Buckeyes’ Rose Bowl Opponent Determined Tonight

Rose Bowl logo6Tonight a good number of televisions in and around the Columbus, Ohio area will be tuned to a football game featuring two Oregon teams. That doesn’t happen very often. In fact, much of tonight’s “Civil War” will be unprecedented. Never before in the history of this rivalry has the Pac 10 championship been up for grabs. Never have Oregon and Oregon State both been in a position to win a right to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. I guess you should never say never.

Oregon (9-2) is a 10 point favorite in this one, and is playing at home. Oregon State (8-3) has been a good road team this year however. Of their 3 losses only one has been on the road and that came in a close game at USC. Oregon State beat Cal pretty handily on the road, but the environment Thursday night will be much more intense.

So who would Ohio State rather play? I suppose that depends on who you talk to. Obviously the players and coaches for Ohio State are going to be PC and say it doesn’t matter, they are both high quality opponents, blah, blah. Rob Oller of the Dispatch wrote what most people are probably thinking about this one-

On the scale of how it best helps Ohio State, the weight of winning needs to tip Oregon’s way. So for one night, “Go Ducks!” should replace “Go Bucks!” among Ohio State fans. Playing No. 7 Oregon instead of No. 16 Oregon State in the Rose Bowl would give No. 8 Ohio State a better opportunity to obfuscate if not obliterate the bad national vibes from its recent history of losing bowl games.

Is Ohio State still trying to repair it’s national reputation? Sure, but let’s not get too carried away here. If you ask around the country I would be willing to bet that everyone would share the opinion that the Big Ten is going through a down period right now, but that Ohio State is clearly the class of the conference and has been for several years. Even the craziest of Ohio State fans would have to submit that this team isn’t a National Championship caliber team this year. That we are outright Big Ten champs still comes as a bit of a surprise given the way the season was going for a spell. A loss to Oregon/Oregon State or a win against either isn’t going to matter much for OSU’s ‘reputation’ in my opinion.

Oregon would be a very tough game for the Buckeyes. They run an offense that we have some trouble with. They are fast and deceptive. Masoli makes excellent reads. Freshman LaMichael James is outstanding. So the question is Buckeye fans, would you rather have the toughest game, or the better chance to win?

  • Clown Baby

    Man I hope this is a good game tonight. I had to skip recording The Office on the DVR so I can watch it later tonight. My wife is not going to be pleased.

  • B-bo

    Better chance to win, no question. As you mention Rick, beating either isn’t going to boost us much nationally, but losing the game–regardless the opponent–will just give the haters even more ammunition for when they attack tOSU. The Rose Bowl is a big-time, nationally-televised affair, and that’s exactly the kind the Buckeyes have disappointed in for multiple years now.

  • Chris

    Let the haters hate. I want the better team.

  • B-bo

    I live in Florida, I get all the hate I can stand and then some–give me a win and a gator loss or 12.

  • TBrown

    I’m in Oregon’s camp on this one. I’d rather play the higher-profile team, especially since I think we could beat either of these teams. Though beating Oregon might not give Ohio State’s reputation a huge boost, losing to Oregon or Oregon State would deal it yet another big blow. We need this one, and I’d rather it came against the bigger name team.

  • OBSERVE AND BOOK IT

    Whoa… check out the new look. Less cluttered, improved layout…
    not bad. Like the cleaner look.

    But this gray on gray thing with the text? Too low-contrast, makes it difficult to read–not the best design choice. Hopefully things are still being tweaked?

  • OBSERVE AND BOOK IT

    Oh, and on the off chance suggestions are welcome, time stamps on the posts (and perhaps the comments) would be a plus. =-)

  • mgbode

    First, I think Oregon State wins tonight. They have an aggressive, fast defense that can force turnovers from the Ducks. Should be a very fun game to watch.

    Second, I think the Buckeyes want the Ducks, but not for the reasons listed.

    I think the fact the Ducks run the spread-option and zone-read are the reasons. Playing Oregon means we get to spend 5-6 weeks preparing and figuring out how to stop that offense. Perhaps that extra time and effort ends up giving us a gameplan for when we see it in future seasons.

  • Painesville

    A quality win will shut up some/most of the haters…at least temporarily. I’d rather be 10 pts dogs to Oregon and smack those ugly uniforms right off the field.

  • Alex

    “A loss to Oregon/Oregon State or a win against either isn’t going to matter much for OSU’s ‘reputation’ in my opinion.”

    Well, the reputation right now is that OSU cannot win an out of conference game against a decent opponent, and that the Big Ten has no business having an automatic Rose Bowl bid since the conference hasn’t won in eons. In other words, beating Oregon in the Rose Bowl will absolutely help change the national reputation of both OSU and the Big Ten. Living outside B10 country, nobody is impressed by OSU continually winning the conference, just like nobody is impressed by Cincinnati winning the Big East. With OSU losing high profile OOC and bowls, everyone else thinks that the lofty record is solely due to pounding on a down and mediocre conference. Once OSU gets a SINGLE high profile OOC win that will absolutely change the perception.

    Also, another recommendation for tweaking the design besides the gray: for some reason clicking the comment number links to the article itself, not the comment section, as it used to. Even within the article.

  • Matt#2

    OBSERVE AND BOOK IT has, without a doubt, my favorite name-photo combo. Beautifully over-the-top.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dconeil dconeil

    I’m pulling for Oregon because they have smoking hot cheerleaders and I’m going to the Rose Bowl.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    I’m pulling for Oregon only because I know that Derek Anderson is rooting for Oregon State. And Derek Anderson deserves nothing.

  • MrCleaveland

    Everything about Oregon football is offensive, from their clown costumes to their preening classlessness. I hope they get drilled tonight.

  • Tommy D

    The SEC is far superior to the Big Ten…who cares about the Rose Bowl this year?

  • B-bo

    Hey, props to the SEC for getting a #1 vs. #2 final weekend matchup (shades of OSU-Michigan not so long ago), but to say the SEC overall is “vastly superior” to the Big Ten as a conference this season seems foolish. Living in SEC country I am routinely subjected to those games, and I can attest that 80% of the conference is far from “superior” by any reasonable (ie “non-homerific”) measure.

  • AcrossTheField

    The Big 10 has definitely had a down couple of years. If the big 10 and the SEC had a showdown similar to what the Big 10 and ACC do in college basketball, the SEC would win the majority of the games. However, I don’t think the games would be blowouts, and southern teams coming up north to play in the cold would have problems. The argument that many in dixieland make is that the SEC is the class of college football because of the overall conference speed. The NFL is a league based almost solely on speed, and there are plenty of former Big 10 footballers playing on Sundays. The Ohio/Pennsylvania recruiting ground is some of the most fertile in the country, and is right on par with the likes of California Texas, and yes, even Florida. It was only 3 to 4 years ago that the Big 10 was the class conference of college football. Conference power is cyclical, and like the economy (hopefully), the Big 10 will be on the rise again, and the SEC will show a drop off. If you want my honest opinion, the SEC has shown a slight decline this year, despite having the “top two” teams in college football.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    I usually watch the Civil War game. It’s awesome. That being said, I enjoy college ball much much more than the NFL.

    I agree 100% on UO being the ‘better opponent’ for the Bucks. I look forward to playing them though I do have reservations as well. Whatever happens, I think tonight will be mucho fun, and I’ll definitely catch the end of the game after the Community/Office/Sunny/League gauntlet is finished.

  • saggy

    i want the Bucks to play the team that is higher ranked – i think i am echoing some previous statements here (TBrown, for one).

    Ohio State has improved greatly since the first few games, and I would make the argument that they are one of the top-5 teams in the nation RIGHT NOW. man, i wish there was a playoff. the college game doesnt do anything to reward improvement over the year.

  • saggy

    also, the Jets are wearing white tops with white pants. wow, that’s awful. another reason not to watch them tonight.

  • bobby

    I really want to see how the Oregon RBs are against the OSU defense. If im the browns, Im watching Legarette Blount against a top D. If he does well again, then I would not mind the browns taking him with their 3rd round pick from the Jets or later in the draft. Also, LaMichael James is a beast. OSU will have their hands full with these 2 guys.