1. We’re two weeks in and everyone in the Big Ten, minus the two Michigan schools and Illinois, are undefeated. This week marks the end of your early “tune-up” or serious OOC play. Are you satisfied with the way your team has played against the cupcakes on your schedule, or happy with the way they’ve competed against serious competition?
V: Good God no. At least not with the most recent showing. Our defense made a second string MAC quarterback look like Juice Williams, just under a year after making Juice Williams look like Juice Williams. Our front 4 were adequately contained. They still struggle with a mobile quarterback. Our offensive line was manhandled. Our top two receivers — the ones featured in our base I-formation — can’t get open. There’s no bad decision that Todd Boeckman is against making. Our tailbacks, sans Beanie, are hesitant and we still try to force Maurice Wells between guards. I’m almost positive USC is going to pick on Bryant Browning without mercy this Saturday night. *Cringes*.
GJ: The Youngstown State game was what I expected. The Ohio game most certainly was not. We really should have lost that game, if not for a lucky break in the muffed punt. That said, talk to me after this Saturday and we’ll see where our season goes.
MP: I really don’t know what to say about the Big 10 so far. The Big 10 won the games they were suppose to and lost the ones they were favored to lose. I was happy with game one against YSU, but was obviously not stasified with the Ohio game. OSU plays down to the level of their competition and this game made it quite obvious
2. You knew this was coming. This week’s OMG Game of teh Century!!!!1!!1!! until next week’s OMG Game of teh Century!!!!1!!1!! is Ohio State versus Southern Cal. Who are you pulling for and why? Further, if you’re pulling for one particular team tell me why they’ll win, or won’t. If you’re like me and will be attempting to cure a sunburn from over exposure to the sun during the Michigan Notre Dame game by drinking large quantities of whiskey instead of watching the game, state your excuse.
V: I think this is, what, our 4th regular season game of the century of this decade (after the Texas series and the 2006 Michigan game)? I’d love to be wrong, but I just don’t see us winning this game, and it’s not just a function of what we saw against Ohio. The same game plan we bring in for the MAC schools, Minnesota or Purdue is the same game plan we’ll whip out for Florida, LSU or (presumably) USC. I just can’t imagine we get enough pressure on Mark Sanchez to wear him down or force him into stupid decisions. He’s going to have enough time to sit back and find holes in our zone. Oh, and I just have no confidence in our offensive line to hold up against Fili Moala or any added pressure through the A gap.
GJ: I’ll be pulling for my alma mater, but I’m still up in the air over who will win this Saturday night. Of course, unless our O-line improves… drastically… I don’t see us winning this one. Our defense seems to be somewhat ordinary as well. Ray Small’s recent comments couldn’t have helped. It just seems it’s the approved order of things now: Ohio State loses key game on national TV, allowing more cause for us to be buried. Stranger things have happened, though.
MP: I am pulling for OSU (should be pretty freakin’ obvious), but I will take the Trojans, 31-17. The Trojans looked mighty good to end the seasn and we looked awful. I am not comfortable with Todd Boeckman as the starter. I am not hinting that Pryor should start, but Boeckman has been shaky his entire career at OSU
3. Besides the above mentioned Game of the Century, there are actually some decent match ups this week in the Big Ten. Purdue v. Oregon; Wisconsin v. Fresno State; Michigan v. Notre Dame; Michigan State v. Florida Atlantic; or Iowa v. Iowa State. I said decent. I didn’t say they were all good. Pick the best game from that group, pick the worst game from that group, and Minnesota and Illinois bloggers must post an apology for scheduling Montana State and Louisiana Lafayette respectively.
V: Knowing one of us is going to talk about the Wisky-Fresno State game, I think I’ll actually defend Purdue-Oregon. It just seems like such a curious matchup, especially one to be played in West Lafayette as opposed to Eugene. Traditonal-looking Purdue black and gold against the aesthetic mess that is Oregon. A few somewhat interesting storylines to this game too, such as the Big Ten-Pac 10 thing, Tiller’s last year, Oregon’s first year post-Dennis Dixon. Kind of a cool matchup. One of those matchups that makes college football so cool. Worst game of that selection goes to Iowa-Iowa State. That rivalry never interested me in any way. Of course, it’s not my market, but for the outsider, it’s not clear that rivalry is anything other than generic in-state rivalry between two teams that happen to be in established conferences. The fact that the Big Ten Network has to be the one to carry it isn’t lost on me. Go Hawkeyes, though. Conference pride and rah-rah-rah and things of this nature.
GJ: I think one of us is going to go with Wisconsin-Fresno State, so I’ll go with another matchup that’s deceptively interesting: Michigan-Notre Dame. One “genius” of a coach against a coach that’s actually proven and with a track record independent of videotaping shenanigans and coattail-riding. Each team’s anemic offense makes game that much better. The offensive performance has the prospect of being on par with Greg Norman’s epic finish at the 1996 Masters: Unwatchable but so deliciously watchable. Remember, Notre Dame was one kinda-not a fumble away from trailing 20-7 at home against San Diego State… yes, that San Diego State that lost their home opener to 1-AA Cal Poly. Stop laughing. Michigan might end up winning this by a score of 13 to -10. Worst game in that list probably goes to Iowa-Iowa State. I don’t recognize anything with Iowa State in it. Aren’t cyclones more of a polar/tropical phenomena? Are those people confusing cyclones with tornadoes?
MP: Best: Wisconsin vs. Fresno State. Wisconsin came out weak against a mediocre Marshall team and it wasn’t pretty after one quarter. This Fresno State team is frisky and will make it a game if Wiscy falls asleep. Worst: Notre Dame vs. Michigan. Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Jake Long and the men of maize and blue take on Darius Walker, Brady Quinn, and Jeff Samardzija. Oh, it is not 2006…Hmmm
4. Out of Conference scheduling is always something that draws the ire of journalists and bloggers alike. You all know how weak your OOC really is. Admit it. You’re sad. So fix it. Pick two teams out of conference you really wish your school would schedule. Nursing colleges and the Center for Veterinary Sciences are verboten. Pick two major conference middle to heavy weights or two heavy weight non-BCS conference programs to add to the schedule. (Please note you get to keep your two patsies per season).
V: We seem to be set on marquee nonconference games for the next decade or so, which may or may not be more than can be said about (insert your team here). Miami, California, Va Tech, Oklahoma and Tennessee all follow the USC series. That said, there are lots of teams I’d love to schedule or find some room for now. Limited to just two teams, I’d love to see a home-and-home with Stanford and Georgia Tech. For the latter, I’ve always been a big fan of Paul Johnson and would love to see how the Buckeyes deal with the hambone triple-option offense. For the former, well, the battle of the bands at halftime would be worth the price of admission by itself. The Jim Harbaugh factor should also play a role. I think most Buckeye fans agree that he’s more than overdue for an ass-kicking.
GJ: Hmm, I’d love to boot the instate MAC schools and Cincinnati off the schedule. I hate promoting the idea that those schools are anywhere on our level and I’d just as soon like to retire our 80+ year winning streak against instate competition. I’d love to schedule Rutgers and Brigham Young for a home and home. Maybe I’m alone, but I’m just tired of hearing about how Rutgers is a program on the rise while watching them play on Thursday or Friday nights in front of the ESPN announce team jobber squad. The prospect of playing Brigham Young fascinates me. We’ve had some interesting games with them in the past and I’d like to continue the series. Oh, and the thought of a horde of drunk, surly Buckeyes showing up to the holiest city in the world (Provo) is more than enough to get me saving my pennies to make the trip as well.
MP: Notre Dame (when they get good again)-it would be nice to start a Midwestern rivalry with a non-big 10 team. Nebraska-Two of the greatest programs in the history of college football. A home-away series would be amazing. Once again, wait until Nebraska is good again
5. All college football fans love to tailgate. Even you, you mothers’ basement dwelling bloggers, you. Name your beverage of choice on game days. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, your readers need to these things about you, to judge you. Confirm all their suspicions.
V: My college buddies all drank voraciously before a game, but the thought of getting drunk and then baking in the sun while watching a game just made me nauseous. I never drank much of anything before a game because I never wanted to leave my seat to go to the bathroom. After the game, though, nothing tastes like victory like an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pabst Blue Ribbon is less a beer, and more of an awesome life choice. Accordingly, it is the unofficially official drink of Our Honor Defend. I’ve been working with my legal department to organize a sponsorship deal. If you have to drink a cheap, crappy beer, you gotta go big or go home. That’s why there’s the Ribbon.
GJ: Pabst. Blue. Ribbon. Didn’t Ramzy not too long ago call us the Pabst Blue Ribbon of Buckeye blogs? With good reason, of course.
MP: Pabst Blue Ribbon. The breakfast of champions. PBR was selected as America’s best in 1893, and 115 years later it is still damnit.
6. Rivalry games dot the schedule this week. If your team is playing in a rivalry game, say something nasty about your opponent then predict a lopsided score to infuriate the opposing fanbase. If you’re not playing a rival, then start a rivalry by saying something nasty about your opponent and then predict a lopsided score to infuriate the opposing fanbase. Or just give me a non-offensive prediction and a reason to watch.
V: I grew up in Los Angeles (all 18 years before college), and it’s not lost on me that the UCLA basketball fans I grew up with in the 1990s are USC football fans now. Frontrunners, all of you. Let’s face it: Los Angeles is just about the worst sports town in America (and thus, by extension, the world) and one of the reasons for the rise of local media interest in the Trojan football program stems from the need for a little distraction to occupy their time before the Lakers’ season begins and before the most recent disappointing Dodgers’ season ends. The city itself ain’t much to write home about. There’s more to do in Columbus, Ohio than there is to do in Los Angeles, California. Yeah, you heard me right. Oh, and I’ve heard very serious innuendos about who gets to play in the USC Marching Band (that is: for what price), regardless of how well you can play an instrument. On that note, never ever confuse the opportunity to be featured in Naked Gun or a Fleetwood Mac video with the quality necessary to be featured so prominently. You can’t be “The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe” without being “The Best Damn Band in the Land” first. Win your conference, viz, your planet, first. Your defensive line may very well manhandle our offensive line, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Rey Maulauga may just as well scramble Todd Boeckman’s brains. However, they will never take away the fact that our band of Salvation Army soldiers is infinitely cooler than their ragtag collection of woodwinds.
GJ: Honestly, I got nothing. If the Buckeyes win 70-01, you will never heard the end of it from me.
MP: 31-17 Trojans. Reason? It is USC versus Ohio State.
- oh please oh please oh please oh please [↩]