After a month, it is finally upon us - our Fighting Tigers will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national title, and the only team in college football to own two crystal ball trophies. Kickoff's at 8pm Eastern on Fox.
The talking heads have weighed in, with the clear consensus being:
- First, that it is unequivocally impossible for Ohio State to come out and get rolled for a second straight year; the Buckeyes have learned their lesson and Jim Tressel would never let that happen. They've been steaming over it for a year.
- Second, that the Buckeyes are by no means inferior to LSU in the speed department, and all this talk of "SEC Speed" is just garbage.
- Third, Jim Tressel is a far better coach than Les Miles.
- Fourth, that because a 100% healthy LSU team is simply more talented than Ohio State, none of the above matters and LSU wins anyway on the strength of the home crowd.
I love gauging the consensus because much of it is often wrong, when examining it after the fact. So mark it down: surely a couple of the above points will be proven incorrect tomorrow (most likely the final one, simply because SO MANY people are picking LSU and the favorite has simply not acquitted itself well at all in these title games).
Reading through the predictions (see talking heads link above for one set of examples), it's gotten customary to see experts forecasting a total score in the range of mid-40s to 50s. The two things I haven't seen predicted anywhere (which, incidentally, leads me to believe it's far more likely to happen) are: 1) an Ohio State blowout, and 2) an LSU victory with both teams struggling to attain double digits in points. Now, no 7-6 score is ever really all that likely, but in the case of these two teams I really feel like a final score in the 14-13 range is by no means out of the question.
My two biggest worries, in order, are:
- Offensive line's ability to protect Flynn
- Defensive line's inability to get pressure on Boeckman, resulting in his finding open receivers downfield.
I think the punters will be busy tomorrow. Godspeed, Patrick Fisher!
Comments? Predictions? Come one, come all, and weigh in with your own thoughts! Be as crazy as you'd like, no one's going to remember after the fact if you're wrong, and you'll get showered with accolades from near and far if you're right.