Championship Week – Florida – Open Thread

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OSU FootballThe longest 51 days EVER have finally come to an end, placing us a meager 12+ hours from kick-off of the BCS National Championship Title Game between your (and our) Buckeyes of The Ohio State University and the Gators of the University of Florida. If today isn’t your least productive day of 2007, tomorrow most certainly will be. I’m still waiting for the Mayor to shut the city down on Tuesday so everyone can recover.

good stuff to read. You won’t be doing anything else today, will you? I’ll be the first to admit, though, I’ve read enough analysis to make one’s eyes bleed. It’s all good stuff, believe me, but I’m through. I just want the game to be here, like now!

But by now, you’ve read the articles, read the blogs and forums, and you’ve already decided what color your “2006 National Champions” football T-shirt is going to be (mine will be gray). Now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is. It’s the last prediction thread of the season. Bring your A-game, everyone.

Of course, we’ve got Vegas’ take on the game. They’re still giving the Buckeyes 7 points with an over/under around 46 points. So what say you? What’s the final score? Are going over or under with the points?

Urban Meyer supposedly thinks Chris Leak is just as good as Troy Smith. That’s like comparing Superman to the Shoveler. What was he thinking? How many more yards will Smith account for than Leak? (o/u 100 yards)

Little Animal Laraunaitis has been taking the ball away from everyone this season. Does he get an INT against the Gators?

Finally, as this is the last game for a lot of seniors, which senior (excluding Troy, of course) has the biggest impact on the outcome of the game?

el Kaiser’s predictions
Final Score: OSU: 31 UF: 17
Troy is going to razzle and dazzle while Leak is continually frustrated by OSU’s D. Troy smith accounts for 101 yards more, over.
While Little Animal has a big game, he does not intercept a pass. He will, however, be responsible for at least one turnover.
Quinn Pitcock is the senior that has the biggest impact. If Quinn and the boys can shut down the run, forcing Florida to pass more than they want, it will be huge. He’ll also be bringing the pain with his pass rush. Pitcock will be HUGE.

sportsMonkey’s predictions
Final Score: I think Florida will “earn” 14 points, while OSU will finish between 28-35. Florida could score a late TD against OSU’s freshman class after the game is out of reach. So I’ll split the difference and predict 31-17, OSU (although that number seems to indicate Florida will score a FG, which they can’t seem to do this season).
Leak vs. Smith: Under 100 yards difference for two reasons: I expect Leak to play catch-up, inflating his numbers, and I expect to see Tressel give Zwick a graduation present with a series or two behind center (assuming the game is out of reach).
Little Animal: Leak is the worst QB (INT-wise) OSU has seen this year, so I think he gets an INT tonight.
Which senior?: The always-underappreciated Stan White, Jr. will sacrifice his body for Smith, Pittman, and Wells one last time. Honorable mention: Pitcock and Roy Hall

Zeke’s predictions
We’ve already had two 31-17 predictions and I would agree that the 10-14 point difference is about right. The Buckeye’s have too many weapons for the Florida defense to stop. I have to admit I was tempted to predict a low scoring affair, but when all is said and done the Buckeyes will get their points and Florida will get a late TD and 2-point conversion to make it seem respectable.
Final Score: OSU: 35 UF: 22
100 yards is a lot; however, Troy Smith plays his best in big games. Smith ends his Buckeye career with more than 350 total yards as compared to less than 250 for Chris Leak, Over.
I suspect that little animal will be doing a lot of spying during the game, especially when Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin are in the game. LA will contribute mightily to the game, but not with an INT.
John Kerr is going to be huge! In all seriousness, Brandon Mitchell is the senior that has the biggest impact. Even though Laurinaitis does not get an INT, I do expect the secondary to get a couple. Mitchell will get one and have another solid yet quiet game.

Comments

  1. My predictions;

    Ohio State 31, Florida 21

    Troy Smith will be only a few yards higher than Leak, mainly because Leak will get a long drive late in the 4th quarter against the prevent defense.

    I agree with Kaiser on Little Animal. No INTs, but he will come up big on at least one key play.

    And the senior, besides Troy, who will have the biggest impact? I’m going against the grain here and taking Roy Hall. He’ll have a big TD and make at least four other catches, surprising the Gators defense who will be keying on Ginn and Gonzo way too much.

    One last thing….we will return a kick or a punt for a TD. We’ve been so spoiled with our offense all year that we’ve forgotten how deadly our special teams can be. The Bucks will remind us in 12 hours how powerful our return team is.

  2. tressel4president says:

    JUST A FEW MORE HOURS!!!!! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!

    GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I’m more nervous than excited. Every Buckeye season that goes by I think I age 5 years. You’d think I’d be more confident in this team this year after we won almost all our games rather handily, but I still can’t get past my fear of Tresselball.

    I’m glad people are moving away from the “OSU will kill Florida” sentiments but it’s rather absurd that it’s largely because of a game OSU didn’t even play in. It boggles my mind that people still cling to that antiquated idea that Big Ten teams can’t compete out of conference because their too slow. Don’t these people follow recruiting? OSU and Michigan go after alot of the same “athletes” that the teams from the SEC and Pac 10 go after! It’s just frustrating! I still remember the same talking heads saying Miami was too fast for Ohio State, even lab rats learn from their mistakes. Oh well /rant

    I’m picking a close call win (as usual)

    OSU 34
    Florida 28

    I think Leak will have alot of success against a rusty OSU D but since he’s going to share the spotlight at QB he won’t match Smiths numbers.

    Laraunaitis will be in on a turnover because there will inevitably be some by both teams and he’s always in the right place. Whether he forces fumble, recovers a fumble or picks Leak off I don’t know but he’ll play a big part as usual on D.

    And I agree with BBC, Roy Hall has a chance to shine in this game. Florida has a deep secondary but I think their going to be too busy keying on Ginn to pay much attention to the rest of the crowd. Troy has shown he can spread the ball around and I think he’ll be finding Hall open frequently for some short chain moving gains.

  4. Came over from Tony’s site. Here’s hoping for all you OSU fans that they can pull it off. It doesn’t look too good right now (3rd). I hope it was not too long of a break.

    I feel pretty confident that the Heisman winner will go even more above and beyond soon.

    Of course, my team only played half a game last Wednesday. 😀

  5. Love the predictions, everything that was said, the complete opposite happened.

  6. buckeyy –

    Ah.. love it when the trolls come out.

    FYI: Predictions are always based on past performance. There was nothing in the Tressel era to indicate that he would have a team so ill-prepared coming into a game of this magnitude. Unless you knew something about Tressel that nobody else in the sports universe knew? Did you make and publish a prediction? Did it include an objective analysis of how both teams matched up on paper? Could you provide a link to it?

    Our predictions were right on paper, but ended up being wrong on the field because they didn’t account for OSU simply not showing up to play the game.

    From now on, last night’s loss will figure into our future predictions. That’s how it works.

  7. I’d like to point out that not EVERY prediction that was made went the opposite way….

    “One last thing….we will return a kick or a punt for a TD. We’ve been so spoiled with our offense all year that we’ve forgotten how deadly our special teams can be. The Bucks will remind us in 12 hours how powerful our return team is.”

    ….at least I got one right.

  8. Great call, BBC.

    I remember another OSU analyst on one of the OSU pregame shows that made the same point. He said that this had been the longest drought in Teddy Ginn’s career without a TD return, and that he was way overdue for one.

    Even though the Bucks lost, it’s hard to think that it could have been worse, had Ginn not got that TD. At least we have one thing to be proud of from the performance last night.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Blogging has been and will be light around these parts the next couple days, as tonight is the BCS National Championship game between my Ohio State Buckeyes and the Florida Gators. I’ll be blogging the highlights of the game at my OSU site, Men of the Scarlet and Gray (there’s an Open Thread at the site, all about the game, if you’re interested). […]

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