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Thursday, November 28, 2013

College Football, Week 14: Are the Buckeyes Title Worthy?

Hello all, and Happy Turkey Day. Before I go any further, I would just like to say I am thankful for all of my readers, near and far. So thanks again for reading my blog!!!

As the college football regular season comes to an end, we once again find ourselves debating who deserves a place in the BCS National Championship game. The easy answer would seem to be that if No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State win out, they're going to Pasadena. But, upon a second look, is it really that simple?

Looming at No. 3 is Ohio State and their 23 game winning streak. While most pundits agree that it would take a loss from either the Crimson Tide or the Seminoles for the Buckeyes to move in to the BCS Championship, I am not sure that even that would be necessary. I know I am speaking from a biased perspective, but give me a moment and I'll explain in further detail.

The Buckeyes enter this week with the 64th ranked strength of schedule in the nation according to ( which, at first glance doesn't look that impressive. But consider the fact that Florida State's strength of schedule is only  63rd best in the nation, and Ohio State isn't looking quite so bad.

I know Florida State beat No. 6 Clemson earlier in the season, and that is the main reason why the Seminoles are rated higher than in the BCS. But if Ohio State wins its next two games, and both Michigan State and Wisconsin can pull off victories this Saturday, that means the Buckeyes will have two wins against top 15 BCS teams to Florida State's one. Shouldn't that carry at least a little weight?

It appears, however, that ESPN is doing its best to make sure the Buckeyes don't make a return trip to the national championship. Either that or they believe the best way to attract viewership is by dogging OSU. Why else would they, week after week, focus on what team can leapfrog the Buckeyes? Or that there is any possibility that a one-loss Auburn team, that needed a miracle to beat Georgia by the way, would deserve to move into the second BCS spot with a win on Saturday?

I know, I know, I'm a homer. I also know there are apparently five or six schools in the SEC that would beat Ohio State if they played in the conference. (Or at least that is what ESPN/my friends would have me believe, because the SEC is so much the superior conference.

Yet it should be pointed out that Alabama, with the 49th ranked schedule in the nation, isn't really playing that much tougher competition. And I think that the Buckeyes could hang with them, even though most people in Columbus would rather OSU go to the Rose Bowl, because that way they would be guaranteed to go 26-0. (N.B.: The last three teams to end the regular season as AP No. 1, including Notre Dame last year, failed to win the national championship)

Rather than worry what may lie down the road, Urban Meyer's squad will be solely focused on beating its arch-rival up north once again. Which brings me to this week's predictions:

3Ohio State at Michigan: 

The Buckeyes are looking to make it 24 in a row under second year coach Urban Meyer. Having already set OSU records for points in a season (536), points per game (48.7) and total offense per game (530 yards), the Buckeyes look to put an exclamation point on the season with a win Saturday. Look for the Scarlet and Gray to turn to its workhorse, Carlos Hyde, early and often along with a healthy dose of Braxton Miller.

For the Wolverines, this year hasn't gone nearly as planned. Once thought of as a darkhorse title contender, Michigan is now looking to salvage some respectability in this year's version of 'The Game.' Quarterback Devin Gardner, thought to be one of the more efficient signal caller's in the preseason, has thrown almost as many interceptions (11) this season as TDs (17). Brady Hoke may not be on the hot seat just yet, but fans in Ann Arbor are getting restless.

So how does this one pan out? I'd love to say that the Buckeyes are going to cover the 14 1/2 point spread they're favored by, but this is a rivalry game, and it's being played in the Big House. Look for Scarlet and Gray to remain undefeated, however. Ohio State 28, Michigan 20

1Alabama at 4Auburn: 

This year's edition of the Iron Bowl couldn't have more on the line, as a trip to the SEC championship (and possible BCS championship berth) goes to the winner. While the Tigers have been playing inspired ball lately, AJ McCarron and company are just too efficient. Alabama 24, Auburn 17

2Florida State at Florida:

Will Jameis Winston play or won't he? For the Gators the question should be: does Tim Tebow still have any eligibility left? FSU 48, Florida 7

9Baylor at TCU;

Art Briles' squad took one squarely on the chin last week. Don't expect lightning to strike twice, however. Baylor 56, TCU 24

Minnesota at 11 Michigan State:

Gophers pull off the unlikely...wait, I couldn't even finish that sentence without milk spewing out of my nose I was laughing so hard.  Michigan State 27, Minnesota 10

24 Duke at North Carolina:

Figures to be a high scoring affair, with Jabari Park...wait, you mean to tell me this is still football season? Duke 25, North Carolina 17

Well, that's all for now. Time to go enjoy some turkey and stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

College Football, Week 11: Roll Tide

As the 2013 college football season slowly but surely winds down, all eyes are focused on which teams will be playing for the BCS National Championship.

As luck would have it, tonight's showdown between 13 LSU and defending national champion (and undefeated) Alabama couldn't have bigger BCS implications, at least for the Crimson Tide. The Tide's hopes of remaining No. 1 in the nation rest solely on whether they can handle their biggest test of the season yet.

And while most of the nation outside of Tuscaloosa is hoping for LSU to pull off the unlikely upset, I don't see it happening. I know this rivalry has been heated the last few years. I also understand the last time the Tigers went into Tuscaloosa they beat the Tide.

But the difference between this game and the one last season is simple: AJ McCarron's leadership. The senior signal caller has helped the Tide become more efficient than they were last season, when they averaged over 445 yards per game. His biggest assest though, might be the fact that he has turned the ball over a mere 3 times this season.

So even though I would like to see Alabama lose, as it would help my Ohio State Buckeyes move up in the BCS rankings, I think once the dust settles tonight they will still be the No. 1 team in the nation. My prediction: Alabama 30, LSU 27

Friday, November 1, 2013

College Football, Week 10: Seminoles Remain Perfect

As we continue our journey through the 2013 college football season, the number of undefeated teams in the nation grows smaller and smaller.

This week it appears that either 7 Miami or 3 Florida State will join the ranks of the one-loss teams, as the two schools face off tomorrow night at 8pm in Doak Campbell stadium.

So, when the dust settles, which one of these so-called ACC heavyweights will remain perfect? Duke Johnson and the 'U'  or 'Famous' Jameis and the 'Noles?  FSU defense once again proves to much for the 'Canes, as the home team wins by three scores. Florida State 37, Miami 20

Around the BCS Top 25:

4 Ohio State at Purdue: Last season the Buckeyes needed Kenny Guiton to throw for 2 TDs late, including one in overtime, to defeat the Boilermakers and remain undefeated. This year Guiton runs for 2 TDs in the second half, but the outcome is never in doubt. Ohio State 56, Purdue 13

Mississippi State at 14 South Carolina: Gamecocks are on a mission to make it back to the SEC Championship for the first time since 2010. Bulldogs put up a fight, but Jadeveon Clowney and company are too much in the end. South Carolina 20, Mississippi 17

17 Northern Illinois at Massachusetts: Huskies put away Minutemen before the end of the first half.
Northern Illinois 65, UMass 17

24 Wisconsin at Iowa: Hawkeyes keep this one close, but Badger running game eventually wears them down. Wisconsin 30, Iowa 24

21 Michigan at 22 Michigan State: Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, quite possibly unaware how UM alum Mike Hart put his foot in his mouth, repeats Hart's line about how the Spartans are the Wolverine's little brother. Devin Gardner throws at least two interceptions in this game. Michigan State 27, Michigan 23

8 Clemson at Virginia: Tajh Boyd's chances to win the Heisman are quickly fading, but that doesn't stop the senior signal-caller from passing for 300 yards and 3 TDs against the Cavaliers. Clemson 42, Virginia 14

Navy at 25 Notre Dame: No luck of the Irish needed here. Notre Dame 45, Navy 24

11 Auburn at Arkansas: Tigers remain undefeated by pummeling hapless Razorbacks. Auburn 35, Arkansas 7

Tennessee at 9 Missouri: Maty Mauk and Tigers bounce back from their first loss of the season by edging a better-than-advertised Volunteer squad. Missouri 30, Tennessee 27

18 Oklahoma State at 15 Texas Tech: Red Raiders stay alive in race for Big 12 Championship with a victory over the Cowboys. Texas Tech 27, Oklahoma State 17

Colorado at 20 UCLA: Poor Colorado wishes it was still playing in what used to be the Big Eight. UCLA 40, Colorado 10