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Published: Thursday, 10/31/2013


End Zone: OSU Buckeyes

Win close, your team falls in the polls. Win big, you're a monster.


Once upon a time, there was a coach accused of grandstanding to impress the college football electorate.

"I have often contended that this habit on the part of sportswriters of totaling up the number of points each team has amassed in its various games and comparing them with one another was a useless thing," John Heisman said in 1916. "Finding folks are determined to take the crazy thing into consideration, we determined ... to show folks it was no difficult thing to run up a score."

Later that year, Heisman's chaps from Georgia Tech nudged aside Cumberland College 222-0. It was the most lopsided college football game ever.

Nearly a century later, after Ohio State minced Penn State 63-14, nothing has changed. We have the same backward reliance on style points, and Urban Meyer can't win. Win close, your team falls in the polls. Win big, you're a monster.

Though suggestions OSU piled on against Penn State are nonsense — Meyer pulled his starters early — a BCS beauty pageant that relies on humans wrongly says it should have. Like Heisman, should Meyer be pilloried if he determines to show folks it is no difficult thing to run up a score? Don't hate the coach. Hate the system.

Contact David Briggs at: dbriggs@theblade.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.

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