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AN ODE TO THE EXPERTS



This one goes out to all of the so-called “experts,” analysts, and talking heads who have criticized the Ohio State Buckeyes and the rest of the Big Ten for the entire 2009 football season. The Buckeyes can’t win on a big stage, the Big Ten is slow, the Big Ten can’t hang with the SEC, Pac 10, etc. Sound familiar? Haters like Mark May have given Big Ten teams very little credit all year, but after the bowl season he and his pals should be hard-pressed to provide analysis with their feet in their mouths.

Guess what national analysts? Ohio State beat Oregon, a team that was too fast and too talented for the Buckeye defense. Apparently the experts forgot that Terrell Pryor and Brandon Saine are pretty fast, too. Penn State beat LSU. Wait what?! A Big Ten squad defeating someone from the untouchable SEC?! It can’t be! Well, it is, and there’s more. Iowa beat Georgia Tech, the same Iowa team who critics called “lucky” and overrated for most of the year. The Hawkeyes shut down a Yellow Jacket rushing attack that averaged nearly 300 yards per game, surrendering only 143 yards on the ground, 155 total. And finally, Wisconsin beat Miami, a team that had its ups and downs, but defeated Florida State and Oklahoma in the regular season. The Badgers represented the tough, physical nature of the Big Ten, putting the hurt on the U.

Ohio State made a statement to the nation on New Year’s Day. The Buckeyes represented their school and their conference, displaying the stifling defense and efficient offense that got them to the Rose Bowl in the first place. But perhaps the biggest statement made was that football “experts” and analysts don’t know any more than the next guy. During the Rose Bowl pregame show, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso, and Jesse Palmer all picked Oregon, and they were positive that the Ducks would get the last quack. I can understand (former Michigan Heisman Winner) Desmond’s pick, because he was on the other side of the (once) great rivalry. I guess Corso’s pick makes sense because he usually picks the team that loses anyway, but I thought that the young statistic machine and former Bachelor Jesse Palmer would get it right. Instead, he foolishly picked Oregon and he repeated the name “Jeremiah Masoli” so many times that I wanted to jump through the television and Duct Tape his mouth shut.

The beauty of college football is that it does not matter what so-called “experts” think is going to happen; the games are played anyway. In this case, the “experts” became inaccurate meteorologists, predicting Pac-10 sunshine but getting a Midwestern chill instead. These analysts can’t predict the future, no matter how much they try to convince the viewer that they can. And to be a Buckeye/Big Ten fan watching them pick incorrectly? Well, 2010 is looking like a pretty good year.