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Friday, September 08, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable - Week 2

The second installment of this year's Blogpoll Roundtable is being hosted by Bruce Ciskie of the Ciskie Blog. A solid set of questions regarding the first week of action.

1. What team best met your overall expectations of them in their opener?

Miami. This is a good team. This is not a great team. That’s what we saw on Monday night. The defense is as good as anyone’s. Kenny Phillips was a monster, seemingly in on every tackle. I don’t doubt that they have eight or ten guys who will play in the NFL on that side of the ball.

But their offense remains impotent. Their O-Line is a sieve, their running backs unimpressive or inexperienced, and Kyle Wright just doesn’t inspire any confidence. Where have you gone, Gino Torretta? They’ll get their share of wins – this is Miami, after all – but they aren’t serious national title contenders.

2. What team jumped off the map and surprised you the most? (Bonus points to anyone who can make an argument for someone besides Tennessee.)

I know, I know, we can’t put up a post here at the MZone without mentioning the Buckeyes. But they give us such good material. This time, though, it’s because of what they did on the field.

I was expecting tOSU to struggle but beat the Huskies. I thought Tre$$el would play very close to his overly-starched vest to protect the inexperienced defense. I thought Northern Illinois’ history of playing big-name teams would give them confidence and keep them in the game.

I was wrong on all counts

tOSU came out firing on all cylinders early. Ted Ginn was part of the offense again. Troy Smith was playing as if Michigan was the opponent. The play calling was aggressive. The defense, though gashed on a couple of screens, was solid and forced a key turnover. And the crowd, along with tOSU’s aggressiveness, had Northern back on their heels from the get go. This game was over before the end of the first quarter, which makes the lack of a real blowout score, and the high number of Garrett Wolfe’s rushing yards not really worthy of comment.

3. What team best moved themselves into a position to surprisingly contend for a national title?

The obvious answer here is Tennessee. Even Smokey probably didn’t think the Rocky Toppers could maul Cal that way. And the Vols were the only team in the Top 25 that really made a leap. But since it’s just Week 1, any team that won allowed themselves to contend for a title. Was USC’s win in Fayetteville impressive? Yep, but they were already contenders. Was Oklahoma unimpressive in victory? Certainly, but if they somehow run the table, everyone will forget their struggles with UAB. Plus, as far as Tennessee, for all we know, Cal is going to be this year’s version of the 2005 Volunteers.

11 comments:

Brad said...

"Troy Smith was playing as if Michigan was the opponent."

Pop quiz!

If Booster A pays Troy Smith $500 for beating Michigan, how much does he pay Troy Smith for beating Northern Illinois?

A. $10
B. $25
C. $100
D. Cadillac Escalade

srudoff said...

E. Fab Five money
F. A new suit and plenty of airfare

surrounded in columbus said...

srduff,
um, do you really want to talk about b-ball scandals? seriously, who got busted by the ncaa, had to yank down a final four banner, served a year w/ no post season, and then had to pay the coach that "wrote the check" a couple three million anyway? not your best pitch these days.

stick to telling people (yourself included) that wearing a sweater vest and tie gives you integrity. it's not true, but sound less foolish.

surrounded in columbus said...

Benny,
couldn't help but notice tosu fans lining up to comment/acknowledge/thank you for the positive post on their performance saturday.

srudoff said...

your description of our penalties sounds exactly like the description of UM's penalties except we tried to fire the guy and he sued us - so we get stuck with paying him 3 million because we tried to do the right thing.

oh and the coach wrote a check to a guy who 1. barely played and 2. who's family was trying to survive in a war torn country.

The Fab Five is arguably one of the main reasons Michigan enjoyed such commercial and merchandising exposure in the 90's and beyond and they were probably all getting paid very handsomely to play there.

if you want to compare the severity of the two situations, go ahead. my retort to brad was to point out that both schools have had their share of wrongdoings.

surrounded in columbus said...

ours was a decade ago. yours was yesterday. ours involved a booster giving cash. yours involved the head coach writing checks.

you're right. they're almost identical. this happens everywhere. all football teams have 4 or 5 arrests a year. yeah. there's nothing different going on @ tosu. the rest of the country is jealous. the NY Times is just out to get you. ESPN makes stuff up. yeah. that's it.

now drink the kool aid.

srudoff said...

wow - you truly don't know what you're talking about.

O'Brien gave the guy money in 1999

Maurice Taylor's Ford Explorer crashed with 4 teammates and recruit Mateen Cleeves in February of 96

Fisher admitted he caught Martin trying to pay for apartments and airline tickets but didn't ban him because "I didn't think that this was a guy that was detrimental," and "If you don't network with a lot of people you can find yourself never able to recruit certain areas."

so 1. if ours happened "yesterday" then so did yours

2. there's a marginal difference between a coach giving a recruit money and a coach knowing that another person is giving his players money and not stopping him because doing so would hurt further recruiting.

nice try - the situations are very similar despite your hazy recollections

srudoff said...

ooops forgot that Louis Bullock admitted taking money from Martin AFTER he was banned in 97 so the timeline is even closer

love this quote from mlive...

"NCAA Infractions Committee calls cash scandal the largest in NCAA history"

hmm maybe they aren't as similar as i thought...

surrounded in columbus said...

srduff,

you know, if you weren't so damned serious, your stuff would be funny as all get out. everytime you try to defend your program, you dig your grave deeper. f

or instance, the crack about fisher? when fisher discovered the apt and didn't inquire further, we fired him. we held him accountable for the conduct of the team. 10 years ago.

what did you do after sweater boy talked to clarett mid season about the lexus (in the middle of the '02 season no less) and didn't follow up? you gave him a bonus. you made stupid, useless excuses to keep him from taking any responsibility.

as for timeliness, Fisher was fired in 96-97 time frame. the investigation wrapped up in january '03.

o'brien's story came to light 2 & 1/2 years ago. the ncaa investigatin just concluded this spring. the aftermath is still in the news- the lawsuit part- literally yesterday.

the multiple clarett/troy smith ncaa infractions all were in the last 3 years.

the 25 or so arrests all in the last five.


but don't worry- it's all an espn/nytimes/michigan plot because we're jealous. it all goes on everywhere else, maybe even worse. you've got nothing to be ashamed of for your program. we're just whiney.

drink some more kool aid.

M Zemeck uses too many words said...

What must football practice be like at Miami? I mean, no WAY Coker lets the 1's go against the 1's. It would completely ruin any confidence that Kyle Wright and the running game have... Hmm.

Eric S. said...

Benny,

Thanks for the compliments to Ohio State. Since everyone else decided to discuss scandals for both schools (which has nothing to do with the post...), I figured I'd take some time to compliment you on your game analysis.

And for my two cents on the rest of the post, I'm not sold on Tennessee yet, but only time will tell. And good lord Miami's offense looked bad.

Oh, and if anyone has a ticket to the OSU-Texas game that they're willing to give to an OSU student (very likely), you'd be my best friend forever. Or at least until the Michigan game.