Tony's Tip Sheet

Please patronize our advertisers to help
keep theOzone.net free for everyone.





The-Ozone.net Mall

Interesting, Fun companies with interesting, quality products - and the-Ozone gets a piece of the action!

Click here to return to the front page.
Established October 31, 1996
Front Page Columns and Features
Last updated: 09/08/2011 1:42 AM
Twitter
Follow Tony
on Twitter
Email
Email Tony
Share |

Football
Tony's Tip Sheet
By Tony Gerdeman

Here we are already in the second week of the season. The weeks are flying by. Soon we'll be complaining about how the midweek game is interfering with our Survivor watching. (Or that may just be me.)

There are some decently decent games this week, but nothing outstanding. Take the Notre Dame – Michigan game, for instance. Gameday will be there, and it's only a matchup of two unranked teams. But the fact that it's one of the most intriguing games every year speaks to the level of schadenfreude that this series brings to America.

This rivalry is like an annual comeuppance, a chance for America to point and laugh at a team made famous by their arrogance. Fortunately, there is a black hole for karma here. It can't escape the gravitational pull of this rivalry. That's why it's okay to hate and spit and release bile, and not worry about it ever coming back to you. Basically, it's all good and anything goes.

Thursday September 8

Teams: Arizona (1-0) at #9 Oklahoma State (1-0)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Arizona

Watch out for this game. With the Big XII breaking apart like the continental shelf in “2012”, Oklahoma State might come into this matchup with more on their mind than just football. Will they end up in the Pac 16? Will it be the SEC? The Big Ten? They won't have any idea until Oklahoma opens up the cellar door, thumps down the stairs with Oklahoma State's dinner, puts their plate of food on the floor, empties the Pokes' pooping bucket and then finally tells them which conference they're joining. That's a lot to deal with, and THEN they have to go out and play a football game? Still, it's hard for me to take Arizona in this one because I assume that every time that I have ever taken Arizona, they have let me down. I'll take Oklahoma State, even if sometimes they do eat chicken bones when Oklahoma has REPEATEDLY told them not to. Oklahoma State 34 – Arizona 17

Friday September 9

Teams: #21 Missouri (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0)
Time (TV): 10:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Arizona State

So...that Missouri offense that was always so prolific that we all liked...remember that? Those were the days, huh. Last week against Miami (OH), the Tigers “amassed” 291 total yards of offense and 17 points. Quarterback James Franklin got his first career start for Mizzou and admitted that he “failed' in his first test. Fortunately, he won't be seeing a defense as talented as the Redhawks this week. I really want to take Missouri in this one, and teams improve greatly from week one to week two, but I also think this is an opportunity to pick a home underdog to win. Unfortunately, I'm having second thoughts on my “Never Pick Arizona” stance, and I think it might actually be “Never Pick Arizona State”. It's probably best to steer clear of both altogether, but then I sort of have the same belief system with Missouri. What do you do when you have to choose one of two terrible options? [Insert political joke here and then wait for the wave of emails from people who see no humor when jokes are pointed at their particular party, but will cut out editorial cartoons making fun of their enemy party and hang them on their fridge, cubical, wine fridge, and bong closet, or have the cartoon turned into a t-shirt so their child can wear it to school 'entirely on their own and without any prodding from said parent'.] I wish there was a third team that I could choose here instead. Arizona State 24 – Missouri 21

Saturday September 10

Teams: Oregon State (0-1) at #8 Wisconsin (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Wisconsin

Oregon State lost in overtime to Sacramento State on Saturday in Corvallis. The Beavers had 496 yards of total offense, held Sacramento State to just 71 yards rushing, and LOST. Early-season losses are nothing new to Oregon State, having not gone undefeated in non-conference play under Mike Riley since 1998. In fact, that's the only year Riley's teams have ever won all of their non-conference games. They slew Nevada, Baylor and Utah State like the dragons they were that year! Wisconsin opened the season in an impressive fashion, burying UNLV 51-17 with their shiny new (leased) quarterback Russell Wilson. It was, by each and every account, the greatest game a quarterback has EVER played. Before I started to really study this game (though to call it “studying” would be like calling a coloring book “a museum”), I was intent on picking Wisconsin to win with a score of around 83-31. But given the fact that Oregon State is like the poor man's Wisconsin, it's dangerous to think that Oregon State won't rebound, or Wisconsin will continue to avoid a non-conference game where they struggle a bit. It's impossible to go against the Badgers here, but don't be shocked if the glory of Russell Wilson takes mercy on the Beavers and only delivers them a loss of 20-points or so. Wisconsin 38 – Oregon State 17

Teams: FAU (0-1) at #17 Michigan State (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 1.5
Cheer For: Michigan State

The Spartans weren't exactly impressive against Youngstown State last week, leading just 14-6 at the half before winning 28-6. Kirk Cousins completed 18-22 passes, which was somewhat expected. However, Michigan State only rushed for 159 yards, and most people probably expected that number to be doubled. This week they'll get to prove their decency against a similarly-terrible opponent, and if there aren't significant improvements in the running game, then maybe those concerns about the offensive line are now real-live worries. Michigan State 34 – Florida Atlantic 7

Teams: Iowa (1-0) at Iowa State (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (FSN)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Iowa

The Hawkeyes have won three-straight in this series, outscoring the Cyclones 87-15 in the process. Likely everybody is now aware of the controversy of the new Cy-Hawk trophy which featured a mother selling her son to a farmer as a field hand for a bushel of corn as the boy's sister looked on with a look of, “I'm totally taking his room and his big wheel”. Understandably, fans of both schools were shocked and horrified at the trophy as nobody in their right mind would ever sell a BOY! Anyway, the trophy was scrapped and a new one will be designed once they get the okay from the fine folks at Crispix. Iowa 31 – Iowa State 16

Teams: South Dakota State (1-0) at Illinois (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Illinois

This game is going to be such a blowout that I'm not even going to bother starting Illinois running back Jason Ford this week. He'll get about twelve carries and won't see the field in the second half. Though maybe I'm being overconfident. After all, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits did get a big 29-28 win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, who I believe are an Arena2 team. Illinois 51 – South Dakota State 7

Teams: Toledo (1-0) at #15 Ohio State (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Ohio State

How good is Toledo's offense? They put up 591 yards of total offense on New Hampshire. New FREAKING Hampshire! Of all the Hampshires, New Hampshire is easily the most talented. Sure, maybe Olde Hampshire can handle its whiskey better, and East Hampshire has the women, but nobody's defense matches up with New Hampshire, and the Rockets ran through 'em like Greg Little through license plates. The Buckeyes return four suspended players this week, including cornerback Travis Howard, who will no doubt be busy dealing with Toledo's passing attack. This game is really too hard to call. My head says go with the Buckeyes. My heart says never go against Northwest Ohio, but that's really only in polka and Euchre and the hybrid musical card game Polkchre, of course. By the way, the Buckeyes and Rockets have played twice all-time, and Ohio State has outscored Toledo 87-0.

Teams: #16 Mississippi State (1-0) at Auburn (1-0)
Time (TV): 12:00 pm (SECN)
Interest: 2
Cheer For: Auburn

We're cheering for Auburn because they gave us so much joy last week for their near-monumental collapse against Utah State. We appreciate being entertained, and we give you our collective thumbs up. Unfortunately for our beloved—and 100% clean as a whistle—Auburn Tigers, the Bulldogs' running game is going to gut them like a Friday night hog. (I don't know anything about Southern culture, but I'm guessing hog roasts are popular on Saturdays, and so the actual preparation for said roast would begin on a Friday, hence the creation of a new saying.) Mississippi State 37 – Auburn 21

Teams: #3 Alabama (1-0) at #23 Penn State (1-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ABC)
Interest: 4.5
Cheer For: Penn State

I'm not going to lie, I will be quite biased in this game. Being a Big Ten person, I have a connection and insight with each and every team in this conference, and that's why I'm starting Alabama's defense this week. I'm a fan of Nittany Lion running back Silas Redd, but he's going to have to carry this team on his back to get the win, and that includes Joe Paterno's golf cart as well. Redd is gonna have to strap himself into that place where the bags go, and then using his knees—and NOT HIS BACK—he's going to have to lift and carry Joe Pa's golf cart over all 100 yards of Beaver Stadium. And if that wasn't bad enough, Penn State is going to enter this game already down 7-0 thanks to the inevitable pick six that will be thrown. You would like to think that the Nittany Lion defense could help Redd out, especially since the Tide's quarterbacks are the shinier version of Penn State's quarterbacks, but it's hard to imagine that the Alabama quarterbacks wouldn't eventually win out. After all, if they sucked, they would've been cut long ago. Alabama 23 – Penn State 13

Teams: Cincinnati (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Cincinnati

You know the old saying about deciding whether or not we should root for the Bearcats: “When in doubt, who gives a crap, it's just stupid Cincinnati.” That doesn't really come into play against the SEC. The Vols and Bearcats are both coming off of blowout wins over FCS opponents, so not much can be made of their first week results. Generally in these situations I'll take the SEC home team, that way if I'm wrong, I'm still happy. Tennessee 27 – Cincinnati 24

Teams: #11 Virginia Tech (1-0) at East Carolina (0-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (FSN)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: East Carolina

Virginia Tech's latest OMG quarterback debuted last week, and he was just okay. Sophomore Logan Thomas completed 9-19 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, but it was nothing spectacular. And for the Cam Newton comparison people, Thomas managed to rush for 16 yards on three carries, though to be fair, they needed absolutely nothing from him last week against Appalachian State. That will change a bit this week against East Carolina. The Pirates started strong against America's most overrated football mind, Steve Spurrier, last week, but eventually the earth righted itself and the Gamecocks went on to a 56-37 win. East Carolina's problem is that they just can't stop anybody. The Hokies will pound the Pirates with running back David Wilson, and will bomb them with play-action passes. East Carolina will move the ball, but bog down in the redzone. Virginia Tech 38 – East Carolina 20

Teams: #6 Stanford (1-0) at Duke (0-1)
Time (TV): 3:30 pm (ESPNU)
Interest: 1
Cheer For: Duke

I'm doing what Stanford did—padding my record by putting Duke on the schedule. Stanford 42 – Duke 17

Teams: #12 South Carolina (1-0) at Georgia (0-1)
Time (TV): 4:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 3.5
Cheer For: Georgia

What was supposed to be the game of the year in the SEC East has merely turned into the “Annual Georgia Harvest of Giving Up, though it's not like South Carolina is a juggernaut. They could certainly lose this game, but I don't even know if Georgia is aware that they're playing a game on Saturday. I picture them sitting at home on Saturday morning watching Gameday, and when Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit start talking about this game, half of the team would be like, “That's TODAY!?!”. The other half would be watching a Top Chef marathon. South Carolina is still playing for an SEC Championship. Georgia is playing because the schedule says they have to. South Carolina 24 – Georgia 13

Teams: BYU (1-0) at #24 Texas (1-0)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (ESPN2)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: Texas

We're gonna go ahead and cheer for Texas because they'll lose to Oklahoma later in the season. This could conceivably be BYU's only shot at a loss this year, so keep that in mind. Both teams feature underachieving quarterbacks and average running games. Yes, Texas ran the ball well against Rice, but Rice can't stop anything. Think about it—rice is a food staple, and it can't even stop hunger after it's been eaten. That being said, I think Texas' defense will pose problems for BYU quarterback Jake Heaps. He throws interceptions against bad defenses, so I'm sure he'll throw at least two against a mediocre defense. Texas 28 – BYU 20

Teams: Fresno State (0-1) at #10 Nebraska (1-0)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 4
Cheer For: Nebraska

Fresno State is a lot like Cool Hand Luke. They'll stand up to anybody, but they'll also get completely pummeled for it. But all people will remember is the fact that they didn't back down. Which is stupid. Nebraska 33 – Fresno State 10

Teams: Virginia (1-0) at Indiana (0-1)
Time (TV): 7:00 pm (BTN)
Interest: 2.5
Cheer For: Indiana

As far as sparkling debuts go, Kevin Wilson's first game as Indiana's head coach was about as impressive as a banker/rapper getting into a rap battle and sticking to mutual-fund based rhymes. The Hoosiers lost to Ball State 27-20 in Indianapolis last week, and in doing so moved themselves to third-best team in the state. (The current rankings in order are: Purdue, Ball State, Indiana, Notre Dame. The last three all tied for third because nobody is worst, nobody is best, and nobody is better than anybody else.) But a loss for the Hoosiers wasn't shocking, after all, it wasn't at home—it was on a neutral site. In other words, they weren't defending The Rock! They were just defending field position, which is stupid. This week they'll be defending The Rock, though they'll still lose the battle of field position thanks to Virginia's running game and Indiana's inability to stop it. Virginia 31 – Indiana 21

Teams: Utah (1-0) at USC (1-0)
Time (TV): 7:30 pm (VS)
Interest: 3
Cheer For: USC

I know rooting for USC goes against everything you've ever been taught, but Utah has a pretty favorable schedule and they miss Oregon, so a loss here for the Utes would be good. USC has to travel to Eugene later in the season, so they'll certainly lose then. I'm pretty puzzled by this game. Last week Utah opened the season with a fairly unimpressive 27-10 win over Montana State, but they were up 24-0 in the second quarter before shutting it down. I will assume they were trying to hide things from USC. Meanwhile, the Trojans had to hold on for dear life to defeat Minnesota with a freshman quarterback. Everything is telling me to take Utah, but I just don't think they can pull it off. I think they'll make it close, but USC's offense will finally make a bit of noise this week. USC 31 – Utah 27

Teams: Notre Dame (0-1) at Michigan (1-0)
Time (TV): 8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest: 5
Cheer For: Michigan

In last Saturday's 23-20 loss at home to South Florida, Notre Dame had 508 yards of total offense. They doubled USF's 254-yard effort—and lost. The loss was because of the Irish's five turnovers, as well as their failure to force any turnovers of their own. Probably because Vegas feels like such a collapse couldn't happen two weeks in a row for Notre Dame, they are actually around a four-point favorite in this game. There may also be the small matter of people not quite being sold on the Wolverines, and I can't blame them. We really only got to see Michigan play one half of football last week against Western Michigan. They didn't move the ball well at all until the weather turned terrible in the second half, and they didn't really stop the ball on defense until that same second half. Fortunately for Michigan, there are thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, so there's definitely hope. If the conditions are clear, then I would expect the Wolverines to have nightmares with Notre Dame's passing offense, and subsequently their draw plays on the ground as well. Given the mediocre offensive showing we got from Michigan last week, don't be shocked if Denard Robinson approaches 20 carries in this game. After the way he destroyed Notre Dame last year, Al Borges has to allow him the same opportunity to do it again this year. Oh, and I almost forgot to talk about this being the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. After all of the hype that David Brandon had put into it, I would have felt foolish if I had completely ignored the entirely ordinary. Michigan 27 – Notre Dame 26.

Donate by Check :

Ozone Communications
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio
43212

Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.

Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.

(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.

Click here to return to the front page.
Front Page Columns and Features