Gene Smith Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith stands on the field prior to the NCAA football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Michigan State Spartans At Ohio State Buckeyes Football

The Ohio State Buckeyes have lost back-to-back games to the rival Michigan Wolverines – something that hadn’t happened in over two decades previously. But Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith doesn’t sound too concerned about the narrative that the Buckeyes have slipped against their rivals.

During a recent appearance on the Eleven Warriors podcast “Real Pod Wednesdays,” Gene Smith made it clear that he doesn’t think the narrative surrounding Ohio State’s end-of-season loss to Michigan would be the same if the Buckeyes would have defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff semifinal and advanced to the national title game.

“It’s so funny, everybody’s so focused on just one game,” Smith told Eleven Warriors. “We were basically one point away from being in the national championship game, and I think had we got that two points we needed to convert and ultimately played TCU – I feel confident we would have performed well and won a national championship – I’m not so sure about all this chatter.”

Ultimately, though, the Buckeyes did lose to the Bulldogs, ending their season with back-to-back losses – one to the Wolverines to end the regular season and one to Georgia in the college football playoff.

And regardless of how much Smith might want to downplay the loss to Michigan, Ohio State fans aren’t going to be willing to accept back-to-back losses to their archival to the north anytime soon.

[Eleven Warriors]