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Cavalcade of Whimsy - Why OSU Could Beat LSU
Ohio State WR Brian Robiskie
Ohio State WR Brian Robiskie
Posted Dec 11, 2007

LSU is being handed the national title by many, but Ohio State is actually good. Ten reasons why the Buckeyes could win the championship, reaction to Tim Tebow winning the Heisman, and more in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.

Fiu's Cavalcade of Whimsy

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances

By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... E-mail with your thoughts  
Past Whimsies
2006 Season | Preseason Part One, Part Two | Week 1
2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8
Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11, Part 1 | Week 11, Part 2 | Week 12
Week 13 | Week 14

If this column sucks, it’s not my fault … God doesn’t like me as much as He/She likes Tim Tebow, who was “blessed with so much stuff.”

"And this one time, at band camp…" Tebow made more history than just being the first underclassman to win the Heisman and being the first player to run and throw for both 20 scores in a season; he also set the record for the most consecutive words spoken without taking a breath, followed up by the most consecutive men hugged.

“ … and for having the divine wisdom to bless my girlfriend with the most spectacular, next-level rack ever created.” … (It’s one of the more interesting clean photos going around. Google Tim Tebow girlfriend. Yeah, I know, but you’re Tim Tebow, starting quarterback at the University of Florida. The standards need to be set at an otherworldly level. I say they should be even bigger, and there should be three of them.)

Kudos to Tebow, who makes a big deal out of religion, for not thanking God for the Heisman (since it was me, along with 461 other first place voters, who gave it to him), which would then imply the other finalists weren't worthy in the eyes of a Supreme Being. Instead, he did it the right way by thanking his “Lord and savior” for his family and the support group around him.

Yeah, you instantly lose a sizeable segment of the audience once you start going churchy, but faith is a big part of who Tebow is and he handled it reasonably well. With that said, for all those happy with Tebow praising Jesus Christ and God, and don’t find anything wrong with it, think about your instant unfiltered inner-monologue if an athlete instead used the public forum to praise Mohammed and Allah. Now you know how a lot of people feel.

Tebow sounded like I do after firing down a large with Butterfinger topping … So Tebow joined the fraternity of Heisman winners. Big deal. Last Saturday I joined the more exclusive club of 49 annoying 14-year-old girls and a 350-pound guy named Stu by being able to fill up a free frozen yogurt punch card in one week.

Oh sure, now Michigan will actually try …
I was front and center in the Tebow For Heisman campaign, but I’ll freely and openly admit that I’ll want to change my vote if he stinks it up in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan and if Darren McFadden rips up Missouri in the Cotton Bowl. I wished I could’ve changed my Troy Smith vote after last year’s bowl season to Colt Brennan. I wished I could’ve changed my Reggie Bush vote after 2005 to Vince Young. The Heisman voting needs to be done after the bowls to get a true indicator of college football's player of the year.

Spread your love, let’s spread our love together/Spread your love, I can feel it getting better”… Don’t get too comfortable with Tebow’s phenomenal statistical season being special for too much longer. Now that the spread offense has had a few years to get ingrained in the fabric of high school football, and coaches have had time to groom and train quarterbacks and players to shine in the attack, there will be more and more Tebows coming up through ranks and shining at the collegiate level. And then, very soon, everyone will wake up and realize the quarterbacks get killed in the offense and the skills don’t translate to the NFL. Then there will be a 180-degree turn the other way back to tall passers with mobility in the pocket.
Hi-fives to the sports world for not using the April tragedy for storylines throughout the season … I’m sort of stunned there hasn’t been more of an uproar over Virginia Tech not playing for the national championship. When we ran the numbers for the CFN Historical Rankings, our way of figuring out how good a season a team has had, and Virginia Tech ended up No. 1 for this year with LSU two. Just when that seemed like it might have been wacky, the BCS rankings came out with the computers putting the Hokies one and LSU two  with three of the six formulas putting Frank Beamer’s squad first and a fourth putting it second. Considering fans of several other schools are beefing about the BCS outcome, and the BCS bowl matchups, the Hokie fans have been strangely silent.

Reason number one why it’d be better: no Billy Packer I’ll be happy to end this debate right now. A college football final four would obliterate the college basketball Final Four in terms of national popularity. People don’t care about the college basketball national title (quick, name the teams in last year’s Final Four) because by then their brackets have been destroyed. Everyone cares about the first two rounds because it gives them something to do and something to gamble on instead of working on a mid-March Thursday and Friday. A college football final four would be the second biggest sporting event in America behind the Super Bowl, and it wouldn’t even be close.

I prefer the term Plus-Sized … For those of you believing a Plus One would solve all the problems, you'd still get people ticked off this year. Say you only took the top four conference title winners, which just so happen to be the top four BCS teams. You’d have Ohio State vs. Oklahoma, and LSU vs. Virginia Tech. Let's just say USC fans wouldn't be pleased, and Georgia and West Virginia would be heard from. However, at the end of the day, USC lost to Stanford, Georgia didn't play in its conference title game, and West Virginia choked at home against Pitt. Ohio State, LSU, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma would make for a worthy, easy playoff format.

“Will you take us to Mount Splashmore? Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore?  Will you take us to Mount Splashmore? The line is dead even on who’s whinier, my three-year-old when she wants another episode of the gripping, biting theater known as Max & Ruby, or media people asking for a college football playoff. I talked with the college football bigwigs and they’ve decided to cut a deal. They’ll think about coming up with a playoff format if everyone would just SHUT UP about it for 24 hours.

“We'll put the band back together, do a few gigs, we get some bread. Bang! Five thousand bucks.”
One of the hot rumors going around has June Jones leaving Hawaii after the Sugar Bowl and going back to the NFL to give his run ‘n’ shoot another go-round. While this might sound insane considering the ceiling the chuck ‘n’ duck teams had at the next level in the 1990s, watch the New England Patriots; with a little tweaking, they’re basically running the Warrior attack. Considering NFL defensive backs can’t breathe on a receiver after five yards, another try for Jones in the big league might yield wildly successful results.
That’s why pencils have erasers … Oh sure, Les Miles is a die-hard LSU lifer. He’s so firmly committed to the Tiger program that he put in a $1.25 million buyout clause (pocket change in the world of elite college coaches) allowing him to bolt for Michigan. Until Michigan actually hires a new head man, and as long as it believes coaches should work for less than market value for the honor of being the Wolverine head man, don’t quite put the story to bed. Don't be shocked if January 8th rolls around and Miles, armed with a national title and a win over Ohio State, suddenly becomes a must-hire for Michigan AD Bill Martin.

“Won’t somebody please think of the children?” … One of the more misguided rants that just won’t go away continues to come from LSU fans angry that the Kirk Herbstreit report of Miles leaving for Michigan was timed just so the players would be screwed up. Welcome to the big-time world of college football. It’s a big, big business, and these players aren’t babies. They know there are rumors swirling around their head coach, and they don’t really care as much as fans think they do.

I aint, I aint, I aint/A buyin into your apathy/I’m gonna learn ya my philosophy/You wanna know about atrocity, atrocity?Two women were awarded $2.85 million in settlement payouts from the University of Colorado stemming from a sexual assault lawsuit against former Buffalo football players in a 2001 incident. If you’re a fan of a program undergoing a coaching change because the former head man didn’t win enough, just remember, you didn’t have Gary Barnett. 

The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
Does anyone, anywhere outside of Columbus actually believe Ohio State is going to beat LSU and win the national title? Dennis Kucinich is being given more of a shot at being the next president than the Buckeyes are of being the next national champion. Here are ten reasons why The Ohio State University will win the BCS Championship. (Relax Tiger fans, next week will be the ten reasons why LSU will win.)

10. 2006 Florida Gators, 2005 Texas Longhorns, 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes  
Three of the past five national champions were given next to no shot whatsoever to win the title beforehand. This was partly because those three teams were really good, and it was partly because they were able to play the disrespect card. The 2006 Buckeyes, 2005 Trojans and 2002 Hurricanes were being considered among the greatest teams of all-time, and while the Tigers are only a 5-point favorite, playing in the Superdome, almost no one is coming out and picking against them. Teams in the big show tend to play better when the pressure, for the most part, is off.

9. Coaching
Les Miles isn’t Urban Meyer. For all the wins and all the good things he’s done since taking over as the Tiger head man, Miles isn't considered a high-brow X and O guy as much as he’s considered a great motivator and gutty game manager. Jim Tressel’s reputation might have suffered a hit after the Florida loss, but he’s still an amazing 73-15 (83%) with four straight bowl wins before the 2007 BCS Championship debacle. This is a big game head coach with a big game staff who’s been in the biggest of the big game spotlights for several years. Miles came through strong in his first BCS game appearance with the 41-14 Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame, but this is the national championship and his defensive coordinator, Bo Pelini, has his head already half-focused on the Nebraska job.

8. The nation’s No. 1 defense is …  
Yeah, It’s Ohio State. Dog the Big Ten all you want, but the conference has some solid offenses with six ranking in the top 50, and while there aren’t any high-octane killers, Michigan and Wisconsin have tremendous rushing attacks that were held in check by the Buckeye D, Northwestern’s 11th-ranked passing offense was held to 120 yards, no one threw for more than 269, and only Illinois ran for more than 161. OSU gave up four surprising touchdown passes to Juice Williams and the Illini, along with a soul-crushing fourth quarter march, and that was about it. As good as the overall stats are, they’re actually even better considering the offense gave up some scores, including two to Michigan State. 

7. Yes, Ohio State can run with LSU, and any other team in the SEC  
You don’t get 59 players drafted in seven years without having a ton of speed and athleticism flowing through the program. Despite how things looked against Florida, that Ohio State team could run with anyone, and this one certainly has the overall team speed to stay with LSU. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Buckeyes will play fast, but if it’s a question of running, no one other than Trindon Holliday will run past this group.

6.  The OSU offensive line

If it’s not the best in the game, it’s a close second behind the Oklahoma line. It hasn’t faced a defensive front like LSU’s, but tackles Alex Boone and Kirk Barton are each Outland caliber talents who’ll be stalwarts on NFL lines for several years to come, Steve Rehring is a solid left guard, and Jim Cordle is coming into his own at center. The front five has allowed a mere 14 sacks on the year and just 100 tackles for loss. LSU is way too good up front to get shoved around too often, but the Buckeye front five will win its share of battles.

5. The OSU defensive front should be able to get into the backfield     
The LSU O line is strong when it comes to powering the ball, but it struggles at consistently protecting the passer. All year long, teams have been able to get to the Tiger quarterbacks, and OSU should be able to pin its ears back and get at least four sacks. Vernon Gholston can get past any tackle in America.

4.  LSU’s defense might not be quite as good as advertised  
The talent is breathtaking. Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson have Pro Bowl tools. Craig Steltz was probably the best defensive back in the country, Ali Highsmith might have been the best linebacker in the SEC, and Chevis Jackson is one of the nation’s premier cover-corners. And there’s more NFL talent where that came from. So why did the Tigers struggle so much when pressed? Darren McFadden might be a transcendent talent and Andre Woodson might be a first round draft pick, but a defense as good as LSU’s shouldn’t have allowed 50 points to Arkansas and 43 to Kentucky, even if both games went to three overtimes. The Tiger D wasn’t nearly as dominant as it should’ve been over the second half of the season, but that’s because of …

3. Injuries.       
The time off will help LSU as much as any team in the bowl season, but there’s still a variety of bumps and bruises to get over. For a team that went through a tumultuous season, and with all the coaching drama, DT Glenn Dorsey’s knee, LB Darry Beckwith’s ankle, QB Matt Flynn’s shoulder, QB Ryan Perrilloux’s finger, and a variety of other issues could contribute to next month being as much about healing as it is about preparing.

2. It’s not like LSU has been all-timer special since September
Injuries can only be partly to blame for LSU not blowing teams out over the second half of the season. The standards might be a little high considering the Tigers won the SEC title and is in the national title, but a team this talented probably shouldn’t have struggled so much with Alabama and Ole Miss, and it shouldn’t have lost to Kentucky and Arkansas. It took a miraculous play to beat Auburn, a trick play to get by South Carolina earlier in the year, and four wins came by a touchdown or less. If the LSU that showed up at the beginning of the year against Mississippi State and Virginia Tech is in the Superdome, it’s uh oh time for the Buckeyes. If the LSU that showed up over the last two months of the season gets off the bus, this could be a classic.
1. Florida 41 … Ohio State 14
Talk about motivation, how sick is Ohio State of hearing about the clunker in Glendale? Florida might have come into last year’s national championship with a great game-plan and a mega-chip on its shoulder, but the Buckeyes also came into it off the banquet circuit and figuring the game was a mere formality. Ohio State didn’t get to be Ohio State by not being able to adapt and adjust. This was the nation’s No. 1 team for a good portion of the season, and technically, it’s in the top spot right now. The team really is that good.

Nuggets and tidbits, now made with white meat, at participating restaurants …
- The Heisman has NOTHING to do with pro potential. Because Eric Crouch, Jason White, Danny Wuerffel, Gino Torretta, etc. weren’t NFL stars means absolutely nothing to what they did in college.
- There is no stigma to being a “stat guy.” Many wanted to criticize Tim Tebow and Colt Brennan for just being about the statistics, but great numbers are great numbers for a reason. Yes, being a stat guy implies that the numbers were achieved either in garbage time or against lousy teams, or both, but when it comes to this year’s Heisman lot, that’s just not true.
- The post-season awards and voting are always interesting. In the Sun Belt, Troy QB Omar Haugabook won the Offensive Player of the Year, but Florida Atlantic QB Rusty Smith was named the Player of the Year. The MAC named Toledo punter Brett Kern the Special Teams Player of the Year, and named Ball State’s Chris Miller the league’s All-MAC First Team punter with Kern on the Second Team.
- The best part of the NFL Network? It's certainly not my appearances on College Football Now. It's Deion Sanders on NFL GameDay. He's now the second best sports studio analyst behind Charles Barkley, and he makes Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson on ESPN look like ill-prepared amateurs.
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
1) Overrated: Mike Ditka ... Underrated: The complete and total opposite opinion, viewpoint, or stance of any opinion, stance or viewpoint held by Mike Ditka.
2) Overrated: Reggie Bush  … Underrated: Mario Williams
3) Overrated: Mike Price ... Underrated: Paul Wulff
4) Overrated: Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech ... Underrated: Paul Johnson at Navy
5) Overrated: Appalachian State after beating Michigan ... Underrated: Appalachian State playing in its third straight national championship game but not getting one vote from the pretentious AP who made a big deal out of including FCS teams
Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … I’m allowed to write the column for another year or so if I want, but Jimbo Fisher has been named columnist-in-waiting while moving in his motivational WINNERS and PERSEVERANCE pictures into my office.