Until that glorious day comes, we'll just have to make stuff up:
- Troy Smith will see NYC this December. Not much of a stretch considering the preseason hype, you say? The hype will only get part of the credit. Smith has put up silly statistics in his career without being put in too many situations where the offense had to put up a bunch of points. Even without Walt Harris driving the bus, this year's offense should rival the 1995 edition in big fat scoring strikes. That means highlights galore, which should deliver a trip to New York for #10.
- Ted Ginn, welcome to September. For all of the amazing highlights that Ted Ginn has supplied the world with over the past two seasons, you'd have a hard time finding any that took place during the first third of the season. Most of those memories of #7 making everyone on the field look foolish took place at the middle or the end of the schedule. The third time will be the charm. The Ted Ginn Show starts earlier this season, as Jim Tressel has ordered extra episodes.
- Damn you, Texas. Despite owning the teams of the Big XII historically, Texas will sweep the two-game series. Texas tried everything possible to lose last year's epic but Ohio State wouldn't have any part of it. Much is being made about the loss of Vince Young. Not enough is being made about preposterous amount of talent the Longhorns have coming back on both sides of the ball. Remember when Texas could only win "recruiting" national championships? They're over the hump now. Besides…
- This is not a national championship defense. Apparently nobody wants to admit this. You need more than two guys with substantial game experience on defense to contend for the national championship. Losing the best linebacking corps in school history is, to put it mildly, a setback – but it's not the backbreaker; that would be the entirely new starting secondary, which is worth at least two losses, but we'll get to that later. There are too many good quarterbacks on the schedule; most of their offenses will be outscored, some of them will not be. Yes, we all know they're fast and athletic and Ohio State's defense is always better than average, but this is the greenest secondary they've had since 1999, which is why the Buckeyes took that entire season off, deciding against playing that year, when university officials cancelled all of the games and rehabbed the Horseshoe instead (if you have memories of games from that season, contact your physician). Prepare yourself for something you have not seen in quite awhile: Ohio State giving up big chunks of yardage to multiple teams. The potent offense will not be enough. The Vince Young comparisons to Troy Smith aren't crazy, but Vince had a better defense than this.
- The Buckeyes will finish 11th in the conference once again in flagship radio broadcast quality. Paul Keels will continue his tradition of sounding like he just discovered the Ohio State roster five minutes before gametime, and then make the play-by-play sound like he's dictating a book about the tax code. Even the Indiana Hoosiers have a guy who sounds like he's remotely interested in their game. Apparently Ohio State football is too exciting for that kind of a perk.
- Al Gore will make an appearance in the form of a giant storm cloud. How long has it been since Ohio State played a game in some weather? Too long. This has to be the year. Preferably in the form of sloppy rain to impact any quarterback on the schedule named Drew.
- Night games on the road will continue to be Jim Tressel kryptonite, even without the usual preceding bye week. Two losses in September, one in Austin and one in Iowa City. If this makes you mad, just imagine that I'm Colin Powell and I'm presenting this opinion at the UN. That's the only thing keeping me from kicking my own ass right now.
- Penn State won't score more than ten points in Columbus. The year, players, coaches, weather, etc don't matter here. This is simply one of the magnificent traditions of college football, like bad defense in the PAC Ten or systemic cheating in the SEC.
- Ohio State will share the Big Ten title with Michigan and Iowa. The Colin Powell thing isn't helping this time. Sharing generally sucks anyway, but sharing with Michigan is like sharing herpes.
- Auburn will run the table for the third time in thirteen years, but this time they won't be left out of the national title game, beating the only other undefeated team, Texas, for the title. Ohio State beats Miami in the Orange Bowl (ooh, it stings!) while Heisman Trophy winner Brady Quinn will lead a three-loss Notre Dame team to another bowl game defeat in another undeserved BCS game that gets tremendous ratings, since that is what college football is all about. Which is also why a very good Iowa team goes to the Capital One or Outback Bowl or whatever they've been going to recently, again.
- This list goes to eleven. ABC and ESPN will hammer the BCS with far less restraint than in past years, now that Fox will be carrying all of the games except the Rose Bowl.
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