The Ohio State Buckeyes weren’t supposed to win the College Football National Championship.
They weren’t supposed to win it all after Braxton Miller, the pre-season Heisman Trophy favorite, was ruled out for the year the week prior to Ohio State’s first game with a shoulder injury.
They weren’t supposed to win after losing to Virginia Tech by two touchdowns (a team that finished the year with a 7-6 record) in the 2nd game of the season.
They weren’t supposed to win after J.T. Barrett suffered a broken ankle against Michigan in the final game of the regular season.
They weren’t supposed to crack the top four in the final college football playoff rankings of the season (There was significant outrage that TCU was bounced in favor of the Buckeyes).
They weren’t supposed to beat the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama was favored by 9.5 points heading into that game.
And they weren’t supposed to beat the consensus best team in the country, the Oregon Ducks in Monday night’s national title game.
Well, the Buckeyes more than overcame Miller’s injury, the devastating loss to Virginia Tech, and J.T. Barrett’s broken ankle. They managed to squeak into the top four at seasons end, they beat Alabama, and then topped it all off by blowing out Oregon 42-20 in the title game.
This was truly one of, if not the most improbable runs to a national title in college football history (Yes, the playoff played a major role in that).
Usually, when the star quarterback goes down, the team goes down along with it. Just look at what happened when Everett Golson was ruled academically ineligible for Notre Dame in 2013, and what happened this past NFL season with the Arizona Cardinals who fell apart when Carson Palmer went down with a torn ACL.
In Ohio State’s case, J.T. Barrett replaced Miller and may have won the Heisman Trophy if he didn’t break his ankle against Michigan.
He threw 34 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions, but when he went down, things were really supposed to fall through the cracks when Cardale Jones, the 3rd string quarterback, was inserted into the starting lineup.
Instead, Jones and the Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat when he beat Wisconsin, followed by defeating the number 1 and 2 ranked teams in the country (Alabama and Oregon).
Now, Jones goes from starting three career games, to being talked about as a Ben Roethlisbeger compared NFL quarterback prospect.
None of this was supposed to happen, but someway, somehow, it did.