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Monday Service Play
Monday Service Play
Ohio State + 4 (5 units) LSU who? Miles downplaying and overvalued coach to me. He's not been anywhere for longer than 4 years to make his mark with recruits. Buckeyes QB shines.
Over 50 Ohio St-LSU (2 units) Big Back for Buckeyes and specialists could have big days
Re: Monday Service Play
4.5-Unit Play. Take LSU (-4) over Ohio State (9 p.m., Monday, Jan. 7)
LSU isn't as good as it thinks it is. But they are still better than Ohio State. I do see a defensive struggle but I think that the difference - just like in last year's blowout - will be the speed of the Tigers. The Buckeyes simply do not matchup against that type of speed and athleticism in the Big 10. Ohio State has virtually no wins that impress me other than a blowout at Penn State. But even the Lions proved that they aren't very good. The Buckeyes simply don't deserve to be in this game, and are not in the same class as LSU. The Tigers will not blowout OSU like Florida managed to last year but this will be a convincing victory for the SEC.
Re: Monday Service Play
At 8 pm, our selection is on the Ohio State Buckeyes plus the points over LSU, as the Bucks fall into 33-25 and 31-16 ATS systems of mine. But the reason I like Ohio State in this game comes down to coaching, and rushing offense/defense. From his days at Youngstown State to the present, there has not been a more successful Championship coach than Jim Tressel. He's been here before, and his decision-making is much better than Les Miles, who often acts like a riverboat gambler (recall his decision to throw into the end zone vs. Auburn, instead of kicking a game winning FG). I do like Bo Pelini, however, but the LSU defensive coordinator may have been a bit distracted these last few weeks since he's off to become Nebraska's head coach after this game. The Buckeyes completely shut down Michigan at the end of the season, and held the Wolves to 3 points (but that Michigan team put up 41 vs. the SEC's Florida Gators). Overall this season, Ohio State allowed just two rushing touchdowns (and those two scores came in games OSU won by a combined 39 points)! Just two rushing TDs?! That's mind-boggling. On the offensive side of the ball, OSU has RB Chris Wells, perhaps the best RB in the nation in the 2nd half of the season. Wells got 222 yards against Michigan, 221 vs. Michigan State, 169 vs. Wisconsin, 133 vs. Penn State, and 76 vs. Illinois (but OSU was playing from behind, and had to throw the ball). LSU has shown a tendency this year to give up a lot of rushing yards. It surrendered over 150 to Florida and Ole Miss, and 385 to Arkansas! With the spread being more than a field goal, we'll take the Buckeyes.
Re: Monday Service Play
NCAAF: Ohio State Buckeyes at Louisiana State Fighting Tigers - LSU -4 (Heavy Hitter) -110 | Unit Value: 3
Note: This line opened as high as LSU -5 and as expected, it has dropped down. I don't know where the line will go from here but what I have seen, with opinions from other handicappers and public betting, it might very well go down further. However, I will not take the chance at this key number and I will go ahead and get on the Tigers at the current level. I know that I have already said this. The Big Ten is way down this year and although Ohio State is a quality team, they certainly were last year as they played verses Florida and got their ass handed to them. Handicapping College Bowls is more than just about conference verses conference though and that is not the reason to play this game. One reason to play it is the obvious advantage that LSU will have playing in their backyard here in New Orleans. LSU has had 2 mishaps this year verses Kentucky and Arkansas and many will look at that as a reason to play against them. But the fact is, week in and week out, play in the SEC is taxing and going through this conference undefeated is just not reality. The Tigers will be ready for this one, and the long layoff will help them greatly as they get well from a lot of nagging injuries. One of those is to their QB Flynn, who is suffering from a shoulder injury but expected to play. The styles of play between the SEC and Big 10 are like night and day as their is simply much more team speed in the south and that is what did the Buckeyes in last year. Downfield throwing by Todd Boeckman is not going to be as easy as it has been with the Tigers putting extreme pressure on the QB and defensive backs that are bigger and quicker than anything that he has yet to see. Focus is another key in this game as the Tigers get to practically stay at home away from all of the media hype that happens in championship games. It is interesting to note that LSU employs a two-quarterback system of Matt Flynn, who threw for 2,233 yards, 17 touchdowns, and Ryan Perrilloux, who had 694 yards passing, eight TD's. That is much like what Florida did last year and very hard to prepare for. This LSU team is an offensive powerhouse, averaging 38.7 points, 12th-most in the nation. The Tigers topped the 40-point mark seven times in 2007 and defeated six ranked teams. Lest we forget that fact, some can only remember the losses. While the Ohio State offense has averaged 32 points per game, they have done the bulk of that verses Big 10 D's that are not up to snuff. The Buckeyes have more speed than anyone in the Big 10. They did last year as well. They played the Gators and were out-quicked. They will be in this game. They will also have to contend with Glenn Dorsey. Dorsey is the best D player in the country but was hampered by a sore knee late in the season. This guy is just simply bad news and for the first time in a long time, he will be near or at 100%. I am sure that Todd Boeckman will get to know him personally in this contest. LSU is the better team. They don't have a better record. They will when this game ends
Re: Monday Service Play
THE GOLD SHEET ( 13-18 )
*LSU 31 - Ohio State 16—
We don’t really want to play “pile on” Ohio State, especially since it’s really not warranted. Sure, maybe the Buckeyes’ title game credentials are a bit spotty, especially considering their soft nonconference slate (was Jim Tressel interested in winning the MAC title, too?)and questionable strength of this year’s Big Ten. Not to mention the fact that the last time OSU faced an SEC foe, it was thoroughly outclassed by Florida in last January’s mismatch of a national title game. But in a year in which so many championship contenders slipped on more than one banana peel, the Buckeyes’ consistency must count for something. OSU stumbled just once (Nov. 10 vs. Illinois), which was one fewer time than almost every other BCS title game hopeful...including LSU. And for those whose memories are short,we’ll remind you that it wasn’t long ago (five years, to be exact) when many were alsoquestioning OSU’s title credentials against the Miami Hurricanes...a night in which the 11½-point underdog Buckeyes scored a stunning 31-24 overtime win.
That OSU has a legit claim to a spot in this game, however, is not to suggest the Buckeyes are going to win it. Especially since we’re not sure the matchups are any better vs. the Tigers than they were when OSU was dominated by the Gators a year ago in Glendale. Indeed, despite scoring 31 ppg, the Buckeye “O” lacks the dimensions of last year’s attack that featured Heisman Trophy-winning QB Troy Smith and homerun threat WR/KR Ted Ginn, Jr. These Buckeyes simply don’t spread the field the same way, and lumbering 6-5 jr. QB Todd Boeckman, while efficient enough (64.5% completions and 23 TDP), does not possess nearly the playmaking ability of Smith a year ago. OSU was more likely to wear down the opposition behind a physical OL and bruising 235-lb.soph RB Beanie Wells,who thundered for 1463 YR. And the receiving targets, led by sure-handed jr.WR Brian Robiskie (68 catches), are competent, if not flashy.That’s all fine and dandy vs. MAC foes and most Big Ten opponents. But willthe Buckeye offense that bullied Northwestern and Kent State work effectively against LSU? We wouldn’t count on it.
Much like last year’s battle against Florida, when OSU was overwhelmed by the Gators’ speed and athleticism, similar problems exist against the Tigers.Especially since LSU has had over a month to heal some of its bumps and bruises, specifically star DT Glenn Dorsey, who sources say has mostly recovered from a sore knee and back and routinely occupied multiple blockers even when less than 100% during the regular season. Moreover, d.c. Bo Pelini’s vaunted “press” coverage schemes that confused Tennessee’s Erik Ainge in the SEC title game could similarly discombobulate Boeckman & Co. Meanwhile, that extra time off after the SEC title game has also allowed the LSU offense to get healthy, with sr. QB Matt Flynn (who missed the SEC decider with a shoulder injury) expected to start, and elusive backup Ryan Perrilloux (now with valuable big-game experience gained from that win over the Vols) available as a nice change-of pace option. The speed of Perrilloux and now-healthy wideouts such as NFL-bound Early Doucet should effectively stretch the Buckeye stop unit that put the clamps on slower andless-diversified attacks throughout the season, but was exposed as a bit slowfooted by Illinois and mobile QB Juice Williams in that upset loss vs. the Illini.Let’s also not forget a couple of other intangibles, not the least of which is the location of the game (New Orleans) in the Tigers’ backyard, plus the fact that a season’s worth of distractions regarding LSU HC Les Miles’ courtship with alma mater Michigan is now history. And much like Florida a year ago,the Tigers sure aren’t going to blink at the prospect of facing OSU after a steady diet of SEC competition.
(DNP...SR: Ohio State 1-0-1
Re: Monday Service Play
For the 2nd time in the past 2 years, the Buckeyes of Ohio St are participants in the national title game. A year ago, they were TD favorites over Florida, expected to take it all, thereby completing a perfect season. But a funny thing happened on the way to their coronation. As you can see, below, we have listed the first 9 BCS title matches, along with the accompanying statistics. No, that's not a typo. Just 8 FDs & 82 YDs for OSU, which entered last year's title match as the unquestioned top team in the nation. Let's check out those title contests
Thus, for the 3rd time in 6 years, coveted placements in this game have been OSU's reward for stellar campaigns. That win over Miami, by the way, came in double overtime, with the Hurricanes entering as the unanimous #1 ranked team in the nation. This season, the Buckeyes had to replace 13 starters, & were placed in the #11 spot in the nation on our pre-season "Polls" column. But they have been a force since the opening bell, with the nation taking notice following their 33-14 road smothering (16-pt cover) of a potent Washington outfit, which opened 2-0, including a 24-10 win over Boise (17½ pt cover) the previous week.The departure of Smith, of course, left a gaping hole at QB, but Jr Boeckman has been more than a pleasant surprise, finishing the season as the 13-ranked passer in the nation (65%, 2,171 yds, 23/12). No, we aren't forgetting those 3 picks in OSU's shocking loss to Illinois (22-pt ATS loss), but he has assuredly gotten the job done. Overland, Beanie Wells ranks 11th in the land (1,463 yds,14 TDs). The Bucks' true worth may have come at Penn St, where the Lions had simply destroyed all foes, including combined 91-33 pt, 82-47 FD, 728-203 RY edges over Iowa, Wisconsin, & Purdue. But the invading Bucks (-3) simply routed the Nits, 37-17. At the season's end, anchored by Butkus winning LB Laurinaitis, OSt ranked 1st, 1st, 3rd, 1st, in total, passing, rushing, & scoring"D". But they have been installed as a solid dog in this one, as their opponents,the Bayou Bengals of LSU are just a couple of triple OT losses from standing at 13-0. The Tigers, much like the Buckeyes, are one of the top defensive teams in the land, with DT Dorsey, their main man. Their oft-injured QB Flynn (55%) has opened the door for Perrilloux, who is at a superb 69%, & went 20-of-30 for 243 yds in the Tigers' SEC title game win over Tennessee. Hester & Williams have motored for a combined 1,475 yds (5.4 ypr), & 17 TDs. But note just 1 cover for LSU in its last 10 games. The dog is on a 6-2 run in Buckeye bowl games, & has taken 4 of the last 5 BCS title games, on the field. Call the upset
PROPHECY: OHIO STATE 26 - Lsu 23 RATING: 5
Re: Monday Service Play
THE SPORTS MEMO ( 18-13)
Ohio State vs. LSU -4.5 O/U 50.5 Recommendation: Under
This game offers a lot of interesting counter arguments where each side can be understood but only one side will be right. What’s more important here, the potential negative effect of Ohio State’s 53-day layoff before this one kicks off or the Buckeye’s potential focus and desire to redeem themselves for last year’s National Championship fiasco? Is picking the winner here as easy as saying LSU is the far faster team from the far superior conference or is Ohio State’s offense,including quarterback Todd Boeckman and his trio of wide receivers,vastly underrated? Is having head coach Les Miles back in the fold a reason for LSU to be so hyped up that they just take the field and blow OSU out or is Jim Tressel still one of the nation’s best big game coaches who will have his underdog team extremely well prepared? Since you can take each of these valid arguments from either side and apply them to fit whichever way you like, let’s examine some other aspects where advantages may exist. For the LSU side, my belief is that its upper hand is contained in the semi-home field edge supplied by the Louisiana Superdome venue and the ownership of running-type quarterback Ryan Perilloux in their two-headed system.Ohio State’s fans will travel for this but with 72,000 seats, a majority of the allegiance will go to LSU and at some point in this game you have to figure it will rattle the Buckeyes at least somewhat. To go with that, Illinois’ quarterback Juice Williams showed in his 16 carry,70-yard effort against OSU, that these defensively sound Buckeyes can be dented a bit by a multi-dimensional attack. While the Bayou Bengals do not have as extensive a playbook as the Urban Meyer-led Gators, who crushed Ohio State last year, they are still very diverse.Speed, power, rushing, passing, drop back, roll out, inside, outside, short or deep, LSU’s 448 yards per game offense is adept at moving the football and scoring any way possible. Ohio State is tremendous at applying pressure in the backfield and statistically they own the best pass defense in the land, so this will be a great matchup. Defensively,the Tigers will be at full strength health wise and they’ll probably look to intimidate Buckeyes “hard to fluster” Boeckman. Stopping running back Chris Wells and his 121.9 rushing yards per game is imperative and the Bayou Bengals have the front seven to do that. Ohio State prefers to go deep when they throw the football so LSU would be best served to play a two deep style and keep everything in front of them. OSU receivers Brian Robiskie, Brian Hartline and freshman speedster Ray Small are all capable of explosive scoreboard changing plays. Dynamite return men in OSU’s Hartline (punt returns) and LSU’s Trindon Holliday (kickoff returns) are possible difference makers as well. In the end, despite the amount of top-notch talent on both sides of the ball, we expect Ohio State to come with a much better effort than a year ago. We saw with both teams, in their biggest games of the year (Michigan and Tennessee), hard hitting affairs with tons of defensive intensity. Cases are available for both sides in our opinion which is why we feel value in the Under.
Re: Monday Service Play
NORTHCOAST POWER SWEEPS:
The craziest season ever ends with the matchup that most expected on Nov 4th, the 1st time TY that these 2 were ranked #1-2. Since then both have lost gms & won conf championships while others fell victim to the upset bug. They have met twice previously with OSU holding a 1-0-1 SU & 2-0 ATS advantage. This is OSU’s 3rd title gm under Tressel (1-1 SU & ATS) while this is LSU’s 2nd BCS Championship gm following their ‘03 upset of Okla under Saban. Tressel is 4-2 SU & ATS in bowls incl a 33-7 win over Miles’ OkSt tm in the ‘04 Alamo Bowl. Miles is 3-2 SU & 2-2-1 ATS in the post season incl 2-0 SU & ATS at LSU. Despite the fact that Miles is a Michigan alum, he met with all of OSU’s coaching staff last spring in a friendly exchange of ideas. The Tigers are playing just 65 miles away from their campus in the Superdome where they’ve gone 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS the L/5Y. OSU is 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS in the dome. LSU has played the tougher sked with 9 gms vs bowl eligible tms (7-2 SU & 2-5-2 ATS) outscoring them 36-24 and outgaining them 437-294. OSU played 7 bowl eligible squads going 6-1 SU & 5-2 ATS outscoring them 31-14 and outgaining them 378-230.OSU is 0-8 SU & ATS all-time vs the SEC in bowls. LSU is 1-2 SU & ATS in the post season vs the B10.OSU is 11-3 ATS away the L/3Y (4-1 ATS TY). The Bucks have pulled upsets the L/3 times they’ve been installed as dogs (1st time TY) while LSU was favored in every gm (4-7-2 TY). OSU has just 3 Sr starters and 13 upperclassmen while LSU has 12 Sr’s among their 18 upperclassmen. OSU once again has 51 days between gms which caused Tressel to change their entire post season routine while LSU has 37. OSU’s 2007 season unofficially began on Jan 8th when the favored Bucks were humiliated 41-14 by Florida in the BCS Title game. Tressel used that score as off-season motivation as it was the players’ access code to get into their conditioning sessions. A soft early sked allowed new starting QB Boeckman to learn on the field. Boeckman’s confidence ebbed with the Penn St game where he hit 19-26 for 253 yds and 3 TD’s and Lee Corso started comparing the 6’5” Jr to Tom Brady. Boeckman struggled in the L/2 however tossing 3 costly int’s in the loss to Illinois and being limited to two 2H passes after a shaky 1H in wet weather vs Mich. Tressel says that he throws the deep ball better than any Buck QB he’s had which opens the field for RB Beanie Wells. Wells shook off knee, ankle and hand inj’s to lead the Big Ten in rushing during conf play. WR’s Robiskie and Hartline both measure 6’3” and are perfect jump ball targets. Broyles Award winner Heacock’s D led the NCAA in total, scoring, and pass eff D. The Big Ten’s DL of the year was DE Gholston and its Defensive POY was Butkus winner Laurinaitis. OSU is #11 in our pass eff D with Jenkins splitting time between CB & S. OSU’s ST’s were UnTressel-like ranking #41 and finishing the season #117 in KR avg, all’g 2 KR TD’s while 3 Pretorius FG’s or xp’s were blocked.LSU began the season strong with a 48-7 domination of #9 VT, but then the inj’s started to pile up with top WR Doucet (missed 4) & QB Flynn both missing the MT gm. After beginning the ssn on a 3-0 ATS run,the Tigers went 1-7-2 ATS the L/10 and somehow won the SEC Champ gm despite playing without QB Flynn and Lombardi/Outland/Lott winner DT Dorsey who wasn’t 100% the rest of the year after a chop block suffered in their last minute win over Aub. With Dorsey hobbled, they all’d 26 ppg & 305 ypg the L/5 while only all’g 15 ppg, 232 ypg in their 1st 8. Flynn threw 3 int vs Bama after taking a hit early in that gm,and threw 2 the next wk vs LT. In all, LSU played 6 gms that were decided by 7 pts or less and ended up losing two in 3 OT’s (both when ranked #1). The good news for LSU is that the time off should give all the inj’d players enough time to heal for the bowl. Overall LSU has the offensive edge (#14-33), but OSU has a slight defensive edge (#1-5). LSU’s normally strong ST’s finished #87 due to a subpar return gm, but PK David set school single ssn & career records for FG’s & pts.One major distraction for LSU TY was the status of their coaches with Miles agonizing over rumors that he was leaving for his alma-mater Michigan and DC Pelini being hired as Nebraska’s new HC. Miles agreed to stay at LSU & Pelini is expected to coach the bowl. OSU will be looking for redemption after LY’s sluggish effort in the BCS Champ gm and the Bucks would love to quiet critics who say that the SEC is vastly superior in the speed dept. Befitting this odd year, LSU is the first two loss team to make it to the BCS title gm and despite being ranked #2 find themselves favored. The dog has won 5 out of the L/7 champ games. This will be won in the trenches so expect the Buckeyes defense and OL to come up big and give OSU their second National Championship in the last 6 years.
FORECAST: OHIO ST (+) 23 LSU 20 RATING: 3*
Re: Monday Service Play
WINNING POINTS ( 13-15-1)
(January 7 at New Orleans)
L.S.U. over OHIO STATE by 9 (26-17)
The first thing that the public did when this one hit the board was the play on
Ohio State, and we hear talk of “revenge” a lot in the reasoning, after the Buckeyes
were humiliated by Florida 41-14 in LY’s BCS Title game. But while that sentiment
can sometimes having its place in handicapping, this game is not one of them. The
bottom line we see is an Ohio State team that is weaker than LY’s squad facing an
opponent that by kickoff will be better than Florida was last January, while at the
same time one of the prime factors in LY’s blowout is still in play – the fact that
Jim Tressell’s team has not played since November 17th, while L.S.U. was extending
its season two weeks deeper. That puts the favorite in a much better position to
play closer to their top level, and with the comfort of being right back on the same
field where they humbled Notre Dame 12 months ago by the same exact score that
Florida whipped Ohio State by (yes, 41-14), we may see a true champion in action.
The Tigers had a chance to be special all along, but injuries kept the passing game
and the defense from developing the way that they could, and a pair of painful
triple-overtime defeats were suffered along the way. Now everyone is healthy again,
particularly big-timers like Glenn Dorsey and Early Doucet, and QB Matt Flynn
is also fully healthy again, creating a nice one-two punch with Ryan Perrilloux. And
when healthy this defense is either the best in the nation, or the best east of the
Southern Cal campus. Ohio State does not boast any such strength. The Buckeyes
managed only 82 yards of total offense vs. Florida last January despite the presence
of Troy Smith, Anthony Gonzalez, Antonio Pittman and Ted Ginn Jr., and while
Todd Boeckman has done a solid job of managing games this season, where were
the challenges? The Big 10 was down this season, and the Ohio State non-conference
schedule included a pathetic series of home games vs. Youngstown State,
Akron and Kent. That hardly prepares them for the level of challenge that they are
going to face here, so for the second season in a row they go home without this coveted trophy.
Re: Monday Service Play
Ohio St. (+5.5) v. LSU
In the world of the BCS, we get two teams that lost their last home games versus mediocre opposition. I don't think either team is in the Top 5, in terms of talent, right now. Everyone thinks this Florida versus Ohio St. II, so it won't be. LSU has played very poorly over the last two months to be considered the "best" team in the country. I love the underdog in the Title game and this years is no different.
Pick: LSU by 1
Re: Monday Service Play
At 8 pm, our selection is on the Ohio State Buckeyes plus the points over LSU, as the Bucks fall into 33-25 and 31-16 ATS systems of mine. But the reason I like Ohio State in this game comes down to coaching, and rushing offense/defense. From his days at Youngstown State to the present, there has not been a more successful Championship coach than Jim Tressel. He's been here before, and his decision-making is much better than Les Miles, who often acts like a riverboat gambler (recall his decision to throw into the end zone vs. Auburn, instead of kicking a game winning FG). I do like Bo Pelini, however, but the LSU defensive coordinator may have been a bit distracted these last few weeks since he's off to become Nebraska's head coach after this game. The Buckeyes completely shut down Michigan at the end of the season, and held the Wolves to 3 points (but that Michigan team put up 41 vs. the SEC's Florida Gators). Overall this season, Ohio State allowed just two rushing touchdowns (and those two scores came in games OSU won by a combined 39 points)! Just two rushing TDs?! That's mind-boggling. On the offensive side of the ball, OSU has RB Chris Wells, perhaps the best RB in the nation in the 2nd half of the season. Wells got 222 yards against Michigan, 221 vs. Michigan State, 169 vs. Wisconsin, 133 vs. Penn State, and 76 vs. Illinois (but OSU was playing from behind, and had to throw the ball). LSU has shown a tendency this year to give up a lot of rushing yards. It surrendered over 150 to Florida and Ole Miss, and 385 to Arkansas! With the spread being more than a field goal, we'll take the Buckeyes
Re: Monday Service Play
Bryan Leonard Bowl GOY
REASON FOR PICK: LSU (-3.5) over Ohio State
Having this game played so late in the season gives us a two fold edge for the Tigers. First off is one which is often talked about and that is the lack of a conference tournament in the Big 10. That means Ohio State hasn’t played since November 17th while LSU played on December 1st against Tennessee. We saw last year what such a long layoff could do to a team and Ohio State falls into the same scenario again this season. The second edge is the so called hype edge. Before the bowl parings were finalized everyone couldn’t wait to bet against this overrated Buckeyes squad. Once it was known that they would oppose LSU everyone we talked to here in Las Vegas assumed the line would be 7 points. Well the line opened at LSU favored by 6 and all the money has since come in on the Buckeyes. Face it, we all love to root for the underdog and there have been plenty of feel good stories about this Ohio State team. A common theme is that last year was an anomaly and they won’t make the same mistakes again. But the truth is that last year’s Ohio State team was much better than this year’s version. Sure the 2007 version has the better defense but offensively this team isn’t even close to the talent they had on hand a year ago.
One of our favorite handicapping angles during bowl season is to play on a team who is playing in their home state. It’s been a long time winner and this year once again it has provided a nice 3-2 60% payback. Teams simply are more comfortable playing near their home and the LSU Tigers are very familiar with the Superdome. The Tigers were the preseason favorite along with USC to win the national title. But injuries hurt both those teams as the season progressed. But now LSU is as healthy as they have been all season, and we have already seen what USC has done when getting their injured back in the lineup.
We give the Ohio State defense a slight edge in this match-up as LSU also brings to the table an excellent defense. But offensively the Tigers are much better. The dual threat behind center should really give the buckeyes fits. Hey buckeyes fans remember Juice Williams? While Ohio State enters this game as the underdog it’s LSU that has more to prove. All season long they were thought of as an underachieving group. Now in their own backyard they can prove their worth.
Re: Monday Service Play
I have a Strong Opinion on the Under (47 1/2) in the BCS Championship game and no opinion on the side.
It’s pretty well known that Ohio State is 0-9 lifetime in bowl games against SEC teams, including last year’s humiliating loss to Florida in the BCS Championship game, but that really doesn’t mean much to me. The SEC is perceived to be a much better conference than the Big 10 in recent years, but Big 10 teams are actually 6-4 straight up and 7-3 ATS against SEC teams in bowl games the last 4 years (1-1 this year with Wisconsin losing to Tennessee and Michigan beating up on Florida). The fact that Michigan beat Florida despite being -4 in turnover margin is an indication that the difference between the quality of the Big 10 and the SEC isn’t as much as it is perceived to be. So, forget about the hype of the SEC being a dominant conference and focus on the teams. My math model adjusts for strength of opponents, which is affected by the strength of the conference a team plays in and the math on this game reveals that Ohio State was no worse than LSU this season.
The question is whether Ohio State can compete with LSU in this game, as the Tigers are healthier on defense and at the receiver position than they were for parts of the regular season. LSU’s offense was very inconsistent this season, playing 4 games in which they averaged less than 5.0 yards per play and having 4 games in which they averaged 7.0 yppl or more. Overall the Tigers averaged 6.1 yppl against teams that would combine to allow 5.2 yppl to an average team. The rushing attack was outstanding, averaging 236 yards at 5.9 yards per rushing play (against teams that would allow 4.6 yprp), but quarterback Matt Flynn was mediocre. Flynn averaged only 5.8 yards per pass play against teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average quarterback and the Tigers appear to be a better team when Ryan Perrilloux is at quarterback. Perrilloux averaged 8.4 yppp on 79 pass plays this season (against teams that would allow 6.3 yppp) and that includes 7.6 yppp in the SEC Championship game against Tennessee when Flynn was injured (Tennessee would allow 6.3 yppp to an average team). Flynn was hindered a bit by early season injuries to the receivers Demetrius Byrd and Early Doucet, as Byrd missed games 1 and 4 and Doucet was out for 5 games from game 3 through 7. Flynn’s numbers were better from game 8 on when his entire receiving corps was intact, as Flynn averaged 6.5 yppp his final 5 games against teams that would allow 5.8 yppp to an average QB. I’ll assume that’s the level Flynn will play in this game and that Perrilloux probably won’t see much time, unless the Tigers need him near the goal line for a running option. Overall the Tigers rate at 1.0 yppl better than average on offense heading into this game.
Ohio State’s defense rates at 1.9 yppl better than average, yielding just 3.6 yppl for the season against teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average stop unit. Ohio State completely shut down every better than average pass attack that they faced this season, and only Illinois averaged more than 5.0 yppp against the Buckeyes. The reason that the Illini managed to average 6.0 yppp was because they couldn’t sack the mobile Juice Williams (Williams averaged only 6.4 yards per pass attempt but was sacked just once). Matt Flynn is not that mobile, so he won’t be able to buy time to find open receivers and there won’t be too many open receivers for Flynn to find. Flynn had mixed results against the good pass defenses he’s faced this year, averaging 8.8 yppp against Virginia Tech and 8.1 yppp against Auburn, but managing just 3.0 yppp against South Carolina and 3.2 yppp against Kentucky. Ohio State’s pass defense is so much better than any team that LSU faced this year (the Buckeyes allowed just 3.6 yppp to teams that would average 6.2 yppp), but Flynn is capable of posting decent numbers and is also potentially going to be horrible. LSU’s offensive production will probably depend on their ability to run against an Ohio State defense that gave up just 3.6 yards per rushing play (to teams that would average 5.1 yprp against an average defense). Ohio State played two teams that are very good running teams and the Buckeyes gave up a combined 5.1 yprp to Washington and Illinois (who would combine to average 6.1 yprp), so they were only 1.0 yprp better than average against good running teams. Those numbers are misleading, however, as Washington and Illinois both have running quarterbacks that got a lot of those yards. Ohio State held All-Big 10 back Rashard Mendenhall to just 88 yards on 26 carries (3.4 ypr) and held Washington star Louis Rankin to 42 yards on 14 carries as quarterback Jake Locker scrambled for 107 yards on 13 rushes. Flynn is a decent runner, but certainly not in the class of Williams and Locker, so don’t imply that Ohio State’s relative troubles with Washington and Illinois apply to LSU’s good rushing attack. LSU may actually run for less than expected in this game given that the Tigers, who are 1.3 yprp better than average overall, were only 0.9 yprp better than average against the 7 better than average run defenses that they faced (5.2 yprp against Miss State, Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee – who would combine to allow 4.3 yprp to an average team). Ohio State’s defense is 0.9 yppl better than LSU’s offense and my math model projects just 303 yards at 4.5 yppl for the Tigers in this game.
The key to this game is how well LSU’s defense plays. The Tigers were a dominating unit for most of the season, but star DT Glenn Dorsey (the college defensive player of the year) was banged up late in the season and LB Barry Beckwith missed a couple of games late in the season. LSU’s defense was noticeably weaker in their final 3 games, giving up a combined 6.4 yppl to Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Reports are that the Tigers are fully healthy on defense and will be back to their dominating form for this game. LSU was 1.2 yppl better than average defensively for the season (4.3 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.5 yppl against an average team), but the Tigers were 1.6 yppl better than average in their first 10 games and I’ll assume that they will be that good in this game. If that is the case then the Tigers have a 1.3 yppl advantage over an Ohio State offense that was just 0.3 yppl better than average with Todd Boeckman at quarterback. Ohio State was 0.6 yppl better than average against the 3 good defensive teams that they faced (5.3 yppl against Penn State, Illinois, and Michigan, who would allow 4.7 yppl to an average team). However, the Buckeyes averaged only 4.0 yppl against Michigan, who was the best defensive team that they faced this season. Ohio State should have an even tougher time moving the ball against LSU’s defense and my math model projects just 274 yards at 4.1 yppl is the Tigers defense is indeed as good as it was in their first 10 games (which I’m assuming it is). Boeckman is also a bit turnover prone (12 interceptions in just 273 passes, 4.4%) and the math model projects a 5.3% interception rate for Boeckman in this game, so the Buckeyes could be in trouble if they get down by a couple of scores and are forced to throw more than normal against LSU’s attacking defense.
Overall, my math model favored LSU by just ½ a point using stats for each team for the entire season (with 2 points being give to LSU for playing in Tiger-friendly New Orleans), but that projection changes after adjusting Flynn’s stats for games in which he had all his receivers and using only LSU’s first 10 games on defense. I now have LSU by 4 points with a total of just 38 ½ points, as it is pretty clear that the defenses have big advantages in this game and scoring will not be easy (unless there are some defensive touchdowns). Underdogs of 3 points or more are 6-2 straight up in BCS Championship games, including Ohio State’s 31-24 upset of Miami-Florida as a 12 point dog in 2003. The Buckeyes will certainly be motivated after hearing how they can’t compete with an SEC team for the past 6 weeks and Ohio State is better equipped to compete this season given that they’re defense is the best in the nation this year after being a very young group last season. Remember, the Buckeyes’ defense was 0.3 yppl better than LSU’s defense was when it was healthy. I can see both teams winning this game and my math model suggests that there is no value in betting the side in this game. The better play is on the under given that both defenses have significant advantages and I will consider the UNDER a Strong Opinion in this game at 45 points or higher and I have no opinion on the side.
Re: Monday Service Play
15 Dime OHIO STATE
NOTE: I live for moments like this. Flat out live for them.
Hitting championship games is what separates the men from the boys. It's exactly what has separated me from everybody else my entire career.
I really think 8 in a row speak for itself. I really do.
Even better, hit this game tonight and it's a 3rd straight winning week.
So as you can see, a lot on the line tonight.
If you are reading this right now then you obviously made a wise choice. I love the fact you have made me your go to guy with this championship game tonight.
I boast being the best big game handicapper in the world and tonight is another chance to show that world why.
I am as confident as I have ever been that my championship streak will hit #9 in a row tonight after Ohio St gets the cover.
So without further hesitation or delay, here is why Ohio St covers the number tonight in with my 9th straight Championship winner.
OHIO STATE - I have no problem going to war with the Ohio St Buckeyes tonight.
First and foremost, they have the #1 scoring defense as well as the #1 overall defense in all of College football.
A defense that went into Michigan and held the Wolverines to 3 points and 99 yards total offense for the entire game.
Yes people, the same Michigan team that put up 41 points and close to 600 yards total offense against SEC opponent the Florida Gators.
The first mistake people are making with this game is putting to much into the Buckeyes 0-8 run versus the SEC.
In those 8 battles, they never had the best defense in all of college football in which to go to war with.
The second mistake people are making is they are putting to much into Ohio States only mistake of the year in losing to Illinois at home.
Throw that game out in handicapping this game here because Lsu offensively isn't Illinois or for that matter Florida, the only other team to beat Ohio St in 2 years
Those two teams are a spread offense attack, something Lsu isn't. This Ohio St defense matches up very well with this Lsu offense as well as they have anybody all year.
The last mistake they are making is the fact this Lsu team isn't as good as the world is making them out to be.
I mean, this is an Lsu team that trailed in 6 of their games this year with less than 3 minutes to go.
Florida let them off the hook. Alabama let them off the hook. Auburn let them off the hook.
Arkansas went into Lsu and beat them, the same Arkansas team that was destroyed 38-7 in their bowl game by Missouri.
This is an Lsu team that shouldn't have won the SEC championship game versus Tennessee but a couple of bad throws by Ainge of the Vols gave Lsu the win.
A lot of people in the SEC felt the best team in that conference was the Georgia Bulldogs but by almost default, Lsu is here.
Lastly, this is an Lsu team that finished the year on a 1-7-2 ATS. You can call it bad lines or bad football but the fact of the matter is I just don't think this team is that good.
Another area in which the Buckeyes have a tremendous advantage is coaching. Tressel is twice the game coach as Les Miles.
With all this time to prepare and the fact Tressel is a dog, makes the Buckeyes that much more dangerous.
In my opinion, this game comes down to the matchup of the Ohio St running game versus the Lsu 13th ranked rush defense.
Wells is a monster for the Buckeyes and I fully expect him to have a solid game here tonight.
Ohio St was fantastic away from home this year crushing Washington by 19, Minnesota by 23, Purdue by 16, Penn St by 20 and the aforementioned Michigan by 11.
Check out that Penn St win. People, that was the 11th best defense in the country and the 7th best run defense and Ohio St rolled them.
Last year Ohio St was the favorite and they got caught with being over confident and not taking Florida seriously.
That is not going to happen tonight. They are the dog and a live dog at that.
Big ten Michigan beat SEC Florida. Big Ten Wisconsin held it's own against SEC Tennessee. Ohio St will own it's own against Lsu tonight and then some.
Defense wins championships people and it wouldn't surprise me if this Buckeyes team wins this game outright.
9th straight Championship Winner - Ohio St