The Week That Were: 2013 Championship Weekend

Written December 9th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all that, but I’m not feeling it just yet. Here’s some Ella if you’re in a similar mood this Monday.

And so it ends… not with a bang, but a whimper. Not for everyone, but for fanbases who entered Saturday with significant postseason aspirations, the doors gently shut on both those dreams and on their season.

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We Know The Feeling

While TWTW is usually reserved for Saturday’s festivities, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Northern Illinois started the slide on Friday; poised for a shot at another possible BCS bid, the Huskies fell for the first time all season in the MAC championship. And not just “fell”, but were beaten by 2o points by Bowling Green in a game that cost the Falcons (and the other non-qualifying schools) some pretty major cash.

Saturday’s early slate started with some Bedlam, a game where anything can happen and often does- this year in the form of an earthquake during a field goal attempt.

As a rivalry game, you throw the records and season results out the window, as any Ohio State or Michigan fan can tell you. And while TBPU looked to be the easy favorite, icy conditions and the passion of their cross state rivals kept this from being an easy match.

While both teams struggled to score early on, Oklahoma tied things up in the third following a fake field goal that may or may not have happened before the play clock expired. No call, though, so on we went.

Much like last week’s game in Ann Arbor, OkSU drove down the field with relative ease at the end of the game, and scored with time left on the clock in spite of our warnings. And, you can guess what happened- Oklahoma managed a length of the field drive to score which left only enough time for the Northwestern-esque “throw the ball around and hope for the best” play, and like NU, Oklahoma State’s efforts were interrupted and scored upon.

Nice Aim

Nice Aim

Check out the gif on the left there; this is after the spread-covering score, and you can see both a Cowboy cheerleader attempt to trip a jubilant Sooner and also notice that some happy fan has decided to huck a snowball at the field toward the end of the clip.

That’s what it means to be in a rivalry game… it’s bigger than just a regular loss, particularly when you fall at home and fall out of the BCS.  I’m sure that excitement and emotion were behind the Sooner player’s decision to go full Marcus Hall on the Cowboy fan, and am certainly looking forward to them being benched for the entirety of their next game, the way that Hall was. And, media folks, feel free to spend hours discussing how classless this play was and what Stoops should do.  You’ve obviously got nothing else to talk about.

With the Cowboys’ falling in Stillwater, the late afternoon game between Texas and Baylor became the defacto Big12-2 Championship matchup. Let that roll around in your head for a minute- Mack Brown, who may be on his way out after yet another disappointing season, was one game away from a Conference Title and a BCS bid.

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Filled With The Spirit?

And yet, it was not to be… after a close first half, Baylor made the plays that it’s executed so well all season and pulled away from Texas to win their first conference title in forever. Given that they’re opening a new stadium next year and just signed their coach to a sizable extension, it’s quite possible that we haven’t heard the end of celebrations in Waco.

And their reward? A trip to Phoenix to face the University of Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl… the same UCF that held off SMU to win on Saturday. That game ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

By now, Buckeye fans know all to well that Auburn will be playing in the National Title game against Florida State. Poised in the computers to leap Ohio State with a blowout win against Missouri, the resurgent Tigers (no, the other ones) handled the B12-2′s SEC East’s finest handily in Atlanta on Saturday, in a game that seemed to be played with an understanding that each team was required to ration their tackles (perhaps the same memo OSU got?).

Best Tackle All Day. Seriously.

Best Tackle All Game. Seriously.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t any controversy on the way to the SEC crown. One of Missouri’s early scores was on a long pass that clearly was not fully possessed by the receiver- I have no idea how that wasn’t overturned. Later, an Auburn player pushed Missouri’s Josey out of bounds after the running back had another long scamper, and the shove caused Josey to hit a nearby cart and miss the remainder of the game.

Auburn’s win meant that, should one of the top two teams fall, they would be in. Florida State started first in their epic clash against the Duke Blue Devils, and managed to go the entire first quarter without a score.

That was about it, though- the Seminoles managed to roll up a 45-7 win and punch their tickets to Pasadena, while Winston possibly scheduled a trip to New York to pick up some hardware. It’ll be interesting to see if we get a 2006 repeat- an undefeated team with a Heisman Trophy QB against a one-loss SEC program who “backed in” to the title game.  That’s all I remember about the 2006 game… and I’m not listening if you try to give me any further facts.

No Roses For You

Roses? Not so fast…

Which brings us to Indianapolis. As if Ohio State fans didn’t have enough reasons to hate Sports Illustrated, this week’s decision to put Braxton on a regional cover added the Buckeyes to the list of Oregon, Alabama, and Baylor as teams who lost the week following their cover appearance.  Splendid.

Look, my thoughts on the game are probably the same as the rest of Buckeye Nation:

  • Hats off to Michigan State, whose defense played the way that Ohio State defenses used to play. Wonder why that is… What I wouldn’t give to have one of their DBs in the scarlet and gray.
  • Hats off to Sparty, too, for offensively game planning a perfect scheme to attack Ohio State’s weaknesses in the secondary, and to Connor Cook for the poise that he showed in the passing game. Enjoy California, Dino and folks… remember, it’s not too far of a drive for your offensive line coach to visit some family.
  • I’m as confused as the rest of you are about the Ohio State gameplan, particularly when it looked like our bread and butter were working. I understand the idea of getting Carlos into space against MSU’s secondary, but when every empty set led to a QB draw/counter, then it takes away the mystery. And mid-range passing? Does everything have to be a bomb?
  • “Frustrated” only partially covers my thoughts on the secondary’s play this past year… I’m not smart enough to figure out if it’s a scheme thing or a personnel issue or coaching, and I’ve read all three from the “experts” that make up Ohio State bulletin boards. I know that linebacker is something that Urban has identified as a “need”, so I’m just going to trust that this will improve overall in the coming season.

Again, no disrespect to Ben Affleck or to Michigan State, but it feels more like Ohio State let this one get away from them than the Spartans “took” it. While I’d prefer that it was the Buckeyes in Pasadena, I’m still excited to see Michigan State play Stanford in the 100th edition of the Rose Bowl.

Stanford won their rematch with Arizona State in a walk in front of less than stellar crowds. While some blame the “rematch” factor for poor attendance, I believe that it’s due to these being hosted on campus… as nice as that is for the home team, this time of year the trend is to allow fans the chance to travel to somewhere new. I’m conflicted on this, since I believe that any future Championship Expansion should consider home stadiums, but I also understand that there’s a huge money factor involved from tourism and so forth.

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The “Bowl-Bloat” Culprit

And that’s the heart of the silly season that we’re getting ready to enter- schools will pay lots of money for the “privileged” of making cash for television networks and tax exempt “bowl committees”; and only one game will “matter”, other than the contrived “Bowl Challenge” that the four letter network has created without consideration of even-matchups. When there are so many bowls that more than 50% of FBS teams get to go, is it really an honor?

That being said, this year should be a pretty good one for the B1G- in looking across the Bowl Landscape, there are only a few games that don’t feel like solid contests.  See what you think:

  • Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12): Michigan State vs. Stanford
  • Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: (ACC vs. BCS): Ohio State vs. Clemson
  • Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
  • Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Iowa vs. LSU
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Michigan vs. Kansas State
  • Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Nebraska vs. Georgia
  • Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

The BCS games, then, would be Florida State/Auburn, Michigan State/Stanford, Ohio State/Clemson, Oklahoma/Alabama, and (bleh) Central Florida/Baylor.

All in all, a great set of excuses to gather friends and family for the holidays and then ignore them to watch TV. We’ll have breakdowns of each of these matchups in the coming days, as well as full coverage of Ohio State’s trip to Miami in an attempt to exorcise Charlie Bauman’s specter.

But with that… The Week That Were draws to a close for yet another season. Thanks for playing along with us all fall, and for being a part of tBBC Family. We’ll close with a bit of nostalgia to get you ready for Miami:

The Week That Were: 9.15.13

Written September 16th, 2013 by Scott

Where to start, where to start.

Alabama got revenge, Michigan almost got upset by Akron, Texas still can’t play defense and Nebraska, well, Bo Pelini better have his resume updated.

But we must start with the odd finish to the Wisconsin-Arizona State game in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The Sun Devils led 32-30 in the waning moments. The Badgers had executed the 2-minute drive to near perfection and were in position to attempt a game-winning field goal.

Yawn, yawn. Sounds like a typical game. OK, here’s where it got weird.

Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave did something that resembled a stumble, kneel down or plopping down of the ball.

Perhaps his knee touched, perhaps there was a whistle. Arizona State players saw a loose ball and hopped on it, and stayed on it.

The officials eventually decided it was still Wisconsin’s ball, but time ran out before the Badgers could get the field goal unit ready.

Game over.

Problem is, according to the rule book, the officials should have been flagged for illegal procedure because they gaffed big time.

Worse than Leon Lett in the Super Bowl. Worse than Ray Finkle and the laces facing the wrong way (thanks Marino). Worse than Marty Mornhinweg electing to kick after winning the OT coin toss.

According to an excerpt from rule 4-1-3-o “A live ball becomes dead and an official shall sound his whistle or declare it dead: When a ball carrier simulates placing his knee on the ground.”

Stave was attempting to take a knee. This much we know. So he was down and either ASU should have been hit with a delay of game or the crew should have stopped the clock to sort it all out.

Oops. Read More

Stay hungry, my friends. Or not. Either way.

December 29, 4:00pm EST, ESPN2 television

The Arizona State Sun Devils come into the game 7-5, with a 5-4 record in Pac-12. While they lost their two toughest tests of the season to Oregon and USC, they did finish the season strong with a win over in-state rival Arizona and the Fighting Rich Rod’s. ASU is currently coached by Todd Graham who conducts an offense led by a trio of 500 yard rushers topped by quarterback Taylor Kelly who ran for an additional 643 but oddly never reached the end zone on the ground. All of Kelly’s touchdowns came through the air as he threw for 2772 yards and 25 scores.

The Buckeyes are 2-0 all-time against the Sun Devils with the most famous game being the 1997 Rose Bowl. John Cooper’s finest hour was realized when Joe Germain hit David Boston for the game winning touchdown with time about to expire in the 4th quarter for a 20-17 victory.

Navy comes in at 8-4 record after winning the 113th Army-Navy game on December 9th to close the season. The Middies suffered tough losses to open the season, being trounced in Dublin, Ireland by Notre Dame and two weeks later losing soundly in Happy Valley to Penn State. To be fair, amongst the eight wins, the biggest by far emotionally and perhaps from a competitive standpoint was their 17-13 win over Army in Philadelphia. The Midshipmen did what they do best in 2012: They ran for a combined 3586 yards.

The Buckeyes are 4-0 all-time against Navy and 2012 would have been no different had they met up. The Midshipmen would have no answer for the Buckeye offense and, if it were later in the season when the defense began to click, may have had little to no luck getting their ground game going either.

The BBC staff picks: Mali, Janelle, Eric, Gary, Wva, and Tim are all going with ASU while yours truly is taking the Middies in the upset. I like the heart that Navy showed in holding of Army. They always seem to appreciate these opportunities more than “regular” student athletes. Also, I’m an American and clearly everyone else on this staff is a communist if they want to pick against America. (editor’s note- Da.)

Picks for the Weak – Week 3

Written September 12th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

In an effort to clean up my act in regards to the weekly weak picks, I am going with games this week that will assure me success (yeah right) As it stands, I am a paltry 3 and 7 on the season having gone 1 and 4 this week. Here are the results of last weeks picks.

Safe Bet. USC over ‘Cuse 42 to 29; Prediction Wrong USC 51 to 9

Points Plus. Nerdwestern over Vandy 23 to 13; Prediction Wrong Vandy 44 to 38

Defensive Struggle. Wake Forrest over UNC 28 to 27; Prediction Wrong UNC 13 to 7

Best Match-up. Florida over Texas A&M 20 to 17; Prediction RIGHT ON! Florida 23 to 17

Best B1G Game. Notre Lame over Purdue 20 to 17; Prediction WAYYYY OFF Purdue 37 to 34

The week that was is looooong gone thank goodness and I get an opportunity to make up for my pitiful attempts by selecting some easy ones! Ha! Anyway here are the picks and good luck to everybody else!!!

Fat Urkel will be stinging again after this weekend.

Safe Bet.  Virginia Tech has played relatively well in it’s first two games and Mark Mays PITT Panthers have been, well . . , let’s just say they have been a lot like the team John Cooper beat. The Hokies will go ahead and welcome the Panthers to the ACC in grand fashion a year early because things aren’t getting better for them right now. This is the easiest safe bet of the season so far. VTU 31 to 6

Points Plus. Missouri had to open their new conference against Georgia last weekend and the offense looked pretty decent until Mark Richt’s bunch figured it out. Arizona State has a high flying bunch that will put some points on the board. This looks like a safe bet for basketball on grass this week, defaulting to the home team here. Mizzou 43 to 39

Defensive Struggle. This will honestly be more about lack of offense than stout defense. Penn State has no offense and NAVY is trying to regroup there triple option which can always be a great equalizer in these type games. I picked the Middies against ND because I am a former sailor myself and didn’t learn my lesson. Go Middies! Navy 9 to 7 Read More

2011 MAACO Bowl: Boise State -vs- Arizona State

Written December 21st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Thursday night- no new Parks and Rec, so you’ll have to do with the next best thing. No, not Whitney… for God’s sake, we’re not savages. It’s Bowl Season!!

Vegas!!!

The Basics: Thursday, 8:00 PM ET on ESPN, from Las Vegas. SISU (11-1, 6-1 MWC) and Arizona State (6-6, 4-5 PAC12).

The History: After two years, Eric begged not to have to cover this game. Shows you what he knows- it’s the 20th anniversary!! Woot!! Oh, and this is the game that 6-6 teams with losing conference records should go to.

Southern Idaho State University- No lie, the Broncos got screwed for the second straight year. One loss, and you head to Vegas for a December game? Well, they’ll have better luck next year in their directionally challenged conference, I’m sure. That’s assuming, of course, that they can find someone to a) replace Kellen Moore and b) kick field goals. After being a target for every west coast head coaching opening, I’m sure Chris Peterson chose to stay with the smurf turf for a reason. Their season opened with a great win over Georgia, but they stumbled against TCU due to the aforementioned special teams issues. If we know anything, though, it’s that SISU can beat anyone if they’ve got a bucketload of time to prepare.

Arizona State – Started out so well, beating a Southern Cal team that ended up in the top 5 at the end of the year. But then, it all fell apart, culminating in the loss of their head coach (“retirement”) and a fiasco in finding the new guy.  Four straight losses, including to an interim coach at rival Arizona, and change was on the way. In case it turns into basketball, you should be aware that QB Brock Osweiler is 6’4″. If it stays a football game, it’s probably relevant that he’s got 3600 yard passing. Oh, and Votaze Burfict. That is all.

Fun Facts- As you know, Boise State has never played Ohio State. So there’s that. But on the other hand, Vico reminds us how awesome the last time the Buckeyes and Sun Devils met was (Howdy, Fick!)

Who We Got?

  • Chris- Broncos
  • Eric- Broncos
  • Jim- Broncos
  • JoeD- Broncos
  • Mali- Broncos

Picks for the Weak: Week Four

Written September 22nd, 2011 by Joe Dexter

Dabo and his Tigers are HUNGRY....

It’s week four of the college football season, and you weaklings are gaining strength. No, it’s not from our expert prespective… Yeah, no. This week, us college football fans get our inspiration for top notch picks by pumping ice water in our veins!

We might be in Death Valley, but it’s our time to choose greatness! Are you going to be the next greatest tBBC College Challenge Champion? Are you going to put the ! in Yahoo!??? Week three is in the books, and another slate of games is in front of us. Are you going to eat rock like Dabo?? Or are you going to eat crow like Brady Hoke?

It’s time to step up your game like OSU Silver Bullet, Buffalobuckeye, The Silver Bullets, BWCGF3, and Culp’s Freaking Hill. tBBC is here to help you with your picks. We’re just not sure if we’re helping you jump up the standings or jump off the face of the earth.

Week 3 Review:

Everyone but yours truly finished .500 or better in week three, with the experts receiving a week off.  The staff swept the board with Southern Idaho State, Nebraska and LSU.  Only Joe L  had the cajones to pick Notre Dame  against Michigan State.  He  and Jime were also smart enough not to dip their picks into the Miami (OH) Butter.  Here’s a look at last week’s standings.

Mali 6-4 – Eric 6-4 -Jim 8-2 – Experts **BYE – Joe L – 7-3  Joe D 4-6 – Computer – 5-5

Oh Boy. As you can see, the picks get harder as we get closer to conference play…. Or maybe I’m just destined to finish worse than a machine. Here is a look at the current standings heading into week 4.

Mali 20-9 – Eric 21-8 -Jim 20-9 – Experts – 14-5* – Joe L – 17-12 Joe D 14-15 – Computer – 13-16

Week Four Analysis:

There are some big games this week, but there are also some ugly ones. Helping us break down some of the better ones is Kyle Kensing of Saturday Blitz. We talk expansion, Alabama/Arkansas, Oklahoma State/Texas A&M, Florida State/Clemson as well as scUM vs. SDSU.  Kyle also breaks down our Week 4 games in writing this week.

Picks For The Weak: Week 4 by The Buckeye Battle Cry

Now to the games!

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The Week That Were- 9.18.10

Written September 19th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

This is being written on September 19th… that’s right, “International Talk Like A Pirate Day“. So, who better to lead us into this weeks’ recap than everyone’s favorite buccaneer, Mike Leach:

Of course, to get the full effect of the day, you’ll need to use the Pirate Translator for this webpage. Avast!

Speaking of Pirates, in the first half East Carolina looked to be adding their name to the list of teams to beat Virginia Tech. Hey, Broncos- that “big win against Virginia Tech” sure is helping your national championship hopes, isn’t it? Well, there’s always that game against powerhouse Oregon State coming up.

Since we’re talking about “out of conference games”- We suspected that UConn had lost quite a bit of their fastball from last year (their DB coach is now in Georgia), and had those suspicions reinforced in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago. The game this Saturday against the Cosby Chaneys of Temple proved it… you can stop calling the Huskies a “Big East Contender”, unless it’s immediately followed by derisive snickering.

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The Week That Were- Opening Weekend 2010!

Written September 6th, 2010 by MaliBuckeye

Late Sunday/early Monday during the season (what can I say- west coast timezone), tBBC will be bringing you reflections on that week’s game. And, since it’s always great to have mood music to read to, let’s start with this clip from Pitchfork’s top ten videos from the ’90′s

All is right with the world- football is back, baby! And what a slate of games we had… although, for Buckeye fans, it all seems anticlimactic after Thursday night, amiright?

Ignore Akbar at your peril

In case you’ve forgotten, Houston Nutt has a penchant for overtime games, being on the sidelines for several of the longest contests in history while at Arkansas.  The one thing, though- he needs to remember how to “win” in OT and not just “play for OT”, as the Rebels were upset Saturday by the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. As a public service announcement, tBBC would like to remind you that Jeremiah Masoli is now 0-2 in his last two games. Best part? Ole’ Miss paid $300,000 for the pleasure of the upset. Almost as much fun as my favorite season opener ever.

We talked about Mich1gAAn during the livechat, and will do so again later on Monday. I will say this; their version of the wildcat offense looked pretty good. And UConn’s defense and offense looked pretty terrible. In my opinion, the highlight wasn’t the running game but something far more significant.

Kentucky’s new coach beat Louisville’s new coach, in the first match up of these two teams while each had an African American at the helm.  Interestingly enough, Kentucky’s three major programs (UK, UofL, WKU) are all led by African American head coaches- there are only nine others in Division 1A (FBS, whatever). For the Kats and Cards, it’s probably exciting to talk about coaches and not use the word “investigation” or “payoff“.

Late Saturday night “Ohio’s BCS Team” gave up a late comeback to lose to Fresno State… Are we sure they didn’t import the entire Western Michigan team along with their coach? In addition on Thursday, The Utes upset the Pitt Stachers, in overtime. Let’s see- UofL, UC, UConn, Pitt all blow opening weekend games… Yup, Big lEast it is. I hope Jim Delaney was watching as he ponders even more expansion options… each of these teams has a chance to win that conference. Read More