Three weeks ago, I asked the question “Are we 11-0 already?”. At the time, we were actually 5-0, but were facing a string of 6 consecutive weak opponents.
I took criticism and praise for suggesting this. Around The Oval agreed with me immediately, while personal friends claimed I was tempting fate and daring it to strike back in the form of Michigan State’s 1998 defeat of the then-#1 Bucks.
I’d like to look back at that prognostication and see how I fared so far….
- Bowling Green – The Falcons are 3-2, but two of their wins came against teams ESPN had in their “Bottom 10″. And here’s two facts that will allow you to breathe easy this weeks – BG’s defense allows 30 points per game, and they lost to Kent State by a score of 38-3. This one’s going to be a walk in the park.
We blew out BGSU 35-7 to nobody’s surprise. We actually didn’t beat the 35-point spread, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to call this game.
- Michigan State – OK, now I was a little bit worried about this game, until I saw them collapse against Notre Dame and then actually lose to Illinois. Now they seem like the bottom-half team they usually are. Wins against Idaho and Eastern Michigan now appear to be their backbone to 6 wins and getting into a bowl, and that doesn’t scare me. Drew Stanton is their biggest weapon, and I’m no longer afraid of QBs named Drew. It’ll be a tough game for about a half, if MSU can play on emotion. After that, if they’re still around, John L. Smith will find a way to lose.
Granted, MSU made it easy to predict against them after the ND and Illinois losses, but the prospect of a road game against a team with the capability to win was slightly scary. I expected to win, but I thought MSU would make a game of it. This one was over by halftime, though.
- Indiana – The only drama about this game is whether or not I’ll be able to find 2 tickets, so I can take my daughter to her first game the day before she turns 8. Whatever the point spread is, take the Buckeyes.
Long story short, I found tickets, took my daughter, and she now believes that Ohio State destroys everybody because that is all she has witnessed in her whole life. Oh, and the point spread was 31, so I hope you took it.
A quick statistical look at the previous three games:
-Ohio State has scored 39 points per game.
-Ohio State has allowed 5.7 points per game.
-Ohio State has allowed 249 yards rushing combined (21 less than we rushed for against IU alone)
-Troy Smith has 9 TDs and 0 INTs
-Ohio State has turned the ball over only twice.
Now, you may say that these games are against inferior competition. Well, when you are #1 and you play inferior opponents, THESE are the numbers you SHOULD have. We are doing the things we SHOULD be doing. Beating the good teams and slaughtering the weak ones. We do have strong teams on the schedule and nobody has yet been within 17 points at game’s end.
By the way, we have scored 30+ points in 12 of our last 15 games. Under Jim Tressel, Ohio State has NEVER lost when scoring 30 or more points.
While I will strive to NOT post boring stuff just for the sake of posting, I want to make a solid effort to blog on a daily basis. I realize that i have very few readers right now, but that is no excuse for laziness…as a matter of fact, it’s a GREAT way to build a following. I’ll probably also tweak the template a few times in the near future, to see if I can get a near-perfect look to The BBC. Of course, Blogger.com is free, so I realize I can’t be too picky. Still, I like what I see so far.
Anyway, let’s get into discussing the Iowa game this weekend. Everybody knows how huge this game is. Before the season started, I pointed towards three games that I felt could trip up the Buckeyes….Texas, Iowa, and TTUN (That Team Up North, for fans new to the terminology). ESPN is sending GameDay to Iowa City (where Corso will probably pick the Hawkeyes just to get fans there to cheer for him). ABC has made it their nationally-televised Saturday Night College Football Game. Translation – EVERYBODY knows how huge this game is.
Still, some Iowa fans seem to think that Ohio State is overlooking the Hawkeyes and this will lead directly to our demise. Whatever gets you through the night, Herky.
Now, I am NOT underestimating Iowa when I say this….but I just don’t see anything that has impressed me in the 2006 season. I’m not sure Iowa has shown why they are capable of upsetting the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes.
We’ve heard about how great Iowa’s offense is supposed to be, behind QB Drew Tate. Yet, they’ve got the 40th ranked offense in the NCAA. By contrast, Northern Illinois has the 17th best offense and Texas has the 23rd best offense. Even Penn State is barely behind Iowa, ranked at 44th in the NCAA. We stifled all three of those offenses.
The Iowa defense? Not too bad….ranked 26th in the NCAA. But let’s be serious here…they got that lofty ranking by playing against the offenses of Iowa State (60th-ranked offense), Illinois (63rd-ranked offense), Syracuse (99th-ranked offense) and Montana (Dision 1-AA school). They’re not going to be facing a weak offense like that this Saturday.
Now, these are just the numbers as they appear on paper…you know the cliche’ about the game not being played on paper, but those stats say a lot.
From what I see, if both teams play like they have been playing all year, this one’s a blowout. But I won’t dare predict that, because I think Iowa will be looking for the respect they badly need. The Buckeyes better be ready….but then again, I have faith in Tressel.