Monday, November 27, 2006

USC looks to be the better team

As I told Eric before the ND/USC game, I wasn't pinning any hopes on ND pulling out a victory to create a possible rematch. Although, there is the ever-present "luck of the Irish" factor, Notre Dame is clearly a second tier team. I'm still trying to figure out who their 5 first round draft picks are going to be this year. And if they do have 5 first rounders, why do they still suck? Maybe the pros see something they can develop in Quinn but I don't know who the other four first rounders are going to be. Don't count on the Bruins either, Alvin - you will be wasting your time (although they do have a better chance than ND).

USC is probably a better match up for Ohio State although almost all Buckeye fans are blind to it given their extreme over confidence and failure to see their own weaknesses. USC is a better match up not because they are a better team then Michigan (Michigan actually beat ND worse and at ND) but more so because they have an offensive minded coach. Michigan clearly has the weapons but really didn't effectively employ them against OSU. Carr is too conservative on offense. Even after shutting down Smith in the second half (even Smith was seen crying on the sidelines after fumbles and interceptions), Carr failed to go for the jugular despite the aforementioned turnovers. While Carr did open the offense up against OSU, you can't wait til the last game of the season to finally open it up and expect instant success. USC has had a consistent high powered offense and are used to scoring a lot of points. If you want to beat Ohio State, you need to sprint with them. USC is comfortable scoring a lot of points. What was their streak - 20 or more points in 60 some consecutive games.

Second key to beating OSU - get them off their home field. Obviously, the home field advantage played a major factor in the 3 point Michigan victory (which may indicate that on a neutral field a different result) and having played all their toughest opponents at home and given their extreme issues with Illinois on the road, OSU is definitely weaker on the road.

Third key - pressure Smith all game. When this was finally done consistently in the second half, Michigan shut out Smith and reduced him to pouting on the sidelines (some Heisman candidate). USC looks to have the defensive line to consistently put pressure on Smith as well as the defensive backs to lock down on OSU receivers, creating more time for their speed to catch Smith. And even if OSU scores a bunch, USC faces considerably less pressure on defense given their high scoring offense. USC has to put pressure on Smith from the start of the game. At halftime, Tressel knew that Michigan was coming back and that his spread offense wrinkle was finished, given his comments. USC can't let OSU get off to such a headstart.

USC needs to copy Michigan's plan on containing Ginn on kick/punt returns. Ginn was completely silenced on that account.

USC has faced the spread offense all season and OSU's little wrinkle should provide no surprise. OSU, in a concession that they have a mediocre running game, went to the spread against Michigan but in doing so tipped their hat. Tressel has nothing else up his sleeve so the element of surprise is gone.

USC has a huge advantage in playing 2 weeks later into the season. OSU will go over a month and a half without any game time conditions and experience considerable rust. If USC can jump on them quick, OSU may not be able to recover.

OSU's no. 1 scoring defense fraud was finally put to rest. If the conservative Michigan offense can put up 39 on them, USC should be able to put up 60+. OSU has shown a considerable weakness defending the run up the middle. That weakness will only be more pronounced when OSU spreads out to try to cover USC's receiving corps.

As predicted, the wraps on the center's and Smith's hands played a considerable role in the Michigan game. OSU needs to fix that by game day.

USC has more talent - with 3 of the top recruiting classes in the last four years, USC has the talent to beat OSU.

Carroll is a better coach than Tressel. Tressel is essentially a college football coach. Carroll has more of a pro football mentality, much like Spurrier. Carroll should have several wrinkles for OSU to deal with. I can't wait to see what they are.

Monday, November 20, 2006

OSU's worst nightmare may came true

Rematch could happen for national title. Now that the myth of the No. 1 scoring defense has been buried and Tressel won't be able to play his spread offense card, Ohio State will go down and will go down hard.

Pick 4

This is too weird. The score of the OSU-UM game was 42-39. (ARRRGGGH!) Less than 30 minutes later, the winning number in the Pick 4 game was 4,2,3,9.

Ohio Lottery Pick 4

Monday
11/20/2006 Mid Day
2,8,9,1
$80,500
Saturday
11/18/2006 Mid Day
4,4,9,5
$58,900
Saturday
11/18/2006 Evening
4,2,3,9
$2,190,100

Friday
11/17/2006 Mid Day
2,2,7,5
$162,800
Friday
11/17/2006 Evening
8,3,6,0
$103,000
Thursday
11/16/2006 Mid Day
4,3,8,1
$119,800
Thursday
11/16/2006 Evening
8,2,3,3
$103,600
Wednesday
11/15/2006 Mid Day
2,8,7,5
$67,200

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Parting shots

Q: What's the only sign of intelligent life in Columbus?
A: Ann Arbor: 189 miles

Q: Why do Ohio State grads drive with their degree on their dash?
A: So they can park in the handicapped spaces.

Q: What does the average Ohio State student get on his SAT?
A: Drool

Q: How do you know when a Ohio State fan is about to say something smart?
A: When he starts his sentence with "A Wolverine fan once told me...."

Q: What's the difference between the Buckeyes and a dollar bill?
A: You always get four quarters out of a dollar.

Q: What's the difference between a Ohio State fan and a carp?
A: One is a bottom-feeding, scum sucker, and the other is a fish.

Q: What is the difference between a litter of puppies and Ohio State fans?
A: The puppies stop whining after 6 weeks.

Q: Why is ice no longer available at Ohio State football games?
A: Because the only student who knew the recipe finally graduated.
Q: What did the Ohio State graduate say to the Michigan graduate?
A: "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order, please?"

Q: How do you get an Ohio State graduate off your front porch?
A: Pay him for the pizza.

Q: How can you tell when the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to run the football?
A: The back leaves the huddle with tears in his eyes.

Q: How many Ohio State football players does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One. But he gets three hours credit for the course.

Q: What is the difference between Cheerios and the Ohio State Buckeyes?
A: Cheerios belong in a bowl.

Q: What's the difference between a Buckeye cheerleader and an elephant?
A: About 20 pounds.

Q: How do you make up the 20-pound difference?
A: Feed the elephant!

Q: What do you call a good looking girl on the Ohio State campus?
A: A visitor.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Schembechler passes away.

And a hush fell over the Buckeye faithful
With the news of Bo's passing
Each looked to the other,
With fear in their eyes,
Wondering indeed,
If there would be a Buckeye surprise!

Would their only hope of happiness,
self-satisfaction and pride,
Would their sole salvation
Be something to deride?

Suddenly now doubt crept into the Buckeye faithful,
Shivers and jitters and shakes abound.
Hark, what 'tis that I hear?
Who would be this interloper, this Ohio stadium meddler,
It can't be, No, God, it can't!
Oh! 'tis indeed, the ghost of Schembechler.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Response to Eric

Dear Eric,

In all honesty, you will not see a post by us Michigan fans regarding how OSU might beat Michigan, because in our Hart of Hart's, we truly cannot fathom any circumstance where OSU will win.

Remember this word, and this word only: Harbaugh

Cheers,

Alvin

How Michigan Might Beat OSU

Since, as a rational person, I must acknowledge the possibility that OSU could lose The Game (bringing Coach Carr back to 4-2), I have put together an analysis of how Michigan might win The Game.

In the interest of honest circumspection, I thought it best to write about this. I doubt any Michigan fans will do the same before The Game.

1) Getting to T. Smith. OSU's offensive line has done a stellar job of protecting Troy this year, and many of his best plays have come when he has had a great deal of time to pass the ball. I'm not sold on Alex Boone being all the way back to perfect health after his knee problems over on the left side of the line, and we saw how much that hurt us during the second half of the Illinois game. When you have less than your best offensive linemen on your QB's blind side, you are open to turnovers and injury.

Troy's internal clock for throwing the ball into the stands has not been calibrated much this year. It will need to be working well against Michigan, and if it isn't, this is one way for Michigan to win.

2) The Holdback Factor. If Michigan has been scoring as few points as they have recently because they are hiding the playbook from OSU, then OSU may be in for a long day. I don't know if they hid the playbook from Notre Dame, or if Notre Dame's secondary just sucked, or perhaps both.

3) Bad Weather. If the game is played in cold steady rain with a lot of wind, this will hamper OSU's passing and catching efforts, negate their speed advantage at WR, and turn it into a running game. Teams that can't pass against Michigan haven't done well this season.

4) Turnoverconfidence. One of the reasons that teams don't score on OSU's defense is that we recover so many turnovers. Nothing quite stops a drive like a turnover. Michigan is noted for not fumbling, though they have thrown a few interceptions. I don't think that the OSU defense can count on their normal diet of 2-3 turnovers during The Game.

5) Tressel's only flaw as a coach (and I have seen no evidence of it this year) is his tendency to go for long field goals rather than punting and pinning the opposition back. He needs to keep all of the playbook open and use Trapasso's ability to drop a ball on the five yard line or Michigan will be in the game until the end.

OSU v. Michigan Rematch. It may be inevitable

While a lot of people have been talking about how voters don't want to see a rematch, it may be inevitable. Look at the BCS rankings as they stand right now:

1) Ohio State
2) Michigan
3) USC
4) Florida
5) Notre Dame
6) Rutgers
7) Arkansas
8) West Va.
9) Wisconsin
10) Louisville

Does anyone imagine that the loser of this game (doubtless Michigan) will fall further than number 5?

Most of the people who think that the voters would vote against a rematch don't realize that the OSU v. Michigan game is not the last game of the season. There are still some very important games to play among other highly ranked teams which, since they are playing each other, will by definition knock at least half of them out of contention.

If USC loses to Cal and then beats Notre Dame, both of them (having two losses) will fall below Michigan in the BCS poll and Michigan will move up. Florida will likely play Arkansas in the SEC tournament final, thus one of those teams will fall below Michigan and Michigan will move up. Should Florida lose to FSU (very unlikely but it is a rivalry game) and then beat Arkansas, both of those teams will be below Michigan and Michigan will move up.

Rutgers has to play Cincinnati and West Virginia (at Morgantown), and a one loss Rutgers team will not be ranked higher than a one loss (to OSU) Michigan.

If Notre Dame beats USC, few people would rank one loss Notre Dame higher than one loss Michigan for the obvious reason that Michigan shelled them so badly at South Bend earlier in the season.

The voters vote on rankings, and I don't think that enough of them would rank a team lower than they should be just to avoid a certain result (a rematch). At the end of the regular season (early December, not mid November) I think we can all agree that the No. 2 BCS team is going to play the No. 1 BCS team. That No.2 team might just be the loser of the OSU v. Michigan game.

Why Michigan will win on Saturday.

1 - Ohio State is not the best team in the country.
OSU has played a very weak schedule this year.
Let's start with the beginning - Northern Illinois - currently with a record of 5-5.
Texas - currently 9-2 with a devastating loss to lowly Kansas State and two squeakers against Texas Tech and Nebraska and maybe an upcoming loss at A&M.
Cincinnati - currently 5-5
Penn State - 7-4 record - a decent win but at home
Iowa - 6-5 and having lost 4 out of last 5 - and may lose to Minnesota
Bowling Green - 4-7
MSU - also 4-7 soon to be 4-8
Indiana - 5-6
Minnesota - 5-6
Illinois - 2-9
Northwestern - 3-8

So OSU has beaten teams with a combined record of 50-59 or a .458 winning percentage.

This kind of puts in perspective the number 1 scoring defense in the country as well as all of their other stats - it was done against less than mediocre competition. Does it really mean anything to have the number 1 scoring defense against losing teams? In addition, Northern Illinois is not ranked in the top 119 in total offense. Texas does come in at 18. But what about Cincinnati #77; Penn State #56; Iowa #39; BGSU #51; MSU #45; Indiana #80; Minnesota #47; Illinois #55; Northwestern #90. If we assign 120 to Northern Illinois, then OSU has beaten an average of the #60 rated total offensive teams in the country. Big deal!

2 - OSU has the 20th ranked rushing offense in the country. Again, it came against less then mediocre competition. Lesson from the Illinois game - Pittman rushed 32 times for 58 yards against the #53 rushing defense. Ohio State is going to have trouble running the ball against the nation's no.1 rushing defense. Usually, the winner of this game is the one who can run the ball most effectively. Pittman is an average back. His backups are subject to fumbles and inexperience.

3 - Lesson from the Penn State game - OSU gave up 142 yards rushing at home to Penn State. Michigan should be able to run the ball effectively against Ohio State.

4 - All OSU fans and media are claiming that OSU should be able to pass the ball without a problem against Michigan. Troy Smith and his center both have wraps on their right thumbs. In addition, OSU fans and media types fail to calculate how much time Smith will have to pass. If Michigan can pressure him, that Heisman shine may tarnish with several bad decisions and/or sacks. Smith isn't passing against Northern Illinois, BGSU, Cincinnati, NW, Indiana, etc., any more. I'm sure he has had all day to pick out his receiver against those teams. Things may change come Saturday. Look at the pressure Illinois put on him.

5 - OSU fans and media types are so confident in Ginn and the return game that they overlook Michigan's return game. Breaston took one to the house only last Saturday.

6 - OSU fans are confident Michigan can't cover Ginn, Gonzaga, etc., they should be concerned about whether they can protect their QB. Can OSU cover Breaston, Arrington, Manningham, Butler, Ecker, etc.?

7 - Fans and media types claim that Smith is going to run wild against Michigan. Michigan's defensive front is a lot faster than last year as they frequently have caught QB's running for their lives from behind. lllinois had no problem catching up to Smith. Michigan caught IU's QB who is probably faster than Smith. If Smith is running it generally means that the passing and rushing games aren't happening. Can he save OSU by himself?


8 - In the end, Michigan may have the advantage with their offensive and defensive lines and that may prove to be the difference.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tucker Max says UM girls hotter than ND girls

There's this guy named Tucker Max who's a self described asshole and author of the book I Hope They Sell Beer In Hell. Anyways, he went to Ann Arbor to go last year's Michigan-MSU game (although he didn't make it to the game). I thought this was a pretty interesting quote, given el' windbag's assessment of Michigan girls:

I'm going to have to make the call--Michigan is WAY cooler than Notre Dame [I went to the Purdue/ND game earlier this year]. In every way. Better football environment, hotter girls, guys who aren't fucking douche bag jamooks--everything is better at Michigan. Were I a 17 year old high school senior and picking between those two for college, no question or debate--I would be a Wolverine. Sorry Notre Dame, I don't have a dog in this fight, I am just calling it like I see it. You guys suck.

Happy Thanksgiving




You've got to love El Guappo. He used his firm's Thanksgiving Day card to take the opportunity to call yours truly a Michigan Scumbag. Man, I love college football rivalries.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Common opponent stats - Northwestern

Since Eric is so hot on citing Northwestern stats - consider the following:

RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED

OSU allowed NW to rush for 68 yards

Michigan didn't allow any rushing yards, -13 to be exact for a difference of 81 yards

FIRST DOWNS ALLOWED

OSU - 17
Michigan - 10

TOTAL YARDS ALLOWED

OSU - allowed 297
Michigan allowed 191

POINTS ALLOWED

No 1 scoring defense in country - 10
Michigan - THREE

ohiostatefootballsucks.com

Guess who just bought that domain name?

Herbstreit talks smack for OSU - "Breaston=worthless"

"Breaston can go back to whatever he's doing these days, if they could ever find a way to actually apply him in the offense. He's worthless in my mind, outside of returning a few punts. I'll say that, and he'll end up winning the game for them on Nov. 18. But he hasn't done anything since his freshman year.''

Friday, November 10, 2006

Are you ready for some football?

Nick Lachey and Desmond Howard sings The Victors on top of the Shoe

Watch it here.

Who said OSU girls aren't classy?

Click here for photo (warning: not safe for work)

The Victors played on beer bottles

Click here for a rendition of The Victors played on beer bottles.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

From Red to Blue

Some foreshadowing for November 18.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Louisville

















What homer voter on the Harris poll voted Louisville Number 1? Probably someone gaming the system to help Louisville's case to be in the national championship game.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hart's streak still alive

Here's something that I didn't know:

Hart's streak without losing a fumble remains alive at 688 touches. His first-quarter fumble out of the end zone during Saturday's first quarter was not a fumble lost because the opposing team did not recover the ball. Essentially, it was the same as a fumble out of bounds in the middle of the field, except the opponent received two points. Michigan still punted on the next play.

Though the Wolverines lost the ball and lost two points on the safety, apparently they did not lose a fumble.

Hopefully, Hart won't lose one against OSU.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"A win is a win any which way you look at it." Or is it?

As poor as Michigan's second string looked against Ball State, Ohio State's first string offense looked even worse against Illinois. Illinois' defense held OSU to its fewest total yards, fewest passing yards and fewest points of the season.
Remember this is Illinois, a team that is 1-13 over the last two seasons! In addition, Illinois had 3 sacks against OSU's offensive line. It could be a long day for Trey against you know who. Trey Smith certainly didn't do anything to help his Heisman campaign. If anything, he backed up a few steps. Pittman looks extremely weak having just 58 yards on 32 carries for a measly 1.81 yards per carry average.

If OSU keeps looking ahead to Michigan, they may come out on the losing end against Northwestern next week.

Don't forget Buckeye fans, it was only in 2004 when OSU lost back to back to back against Iowa, Wisconsin, and Northwestern!
Oh October was never so sweet.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John L. Smith fired!

Michigan State fired John L. Smith yesterday. I actually kind of like the guy. This is, of course, bad news for Michigan fans. Next to John Cooper, John L. was one of my favorite coaches when it came to playing Michigan. If they could have pulled out the Notre Dame game, it would have been a different season for them.

Ohio State Joke

One day , a  housework-challenged husband decided to wash his
Sweatshirt.

Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to  his wife, 
"What setting do I use on the washing machine?"

"It depends," she replied. "What does it say on your shirt?"

He yelled back, "Go Bucks."

"Use hot water, a box of Tide, and 4 cups bleach."