Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Yeah, I picked that

Much as I would like to claim prescience, I was completely floored by the beating Florida put on OSU last night. How often do you see a 41-14 that was even MORE of a blowout than the score indicated? Ultimately, it's an embarrassment: 82 total yards, 4-14 passing by the Heisman winner, a complete butt-whipping by a Florida team that beat Vanderbilt by 6 points and nipped South Carolina at home by a missed extra point.

I'm amazed that Ohio State is 0-8 in bowls against SEC teams. The Big Tenplusone and the SEC have had bowl tie-ins for about 15 years, so OSU should be able to handle SEC teams. For instance, the SEC and Big Ten match up in both the Capital One and Outback Bowls each year. Since 1991, OSU has played and lost five bowls to SEC teams. The SEC teams are quicker and nearly as strong, but so are Pac-10 teams. Something else must be amiss with OSU because since joining the Big Tenplusone in 1993, Penn State is 4-2 against SEC teams in bowl games, including two upsets of Tennessee and a complete thrashing of Auburn.

Each game is, naturally, different and OSU's tactics simply stank. The Buckeyes never ran hot routes against the Gator blitzes, sought to pass first instead of running, and completely failed to use Florida's defensive aggressiveness against it with draws, screens, quick-outs and reverses. OSU never adjusted. That's a bad night for the coaches.

The Big Ten came up very small in the Bowl season: Michigan lost any claim it had to a rematch with Ohio State by getting whomped by USC; Minnesota blew a 31-point lead; Purdue was blasted. The only Big Ten teams to exceed expectations were Iowa, which lost a close one to a solid Texas squad, and Penn State, which beat a decent Tennessee team. Ultimately, perhaps Florida, from a conference that won most of its bowls, was simply better trained for facing a top team in a top bowl than OSU.

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