Here we stand on the 12th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, on the brink of another heathen incursion from somewhere north of Toledo.
I've never awoken on an Ohio State game day and thought the local team was going to lose the big game. Some folks are naturally pessimistic. They've already tabbed the Spartans for the 17-point upset.
That ain't me. In the quaking Hell of 2017, I refuse to wake up on a forty degree Saturday cowering from my stately duty of civilizing an uppity band of savages with an inferiority complex.
My Loko chalice only has two settings: Half-full or brimmed up.
Yeah, maybe Mike D'Antoni summons a once-in-generation blizzard minutes before Ohio State kicks off. The man almost led Boris Diaw, Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire to an NBA championship. He is a sorcerer of troubling talents.
But I ain't predicting defeat to sit around the office lunch table Monday tut-tutting folks who watch sports to talk shit, dispel sobriety, and always tab the local team for the big win.
That's not how this little thing of ours works.
If Ohio State being good is a lie, THEN WE FIGHT ON THAT LIE. Wan "I actually like the Spartans this week" milksops will eat lunch in their cubicle on Monday, regardless.
Special shoutout to veterans of all stripes. College football is serving 12 hours of bangers as thanks.
|12:00||RUTGERS at #14 PENN STATE||PSU (-31)||BTN|
|12:00||#15 OKLAHOMA STATE at #21 IOWA STATE||OSU (-6½)||ABC|
|12:00||CONNECTICUT at #18 UCF||UCF (-40½)||ESPNU|
|12:20||#17 VIRGINIA TECH at GEORGIA TECH||TECH (:->)||ACCNE|
|3:30||#1 GEORGIA at #10 AUBURN||UGA (-2½)||CBS|
|3:30||FLORIDA STATE at #4 CLEMSON||CLEM (-16½)||ESPN|
|3:30||#20 IOWA at #8 WISCONSIN||UW (-11½)||ABC|
|4:00||#11 USC at COLORADO||USC (-13)||FOX|
|7:00||#2 ALABAMA at #16 MISSISSIPPI STATE||BAMA (-13½)||ESPN|
|7:00||PURDUE at #25 NORTHWESTERN||NU (-3½)||ESPN2|
|8:00||#3 NOTRE DAME at #7 MIAMI||ND (-3½)||ABC|
|8:00||#6 TEXAS CHRISTIAN at #5 OKLAHOMA||OU (-6½)||FOX|
The gold-bricked interstate to Indianapolis begins today, y'all.
Let's go Florida State, Wisconsin, Mississippi State (always liked Bulldogs), Miami, and TCU. Last thing our haters want is the local team staring through the window at the championship pie with Illinois and Littler Michigan to get through.
Word of the Day: Somnolent.
SPARTAN DOSSIER. Here's everything to know about today's opponents, the Spartans of Michigan State:
BUCKS WIN BIG. Vegas oddsmakers predict a big win for Ohio State... everybody else, not so much.
But there is another man who also believes. His belief primarily rests on J.T. Barrett, back at the comfy confines of home and coming off his worst game of the season, will go back to his old ways like we saw against Penn State.
If the game becomes "too aerial" for Michigan State, Ohio State will have the advantage.
The Michigan State rush defense is good enough to slow down Ohio State’s running backs, especially because the Buckeyes don’t give the ball to their best one. J.K. Dobbins is just hanging out, waiting to get more than 14 carries in a game.
But the Buckeyes’ front is usually great. (In the four games before Iowa, nobody ran for more than 2.9 yards per carry against it.) Michigan State’s running game is bad (4 yards per carry and worse the last three weeks). The Spartans shouldn’t be able to run on this defense.
J.T. Barrett was bad against Iowa, but just before that, he was otherworldly against a better pass defense than Michigan State’s. He’s still thrown only five picks on the year. He’s going to do just fine against the Spartans, who’ve had two of their three worst pass-defending games of the season in the last two weeks.
My only concern with Barrett is he goes back to looking timid and holding the ball too long after a week of watching tape of his gun slinging gone awry.
My only concern with the game is Ohio State doesn't go down 7-0 within the first 30 seconds of the game.
SPARTY'S DEFENSIVE SHOTCALLER. Michigan State usually comes to town with a stout defense, and this year is no exception. While the Spartans won't have the No. 1 rushing defense in America when the sun sets on Columbus, it doesn't mean they're bereft of talent.
Meet middle linebacker Joe Bachie.
Middle Linebacker (#35)
The leading tackler for the Spartans with 77 tackles, 6.5 TFL and 2 INT, the Ohio native Bachie is a physical downfill defender who is a tremendous run stopper. Is very good at filling gaps and avoiding blockers when pursuing laterally to the ball. Has good range when dropping into coverage and is a solid overall defender. Bachie resembles Ben Boulware, formerly of Clemson, as he is fearless and an emotional leader of the defense.
At least Bochie, unlike Sparty outside linebacker Chris Frey, isn't from Ohi—wait, what's that? Starcat tells me Bochie is a former three-star prospect from Cleveland?
In my day, three-star prospects the local staff deemed unworthy had the decency to pledge fealty to an in-state MAC powerhouse like Ohio, Toledo, or Ohio State–Marion (y'all don't know nothing about the Crimson Wave).
But in this day and age (I blame this on Generation-Z), literal greener pastures lure Ohio's scrappy three stars abroad. You're telling me East Lansing is losing to the magisterial Athens? I don't know where American parents went wrong.
Side note: Elect me governor in 2026 and I'll keep local talent in Ohio via executive order. (No tariffs on out-of-state five-star talent, either.) Vote my way for a stronger Ohio immune to traitorous warlocks of D'antoni's ilk.
***The Starcat paid for this ad***
#PERTINENTWIRE. I feel like it's my 30th birthday. I spent the last
year week visualizing a death sentence. So when eternal judgment knocked on my door 365 days later today, I only required two pit sandwiches and tater salad for continued cooperation.
PROPHECY: Oh, there will be blood.... on both sides. 17-10, local team.
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