When The Big Ten decided to arrange the schedule’s according to strength – thus granting opportunities to the lesser talented teams a shot at some glory in order to preserve their programs, no suspicions were mustered of who would pay the price in the outside looking in category… Could that ultimately be the Buckeyes?
The Scarlet and Gray Men’s Rugby Team is currently 1-3 in Big Ten Play; losing to Indiana in Bloomington on September 20th in a close one 36-29. On October 7th in Madison against the Badgers of Wisconsin they would drop another thriller – 18-14. Only on October 14th in Columbus would the Buckeyes secure their first win in League Play in a smashing of Illinois 50-0. And this past weekend in Columbus against the 7th ranked team in the Nation, the Hoosiers of Indiana (and the Big Ten Defending Champion) in another exciting match they would lose 41-36.
In that matchup, the Buckeyes and Hoosiers would trade-off on leads on four occasions. The Buckeyes last lead would be at the 19-minute mark with a 14-12 lead. They would lag behind from there, though valiantly staying pace with the Hoosiers.
The Buckeyes are indeed a good team. On July 13th, they won the Big Ten 7s and booked a spot in USA Rugby’s 7s National Championships after beating Wisconsin in the final. For the Buckeyes, it was a comfortable trip to the final, but Wisconsin made it difficult, though the Buckeyes would prevail.
With the new scheduling structure one can see a dismay among the faithful, even a determination that a conspiracy exists (Gotta believe in those theories with the JFK Papers about to become public) … But, and let’s keep it real, regardless of any scheduling restructuring with a gift-wrapped opportunity for schools such as Purdue, *ichigan State, even Iowa, the notion that the Buckeyes have been slighted is ignoring the fact that they are good, and, well, simply put, needs to win the “big” one, and that is against Indiana (even if they had split) and Wisconsin (who they should have never lost to).
They still have hope. This weekend in Ann Arbor they will meet up with TTUN. The Buckeyes are a superior team to the Wolverines but cannot take them lightly. They need to go out and play some smash-mouth rugby. They have the ability in this one to win by 20 plus points.
Once this one ends come November 4th in Columbus they will again face the Badgers of Wisconsin. This is a must win. There is no way around it.
Matt Stauder, Andrew Baldado, Jamie Barlow, and Ronan Forrestal (To mention a few) need to step it up and show their salt.
I personally have confidence in this group. Last year the Buckeyes went onto the Big Ten Championship Game against the Hoosiers … it isn’t as far-fetched as it appears at the moment that they can’t get back there. And that possibility begins against TTUN this weekend up North. Look for some serious scoring for the Scarlet and Gray as the Cesspool of the World drains miserably down their rusted and half-a**ed maintained pipes in Ann Arbor.