Why Ohio State will win the Fiesta Bowl

Written January 4th, 2009 by Jeff

OK, so we’ve all seen the “teh Big Ten suuuucks” comments all over the place, and we know that nobody outside of this glorious state isn’t giving the Buckeyes a chance in hell tomorrow night.  But let’s take a step back from the bash-fest and discuss what I think will happen in Arizona.

Ohio State will win tomorrow night’s Fiesta Bowl.

Here’s why;

1) Ohio State is unbeaten in bowl games against the Big 12

I’ll bet you didn’t know that.  Everyone’s too busy reminding us that we’re 0-for the SEC and lost two bowls in a row.  But we are a perfect 5-0 against the Big 12 in bowls, knocking off top 10 schools twice in the last 10 years.

2) Ohio State is awesome in the Fiesta Bowl

- The Fiesta Bowl is where we beat Miami to win the title after the 2002 season.

- The Fiesta Bowl is where we beat Kansas State after the 2003 season

- The Fiesta Bowl is where we beat Notre Dame after the 2005 season

And before anybody says anything about the Florida game, that wasn’t the Fiesta Bowl, it was the BCS National Championship game.  Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta that year, we just played in the same stadium a week later.

3) The Big 12 does not know how to stop a power running game

The stats of Big 12 schools are loaded with high-powered passing games, and as a result the defenses are built to stop the pass.  They (Texas especially) are not set up for success against the run.  In what should be Beanie Wells’ final game as a Buckeye, expect him to put out a bruising performance.  Also, expect them to keep handing him the ball, unlike his last two bowl games when we abandoned the run for some reason.

4) The Big 12 is showing their weaknesses when playing other conferences

The facts are right there….the Big 12 may have been the most overrated conference this year, based on how crappy they look outside of their comfort zone.

  • #7 Texas Tech was outraged when they got shafter from a BCS bowl.  Then they flat out looked like warm piss against a middle-of-the-road SEC school, losing the Ole Freaking Miss by 2 TDs
  • #13 Oklahoma State got spanked in harsh form, surrendering 35 points in the second half to Oregon.  Oregon had allowed 111 points in their previous 3 games, setting up the potential for an offensive team to crush them….Okie State failed miserably at that chance.  But their coach is still a MAN!
  • #21 Missouri had Jesus Christ at QB, and Mary and Joseph in the stands praying, and they needed OT to beat a school that had only won one bowl game in the history of man.
  • Nebraska squeaked by a really bad ACC team.  Seriously, Clemson was the 8th-best team in a horrific conference, and the Huskers nearly lost to them.
  • Kansas put up the only worthwhile performance (so far), doubling up on Minnesota 42-21.  But then again, Minnesota fell apart this year, losing by 55 points in their final game.

It’s also worth pointing out that EVERY Big 12 school was favored, sometimes heavily, and played poorly time and time again.  This all bodes well for the Buckeyes, who might be facing the 2nd-best team in a conference overrated all year.

And if Ohio State puts the beating on Texas, the Big 12 should be terrified. And you should go put the house on Florida against Oklahoma.

5) The Big Ten has had the deck stacked against them this bowl season

When Ohio State was selected to play in the Fiesta Bowl, it slid every other team in the conference up a notch.  For example, the 4th-best team in the conference was now playing in the #3 team’s bowl slot.  This led to almost all of our teams playing against teams that were better than they are.

Had the Buckeyes stayed in their “#2 Big Ten team” slot, the bowl matchups would have been more in line.  Here’s what we would have seen….

  • Penn State vs. USC – same result
  • Ohio State vs. Georgia – the Bucks beat Sparty by 30+ points and Georgia struggled with them…Ohio State wins this one
  • Michigan State vs. Missouri – Mizzou just looked awful against NW, and MSU has a better defense (plus a more formidable running game).
  • Northwestern vs. South Carolina – NW walks away a winner.  I’m still not sure SC even deserved a bowl game
  • Iowa vs. Kansas – No way, no how a Kansas defense slows down Greene
  • Minnesota vs. Florida State – I’m still going to say Bowden rolls
  • Wisconsin vs ??? – Surely Wisky would HAVE to fare better….right?

As you can see, the success that Ohio State had ultimately led to the overmatching of the rest of the conference.  We would have likely gone 5-2 or 4-3 instead of the maximum two-win bowl season.

Will all this be enough to knock down a Texas team that feels slighted by the BCS system?

Yes.

Ohio State 27
Texas 24

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