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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/17/2007 04:00:00 PM

Saturday Observations: OSU the Victors

Chris Wells
Ohio State sophomore RB Chris Wells broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
AP

An 11-1 record and a trip to the Rose Bowl? Not bad for a supposed “rebuilding” season.

Ohio State’s fourth straight victory over archrival Michigan clinched the program’s third straight Big Ten title, further solidifying coach Jim Tressel’s recent superiority over both Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines and the conference in general. For Michigan, the rain-drenched 14-3 defeat played out much like its 2007 season: ugly, unimpressive and affected by injuries.

The Buckeyes showed little carryover from last week’s loss to Illinois. The same defense that struggled so mightily against Illini runners Juice Williams and Rashard Mendenhall returned to its season-long dominating form, silencing Mike Hart’s early yapping with some suffocating tackling and overpowering Michigan’s offensive line to pressure Chad Henne, whose lingering shoulder injury visibly affected him as well.

With OSU's standout DE Vernon Gholston continually blowing up blockers (including, at one point, Michigan’s All-America left tackle Jake Long) and defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and Kurt Coleman blanketing Michigan's star receiver Mario Manningham, Ohio State held the Wolverines to a staggering 91 total yards on offense -- including just one first down the entire second half.

And while Buckeyes QB Todd Boeckman struggled with the conditions, RB Chris “Beanie” Wells assured his spot among the pantheon of memorable performers in this rivalry. A year after exploding onto the scene with 52-yard touchdown run in Ohio State’s 42-39 victory in Columbus, the sophomore took over Troy Smith’s old role as OSU’s latest Wolverines killer, rumbling for 222 yards on 39 carries, including another long touchdown (62 yards) on the game’s defining play.

If this was indeed Carr’s last game at Michigan Stadium (when asked that very thing afterward, the coach responded tellingly, "There will be a day to discuss that, and this isn't it"), it certainly wasn’t the way he wanted to go out. Nor was it the finest of hours for outgoing seniors Henne (11-of-34 for 68 yards), Hart (18 carries for 44 yards) and Long (first sack allowed this season), all of whom won a Big Ten crown as freshmen in 2004 but will finish their career having never returned to that perch -- and having never beaten Ohio State.

Making matters worse for Wolverines fans is that there’s no near end in sight to the disparity; while the Buckeyes could return as many as 20 starters next season and will once again be among the nation’s most loaded squads, the Wolverines will largely be starting over -- including, it appears, at head coach.

As I wrote yesterday, Carr badly needed a victory Saturday to bolster his legacy. As Saturday’s game was winding down, announcers Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit shared some kind words about the classy, if curmudgeonly Carr, and ABC flashed a graphic noting his career accomplishments. But with the most notable of those feats -- his 1997 national title -- now a distant memory and his record against Tressel (1-6) now more lopsided than his own one-time dominance of previous OSU counterpart John Cooper (5-1), Michigan fans have every right to be relieved about an imminent changing of the guard.

It’s got to be particularly galling that archnemesis Tressel continues to solidify himself as one of the finest coaches in the country. The man in the sweater vest (one that was covered Saturday by a spiffy Nike baseball jacket) is about to take his program to its fifth BCS bowl in six seasons. Most likely, it will be to Pasadena, the Buckeyes’ first such trip in 11 years, though a return to the BCS Championship Game is not yet out of the question. OSU will sit no lower than sixth when Sunday’s standings are released, with at least two of the three Big 12 teams above them guaranteed to lose another game.

That the possibility is even a subject of discussion seemed implausible last January when a slew of stars from last year’s national runner-up exited Columbus. This was supposed to be a transitional year for a young team that figured to endure at least a few growing pains.

As it turns out, 2007 was a transitional year for the entire Big Ten. Michigan took the most obvious lumps, but budding programs Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State also struggled early only to come on late and offer a glimpse of what will likely be a more formidable conference beginning next year.

Unfortunately for those teams, they were all left looking up at the Buckeyes for another season -- and there’s certainly no sign Ohio State's slowing down.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |

Comments:

Posted: 4:39 PM   by smb513
there is no such thing as a rebuilding year for ohio state...did you guys forget where we com from.....OHIO kids are bred for football and any other sport...it is what we do...Go BUCKS!!!!
Posted: 4:40 PM   by Dal
Ok, who mugged Mandel and wrote this article? I can't believe he's actually praising OSU!!! At the beginning of the year I predicted 10-2 for OSU with Michigan winning the game and the conference. I figured next year OSU would be back in the Top 5 and in the mix for a national title. This year has far exceeded any expectations I had. Congrats Bucks and I look forward to seeing you in Pasadena. Or maybe.....
Posted: 4:49 PM   by Dave
LLLLLLoyd will be sorely missed at tOSU. In all seriousness, and coming from an OSU fan, Carr was a class act who let his record do the talking. It's a shame big mouth's like Mike Hart and Braylon Edwards have to tarnish their coach's reputation with their pre- "Game" jawing. I look forward to watching Mr. Hart on Wednesday nights in the AFL.
Posted: 4:53 PM   by Charles
With the schedule OSU has played and the obvious weaknesses of the Big Ten how does anyone know this was not a rebuilding year?
Posted: 4:53 PM   by Mark
Seeing Hart and his attitude go winless against Ohio State helps heal the lingering pain from the Heisman pose Buckeye fans endured from Game Day’s junior anchor.
Well, what can I say? Congrats to the Buckeyes. Their defense was outstanding and Beanie Wells proved why he was so highly recruited coming out of high school. Good luck in the bowl game, wherever it may be. Hopefully the Big 10 can quite some of its critics.

As for Michigan, the defense that was supposed to be a weakness played well today. To only give up 14 points to a good offense is all you can ask. On offense, while Henne and Hart were hobbled, you have to look at Manningham. What was with all the drops? He needs to come back next year and prove he can be the man for a full season. In addition, Mike DeBord needs to go. He is the worst playcaller in the country. He only called one good drive, when Michigan scored by going to the no huddle. Where was that the rest of the game?

Regarding Coach Carr, it is time for a change. He's had a great career at Michigan and has represented the university well, but the program needs a shot in the arm. This will be Bill Martin's most important act as AD at Michigan, and he can ill afford to make a mistake, such as promoting Mike DeBord.
Posted: 5:03 PM   by Charles
When the season started had anyone known that OSU would be beaten by an unranked team I think everybody would have been in agreement that OSU was rebuilding. Does anyone know the last time OSU was beaten by a team unranked when they played?
Congrats to Mike Hart on giving Ohio State Defense motviation on killing them today. This game was won last year. GO BUCKS!!!!!
Posted: 5:08 PM   by jockojohnson
charles, maybe you're right.
but next year when ohio st. plays usc home and home and then in coming years, miami(fl) home and home, and then va tech home and home and then cal home and home and then oklahoma home and home, and during that same span LSU and the likes of the SEC play la lafayette, la monroe, the citadel, etc.... in their non conference schedule i won't have to listen about how Ohio St. played no one.

as i see now, "ole miss" is giving NFL style LSU a tough game, but that must mean that the SEC is actually 12 deep as opposed to the 11 deep that "everyone knows it already is", right?

what a farce. just keep telling yourselves how great you are and how tough your conference is. maybe next year the SEC can schedule a game against the bengals, since the SEC is really just the minor league for the NFL.
oh wait, what school has the most 1st round picks of all time? hmmmmm.

those damn facts again - god they suck when they get in the way of that argument about the slow, fat, white big ten sucking.

hey, at least LSU can hang their hats on that impressive Tulane and La Lafayette victories. I know I'm impressed.

for the time being, just make sure the SEC actually beats the pathetic big ten in the bowls this year. 1 game doesn't make a season. florida killed ohio st., yes. but the rest of the big bad SEC struggled, no? calm down. worry about you own team(s).
Ohio State has had a fantastic season, but it wasn't as much of a rebuilding year as experts made it out to be. The most important players on the defense either returned or were replaced by former blue-chippers. A lot was lost on offense, but Wells was known to be an emerging threat, and the one major question, Boeckman, answered strongly early in the year.

That being said, the loss to Illinois might turn out to be a blessing for the Buckeyes. I do not think the team is consistent enough to win a championship this year. However, with only two starting seniors leaving, expect the talented junior class to hang around and become frontrunners for the title next season.

And Charles, the main problem with the BCS is that the rankings are almost arbitrary until the last week of the season - it is only designed to get it right at the end (which it does with such ADMIRABLE consistency...) Will the loss to an unranked Illinois in week 11 be so bad if Illinois finishes 10-3, and in the top 10?
Posted: 5:19 PM   by Charles
Hey guys, all I am saying is that I am not placing this OSU team on the same level as OSU teams that have gone to the Rose Bowl in the past. Given the elite status of the program in general it is not an insult to suggest that this team may fall a bit short of what OSU has produced in the past. We have certain givens. OSU was really not tested by its schedule and in particular its ooc schedule. I think a second given is that OSU teams of the past would have found a way to beat this Illinois team, assuming they even got behind them in a game.
Posted: 5:19 PM   by Piso Mojado
Most Michigan fans don't appreciate how truly great Lloyd Carr is. He has a tremendous won-loss percentage, has a national championship, and 5 Big 10 championships. In an era when more and more college coaches are going to the highest bidder with no regard for loyalty (take Nick Saban, for example), Carr has coached a team for 13 seasons with plenty of class to go along with all of the wins.
Posted: 5:25 PM   by Steve
sTEVO1040
Posted: 5:30 PM   by Steve
OSU's victory in Ann Arbor may conclude the finest regular season that Tressel has had. This program is destined for greatness each and every year as long as Tressel is coach. He not only can recruit all of the best from Ohio but he can flat out coach them as well.The past two seasons we have had a complete turnover of players and have only lost one regular season game in those two years. We only re-load,never re-build.
Posted: 5:31 PM   by Charles
There is problem that I think it is time OSU fans warmed up to and that is the OSU schedule has not created the kinds of challenges from which teams grow. Last year and this year I saw no great improvement across the season for OSU. Just solid play from week to week until they were outmatched by Florida. Florida scrambled and clawed against what many said was the most rigorous schedule in the country. Playing weak teams and putting your starters on the bench for the second half may not build the kind of championship qualities needed to attain an elite level.
Posted: 5:40 PM   by Charles
Next year OSU plays USC and OSU defeated a Texas team last year that was a notch or so below its eliteness of the year before. Tell me USC this year doesn't sound a bit like Texas last year. Point to the USC game all you want and I think it will be great. But one game cannot build a team. It takes numerous challenges. I also believe that next year's OSU team may make this year's team look a bit ordinary. Want to argue that one?
Posted: 5:51 PM   by TheBigWalk
Jocko, I'm not sure where the SEC came into this argument, but what's Ohio State's record against the SEC in bowl games? Or is that 0-8 all time against the SEC? And before you suggest it, I'm not an SEC fan. Far from it.
Posted: 5:51 PM   by girlfanOSU
Florida scrambled???? They played Florida Atlantic. How much scrambling and clawing did they have to do? Talk about a week season. I think they have one every year. Troy, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky. It must be nice to be able to play "teams" you can run over.
Posted: 5:56 PM   by David
If you think 11-1 is ordinary, then you must be insane. Most teams would salivate at the thought of going 11-1 and in the process beating your greatest rival (at their house) to top it off. Besides, how many teams in the SEC are scheduling a home-and-home with USC---the best team this decade. Not many. Give it a rest.
Posted: 5:57 PM   by Netizen
Charles, for the love of Pete, please get off that weak-schedule crap. It's so old its fossilized!

Yes, Ohio State lost to an unranked team, but so have nine other Top 5 teams. Why do you single out the Buckeyes?

Bottom line: they played 12 CONSECUTIVE games with NO BYES and registered 11 wins. Up to the minute how many of the other 119 FBS teams have 11 wins? Oh yeah, NONE!
Posted: 5:57 PM   by Mike
This just in Bucks fans, Juice just ran for another first down!
Posted: 5:59 PM   by David
If you think OSU was ordinary going 11-1, you are insane. Most teams would salivate at going 11-1. How can you scoff at OSU scheduling a home-and-home with USC. What other BCS teams this decade have ventured out to play them? Come on. And it does not stop there. Va. Tech, Oklahoma, and Miami (Fl) are all on the dockett. Give it a rest.
Posted: 6:00 PM   by Charles
for girlfanosu - If you carefully read my post I was referring to last year, and if you don't think Fla scrambled we use the word much differently.
Unlike last year when there may have been two or three really great teams it looks to me like LSU is the only one that might fit that description this year. LSU was badly mauled in the Fla game and has struggled since, just as Fla struggled with its schedule last year.
Playing Oreg, without Dixon, or USC, a loser to Stanford, cannot redeem the season for OSU. They must play and defeat LSU to have any chance of redemption.
Posted: 6:01 PM   by girlfanOSU
Must be nice to have a one man show. Is Juice a senior? Will we be seeing another Texas episode. I can't hate. Illinoise is doing their thang....OSU has no one man shows.....You see they can win no matter who is playing out there on the field.
Posted: 6:02 PM   by TheBigWalk
How about YSU, Akron, Northwestern, Minnesota, Kent State? Hell, Washington came into this game 3-7. Never thought I'd se the day I'd be defending Florida's schedule against Ohio State.
Posted: 6:03 PM   by Charles
For David - I am sure both Hawaii and Kansas would agree with your assessment that 11 - 1 is great no matter what. And the similarities between OSU and those teams don't stop there. When you made your comments you echoed what our powderpuff heroes have been saying. Is that where you want to be?
Posted: 6:04 PM   by SwingGuru
Personally I hope Carr stays. It is a great coaching rivalry, and that alone should be motivation enough to stay on and fight another day.

Too bad Peanut number 20 doesn't have any class. The rest of the Michigan team does however.

Go Bucks..... Rose Bowl in 08, National Champions in 09.....
Posted: 6:05 PM   by TheBigWalk
And no, Juice is a sophomore
Posted: 6:05 PM   by jockojohnson
to the big walk, charles has been on here all year selling the virtues of the SEC and bashing the big ten. i finally had enough and had to respond regarding the strength of schedule. tired tired tired of the old argument. this was going on even in 2002 when ohio st. won the title - everyone said they were a joke but they beat ranked Texas Tech, Wash St. Wisc, Purdue, Mich, Penn St and then beat unbeatable Miami - yet I still heard how they were "lucky".

congrats on the sec's record v. ohio st. i made no historical reference in my original post, but if that makes you feel better, by all means, i'm happy for you. sleep well tonight.

just make sure the #2 and #3 SEC teams beat up on those pathetic big ten teams this year. i would hate to see them falter against such weak opponents again this year.
Oh yes.... Those Fagity nuts are soooo tough beating up on the lowly little eleven. Can't wait to see an OSU vs. USC Rose Bowl and watch Pete Carroll demolish you guys.

Also to the "smb513" who said "OHIO kids are bred for football and any other sport...it is what we do"

Interesting to see how many top recruiting classes contain kids from Ohio. Yeah, not many. Because there is NO SPEED! Which we clearly saw in last years title game 41-14!!!!
Posted: 6:07 PM   by girlfanOSU
Then how about we talk about this year. The SEC is not better than any other conference. I will always give a team their props when they are playing well, but SEC fans tend to forget that they don't play "All star" schedules either. I think at some point you just have to get real.
Posted: 6:08 PM   by TheBigWalk
Read my entire post again, particuarly the part about me not being an SEC fan by any stretch of the imagination. And if you talked about the rest of what the Big Ten did last year, you DID bring up history. There have certainly been seasons where Ohio State has played a rigorous schedule, 2002 being an excellent example. This has certainly not been one of them.
Posted: 6:09 PM   by girlfanOSU
How about we count how the number of OSU PLAYERS that go to the NFL!
Posted: 6:09 PM   by Netizen
I've concluded charles is a 9-year-old poop-disturber. Y'know, that kid in the park that takes a stick and pokes at piles of dog poop?

His arguments are old and weak and not worthy of further comment.
Posted: 6:13 PM   by Charles
for jockojohnson - Most people had Fla & LSU numbers one and two last year, but if it makes you feel better to look at it differently go ahead. I am guilty of bashing the Big Ten's ooc schedule this year. Just what quality Big Ten ooc wins are you referencing to claim differently. Mention the victories over Wash and ND if you wish. I could use a good laugh.
Posted: 6:15 PM   by smb513
ohio state is a good team this year...i think they have the potential to be a great team if their offense could be more consistent...Boekman is ok but he struggles with his deep ball in my opinion..he often under throws or over throw his receivers when they are open for 6 points...this is a team that will contend for a national title next season though...but if i were them i'd watch out for cincinnati to start keepin that cincinnati prep talent in town because of the explosive offense...its all good to me though bcuz i am a uc student and osu football fan...Go Bucks and Go UC!!!
Posted: 6:16 PM   by girlfanOSU
There really isn't a need for name calling. We are all fans and are passionate about our conference/teams. I am just around to get folks all frazzled. In the end it is all about the BCS which puts conference against conference. That is when you see what a team is made of. I love my BUCKS and they got creamed last year. But I still love them. They get another chance this year.
Posted: 6:19 PM   by Netizen
Alabama loses to the University of Louisiana at Monroe!!!! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!!
Posted: 6:22 PM   by Randy
To Charles
Give it up man, please ! Maybe you don't see College football as I do. What in the world does sitting players in the second half have to do with a football team ??? As for schedules, there all the same in every conference, "can't judge Ohio State by the weak schedule". Let it die man. Ohio State did just fine this year, what 10-1 so far, ummmm! And who cares when they were beaten by an unranked team ?

To what coach Carr did for Michigan, a class act, a thumbs up. And for Michigan for coming back after the bad start was clearly an indication of Coach Carr's coaching abilities.
Posted: 6:22 PM   by jockojohnson
charles,
which good wins do the SEC have ooc?
i could use a good laugh too.
Posted: 6:23 PM   by TheBigWalk
For the record, I think that the SEC is one big insular, self congratulatory system that calls itself superior but doesn't have the balls to prove it. They rarely play non conference opponents of quality without being forced to by tradition (see Georgia/Tech and Florida/State), and when they do, they refuse to leave their region (as is the case with Georgia) or their state (Florida hasn't left the state for a non-conference game since 1991). We rank these teams highly because they beat each other, but on those rare occasions where a team plays multiple difficult non conference games, they tend to be exposed (see Auburn in 2003). Still, it does seem that teams in the SEC are tested more on a week to week basis. Ohio State does have tremendous speed, but what they don't see is a variety of offenses (or, for that matter, defenses) with speed using a variety of styles, formations, etc. The bad teams in the SEC may be bad, but they're fast.
Posted: 6:26 PM   by Dink
All you people are such micro-maniacs. Trying to pick apart other's schedules, size up talent and decide who is best based upon the talent analysis. It's all about W's and L's people.

LSU is sitting at number one because everyone thinks they are the most talented team....they LOST to a now 7-4 football team. Tennessee barely pulled out a W against a team with a losing record. Alabama, who gave LSU all they could handle lost to ummm.....LA-Monroe...who the hell is that?

Point being, stop trying to analyze everything for the sake of argument based on what is truly speculation.

SEC people, you are good but you ain't anything close to what you like to think you are.

IMHO the SEC won't be in the NC game this year. It will be Big vs. Big.

Congratulations to the Buckeyes on a great regular season and their Big 10 Championship and good luck to coach Carr whatever he decides to do!
Posted: 6:26 PM   by Charles
for netizen - You must have ESP big time. Owning four dogs and getting a puppy for Xmas I am a poop disturber of the first magnitude. One is an 80 lb doberman puppy and he alone would allow me to make that claim.
You know I try to use facts in a big picture. I would be happy to debate that intelligently with you, Netizen, assuming you will humble yourself to communicate with a big time poop disturber.
And thanks. I needed a good laugh. It's been my day for them after reading that June Jones said the two point victory over Nevada without Brennan was proof that Hawaii was loaded with starts. You two don't have the same writer do you?
Posted: 6:27 PM   by Dink
All you people are such micro-maniacs. Trying to pick apart other's schedules, size up talent and decide who is best based upon the talent analysis. It's all about W's and L's people.

LSU is sitting at number one because everyone thinks they are the most talented team....they LOST to a now 7-4 football team. Tennessee barely pulled out a W against a team with a losing record. Alabama, who gave LSU all they could handle lost to ummm.....LA-Monroe...who the hell is that?

Point being, stop trying to analyze everything for the sake of argument based on what is truly speculation.

SEC people, you are good but you ain't anything close to what you like to think you are.

IMHO the SEC won't be in the NC game this year. It will be Big vs. Big.

Congratulations to the Buckeyes on a great regular season and their Big 10 Championship and good luck to coach Carr whatever he decides to do!
Posted: 6:27 PM   by TheBigWalk
I guess you could include LSU beating Virginia Tech. As a serious question, what's the Big Ten's biggest OOC win?
Posted: 6:27 PM   by PSUVikes
First off, congratulations Ohio State. An amazing run in a rebuilding year. Secondly, congratulations to UL Monroe. I know your victory is a hollow one, seeing as how all SEC teams beat each other up so badly that they can't beat teams from other conferences that have such weak schedules. Don't let their whining tarnish your victory. Party hardy, Monroe, you deserve it.
Posted: 6:28 PM   by girlfanOSU
The most intelligent blog so far. You put that very well. I just chalk it all up to different regions, different conferences, different styles of playing.
Posted: 6:37 PM   by Larry
Charles:

I echo Netizen's comments...you just can't seem to get over the strength of schedule thing, and bring it up over and over and over. Isn't it about time for you to start on the "schools CAN schedule tough out of conference games, they don't need so much lead time" stream now? And Henrique can continue the same tired old "slow Big 10, you've never seen speed like SEC speed, blah blah blah."

Bottom line, guys? Your kool-aid comments provide a certain level of amusement but are so tired and lame and subjective, we really don't listen. BTW, at least based on the SEC games I watch (which is plenty), they are PLENTY beatable. They're deep THIS YEAR, but not as deep as people think.

One thing I've said all along is that the Big 10, while in a down year, isn't anywhere NEAR as bad as people think, and you'll see it in the bowls this year. Given how "superior" the SEC is, of course, if they don't win about 80% of their games you can pretty much count on a lot of "overrated" comments. If I were you, I'd get ready for exactly that.
Louisiana-Monroe beats an Alabama team that is average at best; Appalachian State beats the Big 10 runner up.

Anyone want to discuss which is the bigger loss?
Posted: 6:44 PM   by Larry
Sam:

Well, since everyone KNOWS the Big 10 is so hideously slow, outdated, old offenses, old defenses, etc., and the SEC is so incredible, wouldn't you agree that the Alabama loss is by far the biggest loss?

In a real answer to your question, I think both losses simply show that parity (and it's not parody, for God's sake!) is here, probably to stay.
Posted: 7:01 PM   by Charles
for Larry - A few weeks ago a blogger stated that Netizen was stupid. I responded that I did not think Netizen was stupid. And now Netizen says I have been mixed up all year. Go figure.
Posted: 7:06 PM   by mrhand423
to Charles...do you think that Middle Tennessee State, Tulane, or Louisiana Tech are strong ooc teams to schedule? In LSU's defense, maybe they were projected to be good when the schedule was made.

How much harder can you make your ooc schedule when you put Texas, USC, and Miami on it years before you play them(when they are all elite programs)?

People had your view of OSU in 02' when OSU was 13 point underdogs to a more talented Miami team. Like they say, "That's why they play the game".

This is a freak year where there aren't GREAT teams. Just several good ones that on any given day, could beat any other.

Is beating a, then ranked, Washington team on the road a bad thing? How often do you think that scheduling Notre Dame is thought of as a walkover game? Can it be helped what a team you beat does the rest of the season?
ESPN is reporting that Coach Carr will retire on Monday morning.

So Stewart, who is the new coach at Michigan going to be? Les Miles is the guy that seems obvious, but who knows? ESPN has thrown out names like Tedford and Rich Rodriguez, and I have heard Bobby Petrino's name as well, given his struggles in Atlanta.

Your thoughts?
I am very impressed with Ohio State. Consider that going into last year everyone thought they had lost too much on defense to contend and yet they were undefeated and in the BCS game. This year they also were pegged as rebuilding after losing all those offensive studs (including a Heisman Trophy winner) and yet they lost 1 game.

Florida lost its entire defense and is sitting at 8-3 as a perpsective. Notre Dame lost its entire offense and sits at 2-9.

Ohio State will be playing in its 5th BCS bowl in 6 years. Can anyone else match that? (With a few beers in me, I am not capable of recalling all the BCS teams from the past 6 years to see if that is the only time it happened.)

I have no idea which conference is the best although the Big 12 can lay pretty good claim to the title with 3 teams in the top 5 and Texas just outside the top 10. I do think that the big time conferences are deeper than ever. Some of that is a lack of dominance for the top teams, but I suspect a lot of it is better coaching and better players at what have traditionally been the lower tiered teams in each conference.

This year losing to an unranked opponent carries much less shame than in previous years since so many of the losses the top teams have suffered have been to unranked (either at the time or a team now unranked).

In looking at the current (going into today) top 10 and their losses:

LSU, lost to UK at #23 (unranked at the time and about to be unranked again).

Oregon lost to Cal--ranked at the time, but not now--and to Arizona, unranked

Kansas---oops 0 losses

Oklahoma--lost to CU, never ranked?

Mizzou--Illinois unranked at the time and now ranked

WVU--lost to USF, ranked at the time but not now

Ohio State--lost to Ill, unranked at the time and now ranked.

ASU lost to then #5 Oregon (Oregon will still be ranked and probably just out of the top 10--depends on how the pollsters factor in Dixon being out for the year).

UGA losses to current #20 Tennessee (unranked at the time) and to unranked So Car (although they were ranked in the top5 at one point).

VPI lost to then #2 LSU and then #2 BC (ranked #1 and #17 now, respectively).


One thing to consider about the SEC is the quality and depth of head coaches:

Spurrier
Meyer
Saban
Fulmer
Johnson

All have won national titles (Johnson in 1-AA) and 4 of them are in the East!

Throw in Richt and Tuberville as highly successful coaches as well.

In the Big 10 I can think of 3 coaches with national titles (Tressel, Paterno and Carr--Tressel with a couple from 1-AA).

The ACC has Bobby Bowden for 1.

The Big 12 has 2: Stoops and Brown.

The Pac 10 has 2: Carroll and Erickson.

The Big East has none that I can think of.

(If I left out a coach from above even a coach who won at 1-AA, I am sure someone will note it).
Posted: 7:08 PM   by Angie
I think Tressel proved again how classy he is. We could have padded our stats to make it a 21-3 win, but he took a knee at the 5 yard-line to end The Game and leave TTUN their pride.
As to the people complaining about USC because they are "a knotch below" what they used to be. We scheduled USC years ago. It isn't our fault they have declined somewhat since.
Also, the Big 10 has 10 bowl-eligible teams this year. That's right...10! Illinois barely lost to Mizzou, who is ranked in the top 5 now that Oregon went down. They are a good team and getting better. Pay attention, because the Big 10 is coming back!
As for Lloyd Carr, since when did he become "classy"? I have little doubt that his players love him--many coaches who are jerks to the public are great with their players. I think Carr is being treated like Nixon and Reagan when they died--people who hated them found something good to say about them.

I bet that Tuberville's agent will start to spread the word that UM is interested.

The names mentioned are interesting:

Miles, an alum, has to be considered a top candidate. He coached there as well under Bo and UM is one of those programs (like Bama) that believes in hiring a "Michigan man" and someone connected to Bo. I suspect the job would be his if he wanted it. And to think that when he left OSU they were glad to get rid of him saying he would never be a winner---I suspect that it is Oklahoma State that is destined to be a second rate program.

Rodriguez and the spread would be an interesting choice considering how the spread has given Big 10 teams problems. If he can recruit talented players to WVU, imagine what he could do at Michigan!

Petrino: since I do not like Michigan (wife is a Buckeye alum) I would not care, but I would be leery of Petrino. His named was mentioned for so many jobs while at Louisville, would Michigan want someone who seems to be liking to be looking.

Tedford? I cannot see it. What does he bring especially after Cal has imploded this year? I would think he is a long shot.

I wonder is Nick Saban would be interested :)
Posted: 7:18 PM   by Chad
So is Spurrier going to Michigan or LSU??? Rumors abound in South Carolina that the Ol' Ball Coach is on the way out. The chicken curse cannot be reversed. Go Tigers!!!
Angie, having 10 bowl eligible teams means you have a lot of 6 and 7 win teams.

With more than 30 bowls, being bowl eligible does not carry the cache it once did.
Posted: 7:24 PM   by Kerry
A few thoughts: How can Ohio State be done with their season when West Virginia still has 3 games left? How can Michigan be this bad? How can the Big Ten be this bad? -- best out of conference FOR THE WHOLE CONFERENCE the WHOLE YEAR is osu over sagarin #50 washington. Penn State's average out of conference sagarin is in the 130s!!!! And please, no SEC-is-great posts today after Alabama loses to UL-Monroe. Save it.
Posted: 7:24 PM   by Eugene
It's odd that this is the only Saturday observation today. Mandel, you okay?

As to the comments, they've made me realize that tfans of tOSU have a pretty serious Napoleon complex going on.
Posted: 7:25 PM   by Charles
for mrhand423 - Who are you trying to kid? The three you named were no more projected to be good than the mighty trio of Akron, Youngstown & Kent St that OSU measured itself against. I look at LSU's ooc schedule for next year and want to puke. You have not read any comments of mine that since they are SEC this is understandable. I have stated all along that BCS schools should try to schedule two reasonable BCS schools as ooc games, and non-BCS schools should schedule three BCS schools. That way if a Wash craps out perhaps you still have an opponent, but both Nebr & ND crapped out for USC this year.
I have been criticized for stressing strength of schedule. Perhaps if there are three undefeated teams we should put the names in a hat and draw two for the NC. If there is one undefeated team then maybe all 1-loss teams go in a hat and we draw their opponent. Is that what you think or do we stress strength of schedule?
Posted: 7:27 PM   by mrhand423
Kerry, one question. How can the whole country be this mediocre?

That's much more fair to ask than calling out one team or conference.
Posted: 7:28 PM   by Charles
For Eugene - Stew is still suffering jet lag from his trip to Oregon. Remember how hard Hawaii says it is to travel to the west coast. It is easier for west coast teams to travel to Hawaii and play when they are normally sleeping than it is for Hawaii to travel east and play when it is normally practicing. Hawaii has been good for a laugh all season.
Posted: 7:28 PM   by Dal
Hey Kerry, how about the Big XII and their SOS. OU beat a bad Miami team (on the par with Washington)and then they had Utah State, Idaho, and Tulsa. Kansas played the Murderers Row of Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, and Florida International. Lets not talk about OOC and SOS here!
Dear Mr. Oregon Duck,

We need to make a trade this late in the season since it looks like we will both end up tanking. We'll trade you Gary Crowton plus a new pair of knees for a new offensive assistant (not picky) and some "killer" instinct.

Your Friend,

Mike the Tiger
LSU
Posted: 7:33 PM   by chris
I don't blame Lloyd Carr, Ron English or the Michigan defense for the loss today. Michigan's defense was outstanding- they gave up one big play that changed the Buckeyes' score from 7 to 14, and despite all those three and outs, they continued to stuff Beanie Wells in the fourth quarter. As a U of M fan I am thoroughly embarassed that despite all the smack-talking Mike Hart did, he was a total non-factor. This was the biggest game of his career, collegiate and professional, and his final performance in Ann Arbor will sting Maize and Blue fans for many years to come. Thanks Mike for fizzling out when it mattered the most- wish you all the best in the NFL.I am very sad to see Lloyd Carr go, but I do think it is time for him to step down. He will always have my utmost respect and adoration, and he will always be a winner in my book.
Posted: 7:34 PM   by parhamavich
OHIO kids are bred to lose to SEC teams in spectacular manner. OSU is a rebuilding program, because they got absolutely destroyed last January. You should just be thankful that your OHIO boys choked against the Zooker and spared you the pain of another public brutalization.
Posted: 7:35 PM   by Chad
So is Spurrier going to Michigan or LSU??? Rumors abound in South Carolina that the Ol' Ball Coach is on the way out. The chicken curse cannot be reversed. Go Tigers!!!
Posted: 7:35 PM   by mrhand423
Charles- first off, the comment I made about LSU's schedule was called "sarcasm".

SOS should be one of many criteria to judge how good a team is.

Just looking at one side of it, who a team beat, is unbalanced. You also have to look at who they lost to.

One guy above nailed it. The rankings don't mean anything until the end of the year. I see you didn't choose to resond to his question about would it be bad losing to unranked Illinois if they finish 10-3.
Posted: 7:38 PM   by buc2004
Everyone always says O-state doesn't have talent of the SEC teams, but last time I checked O-state had more players in the NFL than any SEC team.
Posted: 7:38 PM   by mrhand423
parhamavich- you mean like Penn State and Wisconsin did last year in bowl games?
Posted: 7:39 PM   by Larry
Sam, DawgFan: I agree with your point, but I think her post was in response to others that have suggested "% of bowl eligible teams" in a conference is a sign of depth. And it WILL be interesting to see who is interested in the UM job...it certainly seems like a dream job for the right person, along other highly-storied programs from other conferences as well.

Eugene: It may seem that OSU fans have a Napolean complex, but I'll speak for many of us in that we're simply tired of hearing "OSU is overrated" pretty much all year. We have our share of loud-mouthed and irrational fans just like every other team, but I think most OSU posters (like most posters from other teams) are reasonable and rational, and for the most part we've just been defending our team against crappy comments, just like you would do in the reverse.

As for the Napolean complex thing, I don't think it's quite accurate in that I don't believe many of us feel OSU is a weak program (i.e., analogous to height). I'm really proud of what they've done this year, and I'd say they've exceeded our expectations, but I'd also say they'll be more ready for an NC run next year. As to whether or not they "belong" in an NC game, well, I think every team has it's Achilles Heel--LSU seems the most talented to me, but also pretty erratic. In addition to a crazy year in CFB, I think there's also an "Any Given Saturday" effect for the top 15-20 teams. In any case, I'm expecting LSU and somebody else in the NC game, and it'll probably be a good one. And again, condolences to Oregon fans...it's a tough way to lose and best wishes to the Ducks and Dixon for a speedy recovery.
Posted: 7:42 PM   by Charles
for mrhand423 - I did respond to your Illinois comment. I said that elite OSU teams of the past would not consider it an indication that this year's team belonged alongside of them just because they were going to the Rose Bowl.
Posted: 7:47 PM   by Larry
Charles:

I actually think that the elite teams in OSU's history WOULD say that this team belongs alongside them, if for no other reason than they beat Michigan.
Hold on there, Stewart. Is it the case that Ohio State has been that good or that its opponents have just been that lousy? And, btw, the Buckeyes still managed only 14 points against Michigan, today. That's a pretty pathetic offensive showing against a team that fell to Appalachian State, was banged up for most of the season since, and made a number of additional missteps prior to today's game, as well. I will grant the Buckeyes this: They are in a rebuilding year in which they actually have managed to build something. And they have, coincidentally, also managed to win a lot of games along the way... but very few that we would not have expected them to win in any year -- rebuilding or not. I don't know if we can say that for many of the other younger teams. Pitt's season is essentially over and I can't see exactly what they've managed to 'build.' Regardless of what happens during bowl season, though, the Buckeyes have positioned themselves for a high pre-season ranking next Fall. But will Pitt fare any better next season, thanks to this "building year?" Will Texas Tech? There are indeed other young teams that have fared worse than OSU. But the Big 10 is what it is. I suspect that many Big 10 games and programs garner an unwarranted amount of attention and hype simply because people who live in Big 10 country -- Apologies in advance to the Midwest for including Penn State in that mix, but it's just as true for Nittany Lions fans -- seem to believe thay have nothing more important or more interesting to think about this time of year and, if they weren't "bred for football" (as fan smb513 suggested) it does appear to be what they live for.
Posted: 7:48 PM   by chris
Illinois is an up and coming program and will be a national contender next year, should they stay healthy.

People always point to the SEC's superiority over the Big Ten by mentioning Florida's win over Ohio State last year, but what about Penn State's manhandling of Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, and Wisconsin shutting down DMC and Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl? No one seems to remember the SEC went 1-2 against the Big Ten in last year's bowl games. Isn't that funny?
Posted: 7:50 PM   by Charles
for Larry - Saying that OSU is overrated and saying it is a weak team are two different things. I have not read a single comment that suggests that OSU is a weak team. What even most OSU fans seem to admit is that the schedule has been weak, but it is not the fault of OSU. OSU is a good team that may be capable of reaching some very good results. Unfortunately we will never know. Bullies that beat up on weaklings from week to week would not be called great.
There is a tendency to look at one result. Boise St claims it is great because it beat OK. But Stanford beat USC and Ariz beat Oreg. There must be so much more. OSU beat a solid Texas last year, but Mich did nothing to show its status but beat Wisc. And they beat no one. Then the bowls arrived but one victory does not a season make.
Posted: 7:53 PM   by Charles
Chris - How do narrow victories over the SEC's 4th & 5th best (Ark & Tenn) teams mean anything significant? Fla's victory over OSU also means little when strength of conference is determined. Look at the big picture and the SEC is dominant, arguably not night and day dominant, but dominant.
Posted: 7:54 PM   by Larry
PittFan:

Wow. Well, I'll fundamentally disagree with you. Hard as it is to believe, we in the midwest have lots of things to do and to think about besides college football, maybe even as much as people in other parts of the country. And why do you think the Big 10 garners any more attention than the rest of the country? In any case, I can assure you that we do have other things to think about and do; just because we're enthusiastic about CFB doesn't mean we're not that way about other things as well...we're just a naturally enthusiastic and energetic bunch up here! :)
Posted: 7:58 PM   by chris
Charles- they may have been the SEC's 4th and 5th best teams, but Wisonsin and Penn State were the 3rd and 4th best teams in a smaller conference. Do the math.

They may have been narrow victories, granted, but if current no. 1 LSU didn't win their narrow victories, they would be atleast a 4-loss team right now. A win is a win.
Posted: 7:59 PM   by Larry
Charles:

The OOC/patsy argument has been hashed and rehashed, and I don't believe ANYBODY can say they don't do it. As for in-conference games, well, we'll see at the end of the year if other Big 10 teams are any good. If they do well in their bowls, I would see that as a sign that they were underrated. As to your "bullies" comment, I'm sure you weren't suggesting that OSU is a bully and runs up the score...if you've watched games you know Tressel doesn't do that (today is a perfect example...he could probably have gotten another 7 but didn't (although Woody would have done it in a heartbeat)). You've acknowledged in previous posts that OSU sits lots of their starters (and yeah, that has a downside) but if they were really "bullying" other teams, don't you think they'd keep the starters in?

Bottom line, we continue our arguing and blustering while we wait for the best indicator of team strength...how they do in their bowl games.
Posted: 8:06 PM   by Larry
Charles:

I reread your post but don't think I understand your point about "one victory does not a season make". If you're saying a bowl game win doesn't mean anything, what does then? Everybody's been yapping on about OSU's bowl loss last year, and it sure seems to THEM that a single loss "a season made". At least to me, it seems like letting teams play is a pretty good way of seeing who's better. I'm sure you weren't suggesting that bowl games against reasonably-equal OOC teams doesn't show anything, because that would seem to me to be a prelude to rationalization in case teams from a certain conference didn't do so well in the bowl games against opponents from outside their own conference.
Posted: 8:09 PM   by Larry
Charles:

One last thing, and then I have to log off (things to do, PittFan! :)

You said "OSU is a good team that may be capable of reaching some very good results." I guess I'd have to say that winning the Big 10 outright, going to the Rose Bowl, and being ranked in the top 10 already ARE very good results. And regardless of how things turn out, we're proud of them.
Posted: 8:10 PM   by chris
I am a die-hard Wolverines fan, but I have alot of respect for Jim Tressel. He is a fine man and a fine competitor, and no, he is not one to beat up on lesser opponents. Jim Tressel has had to deal with alot of guff from the entire nation this year, telling him his team is garbage and overrated and this and that. Then, when he could've racked up the score in Ann Arbor today to make Ohio State more appealing to voters, he was content to walk away with a win. It was heartbreaking to see Michigan fall, but I wish the Sweater and the Buckeyes all the best in the Rose Bowl.
Posted: 8:11 PM   by Charles
Chris - I do the math. No one wants to claim that Mich was #2 in the Big Ten after their melt down in the Rose Bowl. Remember that Mich was determined to show that it belonged in the NC. Most now claim Wisc was really #2. How does #2 against #4 or #5 prove anything?
That's the problem with arguing about the bowls. You have #2 against #4 here and #5 vs #3 there.
What you have is the top three teams in the SEC dominating the opposition and Kentucky and SC also victorious. You have some mid-level Big Ten teams winning narrow victories, but the conf doing little to show for itself elsewhere. Admittedly this is not an overwhelming case against the Big Ten. But the best of the SEC prevailed, and the rest were 2 - 2. If the three best in the Big Ten prevail in the bowls this year, and the rest go 2 - 2 you will say it is evidence that the Big Ten can hold its own against anybody. Right?
I wouldn't discredit OSU too much for the Illinois loss. Illinois is on the "juice" in more ways than one. Is this the emperor's new clothes or does someone else see what I'm seeing? They will be exposed sooner or later.

Good season Buckeyes. We will get our revenge sooner or later.
Posted: 8:26 PM   by Eric Y-town
I don't know man. As an Ohioan I'm pretty proud of the Buckeyes. They had a great season and did us all real proud. Nothing could beat watching that game today with my dad and reminiscing about my Uncle Dave (a Michigan alum and WW II bomber vet) that passed away a few years ago. When it comes down to it, football is all about fun and family for us, and we had plenty of that to go around this year. I know I'll never forget this season. And let's not forget that the great state of Ohio produced the one, the only, Stewart Mandel. Thanks for making things a little more interesting Stew! See ya for the bowl games.
Posted: 8:31 PM   by Albert
This was another game of an historical match between two old foes. Yes. And if we pay attention to recent history, the importance of this game can be seen not in who claims the Big 10 title, but in who gets to lose badly to USC or an SEC team. Long live the team. The team is dead.
Posted: 8:32 PM   by joe
To all the OSU fans out there, Congrats on the win. As a Michigan guy, I was hoping more than I could ever remember we would win this one, but you guys were just too much for us this year. I wanted Carr too go out (assuming he does) on top.
Good luck in Pasadena (or possbly New Orleans if the ball bounces right for you guys).

To all the Big Ten haters...I won't waste my time.
Posted: 8:51 PM   by NottheOFace
I love how it is Ohio State's fault that the Big Ten sucks this year.

As for the out of conference schedule, OSU deserves the criticism they get, FOR THIS YEAR.

The next ten years, we have at least one college football powerhouse out of conference.

Now it's time for the Rose Bowl:

USC would be a great matchup.

Oregon less Dixon would be an Ohio State victory by 10 + points.

Arizona State would be an Ohio State victory by 20 + points.
Posted: 8:52 PM   by Ryan
Hey smb513. Y'all breed kids for the Big 10? What happened to marriage for love? If you are a great athlete, you have to hook up with another athlete for the sake of the conference? Your sick.

PS - A team that is proclaimed to be great due to it's conference dominance, gets blasted in a high profile bowl, loses half the team, and still dominates the same conference leads to the conclusion that its a bad year for the Big 10. It does not mean that OSU is invincible and reloads every year. Good luck against USC... you'll need it if they are healthy. (That's coming from someone who hates USC by the way)
Posted: 8:58 PM   by Ryan
For Chris -
Tennesse was not man-handled, unless a 4th quarter come back is man-handling (LSU must be man-handling some of the best teams in the country).
Wisconsin didn't shut down DMC. Florida injured DMC in the SEC championship & without DMC healthy, Arkansas is nothing (last season's cut sheet: Ark 0-3 w/ DMC hurt; 10-1 with him healthy).
Posted: 9:06 PM   by Jay
Blah Blah Blah. The big 2 and little 10. No stunning victories. Beat a Michigan team by 11 that is having an odd year. They did what App St. and Oregon did - went to the big house and won. Did the weather had something to do with it too? maybe.

Anyway, Ohio State DOES have a great coach but with the athletic budget they have and the size of their stadium - you would think of those 5 BCS bowls they would have won more than "ONE" national title game that wasn't a bogus FLAG against the Canes that came out an hour later - and having taking the Canes best runner out of the game.

Amazing, these big time schools from the Big 2 have only won 2 titles between the two in decades - huh, that just doesn't make sense.

Being in a BCS bowl isn't as big a deal as you make it. Any BCS conference winner goes so the fact that Ohio St. has pretty much dominated MECHEGAN in a fairly poor league means they go by default.

Too bad they can't win the big game. Lost to a more talented and faster team in teh Gators last year and lost to an Illini team this year. Can't lose these games if you are that dominate and special - rebuilding or not.
Posted: 9:09 PM   by Dink
All you people are such micro-maniacs. Trying to pick apart other's schedules, size up talent and decide who is best based upon the talent analysis. It's all about W's and L's people.

LSU is sitting at number one because everyone thinks they are the most talented team....they LOST to a now 7-4 football team. Tennessee barely pulled out a W against a team with a losing record. Alabama, who gave LSU all they could handle lost to ummm.....LA-Monroe...who the hell is that?

Point being, stop trying to analyze everything for the sake of argument based on what is truly speculation.

SEC people, you are good but you ain't anything close to what you like to think you are.

IMHO the SEC won't be in the NC game this year. It will be Big vs. Big.

Congratulations to the Buckeyes on a great regular season and their Big 10 Championship and good luck to coach Carr whatever he decides to do!
Posted: 9:19 PM   by mrhand423
Charles-
I must be missing something. OSU plays a below avg. occ and the Big 10 is weak, so 11-1 doesn't make a season...but "neither does one game a season make"(if we win the bowl).

So, let's say, 11-1 OSU goes to the Rose Bowl and beats a USC team with twice as many blue chip recruits than any other team and the key players healthy. This isn't enough to know if they are an elite team?

Recently, the SEC has been the best conference overall(even though OSU has sent more 1st round draft picks to the NFL than any other team).BTW, the first SEC team you see on the list is 6th. But that changes every few years. It's not a big deal and is no indication of what will happen in the not so distant future.
Posted: 9:24 PM   by Ryan
One last comment for all the LSU bashers:

NCAA football is highly affected by momentum. A team can start strong and then go in a tailspin (Cal and South Florida) or they can lose early and then pull it together (Michigan having the opportunity to win the Big 10 after those VERY UGLY opening losses). Based on that, one must consider rank at time as well as ending rank for the sake of momentum. We don't know ending rank so here is LSU's games with AP rank at time.

Miss State NR W
Va Tech #9 W
Mid Tenn NR W
S Carolina #12 W
Tulane NR W
Florida #9 W
Kentucky #17 L
Auburn #17 W
Bama #17 W
La Tech NR W
Ole Miss NR

Record 10-1

I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. And the marquee OOC win over Va Tech was 48-7 with the 7 not awarded on the field but by the replay booth.

If you have any team with a legitimately better Div-1A resume, let me know. I'll give you my cell # so you can rub it in my face personally.
Posted: 9:27 PM   by Charles
for nottheofface - If Pete Carroll gets USC on track they will give OSU all it can handle and more. But they would do the same to most everyone else. I think OSU would handle the rest of the Pac Ten and that only OK and Texas might prove better in the Big 12. I said might. I would favor a rested Fla and LSU from the SEC but I think OSU can stand with the rest. I think OSU is better than any Big East or ACC team. I'm sorry but WV has done nothing to inspire confidence.
I would love to see a round robin with OSU, OK, Tx, Fla & LSU. I think LSU would prevail, but I would not put enough money on it to hurt me if wrong.
But I think you are wrong about all those powerhouses OSU has scheduled. I am not convinced that Miami will make it back. Do you really think OSU would prevail in my round robin?
Ohio St,, 11-1 have to say oklahoma looks like it will fall to texas tech 20-7 so how do you say Ohio st with only 1 lose isn't #2 in the country with LSU being #1 the only way of changing this worthless conversation's is to have a playoff i would say a 10 team playoff if you win your conference you advance but the ncaa is so spinless and comes up to many excusses but we all know its the old mighty dollar.. same on you ncaa take that plunge and get a playoff system
Posted: 9:46 PM   by mrhand423
One last comment to Ryan.

Sorry, but LSU is like every other team out there, SOS is judged from the final tally of the wins-losses of the collective opponents. If LSU ends up with the strongest this year, great. Just don't act like they own.

Check out the SOS last year - http://www.warrennolan.com/football/2005/sos - when the Big Ten had more teams in the top 30 toughest SOS than the SEC.
Posted: 9:47 PM   by Charles
for mrhand423 - No, 11- 1 means nothing. If a boxer scheduled weaklings, then claimed greatness for "finding a way to win week after week", we would laugh. I think if OSU beat USC (I doubt USC is in the Rose) it would certify OSU as a very good team not just based on the victory, but on consistency in handling some good teams during the season (no very good teams though). A victory over Oreg without Dixon means little and Ariz St has done little to impress me. If they easily handle USC I might change my mind. Given their loss to Illinois I see little OSU can do to prove that they are as good as their team last year, much less able to stand tall with other elite OSU teams. Do you disagree?
I do not understand the talk about putting players in the NFL as determining who is the best team. OSU is one of the traditional powerhouses because of what it has done on the field with the talent. But look at Smith & Ginn. Brag all you want but two of your best from last year are barely creating a ripple. Players who were thought to be just as fast and just as strong as the SEC could not stand up to Fla. Why? Because they had excelled against weaker competition all year. Watch the replay of the NC game. It looks like Smith is suddenly running in syrup. He was running in syrup all year. It's just that his competition was even worse.
Posted: 9:51 PM   by hogan
After reading everyone's comments, I have to say, nothing, absolutely nothing, beats college football! There's no sport like it! We're passionate about our teams, our conferences, and our distaste for our rivals. Oh, and by the way, GO BUCKEYES!
Posted: 9:53 PM   by gatorchomp
Kudos to OSU for a spectacular defensive effort.
Posted: 10:01 PM   by mrhand423
Jay-

LOL @ your post.

Ummm, yeah OSU can lose a game to Illinois and win their bowl game and be happy. What really good team isn't going to have a loss this year?

Other than last year, how many of the BCS games have we lost? Wow dude, how many teams have been as good as OSU over the last 5 years?

It's all about recruiting. It changes every few years.
Posted: 10:16 PM   by Tommy
Having read Stu's posts for years, I can say that unequivacobaly, there are many things that Stu is in awe of, so the fact that he's in awe with a Top 15 team from a down-year Big -10 is no shock. The shock is that that many people actually care.
Posted: 10:20 PM   by mrhand423
Charles-

I must say, I couldn't care less about where this team stacks to last years or any other years team. All I care about is them winning their Bowl game. What else can they do.

Why fabricate pointless babble about who they'll play in the Rose. The example in the post was them playing USc. You said that would justify them in your mind. Over, next subject. The # of 1st rounds picks was just a side note. The first rounders were Ginn Jr. and Gonzalez, both are doing respectable for rookies. From 06' Mangold, Whitner, Holmes, and Hawk are impact 1st rounders. Smith wasn't a first rounder.
Posted: 10:30 PM   by The Fishman
Alright, I understand Mike Hart talked a lot today, but can you blame him? Here is a guy who never has beaten his arch-rival coming out with all cylinders firing. He would have cut off his left nut to secure a victory today, and you have to respect that. There is nothing wrong with intensity. Unfortunatly, no other wolverine felt the same.
Posted: 10:36 PM   by Netizen
How sad and small and unsatisfying your lives must be that you have to hang out on weblogs to piss on other people's Post Toasties to feel better about yourselves.

If the level of discourse in this blog is any indication, most of you should file malpractice suits against your alma maters.

GO BUCKS!
Posted: 10:42 PM   by Randy
Jay
Quote:
"Anyway, Ohio State DOES have a great coach but with the athletic budget they have and the size of their stadium - you would think of those 5 BCS bowls they would have won more than "ONE" national title game that wasn't a bogus FLAG against the Canes that came out an hour later - and having taking the Canes best runner out of the game."

Still blaming the Ref's I see,I say, Miami came into the game thinking just like a few SEC fans think, "oh, it's only Ohio State"

I remember a different game than you described.

To my recollection, that Miami/Ohio State NC game was one of the best NC games I've see in a while, both teams deserve a thumbs up for a hard game played.

I just hope that all other teams beware as Jay says, bigger stadiums
should mean nothing but victories , Well, The Big House is in for a remake.

Go Big Ten
Posted: 10:47 PM   by The Fishman
Alright "Henrique Romeo," way to point out a glaring deficiancy in all Ohio State teams, a lack of speed. Silly me for thinking that Ted Ginn Jr. had olympic caliber speed and turned down an olympic career to play football. Or Brandon Saine, a RUNNING BACK, who has won the state 100 meter dash 2 years in a row, nearly breaking the 10 second barrier. Oh yeah and what else, Ohio State's speed coach is Butch Woolfolk, the former 400 meter world record holder? Give it a rest. All Big Ten teams have speed, we just prefer to play like we have a pair instead of throwing the ball 50 times a game.
Posted: 10:47 PM   by Charles
I would have thought OSU fans would be focused on what is happening to OK. Should it continue, and the Big 12 South champ prevail as expected in their championship that eliminates three teams in front of OSU, four with Oreg gone.
I would also think that OSU fans would become admirers of Kentucky. If Kent wins out that puts GA in front of LSU instead of Tenn. WV still has Conn. I admit that I would not make plans on the Sugar Bowl yet, but the biggest game of the season for OSU may be Tex Tech vs OK.
Posted: 10:52 PM   by Charles
For netizen - You do have a way with words that does OSU alum proud everywhere. As far as dealing with post toasting you sound like a man of experience.
Posted: 11:02 PM   by mrhand423
OSU fans(like me) are also watching WV trying to lose.
Posted: 11:08 PM   by mrhand423
Charles-
Two guys who cover sports for a living have OSU playing USC in the Rose. I'll take their word for it before yours, all due respect.
Posted: 11:19 PM   by Charles
for mrhand423 - I do not know what the triple tie breaker would be in the Pac Ten, should Ariz St, Oreg & USC tie. Perhaps without Dixon Oreg will lose to Oreg St or (UCLA?) and be out of it. Then if USC beats Ariz St & UCLA USC would win the tie breaker unless the Pac Ten has a rule about taking the team that has been out of the Rose the longest. I have read no official statement on the possibilities, but perhaps you have.
I would like to see USC squeeze through and play OSU. But I would think OSU fans would be setting their hopes a little bit higher, should Tex Tech win today.
Posted: 11:21 PM   by gatorchomp
Jay-

I hate Miami. What I most remember about the 2002 Miami/OSU game was also the poor officiating. Unlike you, I felt that the zebras allowed Miami to hold OSU receivers like their fiances all night. Had they called the game right to begin with OSU would have won it in regulation. Plus, the call in overtime looked like the correct call to me, even though it was late.

.
Posted: 11:25 PM   by bgault
As an OSU fan, I'm VERY happy with an 11 win, Rose Bowl, beat UM season. I know that the BCS has made us all a little crazy, but at the end of the day, I'm proud of the Buckeyes for all they've accomplished. I know that everyone wants to hate on the Bucks, but how many any other teams consistently have been in the hunt for the NC every year since the sweater arrived?
Posted: 12:06 AM   by osudad
11 - 1 probably #3 in the nation going into the bowls. 73 -12 over the last six years. So fagity henrique, what is fla.s record, 3 loses, auburn 4 loses, ky. 4 loses, tenn. 4 loses, bama. 5 loses (that's alabama to you from cuba or wherever you came from) The Ohio State University 11 - 1. Go heeeenriiquuee! go play some futsbol... Go bucks!
Posted: 12:07 AM   by Netizen
If memory serves, this particular blog was supposed to be about Ohio State "rebuilding" and the results of The Game.

With respect to Lloyd Carr, his record in this game isn't that bad.

SINCE 1969

Bo Schembechler was 11-9-1 (.548)
Gary Moeller was 3-1-1 (.600)
Lloyd Carr was 6-7 (.461)

Woody Hayes was 4-5-1 (.450)
Earle Bruce was 5-4 (.556)
John Cooper was 2-10-1 (.192)
Jim Tressel is 6-1 (.857)

Fear the Vest!
Posted: 12:16 AM   by osudad
Charles, i understand what you say, the schedule is not ranked that high BUT by who, the same sports writers who ranked USC # 1 and Texas # 2, my god they had Rutgers and Louisville battling for the Big crown and then the BCS championship, You play who you play and try to win them all, just ask Auburn who beat fla. beat was beaten by S. Fla. earlier. ask Alabama who was beaten by UL Monroe but pushed LSU to the end. I don't think the Bucks are the end all team but with the wealth of talent in HS being spread around, anyone can go 11 - 1 or 7 -4. You play who you have in front of you and hope to win.
Posted: 12:31 AM   by osudad
Georgia 4 - 0 vs. #25 teams
LSU 5 - 1 vs. #25 teams
OSU 3 - 0 vs. #25 teams
Ill. 3 - 1 vs. #25 teams

no other teams in the SEC or Big Ten have winning records vs top 25 teams this year. Now these are teams that the writers choose in the preseason. The only team to beat a top #25 team OUT of conference was LSU, beat Va. Tech. You play who's on the schedule and hope you beat them, 11 - 1 ain't bad, even the writers said so...
Posted: 12:33 AM   by Netizen
In the current BCS standings, the computers ranked Ohio State 6th and West Virginia 8th, and I think that will be unchanged.

As for the coaches and media, they ranked West Virginia 5th and Ohio State 7th. However, I think the Bucks will get credit for handling Michigan and the 'Neers only for surviving at Cincinnati.

Therefore, I'm betting Ohio State moves from 7 to 4 and West Virginia from 6 to 5. After either Kansas or Missouri loses the Bucks are only one upset from being back in the championship.
Posted: 12:35 AM   by Netizen
Clarification:

Obviously the computer rankings will raise both OSU and WVU. What I don't think will change is Ohio State being the more highly rated of the two by the computers.
Posted: 12:48 AM   by gatorchomp
So Stewart, at this point in time it appears that the four teams in the run for a shot at LSU are Mizzou, Kansas, West Virginia, and Ohio State. Who of the four is most deserving of the #2 ranking and who would be able to stay on the field with the Tigers? Your answer should make for some interesting writing and reading!
Posted: 1:11 AM   by lotsanawlej
how does 14-3 constitute handling a team with its top two offensive players gimpy.... meanwhile wvu had to fumble 2 in their own territory in the last 6 minutes of the game ta make it close with a cincinatti team that is as good as michigan or better... i don't see a dominant team anywhere though so voters beware it should be fun to watch unfold
Posted: 1:16 AM   by osudad
We all seem to be assuming that LSU won't lose to either Ark. or in the SEC championship game. This year is the year it could happen. Kansas vs. West Virginia won't have that national attention except to those two states but it could happen. Missouri vs. Ohio State? LSU vs. West Virginia? Who knows, it does make it more exciting for the end of the season.
Posted: 1:27 AM   by osudad
91 total yards on offense is how it constitutes handling a team, the defense for michigan should have come to the forefront, manningham should have caught some of the passes he dropped. Please, don't give that stuff that hart and henne are the only two people that play for mich? no one said poor Ohio State last year when Ginn went out after a 100 yard TD. You dance with who brung ya' and that means the whole team.
Posted: 1:28 AM   by gatorchomp
lotsanawlej-

Ok, I watched the OSU/UM game with interest because of last years' NC game and out of interest about this years'.

First, 14-3 would have been 21-3 had Ohio State not "taken a knee" at the end of the game. Also, don't forget the OSU had a touchdown reversed because of an illegal block.

Second, Chris Wells has also been playing on a weak/twisted/sprained ankle for a good deal of this season and today. Not many people knew about it because, unlike Mike Hart, Wells evidently knows how to keep his mouth shut and take care of business.

Third, gimpy Chris wells outgained the entire UM offense 220 to 91 and Mike Hart 220 (and 2 touchdowns) to 44 yards (and 1 first down).

You can spin this and make excuses until the cows come home but from my humble perspective it appeared that the best team won today.

Now, would OSU beat LSU? Probably not in a domed stadium in New Orleans but perhaps yes in the cold rain and snow Michigan.
Posted: 1:32 AM   by SasQuatch
Congratulations to tOSU on the victory. You have a good team, as I have posted many times, and you got better today.

Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines. Frankly, I had you winning this game. You could have.

Certainly a great rivalry (most hyped ever?) but I'll take UW and WSU for that. (I know . . fewer people, smaller markets, and folks not necessarily "bred for football").

Geaux Tigres.
Posted: 1:39 AM   by osudad
I agree, although the Bucks scored right after the called back return with Beanie. I guess that there are obnoxious fans everywhere and I know that the Buckeyes have their share ( I played football in Ohio but I'm not sure Mom and Dad were breeding me for football ). So quit hating the Bucks, they seem to reflect for the most part the personally of their coach. A group of kids trying to win football games, it's some of the fans ( both OSU and other schools) that are lacking something in their own lives, mommy didn't love them enough, trying to be the star through the college team, who knows?
Posted: 4:47 AM   by tony
The knock on OSU for strength of schedule is getting really old. How do you control the quality of your opponents when some games are scheduled years in advance and some you get every year because they are conference games? I don't knock LSU for playing the likes of Middle Tennessee, Tulane or Louisiana Tech (the term powerhouse hasn't been showered upon any of those teams recently, if ever). All OSU has done is been a consistent contender for the title, even in a year where we were projected by the "experts" to be third in the Big 10. Truth is this whole SEC is better than the Big 10 thing is going to last until these conferences play each other on a regular basis. I'd like to see how LSU does in Columbus in November.
Posted: 9:45 AM   by matthewdenny
Has anyone ever considered that one of the reasons B10 team seam to have trouble in bowl games is because of how the teams are built? It's a rather game the last month of the reguar season then it is for the bowls. OSU/Mich game was ~30-35 degrees and rain/snow. You have to be able to gut it out on the ground to win a game like that. Then all the bowl games will be 70 deg. and sunny. Now lets run and gun, all about speed. SEC regular season games 80 deg and sunny. Bowls... 70 and sunny. I think if you started playing the bowl gmes in cleveland or washington no one would say "hey look how fast those SEC teams are" they'd say "Hey look how dominate those B10 linemen are.
Posted: 10:42 AM   by Mike
To all SEC fans that keep pointing to the national championship game (FL 41 OSU 14) have you forgotten when Florida played in the 1995 Natl. Championship? I believe Nebraska totally humiliated the Gators by a much worse margin (Huskers scored 62 points). Then Florida came back and won it the following year, albeit not without an umblemished record since they lost to FSU during the season, but beat them in a rematch to win the championship. Point in bringing this up is that ONE game does not define a team (as Charles pointed out). Don't define Ohio State by their BCS loss to Florida, because no one certainly defines the Gators by their humiliating loss to Nebraska. Nor does anyone define Ohio State over their major upset of Miami to win the 2002 natl. championship. ONE game does not define a team, and it certainly does not define a conference either!
Posted: 11:00 AM   by Tim
I hate to say it but the BCS in not THAT bad of a system. The one thing is does is make every game count. If you want to be champ just don't lose. If we go to a 16 team play off you will have teams saying to themselves, "just don't lose three games and we can make the play off." It would really devalue the regular season. Ideally there would be a 4 team play off. This would mean most years the 2 or 3 undefeated teams plus a really strong 1 lose team would battle for the championship. Also as part of this system I would propose that all BCS conference teams have to play 1 other team from another BCS conference before their conference schedule starts. This would help illiminate the season long arguments about which conference is strongest when nobody really has any idea.
Posted: 11:07 AM   by Buckeye
It is obvious to me that with all the negativity and jealousy towards Ohio State.....

Sure is great to be a BUCKEYE!!!
Posted: 11:12 AM   by Dink
It's pretty amazing how SEC fans like Charles like to trumpet the strength and superiority of their conference through the regular season based on perceived intra-conference team strength and ooc schedules. But, when it comes to losing (1 -2) head to head (true unequivocal evidence)to a perceived weaker conference in the bowl season they start splitting hairs to save face.

If your conference is so superior and the other is so weak then it doesn't matter if your number 4 plays their number 3 etc. You should have won and you didn't.

YOU were 1-2 against the BIG 10 last year. Everyone but you Senseless Egotistical Conference fans recognize the significance of that. Take your loses, admit that you really aren't anything like you like to believe you are and hope for better results this year.

Denial is a powerful thing.
Posted: 11:26 AM   by tbdbitl
I'm an OSU fan but they aren't going to make the NC game unless WVU looses. I thought that the computers would keep OSU ahead of WVU but their win against Cincinnati jumped WVU to THIRD in the computers (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt07.htm). Look at the 'ELO_CHESS', this is the computer ranking used in the BCS. Now what I don't know is if this ELO_CHESS is one of the computers or the composite ranking of all six. I do know that OSU was ranked higher than WVU in the ELO_CHESS last week (even after loosing to Illinois).
OSU has the most players drafted to the NFL since 1994, the most all-americans and still people insist they suck.

And yeah, the Big 10 has a better record vs. the SEC over the last 5 years. Yet, you only talk about 1 game vs. UF. If Georgia and Tenn. played again, I'd pick Georgia. That does not mean they did not get drilled by Tenn. the first time.

I can't wait for Bowl season.

Also, how can you say Arkansas was not high in the standing for the SEC when they played in the title game, where they nearly scratched out a victory vs. UF. Conference bias is crazy, but some of you need to recognize there are other good teams and parity is all over the map.
Posted: 12:04 PM   by Illini79
I wouldn't necessarily say that Illinois was looking up at OSU. They were the only Big Ten team to beat OSU and beat them on their home field.
Posted: 12:20 PM   by Buckeyeboy9
@lloyds Apple
I'm with you all the way buddy but you are completely wasting your breath to speak to these "people". To the avg SEC idiot the game was invented and perfected by them (now wonder all the Hall of Fames are located in the midwest). They cannot see with any level of rationality. They will take one game at one time and draw the most ridiculous conclusions. Save it for another day and take stock in the bowl season. I am looking forward to the Ill/FL match-up so that we can learn some more about SEC speed.
As for the earlier post about playing football in b10 country in October and November more accurate statements could not be true.
On a cold rainy/snowy field speed doesn't mean dick. It is strength and agility, when you look at how the avg b10 team "equips" itself for the season you see why they might not do as well when they go south and west in bowl season to play home games against the Pac10 and the SEC.
Makes the b10's bowl record against the SEC all the more persuasive over the last 5 years......14 games against SEC....Big Ten leads 8 to 6!
Posted: 1:31 PM   by buck-i-girl
Just a few thoughts:

1) For those commenting on the low score, did you WATCH the game? The weather was CRAP! That the score wasn't single digit to nothing is a bloody miracle.

2) No matter what my Buckeyes do, it will never be good enough for the haters. Last year, two starters returned on defense. TWO. Critics said the team would struggle mightily. They went to the National Championship. This year, four key offensive players were lost. Critics said the team wouldn't amount to much. All they did was win the Big 10 outright and clinch a BCS berth (at the very least-- I'm still hoping for a miracle...) These past two years have indeed been rebuilding years. THAT is the strength of the Ohio State football program and the genius of Jim Tressel.

3) Although I every year I hold out hope that OSU will be in contention for the NC, even I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of play by my beloved Buckeyes this year. All doubters rest assured, given another opportunity, their performance this year will not be the same as last year's.

Finally, over the past seven years, I've grown deeply attached to Lloyd Carr. I love that man and I hope he stays with TTUN for at least another six years (to balance out the Cooper era.) To SasQuatch and all other LSU fans, PLEASE do everything you can to keep Les Miles down there...

:)

GO BUCKS!!!!
Posted: 2:23 PM   by SasQuatch
Buck-i-girl,

Well, we'll sure try and keep Les Miles. I know there is a pretty stiff buyout clause in his contract if he decides that Ann Arbor is the "place to be."

While I truly hope Les stays in Baton Rouge, it won't be the end of the world if he returns to Michigan. We've lost some pretty good coaches before, and survived.

Again, congrats to your Buckeyes, and best to you in the postseason . . . unless you make it to N'Awlins against LSU of course (which could happen!)

Geaux Tigres!

Sas
Posted: 2:28 PM   by buckeyegirl
If we haven't learned anything else this year, it is that there are SO MANY great teams out there. And, as so many of you have have said, there are great teams who happen to have one loss....and that includes you, LSU ;)
I love my Buckeyes, and want to see them do well every week, just like all of the other teams' fans. But we all better get ready for this craziness to continue - because there IS parity in CFB. It can only make all of this "excitement" more exciting!

I also think "gatorchomp" is on to something....I'd like to see your southern boys play up here, when it is 30 degrees, windy and wet (read: snow). You could...if your ooc games included some of us from WAY up north. GO BUCKS!!!
Posted: 5:29 PM   by William M.
[Note to fans: ND bites this year and is not worthy of much discussion ...except when Mandel decides to make it his focused article of the week so please accept this ND fan's apology in advance. OSU has a real chance to take it again this year and it is sad to see a class act like Carr go.]

Dear Stuart Little,

Recently, you authored "Out of his league: Weis' struggles prove problem with NFL-bred coaches Posted: Thursday November 15, 2007 12:29PM; Updated: Thursday November 15, 2007 1:44PM" and you stated the following:

"Let's start with a fairly obvious realization: Charlie Weis is a terrible college football coach.

Sure, he looked great the past two seasons when he was leading a pair of veteran-laden Notre Dame teams to consecutive BCS bowl berths."

Cheap shot on Mr. Weiss requiring an apology. Why is it a cheap shot spun conveniently to draw Irish ire? Well, Stewart Mandel in 2004 said it the best....

Stewart Mandel Mailbag
"Rock the vote: First Heisman ballot is in hand, but actually picking a winner a tough task
Posted: Wednesday December 1, 2004 12:03PM; Updated: Saturday December 4, 2004 1:49AM"

In regards to Willingham's firing...

"I wish Notre Dame well in its continued effort to return to dominance, and I certainly think they could be getting a great coach in Meyer.

But if they think he'll just wave a magic wand and the Irish will start winning national championships, they're delusional. Next season's schedule opens with road games against Pittsburgh and Michigan and also includes USC, Tennessee and Purdue. News flash, people: Knute Rockne would be lucky to go 9-2."

Charlie Weiss 2005 record - 9-3.

My question is this: Isn’t it also 'fairly obviously' Stewart Mandel is a ‘terrible college football analyst’?
Posted: 5:34 PM   by STEPHANIE
Georgia is ranked above Ohio State. Ohio State has won two more games.

Maybe Big Ten teams should take time off to rest in the middle of the season instead of playing every week.
Posted: 7:26 PM   by smb513
mike hart is the biggest talker out there..he said he came back for his senior year to beat the buckeyes and win a national title...the truth is he came back because he realized he wasn't a first round draft pick...lets be honest her,the guy is powerful and he is the soul of michigan,but he lacks speed and everytime he breaks a long run he has to come out of the game because he is too tired...he is 0-4 against my bucks and 0-3 in bowl games...maybe he should keep his mouth closed until he wins a meaningful game...GO BUCKS!!!
Posted: 7:30 PM   by LSU#1
I am not going to point out past championship scores from 15 years ago because that is just stupid. I am also not going to beat my chest about the SEC but will defend my LSU Tigers. We beat 5 out of 6 ranked teams this year. We havent played pretty but hell, who really has? The object is to win. We have Arkansas and TENN/GA in the SEC title game. Shoot, I would rather play Michigan. But if we get through those games, tell me who deserves to be there more than us. If Kansas wins out I believe they should get a shot but they werent on the map until about game 7 of this year. Also, they have not been tested yet. It has been a weird year when we are including Kansas and Mizzou in the National Title talk. Who would have thought, but hats off to them. They are also doing what they need to do, and that is WIN. Good luck to you guys. I hope that we can meet one of you there in the big one.
Posted: 8:48 PM   by buckeyedude
I am glad Mr. "Big Mouth", not to be confused with "Big Brother" is done at Michigan.

He can run his mouth better than he does his legs in the NFL all he wants.
Posted: 10:38 PM   by Ohio Red
I am sorry. Mike Hart may be a good running back, but he suffers from SGS (Short Guy Syndrome) that makes his mouth say things he can't back up. Hey, Mike, pride goes before a fall. Forty-four yards on 18 carries -- ouch!
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