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Jan. 7, 2008

New Orleans

Which Would You Take?

Les...or...More it’s time for redemption. Game on.


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Don’t Forget: It’s a REBUILDING Season for Buckeyes!

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Dear TWIF, The voters are already putting the screws to Ohio State when it comes to its chances against LSU. How is it possible that (LSU defensive tackle) Glenn  Dorsey had a better season than (Ohio State linebacker James) Laurinaitis? That’s a bunch of crap! They gave it to Dorsey because he’s on an over-hyped, overrated team. Hell, he was injured half the season! Oh well, we’ll get our revenge on January 7! Go Bucks! Tom, Delaware Dear Tom, Don’t sweat it. Both Laurinaitis and Dorsey had a good year, but remember that all awards are merely popularity contests. Most of the nation’s media and fans believe LSU is the best team

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with the best players, while OSU is again tagged with the Luckeyes moniker. With that said, I don’t have a problem with Dorsey winning the award. He’s a heck of a player. Dear TWIF, Cincinnati wins nine games and goes to the Papajohns.com Bowl. Illinois wins nine games and goes to the Rose Bowl. That’s total BS. Dale, Wash. Courthouse Dear Dale, Call it tradition, ticket sales and television ratings. Illinois brings all three to the table, and that’s why they got the at-large bid to the Rose Bowl. The Big East has some lousy bowl tie-ins, but that’s only because most of

the schools in the conference have no substantial history of winning or generating high television ratings. Don’t shoot the messenger here. It simply is what it is. Dear TWIF, Ohio State is going to get blasted again in the national championship. You people need to get a grip on things. If the Buckeyes were in the SEC, they’d finish no higher than fifth in the conference. It’s a whole different world having to face Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, etc., week after week. This year’s loss may be worse than last year’s thumping ya’ll got from Florida. Fred, Atlanta Dear Fred, Are you referring to the same Auburn team that lost at home to USF? And are you referring to the same Alabama team that lost at home to Louisiana-Monroe? And are you talking about the same Tennessee team that got hammered at California? Dear TWIF, What amazes me about the national media is that they don’t give

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Ohio State any credit for getting into the national championship in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. OK, so the schedule wasn’t so great. So what? The Buckeyes still won 11 games. Why doesn’t (ESPN’s) Mark May ever bring up that point? Next year Ohio State will be ranked No. 1 preseason again and the expectations will be as high as they were in 2006. You just wait and see! Go Bucks! Mary, Gahanna Dear Mary, Good point about OSU getting zero recognition for getting into the title game in a rebuilding year. Unfortunately, perception trumps reality when it comes to the Buckeyes.

Sound Off!

If you have a question or comment regarding anything in the world of football, This Week In Football publisher Ken Halloy will reply. Send e-mails to ken.halloy@fahlgren. com. You must give your full name and phone number for verification.


This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


Presents

The Good Stuff

With Ken Halloy Ken Halloy is the publisher of This Week In Football, with editions in the Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati markets. He is also co-host of This Week in Football radio show, which airs every Sunday during football season from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on 610 WTVN in Columbus.

it’s time for Redemption. . . Game On! It’s time. Rouge, but he’s still a wacko. Indeed, the best It’s Ohio State vs. LSU. thing Ohio State has going for it in this game is It’s Ohio State vs. SEC. that Miles is patrolling the other sideline. Hell, it’s even Ohio State vs. Michigan. The worst thing Ohio State has going for it It’s Big Ten vs. SEC. is that Miles won’t be on Michigan’s sideline for It’s North vs. South. years to come. It’s Good vs. Evil. It’s a shame, really, because It’s More vs. Les. Miles would be the ideal Ohio State had this More than anything, though, year’s title game won five Wolverine coach to despise. it’s time for REDEMPTION. Shame on you Kirk Herbstreit. minutes after losing last Because of your carelessness, Make no mistake: Ohio State will beat LSU in the Allstate BCS year’s. The only question you cost Buckeye Nation guarNational Championship. To be was whether the Bucks anteed years of domination in determined is whether it will be Game. would get back to the big The But a close to the Tressel-vest outI digress. Back to Miles. game for this chance at He’s smug, arrogant, mouthy come or a smack-down similar to the one we witnessed the last and vastly overrated. He’s the redemption. time these two coaches went antithesis of Tressel. head-to-head. Mark my word; in five years Miles will be fired. You remember the 2004 MasterCard Alamo Fact is, the Tigers are in the national title game in Bowl when Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes throttled Les spite of their coach. For all the talent they have, Miles’ Oklahoma State Cowboys 33-7. The Pokes the Tigers had too many close calls. You know it’s weren’t even remotely competitive. true, and his ‘ready, fire, aim’ approach is about to Shortly after, Miles took off for LSU, and here catch up with him. we are again. If Miles calls for a fake field goal or goes for it Sure, Miles has a lot more talent in Baton on fourth down multiple times against Ohio State,

he’ll pay dearly. Ohio State had this year’s title game won five minutes after losing last year’s. The only question was whether the Bucks would get back to the big game for this chance at redemption. Well they have, and if quarterback Todd Boeckman comes out of his funk, the Buckeyes will win handily. If he struggles, they’ll escape by a field goal. Either way, it’s all good. But wouldn’t it be great to apply an a—kickin’ to the almighty kings of the SEC? Think about it. This is both the game we’ve dreamed of and dreaded at the same time. And now it’s almost here. Are you ready? Excited? Nauseous? All the above? Good. You should be. But relax and know this: Ohio State is a fivepoint underdog. Of the past nine BCS national title games, six underdogs have won outright facing larger point spreads. What’s it mean? Perhaps nothing. Or everything. Go Bucks!

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


The Amazin’ Maetz! Ohio State Must Be Thick-Skinned Top-ranked Ohio State better have thick skin. Despite their third appearance in the BCS National Championship in six years, the Buckeyes are taking more abuse than ever. The most common bust on the Bucks is that they’ve “backed into” their spot in the title game. I’m not really sure how a team “backs” into a title game. I’m guessing it’s similar to the high school kid who gets into Harvard with a 2.4 GPA. It reeks of a rich uncle making a phone call. The Buckeyes are hardly slackers. Their 11-1 record has them on college football’s version of the dean’s list. Only one team, Hawaii, has a better record, so the whole “backing in” argument holds no water. Next on the critics’ list is the Ohio State schedule. Granted, Dublin Coffman High had a tougher opening stretch than the Buckeyes this season, but at the time no one was expecting that the rebuilding Bucks would be using those games as steps to a national championship run. The ultimate response to that argument is, at least the Buckeyes didn’t pull a Michigan and lose to Appalachian State. (That joke will never get old.) The most laughable of the arguments is that Ohio State didn’t have to play a game on the night LSU won its way into the title game. Missouri and West Virginia were losing their way out of the title game that night as well.

Of course that’s absurd. I don’t remember anyone criticizing LSU for taking the night off while Ohio State was beating Penn State on the road in late October. You simply play the schedule you’re dealt. A recent issue of Sports Illustrated offered the Buckeyes “felicitations” for having the “good sense to be idle” the first weekend of December. I had to look up “felicitations” just to make sure it wasn’t an insult. It’s not. Recent history is not kind to the Bucks either. National radio hosts love to recite the 0-8 record against SEC teams in bowls. The embarrassment of last year’s loss to Florida added more humility. Think about it; there’s really no way OSU can go into this game with even a hint of cockiness. Not with 41-14 in the back of their minds. So how is this year’s game different from those previous two trips to the top of the mountain for you and your Buckeye brothers? Sure, everyone is excited about getting another shot at the “ship,” as linebacker James Laurinaitis calls it, but is it the same euphoria that gripped Buckeye nation in 2002? That season, the Buckeyes pulled out one dramatic win after another. Will Allen’s interception in the final seconds against Michigan pushed the plunger on an explosion of Buckeye love that had been bottled up for 34 years.

Dave Maetzold is the co-host of This Week In Football radio show, which airs every Sunday morning from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., on 610 WTVN. Dave is also part of 610’s extensive game day coverage of OSU football. He has also covered the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Olympics, three World Series, a Super Bowl, NBA and Major League Baseball All-Star games and 22 consecutive Memorial Tournaments.

Being a heavy underdog for over a month, combined with a feeling of “I’mnot-going-to-miss-this-because-we-may-never-see-itagain” brought a thrill we haven’t seen since and probably can’t be matched or surpassed for years to come. Last year’s run to a perfect regular season was capped by a battle between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan. The minute it was over Buckeye fans planned for a coronation in the desert. Coach Jim Tressel was prematurely elevated to Woody status and expecting parents were considering “Troy” as a potential name for their future Heisman hopefuls. Then the bubble burst. And so, the combination of having been there and won recently and having been there and gotten burned even more recently makes this 50-day drag to the title game more subdued than one might expect. There’s only one solution: To silence the critics and eliminate that little bit of doubt that has crept in, the Buckeyes must beat LSU. Let’s get it done.

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


Introducing the...

Master Coaches Survey College Preview T

hey own among themselves nearly 3,000 career victories. They have coached in every major Division I-A conference. They’ve won dozens of bowl games and five national championships. They’ve coached with, and against, all the legends. And now they’re sharing the expertise with the readers of This Week In Football! Sixteen coaches with Hall of Fame resumes comprise the Master Coaches

John Cooper

ohio State, Arizona State, Tulsa • 192-84-6 (24 seasons)

• With 111 victories in 13 seasons, Cooper ranks as the second-winningest coach in Ohio State history. • has coached nine teams to conference championships (and another five to second-place finishes), including the 1998, 1996 and 1993 Ohio State teams that shared Big Ten titles. • Became the first head coach to lead teams from both the Big Ten and the Pac-10 to victories in the Rose Bowl (he coached ASU to a 22-15 win over Michigan at the end of the 1986 season).

Terry Donahue uclA • 151-74-8 (20 seasons)

• Of his 151 victories (.665 winning percentage), 98 were in Pac-10 conference games. He was the all-time conference leader, topping Master Coach Don James of Washington (97) and John McKay of USC (70). • Won five Pac-10 championships, his UCLA-coached teams were ranked in the top 10 nationally five times and he led the Bruins to four appearances in the Rose Bowl.

Vince Dooley

Georgia • 201-77-10 (25 seasons)

• guided georgia to an undefeated season and the national championship in 1980. • led the Bulldogs to 20 bowl games, including a 17-10 victory over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl that clinched Georgia’s first national title since 1942. • Won 201 games and six Sec championships during his 25-year tenure (1964-88) as head coach at UGA, suffering only one losing season during that time frame.

Pat Dye

Auburn, Wyoming, East carolina • 153-62-5 (19 seasons)

• led auburn to four SEC titles, including three straight from 1987-89, during his 12-year tenure (1981-1992) with the Tigers. • Was a three-time Sec Coach of the Year honoree. • Was named national coach of the Year in 1983 after leading Auburn to

Survey (MCS), a revolutionary approach to ranking the nation’s top teams. The group, which includes former Ohio State Coach and This Week In Football columnist John Cooper, was created during the 2005 college football season. Former Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler was also part of the MCS prior to his passing in November, 2006. “The Master Coaches Survey features the most experienced coaches who not only watch all the games, but they also

discuss and deliberate before they cast their weekly votes,” says Andy Curtin, executive director of MCS. “No other system has these components.” Each week during the season, the MCS staff tapes games and gathers vital statistics for the coaches to review. The coaches evaluate the information and then have a group teleconference before casting their ballots. In that conference call, they give their reports, and discuss, argue, laugh and enjoy the fellowship they were too busy and too competitive

to enjoy when they coached. As the BCS continues to struggle with its credibility, it may be only a matter of time before the MCS Poll becomes a part of the BCS formula for determining which two teams should play for the national championship. The MCS Web site (www.mcspoll. com) includes ample information and commentary from the coaches as well. The MCS also provides a subscription service for those who seek direct access to the coaches.

Meet The Masters an 11-1 record, including a victory over Michigan in the Sugar Bowl.

LaVell Edwards

Brigham Young • 257-101-3 (29 seasons)

• led Byu to a national championship in 1984. • his 257 overall wins ranks sixth in Division I-A history, and he has more victories than all other coaches in BYU history combined. • Won the Western athletic Conference title in 20 of his 29 seasons as head coach.

Hayden Fry

Iowa, North Texas State, Southern Methodist 232-178-10 (37 seasons)

• transformed iowa from a perennial doormat into a three-time Big Ten champion and 14-time bowl participant (including three Rose Bowls). • compiled a 143-89-6 record in 20 years (1978-98) at Iowa. • Won 232 career games as a Division I head coach, including 11 years with SMU and six years at North Texas State.

Don James

Washington, Kent State • 178-76-3 (22 seasons)

• led Washington to a Rose Bowl victory and the national championship in 1991. • Posted a 153-57-2 record in 18 seasons (1974-92) with the Huskies. • career record is 178-76-3 (.698). • led Kent State to the Mid-american Conference championship in 1972.

Frank Kush

Arizona State • 176-54-1 (22 seasons)

• credited with building Arizona State’s reputation as a major contender in collegiate football. • guided aSu to 20 winning seasons in his 22-year tenure (1958-79). • had a 6-1 record in bowl games.

Dick MacPherson Syracuse, Massachusetts • 111-73-5 (17 seasons)

• compiled a 66-46-4 record during his 10 years at Syracuse. • Won national coach

of the Year honors in 1987 after leading the Orangemen to an 11-0-1 record, tying Auburn in the 1988 Sugar Bowl. •led the Orange to a 3-1-1 record in bowl games.

Bill Mallory

Indiana, northern Illinois, colorado, Miami (ohio) 165-121-4 (27 seasons)

• One of only seven coaches ever to guide three different programs to top 20 finishes in the national polls. • compiled a 165-121-4 career record at Miami (Ohio), Colorado, Northern Illinois and Indiana. • Finished his career as indiana’s alltime winningest coach with 69 victories.

Don Nehlen

West virginia • 202-128-8 (30 seasons)

• Became the 17th coach in NCAA Division I-A history to record 200 career victories. • coached more seasons (21) and won more games (149) than any other coach in West Virginia University history. • guided his program to 13 bowls, 17 winning seasons and the 1993 Big East Conference title.

Tom Osborne

nebraska • 255-49-3 (25 seasons)

• led the cornhuskers to 13 conference championships and three national championships (1994, 1995 & 1997). • Best winning percentage (83.6%) among active NCAA Division I-A coaches at time of retirement and fifth best of all time. • inducted into college Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

John Ralston

Stanford, utah St., San Jose State • 97-81-4 (17 seasons)

• compiled a record of 55-36-3 at Stanford (1963-71) while reviving a sagging program. • last two Stanford teams won Pacific 8 titles and Rose Bowl victories. • Posted a 31-11-1 record at Utah State (1959-62) and led the team to two conference championships and two bowls.

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

John Robinson

Southern california, unlv • 132-77-4 (18 seasons)

• led uSc to a national championship (1978), two No. 2 finishes, three Pac-10 titles and five bowls in his original run (1976-82) with the program, including three Rose Bowl victories. • his second term (1993-97) at USC featured three more bowl victories, including the Rose Bowl in 1995 that improved his career record in the bowl to 4-0.

R.C. Slocum

Texas A&M • 123-47-2 (14 seasons)

• ranks as the winningest coach in Texas A&M history with 123 career wins. • never had a losing season in his 14-year tenure with the Aggies. • Won four conference championships, including the Big 12 title in 1998.

Gene Stallings

Alabama, Texas A&M • 89-70-1 (14 seasons)

• in seven years as head coach at Alabama, directed the Crimson Tide to one national championship (1992), an SEC championship (1996), three straight SEC Western Division titles (1992, 1993, 1994) and six post-season bowl appearances. • guided alabama to an undefeated season and the school’s only 13-0 record en route to the national title in 1992. • Won two Sec coach of the year Awards (1992, 1994), while also named the Paul Bryant/FWAA Coach of the Year in 1992.

George Welsh

virginia, navy • 189-132-4 (28 seasons)

• Became the alltime winningest coach in University of Virginia and Atlantic Coast Conference history. • is the all-time winningest coach at Navy, his alma mater. • guided virginia to 15 winning seasons in 19 years.

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Diamond Cuts With Coach John Cooper

The Year’s Bests, Worsts & Other Stuff! It’s been another great season of college footDisappointing Team of The Year II: ball, especially if you’re an Ohio State fan. As we Louisville head into the bowl season, this is a good time to Comeback Team Of The Year: Georgia offer the bests, worsts, surprises and such of the Upset of the Year: Appalachian State over year. Michigan And on behalf of the John Cooper family, I Upset of the Year II: Stanford over USC hope you have a wonderful Upset of the Year III: holiday season. Pitt over West Virginia And Go Bucks! Best Non-BCS Bowl Coop’s Top Five Match-Up: Texas vs. Arizona Current Initial Ranking How Ohio State Wins State, Pacific Life Holiday 1. Ohio State 1. USC The National Title: Bowl 2. LSU 2. LSU 3. Oklahoma 3. Florida Ohio State must get the Team Not In BCS 4. Georgia 4. Oklahoma lead early to take the crowd Bowl That Should Be: 5. USC 5. Michigan out of the game because it’s a Missouri home game for LSU. If OSU Team In BCS Bowl stops LSU’s running game, That Should Not Be: the Bucks win. Kansas How LSU Wins The National Title: Did the BCS Work: Yes (but I still don’t like LSU must avoid turnovers and taking big the BCS) risks, especially on fourth down, like it has much More/Fewer Bowls: Fewer (6-6 records of the season. The Tiger defense must shut down should not earn bowl bids) Buckeye running back Beanie Wells. Big Ten Program On Rise: Illinois Coach of The Year: Gary Pinkel, Missouri Big Ten Program On Decline: Minnesota Coach of The Year Runner-Up: Best Conference: SEC Ron Zook, Illinois Worst Conference: Big East Surprise Team Of The Year: Missouri Overrated Conference: Pac-10 Disappointing Team Of The Year: Underrated Conference: Big Ten California Overrated Team: Kansas

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John Cooper is a member of the Master Coaches Survey and a consultant to the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. The former Ohio State head football coach (1988-2000) led the Buckeyes to three Big Ten titles and a 1997 Rose Bowl victory over Arizona State.

Underrated Team: Georgia Overall Best Coach: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Overall Runner-Up Best Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Best Big Ten Coach: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Best Big East Coach: Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia Best ACC Coach: Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech Best SEC Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Best Big 12 Coach: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma Best Pac-10 Coach: Dennis Erickson, Arizona State Best Big Game Coach: Urban Meyer, Florida Assistant Coach Who Should Get Head Coach Job: Jon Tenuta, Georgia Tech 2008 National Title Favorite: Oklahoma 2008 Ohio State Preseason Ranking: Third (Oklahoma, USC) 2008 Surprise Team: Florida 2008 “Under The Radar” Team To Watch: Penn State (21 returning starters)

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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2007 BCS Rankings: Eighth Week

Championship Chase!

Harris BCS School Rnk Pts 1 ohio State 1 2813 2 lSu 2 2630 3 virginia Tech 6 2345 4 oklahoma 3 2520 5 Georgia 4 2469 6 Missouri 7 2117 7 uSc 5 2346 8 Kansas 8 2092 9 West virginia 9 1924 10 hawaii 10 1903 11 Arizona State 12 1628 12 Florida 11 1786 13 Illinois 13 1400 14 Boston college 14 1124 15 clemson 16 1041 16 Tennessee 19 870 17 BYu 18 912 18 Wisconsin 15 1079 19 Texas 17 983 20 virginia 21 551 21 South Florida 24 362 22 cincinnati 20 580 23 Auburn 23 448 24 Boise State 22 541 25 uconn 29 52

AP Top 25 Poll

is free!

Pick up your FREE COPY weekly during football season at all area:

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio State (50) 11-1 lSu (11) 11-2 oklahoma (1) 11-2 Georgia (1) 10-2 virginia Tech (1) 11-2 uSc 10-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 Florida 9-3 hawaii (1) 12-0 West virginia 10-2 Arizona State 10-2 Illinois 9-3 Boston college 10-3 clemson 9-3 Tennessee 9-4 Texas 9-3 Wisconsin 9-3 Brigham Young 10-2 cincinnati 9-3 virginia 9-3 Auburn 8-4 South Florida 9-3 Boise State 10-2 Arkansas 8-4

PTS PVS 1578 3 1519 5 1423 9 1421 4 1380 6 1346 8 1195 1 1164 7 1071 10 1050 11 1040 2 939 13 797 15 668 12 614 16 554 14 517 17 447 19 439 21 394 20 344 22 264 23 246 25 221 24 173 nR

others Receiving votes Texas Tech 137, ucF 35, connecticut 31, oregon 30, oregon State 30, Michigan 26, Air Force 17, Kentucky 13, Penn State 1, Wake Forest 1.

USA Today Computer Pct. Rnk Pts Pct. A&H RB CM KM JS .9870 1 1469 .9793 25 25 21 23 22 .9228 2 1418 .9453 21 24 25 24 24 .8228 5 1242 .8280 22 22 24 25 25 .8842 3 1331 .8873 18 21 18 18 23 .8663 4 1277 .8513 20 17 23 22 19 .7428 7 1104 .7360 24 16 22 21 20 .8232 6 1227 .8180 17 23 14 14 17 .7340 8 1099 .7327 23 20 16 20 21 .6751 9 1010 .6733 16 15 20 13 15 .6677 10 994 .6627 14 18 12 16 18 .5712 11 900 .6000 19 19 17 17 13 .6267 12 890 .5933 15 14 19 19 14 .4912 13 747 .4980 13 13 7 9 8 .3944 14 617 .4113 12 12 15 15 16 .3653 16 567 .3780 7 3 11 12 12 .3053 18 480 .3200 11 6 9 11 9 .3200 19 462 .3080 8 7 10 2 3 .3786 15 594 .3960 3 11 0 5 0 .3449 17 498 .3320 5 0 4 0 0 .1933 20 332 .2213 6 2 8 7 10 .1270 25 115 .0767 10 0 13 10 11 .2035 23 215 .1433 1 5 6 4 4 .1572 21 289 .1927 2 0 2 8 7 .1898 22 246 .1640 0 10 0 0 0 .0182 T-28 23 .0153 0 8 3 3 6

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

PTS PVS 1469 3 1418 7 1331 8 1277 4 1242 5 1227 9 1104 2 1099 5 1010 1 994 10 900 13 890 11 747 14 617 12 594 16 567 17 498 18 480 15 462 19 332 21 289 21 246 23 215 24 137 25 115 nR

others Receiving votes Texas Tech 52, ucF 51, connecticut 23, oregon State 23, Penn State 23, Michigan 22, Air Force 20, oregon 9, utah 6, Wake Forest 4, Michigan State 3, houston 3, Tulsa 1.

Pct. .910 .950 .960 .800 .800 .850 .650 .810 .640 .610 .690 .620 .390 .570 .410 .350 .280 .100 .080 .290 .430 .190 .120 .000 .190

Rnk 3 2 1 T-6 T-6 4 9 5 10 12 8 11 16 13 15 17 19 24 25 18 14 T-20 23 nR T-20

Avg. Pvs .9588 3 .9394 7 .8703 6 .8572 9 .8392 4 .7763 1 .7637 8 .7589 5 .6628 2 .6468 12 .6204 13 .6133 10 .4597 15 .4586 11 .3844 16 .3251 14 .3027 19 .2915 18 .2523 20 .2349 22 .2112 21 .1789 23 .1566 24 .1179 25 .0745 nR

Harris Poll

USA Today Coaches Poll Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio State (46) 11-1 lSu (11) 11-2 oklahoma (2) 11-2 Georgia 10-2 virginia Tech 11-2 uSc 10-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 West virginia 10-2 hawaii (1) 12-0 Arizona State 10-2 Florida 9-3 Illinois 9-3 Boston college 10-3 Wisconsin 9-3 clemson 9-3 Texas 9-3 Tennessee 9-4 Brigham Young 10-2 virginia 9-3 Auburn 8-4 Boise State 10-2 cincinnati 9-3 Arkansas 8-4 South Florida 9-3

PW 21 23 25 24 19 22 17 20 18 13 16 14 9 15 11 5 10 2 4 8 12 6 1 0 7

# 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Week 14 TEAM RECORD ohio State (98) 11-1 lSu (7) 11-2 oklahoma (6) 11-2 Georgia (1) 10-2 uSc 10-2 virginia Tech (1) 11-2 Missouri 11-2 Kansas 11-1 West virginia 10-2 hawaii (1) 12-0 Florida 9-3 Arizona State 10-2 Illinois 9-3 Boston college 10-3 Wisconsin 9-3 clemson 9-3 Texas 9-3 Brigham Young 10-2 Tennessee 9-4 cincinnati 9-3 virginia 9-3 Boise State 10-2 Auburn 8-4 South Florida 9-3 Arkansas 8-4

PTS PVS 2813 3 2630 5 2520 8 2469 4 2346 9 2345 7 2117 1 2092 6 1924 2 1903 10 1786 11 1628 13 1400 14 1124 12 1079 16 1041 18 983 17 912 20 870 15 580 21 551 23 541 22 448 24 362 25 129 nR

others Receiving votes oregon 125, Air Force 75, Texas Tech 72, connecticut 52, oregon State 39, ucF 38, Michigan 35, Penn State 11, Kentucky 3, navy 3, Wake Forest 2, Bowling Green 1, Pittsburgh 1.

Also available at other select establishments. This Week In Football is a proud supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides health, hope and a “home away from home” for families with critically ill children For information on how you can help, visit www.rmhc.org. or your local chapter’s website.

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this week in football CENTRAL OHIO A publication of FSM Group, LTD., President John Fahlgren PO Box 83, Dublin, Ohio 43017 (614) 580-9690 This Week In Football, with Vice President/ editions in Central Ohio, Publisher Southwest Ohio/Northern Ken Halloy Kentucky, and Northeast Ohio (614) 394-2282 is published 13 times annually, primarily weekly from late August Editor Ed Mauler through early December. (614) 222-2642

Advertising Sales John Fahlgren Ken Halloy Associate Editors Danielle Presley Lindsey Wright

Contributors John Cooper Gregg Doyel Doug Dieken Mo Egger Bob Frantz Geoff Hobson Andre Knott Dave Lapham Graphic Designer Gary Hoffman

© Copyright, FSM, Ltd. 2007. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part, without permission, of editorial or graphical content in any manner is strictly prohibited.

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

Photography Sonny Brockway Scott Terna Ohio State University Archives Ohio State Dept. of Athletics JJ Huddle Rivals.com


Now Listen Up! Another Split Championship Confirms BCS is A failure The craziest season in college football history is rambling toward a bizarre ending that could provide the push the sport needs to initiate serious playoff discussions. Ohio State plays LSU in the BCS National Championship, but it’s possible the polls will produce co-national champions. The coaches poll is forced to accept the BCS champion as its No. 1 team, but the Associated Press is not. The BCS arrangement already has produced one split championship, between USC and LSU after the 2003 season, and if it produces another next month the NCAA will have to consider the system a failure. Whether college presidents are willing to buck the TV-run $y$tem and demand a playoff is to be determined, but a second shared championship in five years could generate enough buzz to roust them from their elitist academic slumber.

Frankly, whether it leads to a playoff or not, this wild season deserves nothing less than a split champion. Best of all, until the bowl games are played, there’s no telling which teams are the most likely to split the title. First, you’ve got LSU and Ohio State. Both have been impressive

If the BCS produces another split championship next month, the NCAA will have to consider the system a failure. enough to get into the title game— LSU by winning the gnarly SEC, Ohio State by beating the crap out of most teams on its schedule—yet both have been unimpressive enough to generate widespread doubts. LSU has lost twice, to teams that combined for nine losses (Arkansas and Kentucky), and no two-loss team has ever won the national title. Ohio State, meanwhile, played

With Gregg Doyel Gregg Doyel hosts a morning

a weak non-conference sports talks radio show six days a schedule and won a Big week in Cincinnati, and writes about sports daily for CBS Ten schedule loaded with Sports.com. He has written two books on topics that are quality teams but no one immaterial to the focus of this outstanding publication. resembling greatness. the season were the front-runners If the BCS title game is close or uninspiring, that would to play for the national title. That open the door for AP voters to would be impressive. And then there’s Hawaii, which pick another bowl winner as their champion. But which other bowl has played a weak schedule and hasn’t merited serious No. 1 considwinner? There are at least two choices, eration. But what if Hawaii throttles and possibly four. Georgia has been Georgia in the Allstate Sugar Bowl? the country’s hottest team of late, Hawaii would deserve at least a and if the Bulldogs annihilate unde- look. And don’t forget about USC, feated Hawaii in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, they would receive No. 1 con- considered for much of the season to be the best team in the country. sideration. The same goes for Oklahoma if The Trojans struggled when quarterthe Sooners, who dismantled No. back John David Booty was injured, 1 Missouri in the Big 12 title game, but they’re rolling again with him destroy former No. 2 West Virginia back. What if the Trojans destroy in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Think Illinois—which beat Ohio State—in about that: The Sooners have the the Rose Bowl? The possibilities are fascinating. chance to beat both teams which heading into the last weekend of

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

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PRESENTS BUCKEYE GAME DAY O-8. Championship there in 2003. You know what it means. You’ve heard and read about It’s especially noteworthy that LSU’s campus in Baton it ad nauseam. Rouge is a mere hour drive away. That would be like Ohio Over the past three decades, Ohio State has taken a beatState getting a chance to win the national title in Zanesville. ing from the Southeastern Conference in bowl games. Could you imagine the craziness in the Buckeye state? It all began when two coaching legends, Bear and Well, that’s what New Orleans is gonna be like. Though Woody, met in the 1978 Sugar Bowl. Alabama 35, Ohio State Buckeye fans are known to travel en masse to big games, 6. Ouch. word is that the Tiger faithful are hoarding the scalpers’ Allstate BCS An unlucky seven more defeats followed, culminated by ticket supply. Expect three-fourths of the dome’s crowd of National Championship last year’s 41-14 nightmare against Florida in the national 70,000-plus to be clad in purple and gold. When: January 7, 2008 title game. That’s actually not a bad thing for Ohio State, considTime: 8:00 p.m. EDT And now, here we are again. The Buckeyes return to the ering the Buckeyes faced ravenous crowds at Washington, Where: New Orleans scene of that Bear mauling, the Louisiana Superdome, to Purdue, Penn State and Michigan this season. Fact is, OSU TV: Fox face who many have was a more focused team on the road, perhaps realizing their Series: ohio State leads 1-0-1 believed all season to margin for error was slim in the pursuit of victory. Last Meeting: Ohio State won, be the nation’s best Most believe OSU’s margin for error against the Tigers is 36-33, in ohio Stadium in 1988. and most talented zero. We disagree. Read on. Line: lSu –5 team, the Louisiana State University Tigers. OHIO STaTe OFFenSe Sure, Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in VS. LSU DeFenSe the BCS standings, but only by default. If quarterback Todd Boeckman emerges from his late-season swoon, Ohio State has one less loss than LSU, the Buckeyes might post a big number against what’s proven to be an overbut only because the Buckeyes played rated Tiger defense headed by former Buckeye player and newly-appointed a Sisters of the Poor-type schedule, Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini. many assert. The Tigers, meanwhile, The Tiger run defense, led by All-American tackle Glenn Dorsey, has been have taken down five top 25 teams. brilliant at times, but quite pedestrian at others. Consider: SEC doormat Ole The SEC champions are no Miss rushed for more than 200 yards against this unit. stranger to the Superdome, having The reason Boeckman’s play is pivotal is because the Tigers are going to beaten Tulane there earlier this seaAll-American tackle Glenn Dorsey leads the stack the box to stop running back Beanie Wells, and they’ll succeed unless son. LSU also won the BCS National Tiger defense. Ohio State opens the playbook early and throws downfield.

BReakIn’ IT DOWn

14

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13


BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSu S h o u l d Boeckman struggle again, it’s going to be a long day for the Buckeye offense. But if he can get some confidence early and keep the Tiger front seven honest, look out. This is not a game in which Tressel needs Because of his mobility, back-up quartertrickeration. back Ryan Perrilloux may see extensive The Buckeyes action. can go smashmouth against Dorsey and Co. The Tigers do not have the speed on the edges like Florida had last year. But again, OSU must prove it can spread the field a bit with some safe, possession-type passes. Red alert: The Tigers have intercepted 21 passes, led by safety Craig Steltz’ six picks. Also of note, Dorsey has been hobbled with a bad knee for much of the season. When he’s on, he’s unstoppable. But when sidelined, the Tigers lose their physical and emotional leader. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

LSU OFFenSe VS. OHIO STaTe DeFenSe

Look for LSU back-up quarterback Ryan Perrilloux to play a lot in this game. Actually, he’s hardly a back-up. He led his team to the SEC title win over Tennessee, as starter Matt Flynn sat out with an injury. Flynn will be ready for OSU, but Perrilloux may be the better choice because he is more mobile. Flynn moves fairly well also, but Perrilloux is a bigger playmaker with his legs more than his arm. These two will sometimes alternate snaps within the same possession. Sound familiar? Flynn is solid but not great. The Tigers have an excellent receiving trio in Early Doucet (50 receptions, 474 yards, four TDs), Brandon LaFell (48, 641, three) and Demetrius Byrd (33, 593, seven). You’ll hate to love as much as love to hate running back Jacob Hester. He runs like a bulldozer going downhill in a fifth gear. He’s rushed for over 1,000 yards, averaging five yards a carry, and scored 11 touchdowns. After getting blitzed by the Gators nearly a year ago to the day, the Buckeye defense knows this is a defining moment. Reality is that the Bucks have not faced an offense nearly as balanced and skilled as the Tigers’. Are you listening Vernon Gholston, James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins? ADVANTAGE: Even

SpeCIaL TeaMS

Whatever OSU punter A.J. Trapasso was doing at Michigan, we want it to stop. Being indoors should be a great assist, and in what could be a game dictated by field position, Trapasso needs to have a leg up on the competition. And again, with weather no factor, Ryan Pretorios ought to be given the green light to try any field goal up to 55 yards. Colt David has made 25 of 32 field goals for the Tigers, but six misses have been less than 49 yards. Patrick Fisher averages a solid 43.9 yards per punt. ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

COaCHInG

Which would you take: More or Les? ADVANTAGE: Ohio State

InTanGIBLeS

It’s a home game for the Tigers, while OSU is trying to exorcise the demons from a year ago. Correction: from the last 30 years. ADVANTAGE: Even

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Statistically Speaking Ohio state team statistics Scoring by Quarters: 1st 2nd oSu 111 98 opp 29 24

3rd 91 48

4th 84 27

OT 0 0

Total 384 128

OSU OPP Total First Downs 251 155 Rushing 131 68 Passing 104 77 Penalty 16 10 Total net Yards 4765 2703 Total Plays 827 756 Yards Per Play 5.8 3.6 Yards Per Game 397.1 225.2 Rushing Attempts-Yards 523-2408 377-925 Yards Per Attempt 4.6 2.5 Yards Per Game 200.7 77.1 Pass Att.-comp.-Int. 304-196-12 379-197-10 Passing Yards 2357 1778 Yards Per completion 12.0 9.0 Yards Per Game 196.4 148.2 Punting: no.-Avg. 51-40.4 100-39.1 Fumbles-lost 17-7 16-8 Penalties-Yards 65-491 49-447 Sacks By-Yds. lost 42-270 14-100 Third-Down conversions 81-170 58-189 conversion Pct. 47.6 30.7 Fourth-Down conversions 7-11 8-14 conversion Pct. 63.6 57.1 Avg. Time of Possession 32:19 27:41

Rushing Wells, chris Wells, Maurice Saine, Brandon

S-1 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17

OHIO STATE (11-1) Youngstown State ...................38-6 Akron.......................................20-2 @Washington ........................33-14 northwestern...........................58-7 @Minnesota ............................30-7 @Purdue .................................23-7 Kent State................................48-3 Michigan State ......................24-17 @Penn State..........................37-17 Wisconsin .............................38-17 Illinois ...................................21-28 @Michigan ..............................14-3

LSU (11-2) @Mississippi State.................... 45-0 virginia Tech ............................. 48-7 Mid. Tennessee St. .................... 44-0 South carolina ........................ 28-16 @Tulane .................................... 34-9 Florida ..................................... 28-24 @Kentucky .................... 37-43 (3oT) Auburn .................................... 30-24 @Alabama ............................... 41-34 louisiana Tech ........................ 58-10 @ole Miss ............................... 41-24 Arkansas ....................... 48-50 (3oT) Tennessee ............................... 21-14 SEc championship

Todd Boeckman

Chris Wells

Matt Flynn

Glenn Dorsey

Malcolm Jenkins

Brian Robiskie

Ryan Perrilloux

Jacob hester

ohio state individual leaders G 12 12 10

No 254 103 60

Gain 1518 399 287

Lost 55 32 20

Net 1463 367 267

Avg 5.8 3.6 4.5

TD 14 3 2

Lg 62 26 37

Yd/G 121.9 30.6 26.7

Passing Boeckman, Todd

G 12

Att Comp 273 176

Pct 64.5

Int 12

Yds 2171

TD 23

Lg 68

Yd/G 180.9

Receiving Robiskie, Brian hartline, Brian Small, Ray Ballard, Jake

G 12 12 10 12

No 50 46 19 13

Yds 885 619 253 149

Avg 17.7 13.5 13.3 11.5

TD 10 5 2 2

Lg Yd/G 68 73.8 65 51.6 60 25.3 22 12.4

Punt Ret hartline, Brian Small, Ray

G 12 10

No 19 21

Yds 220 153

Avg 11.6 7.3

TD 1 0

Lg Yd/G 90 18.3 21 15.3

Kick Ret Small, Ray

G 10

No 17

Yds 296

Avg 17.4

TD 0

Lg Yd/G 29 29.6

Punting Trapasso, A.J.

G 12

No 50

Avg 41.0

Lg 63

Blk 0

TB 6

Field Goals Pretorius, Ryan

G 12

Att 21

Made 17

Defense laurinaitis, James Freeman, Marcus Russell, Anderson coleman, Kurt Jenkins, Malcolm Grant, larry Gholston, vernon Washington, Donald heyward, cameron chekwa, chimdi Spitler, Austin Worthington, Doug Abdallah, nader Rolle, Brian larimore, Dexter lane, Shaun

G 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12

Tack 39 60 35 21 27 31 23 26 20 26 13 9 7 10 6 12

Ast 64 35 23 33 17 12 11 8 10 3 13 13 11 8 9 2

FC 10

50+ 9

In 20 19

Lg Blkd 50 3 Tot 103 95 58 54 44 43 34 34 30 29 26 22 18 18 15 14

A-30 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-23 D-1

TFL 8.5-34 9.5-23 7-29 3.5-5 5-13 9.5-42 14.5-98 2-4 9-32 2-7 2.5-14 2-8 2-6 3-9 5.5-16 0-0

Sack 5-29 1.5-9 3-23 1-2 0-0 5-31 13-96 1-3 2.5-9 0-0 1-12 1-8 1-5 1-6 2-10 0-0

PD 1 5 5 4 3 0 0 2 2 9 0 1 0 0 0 0

FF 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

FR 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Rushing Jacob hester K. Williams T. holliday charles Scott Matt Flynn Ryan Perrilloux

G 13 13 12 13 11 11

Passing Matt Flynn Ryan Perrilloux

LSU team statistics Scoring by Quarters: 1st 2nd lSu 94 102 opp 41 71

3rd 141 52

OT 30 38

LSU Total First Downs 291 Rushing 141 Passing 137 Penalty 13 Total net Yards 5826 Total Plays 978 Yards Per Play 6.0 Yards Per Game 448.2 Rushing Attempts-Yards 563-2846 Yards Per Attempt 5.1 Yards Per Game 218.9 Pass Att.-comp.-Int. 415-237-12 Passing Yards 2980 Yards Per completion 12.6 Yards Per Game 229.2 Punting: no.-Avg. 58-43.4 Fumbles-lost 16-3 Penalties-Yards 113-844 Sacks By-Yds. lost 32-246 Third-Down conversions 93-205 conversion Pct. 45.4 Fourth-Down conversions 12-15 conversion Pct. 80.0 Avg. Time of Possession 32:08

LSU individual leaders No 204 68 50 43 88 51

4th 136 53

Total 503 255

OPP 214 79 110 25 3690 859 4.3 283.8 434-1340 3.1 103.1 425-197-21 2350 11.9 180.8 79-39.2 23-12 60-483 29-194 68-189 36.0 4-18 22.2 27:52

Gain 1032 493 368 324 376 253

Lost 15 35 17 6 169 50

Net 1017 458 351 318 207 203

Avg 5.0 6.7 7.0 7.4 2.4 4.0

TD 11 6 2 5 4 2

Lg 87 67 33 55 22 23

Yd/G 78.2 35.2 29.2 24.5 18.8 18.5

G 11 11

Att Comp 332 183 75 51

Pct 55.1 68.0

Int 10 2

Yds 2233 694

TD 17 8

Lg 71 62

Yd/G 203.0 63.1

Receiving Brandon laFell Demetrius Byrd Early Doucet

G 13 13 9

No 48 33 50

Yds 641 593 474

Avg 13.4 18.0 9.5

TD 3 7 4

Lg Yd/G 56 49.3 62 45.6 34 52.7

Punt Ret chad Jones Jared Mitchell

G 13 11

No 16 4

Yds 104 19

Avg 6.5 4.8

TD 0 0

Lg Yd/G 16 8.0 8 1.7

Kick Ret T. holliday K. Williams

G 12 13

No 18 10

Yds 468 199

Avg 26.0 19.9

TD 1 0

Lg Yd/G 98 39.0 25 15.3

Punting Patrick Fisher

G 13

No 56

Avg 43.9

Lg 61

Blk 0

TB 13

50+ 20

In 20 12

Field Goals colt David

G 13

Att 32

Made 25

Defense craig Steltz Ali highsmith Glenn Dorsey Darry Beckwith Danny Mccray Kirston Pittman curtis Taylor chevis Jackson Jonathan Zenon Tyson Jackson chad Jones luke Sanders

G 13 13 13 11 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13

Tack 66 54 39 36 49 28 30 32 28 16 26 13

Ast 31 39 25 27 12 33 19 10 13 19 8 15

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

FC 8

Lg Blkd 49 1 Tot 97 93 64 63 61 61 49 42 41 35 34 28

TFL 5-20 7.5-21 11.5-48 6.5-26 4-33 12.5-70 1-6 3-7 1.5-2 3.5-14 3-32 1.5-10

Sack 1-8 1.5-9 6-40 1.5-14 3-32 7-47 1-6 0-0 0-0 2.5-11 2-25 0.5-7

PD 7 8 4 4 3 1 6 15 7 10 3 3

FF 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1

FR 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 17


This Week’s Question:

Did The BCS System Work This Year?

Presents There’s nothing I dislike more in college football than the BCS, so the idea of writing something that may be perceived as defending the system, quite frankly, turns my stomach. With that said, as lousy as it is, the BCS is the current system used to choose college football’s national champion. Its job is to find the most worthy candidates to play for the national title. In 2007, those two teams are Ohio State and LSU. Big Ten bashers hate Ohio State, and while I do agree that the conference was weak this year, Ohio State won all but one game. The Buckeyes are the only one-loss team realistically in the mix (sorry Kansas), so they clearly deserve a shot. LSU did lose twice, but both were in triple overtime and to decent teams. Meanwhile, Oklahoma lost to Colorado, USC lost to Stanford and West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh. Those are inexcusable defeats. Virginia Tech gets eliminated because it lost to LSU, and Missouri

The combatants

Matt McCoy is sports director at 610 WTVN.  In addition to anchoring the stations sportscasts weekday mornings and afternoons, Matt also heads up WTVN’s “Best Buckeye Coverage.”  He has worked at 610 WTVN for 10 years and is a voter in the AP college football poll.

YES

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lost twice to Oklahoma, which already was on the outside looking in. Georgia didn’t win its own conference. As for unbeaten Hawaii, if the Warriors played someone, maybe I’d listen. For the record, I hate this system. At the very least, I’d prefer a “plus one” format, with an eight-team playoff even more preferable. For now, however, it’s the “BC Mess” and like it or not, the system did its job. The Buckeyes and Tigers deserve the title shot.

Ken Halloy is the publisher of This Week In Football, with editions in the Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati markets. He is also co-host of the This Week in Football Radio Show, which airs every Sunday during football season from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on 610 WTVN in Columbus.

The only time the BCS has ever really worked is when the selection of the two teams for the national championship is obvious, such as when unbeaten Ohio State played unbeaten Miami (FL) at the end of the 2002 season. We’re a decade into the BS (no typo here) now, and almost every year there’s at least one, and usually two, teams that are as deserving as the teams chosen for the title game. This year LSU, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, USC and West Virginia, all with two losses, were tech-

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

nically under consideration to play Ohio State. Who really knows which is the best in that group? Because LSU waxed Va. Tech early in the season, we can eliminate the Hokies, but that’s the only logical process of elimination that can be used here. What about Oklahoma? The Sooners destroyed No. 1 Missouri in the Big 12 Championship. That win was certainly more impressive than LSU’s victory over mediocre Tennessee in the SEC title game. Bottom line is that the BCS is nothing more than a popularity contest, and the nation loves LSU. The three general rules of thumb to get into the title game are: be ranked high in the preseason polls (media perception is huge in the end analysis), if you’re going to lose, do so early, and win your conference championship game (if applicable). It’s all stupid. Just ask Kansas. Because the Jayhawks failed in all three criteria above, their 11-1 record (that’s right: one loss!) means nothing. Indeed, the BCS is BS.

NO


Buckeye Bowl Bits!

A win over LSU would be the 799th in Ohio State history. . . OSU is 123-100-12 all-time against ranked teams. . . Under Coach Jim Tressel, OSU is 29-9 against ranked teams, including an 8-4 mark on the road. . . Over the last three years, OSU has the nation’s best winning percentage (33-4, .892), followed by West Virginia (32-4, .888) and Texas (32-5, .865). . . Ohio State is the only Big Ten team to play in the national championship game since the BCS inception in 1998. . . Ohio State, Florida State and Oklahoma lead all schools with three BCS national title game appearances. . . OSU has more BCS bowl appearances, six, than any other Big Ten school. . . The Buckeyes are 4-1 in BCS games, winning the Sugar Bowl in 1999 and the Fiesta in 2003, 2004 and 2006. . . OSU is seeking its eighth national title . . .Ohio State is playing in its 39th bowl, which is tied with Michigan for the conference lead. . . OSU returns to New Orleans for a bowl for the first time since taking part in back-to-back Sugar Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons. . . Ohio State is making its eighth

consecutive bowl trip. . . OSU’s all-time bowl record is 18-20, dating back to the 1921 Rose Bowl. . . The Bucks have appeared in 11 different bowls. . . OSU was one of the first six teams to become bowl-eligible, doing so with the win over Purdue on October 13. . . Ohio State is one of only seven

A Big Ten-best 23 Buckeyes were named to the league’s all-academic team, marking the fifth year in a row Ohio State has led the conference. teams with 11 wins: Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, LSU, Kansas, Missouri and Hawaii (12) are the others. . . Eight previous OSU teams have posted at least 11 wins in a season (1975, 1979, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006). . . The Bucks have won at least 10 games in five of Tressel’s seven seasons at OSU. . . Ohio State leads the nation in scoring defense (10.7 points), pass defense (148.2) and total defense (225. 2 yards). . . OSU has forced three-and-outs on 66 possessions, and set a

school record with 13 consecutive three-and-outs against Akron. . . Opponents have gone three-andout on nearly half of their possessions. Turnovers have ended 18 other possessions . . . OSU has allowed only 11 TDs all season, including just five in five road games. . .The defense has held the opposition scoreless in 28 of 48 quarters this season. . . The Buckeye offense has scored at least one TD in 138 straight games. . .OSU has scored on its opening drive nine times this year . . . Sixteen different Bucks have caught at least one pass, with nine scoring TDs. . .Twenty scoring drives have taken less than two minutes. . . OSU averages 6.8 yards per play on first down, 5.4 on second and 5.9 on third. The Bucks have attempted 11 fourth downs, gaining 30 yards. . . OSU outscores its opponents by an average of 17.4-4.4 in the first half and 14.6-6.3 in the second half. . . OSU has punted only 39 times, sixth-fewest in the country . . . When the national title game kicks off, OSU will have 33 players with at least one game of starting experience.

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Tidbits!

lsU (11-2) was ranked no. 1 twice during the season and was no. 2 in the preseason polls . . . The Tigers and Buckeyes have

met twice, first with a 13-13 tie in 1987 in Baton Rouge before Ohio State won 36-33 in Columbus a year later . . . This is lsU’s second appearance in the bcs championship Game, as the Tigers beat oklahoma 21-14 in 2003 . . . The game against Oklahoma was

also played in the Louisiana Superdome . . . lsU is in a bcs bowl for the second straight year and the fourth time overall . . . LSU officially claims two national championships (1958 & 2003). However, the school has been recognized as national champions by polling organizations on four additional occasions: 1908, 1935, 1936 and 1962 . . . lsU did not field a football team in 1918 due to World War i . . . LSU has just one Heisman Trophy winner in its history, Billy Cannon, in 1959 . . . lsU is making its 39th bowl appearance, with a record of 19-18-1 . . . The Tigers are 6-7 in the Sugar Bowl . . . lsU went 44 years without being ranked no. 1 in any of the major polls (1959-2004) . . . The Tigers finished their second year (2006) under the direction of Coach Les Miles ranked No. 3 in the nation, marking

20

the first time since the 1958-59 seasons that LSU was ranked in the top five in the country in back-to-back years . . . lsU beat five ranked teams this season . . . the Tigers scored 40 or more points seven times . . . the lsU senior class will leave as the school’s winningest group in the history of the program, with the team having been ranked from start to finish during their careers. . . following is a list of accomplishments of the senior class: most wins by a class in school history (55), most SEC wins (32), most seasons with at least 10 wins (four), most weeks spent as a ranked team (82), most wins over top 25 teams (20) and most wins over top 10 teams (nine). . . lsU is bowl-eligible for a school-record eighth straight season . . . since the 2000 season, LSU has played in the Peach Bowl (2000 and 2005), Sugar Bowl (2001, 2003, 2006) Cotton Bowl (2002) and Capital One Bowl (2004) . . . the Tigers have recorded at least eight wins for the eighth straight season, another school record . . . Les Miles has a 6-3 record against top 10 teams as LSU’s head coach and he’s now 13-5 against top 25 teams.

LSU Coach Les Miles was Oklahoma State’s coach when Ohio State hammered the Cowboys 33-7 in the 2004 MasterCard Alamo Bowl.

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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Bowling Buckeyes 1921 Rose Bowl California 28 - Ohio State 0 1950 Rose Bowl Ohio State 17 - California 14 1955 Rose Bowl Ohio State 20 - Southern Cal. 7 1958 Rose Bowl Ohio State 10 - Oregon 7 1969 Rose Bowl Ohio State 27 - Southern Cal. 16 1971 Rose Bowl Stanford 27 - Ohio State 17 1973 Rose Bowl Southern Cal. 42 - Ohio State 17 1974 Rose Bowl Ohio State 42 - Southern Cal. 21 1975 Rose Bowl Southern Cal. 18 - Ohio State 17 1976 Rose Bowl UCLA 23 - Ohio State 10 1977 Orange Bowl Ohio State 27 - Colorado 17 1978 Sugar Bowl Alabama 35 - Ohio State 6 1978 Gator Bowl Clemson 17 - Ohio State 15 1980 Rose Bowl Southern Cal. 17 - Ohio State 16

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1980 Fiesta Bowl Penn State 31 - Ohio State 19 1981 Liberty Bowl Ohio State 31 - Navy 28 1982 Holiday Bowl Ohio State 47 - Brigham Young 17 1984 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State 28 - Pittsburgh 23 1985 Rose Bowl Southern Cal. 20 - Ohio State 17 1986 Citrus Bowl Ohio State 10 - Brigham Young 7 1987 Cotton Bowl Ohio State 28 - Texas A&M 12 1990 Hall of Fame Bowl Auburn 31 - Ohio State 14 1990 Liberty Bowl Air Force 23 - Ohio State 11 1992 Hall of Fame Bowl Syracuse 24 - Ohio State 17 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl Georgia 21 - Ohio State 14 1993 Holiday Bowl Ohio State 28 - Brigham Young 21 1995 Florida Citrus Bowl Alabama 24 - Ohio State 17 1996 Florida Citrus Bowl Tennessee 20 - Ohio State 14

1997 Rose Bowl Ohio State 20 - Arizona State 17 1998 Sugar Bowl Florida State 31 - Ohio State 14 1999 Sugar Bowl Ohio State 24 - Texas A&M 14 2001 Outback Bowl South Carolina 24 - Ohio State 7 2002 Outback Bowl South Carolina 31 - Ohio State 28 2003 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State 31 Miami (FL) 24 (2OT)

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

The Buckeyes are making their third national title game appearance in six years under Coach Jim Tressel.

2004 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State 35 - Kansas State 28 2004 mastercard alamo Bowl Ohio State 33 - Oklahoma State 7 2006 fiesta Bowl Ohio State 34 - Notre Dame 20 2007 BCS National Championship Florida 41 - Ohio State 14


The Legends Agree:

Tigers Are National Champions!

The Master Consensus: LSU

The Master Consensus: Oklahoma

JOHN COOPER

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: Ohio State LSU has the edge in talent but Ohio State has the upper hand in coaching. The Buckeyes will be motivated to make up for last year’s national championship loss. The Buckeyes will win in a close, low-scoring game.

TERRY DONAHUE

The Master Consensus: USC

LAVELL EDWARDS

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: West Virginia Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU LSU will win because Ohio State has problems with the kind of spread offense LSU runs. It helps the Tigers to play so close to home, but it should be a very good and tightlycontested ballgame.

DON JAMES

The Master Consensus: Virginia Tech

BILL MALLORY

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU Ohio State will be more mentally prepared this year and LSU will finally be healthy. Both teams are wellcoached, play great defense and are balanced on offense, but LSU has a bit more overall speed and talent.

The Master Consensus: Georgia

JOHN ROBINSON

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: Ohio State Ohio State sure laid an egg and played poorly in every way possible last year. Because of that, the Big Ten’s reputation has come under fire. OSU will be out to atone and I feel that will give them the edge.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU LSU has had time to heal from some major injuries, such as defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey’s knee troubles, and the Tigers are now really focused, knowing that their coach, Les Miles, is staying in Baton Rouge.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU It’s not a coincidence that the nation’s top two defensive teams are playing for the national championship. Ohio State looked very good against Michigan, but OSU’s sevenweek layoff is an advantage for LSU in what’ll be a very close game.

DON NEHLEN

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: West Virginia Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: Ohio State This year the roles are reversed. Everyone’s telling Ohio State they can’t win a year after telling them they can’t lose. LSU rolls the dice too much, and testing their luck against Ohio State will cost them.

R.C. SLOCUM

VINCE DOOLEY

FRANK KUSH

TOM OSBORNE

GENE STALLINGS

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU LSU is due to play a complete game given that its last was a win over Virginia Tech in September. This should be a good, hard-knocking defensive game that LSU will win because they’re better overall. It will be a classic.

PAT DYE

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU Ohio State has the pyschological edge in wanting to atone for last year. LSU is a very undisciplined team, but has enough talent to overcome most mistakes.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: kansas BCS national Championship: LSU LSU has more talent but both defenses are great. I see a lowscoring, defensive masterpiece in the works, with LSU winning 20-14.

DICK MACPHERSON

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: Ohio State I’m from the old school of thought which tells me defense wins championships and special teams wins the close ones. Ohio State is very wellcoached in both areas and the Buckeyes will beat a powerful LSU team.

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU This will be a great game; a classic defensive struggle. It can really go either way, but I’ll give the edge to LSU simply because it’s essentially a home game for them.

JOHN RALSTON

Rose: USC Sugar: Hawaii Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: kansas BCS national Championship: LSU It’s really tough to pick a winner because both teams are so similar. Both play great defense and are balanced offensively. I give LSU a slight edge in overall talent, though, and I see the Tigers winning a close one.

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

Rose: USC Sugar: Hawaii Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU Ohio State is a very sound and well-coached football team while LSU is a juggernaut of talent. LSU is also battle-tested as the champions of the rough and tumble SEC, so I see the Tigers winning. Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU LSU has more team speed and I feel they’re also a tougher group than the Buckeyes. We all witnessed what Florida did to Ohio State last year, so that’s reason enough for me to pick the Tigers.

GEORGE WELSH

Rose: USC Sugar: Georgia Fiesta: Oklahoma Orange: Virginia Tech BCS national Championship: LSU You have to admire what Ohio State has done this year, regardless of what some people think of their schedule. They’ll certainly play their best against an incredibly talented LSU team. However, talent will win out over determination.

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


BCS Bowl Predictions From

BILL CONLEY

The Best Buckeye Coverage Team

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU This could go down as a classic between two teams that are very evenly matched. If the Buckeyes can establish a running game early, watch out Tigers. OSU 24-21. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Kansas is one of the most overrated teams in the country. The speed and athleticism of Virginia Tech will win out as the game progresses. Virginia Tech 28-17. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Both teams can be extremely impressive, and at times disappointing. It seems Oklahoma is on the upswing and I can’t say the same about the Mountaineers. Oklahoma 34-28. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia This could be the strangest, yet most intriguing of all the bowls and one I am excited to see. A wide open offense versus a smash-mouth defense. As much as I expect Georgia to prevail, Colt Brennan will find a way to win. Hawaii 38-35. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC We’ll find out how much the Illini have really improved this season. Now that they’re healthy, USC could be the strongest team in the country. USC 34-21.

BOB CONNORS

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU Well, this is the game all Buckeye fans were hoping for. Now that it’s here, are you still sure you want it? Jim Tressel will have his team ready, but it’s going to be close! OSU 20-17. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Kansas played only one quality opponent all season and lost. Virginia Tech always fields a quality team under Frank Beamer. This one shouldn’t be very close. Virginia Tech 28-13. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia It’s tough to imagine West Virginia recovering from the devastating loss to Pittsburgh. They don’t want to be in this game, but the Sooners do. That’s all you need to know. Oklahoma 41-27. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia If Hawaii was in the SEC, they’d finish seventh or eighth. However, in a one-anddone situation, anything can happen, as Oklahoma found out against Boise State last season. Hawaii 28-27. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC Illinois has been a great story all season, but unfortunately it’s going to have a very, very sad ending. The Rose committee made a big mistake honoring tradition. USC 44-17.

JOHN CORBY

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU This Ohio State team has

learned from last year’s 41-14 debacle. This year the QB isn’t going to show up 20 pounds heavier and half the team isn’t thinking about how big their first pro paycheck will be. OSU 31-28. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas This is a tough one to call. Granted, Kansas only has one loss but it cost them dearly. Va. Tech played a pretty tough schedule and has more bowl experience than the Jayhawks. Virginia Tech 41-21. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia There are many who believe because Oklahoma is now healthy, it’s the best team in the country. Because of the messed up BCS system, we’ll never find out. West Virginia, on the other hand, will. Oklahoma 31-10. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia I love this match-up. Nobody gave Boise State a chance against Oklahoma last year and we all know how that turned out. Colt Brennan can play. He’s out to prove the Heisman voters wrong and this is his big chance. I’ll go for the upset. Hawaii 51-25. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC This could be the biggest mismatch of the BCS bowls. Illinois had a nice year, but like Oklahoma, now that they’re healthy USC may be the best team in the country. The Illini will keep it close for a half, but that’s it. USC 44-16.  

LARRY LARSON

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU LSU is dynamic offensively and defensively, but is prone to making a lot of mistakes, while Ohio State is boring, but efficient offensively and relies on a solid defense. LSU is the logical pick, but OSU has been on a mission all year to exorcise the demons from last January. OSU 24-10. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Kansas makes its first appearance on the big stage against a Virginia Tech team that was up and down during the season. The Hokie defense is more solid than the Jayhawk offense. Virginia Tech 24-14. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia A big-time match-up between a team which finished the regular season on a high note against a team that saw its dreams die on its home field. West Virginia is a very good team, but the emotional downer is too much to overcome against the Sooners. Oklahoma 31-17. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia Hawaii comes to the mainland to play one of the hottest teams in the country. Colt Brennan will impress, but Georgia is too strong for the Islanders. Georgia 31-20. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC What a bizarre season for these teams. USC lost at home to Stanford and Illinois beat No. 1 Ohio State. It’s a no-lose situation for the Illini, but the Trojan talent is too much to call for an upset in this one. USC 31-14.

DAVE MAETZOLD

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU Jim Tressel will out-coach another Michigan man, but the Tiger defense will get to Todd Boeckman. So this one’s on Beanie. Wells needs to have a Michigan-like day for the Bucks to prevail. OSU 27-23. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Virginia Tech’s defense will smother Kansas. KU Coach Mark Mangino will go straight from the Orange Bowl to the ice cream bowl after the game. Virginia Tech 28-10. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Hey Pat White, did you see what the Sooner defense did to Chase Daniel? They’re going to do the same thing to you. Oklahoma 31-17. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia Hawaii’s Colt Brennan will overcome jet lag and the Georgia defense.The Warriors will be this year’s Boise State. Hawaii 31-28. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC Juice Williams, meet the best team not playing for a national championship. Booty and the Trojans win another Rose Bowl. USC 35-10.   

MATT MCCOY

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU The Buckeyes have waited a year to show that last January’s effort was not representative of Ohio State football. My guess is that they’ll prove that, but the game’s in the Super Dome. I hope I’m wrong. LSU 24-20. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas The second good team Kansas has played this year exposes them even more. Virginia Tech 27-17. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Neither defense is great. I see a lot of points and an entertaining game. Oklahoma 34-31. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia Welcome to the real world Hawaii. Georgia 38-16. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC The Illini have had a great year, but USC is out of their league. USC 34-17.

DAVE PURDY

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU The Buckeyes enter this game with a different motivation than last year. Todd Boeckman will play his best game of the year, thus ending OSU’s losing streak to the SEC. Plus, I don’t like Les Miles. He would have been a perfect Michigan coach to hate. National Champs! OSU 24-21. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas Virginia Tech is one of the hottest teams

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

in the country, with its impressive ACC Championship win over Boston College. The Hokies rank in the national top five defensively in most categories. Kansas didn’t get much respect from the final pollsters, nor from me. Virginia Tech 31-17. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia It’s tough to beat any team twice in the same year, especially a very athletic team like Missouri with good skilled players, but Oklahoma crushed the Tigers both times. WVU, a similar team to Mizzou, was in a funk when it lost to Pitt. The depression still lingers. Oklahoma 31-21. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia Georgia had impressive wins over Florida, Auburn and Kentucky, but also gave up 34 points to Troy. Hawaii will be trying to prove it is BCS-worthy, and with Colt Brennan leading the nation’s top-scoring offense, they’ll achieve their goal. Let’s really screw with the BCS and have Hawaii go undefeated! Hawaii 35-28. Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC USC is playing very well and the Rose Bowl is essentially home for the Trojans. In fact, they may play their home games there next year. The “Juice” will have to play a perfect game for Illinois. Sorry, but he used up all his perfection against Ohio State. USC 38-17.

JOEL RILEY

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State vs. LSU What can you say about being in the title game again? A tribute to the mettle of the team and to the coaches. Jim Tressel owns the Big Ten, but just like last year, I’m not sure the team will be up to the challenge. LSU and OSU both end with two losses. LSU 31-28. FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas I am conflicted. I have no allegiance to either team, and haven’t seen either play much.  So I’ll resort to a hunch. Va. Tech; no score and no conviction.   Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. West Virginia Oklahoma is on a tear and will use West by gawd Virginia as their final whipping boy to show they should have been considered a worthy opponent for the national championship. Oklahoma 31-21. Allstate Sugar Bowl: Hawaii vs. Georgia Like many Buckeyes fans, I didn’t want OSU to play Georgia. And despite all the churn over Hawaii’s undefeated season, Georgia is just too good. The Dawgs are going to make a statement in this game. Georgia 42-10.  Rose Bowl: Illinois vs. USC I always root for the Big Ten in bowls because it strengthens the conference’s image, but I cannot in good conscience root for Illinois in this one. USC is a total team and will show why they truly belong in the Rose Bowl. Illinois will just have to feel good about their win over OSU. USC 35-17.

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Presents

Drive To The Title 2007 conference standings

ACC Atlantic Division

Boston College Clemson Wake Forest Florida State Maryland North Carolina State

Conference W L 6 2 5 3 5 3 4 4 3 5 3 5

Overall W L 10 3 9 3 8 4 7 5 6 6 5 7

ACC Coastal Division

Virginia Tech Virginia Georgia Tech North Carolina Miami (FL) Duke West Virginia Connecticut Cincinnati South Florida Rutgers Louisville Pittsburgh Syracuse

Ohio State Illinois Michigan Wisconsin Penn State Iowa Indiana Michigan State Purdue Northwestern Minnesota

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W 7 6 4 3 2 0

L 1 2 4 5 6 8

BIG EAST W 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 1

L 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 6

BIG TEN W 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 0

L 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 8

W 11 9 7 4 5 1

L 2 3 5 8 7 11

W 10 9 9 9 7 6 5 2

L 2 3 3 3 4 6 7 10

W 11 9 8 9 8 6 7 7 7 6 1

L 1 3 4 3 4 6 5 5 5 6 11

BIG 12 North Division

Missouri Kansas Colorado Kansas State Nebraska Iowa State

W 7 7 4 3 2 2

L 1 1 4 5 6 6

W 11 11 6 5 5 3

BIG 12 South Division

Oklahoma Texas Texas Tech Texas A&M Oklahoma State Baylor

W 6 5 4 4 4 0

L 2 3 4 4 4 8

W 11 9 8 7 6 3

CONF USA East Division

Central Florida East Carolina Memphis Southern Miss Marshall UAB

W 7 6 6 5 3 1

L 1 2 2 3 5 7

W 10 7 7 7 3 2

CONF USA West Division

Tulsa Houston Tulane Rice UTEP Southern Methodist

W 6 6 3 3 2 0

L 2 2 5 5 6 8

INDEPENDENTS

Navy Western Kentucky Army Notre Dame

W - - - -

L - - - -

L 2 1 6 7 7 9 L 2 3 4 5 6 9 L 3 5 5 5 9 10

W 9 8 4 3 4 1

L 4 4 8 9 8 11

W 8 7 3 3

L 4 5 9 9

MAC East Division

Bowling Green Miami (OH) Buffalo Ohio Temple Akron Kent State

Conference W L 6 2 5 2 5 3 4 4 4 4 3 5 1 7

MAC West Division

Central Michigan Ball State Western Michigan Eastern Michigan Toledo Northern Illinois

USC Arizona State Oregon State Oregon UCLA Arizona California Washington State Stanford Washington

W 6 5 3 3 3 1

L 1 2 4 4 5 6

PAC 10 W 7 7 6 5 5 4 3 3 3 2

L 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7

SEC East Division

Tennessee Georgia Florida Kentucky South Carolina Vanderbilt

W 6 6 5 3 3 2

L 2 2 3 5 5 6

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Overall W L 8 4 6 7 5 7 6 6 4 8 4 8 3 9 W 8 7 5 4 5 2

L 5 5 7 8 7 10

W 10 10 8 8 6 5 6 5 4 4

L 2 2 4 4 6 7 6 7 8 9

W 9 10 9 7 6 5

L 4 2 3 5 6 7

SEC West Division

LSU Auburn Arkansas Mississippi State Alabama Mississippi

W 6 5 4 4 4 0

Hawaii Boise State Fresno State Nevada Louisiana Tech San Jose State Utah State New Mexico State Idaho

W 8 7 6 4 4 4 2 1 0

WAC

L 2 3 4 4 4 8

W 11 8 8 7 6 3

L 2 4 4 5 6 9

L 0 1 2 4 4 4 6 7 8

W 12 10 8 6 5 5 2 4 1

L 0 2 4 6 7 7 10 9 11

W 10 9 8 8 7 4 5 3 2

L 2 3 4 4 5 8 7 9 10

W 8 7 6 5 5 3 2 1

L 4 5 6 7 7 9 10 11

MOUNTAIN WEST

BYU Air Force New Mexico Utah TCU San Diego State Wyoming Colorado State UNLV

W 8 6 5 5 4 3 2 2 1

L 0 2 3 3 4 5 6 6 7

SUN BELT

W Troy 6 Florida Atlantic 6 Louisiana-Monroe 4 Middle Tennessee State 4 Arkansas State 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 3 North Texas 1 Florida International 1

L 1 1 3 3 4 4 6 6


LOOK WHAT’S

ON TAP THIS WEEK!

NCAA BOWL LINEUP

Saturday December 29 Meineke Car Care Bowl UConn vs. Wake Forest

1:00pm

ESPN

4:30pm

ESPN

8:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

ESPN

12:30pm

ESPN

2:00pm

CBS

2:00pm

ESPN2

4:00pm

ESPN

6:00pm

NFL Net.

7:30pm

ESPN

11:00am

ESPN

11:30am

FOX

1:00pm

CBS

1:00pm

ABC

4:30pm

ABC

8:30pm

FOX

8:00pm

FOX

8:00pm

FOX

12:00pm

ESPN2

8:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

FOX

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Central Florida vs. Mississippi St. Valero Alamo Bowl Penn State vs. Texas A&M Sunday December 30 PetroSun Independence Bowl Alabama vs. Colorado

Buckeye Fans and Rooster Girls Go Together Well

Monday December 31 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl California vs. Air Force Brut Sun Bowl South Florida vs. Oregon Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Kentucky vs. Florida State Insight Bowl Indiana vs. Oklahoma State Chick-fil-A Bowl

Thursday December 20

Clemson vs. Auburn

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Utah vs. Navy

9:00pm

Tuesday January 1

ESPN

Outback Bowl

Friday December 21

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

8:00pm

AT&T Cotton Bowl

ESPN2

Missouri vs. Arkansas

Saturday December 22

Gator Bowl

Papajohns.com Bowl Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati

1:00pm

ESPN2

Texas Tech vs. Virginia

4:30pm

ESPN

Michigan vs. Florida

8:00pm

ESPN

Illinois vs. USC

Capital One Bowl

New Mexico Bowl Nevada vs. New Mexico

Rose Bowl presented by Citi

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl UCLA vs. BYU

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Sunday December 23

Hawaii vs. Georgia

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Boise State vs. East Carolina

8:00pm

Wednesday January 2

ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

Wednesday December 26

Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

Motor City Bowl Purdue vs. Central Michigan

7:30pm

Thursday January 3

ESPN

FedEx Orange Bowl

Thursday December 27

Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Arizona State vs. Texas

8:00pm

Saturday January 5

ESPN

International Bowl

Friday December 28

Rutgers vs. Ball State

Champs Sports Bowl Boston College vs. Michigan State

5:00pm

ESPN

8:00pm

NFL Net.

8:30pm

ESPN

Sunday January 6 GMAC Bowl

Texas Bowl TCU vs. Houston Emerald Bowl Maryland vs. Oregon State

Linebacker James Laurinaitis leads No. 1 Ohio State against No. 2 LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship. (Scott Terna/TWIF)

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa Monday January 7 Allstate BCS National Championship LSU vs. Ohio State

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

27


Illinois vs. USC

Hawaii vs. Georgia

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Pasadena, Calif. TV: ABC Series: USC leads 10-2 Last meeting: USC won 55-3 in 1996 Line: USC -13.5

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 8:30 p.m. EDT Where: New Orleans TV: FOX Series: First meeting Line: Georgia -9

Illini Get Booty Call

We’ve Got Georgia On Our Minds

Let’s be honest: Illinois has no business being in this game. As much as we appreciate the bowl’s desire to preserve the Big Ten-Pac-10 tradition in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” this makes no sense. The Illini had a wonderful season, capped by an upset win at top-ranked Ohio State, but they also lost at lowly Iowa. Sure, we haven’t forgotten USC’s loss to crappy Stanford, but at least the Trojans won their conference. Besides, have you seen the way USC has shaken its Booty lately (and we’re not referring to those luscious white-sweater-clad cheerleaders)? Illinois simply won’t have enough Juice to keep it close.

Georgia was hoping to make it to New Orleans, but this isn’t what the Bulldogs had in mind. Snubbed at a chance to play for the national title in the Big Easy, the Dawgs are instead relegated to face a non-BCS team, albeit the nation’s only unbeaten, there a week earlier. The Bulldog offense will pound at the Warrior defense in an attempt to sustain time-consuming drives that in turn will keep Heisman finalist Colt Brennan and his run-and-shooters on the sideline. If Hawaii is held to two or three possessions per half, Georgia wins. If not, it’s Boise State-Oklahoma all over again.

Prediction: USC 41-10 ILLINOIS (9-3) S-1 vs. Missouri*.......... 34-40 S-8 Western Illinois......... 21-0 S-15 @Syracuse.............. 41-20 S-22 @Indiana................. 27-14 S-29 Penn State............... 27-20 O-6 Wisconsin............... 31-26 O-13 @Iowa....................... 6-10 O-20 Michigan................. 17-27 O-27 Ball State................. 28-17 N-3 @Minnesota............ 44-17 N-10 @Ohio State............ 28-21 N-17 Northwestern.......... 41-22 *@St. Louis’ Ed. Jones Dome

USC (10-2) S-1 Idaho....................... 38-10 S-15 @Nebraska.............. 49-31 S-22 Washington State.... 47-14 S-29 @Washington.......... 27-24 O-6 Stanford.................. 23-24 O-13 Arizona.................... 20-13 O-20 @Notre Dame............ 38-0 O-27 @Oregon................. 17-24 N-3 Oregon State............. 24-3 N-10 @California.............. 24-17 N-22 @Arizona State........ 44-24 D-1 UCLA......................... 24-7

Prediction: Georgia 27-24

Bowl Buster

Two-time All-American tackle Sedrick Ellis spearheads the USC defense. The certain first round NFL draft pick has 52 tackles, including 8.5 sacks, this season.

must know info

Master Insight “Illinois’ offense has been impressive, but USC is healthy now and out to prove it’s the best team in the nation.” — John Robinson

28

Of USC’s 29 bowl wins, 22 have been in the Rose Bowl. This marks USC’s sixth straight BCS bowl appearance, including a third consecutive Rose Bowl. A win would also give the Trojans their sixth straight Associated Press top four finish.

HAWAII (12-0) S-1 Northern Colorado.... 63-6 S-8 @Lou. Tech.....45-44 (OT) S-15 @UNLV.................... 49-14 S-22 Charleston Southern.66-10 S-29 @Idaho.................... 48-20 O-6 Utah State............... 52-37 O-12 @San Jose St..42-35 (OT) O-27 New Mexico State... 50-13 N-10 Fresno State............ 37-30 N-16 @Nevada................. 28-26 N-23 Boise State.............. 39-27 D-1 Washington............. 35-28

GEORGIA (10-2) S-1 Oklahoma State....... 35-14 S-8 South Carolina........ 12-16 S-15 Western Carolina..... 45-16 S-22 @Alabama.......26-23 (OT) S-29 Ole Miss.................. 45-17 O-6 @Tennessee............ 14-35 O-13 @Vanderbilt............. 20-17 O-27 vs. Florida*............. 42-30 N-3 Troy......................... 44-34 N-10 Auburn.................... 45-20 N-17 Kentucky................. 24-13 N-24 @Georgia Tech........ 31-17 *@Jacksonville’s Municipal Stadium..

Master Insight “Georgia is strong on both sides of the ball, and they will wear down the Warrior defense with freshman phenom running back Knowshon Moreno.” — Vince Dooley

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Quarterback Colt Brennan has thrown for 4,174 yards and 38 touchdowns this year. Earlier this season he became the NCAA alltime leader in TD passes and currently has 131 in his three seasons on the islands.

must know info

Hawaii is playing in just its second bowl ever on the mainland. Warrior fans will travel 4,000 miles to see if their team can maintain the nation’s longest winning streak, which currently stands at 13.


Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

When: January 2, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Glendale, Ariz. TV: FOX Series: Oklahoma leads 2-1 Last meeting: West Virginia won 41-27 in 1982 Line: Oklahoma -6.5

‘Eers Face Battle Between Ears

Big East co-champion WVU faces its toughest opponent. No, not Big 12 kingpin Oklahoma. Rather, the ‘Eers are battling the space between their own ears. Will there be a hangover from the devastating loss to Pitt or will WVU respond on a mission of atonement? Oklahoma returns to the desert scene of the crime where it lost to Boise State last year, so you know the Sooners will be in a surly mood. But if they thought the Bronco offense was dynamic, wait until they see WVU quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton. We’re guessing the duo will be at its best in this one.

Prediction: West Virginia 31-30 OKLAHOMA (11-2) S-1 North Texas............. 79-10 S-8 Miami (FL).............. 51-13 S-15 Utah State................. 54-3 S-21 @Tulsa.................... 62-21 S-29 @Colorado.............. 24-27 O-6 vs. Texas*............... 28-21 O-13 Missouri.................. 41-31 O-20 @Iowa State.............. 17-7 N-3 Texas A&M.............. 42-14 N-10 Baylor...................... 52-21 N-17 @Texas Tech........... 27-34 N-24 Oklahoma State....... 49-17 D-1 Missouri.................. 38-17 Big 12 Championship

WEST VIRGINIA (10-2) S-1 Western Michigan... 62-24 S-8 @Marshall............... 48-23 S-13 @Maryland.............. 31-14 S-22 East Carolina............. 48-7 S-28 @South Florida....... 13-21 O-6 @Syracuse.............. 55-14 O-20 Mississippi State..... 38-13 O-27 @Rutgers.................. 31-3 N-8 Louisville................. 38-31 N-17 @Cincinnati............. 28-23 N-24 Connecticut............. 66-21 D-1 Pittsburgh................. 9-13

Bowl Buster

WVU’s Pat White is one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks. The two-time Big East player of the year has rushed for 1,185 yards (14 TDs) and passed for 1,548 (12 TDs).

must know info

Master Insight “This is a great match-up between two teams with incredible speed. I have a hunch WVU will prevail because Pat White is going to will them to victory.” — Don Nehlen

West Virginia is making its first trip to the Fiesta Bowl since playing Notre Dame for the national championship in 1989, and is in its second BCS bowl in three years. WVU has also posted three consecutive seasons of double-digit wins for the first time in school history.

Virginia Tech vs. Kansas When: January 3, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Miami TV: FOX Series: First meeting Line: Virginia Tech -3

Special Teams Only Thing Special Here

Man, it’s a good thing the Orange Bowl gets to host next season’s national championship because it’s been getting some stinker matchups lately. Last year we snoozed through Louisville-Wake Forest. Now we get. . . Kansas? Even Ohio State is laughing at the Jayhawks’ schedule. Believe it or not, though, this is a battle of top 10 teams, with the nation’s second-ranked scoring defense (Hokies allow 15.5 points per game) going against the nation’s second-ranked scoring offense (Jayhawks score 44.3 points per outing). Frank Beamer’s ‘D’ and special teams will dominate.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 31-10 VIRGINIA TECH (11-2) S-1 East Carolina............. 17-7 S-8 @LSU........................ 7-48 S-15 Ohio.......................... 28-7 S-22 William & Mary......... 44-3 S-29 North Carolina......... 17-10 O-6 @Clemson............... 44-23 O-13 @Duke..................... 43-14 O-25 Boston College........ 10-14 N-1 @Georgia Tech.......... 27-3 N-10 Florida State............ 40-21 N-17 Miami (FL).............. 44-14 N-24 @Virginia................. 33-21 D-1 Boston College........ 30-16 ACC Championship

KANSAS (11-1) S-1 Central Michigan....... 52-7 S-8 SE Louisiana............. 62-0 S-15 Toledo..................... 45-13 S-22 Florida Int.................. 55-3 O-6 @Kansas State........ 30-24 O-13 Baylor...................... 58-10 O-20 @Colorado.............. 19-14 O-27 @Texas A&M........... 19-11 N-3 Nebraska................. 76-39 N-10 @Oklahoma State.... 43-28 N-17 Iowa State................. 45-7 N-24 vs. Missouri*.......... 28-36 *@Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium

must know info

Master Insight “Kansas’ defense will keep them in the game for a while, but Tech’s defense and special teams will ultimately prevail.” — Don James

Bowl Buster

First team All-American linebacker Xavier Adibi leads Virginia Tech with 99 tackles, including 11 for losses.

Frank Beamer, whose Va. Tech team won the ACC title for the second time in three years, is the nation’s thirdwinningest active coach with 209 victories. Tech is one of only two teams (USC) to win at least 10 games in each of the past four seasons.

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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Bowl Bits! NATIONAL

The Big Ten is sending two schools (Illinois and Ohio State) to BCS games for the seventh time in the 10-year history of the system and the fifth time in the last six seasons … Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 17 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. The SEC ranks second with 15 BCS appearances, followed by the Big 12 (14), Pac-10 (12), ACC (10) and Big East (10) … The Big Ten’s eight bowl bids matches the conference record set following the 2003 campaign. Iowa and Northwestern were also bowl-eligible but were not invited to a bowl … The regular season began with Mountaineer glory (Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32) and ended with Mountaineer agony (Pitt 13, West Virginia 9) … Kansas started the season with no votes in the Associated Press poll and is in the Orange Bowl … Notre Dame went from a BCS bowl last year to 3-9 this season … More points will likely be scored and more yardage

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compiled than any season in college football history. However, the BCS Championship matches a team with the nation’s third-best (LSU) defense against the team (Ohio State) with the best … Eight teams were No. 2 this season. Six lost to unranked teams … Since October 7 when Cal became No. 2, second-ranked teams have gone 10-18. The last three AP No. 2’s (Oregon, Kansas and WVU) have gone 0-5 since … Thirteen top five teams lost to unranked opponents, including eight at home … How important is conference affiliation? Hawaii began the season ranked 23rd and as the nation’s only unbeaten is now at 10th, its highest ranking of the season. Remember that we have a twoloss team playing for the national title. Hawaii’s problem? The Warriors didn’t play anybody. Now consider Kansas. The Jayhawks went from unranked with no votes to as high as No. 2 nationally, despite playing

a schedule of comparable strength to Hawaii’s. Makes no sense, other than Kansas is in a BCS Conference, the Big 12, and Hawaii (Western Athletic Conference) isn’t … Missouri beat two BCS bowl teams (Illinois and Kansas) and played for the Big 12 title (losing a second time to Oklahoma) but is relegated to the once-proud but now forgotten Cotton Bowl … Either Ohio State or LSU will become the first twotime BCS National Champion. The

a Michigan player against Ohio State (1974-75) and 6-3-1 as an assistant coach (1980-81, 1987-94) … Miles was the head coach at Oklahoma State in 2004 when his Cowboys were hammed by the Buckeyes, 33-7, in the MasterCard Alamo Bowl … Ohio State joins Florida State (1998-2000) and Oklahoma (2000, 2003-04) as the only three-time participants in the BCS Championship game … The Big Ten has a golden opportunity to prove it’s not the down conference it’s accused of being. Wisconsin faces SEC runner-up Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, Michigan gets last year’s national champ, Florida, in the Capital One Bowl, Michigan State takes on ACC runner-up Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl, Illinois tackles USC in the Rose Bowl, and of course, Ohio State battles LSU for the national title … Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin said he is looking for the “next Lloyd Carr” for the vacant coaching position. That’s certainly music to the ears of Buckeye Nation … Ohio State is ranked first in total defense nationally, LSU third, thus suggesting a low-scoring national

Ohio State joins Florida State (1998-2000) and Oklahoma (2000, 2003-04) as the only three-time participants in the BCS Championship game. first nine BCS title games have produced nine different winners … LSU won the 2003 BCS title in the New Orleans Super Dome, just 65 miles from its campus in Baton Rouge. The Superdome is the site of this year’s title game as well … LSU could become the first two-loss team in history to win a national championship … LSU Coach Les Miles went 0-2 as

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

Continued on page 54


Navy vs. Utah

Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

When: December 20, 2007 Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Diego, Calif. TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Utah – 8.5

When: December 21, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: New Orleans TV: ESPN2 Series: First meeting Line: Florida Atlantic -2.5

Johnson Has Jumped Ship!

Another Florida School To Worry About

Paul Johnson has jumped ship and Navy may never be the same. In six seasons, the master of the triple option spread offense took the Middies’ program to new heights. He posted an 11-1 record against Army and Air Force and won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy five consecutive seasons. He also ended the program’s NCAArecord 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame this year. But Johnson is taking over at Georgia Tech and won’t even be around to coach against a hot Utah team that has won seven of its last eight games and ranks second nationally in scoring defense (15.5 avg.).

Howard Schnellenberger has done it again. The man is unbelievable. After building Miami (FL) and Louisville into national powers, Howie has worked his magic a third time, at little ole Florida Atlantic. But this time he did it from scratch. That’s right, Schnellenberger literally launched the Owl program in 2001, and six years later it has become the fastest start-up program to earn a bowl berth. The Tigers are on a mission, though, having won five of six games since the tragic shooting death of one of its players. Thus, we’re emotionally torn on this one. Coin flip.

Prediction: Utah 34-17 NAVY (8-4) A-31 @Temple................. 30-19 S-7 @Rutgers................ 27-41 S-15 Ball State.........31-34 (OT) S-22 Duke........................ 46-43 S-29 Air Force.................. 31-20 O-10 @Pittsburgh....48-45 (OT) O-20 Wake Forest............ 24-44 O-27 Delaware................. 52-59 N-3 @Notre Dame.. 46-44 (OT) N-10 @North Texas.......... 74-62 N-17 Northern Illinois...... 35-24 D-1 vs. Army.................... 38-3 **@Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium

UTAH (8-4) A-30 @Oregon State.......... 7-24 S-8 Air Force.................. 12-20 S-15 UCLA......................... 44-6 S-22 @UNLV...................... 0-27 S-29 Utah State............... 34-18 O-5 @Louisville.............. 44-35 O-13 San Diego State........ 23-7 O-18 @TCU...................... 27-20 O-27 @Colorado State....... 27-3 N-3 Bye N-10 Wyoming................... 50-0 N-17 New Mexico............ 28-10 N-24 @BYU...................... 10-17

Prediction: Memphis 27-24

Bowl Buster

Utah’s Louis Sakoda is the nation’s only dual starting punter/placekicker to rank in the top five nationally in punting and kicking. He averages 44.8 yards per punt and has made 19 of 22 field goals.

must know info

Master Insight “With its coach gone, Navy has lost 25 percent of its team for this game. Utah has played very well and will roll in this one.” — Dick MacPherson

Navy and Utah are making their 14th and 13th bowl appearances, respectively, and both are in the postseason a school-record fifth consecutive season. The Utes have the nation’s secondlongest bowl win streak (six), dating back to 1999.

MEMPHIS (7-5) S-1 Ole Miss.................. 21-23 S-8 @Arkansas State........PPD S-15 Jacksonville State.... 35-14 S-22 @Central Florida...... 20-56 S-29 @Arkansas State..... 31-35 O-2 Marshall.................. 24-21 O-13 Mid. Tennessee St..... 7-21 O-20 @Rice...................... 38-35 O-27 @Tulane.................. 28-27 N-3 East Carolina........... 40-56 N-10 @Southern Miss..... 29-26 N-17 UAB........................... 25-9 N-24 SMU..............55-52 (3OT)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (7-5) S-1 Mid. Tennessee St... 27-14 S-8 @Oklahoma State...... 6-42 S-15 Minnesota............... 42-39 S-22 @North Texas.......... 30-20 S-29 @Kentucky.............. 17-45 O-6 South Florida........... 23-35 O-20 @Lou.-Lafa......39-32 (OT) O-27 Lou.-Monroe...30-33 (OT) N-3 Bye N-10 Arkansas State........ 34-31 N-17 @Florida.................. 20-59 N-24 @Florida Int............. 55-23 D-1 @Troy...................... 38-32

Master Insight “Florida Atlantic is playing well of late, but Memphis is much more physical and has too much talent for the Owls to keep up with.” — Vince Dooley

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Sophomore wide receiver Duke Calhoun leads Memphis with 58 receptions for 850 yards and five TDs. He’s had four 100-yard receiving games this season, and has caught a pass in 23 straight games.

must know info

OK, maybe this isn’t ‘must-know’ stuff but it shows how deep sports info departments will dig to impress: Memphis is just one of seven schools nationally which will have participated in a football bowl, NCAA basketball tournament and NCAA baseball tourney in the 2007 calendar year.

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Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Birmingham, Ala. TV: ESPN2 Series: Tied at 7-7 Last meeting: Cincinnati won 52-24 in 2004 Line: Cincinnati -11

A Southern Miss At Southern Miss

If you can’t earn a bowl bid, start one of your own. That’s what Boise State did several years ago, and now the folks at New Mexico have followed suit. This is the second year for this charade, and surprise, surprise, the hometown Lobos have been invited to participate in their own stadium each time. The irony here is that New Mexico is actually pretty good (three of four losses were by a combined seven points), and is actually deserving of a trip out of the state. The Lobos were 5-1 at home this year, and should have no problem handling the fangless Wolfpack.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34-28

Prediction: New Mexico 34-20

Bowl Buster

CINCINNATI (9-3) A-30 SE Missouri State...... 59-3 S-6 Oregon State............. 34-3 S-15 @Miami (OH).......... 47-10 S-22 Marshall.................. 40-14 S-29 @San Diego State... 52-23 O-6 @Rutgers................ 28-23 O-13 Louisville................. 24-28 O-20 @Pittsburgh............ 17-24 O-27 Bye N-3 @South Florida....... 38-33 N-10 Connecticut............... 27-3 N-17 West Virginia........... 23-28 N-24 @Syracuse.............. 52-31

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Albuquerque, N.M. TV: ESPN Series: New Mexico leads 1-0-1 Last meeting: Teams played to a scoreless tie in 1943 Line: New Mexico -3

There’s No Place Like Home

Talk about a southern miss at Southern Miss. For sure, the administration missed the boat big-time when it pushed Coach Jeff Bower out the door after 17 years. Bower led the program to 14 winning seasons and 10 bowls. Someone needs to remind the Golden Eagle braintrust this is Southern Miss, not Michigan. Then again, no one wants the Michigan job, either. Well, we hope UC’s Brian Kelly doesn’t. We’re worried he will, though, because he can’t be thrilled with playing in dreary Birmingham after leading his team to nine wins. After all, just eight wins at Michigan gets you a trip to Disneyworld. SOUTHERN MISS (7-5) S-1 Tennessee-Martin.... 35-13 S-8 @Tennessee............ 19-39 S-15 @East Carolina........ 28-21 S-27 @Boise State........... 16-38 O-3 Rice......................... 29-31 O-13 SMU.......................... 28-7 O-21 @Marshall............... 33-24 O-28 Central Florida......... 17-34 N-3 @UAB........................ 37-7 N-10 Memphis................. 26-29 N-17 @UTEP.................... 56-30 N-24 Arkansas State........ 16-10

Nevada vs. New Mexico

UC’s Brian Kelly is the Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bearcats to their fourth nine-win season in school history and No. 22 ranking in the BCS standings.

must know info

Master Insight “Brian Kelly is one of the nation’s finest coaches, whereas Southern Miss let their coach go. Big advantage to Cincinnati.” — John Cooper

Though the NCAA recognizes the Rose Bowl in 1902 as being the first actual bowl game, UC has records indicating the Bearcats played in and won a bowl game in New Orleans five years earlier. To note, UC beat Ohio State, 34-0, during that regular season.

NEVADA (6-6) S-1 @Nebraska.............. 10-52 S-8 @Northwestern....... 31-36 S-15 Nicholls State.......... 52-17 S-29 UNLV....................... 27-20 O-6 Fresno State............ 41-49 O-14 @Boise State........... 67-69 O-20 @Utah State............ 31-28 O-27 Idaho....................... 37-21 N-2 @New Mexico St..... 40-38 N-16 Hawaii..................... 26-28 N-24 @San Jose State..... 24-27 D-1 Louisiana Tech........ 49-10

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When: December 23, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Honolulu TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Boise State -10.5

We at TWIF admit to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even we wouldn’t be so stupid to invite Boise State to this bowl. After all, the Broncos and their legion of fans just traveled to the islands a month ago when they lost the WAC title to Hawaii. Exactly how many of those fans will want to return so soon? We’re told about 200. No kidding. Boise State is far superior to its Conference USA foe, but we’d like to see Skip Holtz (that’s Lou’s boy, you know) get a win and perhaps a better job. We’re thinking upset.

Prediction: East Carolina 31-28

Prediction: BYU 31-13

Bowl Buster

UCLA’s Bruce Davis, one of the nation’s best defensive ends, has 12 tackles for losses, including 9.5 sacks, nine pass break-ups and has forced a fumble this season.

must know info

Master Insight “Brigham Young couldn’t be playing any better right now, while the Bruins have been up and down all year with too many injuries. BYU should win handily.” — LaVell Edwards

New Mexico is the only Mountain West Conference team to be bowl eligible each of the last seven seasons. However, the Lobos have lost five straight bowls, with their last win being in the 1961 Aviation Bowl (Dayton, Ohio).

Hawaii’s Nice, But Not Every Month!

Once upon a time, leading a team to a bowl game was usually followed by a pay raise and contract extension for a coach. Of course, these days when 6-6 gets you a bowl trip, that’s not exactly cause for jubilation. Thus, UCLA’s Karl Dorrell was canned after five seasons and he isn’t coaching in this bowl. In fairness, the Bruins have been decimated by injuries, at one time playing a fourth stringer at quarterback. But such is life, and life is good in Provo, as the 17th-ranked Cougars have won nine straight games, the secondlongest streak in the nation. Make it a perfect 10. UCLA (6-6) S-1 @Stanford............... 45-17 S-8 BYU......................... 27-17 S-15 @Utah....................... 6-44 S-22 Washington............. 44-31 S-29 @Oregon State........ 40-14 O-6 Notre Dame............... 6-20 O-20 California................. 30-21 O-27 @Washington St....... 7-27 N-3 @Arizona................. 27-34 N-10 Arizona State........... 20-24 N-24 Oregon...................... 16-0 D-1 @USC........................ 7-24

must know info

Boise State vs. East Carolina

When: December 22, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Las Vegas TV: ESPN Series: UCLA leads 7-1 Last meeting: UCLA won 27-17 in September Line: BYU -6.5

BYU (10-2) S-1 Arizona...................... 20-7 S-8 @UCLA.................... 17-27 S-15 @Tulsa.................... 47-55 S-22 Air Force.................... 31-6 S-29 @New Mexico......... 31-24 O-13 @UNLV.................... 24-14 O-20 Eastern Washington.. 42-7 N-3 Colorado State........ 35-16 N-8 TCU......................... 27-22 N-17 @Wyoming............. 35-10 N-24 Utah........................ 17-10 D-1 @San Diego State... 48-27

Bowl Buster

New Mexico running back Rodney Ferguson, a first team All-MWC selection two years in a row, had 180 total yards in last year’s New Mexico Bowl loss to San Jose State.

Master Insight “Nevada is strong offensively, but New Mexico is even better defensively. Home field advantage is huge in this game as well.” — LaVell Edwards

BYU vs. UCLA

Make A Bowl, Get Fired

NEW MEXICO (8-4) S-1 @UTEP...................... 6-10 S-8 New Mexico St........ 44-34 S-15 @Arizona................. 29-27 S-22 Sacramento State...... 50-0 S-29 BYU......................... 24-31 O-13 @Wyoming............... 20-3 O-20 @San Diego State... 20-17 O-25 Air Force.................. 34-31 N-3 @TCU........................ 0-37 N-10 Colorado State........ 26-23 N-17 @Utah..................... 10-28 N-24 UNLV......................... 27-6

UCLA defeated BYU, 27-17, the second game of the season in Los Angeles, when the Bruins were ranked 11th in the country. The teams will meet again, in Provo, early next season, marking their third meeting within a calendar year.

BOISE STATE (10-2) A-30 Weber State............... 56-7 S-8 @Washington . ....... 10-24 S-15 Wyoming................. 24-14 S-27 Southern Miss......... 38-16 O-7 New Mexico State..... 58-0 O-14 Nevada.................... 69-67 O-20 @Louisiana Tech..... 45-31 O-26 @Fresno State......... 34-21 N-3 San Jose State.......... 42-7 N-10 @Utah State.............. 52-0 N-17 Idaho....................... 58-14 N-23 @Hawaii.................. 27-39

EAST CAROLINA (7-5) S-1 @Virginia Tech.......... 7-17 S-8 North Carolina......... 34-31 S-15 Southern Miss......... 21-28 S-22 @West Virginia.......... 7-48 S-29 @Houston............... 37-35 O-6 Central Florida......... 52-38 O-13 @UTEP............45-42 (OT) O-20 N.C. State................ 20-34 O-27 UAB........................... 41-6 N-3 @Memphis.............. 56-40 N-10 @Marshall................. 7-26 N-24 Tulane...................... 35-12

Master Insight “Boise State usually plays well in bowl games, and they’re familiar with the setting. East Carolina will suffer from having to travel halfway around the globe to play.” — John Robinson

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

East Carolina’s Chris Johnson is the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight season. He leads the nation in career-all-purpose yardage and kickoff return yardage.

must know info

No. 24 Boise State is playing in its sixth straight bowl and eighth in nine years. Four of those bowl ‘trips’ were to their own stadium (Humanitarian and MPC Computers bowls), where they won three times.


Purdue vs. Central Michigan

When: December 26, 2007 Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT Where: Detroit TV: ESPN Series: Purdue leads 3-0 Last meeting: Purdue won 45-22 in September Line: Purdue -9

Boilers Pride Of The MAC

If you’ve never been to San Diego, go. Beautiful city, always great weather. If you’ve never watched the Holiday Bowl, do so. Entertaining games, always great weather. Of the 29 Holiday Bowls, 17 have had margins of a touchdown or less and the outcome of 19 was decided in the final two minutes. Texas likes this game so much that it’s here for the fourth time this decade. Texas isn’t as good as its 9-3 record, as sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy had a shaky season, throwing a Big 12-worst 18 interceptions. ASU, behind heady signal-caller Rudy Carpenter, is as good as its 10-2 record.

Prediction: Central Michigan 34-24 CENTRAL MICHIGAN (8-5) S-1 @Kansas................... 7-52 S-8 Toledo..................... 52-31 S-15 @Purdue................. 22-45 S-22 North Dakota State.. 14-44 S-29 Northern Illinois...... 35-10 O-6 @Ball State.............. 58-38 O-13 Army....................... 47-23 O-20 @Clemson............... 14-70 O-27 @Kent State............ 41-32 N-6 @West. Michigan.... 34-31 N-16 Eastern Michigan.... 45-48 N-23 @Akron................... 35-32 D-1 Miami (OH)............. 35-10 MAC Championship

Prediction: Arizona State 31-27

Bowl Buster

In the regular season win over CMU, Boiler quarterback Curtis Painter completed 29 of 39 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns.

must know info

Master Insight “When getting to play the Big Ten, MAC teams do so with ferocious hunger. Purdue should win, but if they mess around. . .” — Bill Mallory

When: December 27, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Diego TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Texas -2

Long Day For Longhorns

Thinking about attending one of the 32 bowls? Well, we have a deal for you. For what it would cost you to scalp just one ticket to watch Ohio State play in the national title game, you can treat 40 of your closest friends to see Purdue and Central Michigan tangle for the second time this season, in the ever-popular winter getaway destination of Detroit. You’re welcome. Purdue was 3-0 against MidAmerican Conference teams this year, and a repeat over the MAC champions would give the Boilers, uh, uh, geez, we got nothin.’ Purdue doesn’t want to be here, CMU does. PURDUE (7-5) S-1 @Toledo.................. 52-24 S-8 Eastern Illinois.......... 52-6 S-15 Central Michigan..... 45-22 S-22 @Minnesota............ 45-31 S-29 Notre Dame............. 33-19 O-6 Ohio State................. 7-23 O-13 @Michigan.............. 21-48 O-20 Iowa.......................... 31-6 O-27 Northwestern.......... 35-17 N-3 @Penn State........... 19-26 N-10 Michigan State........ 31-48 N-17 @Indiana................. 24-27

Arizona State vs. Texas

Detroit’s Ford Field is a short drive from the CMU campus. The Chippewas defeated Middle Tennessee State last season before a Motor City Bowl-record 54,113 fans, thus essentially making this a home game for Central Michigan against Purdue.

ARIZONA STATE (10-2) S-1 San Jose State.......... 45-3 S-8 Colorado.................. 33-14 S-15 San Diego State...... 34-13 S-22 Oregon State........... 44-32 S-29 @Stanford................. 41-3 O-6 @Washington St..... 23-20 O-13 Washington............. 44-20 O-27 California................. 31-20 N-3 @Oregon................. 23-35 N-10 @UCLA.................... 24-20 N-22 USC......................... 24-44 D-1 Arizona.................... 20-17

TEXAS (9-3) S-1 Arkansas State........ 21-13 S-8 TCU......................... 34-13 S-15 @Central Florida...... 35-32 S-22 Rice......................... 58-14 S-29 Kansas State........... 21-44 O-6 vs. Oklahoma*........ 21-28 O-13 @Iowa State.............. 56-3 O-20 @Baylor................... 31-10 O-27 Nebraska................. 28-25 N-3 @Oklahoma State.... 38-35 N-10 Texas Tech............... 59-43 N-23 @Texas A&M........... 30-38

Master Insight “Dennis Erickson will have the Sun Devils properly prepared, but Texas simply has more horses. Should be a great game, though.” — Frank Kush

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Arizona State’s Thomas Weber is the 2007 Lou Groza Award winner, given to the nation’s top kicker. A redshirt freshman, he has made 22 of 23 field goals for the Pac-10 co-champions.

must know info

First-year ASU Coach Dennis Erickson is the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He is the only man to win the award at three different schools, and joins John Cooper (1986) and Bruce Snyder (1996) as other Sun Devil coaches to earn the honor.

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Boston College vs. Michigan State When: December 28, 2007 Time: 5:00 p.m. EDT Where: Orlando, Fla. TV: ESPN Series: Boston College leads 3-1-1 Last meeting: Michigan State won 25-21 in 1995 Line: Boston College -3.5

If The Big Ten Is So Awful. . .

There’s nothing quite like a Mountain West-Conference USA showdown, eh? Yawn. What we have is another made-for-local-teamsabomination that celebrates mediocrity while pumping a few mill into the local economy. The Horned Frogs thought they were going to be this year’s Boise State and go to a BCS bowl, but someone forgot to tell Coach Gary Patterson’s defense. The future must not be very bright in Cougar country, either, as Coach Art Briles just bolted to take the same position at Baylor. No wonder this game is on the NFL Network. For you 18 subscribers, enjoy.

Prediction: Michigan State 35-27 MICHIGAN STATE (7-5) S-1 UAB......................... 55-18 S-8 Bowling Green......... 28-17 S-15 Pittsburgh............... 17-13 S-22 @Notre Dame.......... 31-14 S-29 @Wisconsin............ 34-37 O-6 Northwestern.......... 41-48 O-13 Indiana.................... 52-27 O-20 @Ohio State............ 17-24 O-27 @Iowa.............27-34 (OT) N-3 Michigan................. 24-28 N-10 @Purdue................. 48-31 N-17 Penn State............... 35-31

Prediction: Houston 34-31

Bowl Buster

Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, the ACC Player of the Year, ranked eighth nationally in total offense with an average of 329.5 yards per game.

must know info

Master Insight “I can’t envision Michigan State moving the ball on Boston College’s highly-ranked defense, and BC will win because it has better players.” — John Cooper

Boston College has won seven consecutive bowls, the longest current streak in the nation. The Eagles, who started the season 8-0 for the first time since 1942, have also posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in school history.

Maryland vs. Oregon State

must know info

Master Insight “Even though it’s basically a home game for Houston, the Cougars will be distracted by the loss of their coach. Look for TCU to score a lot of points in this one.” — Gene Stallings

Prior to a 1998 Sun Bowl win over USC in Coach Gary Patterson’s first year at TCU, the Horned Frogs had gone 41 years without a bowl victory since defeating Jim Brown and Syracuse, 28-27, in the 1957 Cotton Bowl.

For the second straight season Wake Forest faces the Big East champion in a bowl. OK, so this isn’t nearly as sexy as the FedEx Orange Bowl in which the Demon Deacons lost to Louisville last year. But you have to give Coach Jim Grobe credit. He’s not a oneyear wonder. As for the Huskies, they’ve only been playing D-I ball since the turn of the century. It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished in such a short time. Wake fans only have to travel 80 miles, so they’ll have home field advantage. They’ll need it.

Prediction: Wake Forest 24-23

Prediction: Maryland 24-23

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Bowl Buster

Houston’s Donnie Avery, a first team Conference USA selection, led his team in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,336), and paced the conference in receptions (6.75) and yards (111.3) per game.

Not Exactly Déjà vu For Wake

In the only bowl featuring an ACC-Pac-10 match-up, both Maryland and Oregon State come into this game as two of the hottest teams in the country no one knows anything about. Both have knocked off top 10 teams. The Terps offense, decimated by injuries in the regular season (only three players started all 12 games), came together and averaged 424 yards during the final three games, including a season-high 472 in the upset of No. 8 Boston College. The Beavers, meanwhile, won six of their last seven with a stifling defense, holding opponents to an average of 75 yards rushing.

Bowl Buster

Maryland junior linebacker Erin Henderson averaged 11 tackles per game and recovered four fumbles, both tops in the ACC. The first team all-conference selection also had an interception.

must know info

Master Insight “Maryland started slowly but has come on strong because of an aggressive defense. The Beavers are also on a roll, but the better defense usually wins bowls.” — Don Nehlen

HOUSTON (8-4) S-1 @Oregon................. 27-48 S-15 @Tulane.................. 34-10 S-22 Colorado State........ 38-27 S-29 East Carolina........... 35-37 O-6 @Alabama............... 24-30 O-13 Rice......................... 56-48 O-20 @UAB...................... 49-10 O-27 @UTEP.................... 34-31 N-4 SMU........................ 38-28 N-10 @Tulsa...................... 7-56 N-17 Marshall.................. 35-28 N-24 Texas Southern......... 59-6

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Charlotte, N.C. TV: ESPN Series: Tied 1-1 Last meeting: Wake Forest won 24-13 in 2006 Line: Wake Forest -3

Hottest Teams You Know Nothing About

OREGON STATE (8-4) A-30 Utah.......................... 24-7 S-6 @Cincinnati............... 3-34 S-15 Idaho State.............. 61-10 S-22 @Arizona State........ 32-44 S-29 UCLA....................... 14-40 O-6 Arizona.................... 31-16 O-13 @California.............. 31-28 O-27 Stanford.................... 23-6 N-3 @USC........................ 3-24 N-10 Washington............. 29-23 N-17 @Washington St..... 52-17 D-1 @Oregon.......38-31 (2OT)

TCU (7-5) S-1 Baylor........................ 27-0 S-8 @Texas.................... 13-34 S-13 @Air Force......17-20 (OT) S-22 SMU.......................... 21-7 S-29 Colorado State........ 24-12 O-6 @Wyoming............. 21-24 O-13 @Stanford............... 38-36 O-18 Utah........................ 20-27 N-3 New Mexico.............. 37-0 N-8 @BYU...................... 22-27 N-17 UNLV....................... 34-10 N-24 @San Diego State... 45-33

UConn vs. Wake Forest

When: December 28, 2007 Time: 8:30 p.m. EDT Where: San Francisco TV: ESPN Series: First meeting Line: Oregon State -4.5

MARYLAND (6-6) S-1 Villanova.................. 31-14 S-8 @Florida Int............. 26-10 S-13 West Virginia........... 14-31 S-22 @Wa. Forest..... 24-31(OT) S-29 @Rutgers................ 34-24 O-6 Georgia Tech........... 28-26 O-20 Virginia.................... 17-18 O-27 Clemson.................. 17-30 N-3 @North Carolina...... 13-16 N-10 Boston College........ 42-35 N-17 @Florida State......... 16-24 N-24 @N.C. State............... 37-0

When: December 28, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Houston TV: NFL Network Series: Houston leads 13-11 Last meeting: TCU won 34-27 in 2004 Line: TCU -3.5

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yuk!

We’re confused. Consider: Boston College, once ranked No. 2 nationally and featuring one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, just missed out on a BCS bowl when it lost the ACC Championship game. Meanwhile, Michigan State finished a dismal eighth in the supposedly awful Big Ten. Now, this is why we’re scratching our heads: BC is just a 3.5-point favorite to beat the Spartans. Hmmm. Suggestions anyone? Perhaps the narrow spread is because the Spartans won their last two games while BC has dropped three of five. And then there’s MSU running back Javon Ringer. The Eagles won’t be able to stop him. BOSTON COLLEGE (10-3) S-1 Wake Forest............ 38-28 S-8 N.C. State................ 37-17 S-15 @Georgia Tech........ 24-10 S-22 Army....................... 37-17 S-29 Massachusetts........ 24-14 O-6 Bowling Green......... 55-24 O-13 @Notre Dame.......... 27-14 O-25 @Virginia Tech........ 14-10 N-3 Florida State............ 17-27 N-10 @Maryland.............. 35-42 N-17 @Clemson............... 20-17 N-24 Miami (FL).............. 28-14 D-1 Virginia Tech........... 16-30 ACC Championship

TCU vs. Houston

Maryland’s last game in the state of California was in 1954, a 12-7 loss at UCLA. Oregon State’s last ACC opponent was No. 2 Duke in the 1942 Rose Bowl, played in Durham, N.C., due to World War II.

CONNECTICUT (9-3) S-1 @Duke..................... 45-14 S-8 Maine........................ 38-0 S-15 Temple..................... 22-17 S-22 @Pittsburgh............ 34-14 S-29 Akron...................... 44-10 O-13 @Virginia................. 16-17 O-19 Louisville................. 21-17 O-27 South Florida........... 22-15 N-3 Rutgers................... 38-19 N-10 @Cincinnati............... 3-27 N-17 Syracuse................... 30-7 N-24 @West Virginia........ 21-66

WAKE FOREST (8-4) S-1 @Boston College..... 28-38 S-8 Nebraska................. 17-20 S-15 Army....................... 21-10 S-22 Maryland.........31-24 (OT) O-6 @Duke..................... 41-36 O-11 Florida State............ 24-21 O-20 @Navy..................... 44-24 O-27 North Carolina......... 37-10 N-3 @Virginia................. 16-17 N-10 @Clemson............... 10-44 N-17 N.C. State................ 38-18 N-24 @Vanderbilt............. 31-17

Master Insight “These are two well-coached teams. Wake may be surprised by how good UConn is, so look for the Huskies to surprise early. But Wake will pull it out in the end.” — Dick MacPherson

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Wake Forest center Steve Justice was named to the AFCA All-American team. The 6-4, 284-pounder was also named AllACC for the second consecutive year. He has started 37 consecutive games.

must know info Wake Forest and UConn have two common opponents. Both teams beat Duke in Durham and, in an eerie coincidence, both lost at Virginia by an identical 17-16 score.


UCF vs. Mississippi State

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 4:30 p.m. EDT Where: Memphis, Tenn. TV: ESPN Series: Mississippi State leads 1-0 Last meeting: Mississippi State won 35-28 in 1997 Line: UCF -3

Coaching Does Make A Difference

Without question, Penn State and Texas A&M are looking ahead to next season. After all, the Nittany Lions will return 21 starters, along with both specialists. Gone will be the team’s weakest link, quarterback Anthony Morelli. Despite his so-so play, the Lions hung tough in all but one game, with three losses being by seven points or less. The Aggies will ring in a new era with Coach Mike Sherman. He’s currently finishing the NFL season as an assistant with the NFL’s Houston Texans. These teams met in the 1999 Alamo Bowl, with the Nittany Lions rolling to a 24-0 victory. Look for an encore performance.

Prediction: UCF 27-17

MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-5) A-30 LSU........................... 0-45 S-8 @Tulane.................. 38-17 S-15 @Auburn................. 19-14 S-22 Garner-Webb........... 31-15 S-29 @South Carolina..... 21-38 O-6 UAB......................... 30-13 O-13 Tennessee............... 21-33 O-20 @West Virginia........ 13-38 O-27 @Kentucky.............. 31-14 N-10 Alabama.................. 17-12 N-17 @Arkansas.............. 31-45 N-23 Ole Miss.................. 17-14

Prediction: Penn State 31-21

Bowl Buster

UCF junior running back Kevin Smith is the nation’s leading rusher and scorer, averaging 188 yards (2,448 total yards) and 14 points per game. If he gains 181 yards in the bowl, he’ll become the all-time single-season rusher leader, surpassing Barry Sanders.

must know info

Master Insight “Central Florida will win because it has much better overall team speed. Plus, Mississippi State starts a freshman at quarterback. Not good.” — Pat Dye

When: December 29, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: San Antonio TV: ESPN Series: Penn State leads 2-1 Last meeting: Penn State won 24-0 in the 1999 Alamo Bowl Line: Penn State -5.5

Just Wait Until Next Year

Now this is what a bowl is supposed to be about: a reward for outstanding effort. These teams have progressed tremendously under fourth-year coaches. UCF’s George O’Leary is the Conference USA Coach of the Year, and MSU’s Sylvester Croom should be getting the same award in the SEC. Fans of both schools are thrilled, as the game is a sellout. UCF running back Kevin Smith is the real deal. He gashed Texas’ defense for 173 yards, so he’ll easily get that and more against the Bulldogs. By the way, look for Croom, the SEC’s first black coach, to replace some guy named Saban at Alabama in about three years or so. CENTRAL FLORIDA (10-3) S-1 @N.C. State............. 25-23 S-15 Texas....................... 32-35 S-22 Memphis................. 56-20 S-29 Lou.-Lafayette......... 37-19 O-6 @East Carolina........ 38-52 O-13 @Southern Florida.. 12-64 O-20 Tulsa........................ 44-23 O-28 @Southern Miss..... 34-17 N-3 Marshall.................. 47-13 N-10 @UAB...................... 45-31 N-17 @SMU..................... 49-20 N-24 UTEP....................... 36-20 D-1 Tulane...................... 44-25 C-USA Championship

Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Coach George O’Leary guided UCF to its second 10-win season and first C-USA title in school history. The Knights are playing in just their second bowl ever.

PENN STATE (8-4) S-1 Florida Int.................. 59-0 S-8 Notre Dame............. 31-10 S-15 Buffalo..................... 45-24 S-22 @Michigan................ 9-14 S-29 @Illinois.................. 20-27 O-6 Iowa.......................... 27-7 O-13 Wisconsin................. 38-7 O-20 @Indiana................. 36-31 O-27 Ohio State............... 17-37 N-3 Purdue.................... 26-19 N-10 @Temple................... 31-0 N-17 @Michigan State..... 31-35

TEXAS A&M (7-5) S-1 Montana State........... 38-7 S-8 Fresno St.........47-45 (OT) S-15 Lou.-Monroe........... 54-14 S-20 @Miami (FL)........... 17-34 S-29 Baylor...................... 34-10 O-6 Oklahoma State....... 24-23 O-13 @Texas Tech............. 7-35 O-20 @Nebraska.............. 36-14 O-27 Kansas.................... 11-19 N-3 @Oklahoma............. 14-42 N-10 @Missouri............... 26-40 N-23 Texas....................... 38-30

Master Insight “Joe Paterno has always been excellent at preparing his team for bowl games. And we have yet another bowl with a team that is distracted by a coaching change. Lions win.” — R.C. Slocum

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Dan Connor, Penn State’s all-time leading tackler with 410 stops, is the winner of the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player. The first team All-American also leads the Big Ten with 136 tackles.

must know info

Penn State’s Joe Paterno is coaching his 500th game; Texas A&M’s Gary Darnell is coaching his first as the Aggies’ interim coach. Darnell, the team’s defensive coordinator, replaces Dennis Franchione, who resigned.

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


Alabama vs. Colorado

California vs. Air Force

When: December 30, 2007 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Shreveport, La. TV: ESPN Series: Tied at 1-1 Last meeting: Alabama won 30-25 in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl Line: Alabama -3.5

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 12:30 p.m. EDT Where: Fort Worth, Texas TV: ESPN Series: California leads 5-2 Last meeting: Cal won 56-14 in 2004 Line: Cal -3.5

Where’s The Six-Million Dollar Man?

Falcons Goes To Ground Attack

For two more million, Alabama could have gotten Lee Majors as its coach, and he could have used some of his bionic powers to produce at least a win or two more than Nick Saban did this year. If you’re clueless, ask your parents. They’ll catch you up to speed on TV shows from the 70’s. Shreveport welcomes two tradition-rich programs that won the minimum number of games to be bowl-eligible. The Tide has dropped four straight, while the Buffs have been up and down all season. We love the thought of Saban finishing his first season with a losing record!

Air Force has won six of its last seven games. Cal dropped six of its last seven. The Bears were national title contenders in midOctober, so you can just imagine how excited they are to be playing a service academy in Fort Worth. The game features two of the nation’s most exciting running backs, Air Force’s Chad Hall and Cal’s Justin Forsett. Each has rushed for more than 1,400 yards. One of the nation’s top rushing teams, the Academy is unbeaten when Hall gets his 100 yards. That doesn’t bode well for a Cal defense that allows, on average, four yards a carry.

Prediction: Colorado 23-20 ALABAMA (6-6) S-1 Western Carolina....... 52-6 S-8 @Vanderbilt............. 24-10 S-15 Arkansas................. 41-38 S-22 Georgia............23-26 (OT) S-29 @Florida State......... 14-21 O-6 Houston.................. 30-24 O-13 @Ole Miss............... 27-24 O-20 Tennessee............... 41-17 O-27 Bye N-3 LSU......................... 34-41 N-10 @Mississippi St...... 12-17 N-17 Lou.-Monroe........... 14-21 N-24 @Auburn................. 10-17

COLORADO (6-6) S-1 vs. Colo. St.*...31-28 (OT) S-8 @Arizona State........ 14-33 S-15 Florida State.............. 6-16 S-22 Miami (OH) .............. 42-0 S-29 Oklahoma................ 27-24 O-6 @Baylor................... 43-23 O-13 @Kansas State........ 20-47 O-20 Kansas.................... 14-19 O-27 @Texas Tech........... 31-26 N-3 Missouri.................. 10-55 N-10 @Iowa State............ 28-31 N-23 Nebraska................. 65-51 *@Denver’s Invesco Field

Prediction: Air Force 27-21

Bowl Buster

Linebacker Jordon Dizon is the first Colorado player to be named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He has 160 tackles, second-most nationally.

must know info

Master Insight “Neither team played a tough schedule and neither impressed me during the season. Alabama will win because it has more overall talent.” — Gene Stallings

Alabama is playing in the same bowl in consecutive seasons for the first time since making Cotton Bowl appearances in 1981-82. The Tide is also playing a Big 12 opponent in a bowl for the third straight season. They lost to Oklahoma State last season, 34-31, and beat Texas Tech, 13-10, in the Cotton Bowl a year earlier.

AIR FORCE (9-3) S-1 South Carolina St...... 34-3 S-8 @Utah..................... 20-12 S-13 TCU.................20-17 (OT) S-22 @BYU........................ 6-31 S-29 @Navy..................... 20-31 O-6 UNLV....................... 31-14 O-13 @Colorado State..... 45-21 O-20 Wyoming................. 20-12 O-25 @New Mexico......... 31-34 N-3 Army....................... 30-10 N-10 @Notre Dame.......... 41-24 N-17 San Diego State...... 55-23

CALIFORNIA (6-6) S-1 Tennessee............... 45-31 S-8 @Colorado State..... 34-28 S-15 Louisiana Tech........ 42-12 S-22 Arizona.................... 45-27 S-29 @Oregon................. 31-24 O-6 Bye O-13 Oregon State........... 28-31 O-20 @UCLA.................... 21-30 O-27 @Arizona State........ 20-31 N-3 Washington State.... 20-17 N-10 USC......................... 17-24 N-17 @Washington.......... 23-37 D-1 @Stanford............... 13-20

Master Insight “Cal should win based on talent, but Air Force and its wishbone-oriented offense is very tough to prepare for. An upset wouldn’t surprise me.” — John Ralston

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Air Force do-everything star Chad Hall leads his team in rushing (1,415 yards), receiving (46 catches for 488 yards) and kick returns (18 returns for 425 yards). He ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yards.

must know info

First-year Air Force coach Troy Calhoun started at quarterback for the Academy in 1986 and was one of only two freshmen to letter for the 1985 team that finished fifth in the polls with a 12-1 record and included wins over Notre Dame and Texas.

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Georgia Tech vs. Fresno State When: December 31, 2007 Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT Where: Boise, Idaho TV: ESPN2 Series: Fresno State leads 1-0 Last meeting: FSU won 30-21 in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic

One-Man Show Quacks Up

The two teams in this bowl are required to provide a corporate sponsor, purchase a minimum number of tickets and stay at a selected hotel for a minimum stay. And they call this the Humanitarian Bowl? Seems more like prostitution to us. Anyway, we have yet another team in a bowl after firing its coach. Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta will lead the Yellow Jackets for this game only, as Navy’s Paul Johnson is Chan Gailey’s permanent successor. Despite the internal chaos, Tech will have no problem taking care of a Fresno State team that simply isn���t the giant killer it used to be.

Never in recent memory has one player meant more to his team than quarterback Dennis Dixon did to Oregon. Things were just ducky in mid-November. The Ducks were national title contenders and Dixon was the Heisman front-runner. But then he was injured in the first quarter at Arizona, and as fast as you can say AFLAC, it was game over, Heisman over, season over. The Ducks have lost twice more since. Thus, having to play in this bowl is a bit BRUTal for Oregon, pun intended. The Bulls, meanwhile, have averaged 48 points during their current three-game win streak. The rout is on.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 31-10 FRESNO STATE (8-4) S-1 Sacramento State...... 24-3 S-8 @Texas A&M...45-47 (OT) S-15 @Oregon................. 21-52 S-29 Louisiana Tech.......... 17-6 O-6 @Nevada................. 49-41 O-13 @Idaho.................... 37-24 O-20 San Jose State.......... 30-0 O-26 Boise State.............. 21-34 N-3 Utah State............... 38-27 N-10 @Hawaii.................. 30-37 N-24 Kansas State........... 45-29 N-30 @New Mexico St..... 30-23

Prediction: USF 38-13

Bowl Buster

Georgia Tech All-American senior running back Tashard Choice led the ACC in rushing for the second straight season, averaging 119 yards per game. He had a season-high 37 rushes for 204 yards against Miami (FL).

must know info

Master Insight “Georgia Tech won’t miss its head coach in this one. Their defense will give the Bulldog offense fits. Tashard Choice will have a big game.” — Vince Dooley

This is just the second meeting between the teams, as the Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets, 30-21, in the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif. Tech has appeared in 35 bowls, Fresno State 19.

Kentucky vs. Florida State

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 4:00 p.m. EDT Where: Nashville, Tenn. TV: ESPN Series: Kentucky leads 3-1-1 Last meeting: Kentucky won 26-24 in 1965 Line: Kentucky -1

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Bowl Buster

USF defensive end George Selvie is the school’s first consensus first team All-American. He leads the nation with 31.5 tackles for loss, including 14.5 sacks.

must know info

Master Insight “With Dixon out, Oregon will struggle to move the ball against USF’s tough defense. The Bulls should win by a touchdown or more.” — Don James

Both USF and Oregon climbed as high as No. 2 in the BCS standings this season before falling apart. The Bulls got there after starting 6-0, but then lost three straight. The Ducks earned the same ranking with an 8-1 record but lost their final three contests.

Indiana vs. Oklahoma State

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT Where: Tempe, Ariz. TV: NFL Network Series: Tied 0-0-1 Last meeting: Teams battled to a 7-7 tie in 1930 Line: Oklahoma State -4

Prediction: Indiana 28-27

Prediction: Kentucky 27-17

Bowl Buster

Coach Bobby Bowden, about to finish his 32nd season at FSU, is the nation’s winningest coach of all time with 373 victories. He is leading the Seminoles into their 26th consecutive bowl game.

must know info

Master Insight “FSU has more talent but I think Kentucky will win. Look for quarterback Andre Woodson and tight end Jacob Tamme to connect several times.” — Pat Dye

OREGON (8-4) S-1 Houston.................. 48-27 S-8 @Michigan................ 39-7 S-15 Fresno State............ 52-21 S-22 @Stanford............... 55-31 S-29 California................. 24-31 O-13 Washington St........... 53-7 O-20 @Washington.......... 55-34 O-27 USC......................... 24-17 N-3 Arizona State........... 35-23 N-15 @Arizona................. 24-34 N-24 @UCLA...................... 0-16 D-1 Oregon St......31-38 (2OT)

If you’re not rooting for Indiana, you’re heartless. On a mission to “Play 13” for Coach Terry Hoeppner, who passed away before the season, the Hoosiers are the feel-good story of the season. They’re going to a bowl for the first time in 14 years. Maybe there should be a movie called Hoosiers made; the title might sell. IU’s quarterback/ receiver combination of Kellen Lewis and James Hardy should be too much for a Cowboy defense that gave up more than 35 points in five of their six losses. By the way, don’t feel bad if OSU loses. Cowboy Coach Mike Gundy can take it. He’s a man. He’s 40.

Kentucky is a slight favorite to beat Florida State. Read that again. Now, someone please offer a valid justification for Seminole Coach Bobby Bowden not retiring. Yes, we know this isn’t your father’s Wildcats (we haven’t forgotten they beat LSU), but give us a break. They’ve lost five games and aren’t even ranked. Come to think of it, FSU has the same resume. The difference is that UK has Andre Woodson at quarterback, while FSU has Drew Weatherford, who is only slightly more overrated than Michigan’s Chad Henne. Oops, sorry. We’ll save the Michigan bashing for the Capital One Bowl preview. FLORIDA STATE (7-5) S-3 @Clemson............... 18-24 S-8 UAB......................... 34-24 S-15 @Colorado................ 16-6 S-22 Bye S-29 Alabama.................. 21-14 O-6 N.C. State................ 27-10 O-11 @Wake Forest......... 21-24 O-20 Miami (FL).............. 29-37 O-27 Duke.......................... 25-6 N-3 @Boston College..... 27-17 N-10 @Virginia Tech........ 21-40 N-17 Maryland................. 24-16 N-24 @Florida.................. 14-45

SOUTH FLORIDA (9-3) S-1 ELON....................... 28-13 S-8 @Auburn................. 26-23 S-22 North Carolina......... 37-10 S-28 West Virginia........... 21-13 O-6 @Florida Atlantic..... 35-23 O-13 Central Florida......... 64-12 O-18 @Rutgers................ 27-30 O-27 @Connecticut.......... 15-22 N-3 Cincinnati................ 33-38 N-10 @Syracuse.............. 41-10 N-17 Louisville................. 55-17 N-24 @Pittsburgh............ 48-37

Gundy Can Take A Loss; He’s A Man

Hey Bobby, Maybe It’s Time

KENTUCKY (7-5) S-1 Eastern Kentucky.... 50-10 S-8 Kent State................ 56-20 S-15 Louisville................. 40-34 S-22 @Arkansas.............. 42-29 S-29 Florida Atlantic........ 45-17 O-4 @South Carolina..... 23-38 O-13 LSU.................43-37 (OT) O-20 Florida..................... 37-45 O-27 Mississippi State..... 14-31 N-10 @Vanderbilt............. 27-20 N-17 @Georgia................ 13-24 N-24 Tennessee.....50-52 (4OT)

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT Where: El Paso, Texas TV: CBS Series: First meeting Line: South Florida -6.5

Line: Georgia Tech -4

Nothing Humanitarian About This Bowl

GEORGIA TECH (7-5) S-1 @Notre Dame............ 33-3 S-8 Samford.................. 69-14 S-15 Boston College........ 10-24 S-22 @Virginia................. 23-28 S-29 Clemson.................... 13-3 O-6 @Maryland.............. 26-28 O-13 @Miami (FL)........... 17-14 O-20 Army....................... 34-10 N-1 Virginia Tech............. 3-27 N-10 @Duke..................... 41-24 N-17 North Carolina......... 27-25 N-24 Georgia.................... 17-31

South Florida vs. Oregon

Though we like Kentucky to roll in this game, the Music City Bowl has a history of upsets. Underdogs have won six of the eight games, including last year when 10-point dog Kentucky beat Clemson 28-20.

INDIANA (7-5) S-1 Indiana State............. 55-7 S-8 @West. Michigan.... 37-27 S-15 Akron...................... 41-24 S-22 Illinois..................... 14-27 S-29 @Iowa..................... 38-20 O-6 Minnesota............... 40-20 O-13 @Michigan State..... 27-52 O-20 Penn State............... 31-36 O-27 @Wisconsin.............. 3-33 N-3 Ball State................. 38-20 N-10 @Northwestern....... 28-31 N-17 Purdue.................... 27-24

OKLAHOMA STATE (6-6) S-1 @Georgia................ 14-35 S-8 Florida Atlantic.......... 42-6 S-14 @Troy...................... 23-41 S-22 Texas Tech............... 49-45 S-29 Sam Houston St........ 39-3 O-6 @Texas A&M........... 23-24 O-13 @Nebraska.............. 45-14 O-20 Kansas State........... 41-39 N-3 Texas....................... 35-38 N-10 Kansas.................... 28-43 N-17 @Baylor................... 45-14 N-24 @Oklahoma............. 17-49

Master Insight “OSU throws the ball well and runs well behind Dantrell Savage. But IU has a game-changer in Kellen Lewis. Indiana will win as long as they contain Savage.” — Bill Mallory

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman is every bit as talented as his IU counterpart, James Hardy. Despite missing three games with an injury, Brown still caught 61 passes for 932 yards and seven TDs.

must know info Indiana, historically a Big Ten doormat, surprisingly holds a 23-19-6 record (.542) against teams from the Big 12 Conference. The Hoosiers are making their ninth bowl appearance overall.


Clemson vs. Auburn

When: December 31, 2007 Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT Where: Atlanta TV: ESPN Series: Auburn leads 32-11-2 Last meeting: Auburn won 21-17 in the 1998 Chick-fil-A Bowl Line: Clemson -2

Tigers vs. Tigers/War Eagles

Tennessee will win this game, oh, let’s say something like 87-3, so go ahead and give the 3.5 points on this one. Good for you; you recognize facetiousness when you read it. Truly, though, this is the first of what is supposed to be three easy wins for the mighty SEC over the awful Big Ten in bowls. Can the Badgers, behind the one-two punch of running back P.J. Hill and first team All-American tight end Travis Beckum, compete with the SEC East Division champs? Yes, and they’ll do so with a grind-it-out attack.

Prediction: Wisconsin 23-17

Prediction: Auburn 23-21 AUBURN (8-4) S-1 Kansas State........... 23-13 S-8 South Florida........... 23-26 S-15 Mississippi State..... 14-19 S-22 New Mexico St........ 55-20 S-29 @Florida.................. 20-17 O-6 Vanderbilt.................. 35-7 O-13 @Arkansas.................. 9-7 O-20 @LSU...................... 24-30 O-27 Ole Miss.................... 17-3 N-3 Tennessee Tech......... 35-3 N-10 @Georgia................ 20-45 N-24 Alabama.................. 17-10

Bowl Buster

James Davis leads Clemson with 992 yards rushing, averaging a hefty 5.2 yards a pop. He is tied for second in Clemson history in career rushing with 3,058 yards.

must know info

Master Insight “Clemson is balanced offensively but Auburn is great defensively. This game’s a toss-up but Clemson has the edge because Auburn’s offensive coordinator just resigned.” — Pat Dye

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 11:00 a.m. EDT Where: Tampa, Fla. TV: ESPN Series: Tennessee leads 1-0 Last meeting: Tennessee won 28-21 in the 1981 Garden State Bowl Line: Tennessee -3.5

SEC vs. Big Ten, Round One

It’s the Tigers vs. Tigers in this made-for-selling-tickets bowl held in what used to be known as Hotlanta. Auburn will probably go by the name War Eagles in this one to have its own identity. It’s the only school we know that has two completely unrelated but interchangeable mascots. But we digress. Both teams rank in the top 10 in scoring defense and total defense, but Clemson has more offensive gusto. The X-factor is Tiger Coach Tommy Bowden, as he often finds a way to screw up in close games. Conversely, Auburn’s been schizo all season. We’re doing the coin flip thing again. CLEMSON (9-3) S-3 Florida State............ 24-18 S-8 Lou.-Monroe........... 49-26 S-15 Furman.................... 38-10 S-22 @N.C. State............. 42-20 S-29 @Georgia Tech.......... 3-13 O-6 Virginia Tech........... 23-41 O-20 Central Michigan..... 70-14 O-27 @Maryland.............. 30-17 N-3 @Duke..................... 47-10 N-10 Wake Forest............ 44-10 N-17 Boston College........ 17-20 N-24 @South Carolina..... 23-21

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

With Clemson favored by just two points, it’s worth noting that the Tigers are 12-15 in games decided by seven points or less since 2001 under Coach Tommy Bowden, while Auburn is 15-7.

WISCONSIN (9-3) S-1 Washington State.... 42-21 S-8 @UNLV.................... 20-13 S-15 The Citadel.............. 45-31 S-22 Iowa........................ 17-13 S-29 Michigan State........ 37-34 O-6 @Illinois.................. 26-31 O-13 @Penn State............. 7-38 O-20 Northern Illinois........ 44-3 O-27 Indiana...................... 33-3 N-3 @Ohio State............ 17-38 N-10 Michigan................. 37-21 N-17 @Minnesota............ 41-34

TENNESSEE (9-4) S-1 @California.............. 31-45 S-8 Southern Miss......... 39-19 S-15 @Florida.................. 20-59 S-22 Arkansas State........ 48-27 O-6 Georgia.................... 35-14 O-13 @Mississippi St...... 33-21 O-20 @Alabama............... 17-41 O-27 So. Carolina.....27-24 (OT) N-3 Lou.-Lafayette........... 59-7 N-10 Arkansas................. 34-13 N-17 Vanderbilt................ 25-24 N-24 @Kentucky....52-50 (4OT) D-1 LSU......................... 14-21 SEC Championship

Master Insight “Wisconsin has a good chance to win if P.J. Hill and the rest of the backfield are healthy. If not, Tennessee could win by a couple of touchdowns.” — John Cooper

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge has had an up-and-down career, but enters the bowl playing well. He set career-highs this season in completions (300), yards (3,157) and TDs (29).

must know info

The SEC runner-up Volunteers lost three regular season games by 14, 39 and 24 points, respectively, to teams that have a combined 15 losses. Conversely, three Vol wins were by a combined six points, including two in overtime.

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Frantz’ Rantz!

Bowl Season As Meaningless As NFL Preseason Quick, what’s the difference between the NFL preseason and the NCAA bowl season? One set of exhibition games is played before the season, and the other is after. It’s true. The “prestigious” bowl system university presidents and athletic directors fight so hard to protect every year, despite an overwhelming need for a national playoff, is officially no more significant than the NFL’s practice game schedule. Less, actually. At least the NFL preseason is good for determining roster spots. Hard as it is to fathom, college football fans can now authoritatively refer to the days of single AP and UPI polls, the days of conference tie-ins, and the days of split national champions as simply “the good old days”. Remember when the Bowl Coalition was formed back in 1992, as a means of avoiding a third consecutive year of co-champions? The 1991 season ended with Colorado on top of the AP poll, but Georgia Tech claimed the

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mythical title in the UPI version. The year prior, Miami (FL) and Washington shared the hardware, making players feel like they just kissed their sisters and leaving fans as unfulfilled as Rosie O’Donnell at a closed buffet line. The Bowl Coalition lasted just three flawed years, producing championship games that failed to include teams from the Big Ten and Pac-10, among others, due to their ties to the Rose Bowl. In 1994, for example, dominant Penn State finished 12-0, but ended up second nationally because 13-0 Nebraska got to play Miami (FL) in the “title game” (Orange Bowl). The coalition morphed into the “Bowl Alliance,” which enjoyed no more success in its three years of operation, and proved to be no more effective at crowning a true champion than its predecessor. In 1997, Michigan was No. 1 in the nation heading into the Rose Bowl, which the Wolverines won, capping off a 12-0 season. But the Big Ten was

still not part of the “alliance,” so No. 2 Nebraska beat No. 3 Tennessee in the designated “championship” game, causing the third split championship of the 90’s. In 1998, the Big Ten and Pac-10 got on board to form the bastard child now known as the BCS. So where are we now, after a decadeand-a-half of blending writers, coaches, computers, and parental-basementdwelling, number-crunching, pocketprotector-wearing, dateless mathematicians in a desperate attempt to find the perfect championship match-ups? Right back where we started, that’s where. It’s no better than throwing darts at a dozen or so helmet logos on the wall and saying, “Yep, Ohio State and LSU get to play,” thereby relegating the rest of the bowls to meaningless exhibition status. Sorry, Oklahoma. You might be playing better than anyone else in America right now, but your scrimmage

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

by Bob Frantz Bob Frantz is a morning talk radio personality in Cleveland. He co-hosts the Cleveland Browns pre-game show, and is a weekly sports columnist with the San Francisco Examiner. Bob has also worked on the Browns radio network.

against West Virginia is for nothing more than pride and a new diamondencrusted gold sombrero to hang in your university president’s garage. Same thing for you, USC. Have fun beating Illinois by 30 in the Rose Bowl, but just remember, it won’t count for anything. And you, undefeated Hawaii? Just sit down, shut up and be thankful you were even invited to our multi-million dollar farce. But for you Buckeyes and Tigers, you are the chosen ones! And Ohio State, forget about that loss to unranked Illinois in November. We have! Hey LSU! Remember that choke job against unranked Arkansas in your last regular season game? Neither do we! Kinda makes you long for the days when more than one bowl game was going to factor into the title picture, doesn’t it? You know, the good old days.


missouri vs. Arkansas

michigan vs. florida

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 11:30 a.m. EDT Where: Dallas TV: FOX Series: Tied at 2-2 Last meeting: Arkansas won 27-14 in the 2003 Independence Bowl Line: Missouri -3

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Orlando, Fla. TV: ABC Series: Michigan leads 1-0 Last meeting: Michigan won 38-30 in the 2003 Outback Bowl Line: Florida -10

Easily the Best Non-BCS Bowl

Big ten vs. SEC, Round ii

Missouri has been unbeatable against all teams not named Oklahoma. A second loss to the Sooners cost the Tigers a trip to the Big Easy, and now they find themselves in the Big Sleazy. Ever been to the Cotton Bowl, folks? It’s a dump. That’s why this bowl is no longer one of the biggies. But we have to admit this is an attractive match-up, featuring a pair of Heisman Trophy finalists, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel. The Hogs will pound it with McFadden, while the Tigers will spread it with Daniel. This is easily the best non-BCS game.

Lloyd Carr’s final game as Michigan coach will be against the last team he beat in a bowl. The Wolves have lost four straight bowls since beating the Gators in the 2003 Outback game. Make it five. This has debacle written all over it. Michigan hasn’t contained a mobile quarterback all season, and now it has to face the nation’s best in Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Even if Tebow is contained, Carr will never ultimately outwit Gator Coach Urban Meyer. Alas, has anyone heard from Michigan running back Michael Hart lately? We just wanted to get his prediction on this one! (Ha, we crack ourselves up sometimes!)

Prediction: Arkansas 38-35 MISSOURI (11-2) S-1 vs. Illinois ............... 40-34 S-8 @ole Miss .............. 38-25 S-15 Western Michigan .. 52-24 S-22 Illinois State ........... 38-17 o-6 nebraska .................. 41-6 o-13 @oklahoma ............ 31-41 o-20 Texas Tech.............. 41-10 o-27 Iowa State .............. 42-28 n-3 @colorado ............. 55-10 n-10 Texas A&M ............. 40-26 n-17 @Kansas State ....... 49-32 n-24 vs. Kansas .............. 36-28 D-1 oklahoma ............... 17-38 Big 12 championship

S-1 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-23

ARKANSAS (8-4) Troy ........................ 46-26 @Alabama .............. 38-41 Kentucky ................ 29-42 north Texas .............. 66-7 Tenn.-chattanooga . 34-15 Auburn ....................... 7-9 @ole Miss ................ 44-8 Florida Int. .............. 58-10 South carolina........ 48-36 @Tennessee ........... 13-34 Mississippi State .... 45-31 @lSu ...........50-48 (3oT)

Bowl Buster

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden was the Heisman Trophy runner-up for the second consecutive season. The Sporting News Player of the Year rushed for a single-season school record 1,725 yards.

muSt kNOw iNfO

Master Insight “Missouri’s angry because it’s not in a BCS bowl and Arkansas is a bit embarrassed by the Bobby Petrino hiring fiasco. Advantage to the Tigers.” — Hayden Fry

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel is returning to Dallas to play in front of his hometown fans. As a senior at perennial national power Southlake Carroll High, Daniel led the Dragons to a state title in 2004.

Prediction: florida 37-17 S-1 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17

MICHIGAN (8-4) Appalachian St. ...... 32-34 oregon ..................... 7-39 notre Dame .............. 38-0 Penn State ................ 14-9 @northwestern ...... 28-16 Eastern Michigan.... 33-22 Purdue.................... 48-21 @Illinois ................. 27-17 Minnesota .............. 34-10 @Michigan State .... 28-24 @Wisconsin ........... 21-37 ohio State ................ 3-14

S-1 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-24

FLORIDA (9-3) Western Kentucky .... 49-3 Troy ........................ 59-31 Tennessee .............. 59-20 @ole Miss .............. 30-24 Auburn ................... 17-20 @lSu ..................... 24-28 @Kentucky ............. 45-37 vs. Georgia* ........... 30-42 vanderbilt ............... 49-22 @South carolina .... 51-31 Florida Atlantic ....... 59-20 Florida State ........... 45-12

Bowl Buster

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow became the first quarterback in college football history to run (22) and pass (29) for 20 TDs in a season. He is also the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

*@Jacksonville’s Municipal Stadium

Master Insight “I like Michigan in this one because the team wants to send Carr out with a win, and Henne and Hart are finally healthy. Stopping Tebow won’t be easy, though. ” — Bill Mallory

muSt kNOw iNfO

Though Michigan’s Lloyd Carr has lost his last four bowls, it’s worth noting that legendary Wolverine boss Bo Schembechler lost his first seven bowls (his team averaged only 10 points per defeat), and 10 of his first 12.

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texas tech vs. Virginia

Rutgers vs. Ball State

When: January 1, 2008 Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT Where: Jacksonville, Fla. TV: CBS Series: First meeting Line: Texas Tech -5.5

When: January 5, 2008 Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT Where: Toronto, Canada TV: ESPN2 Series: Tied at 0-0-1 Last meeting: Teams played to a 31-31 tie in 1989 Line: Rutgers -10

Cavalier Effort won’t Get it Done

upset Special? Not Really

Virginia, victors nine times this season, set an NCAA record by winning five games by one or two points, and in its last outing got pounded by rival Virginia Tech. Texas Tech, which averages 42 points and 440 passing yards per game, has won eight times, and most recently took Big 12 champion Oklahoma to the woodshed. See where we’re going here? Even though Virginia has the nation’s best defensive end in Chris Long, there’s really no stopping Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. The Red Raider defense isn’t very good, but neither is Virginia’s offense. We ran the math: It adds up to blowout city.

Ya gotta hand it to Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano. Even though his name pops up at the top of the list of every plum job that opens – Miami (FL) and Michigan, to name a pair – he appears firmly committed to turning the Scarlet Knights into a perennial national power. We love what he accomplished last year, but the team dipped quite a bit this season with the same talent. This game features Rutgers’ All-American running back Ray Rice and Ball State quarterback Nate Davis, the nation’s best player you’ve likely never seen or heard of. This isn’t as big an upset as many will claim it to be.

Prediction: texas tech 45-24 S-3 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17

TEXAS TECH (8-4) @SMu ...................... 49-9 uTEP ...................... 45-31 @Rice ..................... 59-24 @oklahoma St. ...... 45-49 nW louisiana St. ..... 75-7 Iowa State .............. 42-17 Texas A&M ............... 35-7 @Missouri .............. 10-41 colorado................. 26-31 @Baylor.................... 38-7 @Texas ................... 43-49 oklahoma ............... 34-27

S-1 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-24

VIRGINIA (9-3) @Wyoming............... 3-23 Duke ....................... 24-13 @north carolina ..... 22-20 Georgia Tech .......... 28-23 Pittsburgh .............. 44-14 @Mid. Tenn. St....... 23-21 connecticut ............ 17-16 @Maryland ............. 18-17 @n.c. State ............ 24-29 Wake Forest ........... 17-16 @Miami (Fl) ............ 48-0 virginia Tech .......... 21-33

Prediction: Ball State 27-23

Bowl Buster

A mere red-shirt freshman, Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree is the Paul Warfield Award winner, given to the nation’s top receiver. He leads the nation in receiving yards (1,861), receptions (125) and TD catches (21).

muSt kNOw iNfO

Master Insight “Virginia will have to be at its best defensively because they can’t afford to get into a shootout. The Cavaliers will find a way to keep it close but Tech will prevail.” — George Welsh

Texas Tech capped the biggest comeback in bowl history with a 44-41 overtime win over Minnesota at the Insight Bowl last season. Tech trailed 38-7 early in the second half before scoring 35 straight points.

A-30 S-7 S-15 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-18 o-27 n-3 n-9 n-17 n-29

RUTGERS (7-5) Buffalo ...................... 38-3 navy ....................... 41-27 norfolk State ............ 59-0 Maryland ................ 24-34 cincinnati ............... 23-28 @Syracuse ............. 38-14 South Florida .......... 30-27 West virginia ............ 3-31 @connecticut ......... 19-38 @Army ..................... 41-6 Pittsburgh .............. 20-16 @louisville ............. 38-41

BALL STATE (7-5) Miami (oh) ............ 13-14 @Eastern Michigan 38-16 @navy ............34-31 (oT) @nebraska ............. 40-41 Buffalo .................... 49-14 central Michigan .... 38-58 Western Kentucky .. 35-12 @West. Michigan ... 27-23 @Illinois ................. 17-28 @Indiana ................ 20-38 Toledo .................... 41-20 @northern Illinois .. 27-21

A-30 S-8 S-15 S-22 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-13 n-24

Bowl Buster

Sophomore quarterback Nate Davis, from Bellaire, Ohio, is Ball State’s team MVP this season. He set single-season school records with 3,376 passing yards, 429 pass attempts, 245 completions and 27 TD passes.

muSt kNOw iNfO

Master Insight “Rutgers is used to winning now and is out to prove they’re not pretenders. They have better coaches and players and will beat Ball State handily.” — Dick MacPherson

In its second year, the International Bowl (Toronto, Canada) is the only post-season bowl played outside the United States, and the first since the 1937 Bacardi Bowl in Cuba.

Bowling Green vs. tulsa

Season’s Greetings from

When: January 6, 2008 Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT Where: Mobile, Ala. TV: ESPN Series: Tulsa leads 1-0 Last meeting: Tulsa won 45-10 in 1989 Line: Tulsa -4.5

Yes! football Over Dancing with the Stars!

The best thing about this bowl for the participating teams is that they get nearly two extra weeks of practice, compared to the other teams playing in teeny tiny bowls. The best thing about this bowl for fans is that it gives us an alternative to “Dancing With The Stars” on the eve of the BCS National Championship. Hey, football is football. We’ll tune in. Actually, there’s some legit entertainment value here, as the opposing quarterbacks have combined for nearly 8,000 passing yards and 65 TDs. If you like shootouts. . .

Prediction: tulsa 48-35 BOWLING GREEN (8-4) S-1 @Minnesota ........... 32-31 S-8 @Michigan State .... 17-28 S-22 Temple.................... 48-35 S-29 Western Kentucky .. 41-21 o-6 @Boston college .... 24-55 o-13 @Miami (oh) ......... 14-47 o-20 @Kent State ........... 31-20 o-27 ohio........................ 27-38 n-2 Akron...................... 44-20 n-9 @East. Michigan .... 39-32 n-17 @Buffalo................. 31-17 n-23 Toledo .................... 37-10

A-30 S-15 S-21 S-29 o-6 o-13 o-20 o-27 n-3 n-10 n-17 n-24 D-1

TULSA (9-4) @lou.-Monroe ....... 35-17 BYu ........................ 55-47 oklahoma ............... 21-62 uAB ........................ 38-30 @uTEP ................... 47-48 Marshall ................. 38-31 @central Florida ..... 23-44 SMu ....................... 29-23 @Tulane ................. 49-25 houston.................... 56-7 @Army ................... 49-39 @Rice ..................... 48-43 ucF ........................ 25-44 c-uSA championship

Master Insight “I hate picking against my alma mater, but Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith and the Golden Hurricane offense are just too good.” — Don Nehlen 42

This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13

Bowl Buster

Bowling Green center Kory Lichtensteiger led the way for one of the MAC’s most proficient offenses this season. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top center.

muSt kNOw iNfO Tulsa leads the nation in total offense with a 542-yard average, while its 374 passing yards is third nationally. The Golden Hurricane average 40 points a game, ranking 10th nationally.


Bowl Bits! NATIONAL

From 1995-97, the PetroSun Independence Bowl was known by the often laughed at but never forgotten Poulan/Weed Eater Independence Bowl … No Alabama player has ever won the Heisman Trophy … Despite missing most of the last three games of the season with a torn ACL, Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. He was the runaway Heisman front-runner before the injury, but subsequently wasn’t even invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation … Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, Florida State has played in a BCS bowl six times … The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl featuring Florida State and Kentucky sold out within 24 hours … This season Kentucky earned a top 10 ranking for the first time in 30 years … Last year’s Insight Bowl had the biggest comeback in Division I-A posteason history, as Texas Tech overcame a 38-7 third quarter deficit to

defeat Minnesota, 44-41, in overtime … Since the ACC and SEC agreed to pitting teams against each other in the Chick-fil-A bowl in 1993, the ACC holds an 8-7 advantage, having outscored the SEC by a total score of 302-300. The game, which is sold out for the 11th consecutive season, is the highest-attended non-BCS bowl game … Wisconsin is playing in the Outback Bowl for the fourth time, and Tennessee the third and second consecutive … Wisconsin is again playing the SEC runner-up in a bowl. The Badgers defeated Arkansas in last year’s Capital One Bowl … Missouri’s appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will mark the first New Year’s Day bowl game for the program since the 1970 Orange Bowl … To accommodate national television, the Cotton Bowl kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m., CST … Arkansas is playing in the

Cotton Bowl for the third time in nine seasons, and 11th time overall … Florida has outscored Capital One Bowl opponent Michigan, 517-313 this season, an average of 17 points per game … Unlike many teams at the college and pro level, Florida does not have any retired num-

time as Florida head coach … The Rose Bowl is referred to as “The Granddaddy of Them All” because it’s one of the oldest bowls. Since its opening, the Rose Bowl stadium has hosted the bowl every year except 1942, when the game was moved to Durham, N.C. Duke, which played in the game, volunteered to host the contest because of security concerns on the West Coast in the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor … The Rose Bowl attendance record (and NCAA bowl attendance record) is 106,869, set in 1973, when Ohio State played USC … Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only player to ever start in four Rose Bowls (1973-76) … Hawaii will earn millions from its participation in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, likely resulting in an increase of the annual recruiting budget of $50,000. “Hopefully, it means I’ll get some new carpet in my office,” says Coach June Jones … Oklahoma is playing in a school record ninth consecutive bowl game, which coincides with the length of Coach Bob Stoops’ coaching tenure there.

More points will likely be scored and more yardage compiled than any season in college football history. However, the BCS Championship matches a team with the nation’s thirdbest (LSU) defense against the team (Ohio State) with the best. bers of former players. The numbers of Gator Football Ring of Honor players Steve Spurrier (11) and Jack Youngblood (74) had been retired in the past, but the numbers were re-issued to players during Spurrier’s

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OSU Sports Medicine

Ask The Experts

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers

W

hether you’re an All-American Buckeye or weekend warrior, having a competitive advantage and staying injury-free is what every athlete wants. Our highly trained team of specialists helps make that dream possible. That’s why beginning this season we’re very excited to introduce a panel of valued

OSU Sports Medicine professionals who will keenly provide “expert” insight to commonly asked questions relative to the prevention and treatment of injuries in athletes and active individuals. Additional expert analysis by others not listed below may also be provided in such areas including but not limited to sports psychology,

nutrition, pulmonology, physical therapy, athletic training and dermatology. To have your questions answered by our expert team, please email us at ken.halloy@ fahlgren.com. For more information about OSU Sports Medicine, call (614) 293-3600 or go to www.sportsmedicine.osu.edu.

Shoulder Separations I injured my shoulder, and it feels like it’s popping in and out?  What’s going on?  

ful to rest the arm and protect against further injury until you are evaluated by a physician. The apprehension that the shoulder may come Dr. Jones has been out again is very common; the sling acts as a an orthopedic surprotective measure. You should consult a sports geon at the Sports Your shoulder may be subluxed (parMedicine Center medicine physician who will run specific tests tial separation), dislocated or the nerves since 1998. He is to check for dislocation, including a strength the Team Physician are stretched.  Did you feel a pop when the exam to make sure the nerves are working for the OSU injury occurred? A pop usually indicates reamen’s basketball team and is an properly. son for concern and can involve torn cartiAssistant Professor of Orthopedics If it is a case of stretched nerves, the nerves lage. Weakness in the arm or difficulty lifting for the OSU College of Medicine. will usually return to function on their own. A His clinical and research areas can also be an indication of subluxation. This subluxation requires rest and a strengthening of interest are the shoulder and is when the shoulder starts to slide out, but elbow. program. A return to sports is allowed when pops back in before fully coming out of its there is no pain and you have full strength and socket. A dislocation is when the ball commotion in the shoulder. Let your physician pletely comes out of the socket and often know if your shoulder still feels loose. The initial treatment needs to be popped back in by someone else, often your athis often the same for a full dislocation, including rest and an letic trainer or in the emergency room. If your arm went numb aggressive rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, the chance of or feels dead, that could be an indication of stretched nerves in re-dislocation is very high in this group, especially the younger the area. you are and the more contact sports you play. Given this fact, The first line of treatment is to assure that you can move your sports medicine physician may discuss the possibility of your arm and shoulder. If you can, the ball is likely in the sockobtaining an MRI and potential surgical intervention if you et. It is not unusual to feel some numbness and tingling inihave had more than one dislocation. tially, but this typically goes away quickly. A sling is often help-

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Grant Jones, M.D.

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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Congratulations! Ryan Cheek Lancaster

Brennen Fraley Pickerington Central

Patrick Omameh St. Francis DeSales

Jamie Maxwell Coshocton

Seth Cooper Wynford

Gar Chappelear Grove City

Aaron Breitfeller Gahanna Lincoln

Wendell Hill Columbus Independence

Cody Hammond Licking Valley

Corbin Holliday Bishop Hartley

Adam Dague Johnstown-Monroe

Tanner Seago Dublin Jerome

Steven Young Hilliard Davidson

Jeremy Hill Marion-Franklin

Chad Teague Cambridge

Tyler Kiste Dublin Jerome

Andy Mix Liberty Union

Ciaran Lawlor Whetstone

Kevin Castle Groveport-Madison

Terrell Carter Columbus Independence

Chris Fahrenholz Buckeye Valley

Zack Stoudt Dublin Coffman

Ryan Smoot Africentric

Andrew Koogler Dublin Scioto

Treg Smart Newark

Kyle Wood Pickerington Central

Ben Sward Dublin Jerome

Kenny Anunike Olentangy

Derrick Showell Briggs

Jerome Ray Westerville Central

Cody Beatty Central Crossing

Ross Fleming Olentangy Liberty

Robert Aurand New Albany

Anthony Nixon Canal Winchester

JR Taylor Reynoldsburg

Levi Keeran Marysville

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


The 2007 McScholar Athletes are recognized for: athletic ability, academic effort and school citizenship

Trey Fairchild Dublin Coffman

Christian Castilla Dublin Jerome

Ramone Conly Waverly

Storm Klein Licking Valley

Donald Lindsay Africentric

Josh Kinney Ridgedale

Andrew Colosimo Upper Arlington

Jordan Fells Columbus Independence

Alex Anderson McClain

Ryan Talk Philo

Mitch Dawson Johnstown-Monroe

Tyler Cochran Westerville Central

David Fosselman Westerville South

Eisen Hardy Pickerington Central

William Aurand New Albany

Trevor Walls Waverly

Steve Gardiner Dublin Coffman

Bryant Staats Danville

Will McCoy Newark

Tyler Mordecai Dublin Jerome

Michael Penrod Buckeye Valley

Armon Whitaker Africentric

Mike Adams Dublin Coffman

Matt Grieser Bishop Watterson

Xavier Dunson Walnut Ridge

Tim McGougan Pickerington Central

Trevor Arnett Waverly

Jeremy Ebert Hilliard Darby

Jeff Butler St. Charles

Ben Buchanan Westerville Central

Jacob Stoneburner Dublin Coffman

Charles Small Columbus Independence

Kevin Brand New Albany

Kyle Kready Olentangy Liberty

Troy Johnson Africentric

Logan Dunn Ridgedale

This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13

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Etienne Sabino

Dr. Michael M. Kropp High School

Miami, Fla. Middle Linebacker 6-3, 222 Senior GPA: 2.99 College of Choice: Verbally committed to Ohio State. Who Lost Out?: Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee and USC. Rivals.com

The Scoop: “Sabino has very good size and is a very physical player. He sheds blockers well, knows how to fight through traffic and attacks with aggression.” – Scout.com

Serving West Virginia • Ohio • Kentucky • Georgia Pennsylvania • South Carolina

Just as blue-chip recruits help build the foundation for championship teams, Arrow Concrete’s team of professional’s make them the best in their business. From the Schottenstein Center to Ohio Stadium, Arrow has played a vital role in the construction of many of Central Ohio’s most visible landmarks by always guaranteeing a quality product. Demanding excellence is a characteristic of all champions and today, we proudly recognize a Buckeye Recruit of the Week who symbolizes what it means to be the very best. Congratulations and Go Bucks!

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This Week in Football • central ohio edition • Volume 6, Issue 13


The

2 Julio Jones, Wide Receiver Foley H.S., Foley, Ala., 6-4, 215 40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds College favorites: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma and USC. The Bottom Line: “Jones is so dangerous with the ball in his hands because of his sheer size, power, speed and elusiveness.” — Scout.com

Foundation 1 Terrelle Pryor

Quarterback Jeanette High School, Jeanette, Pa., 6-6, 235 40-yard dash: 4.4 seconds College favorites: Florida, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. The Bottom Line: “He is a ‘Vince Young’ type of signal caller who is very dangerous in the open field.” — Scout.com

Recognizing the Nation’s Top Recruits by Position This Week: The National Top Seven

5 A.J. Green, Wide Receiver Summerville H.S., Summerville, Ga. 6-4, 185 40-yard dash: 4.55 seconds College favorites: Has verbally committed to Georgia. The Bottom Line: “Green is quick off the ball with a good release and moves through his routes easily.” — Scout.com

St. Bonaventure H.S., Ventura, Calif., 6-0, 205 40-yard dash: 4.4 seconds College favorites: Colorado, Florida, LSU, North Carolina, Texas, UCLA and Photos courtesy of Rivals.com USC. The Bottom Line: “Scott is a powerful runner, has excellent vision and can stop on a dime.” — Scout.com

6 DaQuan Bowers, Defensive End Bamberg-Ehrhardt H.S., Bamberg, S.C., 6-4, 265 40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds College favorites: Has verbally committed to Clemson. The Bottom Line: “Bowers is a big and athletic defensive lineman that could end up playing end or tackle. He also runs the 100 meters for his high school track team.” — Scout.com

4 Patrick Johnson, Cornerback

7 Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle

3 Darrell Scott, Running Back

Blanche Ely H.S., Pompano Beach, Fla., 6-1, 193 40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds College favorites: Has verbally committed to Miami (FL). The Bottom Line: “Johnson’s size and speed makes him a great future pro prospect.” — Rivals.com analyst J.C. Shurburtt

Dublin Coffman H.S., Dublin, Ohio, 6-7, 305 Bench press: 295 lbs College favorites: Has verbally committed to Ohio State. The Bottom Line: “Adams is a talented tackle prospect that displays good technique.” — Scout.com

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This Week in FooTball • cenTral ohio ediTion • Volume 6, Issue 13


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A Soldier’s Story: Staff Sergeant Timothy Castle, U.S. Army Your favorite college football team? The Ohio State Buckeyes. I follow them religiously!

How do you equate the U.S. Army as a sports team? Everybody has their own role and the team is successful only if everyone fulfills their duties. If one person fails, then the team fails, just as in any sports game. So the analogy works well with the U.S. Army because every soldier must work as one team.

Who’s your favorite Buckeye of alltime? (Former OSU and NFL star) Cris Carter. Your favorite NFL team? I’m not a big fan of the pros but I would say the (Indianapolis) Colts are my team.

Staff Sergeant Timothy Castle

What’s most important about being a soldier in the U.S. Army? Being a part of the army’s history and establishing your own history within its great tradition. What’s your favorite part of being in the U.S. Army? The support you receive from your comrades. It’s very similar to being involved with a sports team. Your teammates are always there for you, whether it’s business or personal, and you never are left to fend for yourself. You really feel as if you’re part of a great, big family.

Staff Sergeant Timothy Castle Years with the U.S. Army: Six Previously stationed at: Fort Sill in Oklahoma; Fort Jerome in New York Hometown: Hilliard High School: Hilliard Darby, 1999

Castle’s BCS Predictions

Did the story of Pat Tillman, a NFL star who enlisted with the U.S. Army Rangers, inspire you in a particular way? Certainly. When I first heard of his story, it automatically made me respect him. He put his country and defending the freedom of our great nation before any of his own personal ambitions and goals. What he did is a great example to all the young people in our nation and without question, was very admirable. What are your hopes and aspirations for the remainder of your career with the U.S. Army? I’m approaching the time of which I must decide whether or not I want to re-enlist. I must decide whether I want to continue my time with the U.S. Army or whether I should

Allstate BCS National Championship: Ohio State, 28-14 Rose Bowl: Illinois, 14-10 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia, 27-21 FedEx Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech, 21-14 Allstate Sugar Bowl:

apply what I’ve learned during my enlistment to another profession in the civilian sector. I’m taking it one step at a time, but I’m leaning toward furthering my life’s purpose with the U.S. Army.

Proud Sponsor of the 2007 Ohio High School Football Players of the Week!

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U.S. Army Ohio High School Players of the Year Division II Player of the Year

Division I Player of the Year

Division III Player of the Year

Bart Tanski Mentor High School

Taylor Housewright Ashland High School

Isaiah Pead Eastmoor Academy

2007 Record: 11-3; lost to Cincinnati St. Xavier, 27-0, in the Division I state championship. 2007 Stats: 161 of 273 passing for 2,385 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for eight TDs Photo by Jerry Cook in nine regular season games. Noteworthy: 2007 Mr. Ohio Football Award (first ever by a player from Mentor); three-year varsity starter at quarterback; Associated Press Division I Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division I First Team All-Ohio.

2007 Record: 12-2; lost to Cincinnati Anderson, 35-20, in the state semifinals. 2007 Stats: 182 of 265 passing for 2,568 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 656 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 regular season games. Ashland High School Noteworthy: Associated Press Division II Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division II First Team All-Ohio; Ohio Cardinal Conference Offensive Player of the Year; Mansfield News Journal Offensive Player of the Year.

2007 Record: 9-1. 2007 Stats: Rushed for 2,204 yards and 39 touchdowns, recorded 35 tackles and intercepted six passes in 10 regular season games. Eastmoor Academy Noteworthy: Associated Press Division III Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division III First Team AllOhio; First Team All-Columbus City League; football scholarship offers from West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Division IV Player of the Year

Division V Player of the Year

Division VI Player of the Year

Mentor, Ohio Quarterback; 6-2, 190; Senior

Dan McCarthy Cardinal Mooney High School

Ashland, Ohio Quarterback; 6-3, 200; Senior

Youngstown, Ohio QB/S; 6-2, 190; Senior 2007 Record: 14-1; lost to Coldwater, 28-27, in the Division IV state championship. 2007 Stats: Passed for 414 yards and six touchdowns rushed for 1,113 yards and 13 TDs in 10 regular season games. Roncone Studio Noteworthy: Associated Press Division IV Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division IV First Team All-Ohio; finalist for the Mr. Ohio Football award; verbally committed to Notre Dame.

Lamar McQueen Ursuline High School

Youngstown, Ohio Quarterback; 5-9, 165; Senior 2007 Record: 12-3; lost to Maria Stein Marion Local, 20-14, in the Division V state championship. 2007 Stats: Passed for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed for 722 yards and six Ursuline High School TDs in 10 regular season games. Noteworthy: Associated Press Division V Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division V First Team All-Ohio; Division V All-Northeast Inland District Offensive Player of the Year; Division V AllNortheast Inland District First Team Offense.

Columbus, Ohio RB/CB; 5-11, 190; Senior

Mark Nichols Newark Catholic High School

Newark, Ohio Running Back; 5-11, 190; Senior 2007 Record: 13-2; defeated Bascom HopewellLoudon, 28-14, in the Division VI state championship. 2007 Stats: Rushed for 2,906 yards and 41 touchdowns in 10 regular season games and Rivals.com five playoff games. Noteworthy: Associated Press Division VI Co-Offensive Player of the Year; AP Division VI First Team All-Ohio; Newark Advocate Offensive Player of the Year; Central District Offensive Player of the Year.

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Bowl Bits Continued from page 30 title game. Since 2001, when scoring less than 20 points, LSU is 5-11 overall, Ohio State is 9-8. When scoring 20 or more, Ohio State is 64-7, LSU is 68-7. When scoring 30 or more, the Buckeyes are 41-0, the Tigers 49-2. In games decided by seven points or less since, Ohio State is 14-5, LSU is 19-7 … UCLA Coach Karl Dorrell’s firing leaves five black coaches at 119 major colleges … In case you didn’t know, new Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini is a former Buckeye defensive back (1987-90). He was a threetime Academic All-Big Ten team selection and was a team captain in 1990. Pelini has spent the last three yeas as defensive coordinator at LSU, and will be on the Tiger sidelines in the BCS National Championship before heading to Lincoln permanently … The Papajohns.com Bowl will be the last game as coach for Jeff Bower at Southern Miss after 17 years. Despite amassing a 182-119-1 record that included 14 straight winning seasons, four Conference USA Championships, three conference Coach of the Year awards, six straight

bowl appearances and 10 bowls in 11 years, Bower was asked to resign last month … New Mexico kicker John Sullivan has made 26 of 29 field goals this season despite having no ACL in his plant leg … The first Division I-A overtime game took place at the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl when Toledo beat Nevada 40-37 … The Motor City Bowl has been played since 1997 and is in its sixth year as a Big Ten tie-in (Purdue

Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only player to ever start in four Rose Bowls (1973-76).

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plays Central Michigan this year). The Big Ten, however, has played in the game just once previously, in 2003, when Northwestern lost to Bowling Green 28-24 … Texas is making its 47th bowl appearance, ranking second all-time behind Alabama (54) … The Longhorns have won at least nine games in 10 straight seasons … For the first time in four years, Michigan State is playing in a bowl game, and more than 25,000

Spartan fans are expected to go to Orlando, Fla., for the Champs Sports Bowl … At 8-4, Texas Bowl-bound Houston has posted its first back-toback winning seasons since 1989-90 … The Cougars are 7-9-1 in bowls, with their first appearance being a 26-21 win over Dayton in the 1952 Salad Bowl … Maryland has won 56 games in Coach Ralph Friedgen’s seven seasons, which is one more than they won in the 14 years prior to his arrival … The Terps have won three consecutive bowls, outscoring the opposition 95-17 … Wake Forest is appearing in back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history … The AutoZone Liberty Bowl enjoyed its greatest highlight in 1982 when Alabama coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant ended his illustrious career in the event. More than 1,000 media members covered the game … Since 1995, the Valero Alamo Bowl has matched the Big Ten and the Big 12 Conferences, and has produced eight of the top 20 most-watched games in ESPN-televised bowl history. This year’s game is a sellout as well … Penn State ranks third nationally with 25 postseason victories and first nationally in bowl

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winning percentage (.667, 25-12-2) among schools with at least 10 bowl wins … Cal (6-6) needs a win over Air Force in the Bell Hellicopter Armed Forces Bowl to post its sixth straight winning season, a feat the program hasn’t accomplished in over 50 years … Georgia Tech is one of just six schools in the nation to play in a bowl game in each of the last 11 years … The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl, held in Boise, Idaho, touts itself as “the nation’s longest-running cold weather bowl.” … Four days before the football teams play in the Fiesta Bowl, the Oklahoma and West Virginia men’s basketball teams will play in the Charleston (WV) Civic Center … Kansas has the second-largest turnaround in the country, improving from 6-6 a year ago to 11-1 … Since a 48-7 loss in September, Virginia Tech has won 11 of 12 games … This may surprise: Texas Tech is making its 31st bowl appearance, and eighth straight under Coach Mike Leach … In 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played the first intercollegiate football game. They were the nation’s only two teams. Rutgers won “with a score of six runs to four,” but Princeton won the rematch a week later, 8-0.


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This Week In Football