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Football

All things pigskin.

After seven weeks, the college football playoff picture is starting to become clearer. A few weeks ago, pretenders like Georgia (5-2), Ole Miss (5-2), Northwestern (5-2), UCLA (4-2), and USC (3-3) all looked like contenders, while teams like Iowa (7-0) and Florida (6-1) were not even in consideration for contender status. Only ten Power5 teams remain undefeated, and all but two of those teams (Utah, LSU) face another currently undefeated team before the playoffs.

Big Ten

#1 Ohio State
and #7 Michigan State remain undefeated in the East Division. The Buckeyes and Spartans meet on November 21st, and both could realistically enter the game a perfect 11-0. If the Buckeyes win, they must still face a dangerous Michigan squad in the regular season finale, while Sparty closes with a Penn State team that looks like a paper lion despite a 5-2 record. In the West Division, #12 Iowa is the lone undefeated team and the Hawkeyes have already faced their toughest regular season challenges.

With a high-powered offense (albeit currently running on six cylinders) and a defense full of stars (but sometimes full of holes), Ohio State looks like it's in the best position to finish the regular season without a loss. However, after the Agony in Ann Arbor Michigan State is beginning to look a team of destiny, and quarterback Connor Cook provides the leadership of a fifth-year senior with a 29-3 record as a starter. Iowa closes its season against five teams with a combined record of 2-13 in Big Ten action, but does anyone really think that this Cinderella will survive even that soft a schedule?

Bottom Line: A Big Ten team with a perfect 13-0 record and an outright conference championship gets into the playoffs regardless of what anybody else does. A 12-1 Ohio State or Michigan State team still has an outside shot for a playoff berth, based largely on recent...
1. With Ohio State's 38-10 rout of Penn State, the Buckeyes now hold an 18-13 advantage in the series, and a 16-7 edge in Big Ten play.

2. Ohio State has now outscored Penn State 681 to 548 overall (22.0 ppg to 17.7 ppg), and 620 to 401 in Big Ten play (27.0 to 17.4).

3. Ohio State has now beaten Penn State four times in a row (2012-2015). It is the first time that the Buckeyes have won four in a row in the series.

4. Ezekiel Elliott had 27 rushes for 153 yards and a touchdown. It was Elliot's 12th straight game with 100+ yards rushing. Zeke has 988 yards (3rd in FBS) and 11 TDs (6th in FBS) for the season.

5. Elliott is averaging 141.1 yards per game rushing, which is 5th in FBS. LSU's Leonard Fournette leads the way with 200.2 yards per game.

6. Zeke now has 3,128 yards for his career, good for 8th best in Ohio State history. Yesterday, Zeke passed Carlos Snow (2,999 yards) and Pepe Pearson (3,076 yards).

7. Braxton Miller added to his Ohio State total touchdown record with a touchdown reception. Brax now has 88 total touchdowns for his Buckeye career.

8. Joey Bosa led the defense with 7 tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack. For his Buckeye career, Bosa now has 42.5 TFLs (10th best) and 23.5 sacks (4th best).

9. Penn State entered the contest allowing just 117.0 yards per game rushing. The Buckeyes churned out 315 yards on the ground on 50 carries (6.3 ypc). As mentioned above, Zeke Elliott had 153 yards rushing, and quarterback J.T. Barrett had 102 yards rushing.

10. Penn State had only 14 first downs, 4 of them courtesy of Ohio State penalties. For the game, Penn State had 3 penalties for 22 yards, while Ohio State had 5 penalties for 70 yards. So much for The Cult's conspiracy theories concerning the Big Ten referees.

11. For the season, Ohio State has committed 51 penalties (88th in FBS) for 467 yards (97th in FBS).

12. Ohio State was 5 for 11 on third down conversions (45.5%), which isn't great but still better than the Buckeyes' season average of 37.5%...
1. Ohio State holds a 17-13 overall record against Penn State. The Nittany Lions won the first four contests (1912, 1956, 1963, and 1964), and six of the first eight (lost 1975 and 1976; won 1978 and 1980).

In the thirty contests between the two teams, Ohio State has outscored Penn State 643 to 538, for an average score of 21.4 ppg to 17.9 ppg.

2. Since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, Ohio State holds a 15-7 lead in the series. The teams have played every season since 1993, and being in the same division, they will play every year going forward unless the Big Ten has further expansion or realignment.

In the twenty-two Big Ten contests between the two teams, Ohio State has outscored Penn State 582 to 391, for an average score of 26.5 ppg to 17.8 ppg.

3. Ohio State has won the last three contests against Penn State. Ohio State has never beaten Penn State more than three times in a row. Ohio State also won three in a row from 2002 to 2004.

4. Penn State has shut out Ohio State three times: 1912 (37-0); 1964 (27-0); and 1978 (19-0). Ohio State has never shut out Penn State.

5. The first game between Ohio State and Penn State took place in 1912, which the Nittany Lions won 37-0. The Buckeyes left the field with approximately five minutes left in the game, claiming that the Lions were playing dirty football. The teams would not play again for 44 years.

6. Ohio State's first win in the series came in 1975 by the score of 17-9. Tailback Archie Griffin had 24 rushes for 128 yards, and fullback Pete Johnson had 23 rushes for 112 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

7. Ohio State also won the 1976 game, 12-7. The Buckeyes rushed the ball 69 times for 280 yards (4.06 ypc) and two touchdowns, but threw just three passes, completing one of them for ten yards. That game was the epitome of the Woody Hayes offense.

8. In 1978, Ohio State and Penn State opened the season against each other. Buckeye true freshman quarterback Art Schlichter, in his college football...
1. Ezekiel Elliott has 2,975 career rushing yards, good for 10th best at Ohio State. Zeke needs 25 yards to pass Carlos Snow (2,999 yards) for 9th place; 102 yards to pass Pepe Pearson (3,076 yards) for 8th place; 224 yards to pass Carlos Hyde (3,198 yards) for 7th place; 226 yards to pass Keith Byars (3,200 yards) for 6th place; and 241 yards to pass Braxton Miller (3,215 yards) for 5th place (assuming that Miller gains no yards rushing against Penn State).

Buckeye PlayerRanking-Yards Rushing-Yards to Surpass
Braxton Miller5th3,215241
Keith Byars6th3,200226
Carlos Hyde7th3,198224
Pepe Pearson8th3,076102
Carlos Snow9th2,99925
Ezekiel Elliott10th2,9750

2. Michael Thomas has 1,230 yards receiving, good for 25th best at Ohio State. Thomas needs 39 yards to pass Reggie Germany (1,268 yards) for 24th place; 48 yards to pass Buster Tillman (1,277 yards) for 23rd place; 57 yards to pass Anthony Gonzalez (1,286 yards) for 22nd place; 60 yards to pass Brian Stablein (1,289 yards) for 21st place; 190 yards to pass Bobby Olive (1,419 yards) for 20th place; and 200 yards to pass Brian Hartline (1,429 yards) for 19th place.

Buckeye PlayerRankingYards ReceivingYards to Surpass
Brian Hartline19th1,429200
Bobby Olive20th1,419190
Brian Stablein21st1,28960
Anthony...
Hey all, I'm back. Sorry about last week - I was out of town and left this column to Poobert while I attended to some important business in Las Vegas. As he mentioned, while I was there I put some real money on some of last weeks key games in lieu of doing our normal picks. Poobert said we'd find out who the real Fuck Face is. It turns out, it's both of us. In the grand Vegas tradition, we lost our asses. Poobert only won one of his five bets. I only won two.

The best thing we can do about is change the subject and never speak of that shameful performance again. So, let's talk about rivalries instead. It seems to be an appropriate topic now that Ohio State's rival has re-discovered football and is beginning to run their mouths a bit...
1. Ohio State 49, Maryland 28. The Buckeyes did what the Buckeyes do: Gain a lot of yards, score a lot of points, commit a few huge inexplicable mistakes that turns a rout into a competitive game. This time the offense was very good, but the defense allowed Maryland's reserve QB Perry Hills to rush for 170 yards and 2 TDs, including a long run of 75 yards, and throw a 52-yard TD pass. This game was actually tied at 21 early in the third quarter before the Buckeyes woke up and ran off 28 straight points. Ohio State is still probably the class of the Big Ten, but they really haven't played like it so far.

2. Michigan 38, Northwestern 0. The Wolverines' offense was hardly impressive (380 total yards), but the defense simply smothered the Wildcats, who managed just 168 yards (2.9 yards/play), 2/13 on third down, 22:55 time of possession, and of course zero points. The shutout was Michigan's third in a row, quite a feat in this day and age of offensive football. There is one big question concerning the Wolverines going forward: Can they continue to win with below average QB play from Jake Ruddock, who is 95th in FBS in passing efficiency? Up next: the undefeated Michigan State Spartans.

3. Michigan State 31, Rutgers 24. A week after receiving a scare from 1-5 Purdue, the Spartans received another scare from 2-3 Rutgers. In fact, Michigan State has been receiving scares all season long, hardly what you'd expect from a top-5 team. Expect the scares to end next Saturday when Sparty travels to the Big House to face a Michigan squad that has outscored its opponents 160-14 over the last five games.

4. Minnesota 41, Purdue 13. A week after nearly upsetting the highly-ranked Michigan State Spartans, the Purdue Boilermakers crashed back down to their rightful place at the bottom of the Big Ten. The Minnesota Golden Gophers, who've had trouble scoring against everybody this season (15.4 ppg entering the game), pounded...
1. Yesterday's win over Maryland reminded me a lot of last year's win over Cincinnati. The scores were almost identical (50-28 over UC; 49-28 over UM); the offenses performed almost flawlessly; and the defenses were generally solid but had egregious lapses of execution. If you remember, Cincinnati WR Chris Moore burned Ohio State's defense for three long touchdown receptions of 60, 78, and 83 yards. Yesterday, it was Maryland QB Perry Hills who unexpectedly had a huge game, with 25 rushes for 170 yards and 2 TDs with a long run of 75 yards; he also had a 52-yard TD pass to D.J. Moore (no relation to Chris). In each game, the defense broke down at critical moments and allowed game-changing plays. Eliminate those few errors, and each game is a 40-point blow out.

2. Ezekiel Elliott had a good but not great game yesterday: 21 carries for 106 yards (5.05 ypc) and 2 TDs. It was Zeke's 11th straight game with 100+ yards rushing. Zeke also had 6 receptions for 47 yards.

3. On the season, Elliott now has 121 carries for 835 yards (139.2 ypg; 6.90 ypc) and 10 TDs.

4. For his career, Elliott now has 2,975 yards rushing, good for 10th place in Buckeye history. Yesterday, he passed Anotnio Pittman (2,945 yards) and Michael Wiley (2,951 yards) on the list of career rushing leaders.

5. Michael Thomas had 7 receptions for 107 yards, both career highs (he also had 7 receptions against Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl). For his career, Thomas now has 1,230 yards, which is good for 25th place in Buckeye history.

6. Cardale Jones had a big game, completing 21 of 28 passes for 291 yards and 2 TDs. More importantly, Jones did not throw an interception and was sacked only once. In fact, his biggest "mistake" was a 33-yard completion to Braxton Miller, where Miller made an acrobatic catch of an overthrown ball. If Jones's pass is on the mark, Braxton catches it in stride and goes 52-yards for a touchdown.

7. For his career, Jones now has 2,021 yards passing, which puts him in...
Hi friends its Poobert. Josh is gone this week so he sed hed let me rite about college football. He said he was going to Lost Vegas. He sed it was for “work”. I do not beleev him. I no wut kind of stuff goes on there. Ive been around the litter box a time or too.

Ive become pritty gud at this college football thing. Ive seen how many peeple Im beeeting in pickem. I keep heering evry week that Im doing a gud job so I told Josh that if he wuz going to dich me to go on a trip that he shud make himself useful. I gave him sum munny to put on this weeks games. Hes said hes going to put sum munny down too, but on difrent games. We will see hoo wins the most.

The last few weeks wer practis. Now its on for reel. Now we will see who the reel fukface is!

My picks:

GamePick
Oklahoma (-17.0) vs Texas[​IMG]
Wisconsin (+1.5) at Nebraska[​IMG]
Navy (+14.0) at Notre Dame[​IMG]
East Carolina (+7.5) at BYU[​IMG]
Miami (+9.5) at Florida State[​IMG]
Joshs picks:

GamePick
Illinois (+11.0) at Iowa[​IMG]
Northwestern (+7.5) at M*ch*g*n[​IMG]
TCU (-9.0) at Kansas State[​IMG]
Cal (+7.0) at Utah[​IMG]
Florida (-5.5) at Missouri[​IMG]
1. The Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0; 1-0; #1 AP; #1 CP) remained undefeated with a 34-27 win over the Indiana Hoosiers (4-1; 0-1) that literally came down to the last play of the game. The star of the afternoon was Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott who had 23 carries for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns (runs of 55, 65, and 75 yards), and another 12 yards on a pair of receptions. The rest of the Buckeye offense combined for 231 yards and 3 turnovers. The Buckeye defense was generally solid (10 punts, 9 three-and-outs), but could not force any turnovers and allowed Indiana's back-up quarterback Zander Diamont to run for a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. At the end of the game, Indiana had the ball at the Ohio State 9-yard line with the chance to tie the score, but Diamont's final pass attempt fell incomplete in the end zone.

2. The Michigan State Spartans (5-0; 1-0; #4 AP; #3 CP) had a surprisingly difficult time with the lowly Purdue Boilermakers (1-4; 0-1), barely holding on with a 24-21 win. Sparty had a significant edge in total yards (406 to 301) and turnovers (3 to 0) and time of possession (37:24 to 22:36), but Purdue's Markell Jones had 157 yards rushing and a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns (including a run of 68 yards) to make the game close. Even with the win, Sparty dropped two spots in the AP poll and one in the coaches poll.

3. The Michigan Wolverines (4-1; 1-0; #18 AP; #21 CP) whitewashed the Maryland Terrapins (2-3; 0-1) by the score of 28-0. It was the second straight shutout for the Wolverines, who have given up only 38 points on the season. Michigan is #2 in scoring defense in FBS (7.6 points per game), #2 in total defense (184.0 yards per game, 3.1 yards per play), and #1 in third-down defense (.194 conversion rate). The Wolverine offense, on the other hand, has been barely competent, checking in at #77 in total offense (392.6 yards per game) and #74 in scoring offense (27.8 points per game). Maryland has been bad all year, and this marks their...
1. Teams like to come up with a slogan for the season: All In (Cavaliers) ... What If? (Indians) ... Send in the Clowns (Browns). For this year's Buckeye team, the slogan should be A Win Is a Win Is a Win, because all this team needs to do is keep on winning no matter how narrow or ugly those victories might be. If the Buckeyes end up with a 13-0 record and a second-straight Big Ten championship, then they will be invited to the playoffs regardless of what anyone else does.

2. Okay, I'll say the un-sayable: Ezekiel Elliott is the best running back ever to play for Ohio State. Archie has the gaudy numbers and those two Heisman Trophies. Eddie posted the best single season in Buckeye history and has a Heisman of his own. MoC had a special combination of speed, power, balance, and vision, and led the 2002 team to a national championship. Robert Smith was so smooth and fluid and just plain fast. And then there's Hopalong and Beanie and El Guapo and Keith Byars and Tim Spencer.... But Elliott is simply the best.

3. And here are some of the reasons why Zeke is the best. Through 31 games (20 starts) Elliott already has 2,869 yards, which puts him in 12th place among the Buckeyes' career rushing leaders. Elliott needs only 900 yards to move past Eddie George and into second place, and with at least eight games remaining this season he should accomplish that feat.

Elliott is averaging 92.5 yards per game, which is 4th best in Buckeye history, but only 1.6 yards from second place (Jim Otis, 94.1 yards per game). Zeke's average per game is especially impressive when you consider that he was the third-string tailback (behind Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall) as a true freshman in 2013, and he averaged only 23.8 yards per game during that season (262 yards in 11 games). In his 20 starts, Zeke is averaging 130.35 yards per game, which would be the best ever at Ohio State (Archie Griffin averaged 121.5 yards per game in 46 games, all starts).

Elliott...