Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gameday Thread - Ohio State at Michigan State

Not too much to say today, I've just got some notes to leave to all the doubters that this game may blow up in our faces.

We all know what happened in 1998, especially me. It was about two weeks before my 9th birthday, and my dad took me to my very first Ohio State football game. We were ranked #1 in the nation, led by Joe Germaine, Andy Katzenmoyer, and the rest of that whole crew, going against a struggling, unranked Michigan State team. No sweat, right? Yeah, even I thought that and I was 8 years old. Well, everyone remembers what happened in that short time period, and people are beginning to wonder if it will happen again. The situations are strikingly similar to 1998. Ohio State undefeated and atop the nation, Michigan State struggling to make the season worthwhile, yada yada yada. Well, I don't think this will be any trouble whatsoever for the Buckeyes. Will it be a 50-0 victory? Not likely, just because Tressel doesn't allow that and the defense is bound to give up a long drive at one point or another.

Why the game won't be a loss:
  • Jim Tressel. I've never seen an Ohio State team in my lifetime respond to their coaches like this season's. Everyone seems to really have bought into Tressel, something that past teams may not have been able to say so much. Knowing Tressel, this was one of the more difficult weeks of practice that the team had to go through all season long, and it should pay dividends today.
  • John L Smith. The man has admitted to the press that his job is on thin ice, his team is yet to show up and play a down of football since about halftime of the Notre Dame fiasco. The guy lost to Illinois, and yes, we're still talking about football. John L Smith has given up on this season, his job, his team, and as a result, the team has given up on him. The MSU coach in 1998? Nick Saban. Yep, the Michigan State Athletic Department really knows which ones to keep and which ones to let go.
  • Ohio State is better on the road. Troy Smith and the young defense were both supposed to be flustered in the night games against the hostile crowds in Austin and Iowa City. If Troy can make it look easy against those two, then is there any doubt he will light it up in a day game against a team that's been eliminated from everything except the Sun Bowl? The crowd won't be nearly as rowdy as the previous two road games.
  • Michigan State lost to Illinois. Description and analysis would go here, but do I really need to say any more?
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