As I sit here watching Utah, the same team that Michigan nearly beat in game one this season, dismantle Alabama and earlier today seeing Ole Miss nuke Texas Tech, I have to wonder about the surprises of bowl season. To date, 90% of fans polled on the Internet believe that Texas is going to wipe the floor with our beloved Buckeyes. Given Ohio State’s recent, big game performance against Florida, LSU, USC (ouch!) and PSU, I can understand the sentiment.
One thing really bothers me about this season is how USC could have possibly lost to Oregon State, 3-0 winners over perennial Big East powerhouse Pitt. I’d like to see USC/Florida because the Florida, is going to wipe the floor with the Sooners I’m sorry to say…
But this entry is about the Fiesta Bowl. What should we expect? Well, Texas offense is potent, there is no doubt and McCoy is quite a QB. Texas defense is serviceable, though not great. Texas special teams are average. The Buckeye O is average over the course of the season, but has shown signs of waking up over the last few games. The Buckeye D is very good, perhaps great. The special teams are above average. What does this mean? Nothing.
We’re going to see a veteran team in Texas and we’ll see how they respond to the whole situation with Oklahoma getting the nod over them to play Missouri and head to the MNC game. Will they have something to prove? Will they be despondent? Will they read all the bad press about how they should win easily and not show up?
And what about the fragile psyche of Ohio State? Having been handled like a cheap pinata by USC (Texas offense is every bit as good as USCs) and having no one believe in them. Hearing that they’re slow, weak, and have bad coaching; how will that affect the team? Are they hungry? Do they have something to prove? Will they show up? And if so, for all four quarters?
Empirically, by any measure, Texas should win this game. But the games are played to see how things actually shake out. While my mind is governed by statistics and I believe you don’t mess with a streak, something tells me we’re going to get a nice New Year surprise from this Buckeye team. I won’t name a score or a point differential, I’ll simply say there have been some big bowl surprises and I think OSU will be a member of that club when the final whistle blows late January 5, 2009.
For the first time in the storied rivalry, Ohio State has won 5 in a row against Michigan doing so this time 42-7. I guess Michigan really is that bad - I thought the game would be much, much closer and after a 14-7 first half, I was feeling like my prediction was on the mark. A 28 point second half spurred by two big runs from Beanie and Boom, and it was all over.
The lone bright spot for the Wolverines was their punting game, which was featured early and often. Their long off season nightmare begins after the first ever 3-9 season posted by the Wolver-weenies. Meanwhile, this senior class leaves having won the most gold pants possible. Way to go!
At 10-2 (which is where I predicted the Buckeyes would be at this time) we’ll now see if they play in the BCS or have to settle for a non-BCS showcase. One thing is sure, they have an excellent chance to improve with 15 bowl practices and some time to get healthy.
Is this it? Is it over so soon? This season seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye….it’s hard to believe. What’s even harder to believe is that the antagonist of this entry, those Wolver-weenies from that school up north, have fallen so far, so fast. Perhaps they are longing for old 9-3 Lloyd?
Hopefully, after tomorrow we’ll be talking about old 3-9 Rich. Tomorrow’s game is the last opportunity for a once proud Michigan football team to salvage some pride from a disastrous 3-8 season. Nothing has gone according to plan as players have left the program in droves, it’s been hard to field a serviceable offensive line, and the team has been beaten like a drum multiple times, and once by “little brother.”
I fully expect to see Michigan’s best game of the season tomorrow (if only because they are playing the Bucks.) There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. The oddsmakers have installed Ohio State as 20 point favorites to get anyone to take the Skunkbears. I’m not a bettor, but I tend to think we’re in for a much closer game tomorrow, though it would be an upset of epic proportions for Ohio State to lose.
Will the Buckeyes extend their BCS bowl streak? Will the winged helmet team find redemption? Tune in tomorrow, and I’ll pen an answer to those questions and more.
GO BUCKS! Beat Michigan!
The Buckeyes downed the Fighting Illini in Champaign in a tough fought and poorly officiated game. Turnovers and special teams played a big role in the game as did the wind. It wasn’t really close after the first quarter though the Illini were able to move the ball on the Buckeye D and scored a touchdown against the backups in garbage time.
A good win. Go Bucks!
Well, day job has definitely invaded over the past few weeks. With that being said, revenge, bad weather, disappointing seasons relative to expectations, and elimination from bowl contention will make this game tough. The Bucks go on the road to attempt to retrieve Illibuck which was unexpectedly snatched at the Horseshoe last year.
What will happen? I predict a tough, relatively low scoring game and a Buckeye win. If there are turnovers, it could get ugly. If not, it’s going to be a <30 point combined scoring event. Tune in tomorrow and see some retribution (hopefully this time, the refs won't be on the take and throw Illinois the game.)