Trap game? Or just a false alarm?


There's a football equivalent to such existential questions as:

"If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound"

Or, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

In the case of the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, the similar inquiry that matters most as they had to Indiana for a noon Saturday kickoff (Fox-TV) in the Big Ten opener is:

Can a Trap Game really be a Trap Game if everyone says, "It's a Trap Game."

And the answer, in case you haven't heard legions of OSU fans screaming it back to you is, "YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT CAN!"

Despite being the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten in both 2017 and 2018 after the regular season, OSU missed out on College Football Playoff berths because of inexplicable and indigestible lopsided losses at Iowa (55-24) and Purdue (49-20).

Both those defeats came later in the season, so maybe it's too early for Indiana (2-0) to be considered a Trap Game.

But if the definition of such an opponent is one that shouldn't be able to play with the Buckeyes, yet has shown signs of being explosive enough to compete, then the Hoosiers are guilty as charged.

Quarterback Michael Penix gives IU big-play ability with his legs and his arm, but the Ohio State defense has been back to its only stifling ways so far, showing marked improvement over its pathetic performance in 2018.

Former OSU All-American Chris Spielman is a believer in what he's seen out of OSU so far, but he also has a cautionary tale about another team coming on the Buckeyes' schedule.