Monday Skull Session

By Luke on October 11, 2010 at 1:00p

Good Monday Buckeye brethren. I hope your weekend was as fruitful as mine was. In the midst of virtually everyone I've ever wanted to lose in college football doing just that, I managed to squeeze in roughly 25 hours of unbelievable live music at Austin City Limits Festival. The National, for what it's worth, gave mad love to Ohio. The folks in 11W house band The Black Keys also did their part, rocking HOMAGE swag and repping Akron/Cleveland. Not a bad little weekend at all, though I'll undoubtedly be experiencing some sort of seperation anxiety when next weekend's football slate isn't bookended with ridiculously awesome live music. With BIELEMA WEEK upon us, I think I'll somehow manage to survive.

Speaking of Bucky Badger... ESPN announced late Saturday evening that next Saturday night's clash in Madison between the top-ranked (!!!) Buckeyes and Wisconsin will also serve host to sports' best (and arguably only watchable) pre-game show. Lee Corso should have the honor of doning a plush Brutus head to the chagrin of a large crowd of hippies and cheeseheads alike who've already been working dutifully to restore the BAC beyond street legal from the night before. Going into Madison is always a challenge, and as 2003 will forever serve as an example, doing so at night just adds a whole other level to the task at hand. The Bucks will have to channel their 2008 all-business mentality if they're going to march on forward in their quest for a spot in that highly publicized Monday night affair in Glendale in early January.

Shades of Woody When Woody went for 2 up 48-14 in 1968 against Michigan, because "[he] couldn't go for 3", let's be real, that was pretty awesome. Brett Bielema going for 2 against a paltry Minnesota team in the Battle for the Ax up 25? Well... Still kind've awesome from a completely a-hole'ish perspective. Hearing Biels attempt to rational the move only made the decision more full of win:

Bielema defended his decision as being the correct one on the card he carries to determine whether to kick an extra point or go for the 2-point conversion.

"You know what? If we're playing and somebody is going to go for two against me because they're up 25, that's what they should do, that's what the card says," he said.

Brewster wasn't buying that explanation, either. "That's a poor excuse," Brewster said.

Stay classy, Hawkeye ankle tattoo'd one.

  What does it take to be #1? Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers As mentioned, well, everywhere, Ohio State is #1 in the AP, Coach's, and Harris poll this week. While the news was certainly a gift and a curse (only in the sense that there'll be no real sneaking up on anyone now and it obviously becomes far more challenging to play the disrespect card) to Ohio State fans everywhere, the news was also met with a somewhat mixed reaction from the actual men of the Scarlet & Grey. First, from a cadre of Buckeyes:

RT @bigmarc79: RT @Male_Hines7 I dont wanna be #1 ... haha, thas #real

To transalte for those not well versed in twitterese, Jermale Hines waxed angstily that having the number one ranking would provide some additional pressure and not allow Ohio State to catch anyone off guard. Marcus Hall reiterated this point, while Jonathan Newsome added a laugh, and a simple "that's real." It's hard to argue with his assesment of the genuineness of the situation at hand.

Jake Stoneburner also added his two cents, stating the following:

Stoneburner obviously recognizes that the ascension is in many ways a testiment to the team's hardwork and dedication. While they'll still have obviously many critics to win over, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Finally, we turn to the infinite wisdom of Ohio State star receiver DeVier Posey:

Posey even broke out the vaunted #dothats*** hashtag, championed by yours truly and a few more prominent members of the Ohio State twittersphere. There is perhaps no greater show of enthusiasm and vigor. While various folks may prefer the players let their actions do their speaking over their thumbs, it's definitely positive to see that the message out there does seem to be mostly one of enthusiasm for the position the Bucks find themselves in.

If you're not first, you're last While the Bucks do find themselves at the top of the mountain in terms of the human element, they certainly have their work cut out for them in terms of the computers. The ignominous Jerry Palm's early BCS projections (which btw you should put far greater stock in than anything by anyone who's name rhymes with Chad Deadwards), has the Buckeyes at fifth following Boise State, Oregon, TCU, and Oklahoma. Heck, Sagarin's ratings currently have the Bucks at 23rd and their schedule as the 117th best in the country (that's out of 120). This isn't entirely out of whack with the reality of the situation, as given Miami's self destruction at home against rival FSU, Ohio State' current dosier of opponents faced is decidedly lacking from a quality standpoint. As I believe the Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises raised yesterday, if Boise State was number 1 with Ohio State's schedule, how many of you would be up in arms? The Bucks will certainly have their fair shot to raise their schedule's profile with roadies to Wisconsin and Iowa to come, but should all the teams presently above Ohio State win out, the Bucks' fate may be out of their hands.


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F O U R's picture

Nice post, Luke.  Me loves the National.

Seriously.  I need to figure out a way to delay the Guided by Voices reunion show at Outland on Liberty on Saturday by three hours. 

poguemahone's picture

It's weird, because Rob Riggle is going to be playing Bret Bielema in the biopic Intermittent Mediocrity: The Bret Bielema Story

Bucksfan's picture

It's early.  Miami can still win the ACC.  I still consider that better than anything Boise State has done, especially since Ohio State crushed the 'Canes.

You don't win championships in October.

Luke's picture

So can Virginia Tech. And sadly, unlike in the NFL, you pretty much do win championships in October. If you lose a game, with a schedule like Ohio State's to your name, it could very easily be national title aspirations over. It's not an indictment or damning of the Bucks by any means, but just a product of the system presently operate under.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

I think the schedule ahead of OSU will be a help with those pesky computer rankings with games against 3 ranked opponents. Hopefully Illinois can keep winning and I have my fingers crossed that Indiana will get to a bowl game.


What I can't understand is how inconsitant/bad Miami is. Maybe it's not the match-up we thought it was back then.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Alex's picture

Right now OSU is #1 in USA Today and Harris Polls, or 2/3 of the BCS calculation. The computer poll has them lower because of the strength of schedule I'm sure thanks to Luke picking Miami last week ;) , EMU being coached by Ron English, Ohio being Ohio, Marshall getting their WE ARE chant stolen from Penn State, and the fact that OSU's first two conf. games came against the" I schools". Let Boise continue their WAC slate and TCU their MWC sched, let the Bucks take on Wisco and Iowa on the road and Mich and PSU at home, let's see if Oregon can escape the Pac10 undefeated with their horrid defense (let's go beavers and wildcats!), and Oklahoma, well no answer for them yet other than that they haven't played unbelievably impressive football this season so far. Let all that happen and if the Bucks win i guarantee you see them #1 in both polls that matter (2/3 of the bcs formula) and high enough in the computer polls that they get a MNC spot. The schedules will all balance out and I'll even go as far as saying that the B10 may be seen as the best conf in the country by season's end by the computers (and not ESPN of course).

Bucksfan's picture

VaTech lost to James Madison.  Still in the running for the ACC, but Miami didn't lose to a school from the FCS.  Hence, beating them is better than beating VaTech.

Luke's picture

If Virginia Tech wins the ACC and/or finishes wish a better cumulative record than Miami, I fail to see how their loss to James Madison invalidates them as a quality win, particularly in the eyes of the computers. JMU is actually ranked 25th in Sagarin's BCS utilized rating right now; it's honestly not as bad of a loss as it superficially may look otherwise.

Bucksfan's picture

JMU is ranked that high BECAUSE they beat a ranked Virginia Tech team.  Think if the situation were reversed, and we lost a tight game to Boise State, then went out and got beat in Ohio Stadium by Youngstown State.  YSU's Sagarin rating would artificially shoot through the roof, and would continue to rise as Ohio State racks up wins.

btalbert25's picture

I don't see how Ohio State would "sneak up" on anyone at number 2.  Especially since the only games left are Big 10 opponents and you know Ohio State will always get the best shot from in conference rivals.  That is even more of a fact since the Buckeyes have been very dominant in the last 5 years in Big 10 play.

Luke's picture

That's probably more thinking way ahead to an MNC type scenario (and probably a result of the national perception Ohio State's national title game performances of the last half decade generated) but from a literal standpoint you're certainly right.

Buckeye Black's picture

Problem is now should Ohio State beat Wisconsin by a comfortable margin, they will be knocked out of the top 25 and then people will still say "who have they played."

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Oh god, I hadn't even thought of that.....


Not good.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Denny's picture

Well, then - clearly, the answer is to lose to Wisconsin.


Denny's picture




If you are losing by 25 in the 4th and complaining about someone going for 2 on you--- then you do not deserve to be a head coach in Division 1.  Complain about how bad you coached or how pathetic your team played.-

Denster's picture

Agreed. If you don't like it, stop them.

"It's a double-barreled pistol that fires hard work and victory..."

BuckeyeChief's picture

Great post...we need a playoff. BCS is a mess. No telling who the true No.1 is without a playoff.

"2014 National with it!!!"

btalbert25's picture

All they have to do is keep winning.   I totally agree the schedule stuff will work itself out.  Plus, LSU or Auburn will lose 1 game for sure.  Oklahoma or Nebraska will lose.  TCU or UTAh will Lose, Boise or Nevada are going to lose also.  I don't see either Auburn or LSU making it through with no out a loss.  Boise probably will, but you have to think that as Teams like Auburn,Michigan State, and Nebraska stay undefeated they are going to slowly start leaping Boise and TCU in the human polls.  Then of course Boise will have a signifcantly worse strength of schedule as the season goes too.  They are going to get passed over yet again.

E-roc's picture

IMO - win out and the Buckeyes are in. This stupid BCS ranking should come out in Week 10 after teams have actually played a meaningful season. It's asinine that these rankings are released so early in the season when the majority of teams have played a handful of cupcakes and have yet to get through the heart of their schedules.

The algorithm needs to be amended so humans account for more than 66% of the total score. 80% sounds better to me.

741's picture

Random thought: I think this is the week Berry or Hall houses a kick/punt return. That is all.

iball's picture

If we score more points than Wisconsin, then we have a good chance of winning the game.

BUT, if we allow Wisconsin to score more points than us, then that may decrease our chances of winning.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

RedQueenRace's picture

As noted by Denny above, the second case allows us to have "played someone."

Squirrel Master's picture

First off, anyone who says Boise States 2 big wins are better than Ohio States can kiss my rosy butt. Bring Boise on! I welcome that challenge to Ohio State. This is the same team that will not schedule OSU for the regular season. If they are so much better then why not sign on the dotted line.

Second, HOW ABOUT SAINE? I love it. I feel like 11W is the consigliere to the coaching staff. The Robert Duvall of OSU. Saine plays slot and gets HUGE numbers and not even one carry. That is exactly what we all talked about all week (and many times before). Now mix in Jordan Hall a little more and BAM! you can't stop that freight train!

I am not that worried about Wisconsin. I will give that Camp Randall is very difficult to win in. I just think that OSU is figuring out they are a complete team and ready to roll. Pryor is starting to find his group of weapons. I think a spread formation of Posey, Saine, Stoneburner and Sanzenbacher with Pryor and Herron/Hall in the back field would be nasty. Give Pryor time and he would eat the best defenses alive. Plus Wisconsins best play is run Clay/White. Clay only had 59 last year and when was the last time OSU gave up 100 to a runner.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I still don't see how anyone can think for a second the Boise State is a championship what they beat Oklahoma and TCU in previous bowl games. How come that logic doesn't in our favor when talking about us and Oregon then?

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

KCAlum's picture

If OSU stays undefeated, odds are they don't drop to #2 in the AP and could win a share of the title by winning the Rose Bowl no matter what happens in the BCS.