If it can't be explained in five minutes with Paintbrush and graphics found on the internet, it cannot be known. This week's question comes courtesy of...
Adam Rittenberg of ESPN, the resident Big Ten blogger, wonders why Ohio State gets the national Cleveland Steamer treatment for their performance in big games while Oklahoma receives little of the same treatment for their even worse performance record in big games, a bias reflected in this week's polls and their inequal treatment of both teams.
But another national powerhouse deserves the same treatment. Another big-name has been just as disappointing in big games, if not worse. And yet that team continues to escape the hate. Meet the Oklahoma Sooners. They're apparently made out of Teflon.
Untrue. This has nothing to do with anyone's dislike of Tressel, or a curious anti-Buckeye slant to national coverage. As usual, this can be explained with some handy statistics and the visual scalpel wielded by truth itself on our planet, MS Paint. (Or as seen here, Mac Paintbrush. Same thing, more pompous platform.)
This is the United States. Most people live on the coasts, as indicated by the extremely scientific arrows.
There are more eyeballs toward the coasts, and thus more people to see your failures, document them, and mock you for them when they happen. Oklahoma has a far more impressive resume in the department of championship fail, and mimics OU's pattern of winning their conference, getting to a BCS bowl, and then depositing a shovelful of ass vindaloo into their collective shorts on national television.
Why the especially harsh rhetoric towards Ohio State?
Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs, something illustrated in our handy experiment.
Step one: Assume a dick. Let us assume a total dick exists. A person who dings car doors with you sitting in the car, looks at you, and who just walks away. A person who drives 50 mph in the fast lane with eight ladders loosely secured to the roof of their car. A person who leaves fork marks in your ice cream. In other words, a total dick.
Assume absolute dickishness: their level of average dickitude does not change with geography. They will attempt to pressure you into their gasoline-selling pyramid scheme in Topeka or in Tacoma; they will put their ATM card in the machine four times and act visibly frustrated while you wait behind them, but never understand that what they are doing is both stupid and impossible. ("Why can't I get a cash advance in Euros? FUCK THIS MACHINE!! /putsincardforfifthtime.)
For the purposes of this study, this dick will be represented by Jason Statham. Note the distance between this total dick and most people.
Place him in small community like Oklahoma, and his reputation as a dick will be lower-case at best due to the distance from the majority of those writing about college football and viewing it.
This happens with other things, too. Take a serial killer, for instance. You don't want to be a serial killer in New York City if you really love your work. Oh, the publicity's great, sure, and people will write OMG THE SCARIEST SERIAL KILLER EVAR, and you'll be caught in three weeks at best. (The rent is a bitch, too.) Do it in Oklahoma or Kansas, though, and you can work for years until someone finds you because so many fewer people are paying attention. There are fewer people to hear the epic tales, and thus less of a myth.
Now, let's place this total dick in a place closer to large groups of people and media.
Note this dick's sudden proximity to larger groups of people, who will observe him talking about himself constantly, popping multiple collars, leaving his beer at a four-top you're waiting on and walk away only to claim it when you swoop in saying "it's taken," and being his usual epic dick self. Suddenly, observe the growth in this dick's overall community rating as a complete dick:
In our simulation, he has reached the level of EPIC DICKISHNESS simply because of the weight of public opinion, a general verdict consisting of multiplied opinions reaching a consensus. (One that may be completely erroneous.)
As our Paint experiment clearly shows, your reputation as "X" gets larger the closer you move to the coasts, which is why habitual debtor Donald Trump is considered a genius in New York while Warren Buffett quietly squats atop a platinum throne out in Fargo. (Yes, Buffett is considered a genius in New York, too, but the difference between their public presences can only be explained by attitude and proximity to large media outlets.) Ohio State has been less of a failure overall than OU in big games, but their geography is their curse in the end, not a lack of talent or gumption in big games.
This universal truth has been brought to you by Paint: helping explain the world since 1995 or thereaboutish. We would like to take this opportunity to state that Jason Statham is not a dick, and is used here as a dick strictly for entertainment purposes. Please don't harm us.