the Fiesta Bowl
Monday, January 5th, 8:00pm
SoS edge goes to Texas, obviously. Ohio State played three teams weaker than Texas' worst, and the Buckeyes four toughest opponents, two of whom they lost to, weren't as tough at Texas' four best.
|Points (rank)||445.80 (#3)||310.08 (#12)|
|Opp. Points (rank)||1,078.43 (#6)||363.24 (#37)|
|Points (% of Opp. Avg)||43.9 (154%)||28.2 (123%)|
|dPoints (% of Opp. Avg)||18.6 (51%)||13.1 (44%)|
|Rush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||176.9 (117%)||191.6 (139%)|
|dRush Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||73.6 (44%)||114.9 (70%)|
|Pass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||299.5 (122%)||148.1 (76%)|
|dPass Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||266.3 (91%)||164.3 (73%)|
|Tot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||476.4 (119%)||339.7 (100%)|
|dTot Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||339.9 (76%)||279.3 (72%)|
|ST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||87.4 (62%)||103.0 (84%)|
|dST Yds (% of Opp. Avg)||145.8 (119%)||89.2 (72%)|
|Penalties / Pen. Yds||6.3 / 56.1||5.1 / 41.7|
|TO's / TO Margin||1.1 / +3||1.1 / +15|
Will this one be high scoring or low scoring? Could go either way - both have good D's and stellar O's. A couple areas jump out though: Ohio State's passing game gained just 76% of their opponents' average. Not too good - Beanie Wells better be ready to run. And Texas' dST usually gives up a lot more than their opponents usually gain. Ohio State has a big edge in turnovers, and they'll need to take advantage of Longhorn miscues to have any chance. With that said, I think this one will be closer than people expect - the Buckeyes haven't gotten much love based on their big-game failures, but they're still a solid team that can win and you gotta think they feel that they've got something to prove. Texas could go either way - they've got something to prove too, but at the same time their chance at a split national championship is not likely. Will they roll over? I see this one coming down to the end...
The Line: Ohio State +8
The Call: Texas wins, but Ohio State covers the spread
The Result: Texas 24-21
Don't let the haters fool you - Ohio State played well tonight, and even though this big-time loss, their 4th in a row, will be used mercilessly against them by some, they showed that they do belong on the field with the big boys. One of these days, probably soon and because of Pryor, they'll get over the hump and maul a big-time team that doesn't take them seriously enough. At the same time, Texas, while looking good most of the night, really didn't have the outing that they needed to to prove without a doubt that they belonged in the national championship game instead of Oklahoma. It wasn't enough to earn them a share of the title either - they're on the same "what about us?" level as USC and Utah. But they still had a stellar year overall, and if McCoy returns, will most likely start off 2009 at #1. Kudos to both for a great game.