Over the next two days, your favorite miscreants here at tBBC will be taking a deeper look at the path that leads to Atlanta, because people from Ohio know all about getting to Atlanta.
Hopefully, this will help you as you fill out your brackets in this year’s Tournament Challenge- the game locks on Thursday, so sign up now!
Regional Favorite- I’m not really going out on a limb here by saying that Louisville is the team to beat in this region. They’re the overall #1 seed, they’ll be playing in front of home fans that choose to make the trip up I-65, and are firing on all cylinders at this point in the season, as is typical of Pitino teams. Their athleticism, full court press, and having a coach that’s been there before makes them huge favorites not only to come out of Indy, but to win the whole thing. In addition, I’m not sold on Duke or Michigan State being able to make deep runs this year, particularly after what we saw in the ACC/B1G tournaments. St. Louis looks threatening, but I believe that this one is the Cardinals’ to lose.
Which they can do if they find themselves not mentally in the game. As unlikely as that is, Louisville has seen it’s share of moments where it seems to be taking it’s time figuring out what its game plan is. While the story of the Big East final was certainly the enormous run that they went on to blow the doors off of Syracuse, the fact that they found themselves in a hole to begin with can’t be overlooked. The problem, as I see it, is that they won’t face teams able to take advantage of that until they’re already in Indianapolis for the Sweet 16.
Cinderella- For the purposes of this exercise, we’re picking an eight seed or lower that will make a deep run in the tournament. In the Midwest, that’s got to be the Oregon Ducks. Read More
Oh, college football… How I love you!!
Well, that happened.
While a lot of people were saying that Alabama was ripe for a loss against a Texas A&M team that’s been playing really well over the past few weeks, most of this felt like lip service. You know, the kind of things that ESPN makes one person say on the Gameday set in order to appear unbiased.
And then- “Johnny Football”.
There are a lot of reasons why Alabama lost- coming off of an emotional win on the road in Death Valley, LSU’s offense showed a lot of people the issues that the Tide have in their secondary, Saban’s fear of the high speed offense is based on his knowledge of his team’s weaknesses; but the fact of the matter is that the Aggies outplayed Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, in several key areas of the game.
The Crimson Tide defensive front was stifled, for the most part, by the aTm offensive tackles. Combined with concerns about a quarterback’s mobility, the Tide were not able to mount the type of disruptive pressure that they are so used to.
Alabama’s offense made key mistakes and turnovers, and seemed out of rhythm all night long. The three turnovers didn’t help, particularly when the Tide defense couldn’t get any of their own… and the mental errors were even more egregious. On the final interception, it seems to me that the receiver on the end of the line of scrimmage did a poor job getting depth in the end zone, making it easy for defenders to cover both him and the primary target. In addition, with Bama’s defense stiffening and forcing a punt, to have a member of their punt return/block team create a neutral zone infraction for an automatic first down is an aggressive penalty, but one that is terrible to have happen in that circumstance. Again, the intensity was there for the student in question, but the lack of focus eventually cost them a final chance at victory.
But we can’t miss the point here- this game was won by Johnny Manziel’s continual ability to make plays and put the Tide defense on their heels.
After the third week in a row with this type of performance (Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State), the redshirt freshman has lifted himself into Heisman candidacy- and for good reason. Given the lack of a clear “star” this year, given Matt Barkley’s struggles, the game this weekend was his “Flutie to Phelan” moment; outstanding performance in high profile opportunity. I’ll leave the debate to others, but will certainly enjoy watching the electricity that all of these candidates provide.
Even if he doesn’t win this year, you’ve got to think that next year’s Heisman race is going to be something spectacular- Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Everett Gholston, Tahj Boyd, DeAnthony Thomas… and those are just the ones I’ve got off the top of my head.
(And since I’m on the topic, I think that Marquis Lee needs to be included in this year’s debate. But that’s just me).
Does this loss end the run of SEC titles in the final year of the BCS? Well, not exactly… more on this in a bit.
In a week that was seen as a “meh” on the national scene, it was nonetheless a great Saturday for football. Here’s today’s soundtrack, inspired by Coach Meyer’s comments following the clash with Michigan State.
Well, it may have been the weekend before October, but it certainly was another chance for folks to show off their new costumes.. some for better and some for worse. Let’s start in Lincoln.
Proving yet again that they’re better geared as a soccer kit provider, Adidas decided that the game between Nebraska and Wisconsin would be a great opportunity for all the children of the world to bone up on either their periodic table or their consonants. Huge thanks to our friend Grant at Buckeye Empire for the in-game screencap that you see on the right… it wasn’t quite that bad, but pretty close. Watching the game was pretty traumatic, to be honest… way too many flashbacks… and it shows that this week’s matchup will be another major test for both teams. We’ll obviously have much more on the Cornhuskers this week, but if that’s what “skipping rocks” looks like, it might be a long night in Columbus.
Also in B1G play, the “Meandering Illini” were outfitted with some new duds as they welcomed Penn State to the wind tunnel that is Memorial Stadium. I’m torn on the “matte” helmet look- I really like it, until it gets scuffed. Then? It looks pretty junior varsity… and as a lineman, I can’t imagine a non-scuffed helmet. In the days leading up to this game, you just knew there’s be a lot of paint being traded on both sides; Illinois looking to rebound from their embarrassment against Louisiana Tech, and Penn State looking to rebound from… well… everything. Add the “Illinois sent assistant coaches to Happy Valley” angle, as well as two coaches looking to make a statement in their first conference openers, you’ve got to figure that these teams would look for every opportunity to put a lot of points on the other. Unfortunately for Coach Beckman, that ended up being pretty one sided 35-7 loss. Read More
One day late on this- sorry, I forgot that the TressPress was Monday during The Game week.
Well, don’t have to tell you what week this is. It’s exciting and there’s nothing like it. You can feel the energy in our building and amongst our kids and coaches and fans and all the rest and on the campus, and we’re looking forward to it.We’re looking forward to the fact that we’re honoring that 1942 team, which one could argue that that’s when a great part of our tradition began in Ohio State football, and not to mention the fact that what those men did once the season was over, they went and served in the ultimate way, and we even lost a couple members of that team in the war, so you put all those things together, I don’t know if you could make the Ohio State/Michigan game any more special, but I think when you mention that football team and what they mean to our program and what they meant to our country, it just adds a little bit more.
These 24 seniors are great kids. They’ve done everything we’ve asked. They’ve been a part of some good football teams and they’re trying to lead this team into being a good football team and they know they only have one more chance back in Ohio Stadium. And I know they’re anxious and nervous and have a lot of emotions going through them right now. It goes fast and there’s about half of them that have been here five years and the other half four, and they’ll all tell you, I’m sure, that it’s been a blur and it’s been wonderful, and they’re going to savor every moment of this week.
You know, I think all of the things that are real, are real, but the things that are most important is what you have to focus on and the execution in a game that you’re so excited about is the focus. The Ohio State /Michigan game is the focus, and then there are tons of by-products for everybody, but the single most one everyone knows that’s ever coached or played at Ohio State is that you’re defined by your Ohio State /Michigan games. Certainly they’re on their way to winning championships or not winning championships or going to BCS bowl games or not going to BCS bowl games, but they have a — the Ohio State /Michigan game has a compartment of its own that is what you need to be most aware of, in my opinion.
“A lot of times when those two are yelling at each other, I’m not sure, but that’s the love/hate,” Tressel said. “There’s got to be a good guy and a bad guy. I’m usually the good guy, and (Siciliano) is the bad guy. That’s the way I designed it. He knew that when I hired him.
“And I told that to Terrelle when I hired (Siciliano). I said, ‘Hey, this guy is going to be on your fanny constantly. If you have 6 inches wrong on a step, if your hip’s not just right, he is going to be all over you. So get ready for it.’”
It will be good turkey.
This weeks’ post comes with a soundtrack:
Not all that original, so if you want to get your “Gospel” on and hear the song that was going through my head all day yesterday, this is the link for you.
Like a no-hitter blown at the last minute, yesterday was this close to being the apex of the college football season. Ohio State won, as you know, and so many other teams failed to meet expectations (or came back to reality), all in all pretty good. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get the disappointment out of the way. Read More
I thought the offensive line had a great challenge. It was kind of like one of those you get into a stalemate and you get into it, and you get into it, fortunately by the fourth quarter we won that stalemate. Probably didn’t win it early. Do they feel good about the fact that we didn’t win it throughout? I would hope that the competitor in all of us, we’d all like everything to work all the time, but you could see them on film. They’re a good football team. Especially in the trenches.
I thought they did a nice job of working the safeties down into the box, both run and pass, they tricked us the one time and robbed that little spot route and it was a similar coverage, though, when we threw the corner route behind it for the touchdown, but they got us the first time with it, and that also allowed them to have those extra guys in the box. That has a little bit to do with where the line goes toward where they work up the linebackers and safeties sometimes, but, no, it was — it was a reality, man, that was a tough one.
And now we have a chance to come home, play against an Indiana team that they threw it 64 times last week, 98 plays, you know, those receivers are veterans. The quarterback, of course, is a veteran. Their running back does a nice job in protection, and the amount that they run him, he’s very good at it and he’s a good receiver as well.
Defensively they struggled against a very fast, fast offense that Michigan brought at them. And special teams-wise, their return men, they’ve always done a good job on kickoff return against us and Doss is back there again.
I wish we had more balls. That sounds terrible.
From the “He started it!” files- This week, we join our friends at 11W in celebrating Oktoberfest and all it’s splendor. So, break out the lederhosen, get your sauerkraut all warmed up, and find grandma’s recipe for schnitzel…
This weekend looked to be the best thus far in terms of quality matchups, but only a few actually lived up to those expectations. Let’s start in the SEC, shall we?
Alabama, man… Another “can’t they both lose?” as the Crimson Tide invited the Gators to their place. As we were reminded over and over and over again by unbiased network analysts, when these two team play, the winner usually heads on to a national championship. As much as I hated to see Urban’s squadron be held without a touchdown (sarcasm alert), it was interesting that Alabama seems to be perfecting the tenets of Tresselball- No mistakes on offense, aggressive defense, solid special teams. Granted, they’ve got a Heisman Trophy running back to hand it to, but it’s important for Buckeye fans to remember these successes when they start screaming for offensive coordinators. I was also more than pleased to see that sometimes the Gators can get too cute for their own good.
Since the news is coming in fast and furious, let’s use this as a dumping ground for all non-expansion chatter.