In Columbus, Ohio, C.J. Stroud’s promising future collided with Lamar Jackson’s MVP prowess on Saturday night, resulting in a 34-10 defeat for the Ohio State football alum and his Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round playoff against the Baltimore Ravens.

Stroud, completing 19 of 33 passes for 175 yards, faced a shutout in the second half, with the Texans failing to score an offensive touchdown. However, Stroud’s impressive regular-season achievements, including 4,108 yards and a 23-5 touchdown-interception ratio, marked a significant step towards establishing the first standout NFL career for an Ohio State quarterback alumnus.

The question arises about the implications for the Buckeyes in the 2021-22 season, considering Stroud never took a snap in a Big Ten championship game and never secured a victory against Michigan. A Buckeye Talk Subtext subscriber suggests that Stroud’s success in the NFL could potentially cast a shadow on reputations in Columbus.

Micah from Utah poses the question: “Will OSU and Ryan Day be looked at negatively for holding back C.J. Stroud? With a player that good, shouldn’t OSU have won more in the C.J. years?”

Nathan’s response acknowledges that the answer could be affirmative, emphasizing that Ohio State missed its opportunity with Stroud, evident as early as November 26, 2022, following a second consecutive loss to Michigan. Despite the close call against Georgia, the blame game may be at its peak. Wins and losses, often considered quarterback statistics, could prompt criticism, especially regarding Stroud’s performance in crucial games like The Game.

However, Nathan contends that Stroud’s future success in the NFL will ultimately benefit Day and the Ohio State program. Stroud’s exceptional rookie season, characterized by poise and production rarely seen from a debutant, challenges the skepticism surrounding Buckeye quarterbacks transitioning to the NFL. While Stroud credits OSU and Day for his preparation, the lingering narrative blaming Ohio State for not achieving more with him will persist.

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