I've tried all week to feign concern about this game but since we're here I'm just going to get right to it – this is going to be a damn bloodbath.
I've written "the biggest game Ohio State's played all year" too many times to count this week and read all the cliches about how this was going to be a four-quarter game with "talent equated."
I'm done. I'm not doing that anymore. That's all bullshit.
The Buckeyes a 19-point favorite against a top-10 conference opponent for a reason. "Talent equated" my ass. There isn't a single aspect of the game – not a side of the ball, not a single unit, not a single matchup – where Penn State has the advantage today. Not a single one.
It's borderline disrespectful to even compare the Nittany Lions to Ohio State at this point. Is Ohio State out here beating Pitt(!!!) by one score, needing 18 plays and 9 minutes to score on Indiana, or giving up over 300 yards passing in back-to-back weeks?
Penn State is fine, maybe even good! Any other year, maybe theres' some concern here. But they're running into a buzzsaw this week with a historically dominant team that's fresh as can be at this point in the season, looking to make a statement in a game that's going to have all eyes this week.
Oh, and the best player in the country is returning this week, rested and pissed off, coming off a four-sack performance against a better offensive line.
I appreciate the hype, I really do. But every honest person knows what's going to happen today. Don't lie to yourself, don't let others lie to you.
Word of the Day: Carnage.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game preview.
- Five things to know.
- Across the Field.
- Game poster.
- Game trailer.
- Round table.
- The situational.
- One hell of a visitors list.
- Our picks against the spread.
- NFL teams in attendance today.
- Browning, Mack and Arnette are back.
- Hey, I think we should talk about the tight ends.
- The seniors are just focused on beating Penn State.
- Today's a Big Ten Championship game play-in game.
- Ryan Day calls this game a "talent-equated" game.
- Chase Young is back and Penn State should be terrified.
- James Franklin thinks this might be one of the most talented rosters he's watched.
- This game carries a ton of weight in the College Football Playoff landscape.
- These next few games are Justin Fields' chance to introduce himself to the nation.
TO GET YOU RIGHT. I figured y'all might want to remember what a glorious fourth-quarter comeback in a nail-biter game feels like since you sure as hell aren't going to experience it today.
Viewing is non-optional.
I'll never forget that moment J.T. Barrett had with Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins before that final drive at 6:15. He's simultaneously acknowledging how huge the moment is while almost mocking it with his confidence.
Say what you want about Joe Thomas Barrett IV, but that dude was clutch as hell. I'd like to think Justin Fields has that trait too, but I'd like even more to never even have to find out.
“I DON'T THINK THIS WILL BE CLOSE.” Well, well, well...
It sounds like Urban Meyer is calling for a blowout today.
"The way the schedule was set up this year for Ohio State is perfect," Meyer said. "They're as healthy, as fresh as you can be."
He added that Penn State, meanwhile, is a little banged up (and to be fair, probably nowhere near as good as Ohio State even when healthy).
"I don't think this will be close."
Sounds like Urban is laying the points.
WE'RE ROLLING. I went 4-6 last week, which brings my season total to 41-50-1. But we're still just a perfect week from going over .500. No reason why we can't get it today!
- Ohio State -18.5 against Penn State. Hell yeah I'm laying almost three touchdowns against a top-10 opponent. I ain't scared. That sounds scary until you look at it in context. Do you know how how many teams have played Ohio State closer than three touchdowns? 0. I'm not betting Penn State's going to be the first with everything on the line in the most important game of the season with Chase Young back.
- Ohio State vs. Penn State UNDER 57.5. It's scary to take a three-touchdown favorite and an under, because the margin for error gets quite a bit smaller, but I guess I just don't really trust Penn State to score much at all. I think we're looking at two Penn State scores, max. My chief concern here is that Ohio State scores too much, but if that happen I'll just take my split.
- Northwestern +14 against Minnesota. Look, I know you're going to hate this. Shit, I'm the one making the pick and *I* hate it, but I just think this is the right play. Northwestern's got some confidence on offense after scoring more last week than it had in the five previous games combined, and the boat's taking in a little water after the first loss of the season. I'm not saying they win, but I think Northwestern can keep this within two scores at home.
- Indiana +10 against Michigan. I've been eyeing this like a snack for weeks and it got even more juicy when the Hoosiers lost to Penn State last week (in a game they probably should have won). I would not be shocked if Indiana gets it done outright this week, but giving them 10 points at home is just downright disrespectful. Most models see this game is a coin flip, and I think the Hoosiers might be the better team. So if you're going to give me 10 points, I'll take it to the bank.
- Texas A&M +13.5 against Georgia. Georgia isn't winning this game by two touchdowns. It's just not happening. Texas A&M has a pretty solid run defense that shut down Travis Etienne earlier this season and while the Aggies aren't great on offense, I think they can score once or twice, which should be enough to get the cover against a Georgia team that loves playing close games.
- Navy -3 against SMU. This is another one I've had circled for a bit because I think this is just a fantastic matchup for Navy against an SMU team I think is riding a little too much public hype. I'll admit, Navy's bed shitting last week has me a little rattled to trust them against another talented and fairly explosive team, but I support the troops, dammit!
- Cal vs. Stanford UNDER 40. Do not watch this game. Do not turn this game on any of your televisions. Do not expose children to this game. Consider this a parental advisory. Just take the under, avert your eyes and collect your winnings.
- Texas vs. Baylor UNDER 58.5. It's too many points for both of these teams. It's not that I think these teams aren't capable of trading punches in a shootout, I just don't think either team particularly wants to. I think this game plays more on the ground with the clock moving quickly and more than a few punts.
- Temple +10 against Cincinnati. Nothing against Coach Fickell here, but Cincinnati has played quite a few very close games against not-so-great teams lately – UCF, East Carolina, South Florida – and I think Temple is quite a bit better than not-so-great. I think the Owls are a legit good team that could beat Cincinnati outright today. At the very least, they'll get the cover.
- Oklahoma vs. TCU OVER 65. After appearing to start the season fine defensively, Oklahoma seems to have reverted to the 2018 Sooners with one of the most explosive offenses in the country with an absolute revolving door of a defense. So I'm not overthinking this – the Sooners are going to score a lot of points, but they're also going to give up more than a few as well.
NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. Radar finds 145 graves buried beneath a high school... A teen was rushed to hospital after filler left her with "sausage lips that oozed green pus"... People are having sex with 3D avatars of their exes and celebrities... Man complains of headaches, then doctors found 700 tapeworms in his brain as a result of undercooked pork... Revisiting America's most dangerous amusement park.