Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Ohio State University @ the University of Southern California, September 13th (That Girl Guest Column #3)

Me: So That Girl and I are going to have a brief chat about the prospects of either of these possible national title contenders-

That Girl: They're not 'possible' national title contenders, they *are* title contenders, given that both of them don't play in the SEC and this is likely the only tough game either of them play.

Me: Uh, OK, then. This promises to be a good matchup-

TG: If you call USC by 21 a good matchup.

Me: What? Definitely tOSU 21-USC 17. Definitely.

TG: And what makes you think that?

Me: Well, honestly speaking, these might be the two deepest teams in the country in terms of talent- every position for both teams goes at least 2 or 3 deep, despite injuries to the Buckeyes and TE Vernon Davis, OLB Keith Rivers, QB John David Booty, and perhaps most importantly, three-year starting DT Sedrick Ellis. In fact, depth-

TG: -will be a huge advantage for USC.

Me: Why?

TG: Well, let's think about this. If Mark "Dirty" Sanchez, USC's starting QB, goes down, he has a former #1 in the nation, five-star caliber recruit to replace him. If Todd Boeckman goes down, Jim Tressel is going to rely on a guy who hasn't played a snap of college football in four years and an 18-year-old kid who is still trying to put his jockstrap on.

Me:...who also happens to be the most talented and heavily-recruited quarterback in history.

TG: Right, so he's also the most overrated.

Me: Wait, if Pryor is overrated, how can you say Mitch Mustain is overrated?

TG: Mitch Mustain is 8-0 in the SEC, the toughest conference in America except for maybe the NFC West. Questions?

Me: I will agree with you that USC's players tend to be more highly rated coming out of high school; however, generally speaking, Jim Tressel tends to develop his players well. For example, a former two-star recruit named Troy Smith became, under his tutelage, a Heisman-trophy winning quarterback-

TG: -who was overrated because he played against non-SEC competition, then choked in the biggest game of his life and became a benchwarmer for the Ravens, who will probably cut him to go play Mexican football or something.

Me: *Canadian*, thank you very much. You can't blame the Debacle in the Desert all on Smith, though-

TG: Exactly! It was a team failure.

Me: *suspicious* Well, yes...

TG: And seeing as this is the exact same team that got [censored] up the [censored] by Florida, and then proceeded to get [censored] again like a [censored] [censored] [censored] by LSU the next year, can you explain to me why this might be any different?

Me: Well, obviously, this team is harder, stronger, faster, better than either of those two teams, and both those defeats were for reasons other than talent: Florida was simply the better team on the field that night because tOSU thought it could walk in there without being properly prepared, and the LSU game was much closer than the score indicated; had our boys executed a few key plays properly-

TG: Like the ones where they tried to score, and didn't?

Me: Umm, well-

TG: Not that you would know anything about scoring, of course.

Me: Wait, what-

TG:...watching Tresselball all the time! *ba dum ching* Thank you, I'll be here all week. In any case, I don't see how a unit that is essentially unchanged from two years ago- we're talking offensive line here- can possibly protect a talentless quarterback like Todd Boeckman from one of the fiercest pass rushes in college football.

Me: Well, obviously DT Fili Moala and DE Everson Griffin are going to be formidable threats, but you have to understand that this is an OL group that has been through the fire together for the past three years, unlike USC's patchy group of-

TG: Five-star linemen? Who are projected to become all-pros in the next 10 years?

Me: Well, yeah, but we have BEANIE-

TG: And don't get me started with that crap. If your starting running back is named after a toy hat children wear, perhaps you should start being very, very afraid of Rey Malauga.

Me:...who is the second best MLB in college football, after James Laurinaitis.

TG: Laurinaitis disappears in big games.

Me: He set a record for tackles in the BCS championship game last year!

TG: Well, yeah, but that's because his DT's were getting blown off the line, as they will be when Kris and Co. come to town.

Me: Actually, the game's being played at USC.

TG: Oh, it is? Sorry, I was wrong; USC by 40. Their home-field advantage is better than anyone's, unless you count SEC schools.

Me: Umm, Stanford? Hello?

TG: Booty was hurt.

Me: Yes, and remind me, what string QB was Stanford on? Their third? And were they a 40-point underdog? Oh yes, they were. And how many games did they win last year? Four? Like the number of times USC was able to score against them in an entire game? And, oh, let's not forget, they lost to Notre Dame, which, as you may have heard, was a little down last year.

TG: Yes, but we beat ND 38-0, so therefore we must be better than Stanford since Notre Lame beat them.

Me:....Right. In any case, I'm not saying the Buckeyes are the superior team by any means-

TG: That's because they're not.

Me: Would you let me finish? All I'm saying is that the Buckeyes are deep, talented, experienced, and hungry as hell. They have a definite chance to beat USC.

TG: Just like you have a definite chance of being straight.

Me: Shut the **** up.

TG: Thanks folks, we'll be back next week to talk about Maurice Clarett!

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