Once in a while I do it.

By do it, I mean look at things through a different lens, like through sports.

This time I just couldn't resist looking at a sporting scenario to demonstrate a religious belief, as an Ohio State football fan.

Their run to the title this year was so unexpected, so amazing, so unique and so fulfilling it is worthy of a blog post. It seems like a fitting, relatable way to demonstrate a point.

The Underdogs

To begin with, this was the first year of the new college football playoff system, and Ohio State squeaked into the 4th and final playoff position in a way that was debated. Some say it was based on their past or their revenue potential, instead of their talent.

As the 1 team out of the 4 that looked like it might not belong there, Ohio State played with desire and a goal and, at the end, wore the shirts saying,

"Undisputed National Champions"

Undisputed because there was a playoff.

They didn't appear to be the team of the 4 with the most talent, but they appeared to be the team with the most inward drive.

There were the definite underdog of the 4 teams in the playoffs going in.

This post looks at a quote by Ohio State's coach Urban Meyer in relation to his team's performance. He said,

"Strong belief can change your level of play."

Meyer, his players and his staff all played with a goal and a desire that he claimed changed their level of play. It was his motivational technique - filled with spiritual wisdom - that helped propel his team.

When put into the context of when he said, the quote seems to be primarily referring to Wisconsin's defeat of Auburn in the Outback Bowl.

This was significant because the Big Ten was widely referred to as weak all year, at least in comparison to the Southeastern Conference.

People said Ohio State didn't belong as 1 of the top 4 teams because they played weaker opponents. Strength of schedule, they asserted, should play a role in who are the best teams.

Meyer asserted the Big Ten's win over Auburn helped motivate his players, and show them the S.E.C. teams were not invincible. This was reiterated to his players as the playoff began., so they remembered it.

(The Big Ten Michigan State team also won its' Bowl game over number 6 Baylor).

The quote indeed referred to the Auburn game, but it does not tell the whole story of Meyer and Ohio State.

Yes, the desire helped Ohio State believe deep down they could beat the once invincible Alabama Crimson Tide, winner of 3 national titles between 2010-2014.

But the quote referred to more than that.

The Goal

Urban Meyer first began putting into people's heads the idea of Ohio State winning a national title with a simple text message. It was after Alabama's thrashing of Notre Dame in a title game in January 2013, as Meyer soaked in the feeling of accomplishment at a high level.

After the win, Meyer's text went out to the entire team and every support staff member that partially said, "The chase is on."

In this case "the chase" meant the goal of putting Ohio State back into the national title game and winning it. He knew the chase would be a challenge and take a lot of focus, but he was willing to do it.

After witnessing Alabama's dominance and as an Ohio State graduate himself, he decided it was time to try to "turn the tide", away from the Southeastern Conference (S.E.C.) Alabama was in.

Meyer asserted it was time for a team from another conference to experience the level of glory they had. The S.E.C. had won 7 out of the last 8 national titles.

Meyer knows how difficult this goal was to accomplish, based on his wins in the game with Florida in 2007 and 2009. It took going the extra mile to reach his destination.

"Everything has to align perfectly for this to happen", he said.

Although it seemed like a long shot for Ohio State, Meyer believed it could be done with the proper planning, tools and motivation - "the chase."

This phrase, "the chase is on", seemed to resonate both with Ohio State and with the media. maybe a catch phrase was part of the extra mile he spoke of.

It was defining.

Since his text he uses this phrase when he first signs a player at Ohio State to clearly define what he is trying to do. Running back Ezekiel Elliott even said the word championships is plural, meaning Meyer discussed winning national championships - more than one.

He puts the idea into their heads from the beginning.

How many times have you heard it said having a goal is important?

Meyer was really ready to end the S.E.C. dominance in the college football world, and he believed he, his team and his staff could do it together.

In addition to Alabama's dominance, Meyer was also motivated to win a title by a now-famous story in his personal life.

As a youngster Meyer's father, after watching the young Meyer strike out in a baseball game, told him he was walking home instead of getting a ride. It was a surprise to the young Meyer and he never forgot it.

It was apparently a message to the young Meyer about seizing opportunities when they come, and realizing they don't come often.

As an adult Meyer says, "You get one swing. The great champions don't miss."

Well, Meyer got that one swing.

Talk about "lining up perfectly." Meyer got the chance to face his rival Alabama in the playoffs (of all teams), which was almost like a fairy tale. Watching Alabama win was a catalyst for his idea of "the chase."

Not only did his team defeat Alabama, but they then defeated the best team that was left after that - Oregon.

A Title In Your Spiritual Life

This motivation by Meyer is important because it relates to spirituality and it can also relate to your life.

Like Meyer said, "Strong belief can change your level of play."

In other words, however things look on the outside strong belief can change the inside.

Just like Ohio State was the underdog in its' last 3 games going for the title, you might feel like an underdog in your life. Things might look "stacked against you" and other people appear dominant.

Heck, Meyer even had to use his third quarterback in line for the chase, as the other two were injured.

You can't change or control everything, but you can change your level of play.

Urban Meyer might even have thought things looked against his young team after an early season home loss to unranked Virginia Tech. The media declared after the loss their national title aspirations were over.

But neither he nor his team gave up. If God wants something to happen it will. In other words, strong belief.

In an interview after the title win Meyer said, "The chase is over. They accepted their final assignment and their final directive. We are very grateful."

It might not seem like God is working in your life sometimes, but a strong belief deep down can work wonders. Indeed, Christians believe God works through those who believe in him: even as an underdog.

With strong belief and a grateful attitude your national title might be on the horizon.

A belief in God can change your level of play and help things line up perfectly.

Strong faith can move mountains.

Hopefully this post helped spur you to think about the larger meaning of life and your place in it.

I urge you to look beyond what you experience each day for meaning and, if you would like, to subscribe to the blog for more interesting perspectives.

Author's Bio: 

Spiritual Growth author motivated from a spiritual awakening.

Active member at an Eastern Orthodox House Of Hospitality, Cleveland, Ohio, working with seminarians and learning.

Blogs have been published at Ezine Articles and at www.ohiocitypower.net and the website is listed on the Technorati directory. Also authored the standard procedures for an Orthodox Monastery.

Please visit my website about finding more meaning in life at http://addmeaningtolife.com and add any comments.

As Wayne Dyer said."When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."