SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/03/2007 08:29:00 PM
Halftime: Oregon 21, Arizona State 13
Oregon wide receiver Jaison Williams scored two touchdowns against Arizona State in the first half.
EUGENE, Ore. -- I don’t know if it’s because I just attended a basketball game last night, or the breakneck speed with which Oregon runs its offense, but the first half of Saturday’s Arizona State-Oregon showdown ebbed and flowed very much like a hoops contest.
The Ducks came out like a team that can’t miss, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions to go up 21-3 -- with QB Dennis Dixon playing the role of a superstar point guard. The way he fakes a handoff (including at one point a fake, behind-his-back Statue of Liberty handoff), half the time you’re not sure where the ball is when watching him.
Oregon’s first two touchdowns came on screen passes that receiver Jason Williams and running back Jonathan Stewart took to the house. On the third, he faked the screen, pivoted and threw downfield to a wide-open Williams.
From there, however, Oregon was the team that suddenly goes cold and can’t buy a bucket, going three and out twice, then turning it over to ASU on an ugly, Dixon fumble off a botched handoff.
Meanwhile, Dixon’s ASU counterpart, Rudy Carpenter, was having a heck of a game himself -- rallying his team back to a 21-13 deficit -- before a disastrous sequence in the final minute. After recovering Dixon’s fumble at Oregon’s 49, Carpenter drove the Sun Devils to the Ducks’ 13 and had a first down with 46 seconds left. However, either unaware of the clock or the fact ASU was out of time outs, Carpenter inexplicably audibled to a handoff, running nearly the entire clock off in the process. ASU had to settle for a 32-yard Thomas Weber field goal ... and missed.
So, depending on how you look at, either ASU caught a huge break when Dixon fumbled or Oregon is even more fortunate that the Devils didn’t get any points out of it.
Clearly, defense has not played much of a factor for either team so far. The game will ultimately be decided by which side’s powerful offense asserts itself. Dixon and the Ducks looked virtually unstoppable early, but Dennis Erickson’s 8-0 team has been masterful with halftime adjustments this season, winning five games it trailed at halftime. We shall see.
By the way, I can now officially confirm that Autzen is indeed one of the five loudest stadiums in the country -- but sorry, Ducks fans, not quite The Swamp or Death Valley. Those other places can be right-in-front-of-the-speakers-at-a-Metallica-concert loud at times; the volume here is more that of a plane taking off nearby.
Check back later tonight for an Inside College Football column from this game.
It's true.. for our numbers I think we are the loudest. When they complete the bowl I can't imagine what it will sound like. I got to see Death Valley in Clemson this year since my husband took me on a tour of his Alma matter. It didn't feel as magical as Autzen. We do debate quite often though which is louder.
According to US News, the University of Florida is the 49th best school in the nation, while Oregon is 112. So if we're racist rednecks, what does that make you? Thanks for the completely unnecessary attack though.
Interesting thing about the noise at Autzen -- I really don't think it's as loud as it was before they expanded it. I've been down on the visiting team sidelines there both before and after the expansion, and it seemed louder before. I think it has something to do with the acoustics, since it's not a symetrical bowl anymore -- the sound doesn't get held in as much. That said, it's bar none the loudest stadium, per capita, on Earth, and it's not even close.
The loudest stadiums on Earth are European and South American soccer stadiums, and THAT is not even close. Sorry to say. And the South gets a bad rap for being full of moronic racist rednecks (speaking of current times). And this is coming from a Midwesterner. I've met many great people down there and few, if any, bad ones.
Stewart probably was talking about LSU's stadium, but "Death Valley" in Clemson is one of the loudest stadiums in College Football. Check it out....
"Death valley is traditionally known for being one of the loudest college football stadiums and it plays as large part of the stadium's appeal. In Clemson's 2005 home game against the Miami Hurricanes the noise on the field reached 126 decibels, surpassing the previous record for loudest outdoor sporting event. Commentators commented that they could barely hear themselves speak, and even said they felt the stadium "move."
"Florida was loud in the Swamp. But, the loudest, not only the stadium, but the loudest place I have ever been around in my life was definitely Death Valley."
PLEASE tell me we're not starting off another conference strength thing, but now with a "conference loudness" variant...if so, how about other things...like, best sportsmanship and friendliness to visitors, etc.?
Given the fact that The Swamp and Death Valley have nearly 40,000 more fans do you think Oregon really cares if those venues are louder. Some great defense played in the SEC today huh...Georgia barely hanging on against juggernaut Troy (44-34) and Mississippi drilling Northwestern St (38-31). How bout that LSU defense giving up 34 to a bama team that Florida State flat out dominated. The best conference in the country? P - L - E - A - S - E!
I'm sure the LSU faithful won't like this, but having watched both teams play multiple times now (LSU and Ore), I would leapfrog Oregon in front of LSU in the upcoming polls if I had a vote.
LSU could very easily be a four loss team right now, and while I certainly realize that every championship team has that "Oh my God" moment (i.e. - OSU's miracle touchdown pass in 2002 season), LSU has had too many miracles for me to be a believer that they're the second best team (or the first best team) in the country. They might have the most talent on their roster, but they are underachieving, and should have lost to 'Bama. (and UF and Auburn)
Also, if Dennis Dixon doesn't jump to the front of the Heisman Trophy race talks after today, you in the media are out of your minds.
Finally, as a totally random aside...why is Kansas not in the top five right now? They're undefeated, blowing people out, and play in the same conference as media darling Oklahoma. Can anyone explain to me in logical format WHY THE HELL OKLAHOMA IS RANKED HIGHER THAN KANSAS?
Because their jerseys say Oklahoma, and also because they started the season ranked in the top 10 and have looked impressive aside from the Colorado game. Doesn't make them better, I realize. Should be a good game in the Big 12 title game if KU can get by Missouri.
Kansas is below OU because of who they play, and who they WON'T play. They managed to draw a schedule excluding OU, UT, and Texas Tech in the regular season. Because of this, they won't play a ranked team until Mizzou at the very end of the season.
As for Oregon...as an LSU fan this is a tough call for me. I understand that the emotional tension was HUGE for our players tonight. The pressure and stress would only make sense for someone in Baton Rouge or Louisiana who sat through the Saban debacle. If Les Miles had lost that game, people would have been calling for him to be fired within seconds. The players were trying to win one for the coach, and I think they psyched themselves out.
And while yes, we could be a four loss team right now, we aren't. My step-dad told me after the game, "Well, y'all pulled another one out of your butts." My reply? "I don't care where they're pulling them from so long as they keep doing it."
I think Oregon is a great team,and Dennis Dixon is AMAZING with the ball. Really, playing Oregon is my title game fantasy. I recognize their skill and ability, and the fact that they are clearly a top three team. My inner-fan says put LSU as number two; My rational NCAAF-loving half recognizes that this is a really tough call.
In the end, I can't really decide. Either way, both Oregon and LSU are still clearly in the title picture, and I'm excited to see how it turns out.
Posted: 1:26 AM by Stephanie Kansas is below OU because of who they play, and who they WON'T play.
I'm not disputing what you're saying, but if what you say is in fact true, the pollsters are violating the very basis for ranking a team - WHAT HAVE THEY DONE THUS FAR. At this point, Kansas is undefeated in the Big 12 while OK is not. And while I don't dispute that OK has looked impressive in their wins, the fact remains that THEY'VE LOST TO A TEAM THAT KANSAS BEAT.
I understand penalizing a team when they lose, but there is no rhyme or reason to the freefall some teams take for losses (Michigan), or the gentle drift and quick recovery that others take (OK and LSU and UGA come to mind). And for Michigan to be in the top 15 already with two losses and no really good wins, and for USC to have dropped to 7th for losing to a 40+ point underdog makes me sick to my stomach.
I'm sure that BC will be pummeled in the polls for losing to FSU, and God help us all if Ohio State loses, because I'm sure they won't even be ranked the following week if SEC fans have their way.
My point was that when you play a big boy schedule like the Big 12, if Oklahoma had drawn the same schedule, nobody would be crying...they would just rank OK #1 as an undefeated team in their conference. So give Kansas their due...and if they lose, go ahead and pummel them in the rankings.
why does every post turn to a debate over the SEC?? i'm tired of reading these and it always going to insults about the south, get over your ego trips!!!! Alabama put up a big fight against LSU tonight, unlike the over conferences in the nation the SEC is a difficult conference because every game is a rivalry game. Stats do not matter coming into the game. OSU has an outstanding team and should be commended for their success this year. I believe Oregon should be the team to face them this year in the championship. Don't get me wrong LSU is a good team but very UNDISCIPLINED, way too many penalties, too many close calls every week. They are not anywhere close to the team Florida was last year. And please keep your southern insults to yourself it is uncalled for and has nothing to do with football. Thank you
LSU has only GA ahead. OSU faces Mich. OK has either Missou or Kansas. WV faces nobody and Hawaii faces another grueling test in what it euphemistically refers to as a schedule in that powerhouse (sic) Boise St. My guess is OSU vs LSU, not necessarily as the two best teams, but as the ones most likely to be 1 & 2. Thoughts anyone?
For Bamaman87 - LSU may be closer to last year's Fla than you think. Fla beat them up badly a few weeks ago and they have had no time to recuperate, just as the Ala, LSU, Aub, GA marathon beat up Fla last year. Remember everyone said Fla didn't belong in the NC because of it. I am wondering, if fresh, if LSU won't put up LSU/Va Tech differences between it and any team it plays for the NC, assuming it gets there. I am not an LSU fan BYW so I am just curious as to your opinion.
bcs poll should be interesting today. Dux made a statement and as everyone knows they are an official review reversal away from being undefeated. I scratch my head over LSU. How a team can have 130 yards in penalties and three interceptions and still win on the road is nothing short of miraculous. Whoever plays my beloved Bux had better bring their A game (Can't help but look ahead) as Ohio State appears to be playing on a mission. I know all about sos and ooc records etc. blah blah blah. But couple of things to think about. Ohio State just won its 27th consecutive regular season game, 20th consecutive B10 game (record) and regardless of conference strength that is impressive.
To answer your question, one of the reasons why so many posts mention the SEC is because people write things like you did, namely "unlike the over conferences in the nation the SEC is a difficult conference...". I know it seems annoying to you, but as you can imagine, this naturally draws some ire and responses from others. :)
BGault, I agree with you on the ratings thing...seems like it is even more intuition-oriented this year than it has been in the past...it shouldn't be "how do I FEEL about this team" but "what do I THINK about this team". Base it on this year, not what they've done in years past, or recent bowl games, or whatever. You're right; if OSU loses they'll get dropped way further than they should simply because of feeling.
Here's a thought: Given that we're not likely to have the playoff system that so many of us want (and that would allow us to all link hands and sing Kumbaya after the season was over of coures :) ) wouldn't it make sense to REALLY review the rankings process and methodology? For example, no rankings until October, requirements for raters to watch at least a minimum amount of other teams play, maybe via reserved webcast, etc.? Heck, maybe we could even rethink how the ratings originate within a conference...maybe have raters rate their own conference teams and no one else to start off with, and then THOSE relative ratings feed into the larger process somehow. It just seems to me that there HAVE to be some methodological tweaks we could make to make this whole thing better.
And yes, Oregon fans, a lot of us watched the game and Dixon is amazing. You guys have a really great team. I hope OSU makes it to the NC game, and faces either you, LSU or some other great team. Given everything that's happened both this year (and last, at least for us OSU fans) I know it will be a phenomenal game.
In kind of an answer to your question (I'm just jumping in here of course), I think we're unlikely to see anything like last year's NC game this year, regardless of who plays. I think every team has shown weakness, for one, and I think NOBODY wants to be in OSU's place last year. I'm not going to keep harping on this, but so many folks think last year's loss for OSU was an ability thing, that they would have gotten beat like that in every game of "my" conference, blah blah blah. It wasn't. It was way more psychological than anything else, and preparation, and mental, and dealing with some early hardship (e.g., Ginn getting knocked out). For example, think about a Dorsey or a Tebow getting knocked out of the game 2 minutes into the first quarter, when both teams have scored and it's clearly going to be a battle. Great teams need to recuperate from that, and OSU (for whatever reason) didn't. I hate that it had to be us that reminded everybody about this mental side, but in any case my VERY STRONG belief is that NOBODY is going to allow that to happen again...and I guarantee you can put OSU at the top of that list.
Bottom line, I think the talent and coaching in the top 5-10 teams (and those likely to play in the NC) are really pretty equal, as is the coaching---definitely an "any given Saturday" situation. Given last year, I think both teams (whoever they are) will be seriously prepped for this year.
It's all about matchups this year. For any given team in the country, there is another team who could beat them. You can fill in your own suggestions, but for instance, a team like OSU I think would have a difficult time with a high-powered speed offense like WVU or Oregon whereas they may fare better against an Oklahoma. That's not say Oklahoma is chopped liver. They may do better against an LSU or a Kansas. LSU clearly has the most talent on both on both sides of the ball but they've could easily have lost 4 games and they have lost one and that was to the weakest of all 4 opponents. You may not agree with these particular suggestions, but the reality is that noone is invincible this year and there is a good foil for every team out there. This notion that one conference is vastly better than another is also ridiculous. At this point Auburn is somewhere between the 2nd and 4th best team in the SEC and they lost at home to SFU which is probably the 4th or 5th best team at this point in the Big East. SFU beat WVU because they were a terrible matchup for WVU plain and simple. WVU thrashed Miss St who then turned around and thrashed Kentucky. Similar analogies can be made for every conference. The SEC is likely the deepest conference but it's not as if they are hands-down the best.
@ Charles Don't disagree with your "mental" comments at all but what i took away from last years nc game was that great defenses beat great offenses virtually every time out. I blogged about it for weeks before the game to all my buckeye buddies but they all assured me Tressel this and Tressel that; that Big Game Jim knows how to prepare a team etc. But i kept thinking about 2002 nc game and last years match up. Why was Ohio State 12-0 last year. It was not because of their d, on a scale of poor to excellent Ohio State's d last year was good to very good. They were 12-0 because they had the speed the athletes the leadership to score on anyone at anytime. Witness the 42-39 defeat of Mich when they turned the ball over three times to Mich and still won. When in the history of that match up had one team one the turnover margin by 3 and still lost the game??? Ohio St could do that with that offense. Now why was Fl 12-1? It was not their offense. Again on the scale i used previously FL offense last year was good to very good, certainly not great (no running game for eg). But that D...wow clearly the best not only in the SEC but probably in all of cf. Now take 51 days off for Ohio State. Let me all tell you pollyannas who have never played the game. 51 days off does not f with your defense. Defense is nothing more than conditioning and reaction to what is happening in front of you. But what does 51 days off do to an offense. Timing, synchronization, rhythm are all components of offense and all are impacted by time off. Add to the fact that Ohio State was "celebrating" (Heisman Nagurski) to much on the dinner circuit and FL was told repeatedly how they had no biz being in this game and you had the makings of a beatdown. It reminded me of my bux in 2002 facing the 34 straight wins oF Miami (defending nc champs) and Ohio State coming in with the #1 defense (all 11 guys made NFL) and an extremely avg offense. They took it to Miami like they had never had it taken to them before. This years Bux team is a deep, talented team that learned a lot last year and are carrying it forward in their memory bank every Saturday. Looking forward to a return to nc game.
Agree with your SEC comments. I have watched a crap load of cf this year and feel that they are the best conference overall simply because they are deep. I have watched many b10 games and Sec games this year and when I see middle of pack teams like Purdue, Illinois, Penn State I imagine them going up against an Auburn, a South Carolina, or Tennessee and feel that those teams in the SEC are just a little deeper that the b10 teams. Not so much in the starting 22 but probably more so in the two deep positions.
Also agreee with your match up comments. Last year's nc game was not a good match up for Ohio State. WOuld have been better to play an offensively oriented team like Oregon this year than a defensive team like FL. Layoffs do not impact a defense like they do an offense. I do not agree with your thoughts about an Ohio State/Oregon match up. Ohio State covers in space as well as any team in the country. They have a fast deep defense. Is there a better secondary in cf than Ohio State? Against the run and the pass Ohio State had slammed everyone they have faced.
Bgault said: My point was that when you play a big boy schedule like the Big 12...
I'm not disputing that the Big XII is a difficult conference, so let me get that out of the way. However, Kansas doesn't play three of the teams that make it so. So far, the "big boys" they've defeated are K.State (5-4), A&M (6-4), Baylor (3-7), Colorado (5-5), and Nebraska (4-6). Taking out OU, UT, and Texas Tech means that the only rough games they will face all year are OK State and Mizzou.
As for beating a team OU lost to...I can let that go because of what OU HAS done this season, beating Texas, killing Mizzou. That's two ranked teams they've played impressivley against. Kansas hasn't done that yet. If Kansas had killed Colorado, maybe it would be different...but they didn't. After Kansas plays Oklahoma State and Mizzou, then we'll see. It will be harder to keep OU above them if Kansas wins those games. Even harder if they beat OU in the conference championship game. Personally, I think Mizzou is going to keep them out, but that's just me.
This is the problem with many of you nonSEC bloggers. You guys think that all SEC bloggers are ranting and raving about being the best hands down. That is not the case. Most of us say that we are the "deepest" or "toughest" conference. Somehow, you guys translate that into "we're the best hands down and no one can beat us, blah blah blah". Read the posts people. I know that we have a couple of knuckleheads that come in and post "SEC is the best" just to create havoc with you folks, but just read all the posts before passing judgements. We think we are deeper than any other conference and tougher (that's not to say other conferences are pansies either).
Every post supporting the SEC doesn't come from a redneck racist. I know that the South has its reputation, but there are more places out west and up north that the South can't hold a candle to when it comes to racism. So save the racism for another website. This is a college football blog.
PS I'm not even white. So I don't take offense to the post, I just don't think it serves a purpose on this site.
I really think it is time that we drop the '51 day lay off' excuse for the OSU miseries vs. Fla. Otherwise we go through life with a built in excuse everytime a non-championship conf goes up against one that does. BTW commentators before the OSU/Fla game stated that Fla had poor timing in warm ups compared to OSU. Further I would note that many teams start the season with excellent timing. It's not something that can only be learned in a game. If OSU had poor timing blame Tressel. OSU did lose Ginn but Fla lost its best defensive player late in the season. I wonder how OSU players would have responded after the game if asked to comment on that. Great defensive players can sometimes neutralize great offensive players and vice-versa. And finally Troy Smith was proud that he had only missed three practices in the 51 days due to the Heisman. He said all before the game were dedicated to crushing Fla. Now suddenly he is described as fat and lazy along with the others.
Were you down on the sidelines at all during the game? I think that it is much louder on the field than in the press box. My seats are 8 rows behind the Ducks bench and the noise cascades down to the field, which of course, is what the players experience. Most of the time we can't even hear the P.A.
Besides, as another poster mentioned, at 127 dbs., it's a fact that Autzen is the loudest in the land.
P.S. I think it was louder for USC for the record.
Charles said... I really think it is time that we drop the '51 day lay off' excuse for the OSU miseries vs. Fla. Otherwise we go through life with a built in excuse everytime a non-championship conf goes up against one that does.
Charles, it's not a built in excuse. I don't care what anyne says, a 51 day lay off DOES affect a team. It's that mental edge of live hitting versus practice hitting. It's Troy Smith running at game speed instead of with a practice jersey on. At the elite level, the athletes are essentially the same across the board (with exception to the superstars, of course). My point is that the difference between an LSU this year and a UF last year, or a USC this year vs. last year, or even my beloved Bucks this year vs. last year is mostly between the ears.
Ohio State drank their own Kool-Aid, and was already drafting their NC speeches. UF was lobbying HARD to even be in the game.
You can spin it anyway you want to, but to me that's a recipe for the favorite to lose, and lose big.
Remember when the Seattle Mariners won 117 games, and didn't even get out of the first round of they playoffs?
Another poster said, "It's all about matchups," and that's true. OSU, for whatever reason, didn't match up well. UF had their day and won the game, congrats to them; they were the better team that day.
I'm not disputing that Kansas hasn't played the "elites" of the Big XII...what I AM saying is that if OK was in the same position, they would arguably be #1 in the country right now for being undefeated in the very same conference. To me, that's a load of BS. A double standard based solely on "school reputation from prior years" is NOT indicative of the CURRENT team. And, unless I'm mistaken, the AP (and BCS, etc.) polls are not historical polls, but rather current polls based on THIS YEAR'S TEAMS AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON. So, if an OSU loses, pummel them in the polls. If Kansas loses, pummel them. But to have OK ahead of them when they lost a game seems counter-intuitive. I can agree with those who say Hawaii has no business in the top eight of the BCS, but that is clearly not the case here with Kansas. And...if Kansas wins out, and beats Mizzou and (presumably) OK in the Big XII Championship, I'm not sure they have enough steam to overcome a one loss LSU or Oregon; and that, to me is a shame.
Lets face it. Last years OSU team was virtually untested. Everyone somehow forgot about the struggles against the fodder they played in the beginning of the season. Those could have been slipups against real competition. Florida was a better team. Period. The defensive line was light years ahead of the OSU offensive line. Dont believe me? Check NFL rosters. The secondary was great. The TEAM speed killed OSU. Having Ted Ginn and Troy Smith doesnt make your TEAM fast. Which is why your guards and tackles looked like statues.
The media fed everyone the Michigan vs OSU hype last year, and everyone in the midwest bought into it.
Then they get destroyed and we see a litany of excuses: layoff, coaching, blah blah....OSU fans who think that OSU had the better team last year are living in a dream world. They are still probably holding out for the motherload WMD stash in Iraq.
for pmoc - If OSU was untested last year what do you call them this year? In most games their starters have spent the second half sitting on the bench while not trying to run up the score. LSU meanwhile has had to fight most every game. I wouldn't give OSU much chance in an LSU/OSU game. If we don't have last year's situation developing I don't know what else there is.
What's with all this Ohio State stuff anyway? This is about the Ducks...I guess if you want an Ohio State tie in, then maybe we should discuss how badly they would be blown out if they have the misfortune of meeting the Ducks in a bowl game.
@ PMOC said "...Lets face it. Last years OSU team was virtually untested. Everyone somehow forgot about the struggles against the fodder they played in the beginning of the season. Those could have been slipups against real competition.
PMOC would you mind detailing the "struggles". Ohio State destroyed every team in it's path until the Michigan game 42-39. What ooc team did FL play? What are the struggles you are referring to? Ohio State played #2 defending national champion TX in Austin second game of the year and vanquished them 24-7. you are correct when you speak of the overall team speed particularly on FL d line. They dominated Ohio St. What bothered me and many other fans was why we went away from running right at them when our best (and only) td drive in second quarter was with Pittman and Wells going right at the defense. Instead when we got the ball back we tried to go back to the air with disastrous results. we should have continued to run to set up the pass, especially with Ginn out of the game. Once the game got "tilted" FL knew what was coming and they teed off on us. I have never seen an Ohio St team so discombobulated and out of sorts. Even on a perfect day we were not going to beat that FL team. They wanted it more than we did. Now onto 2007. Different year different teams. Coming into the year I and many other buckeye fans expected we would be 8-0 going into Happy Valley. I thought we would lose two games this year, but as this season played out and the new players emerged a funny thing happened. This team developed a swagger and an edge. The offense had 8 "gimme" games to get itself together ...and it has. The defense returned everybody of consequence from a year ago and is extremely fast and strong. We knew that our strength would be defense this year and it is. This team will win out and return to the NC game. I don't know who they are gonna play but quietly I am hoping for LSU. I can't say who will win but this I know...Ohio State will show up and hit somebody. This is one buckeye fan who is looking for redemption.
@ James Ducks and Bucks huh? Dixon has not seen a defense that can cover in space like Ohio State. Go ahead and spread the field, pull your rabbbits out of a hat if you want. The only team I fear would be LSU. They have the strength and speed to match us and exceed us. Problem with LSU is self destruction. They have got to limit the dumb penalties. They cannot win the NC with 130 yards and three turnovers. Ducks will be impacted by the 40+ day layoff. Dixon's rythym and timing will go the way of Troy Smith and Ohio State will come at him with so many blitz packages his head will spin. Wisconsin is famous for its big offensive lineman and strenth program. Ohio State recorded 10 sacks on them yesterday. I would not want to be Tyler Donovan this morning. Next week we play a Dennis Dixon wannbe named Juice Williams of Illinois (7-3). They are an up and coming team under Ron Zook. Tune in and watch what happens to him. That will give you an idea how your team will fare.
Can you not step back and look at things objectively?
1. Your conference is weak 2. Your strength of schedule is weaker. 3. You have lived on reputation alone for many a season. How have you fared in bowl games versus Pac-10 and SEC opponents? 4. You are slow and predictable. 5. Oregon hasn't seen a defense like OSU's? Please...we defeated USC (remember them?) and ASU, both top ranked defenses. 6. Blitz all you like, we'll torch you deep. Cover deep and we'll torch you with the run....Cover our receivers and backs and Dixon will smoke you. This is, of course, assuming that you will actually be able to see the ball before it's in the end-zone. 7. Bellotti is something like 12-1 when having extra time to prepare so the layoff doesn't scare me.
Again, just for emphasis, you haven't faced any speed all year long and beating a really, really, really bad Penn State team does not, I repeat, does not dispel the doubts. You may very well reach the championship game again because you are Ohio State, but you will loose in dramatic fashion, again, to whichever team from the Pac-10 or SEC you face. Sorry.
James, easy there. If you can't beat Cal, you won't be able to beat OSU (that's if you make it to the game). As far as OSU getting smoked by SEC/Pac-10, you can keep dreaming. Last years' team drank their own kool-aid and didn't have a dominant defense. This years' defense is scary and the team is hungry, so don't count on the same result. Beating Michigan (who's been notorious for slow starts) in the beginning of the year isn't as big an accomplishment as you think. OSU had Vince Young bottled for 58 minutes, and with all due respect to Dixon, he's no VY (and our defense is probably a little better this year than '05). After what happened in Arizona last year, i would HATE to be the team playing the Bucks in a bowl game.
For Buckeyeboy9 - For ooc Fla played FSU last year which is always a dangerous team. Ask UCLA from last year or BC from yesterday. Throw in the fact that it is an intense rivalry game and you have a challenge. I think you are right that OSU generally went unchallenged during the regular season last year, except Michigan, a rivalry opponent played them close. But this year's schedule is even weaker and if I were an OSU fan that would concern me.
You know, I really try to not respond to idiotic posts, but I have to say that while most of the posters here seem to have at least some knowledge (and we're gradually getting to be level-headed and reasonably objective), your "list" post is one of the most idiotic I've read here in a long time. Do you REALLY believe what you're writing? Seriously? I think you need to find some criticisms that aren't incredibly dated. Why didn't you include the "three yards and a cloud of dust" comment as well to cap it off. Thanks for letting the rest of us know that you know nothing about football. You're also drinking some koolaid that is WAY to premature.
Is OSU the best team out there? I don't know...I don't know who is. LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, OSU, others? Anytime anybody makes statements like you're making, though, it's clear to me that it's just ego and no brains. You're obviously letting the chip on your shoulder affect your perceptions.
Most of your statements are simply so ridiculous, clearly not true, and idiotic they're simply not worth replying to. But be careful about hanging your hat on ASU and USC, and don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
We should let this blog get back to Oregon, but I just have to wonder why you don't think beating two #2 ranked teams, and beating two good teams that beat their SEC counterparts in bowls constitutes a schedule with no tests. Seems like plenty to me. And by the way, there are a number of B10 teams that could be described the same way you describe FSU, and they weren't THAT scary last year. How about we just let the season and games play out, and then we can talk smack all we want at the end of the season. But I'll tell you right now, you guys are wrong about OSU this year. They've got something to prove, the ability to do it, and the learning from last year to make it happen.
By the way, you're basically talking the same smack (with the same lack of imagination but presence of unfounded bravado) that Miami did in 2002. We heard the same thing...OSU is too slow, we haven't seen defense or offense like what we'll see in the NC game, Messrs. Blah and Blah will crush us, etc. Look what happened. I'd be careful about yapping too much, but of course you could always post using a different name after the title game (assuming you make it there).
OSU's 63rd ranked strength of schedule versus Oregon's 12th ranked schedule?
Was it OSU's convincing win over 23rd ranked Penn State compared with Oregon's win over number 4 (now 6th) ranked ASU?
Uh, maybe it's the fact that your convincing wins over Youngstown State, Akron, Northwester, and Kent State give the illusion that you're actually a fast and tough defense.
Perhaps its the defeat of the universally recognized best defense in USC (7 NFL draft choices by most accounts)?
Really, you manage to spout a lot of stuff without actually saying anything. Again, simply tell me where I'm wrong. "Not worth replying to" usually means you're totally clueless, as the facts clearly show.
By the way should I really look what happened 5 years ago, or last year?
I've really got nothing against Ohio State, or the Big 10 in general. What bothers me is the insistence that you are as good as you are simply because of WHO you are. I respect your tradition and your history of excellent football.
But I would be very worried if I were you because this could be "groundhogs day" all over again:
You begin the season ranked high by virtue of your reputation. Your incredibly weak non-conference schedule proves nothing to the rest of the country. When the Big 10 is down you walk through that conference as well. Then, you make it to a big bowl game against a battle hardened opponent who destroys you because you have largely been untested.
I've heard that you are legally required to play the small in state schools, which, if true, is too bad because it totally destroys your credibility.
Lived off reputation? Not beaten anyone in bowls? Last several years of bowls for OSU
'07- 41-14 loss Fla (NC) '06- 34-20 over ND (not to mention they pushed Texas just as hard as USC did that year) (Fiesta Bowl) '05- 33-7 over the other OSU (Alamo Bowl) '04- 35-28 over KSU (Fiesta Bowl) '03- 31-24 over Miami (Fiesta Bowl
Last 5 bowl games, 4-1 and 4 BCS bowl appearances. You don't do that by pure reputation. Actually have to win a game or two on your own. Sure no Sec teams, and also positive you are going to fault OSU for that...
If some people's opinions of proving your sos is by beating an SEC team, please ask them to play more ranked teams ooc. As only LSU seems capable of doing that. Even then, SEC is 5-5 ooc this year against the other major conferences. Pac10 is 5-3, if you include Notre Dame, 4-2 if not.
Alabama is not "good". No team loses a game at home to a team that has 3 turnovers and 130 yards of penalties. Sorry. Not LSU overcoming a bad game. That is an average Alabama team unable to beat a team playing poorly.
The vaunted LSU defense, giving up 31 ppg over the last 4.
Ohio State fan, but Oregon beats OSU, and probably LSU. I'm a fan, but still realistic.
Sad, was a blog about how Oregon was able to down an 8-0 team. Yet, as always, it backtracks to a SEC is awesome/OSU sucks/who have they beaten conversation. Learn to appreciate quality football instead of trying to skew it to help your conference/team.
Some of the nicest most intelligent people I have met are from the south. (was for the bashing they were taking)
First of all, there are ALWAYS stats to back up anybody's point, hence the "lies, damned lies, and statistics" point. I'm not going to take up blog space, nor bother anyone's time, with arguments that have been hashed and rehashed with EVERY variation of stats possible, different sources for SoS, nor use of rankings that are inherently flawed.
I'll simply say this: If OSU and Oregon play in the NC game, I'm betting OSU will win. I'll be around after bowl games, no matter where OSU ends up, so if Oregon and OSU play and OSU gets hammered, you can talk smack all you want. Are you willing to commit to being on this blog as well??
Is there a single one of my posts that even REMOTELY suggests anything about me thinking we "deserve" something? On the contrary, I've been very open that we didn't do what we needed to do last year, and we got beat good, and fair and square.
Frankly, what bothers me is posters such as yourself that believe we weren't "tested" last year (hardly the case) and can't begin to imagine that a team simply choked, which is what OSU did. They've won, what, 28 of their last 29 games? Is there something there that makes you think we're not a good team? Further, it shows a lack of understanding of motivation to even remotely assume the same thing that happened last year will happen this year.
Who's the best? I'M saying I don't know. You're saying you do. I believe the undefinable is what will make one team prevail over another at this point...the top 10 or so are all pretty much at the same level, talent-wise IMO.
Yeah, you're right about the blog content...it's easy to get away from what it's supposed to be. At least from my experience, it seems to be the extreme ego comments that cause responses and unfortunately derail the blog "train".
As for you, James, I'm really hoping that Oregon and OSU play. I think it would be a great game. As would about 5 or 6 other combinations. At least it's been an interesting year.
Don't think they are legally required to play in state teams. But those teams make lots of money for playing them, so it makes sense to keep that money in state.
OSU does have a weak schedule this year. They scheduled Washington like 10 years ago, if not longer. And they do try to schedule one quality ooc opponent. Remember Texas the past two years, and they have home and homes coming up against USC and Miami. Though sadly Miami has slipped a little since the games were scheduled. People act like OSU plays no one every year. Simply not true. But it is true this year.
The list of prior wins in previous years which you say you don't care about was because you say they live off of reputation. Trying to disprove that. Also, they started the season 12th I think. Not exactly high. And even with a weak schedule, you willing to say that was wrong? They moved up by other teams losing, not starting there.
But I agree, Oregon beats OSU this year. Doesn't mean they are bad, just not the best. Just like losing to FLA last year doesn't mean they were crap. Still were a top 5 team.
Side note, anyone see anything about Dixon's knee? Heard mild sprain but that tells us nothing.
You're missing my point. The "stats" thing, along with all the comments about how questionable Sagarin's data is, have been rehashed over and over, and frankly I really don't care about trying to convince you of anything. I'll be here after the bowl games, with this identity, and I'm sure you will as well, and whoever wins gets a hearty "congratulations" from the other.
Nickl: I haven't heard anything about it, and I hated to see him limp off, but it didn't look too bad...at least all they did was put a compression stocking on him during the game. I'd think if they had ANY concerns they would have done more than that. I haven't seen antying about it since the game though.
Have had fun, but must now go do something really important: Play with my two-year old!
Good luck to all, may the best teams meet in the end. Hopefully everyone stays healthy!
Looks like Dixon had a mild sprain, but is fine. Unfortunately our starting middle linebacker is out with a torn ACL. Remember, folks, Oregon beat USC and ASU without their top two receivers, co-starting running back, and have now lost starting middle linebacker. Fortunately our depth is good, but we could not survive any more injuries. Would hate to see such a promising season derailed by injuries!
For Larry - I never meant to imply that OSU had no tests last year or this year. OSU was tested at Texas and at Michigan and I will give you one or maybe two in between. They did not play Wisc last year. But Fla was tested early at Tenn, then a little later Alab, LSU, Aub, & GA in successive weeks. Both SC (Spurrier), FSU (rivalry) and Ark (the SEC West champ) later were worthy opponents. Spurrier does not have the talent of an elite school but he is a coach who comes up with brilliant strategies more than his fair share of the time. I am sure that you are not saying that challenges do not take something out of a team. So there were 8 games at least that Fla could not take lightly last year and probably 8 games that OSU did not have to be that concerned with. I hope you would also agree that neither Purdue or Mich St from this year have the kind of talent to really worry OSU. Only if OSU was really flat did it have to worry. OSU has done very well and I think it silly to argue differently. But if challenges make us stronger (win or lose) in how many games has OSU had its starters on the bench this season to start the second half? Once you agree that challenges can make us stronger (or give up as Nebr is doing) then you have to be concerned with starters riding the bench.
I don't disagree with you about the Big 10 this year, although as I've mentioned on previous posts I think there has been some piling on, and I don't think the conference is quite as bad as some think it is. We'll see with the bowl games, but believe it or not I'm expecting a better showing than last year (unlike many who probably predict we won't win a single game).
And I also agree with you on the challenges and benefits thereof. The cons of that, of course, are that you have the chance for injuries, but it does help you be battle tested. I think OSU was tested last year, but that team didn't show up to the NC. This year? We'll see if they get in the game. I DO absolutely believe, however, that OSU has an edge to them this year--they remember last year, and want to redeem themselves. I believe that that kind of motivation accounts for a great deal of performance, but it doesn't seem like people talk about that...only ability (which I still believe OSU has a great deal of). Performance is a function of both.
We'll see...still some more games to be played, and while Illinois has struggled a bit, I think they could play spoiler this year (FSU's role as well). And as you've mentioned with FSU/UF, the same is true for OSU/Michigan...throw predictions right out the window because anything could happen.
It's been a great season though, hasn't it? Lots of interesting stories, great teams, exciting football...what CFB is all about!
James- What I don't understand is how does Oregon's non-conference schedule of Houston, Fresno St., and Michigan represent a significant upgrade from Ohio State's non-conference schedule? Seriously, the only team on Oregon's non-conf schedule worth crowing about is Michigan, yet that pretty much hurts your argument because if you say they're good, well then the Big Ten has to be pretty good too, and if you say they're bad, then your strength of sked takes a hit. And you know what? I looked at Arizona State's schedule. Props to them for going undefeated as long as they did, but they haven't beaten anyone. Cal's an okay win for ASU but there's absolutely no evidence to prove that Cal is any better than your average middle of the pack Big Ten squad. And what about the PAC 10 in general? You have 4 losing teams compared to one in the Big Ten, and one of your winning teams is UCLA, the only team to lose to Notre Dame and possibly one of the most inept programs in college football.
I feel bad for you because you're a fan of a pretty good team that doesn't really have what it takes to be a year in and year out power like Ohio St. You figure that an Oregon natl. championship might be a once in a century deal. You also feel that this team can go all the way if everybody else can see how great you think they are. Well, a lot of people can see that, but they also have trouble seeing beyond the LOSS. If you don't lose, you have nothing to worry about. You lost and you lost at home. Don't blame Ohio St. for this. Blame your team. Let's face it, college football would be pretty ridiculous if we started discounting won-loss records in deciding champions. What are we supposed to do? Start rating teams based on whether or not Stewart Mandel was treated with adequate hospitality when he visited their campus? Please.
I think part of the problem with all of this is who we think should be in the NC game. Is it the most deserving teams. Topping that list are the undefeated teams/ones with the fewest loses. Or do we think the best teams should go in? Probably LSU-Oregon this year.
If you think the most deserving teams go, then sos matters less to you. They beat who is put in front of them, nothing more anyone can do. They lose game and they drop back and have to hope others falter. In this a win is a win is a win. Score/style matter not.
If you think it is the best teams, then sos matters greatly. To prove you are the best you have to beat the best. Simple. In this you have to show you are the bets by beating people handily as well. Leave no doubt you are better.
At least those are the two extremes. Personally, I fall in the most deserving camp, not all the way out there but a good ways. And think that if things stay as they are, OSU-Kansas should be the NC game. Best teams, no. But they did what they should, which LSU and Oregon did not.
Of course, in the current system the best teams will never be in the NC game. Florida wasn't the best team last year. Nor was USC the years before. Or OSU the year it won.
Onto the subject this should be on. Oregon played great last night. Clearly showed they were the superior team. Dixon's knee injury worries me. Without him the offense drops off greatly.
Larry I for one am tired of the last year syndrome. The B10 is suppose to be slow and suck, yet the Big Ten and the SEC lead all conferences in first round draft picks over the last 5 years 30 each. Jim Tressel and Pete Carroll came into their respective programs the same year 2001. It is interesting to note that their records from that point forward to now are identical 72-14, yet who gets all the props? It makes the games between Ohio State and USC over the next two years kind of special. That's right James we scheduled USC for a home and home. Then we got Miami in '10 & '11; then Virginia Tech in '12 & '13. That tough enough for you?
for buckeyeboy9 - To answer your question regarding the toughness of the OSU future schedules I say no. What should have happened this year is that OSU & Fla should have found a date when they were both playing patsies, cancelled those games and played each other. If a team joins the Big Ten they will immediately arrange a Big Ten schedule so don't voice any manure about schedules being written in stone. For a BCS school to play one good non-conf game should suck for all true fans. Aub played K-St and USF this year and I think that is a step in the right direction. USC tries every year to schedule two or three good non-conf opponents. OSU played Wash and 3 patsies, Fla plays FSU & # patsies, ditto LSU. Whatever excitement you derived from the Texas games is gone this year. LSU plays 4 powderpuffs next year so whatever they enjoyed about the Va Tech game will be missing. I just don't see how you or anyone can point to one game, whether it be Tx, USC, Va Tech or FSU and be pleased. You played Akron, Kent St and Youngstown and had to look elsewhere for interest, just as with Fla's 3 patsies and their fans. But as long as we vote teams high, like Boise St and Hawaii, based on a schedule full with nothing but patsies, there won't be changes.
To answer your question...Houston is the defending Conference USA Champs and is one of the top ranked offenses in D1 football. Fresno State is a very tough, scrappy, even dirty team that can't get anyone to play them outside of the pac-10. On the road at Michigan is respectable. Compare that to Youngstown state, Akron, and Kent State...surely, you can see the difference. Most of Oregon's opponents will be in bowl games.
Please, don't feel sorry for me...I live Oregon, the most beautiful state I have seen. My University is well funded, has the best facilities, and the best environment in which to play ball. Frankly, the fact you think that we don't have what it takes to compete is the type of arrogance (ignorance?) that bothers everyone west of the rockies. We are inconsistent, but since being screwed out of a shot at the championship in 2001 (when nebraska got the nod and was killed by miami) we have been a strong program in every odd numbered year. (Damn!) But, this being 2007, maybe we'll finally get our shot. However, it is likely that another "big name" school will get the nod.
P.S. I blame OSU for nothing. We lost to call in great game at the last minute when Cal was the 5th ranked team. We knocked Longshore out, and hurt Lynch, which is a big reason they went on to lose two more.
I too think the b10 will show better this year in bowls than last year. Wisconsin (just getting healthy) looked damn good yesterday. Penn St will be in any game becasue of their d and Painter has Purdue hanging the moon. But my favorite one is Illinois. Please please all you PAC 10 and SEC guys who think the Big 10 has no speed, plesae tune in this Saturday when Ohio State hosts Illinois. Aurelious Benn, Juice Williams, Rashard Mendenhall on offense have to be one of the most explosive attacks in the country. D is fast as well with true frosh Martez Wilson and J Leman roving the linebacking corp. fun to watch, cannot wait to see them come up against a FL or Auburn in one of those Jan 1 bowls.
@ Charles hey i hear you but nobody is gonna do that. Hell as everyone knows you got to run the practically table to get to the nc game so what is the incentive? Not much. Thing that bothers me are posters who single anybody out for playing patsies. Everybody is doing it who plays in the tougher bcs conferences and it is easy to see why they do. That being said I will defend Ohio State in this matter. We have always scheduled at least one national power team every fricking year of my life. Washington was it this year and as someone mentioned it was done 10 years ago. Just like Miami and Virginia Tech were set 4 and 5 years ago. But who knows, when 2012 comes around Frank Beamer might be retired and VaTech sucking wind.
for jamboo - You may be right about the OSU/Mich outcome. One way or the other I think OSU will see a different team than Oregon saw. But if I had to choose sides I think OSU will rise to the occasion.
I agree. I wish they would play tougher ooc schedules. But the formula of one major conference opponent then scrubs seems to be common one. Would like at least 2, if not more.
Sadly, you can't just cancel games. Might seem simple to do. But they do these things years in advance for a reason. Money, of course is important. What portion of the gate sales, tv money, all that stuff. Who hosts? Stadiums are booked well in advance also. As to your point that the big 10 would rewrite the schedules if another team joins. That is true. But if they announced today that another team is joining the big 10, that team wouldn't actually play in it until probably the '09 season. Just look at when all the teams left the big east for acc, took about two years. So wouldn't work they way you say it would.
Again though, I agree with you. Wish teams would schedule better teams ooc then what they do right now.
For socnicklin - Money? Tell me that an OSU/Fla televised game the second or third week of the season wouldn't have meant enough money to pay off both the powderpuffs that had been cancelled, plus put more money in each school's pocket than playing pps. Now correct me if I am wrong, but the 3 Big East schools that bolted to the ACC, and the 3 schools that bolted to the Big East to replace them were immediately playing workable schedules. But you are right. I think a BCS school that goes undefeated has an excellent chance to be in the NC game, although many said BC would not be chosen over a 1-loss LSU (or maybe even Oreg & OK). I think we need to define what a quality win is and do the voting based on quality wins (and quality losses). Would you agree that the Tx loss to OSU last year was no real reason to knock TX down? I know many say a loss is a loss but when USC squares off against OSU there will only be champions at the game.
Actually, more money would make it more complicated. Who gets how much? The powder puffs wouldn't let them out of the games unless they got their share. And who is to say that the scrubs they blow off get the same money? It would be insanely complicated to pull off. As for the leaving, as I recall they said they were going to leave in January/Febuary, played the full next season in the original conferences, then moved. That is a year and a half of scheduling time.
They had quality wins in the BCS already I thought. Then got rid of it. SOS used to play a bigger role as well. We would be going backwards if we re-implemented those. I want the bcs to die already.
Also, not willing to penalize a team if they have the misfortune to play in a down year for its conference. Or if the conference is usually bad. This sympathy only goes as far as major conferences, yes I am biased in that regard.
Congratulations to the Oregon Ducks on this win. Excellent play on both offense and defense. I'm hoping Dixon is ok, and that you go far this year . . . beyond Pasedena if possible. Great team and great fans.
My congratulations to SEC fans as well, for laying back this time as yet another blog degenerates into tOSU introspection on a game played a year ago, bigoted references to the SEC (which now, apparently, extends to whole stadium populations), and all the purported reasons why they should be ranked as high as they are and what will happen in January.
Fine season so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. Should be interesting, as well as this blog in January!
Good to see you're out there. Agree with you this will be an interesting blog come January...I'll certainly be here (as I know many/most of you regulars will too) and hopefully won't have to eat TOO many of my words (geez, I hope none at all!), but bottom line is if we see good games, hopefully we're all good enough to say "congrats" to each other regardless of what happens, shake hands electronically, and look forward to the next year!
BTW, someone was asking about Dixon earlier; any update on his knee or was it just a mild thing? Hope it wasn't anything serious...always scary to see someone grab their knee and grimace...
Dunno about Dixon, other than when he was interviewed he said it was minor and Belotti did, too, later. I sure hope so. Dixon reminds me of a Vince Young but with more finesse . . . they guy can fake in the option better than anyone I can remember. EJ Savannah, the linebacker of the WA Huskies, said after Oregon destroyed them that he never knew who had the ball or where it was. I hope Dixon is ok.
I also hope Les is true to his word and spends tomorrow reviewing penalties . . the Tigers need discipline right now!
James- I only think that Oregon doesn't have what it takes to compete every year because they obviously don't show up every year. My evidence is based on won-loss record and BCS bowl appearances. Last year the Ducks went 7-6 and were pummeled by BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl (38-8). Squawk all you want about OSU's loss to Fla., but geez, at least we don't have last year's Las Vegas Bowl debacle hanging over our heads. At least the Buckeyes played for the title, went through an undefeated regular season, beat two #2 teams, won the Heisman, etc. etc. Further, and I hate to break it to you, but it's hard for me to fathom that some miracle has occurred in Eugene, suddenly elevating the Ducks, in less than a year, to the level of top-tier Big Ten football in November. Plain and simple, the PAC 10 is down this year. As much as I'm sure he'd like to, Phil Knight can not buy the Oregon Ducks a fabulous football reputation. At least not amongst honest people. Regarding Houston and Fresno St., I have no disrespect for those teams, but if you're seriously making distinctions between the MAC, the WAC, and Conference USA, I think you'd have to work pretty hard to convince anyone that those conferences are anything more than equals in mid-major land. I suppose you also have a bridge in Baghdad you'd like to sell me. Finally, I firmly believe that Kansas should be #2 in the country right now. They've done what they're supposed to do and they've done it in a tough conference. Kinda weird how folks like you benefit from one team's lack of reputation while bemoaning the travesties you suffer because of your own. Good luck!
Eric Y-town good post. nothing but the facts and the truth. some folks cannot handle it. I do hope that Oregon continues on their way to a one win season. Would like to see their program get some props and (if LSU falters) then a shot a NC game. I think they should go ahead of a 1 loss OK team based upon their body of work up to this point. Kansas is a great story but the wheels will likely come off against Chase Daniel and Mizzo. Watched them against Ill in second game of the year and was impressed. Only saw snippets of their loss to OK but their 4 turnovers cost them that game at Norman. Would like to see a re-match in B12 title game and i think that is a likely outcome of B12. If tOSU ends up against Ducks the Ducks will fall I feel against a superior defense. Ohio appears to be focused on one thing and that is a return to NC game and redemption. I think LSU has the deepest talent on both sides of the ball that I have seen this year but their propensity for playing dumb is gonna catch them sooner or later. If they play mistake free they are probably the best team in cf this year. Here is hoping the Bux do us proud.
I agree with you...interesting post Eric. It sure would be nice, wouldn't it, if we could NOW just forget about last year or the years before and concentrate on this year?
I also think that LSU is probably the best team this year when all's well, but it does seem like they're pretty inconsistent. One thing I like about OSU (and please, how I would love to get rid of the The) is they're pretty disciplined, and I think Tressel will have them ready this year...I doubt as long as he's there we'll ever see what happened last year again. I also used to live in Kansas (Wichita) so I know how cool this season is for the Jayhawks...nice job out there! KU, OSU, Oregon, LSU, WVU and others...certainly a lot of great teams out there, and whaddya know? Lots of different conferences represented! Are we lucky to have such an interesting season or what!?
@ Larry Don't want to do too much lookin ahead Larry but the tie in games with the SEC could be pretty interesting this year. Assume for a moment Ohio State wins out, then it is safe to say that they will have only one bcs team. That would likely leave Michigan as the #2 team to face the #2 from the SEC. DO you think SEC will have two bcs teams? Only way that will happen is if LSU loses the title game to whoever. So you could have MIch against Tenn and Florida against Illinois. How about that ...Ron Zook matching up against the Gators. I predicted coming into the year that Ohio State would re-match against Florida in one of those tie in bowls (Cap One and Citrus), but as the season played out it became obvious that this Ohio St team was not a two loss team like I predicted. Do you have any dream match ups you would like to see in the bowls?