Yesterday, what was nearly undeniably the most exciting moment in the history of the NFL took place:
Kevin Harlan's Westwood One radio call of the cat on the field is, as you might expect, an all-time great call. How much of a pro is Harlan? He worked a sponsor read into it. pic.twitter.com/3x0MVNEHNY— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 5, 2019
- Ohio State is now the national title favorite.
- Five things to know about Maryland.
- Ohio State's dynamic backcourt duo.
- Luther Muhammad is looking for a breakout season.
- The Buckeyes could open the CFP rankings at No. 1.
- Games that will shape the college football playoff race.
Word of the Day: Meretricious.
AIN'T PLAYED NOBODY? The Buckeyes probably aren't going to be the top-ranked team in the debut College Football Playoff rankings today. I've made peace with that. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be.
When you inevitably hear chairman Rob Mullens use words like "strength of victory," or "quality opponent," or "strength of record" to rationalize LSU as the top-ranked team, remember this from Bill Connelly of ESPN:
Ohio State's schedule probably won't get quite enough respect.
I create strength-of-schedule ratings based on one simple question: How would the average top-five team (per SP+) fare against your schedule? It projects this top-five team's win percentage if it played each of your opponents infinity times each.
Among the remaining P5 unbeatens, Ohio State's schedule grades out as the most difficult. A top-five team's expected win percentage against the Buckeyes' schedule to date would enjoy about a 0.895 win percentage. That's not exactly Texas A&M-level difficulty, but it ranks 36th overall, a hair ahead of LSU's (47th) and Penn State's (53rd), and well ahead of Baylor's (70th), Alabama's (79th), Clemson's (91st), and Minnesota's (98th).
Depending on how the committee views Indiana and Cincinnati, though, the Buckeyes might only boast one win over a CFP top-25 team. LSU will have at least two (Auburn and Florida, with a slight chance of Texas slipping in as well). Despite Ohio State's incredible dominance to date, then, it wouldn't be a surprise if LSU's "résumé" (despite an SOS that isn't actually any more difficult) powers the Tigers ahead of the Buckeyes.
I'm tripping about it.
As long as the undefeated Buckeyes are one of the top-four teams come December, the committee can do whatever the hell it wants. Seed them wherever, place them wherever, match them up with whoever you'd like – it doesn't matter. Ohio State's going to paint the field with their blood regardless.
“ON GOOD TERMS.” I'm at the point where Joe Burrow could legit win the Heisman at LSU and I'd still be fully convinced that Ohio State's quarterbacks room was better served in the long run for letting him walk.
But that doesn't mean he wouldn't have been awesome at Ohio State, it doesn't mean the quarterback battle wasn't every bit as close as Meyer publicly said it was, and it doesn't mean that Burrow doesn't still believe and wish he could have been Ohio State's starter.
But it also doesn't mean there's any resentment.
From Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated:
... “He felt like he won that job,” (Joe Burrow's brother) Dan says. “That really messed with him mentally.”
Despite all of it, Joe is on good terms with his former coaches, one more than all the rest. Urban Meyer still texts Joe before and after nearly every single game. Does he believe Meyer will stay retired? “He’s trying his best to do it. I think he wants to be able to do it. Knowing Coach Meyer… I think it’ll probably last three years,” Joe says. Meanwhile, those in Ohio are rooting for a Buckeyes-Tigers meeting in the College Football Playoff, says Jimmy. Entering this week, Ohio State and LSU have arguably looked the best among any other college football teams. They are winning by a clip of 27 and 40 points, respectively. “It’s hard to not think about it,” Jimmy admits. “It is brought up around here. The people in Ohio, that’s their dream matchup. I’m sure (Joe) would want that too.” The two schools feel like they’re on a collision course...
The whole "on good terms" thing isn't just a nice thing to say to the media, either. There's by all accounts nothing but love between Joey B and his former teammates and coaches. Shit, he even walked freely around Ohio State's facilities during his bye week last year.
I've said this before, but I will root for Joe Burrow until the very second he runs out on the field against the Buckeyes, in which case he becomes prey and I will be rooting for The Predator to fold him across his shoulder like a sack of flour. But with love!
BEST GAMES OF ALL TIME. In honor of the 150th year of college football, ESPN put together a list of the top-150 college football games of all time. It's extremely Buckeye-heavy, but uh... not in a good way.
Of the 12 games they chose, Ohio State only won three of them. But they were three damn delicious wins.
25. No. 2 Ohio State 31, No. 1 Miami 24 (2OT)
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 3, 2003
The fireworks celebrating Miami's 35th consecutive win and second straight national championship lit up the desert sky, except that delayed, deliberate, oh-so-slow pass interference call by field judge Terry Porter on Miami defensive back Glenn Sharpe in the first overtime meant that Ohio State got another chance to score. The Buckeyes did, and the game continued. Miami had lost star tailback Willis McGahee to a knee injury in the fourth quarter, and it couldn't protect quarterback Ken Dorsey from a fierce pass rush. Ohio State won, as it had all season, thanks to freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who rushed for two touchdowns, including the game winner.
101. At No. 1 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Michigan 39
Nov. 18, 2006
The first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the history of "The Game" was so good that the Wolverines argued they should have played it again in the BCS National Championship. The No. 1 Buckeyes had 503 yards of offense, and quarterback Troy Smith threw four touchdowns. The Wolverines nearly rallied to win a day after legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died.
118. At No. 2 Ohio State 30, No. 3 Michigan 27 (2 OT)
Nov. 26, 2016
The No. 3 Wolverines led 17-7 in the third quarter, but the No. 2 Buckeyes came back and forced overtime with a 23-yard field goal with one second left in regulation. In the second OT, the Buckeyes barely converted a fourth-and-1 before Curtis Samuel scored on a 15-yard run to beat Michigan a fifth straight time.
If it's any consolation for Ohio State's 3-8-1 record in these games, it's that the list is absolutely full of Michigan disasters with the Appy State upset, the Colorado Hail Mary and the fumbled punt against Michigan state all cracking the top-100.
TROLLOLDALE. If you thought Cardale Jones was just going to drive through the state of Michigan without causing a commotion, maybe you need to remind yourself who we're talking about.
The Troll Sultan is at it again.
REMEMBER ME? With Maryland on the docket this week, it is my unfortunate duty to remind you of that one time when Anthony McFarland rushed for almost 300 yards and the damn turtles took the Buckeyes to overtime.
In hindsight, it looks like his rushing total probably had a lot more to do with Ohio State's asstrocious defense than it did him. Tough to believe, I know.
Remember Anthony McFarland's 298-yard, two-touchdown performance against Ohio State last season? He has 450 yards in nine games since that day.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) November 4, 2019
To be fair, this is just a tad misleading because McFarland has been plagued by injuries this season, even when he's played. And it's not like he didn't show he could do it against other teams last year (he had 210 yards against Indiana the week before he ruined the Buckeyes).
Still, Ohio State shouldn't give up 298 yards and two touchdowns to Barry Sanders in his prime, much a mediocre three-star back that has as many games with under 20 yards rushing as he does 100 yard rushing games.
NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A fake cop joins a real police chase, then handcuffs the suspect at gunpoint... Hemp plants seized in California turned out to be pot worth $1 billion... Get access to your secret consumer score... Cruise passengers claim they were booted from the ship for having loud sex... A man was fatally stabbed at Popeyes after a chicken sandwich altercation...