Monday, January 07, 2008

It's OSU v LSU for all the beads on Bourbon Street

Recent Results:
-International Bowl
Rutgers 52, Ball State 30
-GMAC Bowl
Toledo 63, Bowling Green 7

My Bowl Season Record: 15-16

BCS Title game
Ohio State
(11-1) vs. LSU (11-2)
New Orleans 8:00PM FOX
Line: LSU -4

It's here.

The biggest game of the 2007 college football season has finally arrived. Who cares if it's already a week into 2008?

The Ohio State Buckeyes, who haven't played a down of meaningful football since they won their annual blood feud with the Michigan Wolverines on November 17th, will attempt to avenge their title game trouncing a year ago against the Gators, another contest in which the Bucks had a year and a day between games.

Will the second time be the charm? Or will another loss force the Big 10 powers-that-be to get their heads out of their archaic asses and implement a conference championship game like nearly every other major conference has, in order to prevent the inevitable rust that comes with a 50+-day layoff.

While the Buckeyes are rested and (presumably) ready, the Tigers are chomping at the bit to prove they deserve to become the first 2-loss team to win the title in the BCS era.

After leapfrogging several worthy candidates (USC & Georgia to name two) by beating Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game on the final weekend of the season, many believe that the Bayou Bengals were rewarded based on, well, one's really sure why they were rewarded with a berth in this game.

In fact, there has been a major outcry for a playoff system this season (more so than usual) because no one can really figure out why a team that lost twice (albeit both in triple overtime) and surrendered 27 PPG over its last 5 games was rewarded with such an honor.

But the past is the past and we all know the BCS committee members are jackasses, so here we are: a battle royal between the top defensive teams in the country--Ohio State allowed just under 11PPG-- and one of the flashiest offenses in the land for all the marbles.

So as Bobby 'Grandpa' Knight once said, why don't we just lay down and enjoy it?

The Tigers, who averaged nearly 39 points per game, will rely on the two-headed QB tandem of Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux. Flynn is more of a traditional dropback passer, while Perrilloux more of a scrambler. Both have had success running the LSU offense, mainly because they have a solid group of receiver and backs lining up beside them. RB Jacob Hester racked up over 1000 yards and 11 TDs on the ground, while speedster Early Doucette, who had been hampered by a groin injury, leads a trio of talented receivers.

Oh, and don't forget about Glenn Dorsey, LSU's all-everything defensive lineman, who could be the first pick in the NFL draft in April, is the man who makes the LSU defense go.

Ohio State is anchored by quarterback Todd Boeckman, who has been shaky lately but still threw for 2100 yards and 23 TDs, and running back Chris Beanie Wells. Wells, a scintillating sophomore, had 1463 yards and 14 TDs despite missing most of the Kent Stae game with an injury. His ground gains, along with receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline (15 TD combined), will be the main weapon for the Buckeyes.

The offense certainly isn't as dynamic as LSU's, but with a stifling defense, it didn't have to be. They'll need to be more so tonight in order to pull the upset.

Speaking of the defense, it's keyed by linebacker James Laurinaitis, the son of a wrestler who plays like a madman all over the field, and sackmaster Vernon Gholston. Both leader of the D that allowed a mere 88 points this season will be fired up to avenge last year's Gator embarrassment before they jump to the pros.

In short it's an old fashioned matchup of offense vs. defense, with the more superior unit winning out. Which will it be? I think LSU will have a bit too much for OSU to handle, but I like the Buckeyes to keep it close, and cover the number.

Overtime, anyone?


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