Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday 09/12 A.M. Quickie:
USC-OSU, Cassel-Favre, K-Rod, More

USC is going to beat Ohio State, but I'm going to stop pushing this as a "de facto playoff" game. (Although I will still argue that it represents why the college football regular season rules.)

Because, as I pointed out back before the season started, losing this game likely doesn't hurt that team's chances of being in the BCS title game.

For the winner? Obvious returns: They take the pole position for one of two BCS slots; in the event three BCS-conference teams all go unbeaten, this game's winner gets not an edge, but THE edge.

For the loser? Let's say it's Ohio State. First of all, if/when they win out and go 11-1, they will have a pretty good on-paper resume -- Big Ten Champ, only loss to the nation's No. 1 team on the road without the use of their best player.

If there is another BCS-league unbeaten besides the winner of this game (again: assume USC for the sake of argument), OSU is S.O.L.

But if USC is the only unbeaten, only a 1-loss SEC champ would likely have more cred than a 1-loss Ohio State. (With a 2-loss SEC champ, like a year ago? OSU's dream scenario.)

Even if OSU loses. Even if OSU loses BIG (as I predict they will). You can expect for Buckeye Nation (led by spokesperson Kirk Herbstreit) to lay low for a little while, then begin the lobbying as soon as they obliterate Michigan to finish off an 11-1 season.

"Oh, we played that USC game without Beanie Wells. It's a totally different team now. A better team. The No. 2 team in the country. It's not a rematch -- it's the game you thought you'd see back on September 13."

File it away. This will happen. So, at least for now -- for this particular Ohio State team -- this notion of "Each week is a playoff" simply doesn't hold up.

(Now, if Ohio State manages to win without Beanie at USC? Hell, I'll stick them at No. 1 and give this team a completely clean slate -- no holding 06 and 07 BCS title games against them.)

Complete CFB Top 25 picks coming at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, there's Pats-Jets. (Week 2 NFL picks coming this afternoon.) There's K-Rod. There's Ike. Here's the complete SN column for today.

-- D.S.


Johnny b said...

It'll be a moot point. OSU is NOT going undefeated in the Big 10 (+1) this year

Unknown said...

Shanoff -

Are you not at all concerned by Mr. Mediocre (Mark Sanchez)? He has 4 career starts. In his only 2 games against decent defenses (not great defenses, but decent defenses) he has been awful. He had a 54.5 rating against Arizona and 79.0 rating against Oregon. He threw two interceptions in each of those games and never looked confident or comfortable under even moderate pressure (AZ had 3 sacks, Oregon had 1).

Of course he looked impressive on paper against 2007 Notre Dame (3-9 team with awful defense) and a rebuilding/bottom-dwelling ACC team (2008 Virginia). But if you watch those games he was actually quite unimpressive. Against Virginia he had enough time in the pocket to "grill steaks" (his words), yet he still threw an interception, missed several open receivers, and forced several bad passes that should have been intercepted.

OSU has a much better defense than any of those 4 teams and can win this game by getting pressure on Sanchez.