Hata: Why you wanna do a piece on the Buckeyes getting their asses kicked more than a week after the fact? It's cold product.
Shill Boy: Because like the song says, "We'll win the game or know the reason why." That; and I couldn't bring myself to even deal with this yet. Even I'm still depressed, and I'm the optimist in this conversation.
Hata: I know the reason. They're too slow, they have the discipline of a kindergarten class hopped up on pixie stix at 2:00 after missing their naps, and Tressel has lost it as a big game coach. He can't win the big one anymore. They suck.
Shill Boy: Awe, c'mon. They're college students who tried hard at their extra curricular activity. Lighten up.
Hata: Puh-leaze. Not even you believe that.
Shill Boy: Yeah, well....
Hata: Gonna be real now?
Shill Boy: Look, this was a team of juniors and younger players that was rebuilding and still a year away. They overachieved. The clock struck midnight.
Hata: What's that got to do with sixty-seven personal fouls?
Shill Boy: They had to hear for a year how they got humiliated. Then they had to put up with being number ranked one and dismissed as having no chance to win. They took it too personally and just flat out tried too hard and didn't play their game.
Hata: Which explains why they got shredded on defense?
Shill Boy: Not even I can find a bright spot there.
Hata: What in the hell happened there? They were ranked so high on D all year. Illinois showed some weaknesses, but they bounced back against Michigan. It must be that they can't match up with the spread offense speed-wise.
Shill Boy: Did LSU REALLY run the spread? I mean, I saw a power team that controlled the trenches with a 230 pound power full back and a starting quarterback who won't remind anyone of Pat White. Sure, the LSU offense called some interesting plays that exploited OSU. But all in all, I didn't really see them as anything more than a very good Big 10 team with some interesting wrinkles and one hell of a wide receiver who could get open whenever he wanted. They had that nice change of pace running back as well, sort of a lesser Reggie Bush. But it was no gimmick scheme. It wasn't the spread if you ask me.
Hata: So talent-wise, especially speed-wise, they were that much better? It is that southern speed?
Shill Boy: How fast did they look when Beanie Wells housed them early?
Hata: I get that one Ohio State player has speed, but overall, weren't they toasted?
Shill Boy: Call me a shill, but I didn't see it. I saw Early Ducet as a very high draft choice; a great player. I saw a couple very good complimentary players. I saw that the young Buckeye receivers struggled. But I just didn't see them run off the field.
Hata: You saw what you wanted to see with your scarlet colored glasses.
Shill Boy: No. I'm serious. I saw the Buckeyes' go into an offensive scheme that failed their strengths when they fell behind. And they fell behind because they lost their poise and a couple huge plays turned a tight game against them and as a young team panic set in. Butch Davis used to always tell us, "It was a really close contest except for 3 or 4 plays."
Hata: Yeah, and you used to believe him. Dumb ass.
Shill Boy: Easy dawg.
Hata: All right, so it is Tressel's fault. He calls the plays. He's the real offensive coordinator, not Bollman.
Shill Boy: Look, this might be where we find some common ground. Norm Chow just got his walking papers. It would not be the worst idea I've heard for JT to bring him in and focus on recruiting and overall organization and breathe some new life into a traditional I formation offense. But what are you gonna do? The game turned on a couple big plays and JT had a first year QB who was a cog. The LSU defensive line is great for a reason and they were getting pressure. He pretty much had to max protect or get his QB killed dead. Robiske and Hartline just couldn't get open against coverage when they were the only ones in routes. But then again, Gonzo struggled last season as well and all he was is a first-round pick and rookie starter.
Hata: Reasons are not excuses. The offense sucked except for the early drives and the last meaningless drive.
Shill Boy: Well I already admitted they should look at Norm Chow to re-invigorate the offense, but the total yards weren't that far off.
Hata: You're right. It was the defense that collapsed.
Shill Boy: They just couldn't seem to get off the field, could they? It wasn't like they gave up 80 yard plays. They seem to be so conservative they prefer to bleed to death. Where was that blitzing defense that stunned Miami just a few years ago when they played like there was no tomorrow every defensive stand?
Hata: Disappointing. I read that Laurinitas said his research indicated he was a top ten overall pick when he decided to stay. Maybe in the arena league. He's as overrated as Katzenmoyer.
Shill Boy: He had something like 18 tackles, didn't he?
Hata: Quietest 18 tackles since Wali Rainer.
Shill Boy: Even I'll admit they just weren't a BCS championship caliber team in hindsight. You know, maybe they shouldn't have been there this season, but you're blaming them for overachieving. That makes no sense.
Hata: You could take Kent State to the BCS if you scheduled Oberlin, Kenyon and Hiram. That's pretty much what they did.
Shill Boy: Maybe. I think it is good for JT to give the MAC schools a payday. The fact is those programs operate in the red. But he should really limit it to one per season. Still, they're just coming off Texas and picking up USC. This was a freak in between year.
Hata: The U, Can't State, Y S who? C'mon dawg. Ray Charles could see that ass kicking coming. All those cupcakes would fill up even Ted Washington.
Shill Boy: You want to blame the schedule? Blame the rest of the Big 10. Ohio State is supposed to be in a premier football conference. But no one can sustain a program to give them a run for the money. Paterno has positively destroyed Penn State by his selfish devotion to one up Bobby Bowden like its "Grumpy Old Men Three". That used to be a legacy program; one of the very best in the nation. Now it's a joke. Michigan State used to go to Rose Bowls and major games under George Perles, now they are an unstable program in yet another rebuild program. Joe Tiller was supposed to be the "next big thing" at Purdue with his offense, but they have also regressed to struggling against MAC teams. Kirk Ferentz is a fraud. The Iowa program is like Northwestern with mediocre academics. And even Northwestern had a really competitive program under Gary Barnett not so long ago. Look at Lloyd Carr and his melt down. Maybe no coach has wasted as much talent this decade. He blew it so badly that the program hit reboot and hired someone from outside the Michigan Family who needs to completely overhaul the offensive roster. It will take him about two to three years to complete the makeover. It's not Tressel's fault he cuts through this crap like a knife through butter. The conference needs to pick it up or the Buckeyes can keep trotting out better than average teams and losing only a game or two a season.
Hata: So you used all those words to say the Big 10 is crap.
Shill Boy: Sort of. The middle of the conference just isn't the SEC. People in the Midwest don't want to hear it, but yeah. Not crap exactly. I mean it compares favorably with the Big 12, especially the Big 12 north. It's as good as the ACC, Big East or PAC 10 overall. And they'd all hang 40 on Charlie and the Football Factory. It's just that the SEC is a complete meat grinder. The teams that emerge have gone though an unreal gauntlet.
Hata: I don't even want to see the Bucks in a BCS National Game again. They are the Buffalo Bills of the 90's.
Shill Boy: Hey, over 100 teams were watching them for two years in a row. They have almost everyone coming back; a year wiser, and another year into the strength and conditioning program. It still comes down to one game and JT is still one and two. He's got a ring and dominated Michigan. It's not all bad.
Hata: It sucks getting blown out when you get your hopes up and being the punch line nationally. Do you know how many "O - H; oh - no" e-mails I've had to put up with?
Shill Boy: I hear you dawg. I'm a fan too. But that doesn't change the fact the Buckeyes actually overachieved and had a great season. You can't blame JT and the players. You hate the fact this team got blown out in the BCS title game? You should know the first rule of hatin'. Hate the game, not the playa.
Hata: OK, but you forgot to mention your faith and how dreamy Mount Union football is.
Shill Boy: Have you accepted Larry Kehres as your personal savior?