Thursday, December 31, 2009

Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl: I'm Apprehensive, Confident

I'd be fibbing if I claimed to not be apprehensive about my Ohio State Buckeyes' date with the Oregon Ducks in tomorrow's Rose Bowl. I am apprehensive. But I am also confident.

I've gotten to see the Ducks several times this year. They have a formidable offense and an excellent quarterback. If Ohio State's defense doesn't play as well as they are capable of playing--and they are capable of playing extremely well, there is no way I see OSU's offense can keep up with that of Oregon. But, I think that low-scoring game delivered by the Ohio Sate D-line, favors the Buckeyes.

The last time I saw Oregon play, against archrival Oregon State, I wasn't impressed with the Ducks. Raised on Big Ten football, which puts a premium on great, body-pounding defense, I can't say that I'm ever dazzled by games with results like 44-41 or 37-33, the scores of the Ducks' last two wins.

None of this is to say that I think the Pac 10 is soft; accusations of that sort are pure malarkey. I am saying that the Buckeyes definitely can win this game--and should win this game if the defense comes to play, as they have all season long.

Of course, the 8000-pound gorilla for the Buckeyes is the accusation that Ohio State doesn't win the big ones. That isn't true, of course. They've had to win some big ones to play in BCS games as routinely as they have under Coach Jim Tressel. But because of several nationally-televised losses against big-time opponents, including the two most recent of them by cat-whisker scores, the myth has developed.

That myth will, at the least, be in the backs of every OSU player's mind tomorrow, and the pressure to win will the be a second opponent against which the Buckeyes will line up.

That said, I think the Buckeyes will win tomorrow.

In any case, Jim Tressel is still the best college football coach in the country and...

Go, Buckeyes!

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