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O-H-I-O ... O-H-N-O - HATE

This is the match up I wanted. I’ve got some things to say about Ohio.

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 31 CFP Semifinal - Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Clemson Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back.

First off, I hope y’all are enjoying the Holiday Season. It’s always nice to see friends and family, exchange gifts, perhaps drink a few too many eggnogs and pass out in front of a Christmas movie at 5:30 on a Tuesday. I think it’s important during this time of fellowship and family that we not lose sight of the fact that Ohio State and the state of Ohio in general is trash. I’m not sure if any of you believe in Santa Claus, but Jolly Ol’ St. Nick left something sweet in my stocking this year.

This is the match-up I’ve been praying for all year.

I hate a lot of places, but outside of Columbia, South Carolina, there is no place I hate more in this great collection of states than Columbus (the Columbia of the mid-west), Ohio. I loath Ohio State University on a visceral, cellular level. Every fiber of my body vibrates with rage when I hear a group flabby backed flatlanders to try and spell the name of their cursed home state.

Let’s Get to the Hate

The Ohio Invasion

It’s gray in Ohio right now.

It’s been grey for 2 months, and will be gray for another 2 months. The low lying clouds damped the human spirit, leaving nothing but a dying ember to coax back to life in the spring. The first thought of a child unfortunate enough to be born in Ohio is of escape. There is an innate understanding that a land that radiates depression is not a place where the human species can thrive. Cormac McCarthy had Ohio in mind when he wrote The Road.

There is a somewhat happy ending to this dire set of circumstances, because in an ever expanding world, being born in Ohio is no longer the cultural death sentence it was just a few short decades ago. Upwards of 100,000 souls escape Ohio a year. Sadly, the stunted specimens that crawl south, oozing over the Ohio River towards more verdant southern landscapes, are some of the poorest examples of human kind ever chronicled.

Southerners, in general, are known for our hospitality. Before the great Ohioan plague, this was considered charming. People would come to the south, be treated well, eat some good food, sip on a glass of sweet tea, and then return to their port of origin. The problem with the golemesque folk from Ohio is they mistake hospitality for an invitation to remain. They’re like a Stephen King vampire. If you don’t welcome them into your house, they can’t hurt you, but once you extend the invitation, they’re going to bleed you dry.

The effects of the Ohio plague on my home state of South Carolina is devastating. We ceded the Grand Strand area early on in the invasion. I’m told that in Myrtle Beach, it’s impossible to get a bowl of grits, but cream of wheat is sold on every street corner, ladled out like gruel into the slop buckets of over fleshed creatures with “O” tattoos on their hairy shoulders.

Honestly, if it stopped with Myrtle Beach, I would have been O.K. No one from South Carolina goes to Myrtle Beach anyway. I had no problem leaving it to the trailer dwelling Gamecock fans and the cheap seer-sucker wearing, “plantation style” house owning, fake “southern” Ohio folks to fight over. Unfortunately, the Ohio empire was not satisfied with bringing the rat trap known as Myrtle Beach under their control, they continued down the coast, reaping a swath of destruction not seen in the south since the likes of William Tecumseh Sherman.

Ohio infestations start slowly. A dude named Bob from just outside Toledo moves in next door. He seems like an OK guy. A little pale, but otherwise unremarkable. You might invite him over for a cook out, but that’s about the extent of things. Next summer, some guy named Mark from Circleville buys the house across the street. Suddenly, you’ve got two Ohioians in your back yard, and it turns out, they’re both Browns fans. Finally, Steve from Findlay buys the house on the other side of you, and now you’re surrounded...

First the Browns flags start snaking their way up the flag poles. Obese gentlemen in stained tank tops, black cargo jorts with wallet chains, and steel toed work boots start piling into the pews on Sunday, displacing the normal tableau of pastel shirts.

One of your neighbors bring over a small crock pot of Skyline Chili “just for the hot dogs” and the next thing you know, 3 guys named Rodger are plopping a gelatinous pile of it on MaMaw’s famous potato salad like some sort of meat byproduct condiment. One Tuesday you’re heading to Publix to pick up something for dinner and 2 hours later you’ve only made it a half mile because you’re caught in a never ending stream of cars with Ohio plates trying to turn left across traffic at every intersection.

Hilton Head has fallen.

Bluffton is lost.

Mount Pleasant is overrun.

Charleston is surrounded and putting up only token resistance.

It’s dark times my friends.

We must fight every day to avoid becoming what we hate. We must not be eaten by the swarming gray sadness.

Ohio State, the team that memory forgot.

The perpetual gray of Ohio is deleterious to memory. When every day looks the same, it’s hard to pin things down on a timeline. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades. The funny thing about the Ohio State memory vortex is that it doesn’t just effect people unfortunate enough to live in Ohio.

When it comes to Ohio State, no one can remember anything.

I put together a history lesson to help jog everyone’s memory.

“Legendary” Coaches

Ohio State is considered a “blue blood” and “legendary” coaches and “blue bloods” go together hand-in-hand. While the Buckeyes have employed 3 “legendary” coaches, people seem to forget that all 3 left in disgrace. Furthermore, when you cut through the nostalgia and get down to the actual on field performance, none of the legendary “blue blood” Ohio State coaches can hold a candle to Dabo.

Let’s look into the actual facts.

Woody Hayes

Seasons: 28

National Championships: 2 (‘54, ‘68)

Highest Win Total: 10

Record Vs Clemson: 0-1

Number of times fired for choking a Clemson player during a game: 1

Dabo Swinney

Seasons: 10

National Championships: 2

Highest Win Total: 15

Record vs Ohio State: 2-0

Number of times fired for choking a Clemson player during a game: 0

As you can clearly see, if you’re going off resume, Dabo is far and away the better coach. Strip away the nostalgia and it’s not even close.

Jim Tressel

Seasons: 10

National Championships: 1 (2002)

Number of National Championships awarded due to a bogus P.I. call: 1

Highest Win Total: 14

Number of times fired for trying to cover up an otherwise minor compliance issue: 1

Dabo Swinney

Seasons: 10

National Championships: 2

Number of National Championships awarded due to a bogus P.I. call: 0

Highest Win Total: 15

Number of times fired for trying to cover up an otherwise minor compliance issue: 0

Once again, people like to wax poetic about the sweater vest, but head to head, Dabo is the easy choice.

Urban Meyer

Seasons: 6

National Championships: 1

Record vs Clemson: 0-2

Number of times shut out by Clemson in a CFP game: 1

Retirements caused by “health and memory issues” (aka couldn’t control one of his crazy assistant coaches and brought shame upon the university): 1

Dabo Swinney

Seasons: 10

National Championships: 2

Record vs Ohio State: 2-0

Number of times shut out Ohio State in a CFP game: 1

Retirements caused by “health and memory issues” (aka couldn’t control one of his crazy assistant coaches and brought shame to the university): 0

The numbers are clear in this match up as well. Dabo is the choice if you want a coach that can both win at an elite level and not be forced out one step in front of the NCAA posse.

Ryan Day

Ryan Day is far from a coaching legend, but again, this is Ohio State football, and people tend to forget things.

When the Tigers lined up against the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl, all the talking heads gave the nod to Ohio State because of Urban’s supposed “coaching advantage.” All of Urban’s wins with Tebow and Hernandez at Florida equated to exactly 0 points on the scoreboard.

You would think that would be enough to end the “X team has a coaching advantage over Clemson” nonsense.

In the college football playoff alone, Dabo has knocked off Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer, and Nick Saban, but the disrespect continues.

Louis Riddick of 247 sports said this in a recent article, “In these kinds of games, when they’re so closely-contested and so evenly-matched, where are you going to go to find where the competitive advantage lies? For me, it always lies with the big men and the coaching,” Riddick said. “Ohio State’s big men vs. Clemson’s big men. And then coaching. That’s not to take anything away from Dabo Swinney because we know he’s one of the best college coaches there are, but I’m going to say this right now — Ryan Day is coming.”

That’s right folks, Louis Riddick, a man that writes about football for a living, appears to give the coaching advantage in this game to...Ryan Day?

You want to know why Dabo feels disrespected, it’s guys like Riddick discounting his ability to prepare and coach a football team. If this were any other coach, the narrative would be “how will rookie head coach Ryan Day compete with college football legend Dabo Swinney?”

Instead we get a back handed compliment and a Ryan Day love fest....incredible.

In Summary

This is the match up I wanted.

Ohio State fans love to talk about history, and there’s nothing sweeter than punching a “blue blood” in the nose and watching them bleed their “blue blood” all over the field.

This is an angry Clemson squad.

Trevor, Travis, and Tee sat at home and watched a procession of Buckeyes win individual awards. Dabo’s internalized every negative article aimed at the Tigers this year. Ohio State is walking into the perfect Clemson storm.

They’re already dead, they just won’t realize it until halftime.

I’ll see y’all next week.