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BCS National Title Game Open Thread


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:

  1. Offensive line's ability to protect Flynn
  2. Defensive line's inability to get pressure on Boeckman, resulting in his finding open receivers downfield.
The blitzing decision has created a firestorm around defensive coordinator Bo Pelini all year long, most notably in the aftermath of the Arkansas game, and I don't see much of anything changing from the plan we've used all year. Hence my worry that a steady Boeckman will be able to pick us apart. He's been more or less the least-heralded skill player on both sides of this debate, as at least Matt Flynn can use his legs to generate big first downs for us. So with the pressure and the media heat off of him, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see Mr. Boeckman turn in a remarkably efficient, mistake-free game, regardless of the pro-LSU crowd hostility. I'm finding myself fading most of the material speculating whether Beanie Wells will run all over us a la Darren McFadden. He's a great back, no doubt, but I at least like our chances of doing a reasonable job containing him with our front seven healthy for once.

I think the punters will be busy tomorrow. Godspeed, Patrick Fisher!

LSU, 14-13.

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.