As one of the biggest brands in college football, Ohio State is always under a certain microscope. To FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt, though, that spotlight has reached a level of unfairness when it comes to how the Buckeyes have started off in 2023.
Klatt spoke about Ohio State during his show on Monday after their 63-10 win over WKU this weekend. He doesn’t see it as acceptable that they come under a level of scrutiny for how they played against Indiana and Youngstown State but don’t get any love at all for winning by 53 over the Hilltoppers.
“With Ohio State, whenever they look great? Listen, they’re in a lose-lose all the time,” Klatt said. “If they look great? We just say, ‘Well, that’s what they should do?’. And then if they struggle at all or they look sluggish at all? We just hammer them for it.”
“Their fanbase, man? They are hard on that program, hard on that program. And the national media is hard on that program,” said Klatt. “This is a team that’s 3-0, they’re breaking in a new quarterback, and he is looking better and better and played his best game last week.”
Klatt used their example and compared it to those of Michigan and Florida State as well as Georgia and Texas in week three. He doesn’t understand why everyone else seems to get to shrug off poor outings yet Ohio State gets drilled if they don’t meet a certain, nearly unrealistic, standard every single time they step on the field.
“Imagine a scenario where Kyle McCord goes out and throws three bad interceptions and Ohio State is the one that’s in a bit of a dogfight in the second quarter, 7-6, against Bowling Green? We’d never let them hear the end of it,” Klatt explained. “And, yet, Michigan is just like, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. They’re still No. 2‘. Like, nobody is talking about that – nobody.”
“Imagine a scenario where Ohio State goes on the road to the equivalent of Boston College in the Big Ten, let’s call it Purdue, Illinois, maybe it’s Indiana, and they are in a dogfight late and the team they’re facing has chance after chance after chance to win the game, that team has 18 penalties, and Ohio State escapes,” continued Klatt. “What would we be talking about? The sky is falling in Columbus! That’s what we’d be talking about.”
This is why, to Klatt, Ryan Day has it as hard as any coach in the nation. That extends to his staff and players as well. He can’t get why it’s either feast or famine when it comes to the perception of the Buckeyes, whether from their fanbase or the national outlook.
“This is why it’s so difficult to be Ryan Day, this is why it’s so difficult to be Kyle McCord. Or Brian Hartline or any of those guys at Ohio State,” Klatt said. “The level of scrutiny and perfection that we throw on their back? And the completely unreal expectations on a week-to-week basis? They have to win by 100 or else it’s like, ‘Well, what’s wrong with Ohio State?'”