Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith smiles during the first quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Smith 1

For the Ohio State Buckeyes, the annual showdown with the Michigan Wolverines is the single most important game of the season every single year. The Buckeyes have now last back-to-back games in that rivalry for the first time in over a decade, but it sounds like Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is downplaying those results.

During a recent appearance on the Eleven Warriors podcast “Real Pod Wednesdays,” Gene Smith addressed the criticism surrounding the team’s most recent performance against Michigan. During the interview, he seemed to downplay the loss to Michigan, suggesting that the narrative would have been different had Ohio State beaten the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff.

“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.”

Naturally, Ohio State fans were not too happy about these comments, absolutely blasting Smith for seemingly dismissing the loss to Michigan.

It’s safe to say that these fans will be even more outraged if Ohio State can’t beat Michigan this coming season.

[Eleven Warriors]