Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Grading the Bucks: B1G Championship--Wisconsin

Offense: A+
What a game.  Cardale was absolutely fantastic based on the situation in which he was thrust.  Without regard to the situation, I'd grade him at a B+ (some of the deep balls were thrown into coverage), but he gave his receivers a chance.  This was by far the best the receivers have played all year.  Thomas, Smith, Smith, Spencer, and Marshall all ran crisp routes and won seemingly every 50-50 battle.  Oh yeah, there was also the ground game...200+ for Zeke.  I'd say that's pretty good.  The O-Line was outstanding opening holes and protecting the last remaining QB.  There is almost nothing not to like here.  If they keep up this level, watch out Bama (and we're going to be pretty good next year too).

Defense: A+
The best I've seen this defense look in 3 years...easily.  The D-line play above and beyond the already lofty expectations. Bennett, Bosa, Frazier, Miller, and Washington were all electric.  They took a major Heisman campaign and completely crushed it.  The pass D was no slouch either (although their task was miniscule).  The Vonn Bell interception was textbook.  I could see from the stands the way he baited the QB and broke on the ball the second it was thrown.  There was one bad play in pass coverage (about 3 plays from the end) in which a receiver was completely wide open...but those were the backups and Wisconsin sucks.  It all comes back to the line and linebackers.  I was very nervous going up against Gordon, and this team answered and destroyed the bell.  Fantastic job.

Special Teams: A-
I'm sorry Cameron Johnston. You are amazing and borderline MVP.  72 yard punt that checked up at the 1? Another bomb hit with a 9 iron that kicked back inside the 5? Are you kidding?  I just had to do something here because this is the only unit with any real blemish (and there were 2).  The blocked field goal wasn't fun (although it didn't matter) and, you know where I'm going, ANOTHER KICKOFF OUT OF BOUNDS!!  It was almost a point of pride to return to form on the last kickoff of the night.  I'm sorry, but it grinds my gears.  Cameron Johnston gets an A+++.

Coaching: A
Fantastic gameplan.  Keep Cardale clean and let him do what he does best: throw the deep ball.  The gameplan was essentially ride Zeke and bomb it.  Perfect.  Defensively, they clearly watched film and realized Wisconsin sucks.  Stop Gordon and watch the Badger QB's suck.  Bingo. I also love the mentality to jump on them early and show no mercy.  The energy was there from the opening kickoff and that is testament to coaching.  Never forget last year.  Eyes on the prize.

Overall: A
This was about as flawless a game as possible.  The crispness of execution was there and the hunger was definitely apparent.  Cardale was bailed out by excellent receiver play at times, but he gave his guy a chance.  The people in my section kept agonizing that more points were needed to impress.  The two most important numbers from this game were both 0:  0 points given up; 0 turnovers. There was no doubt in mind after the game (actually, no doubt since VT) that we were in.  I said the week before (and no one listened): win and jump TCU.  This team has a tough draw, but to be the best, you have to beat the best (as the Badgers found out).  Play like this and there's a real chance.

Go Ohio! Beat Bama!

Monday, December 08, 2014

10 Thoughts from a Great Weekend to Be a Buckeye

A few musings on the B1G Championship, the events of this weekend, and the season in general.

1. The Receiver Play Was Outstanding

On Ohio State's first drive, QB Cardale Jones threw up an end zone jump ball to Devin Smith, who was completely blanketed by Wisconsin CB Sojourn Shelton. An interception would have been disastrous, not just stifling a promising drive but shattering the untested quarterback's confidence on his deep ball. Instead, Smith fought off the DB and came down with the ball, giving Ohio State the lead less than 2 minutes into the game. All night long, the receivers made play after play, whether it was Devin Smith's end zone antics (3 times!), Michael Thomas's leaping catches, Corey (Dewey) Smith demolishing LB Joe Schobert (and getting kicked out of the game for being too badass), or every receiver executing outstanding downfield blocking on every play. Other than EzE letting a ball slip off his fingertips in the red zone, I can't remember a single dropped ball. This was what Buckeye fans had been waiting for after 3 years of abysmal receiver play.

2. MV...T?

Cardale Jones was the easy sentimental pick for MVP of the game. The stats were gaudy (12-17 for 257 yards, 3 TDs, and no INTs), and he looked completely at home in or out of the pocket (watch him get wrecked throwing his prettiest rainbow of the day to Devin Smith). But the MVP award could have just as easily gone to Devin Smith himself. Or Michael Bennett, who completely destroyed Wisconsin's interior line and made Gordon a complete non-factor. By game's end, Bennett had racked up 4 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles, one of which led directly to a touchdown return by Bosa. Or Doran Grant, who picked off 2 passes and broke up 2 more. Or Cameron Johnston, who is almost definitely a witch, knocking a ridiculous 73-yard line drive right over Kenzel Doe's head to die at the 2, as well as a 58-yarder that landed a blade of Fieldturf short of the goal line and boomeranged back like a Phil Mickelson lob wedge. Or Ezekiel Elliott, who broke Gordon's own B1G Championship rushing record on all of 20 carries (and one shoe). Honestly, you could point to any random member of the two-deep, hand them the game ball, and nobody would complain.

3. The Old Urban Is Back

All season I've had to put up with the derps on Facebook and Twitter saying that Urban hasn't won a game of consequence at Ohio State. I guess the 24th consecutive conference win didn't mean anything, even though that's never been done before. Or knocking off the defending conference champions every year he's been coach, twice on the road. Or beating Michigan 3 straight years, or going 3-0 as an underdog...I think the skeptics will come around after this one. Not only was this game of tremendous consequence, making all the difference between #4 and #5, but it seemed like Urban knew the Badgers better than Gary Andersen did. This is a completely different team than the one that took the field against Navy on August 30th, and that doesn't happen without outstanding leadership. A new O-line, a new linebacking corps, two new quarterbacks, a new kicker, it didn't matter. The system works, jerks.

4. The Committee Got It Right

By season's end, there were only 6 teams seriously in the discussion: Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, and TCU. Florida State, as the only undefeated team, was an easy pick to fill one slot. Alabama and Oregon were equally obvious selections, boasting elite wins, the conference trophies from the nation's top 2 leagues, and acceptable losses. And despite the committee's bizarre week 14 decision to put TCU at #3 after blowing out 6-6 Texas, Ohio State was easily the best choice to complete the quartet. The Buckeyes had the 2nd best win of the three teams (@Michigan State, only eclipsed by Baylor's win over TCU) and a great #2 win (the Wisconsin blowout, comparable to both Big 12 teams' wins over Kansas State), as well as a win over a mid-major champion, Cincinnati (compare that to TCU's win over Minnesota and Baylor's win over...Buffalo), and an overall resume that featured wins over NINE bowl-bound teams (compared to 5 for Baylor and 6 for TCU). The teams' FBS opponents' W-L comparison is quite stark (85-57 for Ohio State, 64-57 for TCU, 61-59 for Baylor), and as far as the "eye" test is concerned, no team in the nation had a win as impressive as 59-0 over Wisconsin. Yes, the loss to Virginia Tech was bad, but it's hard to imagine such a factor being dispositive when so, so many others weighed in favor of the Buckeyes.

5. ...Kind of

The internal ranking of the top four teams, however, made little sense. In the last 35 years, an undefeated power conference team has been ranked behind a team with a loss at the end of the regular season exactly FOUR times. 2012 Ohio State and 1993 Auburn were on sanctions. 1993 Nebraska was ranked #2 behind a Florida State team that demolished everyone on their schedule except for #1 Notre Dame (losing by 7), and the Huskers got a chance for a #1 vs. #2 matchup against the Noles in the Orange Bowl. 1992 Texas A&M was ranked #4 behind undefeated Miami, undefeated Alabama, and 11-1 Florida State, who had lost to only Miami (Wide Right II). Somehow, the committee saw fit to drop undefeated Florida State to #3 this year based on...the "I" test (as in "I think this team is better"). Make no mistake, this year's versions of Alabama and Oregon aren't juggernauts that tripped up against elite opponents; they're very good teams who, unlike FSU, had a bad week they couldn't quite turn around.

The playoff matchups should be: #1 Florida State vs. #4 Ohio State (Sugar); #2/3 Oregon vs. #2/3 Alabama (Rose).

6. The Big 12 Doesn't Need a 13th Game

Much was made of the fact that the four playoff participants each won a Power 5 conference championship game this weekend. After Baylor and TCU found themselves on the outside looking in, every Big 12 Chicken Little declared that the league would never get a fair shake until they got an extra game of their own. This is, of course, obviously wrong, for at least 2 reasons:

A) Just win, and you're in

Imagine if TCU could have put together a single late-game drive or stop against Baylor, or if Baylor had...not sucked...against West Virginia. The Big 12 would've had a team at 12-0 and probably #1 in the playoff rankings. Would they really want to risk a sure thing in a conference championship the following week? Ask 2007 Missouri.

B) This year's champ...still wouldn't be in

No matter how you split the Big 12, Baylor and TCU would almost certainly have been in the same division. So TCU would have ended up exactly where they are now, and Baylor would have had a chance to play...Kansas State again? Oklahoma? West Virginia? None of those wins could have made up for the gap in strength of schedule between the Buckeyes and the Bears. It would've been Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU at #4, #5, and #6, just like it was without "One True Champion."

7. Avoiding the BCS Mess

When the new playoff format was announced and everyone cheered that the controversies of the BCS era would at last be no more, I remained skeptical. I predicted that future arguments about #4 vs. #5 would be just as bad as the #2 vs. #3 problems of the past. After one year, it looks like I'm 0 for 1 on that front. Could you imagine what the debate would have looked like this year if we were under the 2-team playoff BCS system? Would the top 3 have looked ANYTHING like they do now? Would the voters really have snubbed the undefeated, defending champion, 29-win streak Florida State because of a few close wins? If not, how fierce would the fight have been between Alabama and Oregon? Certainly worse than the OSU/TCU/Baylor slugfest.

So congratulations, playoff people, the future does look bright after all. (And, as a homer, I'm obviously happy to have a 4-team playoff when my team is squarely at #4.)

8. Wait Till Next Year

After Braxton went down for the season, I wrote that the Buckeyes might actually be better off in the long run, since the very very young 2014 Buckeyes would have a year to gain valuable experience before Brax retook the reins for his true senior season. But no one (except the haters) expected Barrett to outplay Miller in his freshman year, and nobody but nobody expected Cardale, this raw O-line, and the oft-maligned defense to do THAT to Wisconsin last night. Think about how good this team is right now, then imagine next year's squad with these guys returning:

3 All-B1G caliber QBs
All-B1G caliber RB Ezekiel Elliott
4/5 of this year's OL
Dontre Wilson AND Jalin Marshall
5 of this year's 2-deep DL
All of this year's good LBs
The entire secondary (minus Doran Grant)
Every kicker/punter

If we're not preseason #1, we won't be outside the top 4.

9. January 1st, That Is

Even though the 2015 Buckeyes should be better than the best pieces of 1998, 2002, and 2006 combined, the scary thought is that this team is good enough to win it all THIS YEAR. We're somewhat of a long shot, but it's not like there's a 2013 Florida State or 2004 USC or 2001 Miami in the bracket. We all saw what Cardale can do with 7 days to prepare; imagine what Tom and Urban can do with a month. As I said last week, this season has already been an unbelievable success, but this team isn't ready to quit just yet. All that stands in their way are 1) Urban's nemesis, 2) the runaway Heisman winner, and 3) the defending champs.

After Indy, I can't wait.

10. Put Me In (the stands), Coach!

It bears mentioning that my fellow Let's Go Bucks! weekly prediction co-champion John Draper and I have been to 2 Ohio State games this season, and the Buckeyes have won them by a combined score of 125-0. We are currently accepting sponsorships to send us to New Orleans.

BONUS: It's 12:51...

Oh, by the way, Saturday also saw Michigan's basketball team lose to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the only D-1 school that doesn't have a chance of playing in the NCAA Tournament (due to their unique independent status).

Ohhhhhhhh.....(tap tap tap)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Week 15 - Championship Week, Or, Play-off Play-ins

Standings
1) Hoying               44-21    (4-10 upset)
2) Draper                43-22    (6-8 upset)
3) Schweinfurth     41-24    (6-8 upset)
3) Seeberg              41-24    (2-13 upset)

Pac-12: Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks
Draper: In a game that almost no one is picking lightning to strike twice, I'm very intrigued.  The Wildcats enter Autzen with the most important thing...belief.  They've already conquered the Ducks once, why not again?  Anu Solomon is a fantastic quarterback, but still young.  I don't think he'll show any ill effects, but with that said, his counterpart has playoffs and the Heisman in mind.  Let's be clear, if Oregon wins and Mariota doesn't crap the bed, the Heisman is decided.  The Ducks were granted a reprieve with all the losses (and the committee's ignoring of said losses) and have their eyes on the prize.  RichRod makes it interesting, but the Ducks are on to the playoff.  Zona: 34--OU: 41
Hoying: The Ducks don't lose very often, but when they do, they prefer Arizona (stay thirsty). The Wildcats are trying to become the first team to win 3 in a row over the Ducks since Cal(!) did it from 2006-08. It won't be easy. Oregon hasn't been seriously threatened since Utah's Kaelin Clay dropped the ball celebrating a touchdown at the 1-yard line, and they've shown up impressively in two marquee matchups against Michigan State and UCLA. Arizona's QB Anu Solomon (who is not hurt, silly me) has been a fantastic success story for RichRod, but Oregon has the lock-it-up Heisman winner slinging the football for their Buckeye-esque offense. Whatever went wrong in their first game against the 'Cats, the Ducks will have the kinks worked out for this one. Zona: 20--Oregon: 28
Schweinfurth: Arizona has beaten the Ducks the last two times these teams have played.  Let that marinate a minute. I really don't see the Ducks losing 3 straight to Arizona. Ducks get their revenge and Mariota gets his bronze statueZona: 24--Oregon: 35
Seeberg:  Keeping this one short and sweet.  1.)  I have NO idea how Arizona beat Oregon- I presume Oregon saw Arizona on their schedule in football and not basketball and had a ho-hum week of preparation that bit them in the rear.  2.)  There is NO way that happens again, particularly with Mariota leading the Heisman ballotting.  Ducks fly into the playoffs.  Zona: 24--Oregon: 44

SEC:  Missouri Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Draper: Congrats Mizzou! You won the worst division in college football....here's the winner of the best division.  Uh oh.  The talking heads are trying to make this one interesting, but I don't see it.  Can Mizzousi win? Sure...but I wouldn't hold my breath.  Bama showed they can win with defense or offense given the opponent.  If you want to beat them, you need to excel at both.  The Tiger defense is pretty good...but the offense won't be able to rack up enough points to matter. Tide Rolls into the playoffs.  Mizzou: 10--Bama: 27
Hoying: Two words: mis match. Missouri doesn't have a win over a single opponent with more than 8 wins, or an SEC opponent with more than 7. And they've been skating by, using a decent defense to cover for an offense that can't move the ball. Against Florida, the Tigers racked up all of 119 yards on the way to a 42-13 win. They won't be getting 6 turnovers against Blake Sims and the Tide, no matter what happened in the first half of the Auburn game. Run T.J. Yeldon, throw to Amari Cooper, steamroll the Tigers, secure (an undeserved) #1 seed in the playoff. Although it would be hilarious to see Missouri win and the SEC get left out of the inaugural playoff... Mizzou: 17--Bama: 31
Schweinfurth: Mizzou lost to Indiana.  While I believe that Alabama is overrated, there is no way they lose to this Tiger team.  Please remember that Mizzou was a middle of the road Big 12 team and has now made 2 straight SEC title game appearances. This is close just because that's how Bama rolls this year. Mizzou: 24--Bama: 28
Seeberg:  Keeping this one brief as well.  1.)  I have NO idea how Missouri made it back into the SEC title game.  Remember- they lost to nearly-winless-in-the-B1G Indiana.  I presume Gary Pinkel has made a deal with the devil.  2.)  It will take the devil reincarnate in Tiger pads to give them any shot of winning this game.  Mizzou: 13--Bama: 31

ACC: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Florida State Seminoles
Draper: I don't think the committee has realized this, but the Noles still haven't lost.  Yeah, they haven't looked great, but they find a way.  Maybe it's Jameis, maybe it's the defense, maybe it's Aguayo, but they find a way.  Tech comes into the ACC Championship at just the right time: Chop block-o'clock.  This is a horrendous matchup for any team but GT still doesn't have the horses on defense to run with the Noles for a full 60 minutes.  Jameis played his worst game ever vs. a good Gator defense...and won.  He's not going to be that bad here.  Georgia Tech will have some success against the injury riddled D-line of the Noles, but the magic continues for the Seminoles.  On to the playoffs (until they get jumped inexplicably by another team with a worse resume...TCU?!? Their best win is KSU followed by who? Minn? Ask Louisville, Clemson, a healthy ND, UF, etc. how good the Noles are).  GT: 17--FSU: 28 Thank you Mr. Hoying for not giving us the touch of death.  
Hoying: It seems like every week, I pick against the Noles, and every week, they play like garbage and win. That streak is coming to an end, not because I'm picking the Noles to win, but because you can't play like crap and beat Georgia Tech. The Jackets are riding high after two consecutive wins over ranked teams, shredding opposing defenses with their ridiculous triple option. Remember what a so-so Boston College team did to Florida State a couple weeks ago? Imagine that, more competently executed, putting together long drives that keep Jameis Winston and the erratic Florida State offense off the field. Not that the picture's any rosier when the Tech defense takes their turn. GT returned two interceptions for touchdowns against Clemson, and nobody's serving up quacking ducks like ol' Crab Legs these days. After so many ugly victories, a loss cruelly ends the Noles' chase for a second consecutive national title. GT: 31--FSU: 24
Schweinfurth: What has been with the defending champs this year?  It almost seems like they are bored right now.  With that said, a slow start and falling behind in this one could be the kiss of death to the Noles.  Georgia Tech has a very good defense and an offense that will just grind you into oblivionHowever, I expect Jameis to get the Noles up for this one (easier to do when a trophy is on the line) and pull off yet another nail biterGT: 14--FSU: 17
Seeberg:  I wasn't all too convinced of the Yellow Jackets' abilities until last week.  Granted, they needed a 53-yard FG just to get to overtime, but the triple option rolled over a Bulldog D that had shut down an Auburn rushing offense that is every bit as potent.  The Seminoles, meanwhile, have gone all '02 Buckeyes on everybody, winning by the skin of their teeth against highly inferior opponents.  The difference between the '02 Bucks and the '14 Noles, however, is that FSU's mistakes are keeping opponents in it where as the Buckeyes were just being throttled by the ultra-conservative sweater vest.  FSU's penchant for miscues finally catches up to them.  GT: 28--FSU: 20

Kansas State Wildcats @ Baylor Bears
Draper: Another very intriguing matchup.  Baylor is puffing their chest out playing Rodney Dangerfield (No Respect).  Well, you want respect? Take care of business here.  If Baylor wins this one, there's no reason to keep them behind TCU.  Resumes are comparable at that point so head-to-head matters....but they need this win.  Bill Snyder may be Emperor Palpatine  or Yoda but he always finds a way to win 9-10 games a year.  The health of Bryce Petty is key here.  The Bears struggled last week, but they were looking ahead (and that whole concussion thing).   Jake Waters will score, but Baylor is tough to beat at home.  You need to put on an offensive show to compete and I don't think KSU quite has the horses.  They'll slow the game down to a crawl, but Baylor is too explosive.  KSU: 20--Bay: 28
Hoying: There's no longer a de jure Big 12 Championship Game since Nebraska isn't around to lose them anymore, but this game provides a very large piece of the puzzle. A Baylor win gives them no worse than a tie with TCU (and the head-to-head tiebreaker), while a Kansas State win provides a tie with TCU (and a head-to-head loss) unless Iowa State pulls the unthinkable in Fort Worth. Since the Big 12 is very unlikely to get 2 teams into the playoff (no matter what cowardly B12 Commissioner Dan Bowlsby tries to pull), who will be the "One True Champion"? I made the mistake last week of counting out a star quarterback with a potential injury, and I'm not about to count out Baylor QB Bryce Petty for this one after a possible mild concussion. KSU QB Jake Waters is nearly as good, but Petty isn't alone in the backfield. Yes, Virginia, Baylor does have a running game, and Shock Linwood is one of the best in the Big 12. The Wildcats couldn't handle TCU's balanced attack, and while Baylor couldn't either, at least the Bears had the horses to keep up. Kansas State, on the other hand, is going to get trampled. KSU: 31--Bay: 38
Schweinfurth: This game hinges on Bryce Petty's health.  If he is healthy, the Bears should win this game.  That offense just has too many weapons and can score too quickly for KSU to match.  Regardless of Petty's health, this game should be close.  Baylor can win the Big 12 with a win and jump into a playoff spot.  I think that is motivation enough.  KSU: 35--Bay: 42
Seeberg:  Baylor's offense is, surprisingly, very 2-dimensional this year, perhaps costing Bryce Petty a serious shot at the Heisman.  If it ain't broke, however, it ain't gonna get fixed.  The Wildcats have played well all year and have only given up 30 points twice, to Oklahoma (in a 31-30 win) and TCU (41-20 loss).  Both of those offenses are balanced and capable of the big play on any down, much like the Bears' O.  Baylor scores enough to keep their playoff hopes alive.  KSU: 28--Bay: 38

B1G: Wisconsin Badgers vs. THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
Draper:  I believe a win here may propel the Bucks into the playoffs (over TCU).  No way they pass FSU if they win (just a reality).  Now to the game: Run, run, run, run, hello boys, I've missed you.  This game will be about the Buckeyes slowing down Gordon and can Cardale make it happen. I know Cardale ain't come to play school, so hopefully he came to play football.  I haven't seen anything out of him that wows me other than his clotheslining ability. For the Bucks to win, he needs to be competent and the defense needs to rise up.  It's incredibly important for the skill players to step up (Zeke, Thomas, Marshall, etc.).  Here's a little hint about how to stop Wisconsin: stop (or slow down) the running game.  If they beat us through the air, so be it.  Curtis Grant, I'm looking at you.  This defense has actually been pretty strong vs. the pass (sans Michigan) but very suspect versus the run.  If ever there was a week to completely sell out for the run, this is it.  Sure tackling would do well to show up.  I think we can score, but no JT is a major issue.  It's on Cardale to manage, Zeke to control the ball, and the defense to get the Badgers off the field.  You know where I'm going...GO BUCKS!Wisc: 20--Bucks: 24
Hoying: After Ohio State lost their second Heisman-caliber quarterback to a season-ending injury, a stupid question has been popping up all over the place: how will Barrett's injury affect the playoff committee's view of the Buckeyes? The correct answer is: NOT AT ALL. These babbling fools haven't noticed that the Buckeyes face a very stiff test this weekend in the Wisconsin Badgers. Sure, their quarterbacks think that a "forward pass" means pinching a farmgirl's rear, but they feature the B1G's best running game AND best defense (sorry, Sparty). If the Silver Bullets can navigate this minefield, there'll be no question as to Ohio State's playoff viability, no matter who's taking the snaps. Can they do it? One need only consider the Badgers' last game, against Minnesota. With a tremendous home-field advantage, Wisconsin needed every trick in the bag to pull out a win against a team that 1) doesn't like to throw; 2) runs pretty well; and 3) has a decent defense. Even if Cardale Jones in fact did come to play school and not football, you might recognize that Ohio State is basically a better version of Minnesota, and they'll be playing the Badgers on a neutral field in front of a (likely) friendly crowd. Don't start having flashbacks to Virginia Tech, Buckeye Nation. This secondary and offensive line are nothing like what we saw on that fateful September night. As for the nation's top RB, Melvin Gordon, the front seven have had all year to face elite backs and learn how to bring them down. Granted, they've opted not to do so as of yet, but I think they have one solid game left in them. Regardless of what happens in this game and beyond, this season has been a tremendous success, but I'm craving even more gravy after Thanksgiving weekend. Go out and win one for Braxton, JT, and Kosta. Wis: 27--OSU: 28
Schweinfurth: I can't remember an Ohio State team that has had to endure so much in a season. Replace almost the entire offense, lose a Heisman QB, lose another Heisman QB, and then have the death of Kosta Karageorge.  This just does not set up well in my mind for an OSU win...but then again, it can be a rallying cry. I have faith in Eli Apple to lock down a wide receiver and I have faith that Ash and Fickell will put together a solid gameplan to stop, or at least slow down, Melvin Gordon.  Cardale Jones should be a capable QB in this offense and he is a tank.  Expect the offense to look less like Ohio State's offense and more like the Tebow Florida offenses.  No matter what happens, this will be an entertaining, and long (thanks FOX) game.  Wis: 17--OSU:24
Seeberg:  Given the extent to which I follow and scrutinize B1G football, I could write about this game for days, but I won't.  For me, it comes down to two things:  Who runs the ball better and my own ridiculous superstitious ways.  Thing #1:  Wisconsin can almost throw the ball now that Stave is back as the starting QB- it's at least enough of a threat to keep our D honest against Melvin Gordon, who we all know can run it and run it well.  Our passing offense?  TBD.  I'm PRAYING for lots of 3-step drops, play action, slants and quick ins (and find Heuerman and Vannett please!!), but lord knows what we will actually call.  In any event, we'll need a very potent rushing attack to offset the fact that we're on our 3rd-string QB.  Thing #2:  My ridicuous superstition.  Last year I was leaning ever so slightly towards Michigan State in this game, but picked OSU because, well duh, we want our Buckeyes to win.  This year I'm leaning ever so slightly towards OSU because Wisconsin's D is not as tough and I believe the Bucks will put some points on the board.  Since that's the case, I'm taking the Badgers in a tight game in hopes of spurring a Buckeye victory.  Wis: 31--OSU: 28

Upset Special
Draper: Oklahoma State over Oklahoma (The only game left)
Hoying: Iowa State over TCU (do you believe in miracles?)
Schweinfurth: Fresno St. over Boise St.
Seeberg:  Louisiana Tech over Marshall

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 14

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish, though the two are rapidly converging. Leave a comment and tell us who's the Jeff Sagarin and who's the Richard Billingsley.

Let's Go Bucks! Index

1. Florida State (unchanged)
2a. Oregon (unchanged)
2b. Alabama (up 1)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Ohio State (up 2)
6. Baylor (down 1)
7. Arizona (up 4)
8. Wisconsin (up 5)
9. Michigan State (unchanged)
10. Georgia Tech (up 7)
11a. Kansas State (unchanged)
11b. Ole Miss (up 5)
13. Mississippi State (down 7)
14. UCLA (down 6)
15. Georgia (down 5)
16a. Missouri (up 2)
16b. Oklahoma (up 5)
16c. Clemson (up 7)
19a. Auburn (down 5)
19b. Arizona State (down 4)
21. Boise State (unranked)
22. Louisville (unranked)
23. USC (up 1)
24. LSU (unranked)
25a. Utah (unchanged)
25b. Nebraska (unranked)

Others receiving votes: Minnesota, Air Force

Dropped from rankings: #18 Marshall, #20 Minnesota, #22 Colorado State 

Let's Go Bucks! Heisman Index
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3a. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)
3b. Amari Cooper (WR--Alabama)


Draper Top 25
1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Alabama (unchanged)
3. Oregon (unchanged)
4. TCU (up 2) 
5. Ohio State (up 2)
6. Baylor (down 2) 
7. Arizona (up 3)
8. Wisconsin (up 5)
9. Ole Miss (up 7)
10. Mississippi State (down 5)
11. Michigan State (unchanged)
12. Georgia Tech (up 5)
13. UCLA (down 5)
14. Kansas State (down 2)
15. Georgia (down 6)
16. Missouri (up 2)
17. Clemson (unranked)
18. Oklahoma (up 2)
19. Arizona State (down 4)
20. Louisville (up 5)
21. Auburn (down 7)
22. Nebraska (up 2)
23. Boise State (unranked)
24. Utah (down 1)
25. LSU (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: 
#19 Minnesota, #21 Marshall, #22 Colorado State

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. J.T. Barrett (QB--Ohio State)


Hoying Top 25

1. Florida State (unchanged)
2. Alabama (up 1)
3. Oregon (down 1)
4. TCU (unchanged)
5. Ohio State (up 1)
6. Baylor (up 1)
7. Arizona (up 3)
8. Georgia Tech (up 11)
9. Wisconsin (up 7)
10. Mississippi (up 4)
11. UCLA (down 3)
12. Michigan State (unchanged)
13. Georgia (down 4)
14. Mississippi State (down 9)
15. Kansas State (down 2)
16. Clemson (up 4)
17. Missouri (unchanged)
18. Auburn (down 7)
19. LSU (up 2)
20. Boise State (unranked)
21. Arizona State (down 6)
22. Utah (unchanged)
23. USC (up 1)
24. Nebraska (unranked)
25. Oklahoma (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #18 Minnesota, #23 Colorado State, #25 Texas A&M

Hoying Heisman Ballot

1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin) 
3. JT Barrett (QB--Ohio State)


Schweinfurth Top 25
1. Florida State (Unchanged)
2. Oregon (Unchanged)
3. Alabama (Unchanged)
4. Baylor (Unchanged)
5. TCU (Unchanged) 
6. Ohio State (Unchanged)
7. Michigan State (Unchanged)
8. Kansas State (Up 1)
9. Arizona (Up 2)
10. Wisconsin (Up 3)
11. Georgia Tech (Up 4)
12. Mississippi State (Down 4)
13. Ole Miss (Up 3)
14. UCLA (Down 2)
15. Oklahoma (Up 6)
16. Clemson (Up 6)
17. Georgia (Down 3)
18. Louisville (Up 6)
19. Auburn (Down 2)
20. Arizona State (Down 2)
21. Boise St. (Up 4)
22. USC (Unranked)
23. Utah (Unranked)
24. Nebraska (Unranked)
25. Air Force (Unranked)

Dropped from Rankings: Marshall, Colorado State, Duke, Minnesota

Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Marcus Mariota (QB--Oregon)
2. Melvin Gordon (RB--Wisconsin)
3. Amari Cooper (WR--Alabama)


Seeberg Top 25
1.) Oregon (same)
2.) Alabama (same)
3.) Florida State (same)
4.) TCU (same)
5.) Ohio State (up 1)
6.) Baylor (up 1) 
7.) Michigan State (up 2)
8.) Kansas State (up 3)
9.) Wisconsin (up 3)
10.) Mississippi State (down 6)
11.) Georgia Tech (up 6)
12.) Arizona (up 2)
13.) Ole Miss (up 3)
14.) Georgia (down 6)
15.) UCLA (down 5)
16.) Missouri (up 2)
17.) Oklahoma (up 2)
18.) Arizona State (down 5)
19.) USC (up 1)
20.) Auburn (down 5)
21.) Minnesota (same)
22.) Boise State (up 3)
23.) LSU (unranked)
24.) Louisville (down 1)
25.) Nebraska (unranked)

Dropped from rankings :  #22 Marshall, #24 Colorado State

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Marcus Mariota (QB- Oregon)
2.) Melvin Gordon (RB- Wisconsin)
3.) Amari Cooper (WR- Alabama

Grading the Bucks: Week 14: TTUN

Short writeup as finals are breathing down my neck. In short, very nervous to have lost JT.

Offense: B
This will be a repeated mantra throughout this post: Michigan is terrible.  With the way this offense has been chugging, this should have been a massacre.  Yes, the UM defense is 'statistically' pretty good, but teams didn't have to score on offense to win.  I am very concerned with the lack of carries by Elliot (which should change this week).  He's a beast and needs to be fed.  JT is still my boy, but the play calling was really weird.  The deep bombs where absolutely perfect so credit to JT (Braxton can't make those downfield tosses).  With that said, there was far too many punts for my liking.  I think Wisconsin's defense is comparable, but we need more dynamic play.  Dynamic doesn't necessarily mean flashy...maybe a SLANT or SCREEN.

Defense: C
See above: Michigan sucks.  That first toss by Gardner was the worst throw I've ever seen...and yet, he was able to move the ball fairly consistently which is unacceptable.  The wolverines haven't run the ball with success...until facing this team.  Funchess returned to form but I wonder if that was due to Doran Grant having what I consider a terrible game.  Our run defense has been shaky all year (not happy about Melvin next week), but the pass defense has been pretty good...until this week.  There is no excuse for letting the Wolverines score multiple TDs with as anemic as there offense has been.  Yeah, they scored a defensive TD to seal it, but the stupid plays (looking at you Bosa) outweigh the good.  Need to tighten it up...not worthy of the title Bullets this week. 4 drives of 75+ yards....unacceptable.

Special Teams: B
Nothing special here.  One good thing: no kicks out of bounds...YAY!! But...Jalin, CATCH THE BALL!!  Yes, he picked it up and ran well, but stop putting the ball on the ground! Good punting and decent return game.  That's all I have to say about that.

Coaching: C-
Yes, the 4th down call worked, and I'll give credit for a great play design, but I still don't understand the refusal to sneak the ball on 4th and inches with a MONSTER at QB.  Cardale ain't come to play school, but he came to push people around.  Let him do it.  Also, Zeke's helmet came off an he exited the field on a 3rd and 1...so the coaches made the obvious play call and ran the scat back up the middle into a pile...stuff...punt.  Huh? What's with the call? Samuel isn't a bruiser.  If you need him in there, don't run a play that runs counter to his skill set.  Offensively and defensively, this was an oddly coached game.  They'll need to earn their pay as we're on to option 3 at QB facing a beast at RB (but we've faced some other good backs too).
One side note: I've heard people blaming the coaches for JT's injury...that's stupid.  JT made a bad read and got hit.  It was a fluke injury and in no way the fault of the coaches 'putting him into harm's way'.  Violent game leads to unfortunate injuries from time to time.

Overall: B-
No JT can potentially be devastating to this team. I am very nervous for Cardale, but let's hope the things the coaches say are better than coachspeak.  Wisconsin is a much better offense than Michigan so game on.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Week 14 - THE GA_E (And _any Others)

Standings
1) Draper                40-19    (6-7 upset)
1) Hoying               40-19    (4-9 upset)
3) Seeberg              38-21    (2-11 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     37-22    (6-7 upset)

We would like to give thanks for college football, titanic Rivalry Week clashes, the greatest sports rivalry in the world, and the fact that we are blessed enough to be Let's Go Bucks! and not Let's Go Blue!

#6 _ississippi State Bulldogs @ #16 Ole _iss Rebels
Draper: In what is an Egg Bowl for the ages, we should see a pretty good contest.  In fact, this could have been an epic showdown...if it had been played a few weeks back.  The state of these schools had the best first half of a college football season ever, but has since declined.  The Rebels played the role of David that took down Goliath but the loss of Laquan Treadwell vs. Auburn has been too great an obstacle to surpass in the last few weeks.  A beat down by Arkansas has Dr. Bo hobbling into the rivalry.  The Bulldogs rebounded nicely after dropping to the Tide.  The local advantage in Oxford is great and will keep it reasonably close, but the Bulldogs and Dak Prescott know they still are in the hunt and need a big win to stay viable as a non-division winner.  With no downfield passing attack from the Rebs (see loss of Treadwell) the ground and pound Dawgs take care of business to end the season strong...at #5.  If it was in StarkVegas, I'd expect a blowout.  In Oxford, close, but no cigar.  Bulldogs: 24--Rebels: 17
Hoying: It's been quite a while since the Bulldogs and Rebels were #1 and #2 back in October. Since then, Dr. Bo and friends have dropped 3 of 4, with their one win over lowly PresbyterI-AAn. But it didn't appear that the Rebs had given up until last week's outing, when they were drilled by 30 by Bert and the 'Backs. Even so, it's not like the Bulldogs have shown any greater degree of excellence, struggling against Kentucky and Arkansas before losing to the Tide. There's (probably) no longer an SEC West title on the line, but this is still the biggest Egg Bowl in recent recollection. Can fading all-SEC candidate Dak Prescott find a few gaps in what is still the nation's top defense? Will the good Dr. Bo show up? Better indicator: look to the running attack. State has one, Johnny Reb doesn't. The Bulldogs continue to hang around like a black cloud over OSU's playoff chances. Bulldogs: 27--Rebels: 20
Schweinfurth: Ole Miss is starting to show their true colors by losing 3 of their last 4 games.  I also feel that Hail State was exposed by Alabama.  Bo Wallace is pretty much meh and Dak Prescott hasn't exactly impressed the last few weeks.  The Bulldogs are the better team and should win.  Bulldogs: 35--Rebels: 21
Seeberg:  How the ephemerally mighty have fallen.  Mississippi was the center of the college football universe for a month or so (ssshhh, don't tell Paul Finebaum and/or Alabama).  Now this one is mostly for pride, barring an unforeseen collapse in Tuscaloosa.  Arkansas ran rampant last week against the Rebels' usually stout D, and MSU can run it almost as well.  Don't expect much from former Heisman frontrunner Dak Prescott, but the ground game will be enough to win the Bulldogs the Egg Bowl.  Bulldogs: 24--Rebels: 17

#20 _innesota Golden Gophers @ #13 Wisconsin Badgers
Draper:
Can the Gophers really pull this off? The potent Badgers return to the friendly confines of Wisconsin to battle for the axe behind the legs of Gordon.  Cobb vs. Gordon is what this is about.  I think the Gophers will fight valiantly and keep this close until Gordon shows his style.  Everyone is overlooking the Gophers due to recent failure (recent as in the last 10 years), but I believe they'll play with a great deal of pride.  Wisconsin just has a little extra talent on their sideline that will be the difference.  Bucky nips Goldy as the Fifth Quarter sends the Badgers on a date with the Buckeyes,  Wisc: 31--Goldy: 27
Hoying: Now we turn to B1Gger affairs: who will be Ohio State's opponent in Indianapolis next week? The Badgers nearly gagged one away in Iowa City last week, but they're a totally different squad on their own field. The nation's top running back, Gordon, is still running strong, playing far better than Nebraska's Abdullah, who the Gophers were able to shut down last week. David Cobb will be able to get a touchdown or two, and Goldy will keep it close for a quarter or two, but Wisconsin is just...better. WARNING: if you like the forward pass, or any other football innovation since about 1910, you probably should avoid the Big Ten Network at 3:30. Goldy: 24--Bucky: 38
Schweinfurth: I really can't believe that the Gophers are a win away from the B1G Championship.  This game will be a fast one with all the running these two teams do.  I am actually looking forward to watching Cobb and Gordon run the ball.  Not much QB play here but man will it be a slobberknocker.  Next week, OSU vs. Bucky.  Goldy: 17--Bucky: 24
Seeberg:  Amazingly enough, we're 11 games into the season and I STILL don't know what to make of Minnesota.  Yeah, they played us close, largely because we were in an early Christmas mode, giving them opportunities left and right.  Yeah they got whipped by TCU early, but it turns out TCU is really good.  Yeah they beat Nebraska, but Nebraska's lousy.  This one won't be pretty to watch, but Gordon will officially stamp his ticket to NYC with another 200 yard, multi-TD day.  Goldy: 20--Bucky: 35

#15 Arizona State Sun Devils @ #11 Arizona Wildcats
Draper: I expected great things in this showdown before I heard RichRod's frosh sensation QB may be sidelined.  The Wildcats played very well in Salt Lake City to perhaps show they were for real, and the Sun Devils have fallen back.  That being said, the Cats were fully dependent on Anu's throwing ability and his quick decisions.  Bercovici and crew should return to their rightful throne of the Sun in this contest to let RichRod know that he can't win this week...anywhere.  Anu would lead to an interesting contest....no Anu and the Sun Devils control the Grand Canyon State.  ASU: 31--Zona: 24
Hoying: Unfortunately for those in the Grand Canyon State, this showdown between top-15 crews is likely to be inconsequential. As long as UCLA takes care of business against Stanford on Friday, neither of these two will represent the Pac-12 South in San Francisco. At any rate, this one will likely depend on the availability of Arizona's frosh starting quarterback, Anu. The Wildcats' backup has tried all of 7 passes this season, lacking the experience of ASU's Bercovici. Not that the Sun Devils will need Bercovici; Taylor Kelly's doing just fine these days. I'll take a risk and bet that Anu won't be ready to go, which should guarantee an ugly throwdown in the desert. ASU: 38--Zona: 17
Schweinfurth: From what I have seen, ASU is the more rounded team.  That's all my insight here.  ASU: 42--Zona:24
Seeberg:  Anyone remember who beat Oregon anymore?  Yeah I barely do either.  Amazingly, the Wildcats' victory over the Ducks is an infinitely better-looking loss than our loss to Virginia Tech (yeah, I know, it's not basketball.  I can't figure it out either).  Arizona has done nothing else of note until a thrasing of Utah last week.  Meanwhile, ASU inexplicably lost to the OTHER Oregon team (AKA, the OTHER OSU), knocking them off of the Pac-12 South podium.  Unfortunately, that demolition of the Utes may be a pyhrric victory for Arizona as their QB has a dodgy ankle.  He will likely give it a go on Friday, but one fewer day of recuperation will ruin Rich Rod's chances at his 10th win.  ASU: 34--Zona: 20

#17 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ #10 Georgia Bulldogs
Draper:
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate--that's a title for a rivalry.  The Yellow Jackets triple option attack is no fun for anyone to face (poor Noles).  UGA has rebounded with a few nice wins since the drubbing to the Gators on the legs of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb (which is a all-inclusive list of the talent of the Dawgs).  This Bulldog squad is nothing to sneeze at...but nothing to go wild over either.  The rushing attack is good, but there is little to no...other talent.  That being said, the Jackets are so rush heavy and 'eh' on defense, UGA VIII could have a big day toting the rock.  The Dawgs control the battle between the hedges and escape with token knee injuries stay alive in the playoff chase (if on life support).  GT: 30--UGA: 37
Hoying: Nothing like a little Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate to close out the regular season. Is there a squad as undervalued as the Yellow Jackets? Sure, they're predictable and passing is strictly optional, but only two heartbreaking losses to Duke and UNC deprived GT of an 11-0 start and a spot in the playoff chase. As it stands, they'll have to settle for a crack at the SEC East's two-talented-RBs-and-garbage group, who have bounced back nicely after getting crushed by the Gators. How did Florida pull off that win? Oh yeah, they RAN THE BALL over and over and over and over and then Georgia lost by 18. If the Gators can do that, think what the Jacket juggernaut is capable of. GT: 34--UGA: 27
Schweinfurth: Let's see, Georgia has Nick Chubb and...yea that's it.  Georgia Tech and the triple option are always hard to prepare for.  In a way, it's almost like playing the shell game.  Just because Georgia is in the SEC doesn't mean they are good.  Florida ran all over Georgia and that's what Tech does best.  Tech bleeds this down.  GT--24--UGA: 14
Seeberg:  The ramblin' wreck head between the hedges this year down in JO-gia for their annual in-state clash.  As much running as there will be in the Goldy-Bucky bout, there may be even more in this one.  The Yellow Jackets are basically a REALLY fast Navy, which causes fits for pretty much everyone.  However, Georgia completely shut down an equally prolific rushing offense in Auburn in a 34-7 beatdown, a game featuring Todd Gurley's return from making money for himself (a standard NCAA violation).  Coupled with Mizzou's loss against Arkansas (see my upset special!), Georgia heads to the SEC title game with some momentum.  GT: 24--UGA: 38

#14 Auburn Tigers @ #3 Alaba_a Cri_son Tide
Draper: The Iron Bowl...boy...another clash that was soooo sexy a few weeks back...but not so now.  Our boy Brent is even back to call the rivalry, but this should be a bit one-sided.  The Tigers rushing attack has faded in the past few weeks and Gus's wild offense has toned down.  The Tide have been taking control with the defense that has become interchangeable with Saban.  The Tide QB has been good...but not as good as the SEC crazies would have you believe.  The Tiger QB hasn't been up to his standards lately...and this one is in Tuscaloosa...uh oh.  Saban knows revenge is a dish best served cold...and he'll portion out a heaping serving to the Tigers.  Roll Tide to Atlanta.  Aub: 16--Tide: 30
Hoying: Let's have a few seconds of silence for the Tigers, who saw their season die at the hands of the Aggies 3 weeks ago. Since then, they got drubbed by Georgia and foundered for a few quarters against Bobby Bowden's first coaching stop before pulling out a victory. Passing is non-existent, the rush attack is failing, and the defense is kaput. The Tide haven't really done anything astounding since crushing the Aggies 59-0, but they're passing the ball reasonably well, and the defense is fantastic. No last-second oddities this year; just the extension of the dynasty, COWTURD! Tigers: 13--Tide: 24
Schweinfurth: I really could care less about these two teams.  Alabama is the better team but has had a tendency to play down to the competition this year.  For that reason alone, Auburn will hang around in this game.  Saban's teams are very good in revenge games and that should ring true here.  Tigers: 17--Tide: 20
Seeberg:  A month ago, a second-straight Tiger victory in the Iron Bow l seemed a distinct possibility.  Now?  Not so much.  The Tide has been rising of late, but that only lifts their own boat sadly, contrary to JFK's beliefs.  In any event, Amari Cooper and Co. will be on high alert to avoid a similarly miraculous debacle as last year.  Perhaps Gus has some tricks up his sleeve saved up for this one, but given how bad they looked against Georgia, I'm pretty sure that's not the case, as saving his season would have been more important than winning this game.  Tide rolls.  Tigers: 17--Tide: 34

The Cesspool of the West @ #7 THE Ohio State University Buckeyes
Draper: This one is easy.  If the Bucks stop turning the ball over, it's a 4 touchdown spread.  But this rivalry goes beyond the sidelines.  There are those who fear the Blue...but that's in the past.  Now is the era to crush the spirit of the Blue.  They are to fear the Scarlet and Gray.  Brady, Navarre, Grbac, Biakubatuka, Perry, Braylon, Woodson...they aren't stepping on the field.  Those who are...they are scared...and they should be.  On a day when Troy enters the rafters of hallowed territory, it is on the Bucks to continue his legacy.  JT needs to return to the style and flair we all saw earlier this year.  Zeke and the line need to dictate the pace with speed and power.  The defense needs to hit hard, strong, and SURE to send notice to that State Up North that this is not a passing fancy.  The Buckeyes own you...and will continue to do so.  It's all over but the crying.  GO BUCKS! BEAT BLUE!!  Cesspool: 17--OSU: 48
Hoying: Perhaps it's a sign of how spoiled I've been by the last 14 years, but I haven't loved the way Ohio State has played its last two tilts against That School Up North. Urban does a fantastic job of getting his players up for the big showdowns, but in this rivalry, they've tended to start the first half a bit too excited, leading to overpursuit, penalties, and general foul-ups. If the Buckeyes can settle down, stick to the plan, and TACKLE a ballcarrier or two, this one shouldn't be close. The Wolverine offense is a total disaster: Gardner's too shell-shocked to play well, Funyuns has given up on the season, and I don't think they actually have a running back left. The defense is fine, but the Buckeyes haven't been stopped since Virginia Tech (other than by their own goofs). A couple of turnovers or boneheaded kicking plays will prevent a total blowout, but this one should never really be in doubt. I can barely stand to see a true blue Wolverine coach depart with a losing record against the Buckeyes, but how can I argue with tradition? Cesspool: 16--OSU: 38
Schweinfurth: I am a child of the 90s, therefore I will always be worried about this game.  It's in my nature.  However, I don't know if there has been a bigger mismatch since Rich Rod's first year.  This Wolverine offense has been anemic all year and don't get me started on that defense.  J.T. hasn't looked great the last two weeks but I really think that changes this week.  These seniors get to go out with another set of Gold Pants!!  Cesspool: 17--OSU: 52
Seeberg:  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will ALWAYS, forever and ever amen, get nervous this time of year.  This nervousness was instilled in me by one John Cooper, who recruited 80 bajillion all-Americans (Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Terry Glenn, Shawn Springs, Bobby Hoying, Mike Vrabel, oh wait we had all of those guys on the SAME TEAM in 1995) that somehow collapsed in the third weekend of November.  Thankfully, things have changed.  Saint Urban of Ashtabula (can't take credit for that catchy nickname, but check out landgrantholyland for a hilarious piece on the state of the rivalry at present) has arrived and is 2-0 against TTUN, though neither victory has been all that smooth, winning by a combined six points.  The talent level has become increasingly disparate in the rivalry but it hasn't shown on the scoreboard...until this year.  TCotW kicks a few field goals, gets a mercy TD late, but order remains in the universe...as long as we hold on to the (insert favorite expletive here) ball.  Hold onto the ball, move on to Indy.  Cesspool: 23--OSU: 42

Upset Special
Draper: Texas over TCU
Hoying: Florida over Florida State (I live to be disappointed)
Schweinfurth: Notre Dame over USC
Seeberg:  Arkansas over Missouri