1) Not to harp more on last week's game, but I'm starting to doubt Tom Herman's famous IQ. I was at the game and I swear at one point we ran deep patterns like 19 out of 20 plays despite the fact they were bringing max pressure. J.T. literally had nowhere to throw before he got hit. What gives?
X’s and O’s aren’t my specialty, but I’ll take a stab at answering. I’m not sure how often Meyer was overruling Herman’s play calls this past Saturday, so I don’t know which coach gets the blame here. Regardless, Va Tech’s double-eagle defense all but eliminated the OSU run game, but left the Hokie D potentially exposed to the long ball. So the deep route strategy, in theory, would seem to make some sense. But Hokie DC Bud Foster started bringing the house in the 4th quarter, I think realizing that the young Buckeye O-line was too confused to account for the different Va Tech blitzes. If that is what Foster was thinking, he was right. The Hokies sacked Barrett six times in the 4th quarter. Now, why the Buckeyes didn’t employ a different strategy after giving up the first three or so sacks, I don’t know.
2) Boy, last weekend was rough for the Big Ten. The losses by OSU and MSU are easily explained but what to make of Michigan's historic beat down by the Domers. Is Michigan that bad or Notre Dame that good? And how bad is Devin Gardner?
UM - bad vs ND – good? Probably a little of both. The preseason talk was that new UM offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was going to cure Michigan’s offensive woes. Even with a weak opponent in Appy State the first week, I thought UM’s offense looked improved. But with the goose egg laid by the UM offense against the Irish, I guess I was wrong. As for the Domers, the return of Everett Golson appears to be just what the doctored ordered. And the Big Ten? No excuses….the league is an embarrassment – have to call a spade a spade.
Oh….the answer to the Devin Gardner question is “very”.
3) It appears to these eyes that Brady Hoke is growing fatter as the ice under him is growing thinner. Can Michigan outbid Jerry Jones for the services of Jim Harbaugh?
The spanking by the Irish definitely warmed up Hoke’s seat. I said last week that he could lose to Notre Dame, Sparty and Ohio State and still possibly keep his job. Not so sure anymore. But, the fact that Michigan hired Hoke in the first place tells me that the administration get it. So, we’ll have to wait and see what they do. Not sure Harbaugh wants the Michigan job; he didn’t seem to the last time it opened up. And I hope he doesn’t want it, because Harbaugh is about as good as it gets.
4) Kind of a quiet weekend over all. What games and lines do you find note worthy?
Well, I hit the margin of victory spot on in Ohio State’s 17-point win over Navy and had Va Tech as the best bet on the board last week. Not so hot in my other picks, though. Kent State is a piss-poor football team; I really think Ohio State (a 32-pt favorites) hammers them. I said 45-10 in Wednesday’s blog, but the more I think about it, that sounds conservative. I like Virginia getting 6.5 at home against Louisville. This is a vastly improved Cavalier team. And going against the grain a bit; I like East Carolina getting 11 at Va Tech, with Va Tech in a classic letdown spot, having this one sandwiched between Ohio State and Ga Tech.
5) Final question, I don't know anything about Fresno State, but Nebraska gets blown out. Correct?
No. The Husker’s will bounce back, I think. But that doesn’t mean much; Fresno State is a very bad football team – a huge dropoff from the 2013 Bulldog squad that went 11-2. However, Nebraska will still lose their four games this year, as sure as death and taxes.