Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Congratulations BUCKEYE NATION!

I dont' know about you, but that BCS game last night in Glendale, AZ was one of the least competitive matchups in a TITLE GAME I've seen in years. Right from the opening kickoff, Ohio State just dominated the GATORS from Gainesville (Chomp Chomp Chomp!). Ginn was amazing on special teams, receiving, and rushing with over 200 yards in total and 3 TD's. Troy Smith looked every bit the Heisman winner, showing absolutely no signs of rust in passing for 300 yards on 18-26 (2TD's) and rushing for 75 more (1TD) - ripping into that speedy Gator defense like a refund check from the IRS. And how about that dominating BUCKEYE defense? Weren't they great too? Who says SEC speed can't be tamed? They've obviously never seen the power and strength of the mighty BIG-10 conference. When the confetti cleared and the post-game interviews began, all that remained inside the University of Phoenix Stadium was the RED & GREY of the BUCKEYE NATION, and Jim Tressel's sweather vest - freshly dampened with Gatorade (or whatever they put in those big orange jugs).

What's that? No, you're not mistaken. You've come to the right place. It's 2007, the year of the IPHONE from Apple (not Apple Computer anymore). As an Illinois Alum, I just figured I'd do my best to console my fellow comrades from Columbus in their moments of mourning. After all, this is the game they came to see - like Cesar in the Coleseum giving his approval for the final kill. No way was Florida going to deprive them of their 2nd title in 4 years. And, these very same BUCKEYES beat TEXAS (in Austin) who just happened to win it all last year in Pasadena under the lights of the ROSE BOWL. There just couldn't be any other acceptable outcome. Or could there?

By now, you've probably read the ariticles and seen the news stories on how the GATORS just simply put the 'beat-down' on the BUCKEYES to win their 2nd National Title in 100 years. I won't go into too much detail on how that was done - you watched the same 'game' I did, right? Florida was the better team THAT NIGHT. Sure, they were faster, stronger, hungrier, more efficient, and yes even better prepared than Tressel's squad to take care of business in the biggest game most of these players will ever play. I can't believe I just said all that crap. Florida, better prepared than Ohio State? Urban Meyer more crafty than Jim Tressel - who prides himself in making the right decision on each and every down? Florida (from the SEC) just exposed the BUCKEYES for who they really are (and the BIG-10 for what it really is).

The 2006/7 BUCKEYES were a great team, just not a championship - quality team. Troy Smith was a great college quarterback. Unfortunately, he'll go down in CFB history with the likes of Gino Toretta, Vinny Testaverde, Jason White, and Eric Crouch instead of Reggie Bush. Come on, were they really tested this year by that schedule (BIG BLUE at home in Columbus)? Heck, they didn't even play the best team in the conference (Wisconsin). Illinois gave them their toughtest game of the year (arguably - I know). Both Michigan and Ohio State lost their respecitive bowl attempts by a combined differential of more than 40 points to Florida and USC. The BIG - 10 went just 2-5 in bowl games this season with really NO impressive wins (sorry Penn State and Wisconsin).

Tressel usually masters these games. But last night was his worst loss as a BUCKEYE head coach in giving up 41 points. This was the worst BUCKEYE loss in over 12 years. Troy Smith was sacked more times (5) than he had competions (4). Ugh - that's ugly. I could go on and on. Coyote ugly comes to mind. What a nightmare if you're from Ohio and pulling for the BUCKS. Digest these final numbers:

  • 21-8 (first-down advantage for Florida).
  • 370 - 82 (total yards in favor of the Gators).
  • 3rd-down conversions @ 1-9 (Ohio State).
  • Time of possession: 40-20, advantage Urban's Army.
  • The final line for Smith: 4-14, 35 yards, 1 INT.

A few final thoughts on the 2k6/7 season. What a great year. Here's Fiutak's list of the best and the worst bowl games this season. The bowl challenge went in favor of the BIG EAST this year (yes, that's right). They won all 5 of their bowl games. The MWC came in 2nd place with a 75% winning percentage (3-1 overall). The SEC went 6-3, not bad. The PAC-10 batted 500 (3-3 after a tough start). How about the BIG-12 (3-5) and the BIG -10 (2-5)? Ouch - not good. Independents went 0-2 (including the Notre Dame massacre by LSU).

The FINAL AP POLL of the year came out right after the game: Florida, Ohio State, LSU, USC, and Boise State. Well, based on what I saw this year I'd have to go with: Florida, USC, LSU, Ohio State, and Boise State. I just don't think that the BUCKEYES are even the 2nd best team in the land anymore after what happened last night. Who wins on a neutral field right now, LSU or Ohio State? Obviously, the Gators have to be #1. But, I would put Pete Carrol over Les Miles anyday. And how about Boise State? We really need a playoff. Wouldn't a Florida / Boise State game be great right about now for dessert?

I just wonder what tweaks they'll make to the system for next year? Stay - tuned. And check - back often during the off-season. Media day is right around the corner (July for most conferences). Next year's TITLE GAME is the SUGAR BOWL in New Orleans. The BLOG goes high-tech in 2k7 with a new look and maybe even some podcasting.

For now, Kudos to the GATORS for becoming the first University to ever hold both men's football and basketball titles at the same time. Very cool. Only six schools can even say they've won both titles, the closest being 8 years apart between sports. In case you're wondering, the others are Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Ohio State.

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