Five for Friday: 2013 College Football Truths
By Tony Gerdeman
Here we all are, still spinning out of control from the news of the Manti Te'o saga. There is no up, no down, just confused chaos. Gravity stopped pulling, now it only pushes. This is not the world that we once knew. Rules and laws have changed. Game over, man. Bring out your dead!
We can look to each other for answers, but generally all we'll get is the same stupefied look that we are known for. The world that we had known is now gone. If we can't have faith in somebody's dead girlfriend, then what can we have faith in? Why did they take that from us? What did we do to deserve this? We don't know what what to believe anymore, and that's not the college football that you and I love.
It's time to get back to the real college football. The kind of college football that you can smell in the air. You can pick up blades of plastic grass and feel it in your hands. It's real. There's nothing fake about fake grass, after all. We have to move past the lies and focus on the truths.
And hopefully, if all goes well, next time the dead girlfriend will actually be dead.
1. The Ohio State offense is going to be very, very good
Quarterback Braxton Miller will be in his third year as a starter, and second year with Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman. His inconsistent ability to throw the ball held Miller and the offense back last season, but his steady improvement should allow both to move forward this coming season. The Buckeyes lead the B1G in scoring last year at 37.2 points per game, but that was only good for 21st in the nation. There's very little reason that they can't add another field goal onto that total and find themselves in the top ten in scoring. After all, they return four starters on the offensive line, and the only other significant loss on offense is receiver/tight end Jake Stoneburner. When you add in the offensive talent being brought in with the 2013 recruiting class, it's clear that not only is the current talent going to be a year improved, but the overall talent level will be upgraded as well. The 2012 offense was a work in progress. The 2013 offense will be much closer to the type of offense that Meyer would prefer at Ohio State.
2. Florida will not play for the BCS National Title.
Sorry, Gators, but this is the truthiest truth of them all for next year. Road games at LSU, Missouri and South Carolina will be too much to overcome, and even if you somehow make it to the SEC Championship Game, you're not going to beat Texas A&M or Alabama. Yes, a one-loss team in the SEC has a better shot than most teams, but do you really see yourself with just one loss? Look in the mirror. Take a deep, long look. Does that look like a one-loss team to you? Of course it doesn't. That doesn't mean people won't still like you. I mean, it's not like you should consider yourself a pariah and go and create a fake girlfriend, or anything like that. There's no shame in finishing second in your own division. Just ask 2011 Alabama.
3. Louisville will get passed by a one-loss SEC team, and possibly a one-loss Pac 12 team.
Louisville's schedule is an embarrassment to schedule-makers all over the world. You can bet that the Cardinals will not be invited to the 2013 Schedule-Makers Conference in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico this summer. The most difficult part of Louisville's schedule will simply be waking up on Saturday morning. Home games against Rutgers and UCF, and road games at Kentucky and Cincinnati are as difficult as it gets for the Cardinals in 2013. Even winning by 30 points every week won't be enough to keep them from being jumped by a one-loss SEC team, and maybe even a one-loss Stanford or Oregon team. If there is an undefeated team next season aside from Louisville, the Cardinals better hope everybody in the SEC has two losses, or else they'll be deservedly shut out.
4. Jadeveon Clowney will be the media's defensive golden boy.
Jadeveon Clowney better be making sure that every last one of his girlfriends is legit, because he will be passed Manti Te'o's torch next season. Not that he won't deserve it, but he will be the one defensive Heisman candidate that every pundit latches on to to prove that they're hip and happenin'. Remember how when you were in college, you'd play your music and point your speakers out your window so that other people could hear how good your taste in music was? It's like that. Though your fake girlfriend was just a coincidence.
5. There's no need to pay attention to Oklahoma or Texas.
Let's be honest, Texas and Oklahoma do everybody a favor by playing eachother as early as they do. By playing in the first half of the season, we can cast the loser aside and move on without them. Once the game is over, we then only have to sort of keep an eye on the winner, and generally just for a few weeks. I'm suggesting that we don't even need to go that far next year. Nothing is going to change. After all, it will have been nine years since Oklahoma last loss less than two games, and four since Texas did it. And even though Texas has done it fairly recently, I don't see Colt McCoy walking through those doors. (Unless it's as a graduate assistant.)
Bonus: The dumpster fire at USC will be visible from space.
If you thought that starting out as the preseason #1 team in America and finishing 7-6 was the epitome of bottoming out, I would direct your attention to 2013. USC might want to think about selling tickets to the postgame locker room fights next season.
Bonus: Clemson will break your heart.
Clemson is a national title contender in 2013, but don't get too sucked in. You wouldn't want to get catfished.
Bonus: Devin Gardner's hype will grow by the day.
I'm going to buy a rubber plant and paint a white ring at its base. This ring will signify Gardner's hype. The plant will grow at the same pace as Gardner's media attention. It's called science. Look it up.
Bonus: SEC fans will find Bret Bielema unlikeable. (Assuming they don't already.)
Bret Bielema has a way of saying things to get underneath other programs' skin, and especially the fanbases of those programs. Don't be surprised if at the SEC Media Days he says something about how William Sherman should have gone for two.
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