Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Bad Case of Laurinaitis

Dealing with Laurinaitis feels a lot different than what I have felt in the past watching The Ohio State University climb the polls. That got me thinking that I hadn’t felt this way since four years ago when I came down with Krenzel fever. Comparing the two seasons reveals some shocking similarities.
Lets take a look at a couple of marquee positions and statistics between this year’s Buckeyes and the 03’ Fiesta Bowl National Championship team.

Preseason Ranking:
2002 Buckeyes: 13
2007 Buckeyes: 11
2002- Craig Krenzel:
Games: 14 Completions: 148/249 Yards: 2110 Touchdowns: 12 INT: 7 Rushes: 128 for 368 yards and 3 TDs
2007: Todd Boeckman (Through 9 Games):
Games: 9 Completions: 139/209 Yards: 1799 Touchdowns: 21 INT: 8 Rushes: 25 for -19 and 0 Touchdowns
Projected: Completions: 185/279 Yards: 2399 Touchdowns: 28 INT: 11

Both quarterbacks have been blessed and the curses with being just “good enough”. They didn’t and won’t be even mentioned for a Heisman, never get recognition as a top QB, and yet they put up W’s. Also, who knew Krenzel was so nimble on his feet?

Running Back:
2002: Maurice Clarett (True FR)
Games: 11 Rushes: 222 Yards: 1237 Average: 5.6 TD: 16 Convictions: 3 Jail Time: 3 ½ Years ( Starting Sept 2006)
2007: Beanie Wells (SO)
Games: 9 Rushes: 174 Yards: 996 Average: 5.7 TD: 7
Projected: Rushes: 232 Yards: 1328 Average: 5.7 TD: 9

Extremely similar in attempts and average, appears Boeckman maybe be taking more shots at the end zone than Krenzel, lowering Beanie’s chances to grind it out on the ground for six.

Defensive Standouts:
2002: CB: Chris Gamble: 1st Round Pick (28) To The Panthers
SS: Mike Doss : 2nd Round Pick (58) To The Colts Currently with the Vikings
Notable: Back Up Linebackers: A.J. Hawk (Green Bay Packers) and Bobby Carpenter ( Round 1 Pick (18) Dallas Cowboys)
LB: James Laurinaitis
2007 Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year
2006 Bronko Nagurski Award (Nations Best Defensive Player)

Lineage: Bred from savages, his father and two uncles are former WWE wrestlers. His uncle John is better know as “Johnny Ace”. His Uncle Marcus is the infamous “The Terminator” from the tag team duo known as The Wrecking Crew. Most importantly though is his Father Joe, but we all know and love him as “Animal” from the superior tag team of The Road Warriors.

This defensive squad has held opponents to a mere 8 points a game, and hasn’t allowed more than 17 all season. Note: Penn State and Michigan State both put up 17, but MSU’s two touchdowns came off of a pick 6 and fumble return on back to back plays towards the end of the game. Similarly, the 2002 squad gave up 21 in their first game against Texas Tech, their highest of the season until giving up 24 in double OT of the Championship game in which Miami was favored by more than 11 1/2. Laurinaitis’s defensive group has lifted their team to #1 by the play of numerous other standouts, but honestly how do you follow up Animal’s son. All and all Ohio State has beaten everyone’s expectations and has proven that they are deserving of a #1 seed. With three games left ( Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan) they still have some obstacles ahead of them, but if they win out there is no doubt stake a legitimate claim at a BCS title game shot come January.

And Remember…
You don’t Catch Laurinaitis, It Catches You

4Real Out