Ohio State lost by far the best player in the country for today's game and the betting line shifted exactly one point from -44.5 to -43.5.
That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about this matchup: there is almost nothing that could keep it from turning into an absolute shit show. Hell, the bye week did more (hopefully temporary) damage to Ohio State's national title hopes than Maryland could even hope to do.
The two biggest accomplishments in Maryland's football history are losing to Ohio State by just one point in double overtime last year and almost signing Dwayne Haskins four years ago. Outside of that, you've got an ACC lacrosse school that occasionally dabbles in basketball (and women's golf?).
And you know what? Fine. Take your L, cash your check, and we'll see your competitive teams in the spring. At least you're not Rutgers.
|12:00||MARYLAND @ #1 OHIO STATE||OSU -43.5||FOX|
|12:00||VANDERBILT @ #10 FLORIDA||UF -26||ESPN|
|12:00||#4 PENN STATE @ #17 MINNESOTA||PSU -7||ABC|
|12:00||PURDUE @ NORTHWESTERN||NU -2||BTN|
|12:00||#12 BAYLOR @ TCU||BAY -2.5||FS1|
|3:30||LOUISVILLE @ MIAMI||MIAMI -6.5||ESPN2|
|3:30||ILLINOIS @ MICHIGAN STATE||MSU -14.5||FS1|
|3:30||#19 WAKE FOREST @ VIRGINIA TECH||WAKE -2.5||ACCN|
|3:30||#2 LSU @ #3 ALABAMA||BAMA -6||CBS|
|3:30||#16 KANSAS STATE @ TEXAS||TEXAS -7||ESPN|
|3:30||USC @ ARIZONA STATE||USC -1.5||ABC|
|4:00||#18 IOWA @ #13 WISCONSIN||WISC -8.5||FOX|
|7:00||APPALACHIAN STATE @ SOUTH CAROLINA||SC -6||ESPN2|
|7:30||#15 NOTRE DAME @ DUKE||ND -7.5||ACCN|
|7:30||#5 CLEMSON @ NC STATE||CLEM -33||ABC|
|8:00||IOWA STATE @ #9 OKLAHOMA||OKLA -14.5||FOX|
Word of the Day: Crunch.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game preview.
- Five things to know.
- Across the Field.
- Game poster.
- Game trailer.
- Round table.
- The situational.
- Our picks against the spread.
- Chase Young is suspended indefinitely.
- Both starting defensive ends will miss today's game.
- All of the sudden, Ohio State is facing its first real test.
- The former NCAA investigator who interviewed Jim Tressel is now Chase Young's attorney.
- Keandre Jones is excited to play in the 'Shoe again against his former team.
- Ohio State is in the best position to make the College Football Playoff it's ever been in.
- The Buckeyes are focusing on winning and aren't worried about their rankings.
PLAYING FOR HIS BROTHERS. Damon Arnette isn't just back this season, he's got a whole new mentality and love for his team.
From Bill Rabinowitz The Columbus Dispatch:
Arnette said he decided even before his conversation with Hafley was finished to come back, surprising even himself by the quick change of heart.
And it was a change of heart. Arnette acknowledged that the oft-spoken brotherhood the Buckeyes tout had been just a word to him. Now it’s reality.
“I didn’t always feel like this,” he said. “When I first heard, ‘Play for your brother, play for your brother,’ that’s the feeling that they were talking about. And I didn’t have that. Now that I’m all in and buying in to everything, I get that feeling. I’m able to turn the corner on certain relationships, and it’s just a great feeling.”
“He’s just a different guy, a different demeanor,” senior safety Jordan Fuller said. “His whole approach to everything he does has changed. I can’t praise him enough for that.”
Arnette’s father beamed with pride talking about the growth in his son. He sees it as a steady progression with occasional missteps. Arnette graduated in the spring as a communications major.
“He has his hard exterior, playing with a broken wrist and everybody seeing him jawing with people that he’s playing against,” Arnette Sr. said. “He looks like he’s ready to chop someone’s head off while he’s out there playing. But he really has a big, caring heart.
“He’s bought into that brotherhood. He really truly loves his teammates.”
Damon Arnette has been unironically one of my favorite Buckeye players for years, and it brings me so much joy that the Internet coaches turned out to be wrong about him and he's good, actually.
But here's the secret – he didn't just magically turn good this year – he's been good for years. Yeah, he's struggled. But you don't start as a redshirt freshman in a secondary that features four eventual first-round picks if you're bad. Also, there's a reason why Jeff Hafley wanted him back in the first place. If he was even half as bad as the internet comments would lead to to believe, there's no chance a new staff would have fought to keep him like they did.
Regardless, I'm happy to see the bandwagon filling up. I mean, how could you not love a dude who openly predicated a 'Natty after *checks notes* the third game of the season.
THE SILVER LINING! There's not much good about Maryland this season, but I'm an honest man who gives credit where credit is due, and the Terps are... oddly good at tackling?
#CFB - Top 8 Defenses - Missed Tackle Rate— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) November 7, 2019
1 #Iowa .6.3%
2 #Maryland ..6.8%
3 #AirForce ...7.2%
4 #Alabama ..7.4%
5 #OhioState 7.6%
6 #Indiana ..7.7%
7 #Marshall 8.0%
8 #LSU ..8.1%
The #B1G teams can flat out tackle.
The funny part is that Maryland is actually below average at best in pretty much every other statistical category on defense. So I guess reading between the lines, they just mostly let people run untouched?
That's a bold strategy. I hope they try that a lot today.
BACK AT IT. I accidentally didn't post plays last week because I totally forgot it was a bye week until after I published the Friday Skull Session. For those of you making a living fading my picks, I offer my sincerest apologies, but we're back at it this week!
I went 7-3 two weeks ago, which brought my total from "utterly humiliating" back to "hilariously bad" where I belong. I now sit at 31-40-1 on the season – just one sweep from a winning record.
And folks, here it is.
- Ohio State -27.5 against Maryland FIRST HALF. I think Ohio State is going to be able to win this game by however much it wants to win this game, but I'd rather not put the cover in the hands of Marcus Crowley and Gunnar Hoak in a clock-chewing offense when I can have a four touchdown spread in the first half.
- Penn State -6.5 against Minnesota. Everything inside of me wanted to pick Goldy in this game but I just can't do it. I appreciate the hell out of what Minnesota's done this season, but they've done it against just abysmal teams, and it still hasn't always been easy. Meanwhile, Penn State is the far more talented team that's been tested multiple times already. I don't think this is a very close game at any point.
- Northwestern vs. Purdue UNDER 39. You almost couldn't set this total low enough to scare me away. Northwestern has one of the worst offenses in the country and Purdue doesn't really have a ton of players left at this point, particularly on the offensive side. They aren't combining for 40 points today.
- Northwestern -2 against Purdue. This is the same logic as the above pick. With how good Northwestern's defense is, I just don't think Purdue is going to score much, if at all. And it's hard to cover a two-point spread when you don't score, no matter how inept the other team is on offense.
- LSU +6.5 against Alabama. I'm probably going to regret this, but I just think this is going to be a close game, even if Tua is 100 percent healthy, and I might even lean LSU. If you're going to give me the team I think is better and almost a touchdown, I'll gladly take it.
- Alabama vs. LSU under 63.5. Everyone is expecting a high-scoring shootout, but I'm not buying that. It's a huge game and I think that's going to cause both teams to clench up and play a little tighter than normal. 63.5 is just a lot in a rivalry game like this, so I'll gladly take the under.
- Miami +7 against Louisville. One day, folks are going to realize that Miami has the talent of a top-20 team and is nowhere near as bad as its record would indicate. But this week is not that week. I've rode an undervalued Miami team pretty much all year, and I'm doing it again today.
- Kansas State +7 against Texas. Texas doesn't deserve to be a touchdown favorite over anybody this year. This seems like a trap, but if it is, I'm springing it.
- Iowa +9.5 against Wisconsin. I don't think Iowa's going to win this game, but I like them to keep it within two scores simply because of their stout run defense. I think this is going to be a classic Big Ten rock fight that comes down to the very end.
- Oklahoma vs. Iowa State over 68 points. I think both of these teams are going to score a lot of points on each and that's pretty much the only logic here. Iowa State has scored fewer than 30 points just twice all season and Oklahoma's defense ain't exactly the '86 Bears. Meanwhile, the Sooners have proven they can basically score at will. I could see this as a 45-31 final with a fairly comfortable cover.
NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. A horror movie star is charged with real-life murder the day after the film wraps... A tourist went missing, then his hand was found inside a shark.... Police inject a heroin addict with a life saving drug, but it turned out he was just sleeping... Never-before-published letters and interviews offer clues in infamous Michigan murders... The never-ending drug hustle behind bars...