On things which are being analyzed WAY too early
Keith over at Buckeye Commentary has put up some preliminary, way-too-early projections for next year's offense and defense. Suffice it to say, theblog.net will not jump all over that kind of analcysting until, like, at least the summer. But the following jumped out at me, and I had been meaning to talk about it anyway:
Last week, Beano Cook (yes, he is still around) offered his much-too-early guess for next year's BCS Title game. He predicted a rematch of Notre Dame / Ohio State, this time ND coming out on top. His prognostication comes on the heels of CBS Sportsline and ESPN.com doing their own much-too-early guesses for 2006 college football rankings. Both had Ohio State highly ranked and there is growing sentiment that '06 could be another run for a Title. (Jack Fu: it bears mentioning that Pat Forde has us as his preseason #2 behind Texas as well, plus he wrote the damn thing before VY declared)
All right, that's just silly. This team is returning TWO defensive starters! It looks like OSU next year is going to be heavily displaying two of the classic symptoms of overrated teams, according to Jonathan Chait over at Slate.
First, they're probably going to be piggybacking on the reputation of a superior team from the previous year. You all know that I am the most fretful and least homer-ish Buckeye that, well, all of you have probably ever known. But by the end of this past season, I think OSU could have beaten absolutely anyone on a neutral field. In a hypothetical ten game series on a neutral field, I think the Bucks would have been 4-6 vs. USC, 5-5 vs. Tay-hass, and 7-3 vs. PSU. Maybe I've become a rampant homer, I don't know. But I truly believe that. And next year's team, at the beginning of the year, will be benefitting from how fantastic last year's team was, when last year's team featured a fearsome defense that, at least at the beginning of the upcoming season, 2006's team has 0% chance of replicating.
And that leads us to the second one: it's pretty much a universal truth, in college football and in most sports in general, that, as Chait said, "teams with great offenses and shaky defenses tend to be overrated, while teams with great defenses and shaky offenses are usually underrated." Hey, that sounds like the 2006 Buckeyes in a nutshell, at least at this point in the way-too-early analcyst process. Since I say it all the time regarding other teams, I have to say it now regarding the Bucks: we are gonna be OVERRATED going into next year. Let's hope I'm wrong. We'll certainly find out on September 9th... (And let me just add that Keith is 100% right: Antonio Pittman DID have the most unassuming 1,350-yard season I can remember.)
Further way-too-earlyage comes from Yoni Cohen over at Fox Sports. He has up his preliminary NCAA Tournament bracket. Halfway through January. Whatever, it's never too early for some Bracketology (speaking of, Joe Lunardi was brought out of his cryogenic hibernation, making his first appearance today, going on Cold Pizza to pimp his first bracket, in which he has OSU as the 5-seed in the East playing Witchita State, with a second-round matchup with 4-seed UCLA likely). Yoni has OSU a 4-seed in the East, playing Winthrop. His comment about the Bucks is "Would you bet against Thad Matta? I wouldn't." Tasty. Apparently, Yoni thinks of Matta as something of a coaching super-genius. Let's hope that works out, and he's more of a Bill Belichick super-genius than a Mike Martz sooper-genius. Other pertinent info for theblog.net: he has 7 Big Ten teams in, and the Fighting Pittsnogles a 4-seed in the South.
Re-start communication to add:
More way-too-earlyage! Matt Hayes has also flung feces against the wall in hopes that some of it will stick, posting his top-10 for next year, along with the obligatory "it's way too early" verbiage. Especially relevant to the above discussion is the fact that he has OSU #1. Especially idiotic is this comment: "Beat Texas in Austin and the rest of the ride is cake." Um, maybe relatively speaking, but those late September games against PSU and at Iowa will hardly be cake. You moron. He also has Troy Smith on his short list of Heisman contenders. I guess, maybe.
More of the same here.
More of Gene Wojisewleiufhwehski being an idiot here.
I meant to link to it yesterday, but obviously, we're doing this next year. Lots.