College Football Week #9: Rooting For Goliath

It’s no amusing rooting for Goliath.

I imply, yeah, positive, it is all the time amusing if you happen to win. But particularly when you find yourself having a bet school soccer, there is a guilt related to sitting down in entrance of your tv, flicking at the far flung, and hoping that one set of 20-year-olds, who’ve been privileged and praised as the most productive athletes on the planet their whole lives, will pound the dwelling hell out of every other set of 20-year-olds, who have proven pluck and resolution simply to get the place they’re these days.

Think about it. Do you in reality wish to be that man? The sycophantic little weasel in highschool who trailed after the ever-popular, ultra-advantaged jock? The stiff who does the jock’s homework, who polishes the jock’s automotive, who hopes the jock will discard probably the most B-list coeds in time so that you can pick out up some sloppy seconds? I imply, whilst you take into consideration it, rooting for school soccer studs is like rooting for Microsoft to consume every other mom-and-pop tool corporate. It’s like rooting for the Yankees.

But every now and then, we now have were given no selection.

Ohio State is huge, brawny, robust and on a collision route with Michigan in 3 weeks. There’s little likelihood both staff will lose between every now and then, at which level it’s going to most probably be #1 in opposition to #2 within the Horseshoe in Columbus, the Game of the Year, between two units of spoiled youngsters you would not need anyplace close to your daughter. The most effective query now’s whether or not those titans of the Big 10 will duvet what is going to be no-doubt-immense level spreads over the following few video games. For example, this week the Buckeyes host the 3-5 Minnesota Golden Gophers, a staff that hasn’t gained a Big Ten sport (they are 0-4), and who final week struggled to overcome I-AA North Dakota State at domestic, 10-9 (and needed to block a 42-yard field-goal strive on the gun to take action). These don’t seem to be the Gophers of Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney; the ones backs’ early departures left the extraordinarily cool-named Amir Pinnix as the main man, and he is having a high-quality season (93.Four yards in step with sport, 5.2 yards in step with elevate, six TDs). But he isn’t Barber, and he is no doubt now not Maroney. Note that lots of Minnesota’s staff and particular person stats have been padded by means of 44-Zero and 62-Zero wins in opposition to Kent State and Temple, respectively; it is a staff that were given torched by means of California, 42-17, and misplaced at Wisconsin final week, 48-12.

Into the breach step the Buckeyes, with a national-best 15-game profitable streak, an evident Heisman frontrunner in QB Troy Smith, and a home-field merit like virtually none different. Ohio State is superb on offense; they ranking just about 35 issues a sport, rack up greater than 410 yards a sport, and will rush or cross, whichever you please. Defense (and specifically linebacking) was once the place the Buckeyes have been intended to fight, on account of the departures of A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter, however Ohio State is a top-20 defensive staff nationally preventing the run, and they are top-40 preventing the cross. They allowed most effective seven issues to then-#2 Texas in Austin, and have not given up greater than 17 issues to somebody. Skill guys like WRs Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez make headlines, however LBs James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman and CB Malcolm Jenkins are as liable for this Ohio State run as somebody.

Most problematic on this shuttle to Columbus for the Gophers is their protection. They’re giving up 167 yards in step with sport at the floor, and four.Three yards in step with elevate, which is nice song to OSU RB Antonio Pittman’s ears. Frankly, Minnesota hasn’t been that a lot better in opposition to the cross, permitting a whopping 223 yards in step with sport by means of the air. That’s numerous yards. Let’s see: OSU averages 410 yards in step with sport on offense, Minnesota lets in 390 yards in step with sport on protection. Yeah, that does not sound so excellent for David in opposition to Goliath.

Are 27 issues so much to present? You betcha. But Ohio State has made mincemeat of Big 10 combatants during the last couple seasons: they are 15-2 in opposition to the unfold of their final 17 convention video games. They’re 21-Five ATS general. They’re 13-Three ATS at domestic. They’re 8-1 ATS in video games as a double-digit favourite. Minnesota is 1-4-1 ATS of their final six general, 1-Four ATS at the highway, 0-5-1 ATS as an underdog, and 0-Five ATS as a double-digit underdog. Minnesota trainer Glen Mason is an OSU alum, and he loves getting his troops motivated for this sport; as lately as 2000, the Gophers went into Columbus and stunned the Buckeyes, 29-17. (That was once the yr that were given John Cooper fired.) Still, the final time Minnesota got here to the Horseshoe, they misplaced 34-3. That sounds about proper this time, too; the Gophers merely should not have sufficient on protection. I’m taking Ohio State (-27) in opposition to Minnesota, and I’ll grit my enamel rooting for Goliath.

Last Week: It was once shut, however Texas A&M went into Stillwater and did what we wanted them to do. Down seven with 3:24 left, the Aggies drove the period of the sector and scored on a two-yard cross with 3 seconds left in legislation to tie the sport, scored in extra time, then blocked an Oklahoma State additional level to win by means of one. A&M was once a three.5-point underdog, in order that could not have labored out a lot better. That last-minute power in legislation and good special-teams maneuver created a precarious duvet that places us at 5-Three in opposition to the unfold to this point this season.

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