And The Winner Is…

Written January 7th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

With Florida State’s last minute victory in Pasadena last night, the BCS era comes to an end.

Congratulations to the Seminoles on their victory; thanks too for ensuring that the SECSECSEC went winless in the last year of the BCS.

Now that the Bowls have concluded for 2013-14, we also need to congratulate the winner(s) of our Pick-em contest.

The overall winner, believe it or not, is the seven year old son of a friend of mine (our Big12 correspondent). He blew away the competition, and won our contest with three more correct picks than the second place entries. In second place is Troy, who tied yours truly with 22 correct picks. Bro, check your mail for information regarding your major awards. As for your favorite tBBC staffers, Ken and Patrick were first and second runners up, with Jason ending up at the bottom.

Thanks again to ALL who played this season, and to our great sponsors for helping us out this way. Be sure to keep following the news here at tBBC for your next chance to win!

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.

WEIRD-BAYLOR-FAN

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.

RICE1

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:

Poll Position: Championship Week

Written December 3rd, 2013 by Patrick

Alabama’s run at the top of tBBC’s top ten was short lived. A missed field goal that was promptly returned 100 (officially) yards basically ended Bama’s hopes of a 3rd straight national title.

We’re Number Two!!

Ohio State survived a failed 2 point conversion attempt by TTUN to win their regular season finale and FSU beat and battered a Florida team who lost to Georgia Southern the week before.

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Florida State (7) 2
2 Ohio State (3) 3
3 Auburn 4
4 Alabama 1
5 Missouri 5
6 Oklahoma State 7
7 Michigan State 8
8 Clemson 6
9 Baylor NR
10 South Carolina 10

Dropped Out – Wisconsin

That brings us to championship week. Three games will essentially decide who will play for the crystal ball.

The biggest one of all will be the 3rd annual B1G championship game in Indianapolis. For the first time in its short history, the game is a sell out and will match the 2nd ranked Buckeyes vs the 10th ranked Spartans of Michigan State. If the Buckeyes win, they should be playing for all the marbles. That game is at 8pm eastern time.

At 4pm, the SEC championship will be decided in Atlanta between Auburn and Missouri. If Auburn can win, they will no doubt sit back and watch the B1G champ game with baited breath.

Down in Charlotte, NC, the Duke Blue Devils will attempt to finish their Cinderella season with a monumental upset of the number 1 ranked Seminoles of Florida State.

Other games of interest: Oklahoma travels to Oklahoma State for Bedlam, Texas travels to Baylor and Stanford will travel to Arizona State to battle for the PAC 12 championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Stop back next week and see who’ll be playing for the crystal ball in January.

Poll Position: Bama Back On Top

Written November 26th, 2013 by Patrick

Another week, another change at the top. Whether it’s legal troubles or the fact people realize FSU’s schedule isn’t all that great, Alabama has regained it’s spot atop tBBC top ten.

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Alabama (5) 2
2 Florida State (4) 1
3 Ohio State (1) 3
4 Auburn 6
5 Missouri NR
6 Clemson 9
7 Oklahoma State 8
8 Michigan State 7
9 Wisconsin 10
10 South Carolina NR

Dropped out – Stanford, Baylor, Oregon

Huge games on the docket this week with major BCS national championship implications. On top of that “game” up there in TSUN, Alabama will travel to Auburn, FSU travels to the swamp to take on Florida, Clemson travels to South Carolina, and Johnny Football travels to the Zoo to take on Missouri.

Stop back after The Game and see all the movers and shakers in tBBC top ten.

Poll Position: Cowboy Up

Written November 20th, 2013 by Patrick

Help Your Chelf

If the pundits and voters would only listen to us, they’d understand that the B1G is due some respect.

With three teams in the latest tBBC Top Ten, the Legendary Leaders put one more than the ACC, PAC, B12, and SEC.

(Not that we’re biased or anything)

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Florida State (5) 1
2 Alabama (4) 2
3 Ohio State (1) 3
4 Baylor 4
5 Oregon 6
6 Auburn 7
7 Michigan State 10
8 Oklahoma State NR
9 Clemson 9
10 (tie) Wisconsin/Stanford NR/4

The biggest mover is the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who leap up to the eight spot right before they host Baylor on Saturday. Mike Gundy’s team worked Texas over on Saturday in preparation of facing the undefeated Bears.

Wisconsin also joins the Top 1o for the first time this season, tied with their two loss brothers who forgot to play Stanford Football again on Saturday.

Missouri and South Carolina also received votes this week.

Are we on the money or off base? In the comments, let us know what you think…

 

Poll Position: Ducking Out Of The Top Spot

Written November 12th, 2013 by Patrick

As everyone has told Buckeye fans all season long, “let the games play themselves out” and that they are. Another top unbeaten team has fallen and this time it was a biggie.

Duck And Cover

Oregon was dominated for 54 minutes by Stanford last Thursday and have fallen out of the top spot. Not a lot else really went on this past weekend of note, as Alabama rolled over LSU as did FSU over Wake. The Buckeyes enjoyed their second bye week of the year and prepare to take on the final 3 regular season games.

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Florida State (6) 2
2 Alabama (3) 3
3 Ohio State (1) 4
4 Baylor 5
5 Stanford 6
6 Oregon 1
7 Auburn 8
7 Missori 10
9 Clemson 9
10 Michigan State NR

Others receiving votes: Texas A&M, South Carolina, Illinois (hey, we need all the help we can get)

Florida St takes over the top spot with a .2 margin over Alabama. Florida St will enjoy a week off while Alabama will travel to Mississippi St.

The only battle of ranked opponents this week is Georgia and Auburn. This is a big game for Auburn as they point towards their battle with the Crimson Tide on November 30th. As for the Buckeyes, they travel to Champaign to battle for the Illibuck trophy.

Stop back next week and see all the comings and goings of the Buckeye Battle Cry’s top ten!!

Poll Position: Two Atop tBBC Top Ten

Written October 29th, 2013 by Patrick

Another week, another shake up in tBBC top ten. In a week that saw undefeated Missouri and Texas Tech drop from the ranks of the unbeaten, and Miami and Stanford survive “scares” from Wake Forest and Oregon State, the top four teams just continued on their merry way towards a date with a crystal ball.

Florida State garnished enough votes this week to tie Oregon for top spot in our poll this week while Alabama actually led all teams with 4 first place votes…..and dropped a spot. Auburn makes its first appearance in the top 10 while Missouri clings to its top 10 life.

Pos. Team (1st Votes) LW
1 Oregon (3) 1
1 Florida State (3) 3
3 Alabama (4) 2
4 Ohio State 4
5 Baylor 6
6 Stanford 7
7 Miami 8
8 Auburn NR
9 Clemson 9
10 Missouri 5

Dropped out – Texas Tech

Others recieving votes – Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Only one matchup of top ten teams this coming week as ‘Da U travels to Tallahassee to take on the top ranked Seminoles.

Barring any major upsets, it shapes up for a great week of football in two weeks that will include 3 matchups that will go a long way to determine the national championship game participants (LSU/Alabama, Oregon/Stanford, Oklahoma/Baylor).

While the Buckeyes were spectacular on the field this past Saturday, but it was not enough to impress tBBC voters.

Stop back next week to see who climbs and who drops!

The Week That Were: 10.26.13

Written October 28th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

It’s a week of ghastly costumes and other ghoulish accoutrements… so of course, we’ve got a great soundtrack for all of our friends.

Well, the powers that be didn’t decide to market this weekend’s games as a “Separation Saturday”, but it ended up looking that way at the end of the day. Two more undefeateds fell, two others were challenged, while the top four continued to extend their apparition of domination.

mizzzzzeryLet’s start with the “Columbia Cup” between the Ol’ Ball Coach and this year’s “SEC Surprise”, the Missouri Tigers. I’ve been pulling for the Tigers all season for several reasons: It has been rumored to be a landing spot for Coach Herman if Pinkel was dismissed, and I love the fact that two “middle of the pack” B12 teams join the mighty SEC and play at the top almost immediately.

The Tigers didn’t disappoint early on, jumping out to a huge lead in their spiffy “blackout” gear. However, once Gamecock QB Connor Shaw came off the bench (recovering from a knee issue from last week) the tide turned and the game ended up heading to overtime.

And there, well… let’s just say that Pinkle is Einhorn. The doink heard ’round the conference. 

While there’s still a huge chance that the Tigers can play a role in the BCS, it may only be limited to being a spoiler at this point… but they’ve got some games to play yet, including mathups with Old Miss and aTm before they might face Alabama in the conference championship game.

The second “thanks for playing” award this week goes to a young Texas Tech team, which lost their first contest of the season at Oklahoma. After a lengthy weather delay that resulted in the game being shifted over to Fox News in lieu of World Series coverage, the Fighting Stoops figured out how to get out of their own way and managed to corral the Raiders’ high flying offense… although, it should be noted that Cliff Kingsbury’s team is very young, and will be a contender at the conference level sooner than some would like to admit. Read More