Amazing how quickly fortunes change. Earlier this afternoon, the monkey and a bunch of fellow co-workers were gathered in my cubicle staring slack jawed at the headline. A post went up shortly thereafter and all of a sudden the wind was sucked out of our sails and we drifted listlessly for the rest of the afternoon. Eventually, the monkey and I were able to see silver linings, find positive ways to look at things and, in the end, remember that IT’S JUST A GAME.
So we’re still being positive. Now it’s time for your mandatory reading list for this week’s open thread.
With this being probably the biggest game of the year, there’s a lot of writing going on, both in the media and the blogosphere. Without over-loading you with links, let’s take a look at what people are saying. Here’s a smattering:
- Around the Oval looks at Ohio State Defense vs. USC Offense.
- 11W take a look at some of the USC standouts with “Eyes on the Enemy” for Mark Sanchez, Rey Maualuga, and Joe McKnight (he’s made of pure nightmare).
- They also have the depth chart up. Did anyone else notice Cameron Heyward starting as a DT last Saturday? I thought that was interesting. Washington is listed as a starter, but so is Chekwa. Pfef looks at how this situation should be handled.
- No open thread is complete without Buckeye Planet’s data orgy.
- I mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: Matt Hinton has been following the Trobuckalypse all week and it’s been great as usual.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t give the USC side of the ‘sphere its say:
- Bulletin Board Material: USC has little to worry about from O-S-Who.
- Conquest Chronicles looks at Why Ohio State will Dominate USC. They also look at a topic of great interest to us: the OSU D-line versus the USC O-line.
- A lot of people on the OSU side of things are clinging to the hope that the Beanie announcement yesterday is part of an elaborate mind game that Tressel is playing. The guys at Trojan Wire “aren’t buying it.”
And so on. Now it’s time for your predictions. As always, school us in the comments. (my predictions are the italic words that are going to impress you beyond belief)
If Beanie can’t go, who has the biggest impact on the game? – I’m going with Pryor here. I know it’s a stretch, but I want to see it happen so bad that I’m hoping I can will it so with my mind powers.
Who records more tackles, Little Animal or Maualuga? – I say it’s a tie, but Marcus Freeman beats them both.
How many carries does Beanie actually get? – Is he really fine and just part of an elaborate mind game by Tressel? Since it’s the only thing keeping me sane, I say yes. Beanie carries the pigskin a dozen times with considerable success.
Final Score? – Again, because I am on the verge of insanity and I’m a huge homer:
Hit us with your best shot.
Who impacts if Beanie doesn’t?: It’s got to be (shudder) Boeckman.
Tackles – Little Animal or Maualuga?: Maualuga, he’s in for more 2x the snaps than LA typically is.
Beanie’s carries?: I see Beanie playing sparingly, around 10 carries.
Final Score: I have two. If Beanie plays, and he’s healthy: OSU wins 24-13. If Beanie plays sparingly, and he plays hurt: USC wins 27-16.