These questions were conceived and sent to Baver while I was sitting at the outside bar at the Winking Lizard Tavern on 5th Ave. It was my one man Buckeye roundtable. - Colin G.
Baver, I have a few questions for you….
1) Which is the better way to spend Saturday night, going to the Shoe to see OSU v Va Tech or staying home and watching the game on the tube along with MSU v Oregon AND Michigan vs Notre Dame?
Good question. If I were watching at home, I’d probably do the two TV thing. I am definitely DVRing the Sparty-Duck game; what a great matchup. And Mich vs ND…always a good one, as well. But, there is nothing like being in the ‘Shoe for a night game. Unfortunately though, the middle class Buckeye fans are being priced out of the market. Face value for a pair of tickets for the Va Tech game is $220 ($110/each X 2); it’s a “Premier Game” as the university has tabbed it. Hey, but at least that’s $40 per ticket cheaper than the other so called premier (home) game this year….Michigan.
2) Who should the self respecting Buckeye fan hate more this year, Michigan or Notre Dame?
It’s the age old “theory vs reality” question. In theory, Buckeye fans should root for Michigan every game, except when they play Ohio State. In reality, that’s pretty much impossible for many of us. I start watching Michigan games and “try” to root for them, but in the end, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s funny though….how the hatred has died down with the mediocrity that has become those two programs. I remember back before overtime became a part of college football, I used to root for a tie in this game. I think you just go where your hate takes you in this one.
3) Brady Hoke loses to ND, Sparty and the Buckeyes this year, is he done?
I don’t know; Michigan has all three of those teams on the road this year. If UM wins their other nine games, then their 9-3 record is a two-win improvement from their 2013 regular season. That might get you canned at another big time program, but I just don’t see it happening at Michigan. Add in a 4th loss, where Michigan loses to those three teams plus another team, and I think that puts Hoke on the fence, but still tend to think he would survive. Another 7-5 campaign with losses to the “big three” plus two other schools, and I think he’s out.
4) Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman put Oregon in a sleeper hold the last time the two teams met. Any chance Dantonio and Bollman "Tresselball" the Ducks to death again?
It wasn’t just Ohio State, but pretty much every elite defense that Oregon faced over the past five years held the high powered Duck offense in check. It’s feast or famine for Oregon; if you aren’t ready for them, they will steam roll you. But, if you have a top tier defense and are ready for them, you can shut down their hurry-up offense. The key for Sparty is surviving the 1st quarter. Eugene is an extremely tough place to play, especially when you have to travel clear across the country to get there. If MSU survives the first quarter, I think they have a good shot of winning, but if they get down early, it wouldn’t shock me to see them get rolled.
5) If you were a gambling man, what games and lines are you keeping your eyes on this weekend?
I hate to say this, but Va Tech getting 11 at Ohio State is probably one of the better plays on the board this week. On paper, my thought is that Ohio State is maybe 2 pts better than Va Tech “at this point in the season”, and OSU, at home/at night, probably isn’t worth more than 5 ½ pts. Simple math for me; hope I’m wrong. I liked Michigan +4.5 a lot but see that line fell to 3.5. I think, on paper, Michigan is the better team and that the UM-ND game goes down to the wire. If you can get more than a field goal, I think you take it. South Carolina burned me last week, but I think they bounce back and hammer ECU. That line was 13.5 early in the week and is now 16.5. I know, I know…it’s a trap game for SC, sandwiched between A&M and Georgia, but I don’t think it matters – the Gamecocks roll.