Many college football pundits will tell you that what J.T. Barrett did during his career at Ohio State isn’t quantifiable. That his intangible play is what got the team so many wins over the course of his career. Except none of what they say is true.

Barrett’s performance is quantifiable. His leadership as a quarterback can be charted on the field. He finished his senior season with nearly identical numbers to that from his freshman season. Perception of his career feels more like a reflection of Ohio State fans, maybe as a sort of social experiment, than anything else.

Ohio State football fans are spoiled. There is no other way to describe it. I’m speaking as one myslf. I have seen the good and the bad within the program. I’ve seen the arguing over players like Joe Bauserman and Steve Bellisari. The success that the program has seen over the course of the past decade-plus is enough to make a fanbase lose its perspective.

While only having won only one national championship during Barrett’s four seasons, the Buckeyes have become a bastion of consistency in a time when coaching carousels dominate the landscape. The lack of appreciation for that consistency is what makes the program one of the most disliked in all of college football.

 

Barrett was great during his time in Columbus. He always gained a yard if running toward the defense. He hit 95 percent of his targets under 10 yards and provided one good deep ball a game. His play got the Buckeyes a winning percentage in the 90th percentile in this era of college football.

Every program would love that. That’s what teams seek in a quarterback. But with the culture that has been ushered in, this is no longer is going to be acceptable in Columbus, Ohio.

It will be the Dwayne Haskins or Tate Martell show for Ohio State in 2018 and that was going to happen no matter what. But what the results may bring is what Buckeyes fans should worry about. For every legendary passer, there is a player following up who didn’t live up to expectations.

After Tim Tebow, there was John Brantley. After Robert Griffin III, there was Nick Florence. Even in recent college football history, legendary college quarterbacks left a trail that their successors couldn’t duplicate.

There needs to be a more stark appreciation for Barrett and what he was able to do, regardless of what the critics say. It will take years before Barrett’s achievements really sink in and that is okay. Visions of potential dance in Buckeye fans’ heads and the thought of a greater playing level will forever tantalize.

The record books speak for themselves and Barrett’s name is scattered across most quarterback records in the Big 10. While there won’t be a coronation for Barrett with his departure, he will eventually work his way into the hearts of fans the same way he did during his freshman year.

You never appreciate what you have until it is gone and now Ohio State moves on without its star. That’s inevitable in college football, and now the reality is forthcoming. Just how easily can you follow up greatness?

About Sam Blazer

Sam is a self proclaimed chess prodigy. He once placed seventh in the state of Ohio in Chess when he was in kindergarten. He will rarely if ever mention though that only eight people were entered in this tournament. Contact him at sblaze17@gmail.com