Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Michigan State Spartans (11-1 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 15: Big Ten Championship Game
Date and Time: Saturday December 7, 2013 8:17pm EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis IN
by Tim, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OSU -6/MSU +6
Over/Under Total: 49.5
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Ohio State and Michigan State have some history. The Buckeyes have faced the Spartans twice as Number 1 in the nation and both times Michigan State shut the door. Second year Head Coach Urban Meyer caused the most recent bad-blood between the two schools by breaking every Gentlemanly agreement instituted and supported by disgraced Buckeye coach Jim Tressel among other Big Ten coaches such as, pursuing verbally committed recruits and types of game film to be exchanged, spurring Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema to flee the Big Ten accepting the Razorbacks Top Hog job and goosing Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio to call Meyers actions unethical. Michigan State vs Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game is filled with drama! Lets take a closer look inside this games combatants.
The coaches pull the strings and prepare the players for each and every encounter. Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio was a long time assistant to former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel going all the way back to the Youngstown State Penguins era. Leaving YState in 1990, Dantonio was defensive backs coach when Nick Saban was Head Coach at Michigan State. From there, Dantonio was hired by friend JimTressel at Ohio State and remained at OSU until getting the University of Cincinnati job in 2004. In 2007, Dantonio was hired in his current position as Spartans Head Coach. Dantonio is 38-18 overall as MSUs skipper but only 2-4 with Michigan State in bowl games (winning the last two straight). Dantonios squad is 11-1 losing only to rival Notre Dame 17-13 in South Bend committing 4 controversial pass interference penalties and a last minute, drive stopping, turnover sealing the Spartans fate. Dantonio is 5-2 against natural rival Michigan including this years 29-6 no contest making Dantonio a bit of a Rock Star around East Lansing. Dantonios offensive coordinator is long time Tressel protg and former Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman who was run out of Columbus after the 2011 season for dismal and horrifying ineptness with, essentially, the same personnel that Meyer had last year in their 12-0 season. Bollman as offensive coordinator is noteworthy since Bollman spent one year at Boston College before punting to East Lansing and produced the 115th worst offenses in the country. The 2013 Spartans are 84th in total offense reflecting Bollmans worshipping The Punt as the single greatest play in any college football game.
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Urban Meyer is chasing down Oklahoma and Bud Wilkinsons 47 game winning streak as the Buckeyes have won 24 straight since Meyer took over. Ironically, Ohio State will need 29 wins to overtake the 195-53 Michigan State that won 28 in a row! Overall, Meyer is 128-23 carrying a 7-1 Bowl record and two National Championships. Meyer plays a lets see if you can outscore me spread offense and doesnt mind giving up 30 points or more in the process. Meyer is an intense competitor bleeding success over the field, creating a river of controversy from fans, coaches, and the media who, as a group, is collectively jealous of Meyers accomplishments. Florida fans loved Meyer while he was their Head Coach and have a fond distaste for Meyer since Meyers departure. By now, you know, Meyer has not lost a game as OSUs Head Coach but what you may not know is: Meyer may not lose as Ohio States Head Coach (at least not in Big Ten play)! Meyer gets the upper 1 percent of all high school football recruits. Meyer plays a style of football that most Big Ten coaches may be familiar with seeing. The difference is; Meyer plays his style combined with the best recruits. Lets take a look at these teams.
First is a comparison of MSUs defense versus Ohio States offense. Michigan State is number 1 nationally in total defense. Oddly, Michigan State is only 18th in Red Zone defense? Michigan State lives by their defense as the number 4 scoring defense in the country. The Spartans are tied for 16th in tackles for loss, tied for 38th in sacks, 1st in rushing defense, 9th in passing yards allowed, and tied for 11th in turnover differential. The most outstanding statistic concerning the Spartans defense is Michigan States number 2 position national defending on third down. The Spartans allow opponents a first down (on 3rd down) .287 percent of the time. MSU also owns the number 1 spot in defending opponents passing efficiency. Ohio State, predictably, is 3rd in the nation in scoring. The Buckeyes are 2nd nationally in rushing offense, 83rd in passing offense, and 6th overall in total offense. Ohio Stateas if on queue—is 4th nationally in tackles for loss allowed. Carlos Hyde leads the Buckeyes with 1,290 rushing yards followed closely behind by QB Braxton Miller carrying the rock for 891 yards on the ground. Miller also has 1,759 yards and 21 TDs through the air giving the Buckeyes a huge offensive edge in this game. Defensively, the Spartans are much better than the Buckeyes D and MSUs defense is led by Senior Linebacker Denicos Allen carrying the 31st position in the nation in tackles for loss. Interestingly enough, Michigan State has no player in the Top 100 in the country in solo tackles and total tackles! The Spartan defense is truly a TEAM defense.
Second is a comparison of MSUs offense versus Ohio States defense. Michigan States offense is 84th in the country in total offense. The Spartans are 95th in passing offense, 47th in rushing offense, tied for 78th in Red Zone offense, and 63rd in scoring offense. Bollmans play calling has resulted in the 75th position in passing efficiency and the 6th position in time of possession. Michigan States QB Connor Cook is 79th in completion percentage and 77th overall as a QB but those stats really dont matter all that muchOhio State has proven they couldnt cover a flower bed with a landscaping crew. Ohio States defense stinks. Preseason All-American Bradley Roby is so bad most teams pick on Roby as a weak link in the Buckeyes astonishingly bad secondary! Bradley Roby told Urban Meyer hes going to forego his senior season and enter the workforce. Without specifically saying where Roby would begin working, most who have watched Bradley Roby this season are led to believe Roby will join the Peace Corps since Roby has facilitated such a deep sense of generosity towards opposing receivers in 2013! Roby got LIT UP against Wisconsin and WR Jared Abbrederis, CHUMPED by Illinois WR Steve Hull, and BURNED like Sunday Morning warm-up pizza by Michigans Jeremy Gallon and Jake Butt! And with 1,232nd pick, the Arena League Loxahatchee Lotto Lubbers takeDB Bradley Roby!
This is a game more aptly described this way: MSU Mike Sadler has punted the ball 65 times and OSU Punter Cameron Johnston has pooched it 35 times. MSU place kicker Mike Geiger has attempted 14 field goals from, mostly, 40-49 yards out, and made 13. OSUs Drew Basil has attempted 9 field goals and made 8 mostly between 20-29 yards. Jim Bollman is the play caller for MSU and Bollman lay beyond the boundaries of an elephant tranquilizer putting approximately 100,000 people to sleep simultaneously. There is only 2.Ill say it again TWO possible scenarios in this game. Scenario Number 1: Ohio State gets stuffed with their rushing and cant complete a pass (and QB Kenny Guyton is not allowed to substitute for Miller) leading the Spartans to somewhere between a .35 point victory and a 3 16/59th point victory over Ohio State. Scenario Number 2: Ohio State gets rollin and Bollman doesnt have the learning curve to competeOhio State wins by 27. The Big Ten Championship is going to be a War fought by Jim Tressel Philosophers and Urban Beat Em Until They Bleed Meyer. Three different Generals (Meyer, Dantonio, and Bollman) with EVERYTHING on the line! Three Generals, two teams, one very Big GameIll take General George S. Patton (Meyer) over Generals Wainwright and George B. McClellan any day of the week!
Tims Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Ohio State Buckeyes -6
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