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Commentary: Buckeyes still Ohio’s most reliable football team

It’s long been joked that Ohio really has just one professional football team — the Buckeyes.

For the first time in a while this year, the capital city’s team didn’t outdo one of the “professional” Ohio teams — at least on the field.

For the first time since 2005, the Bengals (9-8) won more games than the Buckeyes (6-7).

Do keep in mind, there are 16 regular season NFL games. Ohio State plays only 12 with a bowl game normally to follow.

In typical Bungle fashion, Cincinnati went to Houston on Saturday, got slapped around by rookie quarterback T.J. Yates and rookie defensive end J.J. Watt, while former undrafted running back Arian Foster made the Bengals defense — a unit that was ranked in the top five defensively for most of the year — look like a high school junior varsity squad.

Raising hopes high only to get embarrassed by three scores in front of a national television audience. Typical Bengals.

Even worse was the embarrassment the Bengals faced not on the field, but in the stands this season. They only managed to sell out two home games. One was thanks to the traveling Steelers fans who made the trek to Cincinnati for Pittsburgh’s annual game in Paul Brown Stadium, while the other came via a buy-one-get-one-free promotion during the Bengals’ last game of the season, a “win and you’re in” game.

The Bengals lost. Fortunately for them, so did the Jets, Raiders and Broncos.

OSU, on the other hand, sold out every home game, despite posting its first losing record since 1988. Unless he or she is on the six-year undergraduate degree plan, most current OSU students weren’t even alive for that season.

Sure, the Bengals have reason to be excited because of rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green — likely the best rookie-quarterback-to-rookie-wide-receiver duo in NFL history.

You would think that would fill the seats, but Cincinnati fans have seen this film before.

The reason they can’t rely on Dalton and Green? Because those two talented young men wear black and orange stripes. And history has proven time and time again that wearing black and orange stripes in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoons in the fall will eventually lead to the potential of some of the country’s best young football prospects being wasted.

As for the Browns, they haven’t won more games than the Buckeyes in a single season since 1994.

That’s the year “Forrest Gump” was released, Glenn Robinson was drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft and Justin Bieber was born.

Remember that? Me neither. I was 5 years old.

It’s been 6,221 days since an NFL team in Ohio has won a playoff game. OSU had more success from 2002-07 than the Bengals and Browns have had combined since Bill Clinton took over the White House.

So Buckeye fans, while times were dark this season and there will be no bowl game next year, don’t fret. Urban Meyer will lead this organization back to what its used to being — Ohio’s most professional football team.

 

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