heisman presentation and becoming the Big Ten’s all-time leader in touchdown passes.
What a difference a week makes.
Because just a week after the Buckeyes put a dagger through Penn State’s undefeated season, Urb brought his team to Kinnick Stadium. And a 5-3 Iowa team — a team that had lost to Northwestern two weeks earlier and looks like every other average Iowa team of the last decade — absolutely JUMPED them.
THE Ohio State got THE crap kicked out of them. A 20.5-point favorite got blown out — a 31-point loss that’s the low point of Urb’s coaching career. And a week after it looked like Ohio State was right back in the hunt for the playoff, it took exactly ONE PLAY to know that this Saturday wasn’t going to be like the last:
That wasn’t just a loss, that was a beat-down. On offense, on defense, on special teams — Iowa breaking out fake punts AND fake field goals, emptying the playbook as they dragged the corpse of the Buckeyes up and down the field for four quarters before the Iowa student section stormed the field.
J.T. Barrett entered the game with just 1 interception on the season. He left it with FIVE. Greg Schiano’s defensive line got manhandled — Iowa running for 243 yards. Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley, who threw for a total of 190 yards against Minnesota a week before, threw FIVE touchdown passes against the Buckeyes secondary. It was a loss so brutal that it might have KO’d the entire Big Ten from the playoff conversation — Michigan State’s win over Penn State making it essentially Wisconsin or bust for the conference as we roll into November.
Look, Urb is still pretty much a legend in C-BUS. The guy is 68-8 at Ohio State. He’s won a national title. He’s won at least 11 games every season since he got to Columbus. But that’s a loss that’s gonna stick to him. That’s ANOTHER loss that dents the aura of invincibility — like the donut last year in the playoff and the beat down that Oklahoma put on them in September. At least you can explain those — Clemson won the national title. Oklahoma is Oklahoma. But IOWA? By 31 points? There’s no explanation for that. No rationalization for that. No excuse for that. Because that can’t happen to an Urban Meyer coached team. Especially one angling for the college football playoff. And it just did. Just don’t look for URB to have any answers; because he sure as hell didn’t provide any in the post-game presser.
Ohio State down. Penn State down. College Football chaos kicking in just like it always does. Get ready for more next Saturday.
And Buckeye fan, beating Michigan again will certainly help some, and make you feel better. But it won’t put you in the playoff. And it won’t erase a 31 point beatdown to Iowa.