A national football powerhouse such as Ohio State expects to win every game.
This is a stark difference from the aura that surrounds the Eastern Michigan program.
The Eagles have lost 15 straight games. In the time since Eastern Michigan’s last victory, Barack Obama was inaugurated, LeBron James “took his talents to South Beach” and the Jersey Shore became a popular tourist site.
The last time OSU lost consecutive games was in 2004, when they lost to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa. That was the last season in which OSU did not play in a BCS bowl game.
Safety Tyler Moeller doesn’t care that Eastern Michigan has not won since Nov. 28, 2008.
“Any team can beat us any day,” Moeller said. “Ohio University proved that in 2008. They gave us a great game. We need to play our game every week and not let go of the throttle.”
Are the Eastern Michigan Eagles really as bad as they seem?
The team is led by senior linebackers Neal Howey and Tim Fort, who are both in the top five in tackles in the Mid-American Conference.
Second-year coach Ron English, former defensive coordinator at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, leads a team that is predominately underclassmen.
“He knows us better than his players know us, having been on Lloyd’s staff for all those years, coaching the secondary there at Michigan, and he knew the challenge when he took over,” said OSU coach Jim Tressel.
Five of Eastern Michigan’s 15 consecutive losses have come in games decided by a touchdown or less.
The Eagles’ losing streak is currently second behind Western Kentucky’s 23-game drought.
Despite the disparity in team success, the message in the OSU locker room is quite simple.
“We can’t have any letdowns,” defensive end Cameron Heyward said.