No Quarter(back) For BCS Title Teams?

Both Todd Boeckman of Ohio State and Matt Flynn of LSU have led their teams to their ultimate goal, a place in the BCS National Championship Game. However, both quarterbacks had their lesser moments in 2007. Will either of them blink in the title game? has more on what might be the two most important players come Jan. 7.

For Todd Boeckman, being able to start in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game against LSU is a dream come true.

"I always dreamt of it, but I never really expected it," Boeckman said.

However, if the Ohio State quarterback continues to play the way he has in his last two games, it might become a nightmare.

On the other side, LSU expects to start a quarterback different from the one who took the snaps in the Tigers' win over Tennessee in the Dec. 1 Southeastern Conference title game. Their starter, Matt Flynn, was out for that game, but he hasn't exactly set the world afire based on his performances through his 11 regular-season starts.

In a sport where so much depends on the player under center, it can't be a comforting fact for each fan base that each quarterback had has his share of uninspiring moments heading into the biggest game of the season.

It's no secret to the Buckeye faithful that the junior from St. Henry, Ohio, has left many wanting with his play in Ohio State's last two games against Illinois and No. 23 Michigan. After throwing at least two touchdowns in each of his first 10 starts, Boeckman had perhaps his worst day as a Buckeye during a loss Nov. 10 against the Fighting Illini, completing 13 of 23 passes for what was then a season-low 156 yards. He also did not toss a touchdown pass and threw three interceptions, two of which were damaging second-half throws.

Against Michigan, Boeckman was largely a non-factor, considering that he attempted just two passes during the second half of play. For the day, Boeckman completed seven of his 13 passes for just 50 yards and an interception. Over the last two games, Boeckman completed just 55.5 percent of his passes and threw four picks against zero scoring passes.

However, if there is anxiousness over how Boeckman will play in the title game, it's not coming from anyone associated with the OSU program.

"I don't know if it's as simple as, ‘He did well in this game and not so well in this one.' He grounded out against some pretty good opponents," head coach Jim Tressel said. "I think most of the errors were errors of intention and not being lazy with something. He'll work hard."

Boeckman's teammates prefer to focus on his total season stats, which include a 64.5 percent completion percentage, 2,171 yards and 23 touchdowns.

"Todd's played great all year," center Jim Cordle said. "He's a great quarterback. He's done a lot of great things."

Standing across the field from the Ohio State defense on Jan. 7 will be Flynn, a similar quarterback to a 2002 version of Craig Krenzel – except Krenzel might have had better numbers.

Flynn's doesn't knock anyone's socks off with his raw abilities, but he is able to take off and gain some yards with his feet, as evidenced by his 376 positive rushing yards. In total on the ground, the senior had 88 carries for 207 net yards and scampered for four touchdowns.

The 6-3, 227-pounder is listed sixth in the SEC in passing efficiency, completing 183 of 332 passes (55.1 percent) for 2,233 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In 2002, Krenzel completed a higher percentage of his passes (61.8) and his TD-to-interception ratio of 12:5 was proportionally better than Flynn's.

In LSU's losses against Kentucky and Arkansas, Flynn was held below a 50 percent completion percentage. The last play he played this year came in the third overtime Nov. 23 against the Razorbacks when his two-point conversion pass in overtime was intercepted.

"I don't think I'll ever forget that moment," he told reporters Dec. 2. "I was torn up."

Flynn did not play in the SEC title game against Tennessee because of a shoulder injury, freeing up a spot for Ryan Perrilloux. The one-time uber-recruit filled in admirably, completing 20 of 30 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown. On the sideline, Flynn was reduced to a cheerleader.

"Matt Flynn is a great leader," Perrilloux said postgame. "He knew he wasn't going to be able to play today due to problems, but basically he just kept me calm, talked to me, made sure I was okay, kept my head level. Matt is just a great person to be around and a great person to learn from."

But perhaps all this quarterback business is overrated. After all, last year's title blowout for Ohio State came with a Heisman Trophy winner in Troy Smith at the helm.

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