Today’s NCAA FB roundup — reactions to Buckeyes andUSC; required NCAA FB reading

I watched bits of LSU/WVU (LSU is my #1), Toledo/Syracuse, ND/Pitt, UW/Cal. But key games I watched yesterday were OSU and USC.

* OSU is in for a tough year. Yes they tackled better yesterday, but it was Colorado. If we give up 17 to Colorado, we will give up 24+ to MSU/Nebraska/Wisconsin, and the OSU offense does not have the firepower to score enough against those teams. I’m glad Braxton and other young players are getting the reps, this is a team for next year.
* USC shot themselves in the foot over and over again, and Erickson was clearly the best coach out there. The ASU offensive game plan and adjustments were very effective and USC could never crack it.

On broader college football issues, if you haven’t already seen the below, read immediately. As money continues to pour into the sport, the issues discussed are going to become more prominent, not less.

* If you haven’t already read the “the Quad’s story on college football fan distribution”:, do so. Excellent explanation of the market facts underpinning realignment chaos.
* “Study about poverty and student-athletes (PDF)”: Excellent, record revenues and expenditures in college football, but many players struggle.
* Of course. the “Atlantic article”: on the inherently corrupt economics of college football.

And on a lighter note, “Matt Sarz’s TV listings”: Finding USC on the Root network last night was tricky.

Odd/interesting college football numbers

* Michigan is a “25 point favorite”: over Bowling Green this weekend. Really? Did anyone watch Michigan give up 37 to UMass? Not a betting man but tempted to start.
* Ohio State ranked “11th by Sagarin for purposes of BCS”: With a string of weak opponents still on the slate, this is a little concerning, tho if OSU wins out, its position in the human polls is pretty unassailable. My gosh, USC who has looked awful is ranked well ahead of OSU.
* Yay Duke is “#1 in kickoff return yards!”: That happens when you are always returning kickoffs because you’ve been giving up scores left and right.
* Yay “OSU is #1 in field goals”: Ignoring the implications for red zone ineffectiveness, this might lead you to believe that OSU special teams are doing great. Which they are not.

4.5 weeks to kickoff! Go Bucks!

Wow, August is upon us, only 4.5 weeks to “OSU’s kickoff with Marshall”:

Super excited about the prospects for this year’s OSU team. An experienced offensive backfield and line, a beastly-looking defensive line, and great talent in most other areas. A gnarly in-conference road schedule tho and a strengthening Big-10 conference will make it a tough year tho. Around the nation, I’m also keyed up for the Nebraska-Texas game, I’d love the see the newest member of the Big-10 wax Texas. And I’ll have my eyes on USC, I think they could do very well in a so-so Pac-10. I’ll probably watch some Washington games tho I have never bonded with the team.

As of this moment, I’ll be attending the OSU November home games, Penn State and Michigan. And depending on the season, potentially the bowl game. I might attend a UW game. I wish I could get back to Columbus for the Miami game or to Iowa City or Madison for the big road games but not likely to happen.

Go Bucks!

USC Lacrosse season kickoff

“USC Lacrosse”: kicks off the season this weekend, Sunday 11am home against UNLV (“complete schedule”: “Roster up here as well”: Next weekend in Seattle, yay, to take on some Northwest opponents. Fight On!

USC 2010 LAX schedule

The USC 2010 LAX schedule “is released”:, available up at the “MCLA website”: Trip to Seattle the weekend of 2/13, get your tickets now!

Another great Buckeye season

While this weekend’s victory over Michigan was not one for the ages, it does cap another great Buckeye season. Undisputed Big10 champs, 5 straight Big10 titles, Rose Bowl trip, 5th straight BCS bowl, 6th straight victory over Michigan, undefeated November including wins over other title contenders. It is a good era to be a Buckeye fan. Tresselball is alive and well despite opinions to the contrary — I am very happy winning games with a tough defense, special teams play (tho this has not been as strong this year), and mistake-free offense. Some writers want to see a lot of “style” points, but that is not football. If you value style points, go watch ice dancing or diving — fine sports, nothing wrong with them. I don’t watch football for style points.

The throwback unis looked good and it is super to commemorate the ’54 team — congrats Dad.

For Michigan, wow, another terrible season. The fan base is failing as well — the amount of scarlet in the Big House was astounding. Real Michigan fans are pissed about.  For the sake of the rivalry, I hope that Michigan starts to be relevant and credible again. I admit to having the thought that, if there was any year in which the pain of losing to Michigan would be small, this might have been it, and it would have been good for the rivalry. The wolverines weren’t up to it.

Also watched a lot of PAC 10 action. With USC caught up in its own undershorts, the Pac-10 is a mess. Stanford opted out this weekend. Arizona opted out. Oregon-Oregon State for all the marbles? When has that ever been the case in the past? The collapse of USC is like the death of Tito, with the Pac-10 fracturing like Yugoslavia into a bunch of warring factions, none dominant.

I don't get the USC community analysis of the UW loss

Here’s a typical blog posting from the “USC community”: Whacking on Corp for Saturday’s loss. All the blogs repeat this theme as do the press like the OC Register. And I saw quotes from Pete basically throwing Corp under the bus.

Seems to me tho that “Corp was no better or worse than Barkley before him”: When you change QBs and results are the same, perhaps it is the other variables — receivers or coaching. And as I watched the game, the poor ball handling by Havili and McKnight, who both gave up unforced fumbles to kill scoring drives, seemed like the greater issue.

Of course as a Buckeye fan, this all just reaggravates the wound.

Matt Barkley is a tool

OK OK, Pryor has made some ill-considered comments this week, but he is not alone. MOTSAG has these choice words from Matt Barkley:

Among other things, Barkley was asked by a reporter on the field what he had learned about himself as a quarterback.

“That this is fun. This is easy. This is what I was made to do,” Barkley said.

I asked Barkley if there was anything that was difficult.

“The run up the tunnel at halftime,” he said. “That was brutal.”

Perhaps the Buckeyes can provide him some lessons in humility on Saturday. All in the name of helping his further development as a person.

Today's USC reading

* “It is my bet you will see a physically dominant performance by Jeff Byers and his crew, and they will lead USC to a lopsided USC win.” via – Hogue Report: SJSU edition
* “Song Girl Monday”: Why would you think to throw your cheerleaders in water to get their pictures? There is just no morality in Southern California. OSU has to win just to protect the moral fiber of America.
* “SC line back at full strength?”: Maybe.

It's USC Week!

Oh boy. Here is your reading list — know your enemy!

* “LA Times”:
* “OC Register”: and “its USC blog”:
* “TrojanWire”: Another usc blog
* “Reggie Bush’s Twitter Feed”: Just to annoy you.
* “Pete’s website”: to further annoy you
* “Pete’s Twitter Feed”:

Less than a month to kickoff!

Preseason coaches poll is out, OSU at 6th, SC at 4th. Man I am fired up for the opener against Navy in less than a month, and for the SC rematch.

Other teams and stories I’m excited about:

* Michigan. Can they take steps back to respectability? The best rivalry in sports needs drama to sustain itself.
* SC. How good how fast, and will they learn to win the games they ought to win?
* UW. My adoptive hometown team, will a new coach get them off the mat?
* Florida. Hoping the rest of the SEC mans up and pins a couple losses on them.
* Denison. Go Red Raiders! Only because a member of extended family is on the team.

Gearing up for football…

CFN’s Big Ten Preview is up. OSU gets the requisite amount of love. Though OSU needs some defensive players to surprise to achieve the promise of the team.

OSU picked to finish first at Media Day.

Here are my hopes for the season:
* OSU of course defeats SC and goes on to win the Big10
* Michigan takes steps towards respectability. You can’t have the best rivalry in sports if one of the programs sucks.
* Someone rises in the west to challenge USC.
* UW gets up off the mat and makes some progress.
* Florida and Tebow take a dive. I am so sick of the Tebow-gasm in the press every day. My 2nd favorite team every weekend will be whoever is playing Florida.

Sunday Morning Rewind: Trojan horses, trampled Todd – Dr. Saturday – NCAA Football –

I’m not sure which was more disappointing: Ohio State’s defense trying to defend Joe McKnight, or the Buckeyes’ insistence on Todd Boeckman, who has never been anything but a red siren liability when asked to make plays with the game on the line. To me, it’s clearly Boeckman: while McKnight gashed OSU’s defense for almost nine yards per carry, the Buckeyes would have been in the game well into the second half if not for a) Boeckman’s throw directly into the arms of Rey Maulauga for a USC touchdown in the second quarter, and b) his cement-footed stand in the pocket on the very next possession, when he was sacked on consecutive snaps and stripped (above) on the second just to make a nice picture of his helpless inadequacy. Both turnovers, for the record, followed first down runs by Terrelle Pryor.

Sunday Morning Rewind: Trojan horses, trampled Todd – Dr. Saturday – NCAA Football –

Totally agree but to be clear — not Boeckman’s fault. He is what he is and that is well known by now. The fault lies with the coaching, expecting him to be something he is not.

USC 35, OSU 3

Sigh. USC is a great team, there was probably no way OSU was winning this game. The turning point was in the 2nd quarter when OSU penalized themselves out of a score. Things just got worse.

You have to pin the poor performance on coaching. USC offense and defense both have commented that they didn’t see anything surprising. OSU put no pressure on USC offensively or defensively. No interesting halftime adjustments — in fact halftime misadjustments as the staff decided to let Boechman carry the load — an impossible position for him with no running threat to keep the defense honest. There were a lot of stupid penalties and some really poor qb decisions to put the icing on the cake.

Here’s hoping that the staff learns something from this debacle.

On the plus side, the USC fans around us couldn’t have been nicer. Families, alums, a very pleasant crowd.