by John Furgele
Before the college football season started, many of the experts said that USC was young and inexperienced and that the experienced Ohio State Buckeyes would go to Los Angeles and probably beat the Trojans. But, because Ohio State looked shaky in a 26-14 victory over the Ohio Bobcats, these same experts are now predicting a double digit Trojan blowout victory. My, how things change.
Ohio State showed nothing in wins against overmatched opponents Youngstown State and Ohio. They ran a basic offense and came away with two wins. Yes, they struggled against Ohio, but was the outcome of that game ever in doubt? Coach Jim Tressel used freshman Terrel Pryor less against Ohio than he did in week 1. Why? Because tonight, he will unveil his real offense. Why give the Trojans too much to view on films. Tressel played it close to the vest against Ohio so not to give USC too much to look at and prepare for. The result was a harder than expected victory over the feisty Bobcats, but a win nonetheless, a point that many have seemed to have forgotten.
What about USC? They looked great in their week one win at Virginia, but the Cavaliers are far from a good football team. Last week, they (Virginia) were leading 1-AA Richmond 3-0 late in the third quarter before pulling away for a 16-0 win. Virginia may only be slightly better than Ohio. And, that was the Trojans only game as they had their first bye of the season last week.
Ohio State has become the Buffalo Bills of college football. They continue to get knocked and labeled as a “bad top team,” because they haven’t played well in the last two BCS Championship Games. But, like the Bills, they did a lot of winning along the way and HAVE played in two consecutive BCS title games. That has to mean something. It’s almost like people are rooting against the Buckeyes because they don’t want to see them get blown out of yet another BCS title encounter. We saw the same sentiments when the Buffalo Bills were lining up to play in a fourth consecutive Super Bowl.
Florida did blow out Ohio State in the 2006 BCS Championship Game, but last year, the Buckeyes played LSU even for most of the first half, and late in the third quarter, that game was still in doubt, a fact that many have forgotten about. But, for some reason, going 12-1 and 11-2 and losing two title games in a row means you’re not a worthy team anymore.
I’ll take those records and I’ll take teams like that any day of the week. And, I’ll also take the Buckeyes tonight against USC.