Week 13: MotSaG B1G Pick ‘em and Tidbits – The Sadness

By: Phil Schoch, Twitter me @osuphil95

Each week Pick ’em & Tidbits risks public humiliation and mockery by predicting each B1G game, as well as a few national spotlight games, versus the Vegas spread.

A Pie & A Song: Busting out of my Buckeye Blues

Buckeye fans dealing with a football loss have a spectrum of coping methods. The more volatile may drink themselves into a thrashing rage or rage-Tweet at players and coaches (if this is you, seek help now). Others seek group therapy sessions. On Saturday night I replaced the Buckeye flag affixed to the front of our home with a black skull-and-crossbones flag, then I withdrew and analyzed. I listened to post-game interviews, read Tweets, studied the dreadful statistics, considered or dismissed various opinions and takes and ate pie.

I never intended for my Meijer Rich Caramel Apple Pie to be consumed in mournful solitude. It is a flavorsome, friends and family, celebratory pie. After three hours of analysis and one-third of the pie ingested, I fell into a tumultuous sleep. Morning arrived, blanketed in the post-Buckeye loss blues. Another slice of pie was no help. Then my three year old daughter walked through the kitchen singing a Trombone Shorty song and my blues were lifted. I was still aggravated to no end, but no longer brooding. Wait. Did I just experience perspective? If so, I certainly could have used some perspective and pie in ’95, ’96 and ’97 after those cannonball-to-the-gut Michigan losses.

I highly recommend the Meijer Rich Caramel Apple Pie. It is coated in a quarter-to-a-half-inch (no lie) of breakfast-y caramel you would find on an iced cream-filled donut and weighs about 8 pounds (also not a lie). Lift with your legs, not your back.

If Trombone Shorty comes to your town – buy tickets, get a babysitter and go! Core-melting New Orleans funk-rock-jazz. Here is the song my daughter was singing Sunday.

Buckeye fans: Have rage? George does too.

Overview of the Aggravation

A philosophy and commitment to championship expectations among the football program, school administration and fan base is what makes Ohio State football an all-time great. Ohio State football and its fans should never be ashamed or afraid of championship expectations, because without them – we’re Purdue or Illinois or what has become of Nebraska. Losses happen – and if it hurts as a coach, a player or a fan, good – it should.

Some perspective. Losses happen – in Ohio State’s case, it had been 441 days between losses. Before the Spartans invaded The ‘Shoe, the Buckeyes last regular season B1G loss had taken place 1,445 days ago. An undefeated season, a National Championship and 23 & 24-game winning streaks have taken place in the past four years. On Saturday, the Buckeyes lost – and it hurt. It hurt Ezekiel Elliott.

Championship expectations and championship preparation and performance against perfection are what make Urban Meyer teams great. On Saturday, a season of disheveled preparation and uneven performances reached a confluence – and the Buckeyes lost to a tenacious, resolute and undermanned Spartan squad. Afterward, Zeke spoke out. Did he say too much and go too far? Yup. Was he a robust, 100% correct? Yup. Will he likely learn from this situation and become a better leader down the road? Yup. Will it harm his draft status, as some national drama-instigators have suggested? Hecks no!

As if they broke down my own thoughts on Saturday’s debacle and put them into words for me, here are two excellent local Buckeye writers:

From Chris Lauderback of ElevenWarriors.com (@chris11w)

PLAYING NOT TO LOSE ENDS IN LOSS

Remember when Urban Meyer tried to score 50 points on every team by speeding up the tempo and throwing haymakers at opposing defenses? I do, but not this year.

 Instead, with a three-headed monster of Ed Warinner, Tim Beck and Meyer calling the plays for an offense featuring bouts of indecision around staffing the quarterback position, a line that has yet to match last year’s effectiveness and spotty wide receiver play all complemented by the best running back in America, the play calling became painfully conservative.

SHAKE IT UP

The season is far from over but last night served as the greatest example yet that Ohio State needs to shake up the offensive staff’s roles in the offseason. Maybe that’s through turnover, maybe it’s through shuffling responsibility but the status quo won’t suffice.

The current setup has taken some of Warinner’s time away from coaching the offensive line and it seems logical to correlate that fact with the lack of consistency and improvement from a group that was the strength of last year’s championship run.

Beck has taken over some of the play calling duties while moonlighting as the quarterbacks coach and it’s telling that the offense looks rudderless at times as both quarterbacks have shown zero improvement – if not regression – in comparison to last year. Specific to yesterday, to not even attempt to attack Sparty’s depleted secondary was flat out criminal. How much of that decision was Beck and how much was Meyer isn’t totally clear but either way it’s on Meyer as the head coach.

From Tony Gerdeman of TheOzone.net (@GerdOZone)

Boy, oh boy, was that an irresponsible offensive game plan by the Ohio State coaches, or what?

URBAN MEYER HAS GONE TOO CONSERVATIVE

I cannot believe that what we witnessed on Saturday was an Urban Meyer offense. This was not the offense of an elite head coach.

THIS IS THE REAL 2015 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

This isn’t a team that was bored by the schedule. This wasn’t a team that was waiting for a real challenge. This is a team that scored twice at home against Michigan State on touchdown drives of 32 and 6 yards. Those are fake drives. This is a team that struggled on offense at times all season long.

IF YOU HAVE A BAD OFFENSE, IT’S ON PURPOSE

This is my longest-held and most firm football belief, and I have mentioned it many, many times: If you are a college football head coach and you have a bad offense, you’re doing it on purpose. There is no reason for it. There are far too many successful offenses out there with lesser skill looking like world beaters.

The only excuse for Ohio State’s offense to look like it did against Michigan State is that Ohio State caused it. You can’t give this much credit to the Spartans. Give them some, they took some things away from the Buckeyes, but the Buckeyes didn’t look for replacements, they just simply threw their arms up and hoped that they could get away with doing absolutely nothing.

The Buckeyes ran just 45 plays, which is what good up-tempo teams want to run in a half. Getting 45 plays is due to a lack of trying on the coaches’ part and that’s a total disservice to the players. Limiting opportunities is the exact opposite of what Urban Meyer has always said his offense is about. He talks about writing down his list of 10 playmakers and how he’s going to get them the ball, but where is the evidence of that list and those intentions this season? It never existed.

THE GAME IS ONLY DAYS AWAY!

With the Michigan Game and their first tangle with Jim Harbaugh just days away, can this Buckeye squad bounce back? Mentally? Emotionally? Strategically? Organizationally? Urban Meyer has spoken glowingly all season of the leadership and focus of his team. That leadership will be tested to the extreme this week in preparation for a rejuvenated Michigan program with a stout front 7 and better DB’s than Sparty. My guts are churning already.

To the good news…

My late season push continued in Week 12, as Pick ‘em & Tidbits registered a 6-2 record versus the spread and 6-2 straight up. My PM Stukenborg Fearless Prediction of the Indiana Creepy Creans (+3) over Maryland won outright as well.

Heading into the final week of the B1G regular season, my record stands at 68-64 (51.5%!!!) ATS and 98-34 (74.2%) SU.

Disclaimer: Keep your holidays merry and bright. Don’t wager your kids Christmas present money on anything you think you may have learned here.

Around the B1G…

Friday, November 27

Iowa

3:30

ABC

Vegas says… Iowa -1

At Nebraska

 

This is how legendary Iowa coach used to slump around the football offices. Now he has swagger.

Not only is this link SFW, it is officially Iowa SFW. blob:https%3A//vine.co/e7217ecc-fb37-4015-ab8c-c84ea284205c

Pick ‘em says… Too much on the line for the Hawkeyes to lose this one. Iowa, 27-24.

Saturday, November 28

Ohio State

 

12:00

ABC

Vegas says… Blue -1

At Michigan

 

A lot of questions need answers. Does Ohio State have the leadership and focus to move past the Michigan State loss and be ready for a battle in Ann Arbor? Can OSU find offensive balance in less than a week? Under the Radar X-Factor: Can OSU OLB, Darron Lee (New Albany), neutralize Michigan TE, Jake Butt (Pickerington) on 3rd down and get the defense off the field?

Pick ‘em says… At mid-week, my stomach feels like this Michigan Man’s face. Buckeyes, 24-23. 

Indiana

12:00

BTN

Vegas says…

Hoosiers -6.5

At Purdue

 

The Hoosier state’s battle for the Old Oaken Bucket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick ‘em says… Add another I to the chain. Hoosiers, 38-16.

Maryland

12:00

BTN

Vegas says… Terps -1

At Rutgers

The Eastern Seaboard’s Battle for Jim Delany’s Cash.

 

 

 

 

 

Pick ‘em says… Everybody loses when Rutgers and Maryland square off in a B1G sanctioned event. Turtles, 24-20.

Penn State

 

3:30

ESPN

Vegas says… Sparty -11

At Michigan State

 

The Land Grant Trophy is the second worst trophy in B1G history. Remember the short-lived Farmer Buys Young Boy for a Bushel of Corn Cy-Hawk Trophy (creepy image below)? That one is the worst, but half of the blame goes to the Big XII. The Land Grant is all B1G and celebrates a federal government real estate program of 1855 involving property agencies as Pyramis – trash talking over 160 year old government programs – oo’yeah! The pads will be poppin’! Here is the Land Grant Trophy in it’s 7th grade junior high yearbook photo. Here is my favorite version – The Lou Grant Trophy. Man, that Ed Asner was a hairy guy. In case you did not know, multiple David Letterman Top 10 Lists referenced the full-body shagginess of the actor – including this gem from a 1997 list: Top Ten Surprises In The New Version Of Star Wars – #10 Part of Chewbacca now played by a shirtless Ed Asner. B1G comedic trophy gold!

 

 

 

 

 

Pick ‘em says… Sparty in a squeeeeeeeeeker, 20-19.

Wisconsin

 

3:30

BTN

Vegas says… W -2.5

At Minnesota

 

Southern Canada’s Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe

 

 

Pick ‘em says… It’s the PM Stukenborg Fearless Prediction! Gophers in a mild-flavored Gouda upset. Gophers, 24-17. 

Northwestern

 

3:30

At Soldier Field

ESPNU

Vegas says… NW -3.5

Illinois

 

Battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy

Pick ‘em says… Northwestern’s resurgent season has been a pleasant surprise that Wildcat fans won’t go see. Wildcats, 24-17.

National Spotlight games…

Baylor

 

Friday, November 27

7:30

ESPN

Vegas says… Bears -1

At TCU

 

It’s amazing how far these two programs have come in the past decade. They have temporarily put the blue-blooded Longhorns out to pasture. This battle of third-string quarterbacks will be determined by turnovers.

Pick ‘em says… I’ll postulate that TCU is the tougher team. Frogs, 38-31.

Notre Dame

 

7:30

FOX

Vegas says…Stanford -4

At Stanford

 

Pick ‘em says… Please lose Notre Dame. Cardinal, 27-24.

Oklahoma

 

8:00

ABC

Vegas says…

Sooners -6.5

At Oklahoma State

 

If you are a rooting for the perfect storm to get the Buckeyes back into the Final 4, you are a mid-day Nittany Lion fan and a late night Cowboy fan.

Pick ’em says… Sooners are on a roll, but I hope Jim Ross is sadly shaking his head like this at midnight. Sooners, 45-35.

Thanks for reading, Dan of Crestwood.

Comments

  1. Dan of Crestwood says

    Hey, Its good to get a West Central Ohio shout out from Tidbits.

    If it weren’t for two previous gut busting Thanksgiving Day “lunches”, I would join you in another piece of Meijer Caramel Apple Pie, with its 5/8″ thick icing, to fight off a Wolverine attach.

    Perhaps I will wait until Saturday’s Buckeye victory to have that piece of pie……..unless, in a strictly precautionary move, I take an emergency trip to Versailles for a big batch of Fried Rolls with Caramel icing.

    Or if feeling a little more comfortable regarding the Bucks victory chances, I may opt instead for Iced Caramel Long Johns from Wagner’s in Minster.

    Either way, it looks like the Buckeyes win by about 1…1″ of caramel that is.

    Dan of Crestwood.

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