also duty-free guys falling over and grabbing their shins
The thing about time machines is this: you show up with a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper, and the day after tomorrow’s. On day one, you loudly proclaim “I AM FROM THE FUTURE” and people laugh at you and you make bold proclamations about newsworthy events, holding up tomorrow’s paper. The next day you’ve gained some credibility but skeptics remain, so this time you show them the day after tomorrow’s paper, which just has one story on the front page. The headline, in “WAR”-sized caps: “HOLY CRAP, THIS GUY IS FROM THE FUTURE.”
Your credibility established beyond a doubt on day three—which is sometime in late August, 2007—you sit the Michigan fanbase down and carefully explain everything that is going to happen to them over the next twelve months, at which point they laugh at you again.
Travelers pursuing this course of action are strongly recommended to depart before September. Buy stock in Ann Arbor Torch And Pitchfork, Inc., before you go.
If you’re not out by now, you screwed up, Bakula
Right, so all that happened. We didn’t listen! We didn’t listen.
It all went down. The Horror. The Post-Apocalyptic Oregon Game. The resumption of normal service against Notre Dame and Penn State and a bunch of other teams before the Ryan Mallett Experience and Chad Henne’s traitorous shoulder submarined a promising(?!) season. Defeating the Tebow Child by scoring 41 points and deploying an all-shotgun spread offense that looked like it came from, well, the future.
Mike Hart fumbled twice inside the five in that game. Of course he did.
Then Lloyd Carr retired and things got weirder than the absolute weirdest things that had ever happened before. Kirk Ferentz was considered. Bill Martin was on a boat when Les Miles’ agent frantically attempted to reach him; Miles then theatrically signed a contract extension with his Damn Strong Team(tm). Greg Schiano chose Rutgers—Rutgers!—over Michigan. Brady Hoke was theorized.
A few days after the internet burned down, Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez, a man with a four million dollar buyout at his alma mater. Twelve months earlier he turned down six bazillion dollars from Alabama to stay at said alma mater, saying he planned “on being here a long time.” Michigan had acquired a former coal miner from Grant Town, West Virginia, running the swankiest offensive system this side of Urban Meyer. Mere hours before the news broke the most likely candidate seemed to be Hoke.
Michigan fans put the gun back in the drawer; the level of drinking remained constant but the intent shifted 180 degrees.
It was at this point the clocks started to melt. Some guy named Dave Hickman published a story in the West Virginia Daily Whatever claiming Rodriguez had somehow gained access to the Sacred Single Hard Copy Room where West Virginia kept the Sacred Single Hard Copies containing every piece of information WVU had about its football team. He then shredded all of it, laughing maniacally, as dozens of onlookers let Sacred Single Tears roll down their cheeks. The complete implausibility of it all was no obstacle to the story’s ascendance into fan lore; this blog started a series tracking the “West F-ing Jihad” as a nation got its clucking seriously in gear.
We could go over the events that followed, or we could just sum it up in video form:
Everything about this is perfect, from the impotent rage of the West Virginian to the skeezy hotness of the prize to the vaguely douchy New York frat vibe given off by the West Virginian’s target and eventual victor. Oh no he di’in’t, said everyone, and this blog attempted to slay all of them with the Power Of The Internet. It didn’t work.
Things reached their peak weirdness a week or two later, when Hickman – the guy who wrote the article that started the whole mess – wrote a column that actually contained this sentence: “Go ahead, name one thing WVU has done to antagonize anyone.” He followed it up with this defense of the article he wrote, which I remind you was written by him and was also authored by him and all other various sorts of things that involve choosing and ordering words to form sentences:
The shredding accusations, you say? Yes, WVU officials commented on it off the record, but the issue had festered for several days without a word from West Virginia until the media pressed the issue. [emphasis mine] At worst you can argue that was planted by WVU, but even if that were the case, the information about Rodriguez destroying files was true. [and, of course, by “true” he means “not true in any way whatsoever.” –ed]
I’m neither proud nor surprised that in the recesses of the old site there is a draft of a post titled “I want to fight Dave Hickman.” (On the other hand, I am a little surprised I had the sense to not publish it.)
Sample sentence: “Oh, I don't know, you stupid [redacted], maybe we could check the GODDAMN ARTICLE your GODDAMN IDIOT EDITORS APPROVED with YOUR GODDAMN IDIOT NAME ON IT and this GODDAMN IDIOT QUOTE IN IT:
“It’s unbelievable. Everything is gone, like it never existed,’’ said a source within the athletic department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Good, bad or indifferent, we don’t have a record of anything that has happened.’’
Which is an outright lie that you gullibly printed.”
And so on and so forth for the entire irritating summer. Some offensive lineman transferred to Ohio State, blasting the “erosion of family values” as he went. By mid-August more words had been written about a football coach accepting his second job in seven years than Tom Zbikowski’s boxing, Brady Quinn’s sister, and Joe Paterno’s potential retirement combined.
Now we play the games and put this all behind us. Thank God.
So. Here we are. Which is… somewhere. The acquisition of Rodriguez is thrilling in the long term but extremely painful as far as the 2008 offense is concerned. Mallett, Manningham, Arrington, and Mr. Plow all lit out. Terrelle Pryor chose the wrong school. The leftovers at quarterback are a walk-on, a Lurch-sized redshirt freshman, and a true freshman very few thought was a quarterback. One starter returns on the line and the first guy off the bench could be a true freshman.
The outlook is grim. For the first time since 1985, Michigan was omitted from the AP top 25. The coaches deigned to include Michigan at #24, possibly because they weren’t supposed to vote for Duke any more.
And you know what? This seems like great fun. Michigan’s going to run out on the field and play like they’re one of those teams trying to make inferior talent work. They’re going to line up in the shotgun without a huddle. When whichever quarterback happens to be that play’s piñata raises his leg, the team will glance to the sideline and get the new play in. On average, this will be a run that goes for six yards.
At no point will they assume physical or mental superiority over their opponent. Their plan is to raid the endzone as best they can, which may be “not very well at all,” but by God they’re going to try on every snap.
It’s going to be a fiasco. It’s going to be ugly and tantalizing and dispiriting and awesome. I can’t wait.
Talking. Fifteen minutes of Rodriguez talking to ESPN follows:
What does it mean to be a guy who asks only questions that start with “what does it mean to be”? It’s a challenge, I’ll tell you that.
Or. Or. Or. The first depth chart loves the word “or” and has some stuff that might be too weird to take seriously, like “McGuffie OR Shaw OR Minor OR Brown” at tailback—all four will play but the ORs are probably a matter of injury more than reality—and previously buried LaTerryal Savoy the tentative leader at “Z” receiver.
Other items of note:
- Panter listed as the starting SLB with Evans the starting WLB; walk-on Kevin Leach is Panter’s backup.
- Steve Brown and Brandon Harrison are the starting safeties.
- Mike Martin is on the two-deep at DT; Jason Kates is not.
- No Junior Hemingway, no doubt because of injury.
- I dare you to look at the offensive line backups without throwing up.
Rodriguez had yet another press conference at which he related mostly the same stuff he’s related at every other one. Some items of note:
- JB Fitzgerald was a new guy mentioned in line for playing time as a freshman.
- The punt return job is between Warren and Odoms.
- Grady suspended for Utah and possibly longer.
- This quote is characteristically blunt: “The most damaging part, injury-wise, in camp was to our O-line, which was an area we couldn’t afford. Cory Zirbel went out with a knee and his backup, Mark Huyge, went out with an ankle. Now all of a sudden, we’re really scrambling, with already inexperienced players.”
- Moosman will start at either center or guard and the ORs on the depth chart indicate a race between Molk and—gulp—newly minted OL John Ferrara.
Three down. Reports have both Mediacom and Time Warner reaching agreements with the Big Ten Network, which would leave Wisconsin-based Charter the lone holdout amongst the vast array of cable and satellite providers serving the channel’s footprint. One imagines they’d have to cave shortly.
Why don’t you sit down? This guy on “To Catch a Predator” possesses the archetypical buckstache:
I mean, that’s just spectacular right there. Straight out of Central Casting.
Etc.: Touted Minnesota freshman Marqueis Gray gets dinged by the Clearinghouse and will not play for the Gophers this fall. More speculation that VT QB Tyrod Taylor will redshirt this fall… I think Newsome is gone but that has to help.
Update 8/26: Linked to articles on NV DE Keenan Graham, AR CB Darius Winston, IN OL Kyle Koehne, PA WR Todd Thomas (second), GA LB Devekeyan Lattimore, IN LB Jordan Barnes (blurb), NJ DE Will Hill, NC OL Travis Bond, SC DE Chris Bond.
Moved VA QB Kevin Newsome from committed.
Roundup article from ESPN with mention of MN WR Bryce McNeal, free board scouting report on the two Liberty kids, who smoked a poor opponent to open their season. More on Newsome and TX K commit Anthony Fera.
As always, some links from Varsity Blue.
Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here.
Default *#$& about quarterbacks, yes yes, but I made this prediction in June and I’m sticking with it:
IMO, a Newsome decommit will either be preceded or quickly followed by a Forcier commit.
Forcier’s coming in on Saturday for the Utah game.
Guys named Bond(s) from one of the Carolinas will feature heavily at a couple of spots Michigan has an obvious need. SC DE Chris Bonds plans on visiting and sounds like he has a top five:
Bonds said right now USC, Alabama and Southern Cal are tied for the top spot with him because he's visited each. "I still waiting to see Notre Dame and Michigan," he said before moving forward with his decision.
Tennessee is also on the table but obviously has a lot of catching up to do. Bonds is from the same school as junior Adam Patterson; the general opinion is that he’ll be a tough get but get them on campus and there’s a chance and etc etc etc.
Meanwhile, NC OL Travis Bond has one official visit set up and it’s to Michigan. He’s trying to set up some others. Some time ago a helpful reader sent this in:
I would probably slightly upgrade Travis Bond's interest in Michigan. Talked to a friend who knows his coach last night. Bond is visiting Michigan in October. He likes Michigan, South Carolina and UNC ahead of the others.
I think you listed Bond as being from VA, he is actually from Windsor, NC in Bertie County (sparsely populated place over on the Albemarle Sound). He's the second-best tackle in NC this year, behind Xavier Nixon.
There's nothing in Bertie County other than farms, marshland, a few thousand people and several billion mosquitos. But they turn out some good football talent.
South Carolina is not amongst the other teams Bond’s trying to set up visits with, but that could be a proximity issue. Often players will eschew visits to nearby schools since they can hop in a car and be there in two hours.
OH DE Cornelius “Tank” Carradine is a top-ten Ohio player at a position of crying need who claims offers from much of the Big Ten, but no one is talking about him. I just put him on the board because it wasn’t clear how much of a prospect he was or whether any of his offers were legit. FWIW:
Martin said Carradine has scholarship offers from colleges such as Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee and Miami University, but the player has remained quiet on his plans and wants to visit a few more schools.
"He's not even telling me," said Martin. "I think he has an idea - he's just not saying right now."
There are rumors of “personal issues,” which may be part of the holdup.
ESPN scouted some wide receivers, mentioning Michigan commit Bryce McNeal:
Normally Bryce McNeal (Minneapolis/Breck School) would be in the size/speed category for this piece, but he is so rail thin it negates his height. So he's in the speed category because he really does run extremely well, has a second gear and is very smooth. We are concerned about the level of competition he faces each week, but the Michigan commit will fit in very nicely in the spread and is faster than J.R. Hemingway and Darryl Stonum, two highly-regarded Michigan signees of the last two classes.
McNeal + Barwis == unstoppable lol.
Meanwhile, linebacker commit Jordan Barnes came in for some fluffery from the local paper. This has been in the whispers on premium boards for a bit:
“At the beginning of the year, he was a little underrated. But by the end of the year, a lot of the conference coaches knew who he was, and he got better and better as the season went on,” Homestead coach Chad Zolman said. “His athleticism got better over the offseason. His dad took him to some speed and agility stuff in Florida. He did a combine down there, and at that point, things started happening for him on a national level. After that, he got a lot of notice.”
This is where the guarded optimism Barnes might acquire another star comes from. Also, like, whoops:
Jordan Barnes, a Detroit native, had always wanted to play football for Michigan. So he sent a highlight tape to the coaching staff.
But because of the change in coaching from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez, it got lost.
“I wanted to go to Michigan really badly, so I sent them another tape when things got settled down,” he said. “Then they got back to me in a week, and they told me to come up for a visit. After that, they said they would get back to me, and a couple days later, they offered.”
Possible explanation for Michigan’s early difficulties with the 2009 class right there.
You can take this scouting report on Michigan’s two commits at Liberty High from Some Guy On The Internet with as much of a grain of salt as you like, but it is further confirmation Isaiah Bell is probably an outside linebacker in college. All “Isiah” mentions are [sic]:
Isiah Bell almost killed somebody. He cut this guy off running down the sideline and knocked him headfirst into some foldout chairs and injured the guy. Bell is really big he reminds me of Prescott Burgess--which is why it seems he will play OLB for UM. Isiah played receiver and scored a TD on a quick pass out to him and he faked out the defender and scored. Isiah was the only safety and he played pretty deep in the middle of the field so he wasn't involved in too many tackles, but when they get to him he really hits hard.
Fitzgerald Touissant was awesome. He is really fast and could not be stopped in the open field. He took a checkdown pass in the flat and ended up cutting it all the way across the field for about a 50 yard score. He showed really good patience and vision especially on the stretch play which he runs very well. He is a very tough kid too it usually took multiple guys to bring him down. Bell and Touissant were back to return kicks but they squibbed it every time and I can't say that I blame them.
Overall they were both really impressive. Isiah Bell could be a big Ernest Shazor type safety but I suspect they will put him at linebacker because he could be a beast there with his size and speed and he is a big hitter.
Etc.: UCLA leads for NV DE Keenan Graham; he does say some positive things and if we get an official there’s a chance. IN OL Kyle Kohene is still waiting on offers from ND, M, and Florida. GA LB Devekeyan Lattimore seems to be favoring Oklahoma State. PA WR Todd Thomas’s rumored grade issues make the PPG.
In less than a week, Michigan will run under the banner a team directed by Rich Rodriguez and the Bo Schembechler era will finally, permanently belong to the past.
It’s a change that most Michigan fans feel was too long coming after the tribulations in recent years: losses to Ohio State, Rose Bowls that end the wrong way, national embarrassment and the infamous picture that will stand as one half of the Carr era denouement:
It lived in the past and now it is of the past and it can stay there, to be memorialized in song and commemorative DVD. Amen.
But this is the other half of the Carr era denouement.
This picture makes me happy.
Over the past three years on this blog I’ve chronicled my endless frustration with Michigan football; I’ve also chronicled just how important it is to me. Carr is at least partially responsible for both these things. It has been a deeply schizophrenic existence, and the Citrus Bowl was everything about that existence wrapped into one three-hour summary.
You can check the UFR after most games for an explanation of the first. The second has something to do with Carr’s tireless scorn for those who deserved it, primarily the money-changers cramming into the temple of the game, his obvious devotion to his players, his desire to read things more stimulating than a playbook.
This latter item about reading is weird and useless—who cares if the football coach knows who Keats is?—but it’s also indisputably true. Former Daily sportswriter J Brady McCullough indirectly touches on it in his excellent article on the changeover:
“I’m studying up on it,” Rodriguez says. “Reading books. I got 500 books sent to me. I got four or five of the same book, ‘Bo’s Lasting Lessons,’ and it gave me some perspective on things.”
Rodriguez has realized Michigan is unique. Fans and former players who want their football coach to spend his time reading?
Yes. When I was editing Hail to the Victors 2008, space requirements forced me to cut down Craig Ross’s article about his experience at a Scot Loeffler quarterbacks meeting, and when I had to cut a small but telling paragraph about Lloyd Carr it lingered with me. This is it:
After a few minutes Carr appeared. He was relaxed and fresh, even though it was mid-evening and he had worked for the entire day. We chatted for a few moments about a book, The Long Walk, the story of a WWII prisoner of war who escaped from a Gulag and then trekked across Siberia, through the Gobi desert and then through the Himalayas to India.
I didn’t want to cut it but it was either that or something directly relevant to Ross’s odyssey so out it went. I wanted people to see it, to get the little glimpse into how odd Lloyd Carr—football coach, friend of Russell Crowe, strident Democrat—is. He reads books! About things! This is important.
There is something to the sometimes annoying “Michigan Man” thing. There is a mindset, an attitude, some characteristics that are shared by enough people that they characterize a program and a fanbase. (The annoying part is when people pretend all these things are positive.) Carr was of this and in more than a decade came to define some of it. Kipling and Into Thin Air and The Long Walk were part of the fabric of the program.
Few outside of Michigan fandom understood this or anything about Carr. How could they? Opposing fans took the opportunity provided by Carr’s cantankerousness at press conferences and one inopportune photo after a loss against Oregon to label him classless. Neutrals just thought he was a crab, because they experienced him as a crab. A month after the Bo memorial service at which Carr spoke, I found myself in a conversation with Orson Swindle of EDSBS fame. At some point I forwarded the video (part one; part two) of Carr’s speech to him. The response: “It's enthralling, actually. Lloyd is downright eloquent.”
The surprise was evident.
It was November when they memorialized Bo but it was nice enough out, I thought, and I thought the thing to wear was a suit so I did but I left the coat at home and this was fine for a while. But when the sun started setting the warmth leached out of the air and people kept talking and it was cold. And I wrapped my arms around myself as Bo’s son talked and kept talking and God bless him, I know he just lost his father but it’s cold and I’ve been here for hours. And he kept going.
So I’m cold and in a suit and my mind is wandering back to what Carr said to wrap up his speech. I recorded it with my MP3 player but old obscure-brand MP3 players being what they are and having no external mic the recording was nigh useless and when I discovered this later I was a little shattered but still posted the nigh useless thing on the blog.
Carr said this: “Bo will be remembered as the Michigan Man.”
No, not quite, I don’t think. Not “the.”
I’m happy that the empire of the fallen has finished its long slide into the sea. I’m happy it’s been replaced with something young and vivacious and very likely successful. But on Saturday something that lived for forty years sees the last shovelful of dirt on its grave, and I wish it hadn’t come to this.
People wish for a lot of things, though, and entropy always tells them to go to hell.
They are coming. If you ordered a Bo shirt and are wondering where the hell it is, 1) sorry about the delay—Rich Robots recently switched print shops—and 2) the shirts should start shipping either today or early next week, so you should have them shortly.
Sweet. The new hockey jerseys are pretty cool:
The Hoover Street Rag points out that the white home jersey is a virtual replica of Michigan’s uniforms when Red Berenson was skating for the team instead of coaching it. Michigan Hockey Net confirms that Michigan plans to have small numbers under the school name, much like Red.
Lame. Awful Announcing has your ABC/ESPN coverage teams for 2008. One bleah development:
- Jesse Palmer is in the booth instead of Doug Flutie on Thursday nights along with Chris Fowler, Craig James and Erin Andrews.
- Flutie will still be on the ABC Studio show with John Saunders and James.
Flutie was really good last year. I don’t think The Bachelor will live up to that high standard. Everything else is basically the same as it was last year—Paul Maguire continues to pollute the Nessler-Griese duo.
One potential change: did Ron Franklin get swanky games last year? He’s doing prime-time ABC games this year.
Also lame but in a more literal sense. The exact words that came from Rodriguez’s mouth about Zirbel:
“It is a knee injury. It is pretty significant. We are not even hopeful that he will be able to return this year. We are just waiting to see how he responds to surgery and when they get in there and do an arthroscopic surgery, then we will have more answers on that.”
And hey, John Ferrara could start!
“I think it is a good move and he is going to be battling for a starting job at guard by maybe by the first game.”
What does Ferrara think about that?
The move caught Ferrara a bit by surprise because he had no offensive line background aside from playing a bit of tight end in high school.
"I'm getting used to it now and working on my technique," said the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Ferrara. "I'm just trying to memorize everything I can. The one thing I think is I'm very coachable."
Carty suggests there is “panic in the streets” because of this; I suggest that if the panic is only in the streets gazebos, playgrounds, and all variety of enclosed spaces have a lot of catching up to do; the WLA notes previous unlikely triumphs of the will.
Some guys are back. Brown and Minor resumed practicing; Donovan Warren was held out of practice but that was only precautionary, and Marcus Witherspoon should be back on campus shortly:
The Courier-Post Defensive Player of the Year, Witherspoon confirmed Thursday afternoon that he did return home to Atlantic City and missed a week of workouts. The freshman linebacker was scheduled to return to the Ann Arbor campus today and continue with football-related activities, also stating that his leave was excused by the Michigan football staff.
Oddly, Witherspoon says not to believe the “rumors” his departure was related to academics. Source of those rumors: Rich Rodriguez directly stating Witherspoon had a Clearinghouse issue.
As far as a potential redshirt:
"There's no harm in redshirting," Witherspoon said. "It would just give me an extra year and I really don't mind."
So there you go.
The children! Notre Dame’s Jon Tenuta is unsparing with the swearing:
I await 400 newspaper columns decrying this. (Via EDSBS.)
Etc.: Matt Hinton, nee Sunday Morning Quarterback, has been redubbed “Dr. Saturday” and unleashed on the unsuspecting public by Yahoo; if you have Time Warner cable OSU’s AD suggests you flee screaming.
1. In his "visiting lecturers" series posted on Every Day Should Be Saturday over the past few months, Orson Swindle asked each participant to explain which country, during which historical period, their team most resembles. Let's bring everything up to the present day and ponder: Which current sovereign nation is your team? Or to look at it another way, how does your team fit into the "world" of college football?
Like Georgia, Michigan has flung off the shackles of a backwards, stagnant system and now looks to modernize with the help of a controversial leader. However, there are problems, mostly in the form of red-clad douchebags who are either in tanks or just plain tank-sized.
Throw in some whiny breakaway republics trying to defect to the red-clad douchebags and a war that looks like it’s going to go very poorly over the next few months and voila.
2. Every preseason roundup has to have some discussion of who's overrated, but let's go beyond that. Which team do you think is poised to crap the bed in the biggest way this season relative to high expectations, and which game do you think will begin their slide into ignominy?
Even though I overrated them, the answer here is obviously Clemson, because it’s always Clemson. 50-50 they roll into Wake at midseason 5-0 and implode spectacularly.
The other answer is West Virginia, now under the direction of Super Friendly Smiling Special Teams Coach “Stew,” who reminds everyone of super nice player coaches and utter failure Bobby Williams, similarly promoted from position coach to head coach after an emotional bowl win despite the fact he was tabbed the interim coach specifically because there was no chance anyone would even think about hiring him in a spasm of sentiment and hope.
Also, many people are focusing exclusively on White and Devine and ignore West Virginia’s secretly excellent defense—7th in yardage last year. Unfortunately for WVU, they lose seven starters off that defense. Also also, the nonconference schedule steps up considerably with games against Colorado and Auburn. Also also also, Mike Barwis doesn’t live here anymore.
In the context of this question, the prediction is that the Auburn game starts a slide which sees WVU drop from A-list national title contender to Gator bowl participant.
3. On the flip side of that coin, which team do you think is going to burst out of nowhere to become 2008's biggest overachiever -- this year's version of Kansas '07, as it were -- and what's going to be the big upset that makes us all finally sit up and take notice of them?
Always look for a team with an awful schedule for this question. Also look for a team on the upswing in talent level… so… Pitt? Wannstedt has recruited very well and finally has a star in LeSean McCoy. The noncon is actually pretty decent, with two tomato cans, Navy, Iowa, and Notre Dame, but all of those are winnable. Then it’s the Big East.
4. Here's an "I'll hang up and listen" question. I put Ohio State and Oklahoma #1 and #2, respectively, despite their recent high-profile BCS face-plants. Where did you rank those two teams, and did those BCS issues have anything to do with it?
Ohio State was #1 on my ballot, so obviously the face plants didn’t dissuade me. People forget that last year Ohio State was supposed to be rebuilding. Okay, they lost to a veteran, talent-laden LSU team. BFD. They return virtually their entire two deep.
I ranked Oklahoma high up, too, because it’s just one game, and that against the geniuses now running Michigan’s offense schwing.
5. Last season was a statistical outlier in countless ways, not the least of which was the fact that we ended up with a two-loss team as national champion. Do you think anyone plays a strong enough schedule to get MNC consideration as a two-loss team this year? Conversely, do you see anybody managing to sail into the national-championship game undefeated?
Maybe Georgia, since their schedule has been hyped up so much in the preseason and they’ve got an actual nonconference road game against an opponent that has some cachet (Arizona State), but they’d have to smoke ASU like LSU smoked Virginia Tech, and then pray. LSU wasn’t picked over any reasonable one-loss teams despite the schedule and the OT losses.
If Ohio State beats USC they’ve got an excellent shot of going undefeated.