Friday, January 1, 2010

Vindicated in Roses

Sweet relief in 2010 for Jim Tressel, Terrell Prior, but most of all, for the legions of Ohio State fans. The same fans who have been stung again and again since the fateful day in January 2007, when Troy Smith and the favored Buckeyes fell flat with Ted Ginn Jr. on their injured legs and got embarassed in front of the Country by Florida, and then again by LSU, and again by USC, and again, and again.

This time, all the talk of the speed of Oregon, and the pace on what they run their offense, and their powerful running game, didn't matter, as what seemed at times to be a interminably boring offense run by Jim Tressel turned out to be just what was needed. At times during the game I was bemoaning the game plan and execution both. Either too conservative a play call, or too timid decision making by Prior. But in the end, Terrell's arm is what beat Oregon. The Ducks' coaches said they schemed to take away his running, but with throwing like that, they were done for. True enough. And the boring offense dominated time of possession also, which did just enough to keep the Ducks off the scoreboard.

Obviously, Terrell needs some more work. As Herbie pointed out during the broadcast, at at least a few times, he took too long deciding whether to run or throw. Sometimes he is timid, and I'm not sure why that is. But overall today, he made smart decisions, made some extremely nice throws (one other touchdown was dropped), and certainly proved himself again as being able to come up in a big game.

As Bill Livingston wrote, "Ohio State restored its own reputation at the same time as Pryor liberated much of the state of Ohio from defeat, disappoint and doubt." Great game, great memory. Let's not make it another 13 years, huh Rose Bowl?

Here was my viewing situation, Christmas tree, stockings, big screen TV and all. Including my new scarf I picked up in Pasadena last week. One I will cherish now forever.