#1 East Ohio State (13-1) vs. #6 East Florida (12-3)
Saturday, 7:00 ET
I'd like to preface this pick by saying that if there really was a contest where Ohio State played LSU, I'd like the Buckeyes to prevail. There seems to be a lot of exhibition games in college football going on right now. I wonder what that's all about. Some of the posters in my forum just informed me that Utah played Navy in some exhibition match. Why wasn't this played prior to the season? And if this game really meant nothing, why did anyone watch? I'm lost.
OK, so now that I established that I like the Buckeyes over the Tigers in some fictional game that may or may not establish a legitimate national champion, I'm going with the Gators here. Ohio State lost to one team this season, which happened to run the spread offense, much like Florida. The Buckeyes couldn't stop the Illini, and they won't be able to contain the Tim Tebow Express. And if the Buckeyes couldn't score on the Gators with Troy Smith and Anthony Gonzalez, how are they going to accomplish that with slightly lesser talent?
Florida 38, Ohio State 24.
The Joker's Take:
(The Joker's work speaks for itself. Check out The Joker Report
to read some great college football analysis.)
As well-rounded as I think the Buckeyes are, I don't think you can prepare yourself for someone like Tim Tebow. Ohio State got a smidgen of him last year, but that was Chris Leak's team. And I don't really like praising Timmy, but he's that good. I think State can keep it close, but the way Tebow beats you up as the game drags on just wears teams out. And even though Beanie Wells probably hits 175 yards in a valiant effort, to my knowledge, he can't throw it as well as Tebow, and will thus only be able to hang his head in disgust as Superman runs and throws for five touchdowns on Sweater Vest U.
Florida 41, Ohio State 29.
NCAA Dan's Take:
(NCAA Dan is a Boston native and a geographer for the U.S. Census Bureau, who wrote for this Web site back in 2001 and 2002, when it was in its infancy.)
Welcome to the rematch of last season's national championship game. Unlike last year, I actually expect this game to be competitive. Jim Tressel's team will be hungry for revenge after listening to critics bash their team a year ago, and the Big Ten conference as being overrated and soft for the better part of the 2007 season. As long as none of the Buckeye players pull a Ted Ginn Jr. from last year, Ohio State should be just fine. Once again though, the Buckeyes meet a Florida team under Urban Meyer that is a master of the spread offense and is capable of scoring a lot of points. Tim Tebow is yet another in the assembly line of productive Florida quarterbacks.
Florida will be a popular upset pick in this game, but I am going to take the Buckeyes this time around and here is why: Ohio State has a strong defensive line and will put pressure on Tebow; Ohio State's offensive line will be able to protect Todd Boeckman well; and I think the Buckeyes can score 30 on Florida. Georgia hung 42 on the Gators, so I think it can be done against this defense. And while Urban Meyer has reinvigorated this Florida football team during his brief stint in Gainesville, Jim Tressel is a master gameplanner (just ask Lloyd Carr) and he will make necessary adjustments on defense for his team. Plus Ohio State has the whole revenge factor working for them.
Ohio State 30, Florida 23.
Matt McGuire's Take:
(Matt McGuire is a University of Kentucky student and a contributor to this Web site. His knowledge in college football, the NFL and the draft is very extensive.)
The 2006 Title game rematch, but this one is much different. First of all, I think Ohio State's offense is much better than last year's. Defensively, I'd like to say that Florida is not nearly as good as the voters think they are (or maybe they are just voting because of one player...who could that possibly be?). I would love to see the matchup of Florida's speedy wideouts against Malcolm Jenkins, the country's top-rated cornerback. I like Ohio State to athletically match up with Tim Tebow, and I like Chris Wells to have a BIG game against this overrated Florida defense.
Ohio State 31, Florida 30.
Florida - 59%
#6 (East) Florida
Florida 33, Ohio State 29 (average score of the four analysts)
#1 West LSU (13-2) vs. #2 West Oklahoma (13-2)
Saturday, 3:00 ET
Les Miles is a pompous jerk. I give him credit for staying at LSU, but I can't really ignore what he did to get his new contract. He created the rumors about him going to Michigan so LSU would pay him more money. I have no problem with that, but my issue has to do with Miles lashing out at reporters who broke the story that he signed with Michigan. You created those rumors, loser! In other news, Miles visited some kids with cancer and proceeded to yell at them when they asked for an autograph.
Despite the fact that Miles is a scumbag, I don't think there is much of a coaching edge in this contest. The defenses and running game are about the same as well. The offensive supporting cast points a bit to Oklahoma, but that's nothing substantial. However, the biggest edge either squad has in this game is at the quarterback position. Bottom line, I trust Sam Bradford a lot more than Matt Flynn, one of the most erratic signal callers I've ever seen. Bradford to Joe Jon Finley is the winning score.
Oklahoma 20, LSU 16.
The Joker's Take:
LSU gets exposed in this game as the Sooners run roughshod over their vaunted defense. Matt Flynn is not a championship quarterback (hint hint), and Jacob Hester can only do so much to put points on the board. Oklahoma's safeties and linebackers will confuse and outwit LSU's offense. In the meantime, freshman playmaker Sam Bradford will have an easy time picking apart the Tiger secondary as Allen Patrick, Chris Brown, and hopefully well enough to play Demarco Murray, who I see running all over Big XII competition for the entire 2008 season. Even if it's close, either a) Stoops will have a surprise waiting for LSU or b) Miles will have a surprise waiting for Okie, except FINALLY his luck runs out and it backfires terribly on him, making him look so %^&* stupid that half of their recruits come running to play for Nick Saban at Alabama.
Oklahoma 44, LSU 17.
NCAA Dan's Take:
This game features a matchup with two 13-2 teams and two of the most respected coaches in the game, in Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Les Miles of LSU. The team that rushes the ball more effectively will likely be the team that emerges victorious in this game, and I think that will be LSU. Do not expect this contest to be pretty; in fact it may well be a war of attrition. Both teams will be well under their season averages in yardage and points, but I like the Tigers in a very close, hard-fought game.
LSU 20, Oklahoma 17.
Matt McGuire's Take:
I predicted when USC went down that Oklahoma would be in the BCS title game, but things just didn't work out too well for the Sooners when their star quarterback (whom I am a big fan of) Sam Bradford went down against Texas Tech in a fluke loss. Oklahoma is fast on defense, while offensively their passing game matches up great against any defensive backfield, including LSU's. Oklahoma has a big offensive line and I'd love to see Phillip Loadholt and Duke Robinson go up against that star-studded line in Tyson Jackson, Marlon Favorite, and Glenn Dorsey. LSU has a lot of speed on defense with players such as Darry Beckwith and Ali Highsmith so I think they can neutralize DeMarco Murray and Allen Patrick. This game will be an all-out war.
Oklahoma 17, LSU 13.
LSU - 57%
#2 (West) Oklahoma
Oklahoma 24, LSU 17 (average score of the four analysts)