Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Same Borst??

Don Borst of FoxSports.com today did a complete 180 on the Buckeyes from last week. Maybe he actually watched them play a game? He went from "Ohio State is going to get blown out" to "they deserve to play a team as good as them."

Last week:

"For the sake of the national championship game, let's all hope Ohio State loses to one of its weak sisters in the Big Ten in the next month. Because as things stand, it sure looks like we're destined to watch a repeat of last season's BCS championship game — top-ranked Ohio State getting blown out by a much more complete team."

This week:

"Most impressive about the 37-17 victory was that Penn State didn't play badly — OSU was simply a much better team. If Jim Tressel can get his team to continue to improve like this, then the Bucks will handle Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan... and might even beat the SEC or Pac-10 team that they face in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

With all of the scars that last year's BCS Championship Game loss to Florida did to their own psyche and their national image, it would actually be unfortunate for the Buckeyes to see Boston College win its way into the title game as Ohio State's opponent.

Beating the Eagles wouldn't be as satisfying as outplaying one of those fast, exciting teams like LSU, Oregon or even Arizona State. Because of that, OSU fans should be rooting against BC these days."

I personally think BC deserves to be in the game if they win out, and would enjoy seeing OSU play BC in the title game. But Don Borst again proves that sportswriters love to change with the winds of fortune. Thanks Don!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Don Borst -- Need Some Prozac?

In an article today on FoxSports.com, writer Don Borst goes on an angry anti-Big Ten tirade. It can be best summed up by this paragraph:

"[I]t sure looks like we're destined to watch a repeat of last season's BCS championship game — top-ranked Ohio State getting blown out by a much more complete team."

I will not argue that the Big Ten is having a down year (or three), but Borst goes on to utilize the unoriginal, yet still popular "soft schedule" argument to support why Ohio State would get beaten in the National Championship by "a second-ranked team like LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, or USC," at which point "we'd have another ugly title tilt along the lines of last year's 41-14 drubbing of the Buckeyes by Florida."

January 8 was a huge embarrassment. There's no doubt about that. And I could point out that Borst's main thesis is flawed by his assumption that this OSU team is the same as last year's, which is completely untrue. The OSU defense is better, faster, and more cohesive than last year's unit. And as everyone knows, "Defense Wins Championships."

But on to the real issue, how LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC would all spank the Buckeyes. Because the schedule is cited as the reason OSU is where they are, let's look at the strength of schedule of these teams:

Ohio State - 40
LSU - 8
Oklahoma - 60
Oregon - 14
USC - 113

I'll admit that LSU and OSU would be a great matchup. But this doesn't make much sense:

"Those teams, as well as USC — this would be the increasingly healthy USC team, with offensive linemen returning to the lineup and the speed that created the 60-minute mismatch with Notre Dame on Saturday — are just too fast for the Buckeyes."

Too fast for the buckeyes? With one of the 6 weakest schedules in the country and a loss to STANFORD? Okay.........

As far as Oregon goes, they are a "last-play-fumble-at-the-goal line from being unbeaten," according to Borst. If only football was measured by almosts. Also, Oregon's loss to Cal looks even worse now that Cal dropped two in a row and is out of contention.

No discussion of why Oklahoma is a better team, or mention of Oklahoma's loss to unranked Colorado.

Like I said before, OSU vs. LSU would be a great matchup. The others, I'm not so sure. There is also that whole "winning every game you play" issue.

Borst's argument seems flawed to me, and I'm not sure how he arrives at his conclusions. But if Fox Sports was paying me to write about college football, I'd at least try to write columns that made sense.