Friday, September 08, 2006

CFB Weekend Preview: Buckeyes Will Rule

The Big 'Un: No. 1 Ohio State at No. 2 Texas.

Let me count the ways this rules...

1. Biggest/best game of the season.
2. Will likely determine (at least) one half of the BCS title game.
3. Rematch of last year's most important game of the season.
4. Showcases 2 of the Top 5 Heisman guys (Smith, Ginn).
5. Austin in Primetime.

I know UT is playing at home. I know that everyone still has questions about OSU's revamped defense.

But I'm picking Ohio State to win on the road and cement its status as the No. 1 team in the country.

Why?

OSU's offense is better than UT's defense more than UT's offense is better than OSU's defense. Did that make sense? Basically, I think it'll be a shootout, much like the Rose Bowl's was last year. Ohio State's offense is every bit as good as USC's was last year. (Yes ,you read that right.) But Troy Smith is more clutch than Matt Leinart. One might even say that Smith is "Young-ish," but not because he's a black QB -- because Smith is a gamer, just like VY was.

Then there's the qualitative factor of REVENGE. Losing in Columbus on a late TD, for a loss that essentially cost OSU a chance at a national title? That's some solid motivation. Dethroning the defending champs? No win right now could be sweeter.

So I'm saying Ohio St 30, Texas 27 in a game that lives up to the hype.

As for the rest of the Top 25:

No. 19 Penn State will beat No. 4 Notre Dame at ND. This isn't just my obvious dislike for the Irish showing through. (Well, that's SOME of it.) I just think that ND is overrated. Penn State is probably underrated. I know that picking against ND at home is probably a mistake, but Penn State's defense is good enough to keep it close, and this would be Paterno's biggest win of the season by far. Again with the "motivation" angle. (Then again, want to bet Charlie Weis is using doubting opinion angles like mine to fire up HIS team?)

Upset Special: South Carolina over No. 12 Georgia. This is precisely the kind of game that Steve Spurrier loves: Any game against UGA. He owns them. The Gamecocks are playing at home, and UGA ain't that great. The QB situation is VERY sketchy. (I watched last week's game while down in SEC country...Joe T inspires ZERO confidence from Dawg fans.)

(My second choice: Fresno State over No. 20 Oregon. Oregon looked the best of any Pac-10 team last week, but the Ducks are at Fresno, which has "giant-killer" written all over it. Fresno St LOVES these games.)

Game of the Week: No. 24 Texas Tech at UTEP. I love Texas Tech's offense, enough to have a blind spot in a very possible upset game. UTEP is no slouch, and – again with this week's theme – this would be a Win of the Season for them. What does two sick offenses mean? How about my setting an over-under at 100 points and happily taking the over? Here's the true test of the new CFB clock rules: If THESE two teams can't rack up 90-plus plays each, the system really is screwed up. Pick: TX Tech.

Intriguing Game of the Week: No. 18 Clemson at Boston College. In my Quickie CFB season preview, I picked Clemson as a team set up for a breakout season. When I looked at their schedule, THIS was the game that scared me the most. A loss sets them up at 1-1 and your usual 8-4 season. A win puts them at 2-0 with a VERY quality win -- like "put-'em-in-the-Top-10-next-week" win. Pick: Clemson.

The rest (Sorry, no upsets)
4 Auburn over Miss. St
6 WVA over E. Wash.
7 FLA over Cent. FLA
8 LSU over Arizona
9 FSU over Troy
10 Mich over Cent. Mich
11 Tennessee over Air Force
13 L'ville over Temple
14 Iowa over Syracuse (at Cuse)
15 Oklahoma over Washington
16 VA Tech over UNC (at UNC)
17 Miami over FAMU
21 Nebraska over Nicholls St
21 Cal over Minnesota
23 TCU over UC-Davis
25 Ariz St over Nevada

And, finally, in my own personal hell: I can't shake the feeling that Northwestern is going to lose its home opener to 1-AA powerhouse New Hampshire. I don't write "powerhouse" with any sort of irony; they are good -- and this would be a program-making win for them. For NU, there is very little to gain here. Even a win would be "only" a win over a 1-AA team. I really hope I'm wrong.

-- D.S.

27 comments:

Jeff Rogers said...

Love the Buckeyes pick and I couldn't agree more. Ohio State's offense will win more battles against Texas' defense than Texas' offense will win against the Buckeyes defense. There needs to be a better way to say that phrase. Anyway, I love the Buckeyes team this year.

CorrND said...

I will not be baited by your ND comments....I will not be baited by your ND comments....DAMNIT!

Richard said...

DS -

I like the Buckeyes pick even though I'm picking a different Big 10 team's player to win the Heisman (woah! Hear that Drew Tate?).

Idea for you:

After last week, try picking a division 1-AA team to beat a 1-A team EVERY week. I like the Northwestern pick (but I'm hoping Georgia Tech loses to Samford so Chan Gailey is fired).

Tee Isenhour said...

Quickly...I despise everything about the PAC 10, USC especially. However, I do not think your comparison of the OSU '06 offense to USC '05 could be more incorrect.

LudaKris said...

You hit the OSU vs. UT game right on, I agree with ALL your valid points.

Kristopher (Tampa, FL)

Jon said...

So, you're telling us to put money on Texas, ND and Georgia then....

hende said...

Big Buckeye fan, but I don't have the same confidence as you for Saturday's game. Tressel has never, ever, coached a high octane offense to cover for an inexperienced defense. He has always relied on defense (now with an unknown back 7), special teams (two new kickers this year), and field postition (new punter). I can't see him reinventing himself in to a Cooper-esqe offensive coach for this game. The guy wears a sweater vest for God's sake, that should tell you how 'dynamic' he is.

That being said, the Buckeyes can win by pressuring young Colt into mistakes. Colt's stock might be a little too high right now, considering that of his 178 yds passing last week, only about 40 yds were through the air, the rest were YACs.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Rogers said...
Love the Buckeyes pick and I couldn't agree more. Ohio State's offense will win more battles against Texas' defense than Texas' offense will win against the Buckeyes defense. There needs to be a better way to say that phrase. Anyway, I love the Buckeyes team this year.


quoted for truth....

these uber huge games early in the season have a lot to do with game experience.. I mean all Troy Smith did last year was demolish ND in their bowl and come within a gnat's ass (A.K.A A Vince Young drive for the ages) from beating the champs. look for OSU to be more polished and better when the lights come on and everyone is screaming their heads off. Experience counts a ton in these types of matchups, especially at QB

paul said...

Jeff Rogers said...
Love the Buckeyes pick and I couldn't agree more. Ohio State's offense will win more battles against Texas' defense than Texas' offense will win against the Buckeyes defense. There needs to be a better way to say that phrase. Anyway, I love the Buckeyes team this year.


quoted for truth....

these uber huge games early in the season have a lot to do with game experience.. I mean all Troy Smith did last year was demolish ND in their bowl and come within a gnat's ass (A.K.A A Vince Young drive for the ages) from beating the champs. look for OSU to be more polished and better when the lights come on and everyone is screaming their heads off. Experience counts a ton in these types of matchups, especially at QB

sorry... I forgot one thing.. well two. (1)I had to leave my name so I could get flamed. (2) If Brady Quinn had trouble staying cool and delievering the ball last week against Georgia Tech's front seven, what do you thing freaking PENN STATE is going to do to him? Two words Charlie.. "Max Protect"

Scott said...

Kudos to Ohio State and Texas for having the guts to play a big non-conference game, we rarerly get games like this because most teams are afraid of having their season ruined with one loss.

Jake C said...

I have a feeling the Ohio St-Texas game is going to be a shootout. They both have premiere offenses (even with a newbie in Texas at QB), and both defenses are suspect.

As for the Penn State game...here's hoping the Shanoff curse is in full effect. Man, you really hate the Irish huh?

Here's the real possible upsets...Cal and VA Tech both lose.

Anonymous said...

ND will lose and I will laugh. Meanwhile, everyone else in the media will make excuses and call it a fluke loss.

Notre Dame- the only top 25 team to not have beaten another ranked team within the last 15 months.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...3 wins just last season. Not the Irish's fault that their opponents later collapsed.

@ #23 Pittsburgh
#3 Michigan
@#22 Purdue

Psycho said...

how can you say leinert is less clutch then smith? did you see the ND USC game last year and his final drive? also, it wasnt his fault that the USC defense couldnt stop vince young. He is Ice cold. why do you think that his girlfriend was poking holes in the condoms?

Cody said...

I agree w/Scott, kudos to both Texas and OSU for a big time non-confrence game early in the year.

I am a big time UT fan, however I aggree w/the fact about the offense/defense matchups(Didn't want to type that whole thing out). I think OSU will win in a shoot-out.

With that being said, Texas will be on cruise control for the Big 12 championship. OSU will slip up and lose a confrence game. Then we will have the eagerly anticipated log jam at the top, and the inevitable BCS screw up.

Anonymous said...

How do you write a preview of the Texas/OSU game without commenting on how well Colt McCoy will be able to do against a Buckeye defense? Sure, it's not the squad from last year that included several first round NFL draft picks, but it is still a Buckeye defense. That means it will be full of 4 and 5 star recruits with blazing speed who will (like last years d) be selected in the early rounds of the NFL draft.

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

I like the pick of Penn State over ND because GT gave everyone a blue print to rattle Quinn and make it hard on the Irish. I think JoePa can figure out how to blitz and make it hell.

As for the UT/OSU game, I am pulling for the Horns but I am realistic, we are gonna be 1-1 after this game. I will be hoping differently but I think with Brown out we can't really stop Ginn, Jr. and he will make 1 or 2 big plays that swing the game to a 3 or 4 point OSU win.

Paul said...

Mark said...
I like the pick of Penn State over ND because GT gave everyone a blue print to rattle Quinn and make it hard on the Irish. I think JoePa can figure out how to blitz and make it hell.


YES!!!!

Like I said, if Quinn showed some Paper Mache against George Tech, Penn State may ruin his year... They are fast.. completely nasty and will hit you hard all game. I watched them shut down my 'Noles last year

Phil said...

I'm hoping for a Clemson win, as well. That way, they can roll into Tally once again extremely hyped up, for an ESPN Sat night game, and then get completely overwhelmed by the most underrated team of the top 10 so far.

Paul said...

Phil said...
I'm hoping for a Clemson win, as well. That way, they can roll into Tally once again extremely hyped up, for an ESPN Sat night game, and then get completely overwhelmed by the most underrated team of the top 10 so far.

Good to see someone give my boys some love...

they have maybe the best front seven in the country, and are returning a two All American caliber recivers and last years best passer in the ACC. GO NOLES

Travis said...

Just a few things on the New Hampshire vs Northwestern game.

first off the divisions are I-A and I-AA. Whereas you sigfnified 1-A and 1-AA.

I'm a member of a message group called Any Given Saturday which promotes the highest College Football Championship level, I-AA.

I also am a voter in the weekly poll which has had the most accurate I-AA preseason rankings for the past 3 years.

I welcome you and any others here to join and learn more about I-AA http://www.anygivensaturday.com/forum/index.php

I think not only will Northwestern fans be reeling from a loss Saturday, but be prepared for what could easily be a double digit win by New Hampshire.

I can guarantee one thing, the Wildcats will win ;)

Anonymous said...

I hope you didn't jinx my Bucks, Dan!

I also think that Colt will be rattled enough to make some key mistakes that will be gamemakers.

GO BUCKEYES!

Mark said...

I think Northwestern is better than most people think.

I also think you're absolutely right to call ND out as being overrated, especially after last week.

However, I think you're a sucker to bet against the Irish at home, no matter who the opponent.

Travis said...

That my friends was a spanking.

New Hampshire (I-AA) 34
at
Northwestern (I-A) 17

Christian (High Point, NC) said...

Nice to see the Quickie Curse has followed you to the blog, Dan. Penn State is a 7-5 team this season IF THEY'RE LUCKY, yet you still picked them to beat Notre Dame. Unbelievable. Since PoSU was ranked way too high (think: also receiving votes), the Notre Dame bandwagon will be back in full swing. And you know what the worst part of it is? Now I have to root for Michigan next week. I'm in hell. Of course, the fact that 'Extra' is on while I'm waiting for OSU-UT may be part of the reason I'm therein. Go Buckeyes!

el duce said...

what crappy picks this week. ND cmon how can you doubt em and that shootout you promised hasnt even cracked 50 and it is the start of the fourth. At least you had the brains to know that NH was gonna knock off NW. DO me a favor and pick tennessee next week. @ bits 4 bits 6 bits 12 we are the gators go f#*% yourselves

Thomas said...

Hehe. ND proved you wrong.