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Commentary: Being a Buckeye is more than wins or losses

Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett (4) stands with his teammates at the end of the game against Michigan Nov. 30 during ‘Carmen Ohio.’ OSU won, 42-41. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett (4) stands with his teammates at the end of the game against Michigan Nov. 30 during ‘Carmen Ohio.’ OSU won, 42-41. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Buckeye Nation likes to win. And with a football team that was 24-0 until just before midnight Saturday, it didn’t even remember what losing felt like.

Ohio State fell to Michigan State in its first-ever Big Ten Championship appearance, 24-34.

Twitter exploded, High Street bars cleared out, legitimate tears fell. Friends hugged one another, while the carefree kept drinking in anger, or maybe protest, and the sullen made their way home for the night.

But there was more than just anger and tears in Buckeye Nation Saturday night, because Buckeyes aren’t just winners, they’re resilient, and they’re grateful.

Woven in between statuses and tweets of mourning were words of thanks.

Students thanked the team for a spectacular season, for a wild ride of being undefeated. They talked of what being a Buckeye is about, which is more than winning football games. And that’s the thing — as Buckeyes, we attend the greatest school in the country, and just about everyone you meet here firmly believes it.

Being a Buckeye is singing “Carmen Ohio” with your arms wrapped tight around your best friends’ waists. It’s joining student organizations that shape you into new people and bring you pride. It’s walking across the Oval and passing friends unexpectedly, and leaving with a smile on your face. It’s having a test the next day but choosing to meet your friends at Chumley’s anyway without a second thought.

It’s all-night study sessions, Buck-I-SERV trips, having friends in your classes and impromptu snowball fights. It’s jumping in Mirror Lake no matter the weather. It’s making new friends and wondering how you ever got along without them.

Being a Buckeye is yelling “O-H” in public, no matter the state or country, and receiving an “I-O” in return. It’s being accepted as you are. It’s finding your passion and having the tools to pursue it.

It’s opportunities that just don’t exist anywhere else.

So were there discouraging statuses clogging my newsfeed about how OSU played “the worst possible quarter it could play?” Yes. But the ones I saw were overwhelmingly from outsiders to this great school. And as a student, seeing those posters who don’t attend OSU is frustrating, because they don’t understand what being a Buckeye is all about.

But from members of Buckeye Nation, I was proud to see a different collective sentiment. Some were sad, in mourning, experiencing the loss personally. Yes, a few were angry, mostly from not knowing another way to react to the gut-punch that is one’s first loss in two seasons. But many praised the team on its season or described the reasons they still love being a Buckeye.

Because at OSU, we expect to win. But we still stand together when we don’t.


  1. Allison Elizabeth

    "Because at OSU, we expect to win. But we still stand together when we don’t."

  2. Amy Howland Moore

    I'm a proud parent of a Buckeye!

  3. around the waist? You're doing it wrong lol

  4. Tina Fostines Wells

    Bravo to the buckeyes. Buckeyes for life.

  5. This describes it perfectly. Thank you!

  6. Karen Huvler Rowley

    Buckeye Proud!

  7. Just. WOW! Thank you so much for this! For us OSU old heads, being a Buckeye means all that AND taking pictures on the huge red bench outside of the old Larkins gym, how finding the lap pool near the diving pool on the to floor in the back corner was like finding some hidden treasure because the main one was always so crowded, or ordering Taco Ninja so much that when I called, they already knew my order,and on birthday, I got free tacos, lol…winning the Best Dancer award at Buckeyethon freshman year, or being part of two of the greatest dance teams OSU has ever seen (big ups to Dancelinx and Stylez <—of which i was a founding member of)…falling asleep and dreaming in Japanese after speaking in and receiving lectures in Japanese major classes 5 days a week…it means not just knowing, but understanding the lyrics to my Alma mater…I went to the greatest school in the world and meet some of the most awesome people I'll ever meet at THE Ohio State University, and I don't care if no one else understands why we're so passionate about it 😛

  8. Yup. Well put and well said. When it's all boiled down, it's a bunch of kids barely out of their teens playing their hearts out and their butts off. When I cut my right arm, I bleed scarlet and gray. When I cut my left, it's green and white (4-H – settle down, settle down). On my GPS, Ohio Stadium is known as the Center of the Universe. I do love my Buckeyes. But I also celebrate the hard work and ethics of the opposing teams and when we lose to one of them, rather than gloat, I celebrate the fact that my Bucks played their hearts out. When we win, I refuse to gloat (oh, maybe just a tad when the win is against that team from up north). I can't do what these kids do – not a chance in hell. But what I can do is to act like a real fan and by my actions, be a good role model for my own kids. I am a Buckeye year around – not just for a few weeks in the fall and a few more in the winter. GO BUCKS.

  9. "Ohio State fell to Michigan State in its first-ever Big Ten Championship appearance, 24-34."

    This wasn't the first appearance for either team in the Big Ten Championship, was it? I don't think it was.

  10. Classy !

  11. This brought tears-not last night. Proud!

  12. Ohio State is a university of great traditions. The Mirror Lake freezing swims before 'The Game', the dotting of the 'I' in Script Ohio, the amazing half time shows put on by your band and the singing of Carmen Ohio after each and every football game. It was a shame that the tradition of singing Carmen Ohio after the game was broken Saturday night.

    The team that fought valiantly and the thousands of fans showed up, as they always do, to support them were cheated out of that.

    From Pat Forde – Yahoo Sports

    ""After Michigan State had finished harmin' Ohio, the Buckeyes bagged "Carmen Ohio."

    At a school that takes its traditions seriously, that will be considered sacrilege by some fans. Under former coach Jim Tressel, the ritual was non-negotiable: Win or lose, the team would gather postgame before the marching band and sing the song, written more than a century ago by an Ohio State student.
    For 24 games under Urban Meyer, that continued. Game ended, players gathered, song was sung. Meyer, a self-proclaimed lover of Buckeye lore, was always front and center, flanked by players on either side.
    Made for a nice photo op, at the very least.

    Of course, for 24 games there was never a loss, never a chance to test the commitment to tradition in a time of adversity.

    Saturday night, that changed. Saturday night, Meyer's Buckeyes finally lost – and did so in shocking fashion. They fell behind the Spartans 17-0, roared back for a 24-17 lead, then were hit with another 17-0 flurry in a devastating 34-24 loss.

    National title aspirations vanished. The program that had dominated a diminished Big Ten finally played an opponent of consequence – and was exposed as a cut below championship mettle.

    So there were no Ohio State players singing, no Urban Meyer photo op. The Buckeyes exited quickly to the locker room and left the song to the band and the cheerleaders and some of their crestfallen fans.""

  13. You all do realize if such an article had been written for the Michigan Daily after their loss to OSU you'd be laughing at them and calling them losers who need such pablum to get by after losses. Yes you would. Sad sad pablum, nothing more.

  14. ah yes…now they remember.

  15. I may not have gone to school at the OSU but I am a Buckeye for life. Those who are students or alumni might not understand that but it may be deeper in my heart than some of you. O-H

  16. Yes it was. OSU was banned from post-season play for the first two Big Ten championship games.

  17. I am a Wolverine fan and thought the exact same thing

  18. Not even gonna bother reading this until Luke Fickell is fired. We haven't had a decent defense in over 3 seasons now. It's pathetic.

  19. I was in Indy at this game. The OSU spectators were the worst I've ever seen. The guy across from me got hauled out of the stadium for trying to start fights with MSU fans. Most were furious that MSU actually beat them, fair and square. And if they're so loyal, why did the majority clear out before the end of the 4th quarter? I think this student is well-intentioned but not sure this is reality.

  20. You never really know how good it feels to wi

  21. What this was supposed to say was…you never really know how good it feels to win until you have felt the bitter sting of defeat. Thanks to the football buckeyes for a great ride!

  22. I love my Bucks, don't get me wrong. But no matter which team you cheer on, it is unfair for you to place the same expectation on collegiate football players as you to the pros. Here's why: 1- these young men are still learning the game (even if they've been playing seen they're pee-wee football days); 2- these young men are what? STUDENT-athletes, not athletic students. They are suppose to be in class and doing their classwork. They are holding down TWO

  23. Chumley's?

  24. LF, I had the same reaction. Why doesn't it say 4th Street? It is still a great article though!!

  25. Haha great article, agreed! Had to comment though lol

  26. <3 YOU SAID IT AALLL, SON! LOVE YOU!! <3 SO TRUE!!! <3

  27. OSU wouldn't be calling them anything. True Buckeyes don't read the M*ch*gan Daily.

  28. I mean who couldn't be proud of a place like Ohio State? Our sports teams, our alumni, our world class faculty and students, all the amazing research that is conducted here, the outstanding service to the world Buckeyes supply make for one wonderful place to call your own.

    I am doubly proud because not only am I an '82 graduate of this great university but so is my daughter, Melinda, Class of 2012!


  29. I see this differently. The 2013 World Hurdle Champion Brianna Rollins picked a picture of racing a Buckeye on her Stellar Athletics management site. Brianna graduated from CLEMSON so even she knew where the TALENT/COMPETITION LAID????? hahaha Hold your head up guys. You’re in the top 10 YEARLY!!! ESPN would be out of biz without da bucks! hahaha

  30. We always lose the most important games for the following reasons.

    1. The word “Buckeyes” is a lame, girly, wuss, unexciting word.
    2. Everything in OSU football; CARMEN, Scarlet and Gray, Buckeyes are all cow town, overly simplistic, Big Wuss, OVER Rated, Conceited.
    3. The Uniforms – too plain, too old. Same uniform design for over 120 years.
    4. Bullys – was it necessary to kill a dead horse. When we played a pee wee league Florida A&M. Final score OSU 73 FAMU 0.
    5. The ONLY going for in Columbus OH; OSU Buckeye Football. Pathetic.
    6. Unequal Mixture of Players; # of Afro-Americans > 98 %, Caucasian 1.8 %, other ethnicity 0 %
    7. OSU will never win any more titles as long as the QB is a running QB, rather than develop to become a “complete” QB. Fact, there has never been an OSU QB who became a franchise QB since the inception of NFL.

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