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Statistically Speaking: Bowl Appetit

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bowl Appetit


BCS National Championship Game
LSU -4 Ohio State

Warning: This preview may contain healthy doses of sarcasm.

SEC speed versus Big 10 bulk. Surely the plodding Buckeyes, who run like they have pianos strapped to their backs, are no match for the fleet-footed gazelles from Baton Rouge. LSU has steamrolled through their competition this season, winning all of their games, except that one against Kentucky and that other one against Arkansas. Kentucky and Arkansas are in the SEC though, so those two losses are excusable. In the SEC you have to gear up to play every week. Meanwhile, the Suckeyes, enter the BCS Championship game with a big asterisk in the form of a home loss to Illinois. I mean LSU would never lose at home. In the weak and slow Big 10, the Buckeyes beat only 6 teams who were bowl-eligible. The mighty Tigers beat 7. Even Les Miles knows that 7 is more than 6. Edge Tigers.

Knows 7 > 6

After beginning the season 5-0, with a point differential of 167 (33.4 per game), the Tigers have won 6 of their last 8, but their point differential is only 81 (10.1 per game). In the first 5 games, the Tigers outgained their opponents by an average of 266 yards per game. In their past 8 games, they gave outgained their opponents by 101 yards per game. Were the Tigers playing over their heads in the first 5 games? Hardly. It's clear LSU has been bored by their lack of competition over the 2nd half of the season, even in the rugged SEC, sleepwalking through their last 8 games. With a title on the line, they will be pumped and ready to play.

What about the coaching matchup? Jim Tressel has had some success...at the IAA level. Sure he won 4 national titles at Youngstown State, but I defy you to name one IAA coach who experienced success upon moving up to the play with the big boys. All Tressel has done at Ohio State is beat an overrated Miami team to claim the 2002 National Championship. But it took him overtime to do it, and as any LSU fan knows, OT losses do not count. Plus, Miami and Ohio State were only in that game because they play in JV conferences. Vanderbilt would have had an even chance of beating both those teams on a neutral field. The SEC rules! Les Miles on the other hand just won his first of many SEC titles in only his third season at the school. Sure he probably had the most talent in the SEC in both 2005 and 2006, but the league is just too rugged and tough to penalize him for that. Some Miles is not the best strategist, but those people don't understand the emotion of football. Give me a fiery coach who throws caution to the win and goes for it on 4th down and throws passes into the end zone as time expires over some sweater-vest wearing pansy.

Wears faggy sweater-vests

In summation, Ohio State has no chance in this game. The SEC is just too fast and its teams are too battle-hardened by having to play hard every week. Take your mortgage payment/rent money/petty cash/change in your coach and put in on LSU. Geux Tigers!

The Pick: Ohio State will cover the 4 point spread.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were doing pretty good until you got to that last sentence.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Scott Albrecht said...

Even if LSU did win, I hope people noticed that Michigan beat Florida, Kentucky struggled against the Bowden's half squad, Arkansas was more than a little outmanned, Georgia played well against a girl's squad, and the SEC East champs needed help against a middle of the pack Big 10 team. Only about LSU and Auburn do I not have any snotty remarks. And here's the worst of it - If Pete Carrol does go to the Falcons, Georgia will be the pre-season #1 next year.

8:31 AM  
Blogger matt said...

Agreed Scott, the SEC did go 6-2 in bowl games, and was by any measure the best conference in 2007. I just hate when people get the notion that the SEC is, was, and always will be the best football conference year in and year out. These tings go in cycles. Plus most SEC fans where I live (Columbia) use the SEC as an excuse for going 6-6 every year (not mentioning the fact that they play 1 real non-conference game per season).

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SEC schools are crazy if they schedule more than one "real" non-conference game. You get beat up all year and you really don't need the non conference games to boost your strength of schedule like, let's say the Big 10.

1:07 PM  

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