The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
A Saturday Night Performance of Cats
While the government shut down due to Congress failing to pass authorization of sufficient funds for operations, the money machine that is the Opposing Quarterbacks Club was open for business as usual this week. The Buckeyes play another ranked opponent in a prime-time televised game and I was very interested to hear the conversations at this meeting. I needed a shrewd opportunity to gain access and as luck would have it, my doorman friend provided the perfect opening.
Apparently, the position of doorman at the OQbC doesn’t come with as many benefits as you might imagine and it seems health insurance is not one of the perks offered. In preparation for open enrollment, the doorman asked for my help in understanding the Affordable Care Act. Once I took him through the process and got him to understand that going to the doctor will soon be as easy as renewing your driver’s license at the DMV or deciphering the income tax codes, he thanked me for the insight and allowed me to hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this week’s meeting of the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. It was another big win for the Buckeyes and an interesting week in college football that featured some great games and the first firings of this season. We’ll cover all that and more today, but we’ll being with the roll call. Joe Licata?
Moderator: Adam Dingwell and Quinn Kaehler?
Kaehler: Both here.
Moderator: Jared Goff?
Goff: Here and back for more fun.
Moderator: Damien Fleming?
Fleming: I’m here, too.
Moderator: And finally, our newest member of the club, from the University of Wisconsin, Joel Stave.
Stave: I’m here. I don’t understand why I’m here, but I am.
Licata: What do you mean you don’t understand why you’re here? You’re here for the same reason we’re all here and the previous, what, about 17 quarterbacks have been here. You didn’t beat the Ohio State.
Stave: But I put up some great numbers and we hung with the Buckeyes all night and came up 7 points short and this is my reward?
Fleming: Yeah. Pretty cool isn’t it? Plus they give you a bad-ass jacket to wear.
Dingwell: Hey Licata, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good this week. You got a coach fired.
Kaehler: That’s right. Your win over UConn was so embarrassing to the Huskies they fired coach Paul Pasqualoni. Apparently, UConn can live with a lot of suck in their football program but to lose to Buffalo was over top horrible.
Licata: Hey, that’s not fair. You can’t put a man losing his job on my shoulders.
Kaehler: We didn’t, the Athletic Department at Connecticut did. It seems in the minds of the folks in charge of football operations at UConn, beating Buffalo should be as easy as buttering toast and if you can’t butter toast, then, well, you can’t coach UConn. I hope you sleep well knowing coach Pasqualoni has to look for a new job in today’s tough economic times because of you.
Fleming: Maybe USC will hire him. They fired their coach too.
Goff: He’d probably be an upgrade over Lame Kiffin. That guy is so clueless if they made a movie about his career Alicia Silverstone would star in it. We play them in a few weeks and on behalf of the entire PAC 12 Conference, I can’t wait to rub their collective Trojan faces in it.
Moderator: It was a rough week for a couple of coaches, but I want to get us back on track and focus on last week’s game. Joel, you talked about how strong your running game had been all year, but the Buckeyes really shut that down. Did that surprise you?
Stave: We came into the game hoping we could run the ball, play physical and control the clock but we couldn’t get the running game going so we went with more of a passing attack. We moved the ball on them and I think we ended up with more total yards, but a missed a field goal and too many penalties hurt us. I finished 20 of 34 for almost 300 yards and 2 TD’s. Those are the kind of stats that will win a lot of games.
Licata: But against Ohio State, those are the kind of stats that will bring you back here every week for the rest of the season.
Moderator: I have to admit I was surprised by your performance in the game. I wasn’t surprised you lost and I knew Abbrederis was the best receiver in the league but he really made you look good. He ran great routes and caught everything you threw his way. He even caught a couple of balls you tried to throw away. He was jumping into the stands and catching balls. After the game as you guys were boarding your team bus, I saw a Buckeye fan toss an empty beer can into the trash and Jared caught it before it got to the dumpster.
Stave: He had a career day. I feel bad I couldn’t get him the ball one last time to win the game. We got the ball back with about a minute and a half to play and I felt good about our chances of taking the ball all the way down the field.
Dingwell: But the little screen pass got blown up and then you reverted to “Arizona State mode” and demonstrated your keen time management skills by letting about 30 seconds run off the clock.
Kaehler: The next thing you know it’s third and seventeen and you’re 97 yards from the end zone. Ball game.
Stave: It’s just one loss. There’s a lot of football to be played and we still have our eyes on the prize.
Goff: I assume that means you’re looking at the Outback Bowl, right?
Moderator: Joel, I’d like to formally induct you into the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. You are quarterback #6 this season and I’m proud to present you with your official OQbC jacket. I hope you wear it with pride.
Fleming: That looks good on you. Check the left hand pocket. I added a little something special.
Stave: What’s this?
Fleming: It’s a stopwatch to help you work on getting to the line of scrimmage quicker late in the game and a coupon for a FREE timeout. You might be able to redeem that in your next game.
Stave: Wow!! A FCS dude giving me grief. This can’t get any worse.
Licata: Actually it does because the stopwatch is broken and the coupon expired September 30th.
Moderator: Gentlemen, it’s now time to turn our attention to this week’s match-up and welcome today’s guests. Ohio State travels to Northwestern to play the Wildcats Saturday night in another prime-time nationally televised game and joining us this afternoon are the Northwestern quarterbacks—6’ 0”, 195 lb. Senior Kain Colter and 6’3” 210 lb. Junior Trevor Siemian. Guys, welcome to the club.
Moderator: Trevor, I want to make sure I have the pronunciation of your name correct, it’s SIM ee un, right?
Siemian: I get SEE me un a lot but you have it correct.
Fleming: An anagram of your name is Aim Sine so if you are aiming at the ratio of the length of the side opposite the given angle to the length of the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle as a strategy for winning the game, you’ll need that and about 65 points to stay close to the Bucks.
Dingwell: Two QB’s? I can tell you from first hand experience that won’t work. Both Quinn and I played against OSU in week two and we didn’t win.
Licata: Dingwell, you played about 6 snaps. Your long snapper saw more action than you did in that game.
Kaehler: He had better stats, too.
Dingwell: Seriously? I have to hear about from you too Quinn?
Kaehler: Sorry buddy, he just set it up so perfectly I had to go with it. Besides, I see you everyday in practice and I know you’re not as bad as these guys think you are.
Dingwell; Gee, thanks.
Goff: I’ve seen both of these guys because we played Northwestern in week 1 and I’ve played against OSU so I’m probably in the best position to predict the outcome of the game on Saturday.
Moderator: So Jared, what do you think?
Goff: These guys have no chance.
Colter: We beat you by two scores at your place.
Goff: You probably don’t remember much from that game because of the concussion you suffered on your initial series, but Trevor did all the work.
Moderator: You two are an intriguing match-up and Coach Fitzgerald has used both your skill sets to perfection so far this year. Kain, you’re more of a dual threat QB—running and passing—and Trevor, you more of the traditional drop back passer. The Buckeyes have had success against both types of quarterbacks, but not in the same game. Before we get into your stats and your thoughts on the game, I have to say, Kain Colter, that’s a name that sounds like a quarterback. I don’t think a Kain Colter could play anything other than quarterback.
Siemian: What does Trevor Siemian sound like?
Goff: A tollbooth operator?
Licata: Or a wedding photographer.
Moderator: So far this season, the Wildcats are undefeated and ranked 16th in the nation. They are averaging almost 250 yards rushing per game which ranks them 18th in the country and Saturday night is homecoming at Ryan Field so the atmosphere will be electric and I’m sure the Northwestern fans are excited.
Stave: And I’m sure OSU fans will outnumber them by about 5:1
Goff: That’s how it was at our game. They completely took over our stadium. I’d never seen anything like it. It was if the entire state of Ohio showed up on our doorstep and made themselves at home.
Fleming: It’s Homecoming Weekend and you scheduled Ohio State? I was under the impression Homecoming was a game you were supposed to WIN and therefore you’d schedule a team like us. How are you supposed to get alumni to increase their support when you get drubbed in the one game they come to see?
Colter: Usually, I’m a “take it one game at a time” guy, but I’ve had this game circled on my calendar because I haven’t played Ohio State yet in my career and this will be a great gauge to see where we are and how we stack up against not just the top teams in our league but the top teams in the country.
Licata: Here’s what you will have learned once the game is over, you’re probably the best college team in Chicago and you can’t match up against the Buckeyes.
Siemian: I heard Coach Meyer say in his press conference that this week would be a challenge because we have great schemes.
Kaehler: Great schemes? Yes. Great athletes? Not so much.
Colter: This is a big game for us, a showcase game if you will and we’ll be ready. We’ll have Venric Mack back this week and defensively we’ve picked off 10 passes and returned 4 for TD’s.
Goff: Didn’t Mack get hurt in our game too?
Licata: How do you get hurt against Cal? They’re not physical. Getting hurt against Cal is like getting hurt combing your hair. If Cal knocked you guys out of the game, the Bucks will knock you out for the season.
Colter: We’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game and I’ve watched a ton of film. I’ve learned a lot from watching your games as well. To me it’s all about individual match-ups. We know Washington and Spence can create havoc on the D-line, but can Bosa and Bennett really step up? We saw the Bucks leave Roby on as island last week against Abbrederis and he struggled. Can we take advantage of that or will OSU provide Roby help? And where does the help come from with a new safety in their line up? I think we can have success if we force their linebackers to cover our backs in the flat. If Trevor and I can get our guys in some key one-on-one battles, I think that gives us an edge. I think we’re the best team they’ve faced this season, it’s at home, it’s on grass and I’m confident we’ll win.
Goff: Trevor, I see you’re a history major, have you studied the history of this series?
Siemian: A little bit. What’s your point?
Goff: My point is in the past 29 Ohio State-Northwestern games played, OSU has won 28. You guys make Charlie Brown’s baseball team look like winners. You guys are the ants and OSU is the little kid with direct sunlight and a magnifying glass.
Siemian: Things are different these days. We won a bowl game last year for the first time since 1948 and we undefeated this year. We beat Goff and the Golden Bears just like OSU did; Western Michigan; then we beat Syracuse from the ACC and a very good Maine team. Like Kain said, we’re coming into this game with a lot of confidence.
Kaehler: So you’ve beaten two types of Bears, Golden and Black, a MAC team and a team with a fruit for a mascot and you’re confident you’ll beat OSU. Something tells me history will repeat itself on Saturday and the Bucks win again.
Fleming: As Urban Meyer would say, the best thing about being 28 and 1 against a team is the chance to go 29 and 1.
Moderator: Gentlemen that is all the time we have for today. Good luck in your games this weekend and I’ll see you back here next week at the same time. We are officially adjourned.