The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

January 8, 2007

The National Championship

#2 Florida (12-1) @ #1 Ohio State (12-0)
Vegas Says: Ohio State -7.5

Well, my predictions of the bowl games that so far have been pretty weak. I knew I should have picked the LSU/ND game, even though I was traveling that day, because that one was pretty much a lock. ND was (again) overrated, and they got what was coming to them. I hate to say it, but they weren’t a bad football team. Yet they were never as good as advertised.

So with my bad record, I’m going opposite what I originally thought. With a 7.5 point line, I normally would look at two teams like this and say Ohio State would win, but not cover, much the same way they did against Michigan. But I don’t think that’s the case. I’m picking OSU to cover tonight.

Against Michigan, Ohio State had 3 mistakes (two fumbled snaps and an interception), while Michigan has basically no offensive mistakes. That was an oddity in a game of this magnitude that I doubt will be repeated tonight, and even with those mistakes, Ohio State managed to ride Cool Hand Troy to victory.

For Michigan, mistake free, power offense is the name of the game, and they play it to perfection. Florida isn’t quite the same. They’re a big-play offense, and they’re lead by a QB, Chris Leak, who isn’t known for his coolness under pressure. They’re showing up against a defense as good as any they’ve seen all year, and an offense better than they’ve seen all year.

For Ohio State to Cover: Don’t have the mistakes you had against Michigan. You can move the ball and score on this Florida defense. Play a solid game, but if you are -3 in the turnover ratio, all hell may break loose. As Kirk Herbstreit said on ESPN last night, keep Florida in front of you. They can make it happen with the big play, but the more chances you get to force them into 3rd down, the more you force them to earn their points rather than beating you big over the top.

For Florida to beat the spread: Reggie Nelson has to watch Cool Hand Troy, and disrupt his passing game (hopefully getting a couple interceptions in the process). You need to pressure Troy without blitzing too heavily, and even then you can’t expect to sack him. But you need to pressure him into throwing the ball while keeping good coverage. I know, easier said than done. And Chris Leak has to have the game of his career. Chris Leak has all the talent he needs, and can make all the throws. But Florida’s been intercepted 14 times this season, and they need to win the turnover battle to beat the spread.

Prediction: Ohio State covers
Predicted Final Score: OSU 38, Florida 27

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:05 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Predictions

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