The bad news first: Buckeye fans are, by and large, a horde of insufferable, whiny blowhards. I should know, I am a huge Buckeye fan. Even in the midst of the longest winning streak in school history we either: A) Complain about how our defense sucks, we should fire Luke Fickell and we were lucky to win, or B) Complain that the media doesn't give our team its just due, Mark May should be fired, and we deserve the #1 ranking over those borderline rapists from FSU.
Which is it Buckeye Fans? Should we fire Luke Fickell or try to get Mark May terminated? You have to pick one guy or the other. Can't have it both ways, so whose side are you on?
While you ponder that mental puzzle, I will give you the good news: The Buckeyes are going to beat MSU this weekend in Indianapolis and advance to the BCS title game in Pasadena. And don't worry about Auburn jumping us if we win. There is this thing called "math" (which most of us OSU graduates managed to avoid entirely during college) and it works in our favor. So come this Saturday when we beat Sparty, the Bucks are a mortal lock for the big dance. Don't let the talking heads fool you. All you need to know is this:
Numbers + numbers = Buckeyes. Done deal.
"But what about Michigan State? Don't take them for granted."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was a little nervous too, after squeaking by Michigan and then immediately reading a bunch of shit-talk from a rightfully salty MSU team. "We should have beat them last year...," "This is our time...," Coach Dantonio, "We are coming for your ass" "We aren't planning on losing....," blah-blah-blah.
But after a couple of days' reflection it occurred to me that as much as I love and respect Tresselball - as implemented by his protege Mark Dantonio - it's day has come and gone. Much like Nate Silver accurately predicting the last Presidential election months before the results*, there is this train called "progress" and it is rolling down the tracks. Urbanball isn't going to be slowed by a group of three-star recruits who have won playing field-position football against a ledger of unranked opponents. This style may work against the rest of the Big Ten but OSU isn't your grandaddy's Big Ten Team, particularly inside the climate-controlled confines of the new Hoosier Dome. (Or whatever it's called.)
I'm sure MSU would love us to join them in the mudpit for an old school wrestling match, but it ain't gonna happen this Saturday on artificial turf. Have fun playing old school, Sparty suckers, let us know how that works out for you. OSU Offensive Coordinator Tom "Mensa Is My Middle Name" Herman is a smart guy (duh), some might even say a progressive thinker when it comes to football. He is going to go around the strength of the Sparty defense riding Braxton's underrated passing until it is time for Carlos Hyde to deliver the knockout blow.
Granted, this is the biggest game in the history of Michigan State Football. They are motivated, salty, and they want some. Well, lucky for them they are going to get some, and then some. This match-up is a Conestoga wagon vs. high-speed rail. Neither exists in America presently, but one soon will.
Take High-Speed Rail over Conestoga Wagon and give the points (5 1/2)
Colin Gawel plays in the band Watershed and writes for Pencilstorm. As thanks for his advice, you gambling types can buy him a beer at the Bluestone on Sunday, Dec 15th and/or Woodland's Monday, Dec 23rd.
*Speaking of whiny blowhards, I know all of you political types get all sensitive when the subject of politics come up, but the Nate Silver reference wasn't meant to offend or take a left wing/right wing side, just that he had the numbers to predict who would win the election months in advance. It was a lock. The TV-news network talking heads still have to keep you watching, so they keep the drama up 24/7, numbers be damned. Election coverage and BCS coverage are the same animal, no matter who you are rooting for.