Ohio State 35, Florida 17
That's my pick and I'm sticking to it. I know, I was wayyyy off last year (I had USC by a lot), but for Florida to win, Ohio St. is going to have to help them by turning the ball over. The bigger the game, the bigger Troy Smith plays, and as good and fast as Florida's defense is, how will they account for all of Ohio St.'s offensive weapons. I'm just not talking about Ginn, Gonzalez, and Pittman. How will they cover Robiskie, Hartline, Hall, 3rd, 4th, and 5th receivers that contribute in major ways. Or Nicol and White, both tight ends, and of course Wells, the backup running back. You have to cover EVERYBODY, which is what Michigan found out. Smith will spread the ball around to all of them. Florida hasn't seen an offensive line like Ohio St.'s, an offensive line that goes 2-deep at every position for that matter.
Florida's offense will be shut down. Chris Leak will be Gator Bait and he will turn the ball over. He has every week, what's going to stop him in a month or so. If anyone will shut down Tebow left, it will be Ohio St. The only chance Florida's offense has is if he gets time to throw and find holes in an Ohio St. secondary that's good, but not great.
And special teams haha. Not even close, advantage Buckeyes.
This is also Ohio St.'s 4th trip in 5 years to the desert, so they'll be comfortable, they know the routine. And they have a coach who's 9-2 combined in Michigan and bowl games, and his only bowl loss came with Steve Bellisari at quarterback so that explains that.
One more thing about the vote today, I heard an argument that, "Well, Ohio St. won ugly in 2002-03, the same as Florida this year." This year, Florida committed 24 turnovers and had a turnover margin of +3. The national championship team from Ohio St. committed 17 turnovers and had a turnover margin of +13.
Oh, and (sorry, one more thing haha), don't give me, "Well, Florida played Alabama, Michigan played Iowa and they ended up not being any good." Last time I checked, Alabama and Iowa went 6-6, and Alabama fired their coach, so by their own admission, they weren't very good. So don't include Alabama as one of the tough teams Florida played.
And the thing is, I'm not a fan of either school (especially the Buckeyes). You know where my allegiance lies. Yes, even though they only went 2-10, Go Redhawks!
Well, tonight wasn't all good for Florida. On the basketball court (where they have this thing called a tournament, works pretty well), they lost to Florida St. in Tallahassee 70-66. Florida is not healthy right now, Corey Brewer is out with mono and Joakim Noah saw limited minutes due to an upper respiratory infection that clearly affected him. Then Al Horford got in foul trouble, so at one point in the 2nd half, Florida had 4 freshmen and 1 sophomore on the floor. Down 15 in the 2nd half, the Gators got within 2 with less than a minute left, but Taurean Green took a bad shot (maybe got fouled) and that was it. Al Thornton was huuuge down the stretch, ending the Gator spurt with spectacular individual play. He finished with 27 points. Florida committed 19 turnovers, way too many.
I can't wait to see how all the coaches voted in their respective poll. USA Today will have them tomorrow.