Rose Bowl | Rob Oller's Second Thoughts
• Urban Meyer could not have scripted his walkoff any better. The sunset beaming off the San Gabriel Mountains. The Buckeyes holding off That Pac-12 Team Up North. And Ohio State turning in a performance that his boyhood idol would have loved. The irony is that late in his 28-year tenure, Wayne Woodrow Hayes watched the game pass him by. Exhibit A: The way OSU played in Rose Bowls, where the Buckeyes could not handle Pac-8 speed (which was real way before SEC speed became a thing.) Four decades later, Meyer’s Buckeyes were faster than Washington.
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• What constitutes a successful season? Two ways to answer the question. First, beating Michigan makes everything better. Even seasons with painful losses taste better to fans when the Buckeyes bounce the Wolverines. In that sense, 2018 was far from a disaster. Throw in a Rose Bowl win, and it’s hard not to grade the season a B-plus. How to grade an A or A-minus? Make the playoff. Even in the old era of mythical poll titles, not having a chance to win a national championship put a damper on things. That said, even with the bad loss to Purdue, few can feel disgusted by the final product.
• The days of Ohio State coaches holding a warm place in their hearts for special teams might be coming to an end. Special teams is Meyer’s favorite position group, and Jim Tressel loved him some ST, too (especially the punt unit). You could see Meyer’s affinity for his special-teams players against Washington as he huddled them up during timeouts. The kickers, punters and gunners are like family. Ryan Day plans to pay attention to special teams, but I’m not sure he’ll have the same passion as Meyer. If not, who becomes the coaching leader of that group?