Saturday, 6 January 2007

BCS National Championship Game Preview: Ohio St. vs. Florida

With the game just days away, I figured it was time to make a fool of myself with another wrong prediction. So anyway, I'll give you 3 reasons why Ohio St. will win, 3 reasons why Florida will win, and then actually tell you who will win. This will all become obvious quickly, but I like explaining myself.

(1) The Florida defense is very good and very fast. This will certainly be the best defense that the Buckeyes have played this year. They give up 13.5 PPG in the tough SEC, and they have the speed to at least have a chance at matching up with the Buckeye skill players.
(2) Urban Meyer is smart. I really look at this game sorta like Boise/Oklahoma... Ohio St. is probably the better all-around team, but with a couple of big, maybe trick plays, that can be a great equalizer. And Urban Meyer is a bright offensive mind as he has shown. I believe he'll have a few tricks up his sleeve, and with guys like Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin, the Gators have the weapons to make those plays count.
(3) They are battle tested. Florida comes into the game as underdogs against the undefeated and top-ranked Buckeyes. But they definitely won't be scared of them. With games against ranked teams like Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Arkansas, as well as a trip to Tallahassee, they are battle tested.

(1) Troy Smith is the best college QB in the country. I have a few doubts about Smith at the next level, but he's been pretty awesome this year, as evidenced by the Heisman trophy he won. He's versatile and athletic, so he can run if things break down. However, he's becomes much more dangerous with his arm. He's completed 67% of his passes this year with 30 TD and 5 INT. With Ted Ginn, Anthony Gonzalez, and the rest of the skill players, he should have the opportunity for big plays.
(2) Jim Tressel has big-game experience. I don't necessarily think this is a huge thing, but it helps. Tressel has 1 National Title already, so he should be well aware of how to keep the team loose coming into such an enormous game.
(3) The defense is pretty good too. For all the talk about the Gator defense, don't overlook the Buckeye defense. They're allowed a ridiculous 10.4 PPG this year, which is good. Only 3 times this year have they allowed more than 10 points in a game (twice they allowed exactly 10), so it will be no cakewalk for the Gators offensively.

In the end, I think this game will come down to the Quarterbacks, and that gives Ohio St. the edge. Troy Smith has been awesome this year, while Chris Leak has been a little inconsistent. I think Leak has the tendency to get rattled and force things when he gets pressured, something that the Buckeyes will do to him. I think Meyer can devise a good gameplan to keep things close (and look for at least one big play for Percy Harvin), but in the end, Troy Smith will bring the National Title back to Columbus. OHIO ST. 28-24.