As we look back at 2005, Buckeye fans can’t help but feel like they have entered the Twilight Zone. It feels very much as though there is a warp in the space time continuum, bear with me for a second as I explain it. It seems like a century ago that there was a controversy over who should be leading the offense on the field. The only thing that was not controversial was that the offense was offensive. It seems like a decade ago that the Buckeyes lost a heartbreaking game that was literally in the grasp of Ryan Hamby. Had Hamby caught that ball against the eventual national champions, who knows how things may have been different that evening and last season.It seems like years ago that the offense, still lacking an identity, laid a giant egg in Happy Valley. Myself and many others like me could not help but watch in horror as we realized, somewhere around the third quarter, that what started as a season with national championship aspirations was now a season on the brink. Our beloved Buckeyes were rapidly achieving a level of mediocrity and underachievement equaled only in scale by our rivals from the north.
Yet it seems like only a few days ago that Troy Smith and the Buckeye offense turned the corner and Antonio Pittman emerged as the running back that everyone said he was too small to become. Each week I left the stadium wondering whether this offensive explosion was going to last and what could have been if the offense had played like this for the entire season. Could Penn State have stayed with them? Could this revitalized offense have translated at least one or two of those six field goal attempts into touchdowns against Texas? Oh yes, that pain still stings freshly.Further still, it only seems like a yesterday that the Bucks went up north and kicked the Wolverines right in the teeth. It seems like yesterday that Antonio Gonzalez made a catch as memorable in the big game as the one made by Mike Lanese.Finally, it seems like just a few minutes ago that I saw A.J. Hawk pick Brady Quinn from his cleats as his sister watched in horror. All I could think while watching this was, “Welcome to Big Ten Football.” Notre Dame actually played a real defense, probably the best in college football, and the results were telling.
Now here I am, sitting at my computer in January of 2006, dreaming about the possibilities for next year, excited about the offensive prospects, concerned about the defensive. I know that space and time are warped because my calendar says that the season starts in 215 days, but it seems like centuries away.