All week long, our Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes will address pressing questions on the mind of the Ohio State fan base with our new daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and pass along a topic right here. Then check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.
How do you shake off a loss like Saturday and shift your focus to still winning a Big Ten title?
— Christian Zylstra (@ESPNChizzy) November 5, 2017
This is the true test of leadership and maturity for a football team, and Ohio State has every reason to believe that its veterans, captains and coaching staff will be able to regroup after the puzzling meltdown at Iowa. In some ways, it might actually be easier to respond to a loss than it is handling the kind of emotions that come with a feel-good victory like the Buckeyes’ win over Penn State. And given the embarrassment of the blowout, fighting back to defend the pride of the program might actually be a more powerful motivator than a run-of-the-mill loss.
Somebody such as Billy Price isn’t going to relax just because the College Football Playoff is probably not in the cards (though not completely, definitively out of reach). That would set a dangerous precedent for the underclassmen who will soon be the leaders for the Buckeyes, that there’s nothing wrong with going through the motions if one goal suddenly looks out of reach. The example Price and J.T. Barrett and Tyquan Lewis will want to set is that every day requires every ounce of effort to maximize any opportunities still ahead of them, and winning the East Division and potentially claiming a Big Ten Championship remains a possibility.
There were clearly issues in the Iowa game that can be attributed to the coaching staff, and we talked about those concerns right here on Monday. But this week of preparation will likely come down to how much pride the Buckeyes take in their work, and that starts with the leadership group. Maybe they slipped up as well last week in setting the tone at Iowa, but it’s hard for me to imagine that they would let it happen again.
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