One final game for all of the Tostitos!
(Wait. That's not right. Brent's been demoted and Tostitos isn't sponsoring college football anymore.)
Ohio State vs Oregon. Does Ohio State win a B1G game? Or does Scott Frost get another ring? Here's what the CN team picked:
Husker Mike: I'm not exactly sure who I want to win, but I think Ohio State will win. On one hand, I'd like to see the B1G get some redemption...but it's still Ohio State. But that being said, I think the Buckeyes are simply playing better than the Ducks, especially when you consider Oregon's loss of Devon Allen and Darren Carrington. They've battled injuries all season, but at a certain point, you can only handle so much. Bucknuts 48, Quackers 42
Salt Creek: Give me Ohio State. I'm mad that Nike will claim a title either way, especially for the embarrassingly bad uniforms both teams will be trotting out, but I definitely do not want Nike's baby to win a title.
Ty: I want to say Ohio State because B1G homer, and because the fact that they're being successful with a third-string QB is remarkable. However, I have to call it for Oregon. That D is under-rated and not talked about, and Mariota's been nothing short of amazing. The kid figures out how to get wins in quite a few different ways. I realize that he's without his top WR targets (WHO FAILS A DRUG TEST THE WEEK OF THE BIG GAME?!), but I think the Ducks will (excuse me) QUACK Ohio State in the end and get the win, however it'll be closer than the game over FSU. Ducks 45, OSU 35
Brian: First off, kind of cool to be working this game, even though I wont be able to leave till after you all mostly go to bed.
As far as this game, take the overs. Two of the best offenses around. Question is, is Bucky's D good enough to slow down Mariota? When Oregon goes supersonic, not many folks can stop it. I think Ohio State can slow it down offensively enough to give them a punchers chance, but if Oregon gets to, say, 35 or so there is no chance for OSU to win.
Pat Janssen: Both coaches are exemplary shoulder-chip builders, and they both know how to direct their teams' anger AT THE RIGHT SOURCES (sorry, Bo). All things being equal, I would say Oregon. But things haven't been especially equal in the buildup to this game. Ohio State's extra practice time is a big deal when trying to cope with Oregon's pace. And while distractions tend to be a bigger deal for the inferior team (a la Eugene Robinson in Super Bowl XXXIII), the Ducks' suspensions are no small deal. Plus, the narrative continues to be that this is Oregon's game to lose, something Urban Meyer thrives upon. And to top it all off, this Buckeyes team is actually pretty damn good. I think Ohio State needs to build a big, demoralizing lead to stave off the inevitable Oregon onslaught, but I think the Bucks do it. Ohio State by two touchdowns.
Mister Mike: I'm going to go with tOSU here, by a score that is similar to what it was in the Sugar Bowl when they played Bama.
I think the Buck's DL will be able to contain MM and the secondary will be able to take away some of his easy reads in the passing game. That defense will hit him nearly every time he touches the ball, so I think by the end of the third quarter, you'll see the Bucks take full control of the game and when it's all said and done, the B1G will welcome their first title since the 2002 MNC when the Bucks beat Miami in OT.
X-Factor...if either QB goes down/out with an injury? Ho boy....all bets are off at that point.
JLew: Ugh so much tOSU love. Not sure the B10 can handle Urban's head (Or their fans') if they with the title with a third string QB. BTW just how good of a coach is he? Wow it's been impressive since he went to Columbus. I hope the upcoming war between him and Harbaugh takes a toll on them both while Nebraska rebuilds. That said give be Oregon. By a lot. I think the Ducks are too fast and way better. Plus we get to hear how great Frost is at calling plays and how he should come back to Nebraska...
Ranchbabe: My knee-jerk reaction is to pick Oregon. Mariota is the best quarterback in college football and even a short-handed Duck team is going to be difficult to contain. However, Urbz seems to be on a different plane of existence than mere mortal coaches right now. Add in that Cardale Jones is a frightening human being for anyone on the defensive side of the ball to face. By that I mean he's a 250 lb 6'5" QB that can drag linebackers along for a ride or kill some unsuspecting safety that doesn't get the hell out of the way when he throws a missile down the field. Must be nice to have a four star QB stashed on the third string....oh wait... /looks up Johnny Stanton highlights. Must be nice to have a quarterback coach....oh wait... /looks up Riley and Langsdorf bios. Woohoo! The Huskers are coming for you Buckeyes! (short disclaimer: I don't really care who is the Husker QB next year, I am just hopeful we see some improved play from that position)
OK, back to this game.
The Buckeye run game might be their best defense as it will make Mariota stand on the sideline longer than he wants. Both QBs have been stingy in giving up turnovers and if either one makes a mistake, it could be huge in the outcome. I'll take OSU and all the overs. Buckeyes 45 Ducks 41
Andy K: A lot of the focus has been on OSU being down to a 3rd string QB (who probably would have started when Brax went down if he didn't have a rep for doing jerk-off Ohio St athlete things like tweet about the unfairness of attending classes), but Oregon is now down an All-American CB (which could be an issue as well as Cardale chucks the deep ball) AND a receiver who torched FSU for 165 yds & 2 TD's. Everyone's take is that the Oregon roster is now loaded with 15 guys just like him, but is it really? Hope the toke was worth it, Franco.
So, I'm finding myself in agreement with those who think this game will be closer than some think. The way the Buckeyes dominated Alabama was eye-opening (even though I think TCU would have embarrassed them worse. OK, I promised to try and let that go. Even though a TCU-Oregon final would have been the college football equivalent of Jessica Biel suddenly signing a 10-film deal with Cinemax. But nevermind.) This will NOT be a Duck cakewalk.
The combination of the The Human Stain winning another national title and having to deal with Ohio State fans I know - the kind who call it THE Ohio State University - is simply too horrifying to contemplate. Do the powers above really hate me enough to create a season in which Abdullah and Gurley suffer knee injuries that derail potentially legendary seasons, but allow Urban to smirk his way his way to the top?
Well, of course they do, but I'm betting Saint Marcus finds a way to fend off this Apocolypse. At least for now. Oregon 49 OSU 44
So the CN team overall leans towards Ohio State; what's your prediction? Or are you watching NCIS: Los Angeles instead tonight?