What a show put on by the Buckeyes! We wrap up quite a night in The Shoe as the Buckeyes wallop Penn State and we look forward to the final four games of the regular season. We’ll also take another peak at the BCS and see where the Buckeyes stand nationally and how they can get themselves into the National Championship game. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
You can’t always get what you want
How often do we ask for the Buckeyes to perform to the fullest of their potential and show the world what we all feel they are capable of? We sit and ponder the scenarios of “If this guy can do this and that guy can do that…” in hopes of seeing it all come together. Saturday night was one of those times where it all clicked and the proverbial light bulb turned on.
As a complete unit with Braxton Miller at quarterback and Carlos Hyde at running back, this is only the third game we have seen the Buckeye offense play together. Think about that for a second. After drilling Penn state for 63 points (42 in the first half!) this is an offense that is just now, from a gelling together and games played standpoint, heading into early-mid season form.
The lyrics may say that “you can’t always get what you want”, but I’m here to tell you we are getting what we need. We are getting an offense that is about to hit their high point with four (five including the Big Ten Championship game) games left to play. You couldn’t ask for more.
Anatomy of a force
Braxton Miller is back. I don’t want to hear anything else about it. He is officially the Braxton Miller that was the Heisman frontrunner coming into the season. It took a while and some missed time to get there, but he is here. His feet are back. He looks as tough as ever taking on tacklers. His arm is like a rocket. And the most importantly, he is making great decisions and has his completion percentage is over 70%. Read More
You’ve got two choices for this week’s narrative as you talk college sports around the old coffeemaker at the office this morning.
Option one: “Wow, 5 top 25 SEC teams were beaten on Saturday… four in upsets! Is that conference over-rated or what?”
Option two: “Wow, four SEC team upset top 25 teams this weekend!!! What an incredibly deep league… let’s just crown their champion now!”
I’ll let you guess which one will be the talking points of most people… This is, as you may know, the phenomenon of “circular logic“, and when you play games on the field but championships in the polls, it’s something will make a difference for some team.
But, as we said, the games were played on the field, and this week saw 6 of the top 11 upset and two other undefeated teams threatened. We started with a come from behind loss by Team Papa John against UCF on Friday Night. If you’re Louisville, playing anytime anywhere means both that you can build your program AND that you’ve got a national audience when you fall apart late in the game.
Previously, undefeated Miami needed a late score to hold off North Carolina. ACC, y’all.
Saturday’s surprises didn’t include UCLA getting its first loss at Stanford… only because many folks still feel that Stanford is one of the top two teams in the PAC12, and would serve as UCLA’s first test. Their next text? Oregon. Have fun, Bruin-bros. The Stanford Game also brought us what may be the reception of the year… it’s certainly the best catch we saw all week: Read More
I apologize. I googled “songs about Iowa” and this came up. Yeah, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Here’s a palate cleanser… also from Iowa.
The bye week is over and the Buckeyes now await a home matchup on Saturday against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The second half of the season is about to begin and we’ll look ahead to what needs to happen for the Buckeyes to make a trip to Pasadena to play for the National Championship. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
The Hawkeyes come into the Shoe on Saturday well rested having sat through their own bye this past weekend. The last time they saw action was a 26-14 loss to Michigan State in Iowa City. Overall they come in at 4-2 and, to be honest, nothing really impresses you or stands out about Kirk Ferentz 2013 Hawkeye team.
The Hawkeyes not being anything special means the Buckeyes lose a shot at a quality win. Quality wins and strength of schedule are what goes into those BCS numbers that will determine if an undefeated Ohio State team gets to play for the crystal ball. I realize this is a foreign concept to a lot of people, but it is a real possibility that the Bucks could wind up 13-0 and on the outside looking in. At this point it actually seems like the likely scenario after the conference championship games are played and the bowls are selected.
For the Buckeyes to be invited to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl National Championship presented by Orange Juice, LED Televisions and God knows what else, they must obviously finish unbeaten. Another thing that Buckeye fans seem to dislike is winning with style points i.e. running up big point totals. And the Buckeyes would definitely be well advised to take advantage of any opportunity whereby that is an option.
Breaking it down, how I see it
Ok, so if the Buckeyes going undefeated and being left out of the championship game is looking more and more like a likely scenario then who are the teams that will be holding them out? I decided I’d break it into some groups… Read More
Well, here we are, at the second biggest shopping day of the holiday and fiscal season. It’s kind of sad, really- all those unwanted or mis- purchased gifts being dragged back to the mall, where “Good Will To Men” is certainly in short supply.
That being said… how hard is it to follow a list? And what part of “bullets” looks like “marbles”… grumble grumble grumble. Given what’s in the theaters beginning yesterday, you’ve got two choices for today’s soundtrack.
Interesting Tuesday in college sports, to say the least. We’ll get to all the movers and shakers, but first a little traveling music.
Most of the frustration was aimed at the inclusion of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, who we’ve argued here before is only a finalist due to his team’s success, solid (but not great) numbers, and the great “story” that his season has been- both for him and as a heart of the awakened echoes of the Irish program. Tony Gerdeman from the OZone compared Te’o to AJ Hawk, the last linebacker to be seriously considered for the Heisman, and found that Hawk’s numbers eclipsed the Irish’ star. He, along with the guys at Land Grant Holy Land (check out the infographic) continue to compare his numbers to Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier- Gerd points out that, in the last three games of the season, Shazier outplayed Te’o and almost doubled his statistics, minus the interceptions. Given that Te’o plays in a variation of the Tampa 2 defense which requires more coverage, this might make sense- different roles for both players. But it does highlight the fact that Te’o is a debatable finalist… and as such, might have just as well been left home with Miller and Marquis Lee (who I believe is the best player in the country this season).
With no hope of a national championship, the Buckeyes saw excellence as its own reward—and achieved it. What better example of pure sportsmanship could there be? Next year, Ohio State will once again be jockeying for a high-profile bowl berth and all the cash that flows from it. This year’s team, by contrast, will stand forever as the one that played not for money but for pride.
Getting ready for the next phase of college fandom, that wonderful world filled with gifts of college hoops and bowl catastophies. As such, here’s the soundtrack for this week’s look back.
Robert Frost once said, “Nothing Gold can stay”; and so, another leaf turns and this college football season comes to a close. Before we jump into Championship Weekend, let me take a second to say “Thank You” to a great Ohio State blog and BBN member who hung up their keyboards this week- Dave and Drew, Godspeed on the next adventure.
Well, the crapocalypse is surely upon us- we’ve now got the choice to pull for Notre Dame or for Alabama in the Mythical National Title game come January; although I’m still holding out hope that the Mayans were right.
Alabama punched their ticket to yet another dance via a dominant second half performance against a very game Georgia team. Throughout the first half and into the third quarter, it looked as if the Bulldogs had figured out a way to neutralize the Bama defense, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown only extended the sense of dread that Alabama fans must have been feeling throughout the sold-out Georgia Dome.
And then Nick Saban remembered that he had a running game. From that moment on, the Crimson Tide’s offensive line and stable of running backs managed to decimate the Georgia defense, churning clock and yardage. After running all over the Black and Red, it only made sense that Alabama’s last score would come on a beautifully executed play action pass- everyone, including the cameramen and your humble correspondent bit on the fake, and McCarron’s ball was perfectly targeted for the score.
Again, kudos to the Georgia team; they refused to give up even under dire circumstances and dwindling clock. They managed to drive to the red zone in a short amount of time, but then made decisions that I’m still trying to figure out.
After passing for the first down on the Alabama 8 yard line, Georgia chose to run a play and not spike the ball for clock stoppage goodness- they had used their last time outs forcing the Tide to punt on the previous series. The process of setting the play up itself cost them a good 5 seconds or so, and then they chose to run the following attempt:
There’s a lot of things that went wrong here- the pass was tipped at the line, and the receiver should have intentionally dropped it (although that’s a hard thing to do, as it goes against years of practice). But the decision to not control the clock a bit better at the end send Nick Saban to Miami to defend his team’s national title, and ended up pushing Georgia to game against the B1G Championship Runner Up (more later). Read More