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D.L. Stewart: Ohio football: from hope to hopeless

Except for a few afterthought bowls, the Nobody in Ohio Cares Anymore college championship game and some pro playoff matchups that don’t include any team with the initials CB, football season is over. Which means from the shores of Lake Erie to the banks of the Ohio River we all can get down to the more entertaining topic of — talking about next season.

Ohio State fans are saying next season will be better if the Buckeyes fire a few head coaches and replace the quarterback. Followers of the Cincinnati Bengals believe next season will be better if the team fires the head coach and gets a new placekicker. For Cleveland Browns backers, next season will be better if … OK, next season probably won’t be any better no matter what they do.

Fire the head coach? Been there, done that. Nine times in 18 seasons. The current coach guided his team to a 1-15 record and is pondering a lot of questions, not the least of which must be, “Why in the world did I leave that cushy job in Cincinnati?”

Get a new quarterback? Twenty-seven have started and only lasted an entire season. But maybe, as the saying goes, the 28th time is the charm.

Try a new placekicker? That might help, assuming the guy can regularly make 80-yard field goals.

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The only good news (if you can call the second-worst season record in NFL history good news) is the Browns have first choice in the college draft, assuming they don’t trade it or somehow misplace it. The prevailing wisdom is that no college quarterback is better than the ones the Browns already have, so some experts think they might select Myles Garrett, a defensive end from Texas A & M. If Garrett is smart, he will not answer any phone call that starts with the Cleveland area code. (A few cynical Browns fans have actually started a fund to pay the mental health bills for whichever unfortunate player Cleveland selects.)

But whomever they draft, it won’t matter. Unlike pro basketball, in which a single LeBron can make a difference, Jim Brown in his prime couldn’t turn these Browns into winners.

So while Buckeyes fans and Bengals fans look forward to better seasons, the most Browns fans have to look forward to is ANOTHER season.

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