Buckeyes Have A Chip

Ohio State will use motivation to upset LSU

Dec. 12, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com



Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev? Just ask him.


Do you think Bobby Petrino's shaky loyalty in his two previous jobs is going to affect his ability to recruit at Arkansas? - Chris M., New York




I was waiting for somebody to point that out. I think it's a pretty difficult situation. I will tell you, living here in Atlanta, that he really was dealt a ridiculous hand as a head coach. He comes from Louisville and works for an owner who's as good as it gets in Arthur Blank. You have Rich McKay as your general manager and Michael Vick, one of the more exciting, versatile athletes in the world. Of course it was a great opportunity. But things got turned upside down on Petrino -- no Michael Vick -- and he was left with three journeyman quarterbacks.


You know he was an offensive coordinator in the NFL and I can't buy all these ridiculous articles and talk show hosts saying he couldn't adjust to the pro game. It was a matter of timing, really bad timing.


I know it doesn't look good. I wouldn't be in favor of a coach bolting in the middle of the season. But these were extenuating circumstances, and when he was at Louisville, he always wanted to get back to the SEC.


I think there's legitimate concern if you're a high school player: can I trust Petrino's word; will he be here for my four years? But I wouldn't be too concerned with that, because I think he's finally at the place where he wanted to be all along. It's only human nature, when someone presents you with $5 million and the chance to work with the best, to leave, and I don't know who wouldn't have jumped at the chance.


I think he's great for the college game and I'm glad he's back. Let the NFL people get all upset. Petrino's a college guy, a great college coach and I just can't fathom what it will be like to have to win in the SEC next year. It is ridiculous when you consider the head coaches in the league now.


Are Tim Tebow and Colt Brennan system quarterbacks? Many tag them as system quarterbacks, but both say they're not. And if they're not, who is a system quarterback? - Jeff Prini, Florida


I've never been a guy who got too caught up in system quarterbacks. I'll say this: You could put me in the Florida "system," Texas Tech "system" or Hawai'i "system" and I could promise you I would have never have had those numbers. I think we look for ways to tear down or explain these incredible statistics some of these athletes are putting up.


I do think there's some validity that if your team throw s the ball 60 times your stats may be a bit skewed because of the attempts, but you still have to complete the pass. Tim Tebow quarterbacks a very good system that takes advantage of defenses, but he runs it to perfection. He still has to throw those passes and still had to run. I don't buy into the system idea with any of the quarterbacks.


I think you could put a lot of quarterbacks who are starters around the country into Florida's "system" and they would not have nearly the numbers of Tebow. I think Colt Brennan is an extremely confident, strong-armed and good decision-maker, and Tebow is the ultimate warrior competitor. That's why they have the numbers they have.


Rather than look for excuses or reasons why they're able to put up the numbers they do, let's just enjoy these remarkable athletes.


How come everyone doesn't seem to be giving Ohio State a chance against LSU? Ohio State has a better defense and it's not like LSU has been dominant this season. What's with all the talk about Ohio State getting killed in the BCS Championship game? - Kelly, Ohio


I've said this and I'll repeat it: I don't think OSU is going to get blown out. As a matter of fact I'm going to pick Ohio State to win.


In college football, I think we do a terrible job of understanding how important playing with a chip on your shoulder is. I don't think it's all that relevant in the NFL, but I think in the college game, when you talk about young men and motivation and finding a reason, just look at this game like the Fiesta Bowl a few years ago when Ohio State played Miami.


I experienced it as a player. I remember in '93 when Nebraska was the No. 1 ranked team, we were a 17-point underdog to Florida State. They had Charlie Ward and Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks, a remarkable team loaded with skill and athleticism. I think there were commentators making comments that there weren't any Cornhuskers who could make the two-deep of Florida State. And they might have been right, but we were a motivated group. Although we lost by two points, we dominated statistically and lost on a last-second field goal. I think there are a lot of parallels and correlations.


The most athletic team doesn't always win, and I think Ohio State will be so intent on proving last year was a fluke and they will use all this talk as motivation and Buckeyes will end up winning the national championship for the second time this decade.