BCS Championship Game – Ohio State vs. LSU – Open Thread

OSU FootballSome links to chew on:

The Wizard of Odds asks “Who Is Going to Win the BCS Title Game?” What I want to know is, where is this huge talent disparity between OSU and LSU? The experts call it out all the time, but how about some proof? Top-to-bottom, the Buckeyes look mighty talented.

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sees Beanie as a major key to victory. Keith has broken down what makes Beanie go.

Don’t miss 11 Warriors game preview.

Sunday Morning Quarterback does what he does best in three parts: One, two, three.

Mike Lanese thinks the Buckeyes are going to run away with the BCS Bourbon Bowl, 45-28. Man, I wish I had that kind of confidence.

We were rooting for the Wolverines last week to pull off the upset, so it’s nice to see those guys up North reciprocating. I know it hurts at first, but but the payoff feels oh-so-good.

Update: ESPN has posed the question “Who will win?” to the unwashed masses. Surprise of surprises, 64% of the nation thinks OSU is toast. In fact, no one but Ohioans are giving them much of a shot. Is everybody crazy?!

We’ll be updating this with additional info as the day goes on, but we wanted to get an Open Thread up so everyone can post their final score predictions, things they’re excited about, things that make them nervous, things that make them go, “Hmmmmmm….” If nothing else, hopefully it will help the day go by faster!

sportsMonkey says:
The biggest mismatch on the field tonight? LSU is 84th in the nation in sacks allowed. OSU is 5th in the nation in getting them. Combined with Flynn’s 55% CMP number – which is pathetic for any national-title-contending QB – this is the largest potential game-changing situation for either team. Result? I expect Red Beaulieu will use Perriloux and the spread option way more than people think. LSU may try a lot of spread/moving pocket plays when Flynn’s in, even.

As far as the offense goes, my personal opinion is that the game will come down to whether or not Boeckman has a solid performance. It’ll be up to whether or not the OSU offense avoids making mistakes, particularly in both the QB and coaching parts of the offensive game. We don’t need stellar Boeckman, we just need a steady- and mistake-free one.

OSU must pass early and often, and hope to take advantage of the mismatch between its receiver corps against the weaker LSU secondary. Beanie will be important, but I’m hoping he’ll get the bulk of his yards in the second half, as OSU tries to protect a lead with the clock-chewing power game.

On paper, if both teams play a clean game, and the officials are transparent: OSU will survive a late rally to win 30-20.

UPDATE
ESPN has their usual “10 Reasons” post up, and this point from Maisel caught my eye:

“Ohio State allowed 128 points, or 10.7 per game, but even that number is inflated. Opponents scored four touchdowns by returns (two kick, two defensive) and a safety, so the defense really allowed 98 points, or 8.3 points per game. Take out 14 points scored by opponents (Washington, Purdue) in the final minute of games that Ohio State led by at least 20 points, and you have only 78 points scored against presumably the starters. That’s not seven points per game. To put it another way: Ohio State gave up two rushing touchdowns all season. Arkansas ran for five touchdowns versus LSU.

I would add to that one more thing: Ohio State put up those numbers even though three of their opponents were in the top 20 in rushing offense.

el Kaiser’s says:
OSU 27 LSU 17

Comments

  1. Can’t wait. Sadly, I have to miss the first bit of it, but I should be home from work before the 1st quater is over.

  2. Stand by for another beat down by the SEC – Tosu is officially our bitch. Take your beating and find a way to drag another huge L back to Columbus. Sure hope your no class fans mouth off to those Cajuns down in their backyard. They might not be as kind to you as the Gator fans were last year in Tempe.

    Tosu is TigerBait.

  3. G8RB8R -

    Actually, it’s been reported in news outlets that the LSU fans are being very insulting and poor hosts to visiting OSU fans.

    Also, like I asked in the other comments section, what business is a Florida fan have taunting a Big 10 school? You were humiliated by UM just a few days ago. And on Dec 22nd, the Gators were destroyed by OSU on the basketball court. Your 2006 bragging rights have expired; the Big 10 owns the Gators now.

    Go Bucks!!

  4. Mike the Tiger says:

    – This post has been removed. -

  5. AZTigerFan says:

    sportsmonkey…..
    you crack me up dude!!!!

    and the SEC owns tOSU, 0-9. Can you say Buckeye Kryptonite?

    BTW, what news outlets, the Ohio dispatch?

  6. AZTigerFan says:

    maisel is an idiot who also didn’t have Doresy on his all-american list.

    Please, that defense played Y-town State, Akron, and Kent. Go play Bama, Arkansas, and Florida and lets see what they put on the board.
    BTW, # 1 defense and LSU put up nearly a 40 spot and our defense really gave up 17. That last TD against all 2nd and 3rd team when game was over. and your 1st TD in 2nd half, you went 20 yards after a pick. You think because you outgained us in total yards, you weren’t dominated? What did you gain in the 2nd half before our backups came in at garbage time?

  7. My post from over at the MZone:

    Apparently, Tressel gets his teams so wired before the game, that they start to melt down sometime after kick off when the hyped up adrenaline wears off. Don’t know if anyone that reads this blog knows who Charlie Pell was, but when he was the coach at Florida back in the early 80′s, he had the same knock against him when playing Georgia every year. The game meant so much to him, the team and the fans, that by the time the game reached halftime, the players were burned out. He had the team so hyped up about the game, that they peaked in the first quarter while UGA just kept plodding along. More times than not, UF was the better team, but despite big leads, UGA always came back to win. Extremely frustrating is an understatement. I see this as the same problem with OSU. They are so keyed before the game, that they just peak at the wrong time. If you can outlast the onslaught by OSU to start the game, then you can probably beat them. Florida & LSU play games all season where they have to come from behind at different times to win, and learn how to cope with the difficult game situations. I don’t think OSU has been able to gain this experience that is needed to win the realy big games, as they dominate most of their opponents, and never have to come from behind to win games. When they do, like last night, they have nothing left to get over the hump. I think Tosu is every bit as good as any other team, but they lack the every week big game experience that the SEC teams go thru.

    Example: Capital One Bowl last week. UF fell behind, went ahead, fell back, tied the game, fell behind, went back ahead, hanging in with UM for the whole game, and still had a chance to win at the end. When you play games like this every week, you just get mentally tougher. Other than the UM-OSU game every year, they do not face that kind of adversity. When they do, they fold. If OSU can find a way to overcome this obstacle, then they will win their next MNC.

  8. AZTigerFan says:

    Dont get me wrong, I respect OSU trmendously and I love Tressel as a coach…a true class act. This was a “rebuilding year” for OSU and I as sat by my buddy (OSU fan from Parma) watching the game here in Phoenix, I said to him “rematch next year in the Orange Bowl?” I honestly think it could happen.

    I also love James Lauranits, I hope the Saints try to get him because he is the real deal. I loved the play last night when hester was tackled by him and then helped him up and both were smiling.

    However, all that being said, I think many people realized last night why the SEC is truly a better conference than the Big ten-leven. Look, I got jusat as sick and tired of hearing about “SEC speed”, it was really getting out of hand. I mean this isn’t the NCAA Track and Field Championships is it?

    Truth be told, The SEC has more football players, more playmakers, than the Big Ten. The SEC doesn’t just have more speed; it has more of everything. Let me explain: Glenn Dorsey is the All-American, but the defensive MVP of the game was Ricky Jean-Francois, a tackle who was in on six tackles and part of a sack. It was his second game of the season because he was ineligible up until the SEC championship game. Craig Steltz, the All-American safety, suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, but reserve Harry Coleman made plays in his place. On Ohio State’s first possession of the fourth quarter, after the Buckeyes had gotten some momentum with a touchdown, a drive stopped when Coleman recovered a fumble following a sack.

    The playmakers are not the only thing that separate the SEC and the Big Ten. What about the bravado of the fans? The clocking was ticking down and the full-throated fans started chanting “SEC, SEC, SEC.” You ever hear a crowd chant “Big Ten, Big Ten”? The passion of the SEC fans cant be matched and after all the bashing the South takes for other things (education, in-breeding, etc) the teams in the conference back it up. OK, so Florida lost to Michigan, the SEC went 7-2 overall in the bowls and 2-1 against the Big ten-leven. Call me biased, dumb, southern, etc but call me a Champion. My conference says so and so does the last 2 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!

    LSU, 2-0 in BCS Champ games 2 TITLES in 4 years, and 1st two time BCS champ

    OSU, 1-2 in BCS games (2 losses to SEC), 1 title in 5 years, 1st two time BCS champ game loser

    I mean really here would you go to school if you were being recruited???????

    But I agree, Tressel has rebuilt that program into a contender, just not THE best!

    Congrats on a great season Buckeye fans!!!!

    Geaux TIGERS!

  9. AZ – thanks for stopping by, but just to correct you on a few things (were mentioned in the other thread), just in case people think what you said is accurate:

    >>OSU, 1-2 in BCS games< <

    No, Tressel is 4-2 in BCS games.

    >>1 title in 5 years< <

    ...out of three shots in six. Still better odds than 118 of the other Div I-A teams.

    >>1st two-time BCS champ game loser< <

    No... Oklahoma and Fla St. ALSO both lost the BCS champ game two times.

    >>and the SEC owns tOSU, 0-9. Can you say Buckeye Kryptonite?<<

    By that logic, then even with the victory, OSU still “owns” LSU (has the edge overall; 2-1-1 all time).

    As far as the SEC, it’s far more even (7-10-2 or something like that). But like was mentioned before, anyone who honestly thinks a victory in 1977 makes any difference to a game in 2008 doesn’t understand anything about college football (or basic statistics). Flip a coin, and you’ll never get HTHTHT… you’ll always get runs (HHHHTTHHHTTTH). There are only two possible outcomes from each game, and just like a coin flip in 1977 won’t have any impact on the likelihood of a coin flip today, the same goes for college football games.

    But… as far as the streak of 9 losses in bowl games, even the pro-SEC Fox debunked that as a talking point… since most of the time it was higher-ranked SEC teams playing at home against lower ranked OSU teams.

    Why the disparagement? Because the Big 10 has historically sent its champions to play the Pac 10, or matched the #2s and #3s up in the BCS era with an at-large independent or Big 12 school. That’s done because the Big 10 (and OSU in particular) is a far more attractive draw than most other schools (attendance and ratings).

    Ergo, historically, the SEC has usually been matched up with lower-ranked Big10 teams that didn’t win a shot at the Pac 10 or weren’t selected for BCS at-large.

    E.g., this year, Wisco was Big10 #4, playing against Tennessee, SEC #2, in the heart of SEC country. Or unranked UM was matched up against #12 Fla. Same type of thing happens most years.

    That’s no excuse for OSU’s last two losses, though. The fact is that LSU was better than OSU when they played last Monday. Had the game happened in October, when OSU was peaking and LSU was playing its worst, OSU probably would have won, and everyone would be talking about how LSU was worse than OSU. But that’s not what happened.

    All that matters is who was better on a given game day, and by definition, that’s all anyone is logically able to conclude. To ignore the all-time record, selectively choose stats, and lump any victory together with a one from 1953 is a very unpersuasive argument.

    For the record, nobody will _ever_ convince me that’s it’s a bad thing to lose a NC game. Only .016% of schools even have a chance to get to the game, so just having the opportunity is something to be proud of.

    Winning any NC game is an unreasonable expectation, and no true fan has any right to expect it.

  10. SportsMonkey said: …For the record, nobody will ever convince me that’s it’s a bad thing to lose a NC game. …”

    I have to agree on that point. We got our guts stomped out by Nebraska in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl playing for the national championship. Not knowing if we would ever play in another one, I saved the game I had taped. We weren’t just embarassed, we were humiliated by Nebraska on national TV. We were 12-0 going into that game. The following year, we were 11-1 (losing the last game of the season to f$u) and defeating Alabama in SEC Championship game which earned #3 UF the right to play in the Sugar Bowl in a rematch with #1 f$u. This was the last year before the BCS, otherwise UF would never have had a chance to play for the MNC, and in all probability been playing #4 OSU in the Sugar, while #1 f$u would have played #2 Arizona St. On a neutral field in NOLA, we redeemed ourselves by crushing #1, 52-20, and leap frogged AZ State in the last AP poll on Jan 2, to be voted #1.

    Losing the way we did in 1995, prepared us for the MNC in 1996. In 1995 I was just happy that we had a chance to play for the title, win or lose, and were lucky enough to have the same opportunity, again 1996.

  11. G8RB8R -

    Ah, 1996!! Great year for both UF and OSU.

    >>and leap frogged AZ State in the last AP poll on Jan 2, to be voted #1< <

    No love for the reason you leapfrogged AZ State?

    Had it not been for the Buckeyes beatdown of Jake the Snake in the Rose, then UF wouldn’t have ended up #1. If ASU had won, as the #2 team they would have ended up w/ the title.

    See? Had it not been for OSU, Florida would not have won its last two titles.

    You’re welcome. ;-)

  12. sportsMonkey
    See? Had it not been for OSU, Florida would not have won its last two titles.

    LOL – You bet – when I taped the UF-f$u game in ’96, the beginning of it was the end of the Rose Bowl game that ended right before the kickoff of the Sugar Bowl. At that point we all knew this game would be for #1. 10 years late, but mucho thanks!

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