Eleven Warriors Round Table, Week 12: Da Illibuck

By Jeff Beck on November 15, 2013 at 11:30a
Da Round Table

It's the home stretch. The last three games of the regular season. Will the Buckeyes get their 22nd straight win? Will Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde continue to dominate any and all who oppose them? Will the Buckeyes claim their rightful place at No. 2 in the polls before it's all said and done? All that and more inside the 12th edition of the Eleven Warriors Round Table. This week we've got Michael, Ross and Johnny. Let's hit it.

First Evan Spencer spoke his mind, then Urban Meyer said he's had OSU ranked No. 2 in his poll the whole time. How do you feel about these two making headlines? (Personally I love it)

Michael: I think it’s great. Getting people talking isn’t a bad thing. I don’t think Evan Spencer was intentionally being provocative, but it’s important to start the PR war now in case both Alabama and Florida State don’t lose, but maybe have a few close calls. If you’ll recall, Meyer campaigned pretty openly after Ohio State beat Michigan in 2006 when there was talk of a potential rematch for the national title — something no voter wanted until flip-flopping with the horribawful Bama-LSU NCG.

Ross: I don't have a problem with it. If the team doesn't believe they are one of the top two teams in the country, who will?  I think if anything it draws peoples' attention to Ohio State. And if you're in the national championship game and need Spencer's comments to motivate you then you have bigger problems.

Johnny: I'm fine with it, mostly because it pales in comparison to the general hyperbolic crap that gets spewed from various national media types on a fairly regular basis. Spencer took some heat for what he said, but it's irritating to me that we place expectations on players to be interesting and noteworthy when they give interviews, yet rage when they actually say something interesting and noteworthy.

The Bye Week gave Buckeye fans a chance to see the top teams in the country on display. After watching them, do you feel Ohio State's rank is too high, too low or just right? Why?

Michael:I guess I’d say they’re ranked about right, but I could easily give Ohio State another spot and I’m not sure if FSU is better or worse than Bama at this point. I feel that Ohio State can play with anyone in the country.

I’m still not sure about Baylor because I don’t believe in Oklahoma, and I don’t think much of the teams left on Baylor’s schedule. Oklahoma State has no defense, Texas Tech was always overrated and Texas, although playing better, is riddled with injuries. Stanford was fortunate that Marcus Mariota’s knee prevented him from being a running threat. Alabama was arguably the lesser of the two teams against LSU for the first half, with Les Miles’ team repeatedly shooting itself in the foot. That prevented the Tigers from being able to build a lead and put the pressure on the Tide.

Ross: It's a beauty contest. I can provide you arguments for why Ohio State should be in the top two, or why OSU is correctly ranked. My bottom line is that in my opinion Ohio State can play with any of the other teams. The Buckeyes have an explosive offense and probably the top run game of any of the highly ranked teams. But the reality is that they will never jump Alabama or Florida State so they need one of the two to lose to get in.

Johnny: I choose the third bears' porridge and go with just right. The playoff system is going to be a year too late, because the teams at the top of the rankings all have strengths and weaknesses that make for interesting matchups, be it 1v4 or 3v2 5v1 or whatever. Putting Ohio State in the top 5 somewhere seems fine to me.

Aaron Craft said Florida State is the best team in the country. Thoughts?

Michael: Nope.

Ross: Not really. Does he have a vote in the coaches poll? Whatever he actually said it seems pretty irrelevant.

Johnny: They might be. Jameis Winston is a ridiculous talent and when he's on point Florida State is one of the more dangerous teams in the country on offense. It's also important to point out that while they've played two top ten teams, their closest game was a 14 point win against Boston College in September. Also they completely destroyed those two top ten opponents by a combined 64 points.

If Ohio State beats Illinois but Baylor and Stanford both take care of business, will the Buckeyes be jumped? Why or why not?

Michael: They shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be. I won’t pretend to know what goes through the minds of voters. One AP guy ranked Ohio State eighth, which is ludicrous under any objective measure. The coaches ranked UCF well behind the Louisville team it beat on the road; and Oklahoma over Texas despite the Longhorns beating the Sooners pretty decisively. Flip a freakin’ coin. And anyone who pretends Stanford didn’t lose to a terrible Utah team is a joke.

Ross: No. The closest Baylor was going to get in jumping OSU is when OSU had a bye and Baylor got national tv exposure. Stanford has a loss to a barely bowl eligible team so how can you even compare anything on OSU's resume to that? The coaches are not going to jump an OSU team that hasn't lost in years.

People are hyperventilating about this issue but there is a LOT of football to be played. The prediction machine gave Florida State and Alabama a 43% chance of winning out. To me that means that OSU has nearly a 60% chance of making the national championship game. Those are pretty good odds.

Johnny: I doubt it. Certainly not by Stanford (although I think they're being unfairly penalized for a game that happened a while ago) and probably not by Baylor. The Ohio State brand still counts for something, even if that something has been reduced to not allowing teams with one loss to jump them in the polls.

If the Buckeyes make it to the National Championship, who would you rather see them play; Alabama or Florida State? Why?

Michael: I’d rather end the SEC run, so Bama it is.

Ross: Probably Alabama but not for any particular match-up reasons. It's better to try and dethrone the king.

Johnny: Alabama, mostly to get a shot at seeing a postgame handshake between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Wars have been started over less hate.

Illinois is giving up nearly 240 rushing yards a game. How many will the Buckeyes rack up this Saturday? Who will be the Scarlet and Gray rushing leader?

Michael: I think Ohio State goes for 300+ yards with El Guapo going for about 150 of it. Elliott could potentially end up with more at garbage time if he breaks a few long ones.

Ross: I would expect OSU to be north of 300 yards rushing. I would assume Hyde unless there is so much mop-up time that someone like Elliot could pass him.

Johnny: Is bajillion a real number? Also probably Ezekiel Elliot, since I'm thinking you're looking at another 7-8 carry game from El Guapo and Braxton. Really the thing I'm most looking forward to is seeing if Herman just goes full Bollmanball and refuses to pass more than 10 times.

What is your OSU v. Illinois final score prediction?

Michael: Playing in the Illinois wind tunnel can be dicey, but the Buckeyes seem focused. Still, I’m not sure what we’ll see coming off a bye week so I’ll say 43-17.

Ross: 56-14.

Johnny: 52-6, and honestly I'm probably selling the backups short.

Despite losing their last five games, Northwestern opened up as favorites against TTUN. Who wins this matchup?

Michael: Whoever wants it least will lose this game. I’m not sure who that is, because Northwestern is inventing ways to lose and Michigan has been a dumpster fire. I think Michigan will move the ball easier with more Devin Gardner runs, so I’ll say they win in Evanston.

Ross: Well Michigan has lost their last two while racking up nearly 100 negative rushing yards. I would have to put my thumb on the scale of NU, simply because Michigan's offense has been so inept in recent weeks. Northwestern should have won at Nebraska but for a hail mary.

I'm far more interested in the MSU-Nebraska game as far as Big Ten goes.

Johnny: I have watched every single Michigan game this year and I have no. Freaking. Clue. Both teams are a total mess in almost every way right now. I think the Wolverines probably pull it off and look uncharacteristically good in the process, confusing everyone and making Michigan fans even angrier when they look horrible against Iowa the following week.

What would Woody Hayes say about an undefeated Ohio State potentially being left out of a national championship?

Michael: I don’t think I can repeat that here.

Ross: Didn't Woody coach in an era when athletic directors got to vote as to who went to the Rose Bowl and teams could not go two years in a row.

I think this whole can you believe an undefeated OSU team could get shut out meme is silly. In 2002 an undefeated OSU team would have been shut out if two other major conference teams would have gone undefeated. It is just rarely the case that it happens.

To bring it back to Woody, for much of his tenure the Big Ten was known as the Big 2, Little 10. And then one of those two would regularly go out and lose the Rose Bowl. So I'm not sure where these rose colored glasses about the Big Ten came from.

Johnny: I think he'd be too busy listening to the new Lady Gaga album to notice much.


Comments Show All Comments

Kevbo714's picture

tOSU is the Kingslayer!

Tom Crean listens to Nickelback...

+1 HS
00Buck's picture

"Big Ten was known as the Big 2, Little 10"  IT WAS BIG2, LITTLE8   ; 0

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

stevebelliseeya's picture

This is the B1G now...

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

Seattle Linga's picture

This is so fitting - the pink one is definitely ttun

BuckeyeFreak4844's picture

How is Stanford being unfairly punished for losing to a mediocre utah team?  They are the highest ranked one loss team and people keep talking about how great they are.  They match up great with oregon like i think osu does.  USC as unpredictable they are will give stanford a game.

Michigan Sucks!

Ethos's picture

with no kiffin, any team is improved.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

eb314's picture

Stanford is only a 4 point favorite over USC.  I can't recall a smaller spread for a top 5 team vs an unranked team.

BABuckeye's picture

and i cant recall a larger spread between two top 10 teams than the 21 pt spread between FSU and Miami. To me, this is clear evidence that teams are not ranked properly--either too high or too low for reasons other than what has happened on the field THIS YEAR. 

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Certainly not by Stanford (although I think they're being unfairly penalized for a game that happened a while ago)

OSU is being unfairly penalized for not losing, and for not losing by too many points, and for not losing by enough points.

Johnny Ginter's picture

i meant more in terms of general perception, not the polls. stanford is right where they should be in the polls, but honestly i think they'd match up exceptionally well with the buckeyes and give us a ton of problems

BuckeyeSki's picture

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Haha, my response was meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
I am of the opinion that 12-1 Stanford vs. 13-0 Ohio State would be an excellent consolation game, especially given the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl.  
Depending on how badly we beat them, a split national championship isn't out of the question, although it's tough to imagine Alabama not getting it for beating FSU, or FSU not getting it for beating Alabama.  It would have to be a slop-fest of a game, and we'd have to completely destroy Stanford.  But it still remains a possibility.  And who wouldn't want the BCS to end with a split-championship controversy?  

fanatibuck's picture

Johnny my man, the only team/ school I feel has been undervalued and disrespected is OSU with perception. I watched Stanford's game vs Oregon and I believe we would handle them pretty decently. They don't scare me at all. Bama and FSU that is another story. Albeit I believe we have a better chance at taking out the defending champions than FSU. I say this cause of our Fickell/Withers lead defense. 


Ahh Saturday's picture

Buckeyes would do to The Tree what they should've done to Wisconsin and that is win by three TDs.

ibuck's picture

Johnny, you're believing too much ESPiN.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

stevebelliseeya's picture

This has to be the craziest season in terms of how I feel on a day to day basis about the Buckeyes. At times I'm all "Bring on Bama!" and then other days I'm all "Do we really want Bama?".
I've come to realize over the last few days that this is a "First World" Buckeye problem and that whatever happens...this is an awesome time to be a Buckeye and a college football fan. 
Being nervous over a possible National Title berth is leagues better than worrying about how to gain a single yard rushing during a single game. We are spoiled rotten and I love it.

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

SomethingOriginal's picture

Truer words have never been spoken.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

This sentence is a sentence.  But this may be more truth than anyone can handle.

BoFuquel's picture

We'll find out how The Urb really feels about Spencer's case. If Evan is on the field as much as every other game, OK, if we don't see him, then UM not be lie"in. I could not believe how many of The 11W faithful were willin' to come right out in support of a mutiny against Ol' 21-0. I want it all, but I want to go through Stainfurd to get it all. GO BUCKS! 

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Maestro's picture

Actually, Oklahoma State has a pretty solid defense.  I would argue that their offense is more suspect than their defense this season.  After all, they did hold "the best 4-5 team in the country" to 3 points.
I think Baylor takes advantage of a crappy Big XII and runs the table in the regular season.

vacuuming sucks

Michael Citro's picture

The Pokes gave up 35 points to Texas-San Antonio (the Roadrunners' second highest total of the year), 34 to Texas Tech, 30 to WVU, 29 to K-State and 27 to Iowa State. Not exactly a shut-down defense. Playing Lamar, Kansas and TCU's struggling offense (along with Miss. St.) helps pad their stats a bit in scoring defense though. To be 35th in total defense (371 YPG against) with their schedule isn't a shining endorsement, IMO. They're 27th in rush defense and 81st (!) in passing yards allowed.

Maestro's picture

Yes, and I believe their offense is worse than their defense. That's how over-rated (I do hate that word) I feel that they are right now.  They have a very back-loaded schedule and it will be their downfall soon.

vacuuming sucks

Michael Citro's picture

They're averaging 40 points per game but the decent defenses they've faced have held them under 30. The Cowboys aren't all that and I'm not impressed with the Big XII overall, but I will say that Baylor may be legit. I just don't know. Oklahoma could have put them in a hole early but declined.

Baroclinicity's picture

That is indirectly harsh, and true, about Tech's defense.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Seattle Linga's picture

OKLAHOMA could have played so much better then they did.

Blackbeards Delight's picture

Beat Stanford in Rose Bowl = well Stanford lost to a bad unranked team
Beat FSU in BCS Championship = well it wasn't the $EC
Beat Bama in BCS Championship = Civil War Part II and Bristol Connecticut explodes
I'll take any of the three but prefer the latter

"Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23yr, it's what's for breakfast"

- Me


GR8TBUCKS's picture

I couldn't agree more Blackbeard.
1. Stanford didn't play Stanford ball.
2. Not the SEC and it was a freshman quarterback. Or QB was suspended?
3. Agreed, and ESPN would be on Urban's jock faster than a jock sniffer.
ps What is your delight?