Friday Open Thread

OSU FootballHey everyone, we’re alive and doing well. Sorry about the lack of content recently but with the holiday weekend, the end of the regular season for Ohio State and my surgery, we’ve been otherwise occupied. But there is still a lot of football left to be played this weekend that directly effects our Ohio State Buckeyes, so what better topic for an open thread than: Possibilities.

OSU’s Bowl opponent is still up in the air, but the choices are relatively slim. So today’s question is: Who would you rather Ohio State played — West Viriginia in the National Championship game or USC in the Rose Bowl?

To seed the discussion, there’s a quote from former el Kaiser man-crush Kirk Herbstreit, wherein he says:

“In my opinion, Ohio State could do more about [improving] the image people have of its program by playing a talented USC team that right now is as hot as any in the country … I promise you, if Ohio State goes into the Rose Bowl, everyone is going to be saying, ‘USC is going to kill Ohio State.’

… Ohio State will gain more respect if it plays USC in the Rose Bowl and wins that game, than if it goes and beats West Virginia and wins the national title. From an image standpoint, Ohio State would score more points going to the Rose Bowl than by going to the national championship game. If you can believe that, that’s the truth. ”

(h/t SMQ)

Herbie has lots of ulterior motives for saying this (ESPN/ABC will broadcast the Rose Bowl, his comments last year about “setting the Big Ten back ten years”, etc) but it brings up a point: Who is OSU better off playing? You can view the question from many different angles. You could look at it from a national reputation perspective. You can argue the merits of each opponent. What about the scary possibility that Ohio State may actually lose the game. Does that change how you feel about it?

I look at it from the perspective of opponents. I’d rather play a confident, fast (yeah, I said fast) West Viriginia team than a healthy, scary good USC. My reasoning is that while they are an athletic and fast team, West Virginia is soft. (Except for that Schmitt guy! He’s broken like twenty face masks! His team scores an extra point for every face mask the man child breaks! [Man, I would love to see Gholston punk that puke in the backfield]) Sure, they’ve got more SEC-speed than most SEC teams, but they lack a true killer instinct. My Exhibit A is West Virginia’s last year loss to Louisville. Watching that game, it really seemed like Steve Slaton, playing through an injury, was completely out of it. I remember more than once the camera panning to Slaton on the sideline during the third quarter, looking dejected and lost. He had been punched in the gut and it really looked like he had given up. Then Exhibit B would be Beanie’s entire season — playing with a bum wheel and a hobbled wrist while he bulldozed a Wolverine defense and carried Ohio State to victory. Boys to men.

I think Ohio State’s defense could come flying out of the gate, pummel White and Slaton a few times and really take the wind out of their sails. I know the Moutaineers are a different team this year, but I have to believe the killer instinct still eludes them.

What say you? What match up do you like? Which outcome is more appealing? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. I would rather play West Virginia than USC. It is for the National Championship!!! We all know the BCS is a sham, and we are stuck with it. How does a program get better “reputation” points than playing in the Championship game? There are plenty of OSU haters for a reason ladies and fellas, When your game is tight, and you win week after week people being to hate… Feel free to hate on us…We’ll get our shot at USC next season. Lets settle the score from last seasons end and go for the championship crystal ball.

  2. Ben O brings up an interesting comment re: next year’s OSU/USC matchup. It’s a wrinkle that I’ll bet Herbie didn’t think of.

    OSU will either play WVA AND USC, or USC twice only three games apart.

    To me, I’d rather the Bucks played (and beat!) both. That’d do more for the Big 10 than whatever outcome would happen from two games against USC (win/win, win/lose, or lose/lose).

  3. I’ll take either, but I want to avenge last year more than set up a who’s No. 1 question for next year. That will be answered anyway when we go to LA and beat Trojan Man in September.

  4. I want to play WV for the Championship. When the bowl season is over, people, nationally, are going to be indifferent to a OSU victory over either team. Let’s face it. If we beat WV, people are gonna say, yeah, so what, USF beat them. If we beat USC, people are gonna say, yeah, so what, they lost to Stanford, just like when we beat Meatchicken, they said, yeah, so what, Appy State kicked their tail. The only thing we “can do” is “just win”. A loss in our next game, and we’ll be hearing that kind of drivel all of next year…

  5. we’re in, now the question is:

    who are we going to play?!?!?!?!?

  6. @laneclott – this is bizarro world!

  7. i think it will be (overrated) VT, what say you?

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