By Josh Kramer
Fickell era ends
-Surprisingly, the one rivalry game today that really lived up to the hype took place in Ann Arbor. I for one expected the Wolverines to blow the Buckeyes out, despite OSU’s recent dominance in “the Game.” I was wrong. Ohio State put up a heck of a fight, and nearly pulled it out. Had Miller put the ball somewhat on the money to DeVier Posey late in the 4th, Ohio State would have made the “Big House” their house, yet again (heading into yesterday, Michigan had gone 2,925 days without defeating the Buckeyes at any venue).
-There are not many times you are going to see both QBs in the same game rush for 100 yards. Sadly on this day, it was not meant to be for OSU. Really it was not meant to be all year. Luke Fickell did the best job he possibly could with the cards he was dealt. Many will look at the 6 and 6 mark the Buckeyes put up this year and be extremely disappointed. Ohio State has become accustomed to BCS bowls every year, even if it is a rebuilding year. The circumstances this season made it nearly impossible to meet the typical Buckeye Nation expectations. Fickell did well. Miller is starting to get it. Urban Meyer will lead this team back to the top of the mountain. Inside of the next two years, I fully expect the Buckeyes to back to a BCS bowl. I hope that Fickell remains on the staff, or secures a head coaching job elsewhere. He will be a hotly sought after commodity in the very near future.
-UCLA will be playing in the Pac-12 title game on Friday against Oregon. Is this a joke? I realize that USC is ineligible for postseason play. But let’s be real. UCLA has not had a great year by any means. In actuality, they have not even had a good year. They were down 29 to 0 at the half last night for crying out loud. This by no means is a team deserving of playing in a major conference championship game.
-UCLA defeated one ranked team the entire season. In addition, they lost by double digits on six different occasions this year. No good team loses six games in a season. Much less, six times in blowout fashion. Oregon will lay a brutal beat down on UCLA come Friday. But is it really right that this team honestly has a shot at making it to the Rose Bowl with a victory?
Pick your Heisman
-I realize there is another week of play left before we gear up for what should be a great bowl season. But after yesterday’s games, who is the Heisman? I will give you a hint. The likely winner will not come from LSU, though Mathieu has been phenomenal all year. There were really four frontrunners heading into this weekend in my eyes. They were Trent Richardson, Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Robert Griffin III. The top three guys put on outstanding performances. Especially Trent Richardson who turned the Jordan-Hare Stadium into the “Trent Richardson Playground.”
-Sadly, Robert Griffin III was injured yesterday, all but eliminating himself from Heisman contention. Both Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley put on outstanding performances in leading their teams to victory. And Trent Richardson, put on a career performance in the “Iron Bowl.” Richardson was generally considered the favorite heading into this weekend. I cannot see anyone leapfrogging him after the show he put on against Auburn. Plus, Richardson is likely heading to New Orleans on January 9th to play for the National Championship. Sadly, Luck will likely end up “Heisman-Less.” The man typifies what it means to be a precision passer, tossing 26 TDs and 0 INTs in the red zone. There is no way the Stanford star stays in school another year. Barkley also will likely leave for the Draft as well, unable to join Leinart and Palmer in the Heisman club.
-I think the recent Luck/Manning comparisons really makes a lot of sense. Both guys were extremely pro-ready and arguably the best player in the nation. Sadly, neither could get over the final hump, and defeat the other great team in their conference. Manning could not defeat Florida, and Luck unfortunately did not get much “luck” against Oregon. The nod goes to Richardson, though I think Luck has the brighter future at the next level.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.