Man the life boats, the good ship Buckeye has hit something in south Florida waters and she is taking on water like Ron White takes on Scotch. Though it was only a shake-down cruise, the damage might be serious. Remain calm. The ship will make it back to port in Columbus and will sail again this Saturday. Remember, you woke up this morning( a plus in itself) and you are still not Lloyd Carr's love child.
What happened? Miami has great speed and it took the OSU defense a quarter to adjust. It shouldn't have, but it did. The troubling thing to me is it was wildly reminiscent of the way Wisconsin blitzed us for 21 quick points in Madison last year. It seems that we might be getting caught flat-footed on the road. Why? The offense, ran the ball well when it was straight ahead. Miami owned the perimeter on both offense and defense. The OSU passing game was nonexistent. Bauserman gives up on plays and is too quick to throw it away. In his defense that is better than throwing picks or taking sacks; still it doesn't move the chains and is causing me to drink too much. Sadly, Joe was also inaccurate, other than when his receivers were dropping balls. Miller, while he showed some evasiveness, did not demonstrate any kind of ball security and generally looked, as his fullback, Justin Boren so delicately put it, frazzled. Frazzled is not good. Frazzled causes me to drink. The Buckeye receivers, when not dropping passes, were not bothering to get open let alone help their QBs when protection broke down. The positives are that defense played hard all game and well for most of three quarters. The offensive line did a decent job of blocking at the point of attack and in pass protection. Both Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde ran well up the gut and I thought were impressive. Things not to worry about: Luke's use or non-use of timeouts at the end of the game. It really did not matter at all. Miami not taking a knee at the end of the game. See the previous statement. Things to worry about or as my English teacher would say things about which to worry: Quarterback. While we get 4 pretty good players back in 2 weeks, none of them is a QB. I think Braxton Miller will get a lot better the more he plays. The ball security issue is very coachable. Reading defenses and making adjustments at the LOS will take time, a lot of time. Can he overcome his strategic limitations with athletic ability? Joe B. is likely better than he looked. Despite the fact that Joe is a 12th year red, gray and any other color we can think of, shirt, he doesn't have much more game experience than Braxton. Personally, I would give the car keys to our teenager, go home and pray. I would be thankful for his safe return each time he gets the car back in the garage and hope he learns and grows each time out. I would not go out to inspect the car for dings and scratches, cause they are gonna be there. I would keep Joe ready because as much as Braxton runs around the chances are that somewhere along the way he is going get dinged. I would drink heavily. Is Kenny Guiton totally out of the picture here? I had to ask.
Elsewhere last week: OU survived a trip to Tallahassee. The Noles QB went down and that changed things dramatically. Oddly that forced FSU to pass more with their backup QB. When the game was on the line Landry Jones showed his stuff and it should at least get him invited to NY when they hand out that little trophy. The Seminoles may be the team to beat in the ACC, but must get by an impressive Clemson team which snapped Auburn's streak of very lucky wins. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney (loving mothers do not name their children Dabo) was so fired up after the game, he discarded coach-speak and gave a Knute Rockne speech... after the game. Look out world here comes, as Fred Flintsone would say, Dabo Dabo Doooo. Or as my friend Sue said after watching his tirade "A little Dab'll Do ya". If Clemson wins this week we may be dealing with Dabomania for a while. LSU barely allowed home standing Mississippi Sate to breathe let alone score a TD. The Tiger defense is something. I can't wait til they tee it up with Alabama. Neither offense is likely to score, but oh my(thank you Dick Enberg), there will be some amazing collisions.
This week: Arkansas at Alabama: The Bama offense has not quite hit stride yet this season and is largely reliant on running back Trent Richardson, which is a little like saying Ford is reliant on selling cars and trucks. The Tide still has one of the best two defenses in the country and that will be enough to get the win.
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M: Two programs which seem to be on the cusp of something special. I think the Cowboys have a bit more and win a game which should be fun to watch.
LSU at WVU: Once again our Cajun correspondent has some words for us. "Since the Mountaineers play on artificial turf (Field Turf), we're gonna bring some of our own Bahia and St. Augustine grass to the game. Gotta keep our Head Coach comfortable. West Virginia is a great opponent and a great place to visit. That being said, Cajuns don't know much about West Virginia, but them Mountaineers are talking a LOT of smack. We're bringing our own officials for this game. We might need them, seeing as how their idea of a victory celebration involves burning their own couches. What in da hell is dat about??? And since "word gets around, guys talk, you hear things", is it really true that West Virginia keeps Ohio from falling into Virginia??? Since y'all live a lot closer to them than we do, it might be good idea to keep an eye on them people. Bobby Bowden used to coach there a while back, too. That might explain a few things about the Noles playing Indian around a fire."
Florida State at Clemson: You know you are south of the Mason-Dixon line when the two coaches facing off in this headliner of a game are Jimbo and Dabo. Jimbo vs. Dabo. I can hardly say it without spitting grits all over my shirt. I like Clemson in the game aqnd cheese on my grits.
San Diego State at UM: Brady Hoax's old team vs. Brady Hoax's new team. Weasels will win the game but it might be fun for a while.
Notre Dame at Pitt: Can the Irish handle success after whipping up on Michigan State? Probably, as Pitt won't exactly provide quality opposition. The Panthers gagged away a potential win last week to a very average Iowa team. Speaking of gagging, the Irish offense has coughed up more balls than an asthmatic cat. 13 turnovers in 3 games makes one think the Panthers have a shot.
Colorado at Ohio State: The Buffs have a good QB in Tyler Hansen and running back in Westerville native Rodney Stewart. New coach Jon Embree is trying to undo the damage done by his predecessor, Dan Hawkins, did to this once mediocre program. Actually the 1-2 record is a bit misleading. They lost the opener to Hawaii 34-17, but took Cal to OT before falling 36-33. Last week they beat in-state rival Colorado State 28-14. The Buckeye defense is angry and will not miss 27 tackles this week. The offense will see a lot more of Braxton Miller. At times we will wonder why he hasn't been in on every snap and at times we will cover our eyes and weep. Our Buckeyes will move on to the Big Ten with a 2-1 record after dispatching the Buffs 27-10. Colorado does have the best animal mascot in the world which leads me to ask if Ralphie is coming to Columbus? Please, please, please!
A word on the conference realignment mess: First a disclaimer of sorts. What I am about to say may or may not make any sense. But since the situation itself defies all conventional logic let us proceed. First let's look at what we have presently. Mathematic issues: Big Ten has 12 teams; Big Twelve has 10 teams. Geography issues: TCU(that is TEXAS Christian University) has been granted access to the Big East. Conference Bubba, as in the Southeastern Conference, is in the process of adding Texas A&M (go look up College Station, Texas and explain to me how A&M is in the Southeast). The PAC (Pacific Athletic Conference) recently added Colorado and Utah to its ranks. Frankly it already had Arizona and Arizona State, but I had attributed their admission to the fact that while they were not on the edge of the Pacific Ocean they had impressive amounts of sand. Syracuse(as in Syracuse NEW YORK , and Pitt are moving from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Of course the Big Ten started all this when they added Penn State, back when Joe Paterno was a young man and did not change their name to reflect the addition of an 11th team. When Nebraska joined the fold the Big Ten still kept the name but split into the Legging and the Legume divisions so they could play a championship game. So now we have Big East imploding ( does anyone care until basketball season), The SEC trying to add A&M, the Big 12 watching Texas and Oklahoma flirt with the PAC 12 while Oklahoma State and Texas Tech sit in the back seat waiting to follow. West Virginia is running around like a fat girl at the dance being rejected by both the ACC and SEC. Then, like parents showing up at a teenage beer binge, the PAC 12 announced they were not interested in expanding....at this time. Whoa! What the...??? Right now the whole thing makes as much sense as a map of Europe. Stay tuned.
A word on stadium deportment for those in The Shoe this week. No matter who plays QB and no matter what your thoughts are on the situation, both Miller and Bauserman deserve your support. Let's not have a replay of the embarrassing way Todd Boeckman was treated. Please! They are both Buckeyes.