Over the last three years, Ohio State's offense has been largely responsible for all five of their losses. You'll hear pundits argue that it's their "slow Big 10 defense" that can't keep up with the spread and, though there are small elements of truth there (despite what the NFL draft consistently demonstrates), the key area to look at is on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, it's overwhelmingly the place you should look.
Look at the Ohio State offense in their fives losses:
Texas '05. We shut their O down completely: they had 255 yards. We forced a key fumble and a safety. They never converted in the red zone.
Penn State '05. Several white LBs with long strings of consonants for last names held them to 10 points, 230 yards, and forced 2 turnovers. Troy Smith fumbled the game away with 81 seconds left.
Florida '07. Ohio State had 82 yards of offense. Eighty fucking two. Florida had 5 sacks and 556 hits on Troy Smith. Goddamn, that was ugly. Yet, somehow, all the media can remember is Percy Harvin juking a dude for a seven yard gain. With all due respect to Urban's niftiness, Florida's offense was along for the Gator defensive ride.
Illinois '07. The Juice certainly got loose and this was Ohio State's worst performance against the spread, but people forget that Illinois held them in Columbus to 21 points and 336 yards; intercepting Todd "TB" Boeckman three times.
LSU '08. Ohio State had eight minutes of spectacular offense followed by thirty two minutes of suckitude and three turnovers - every single one of them killers. Unlike Florida, LSU had only 209 hits on the QB. Ohio State's WRs will beat press coverage next Arbor Day. And Ohio State's last TD was a mercy job if I've ever seen it. The LSU DBs were already thinking about how much Golden Girl pussy this win wouldn't translate into. Three bushels is the correct answer, by the way.
There's no question Ohio State's D didn't distinguish themselves in all of these games, but they dominated in one of them (Penn State), played very well in another (Texas - to date the greatest spread O in CFB history), and were quite passable against Florida. LSU was decidely below average and against Illinois they plain sucked.
However, in every single one of them their offense was totally ransacked.
Yet, I can't watch ESPN for five minutes without hearing how Ohio State's slow defense can't cope with the spread.