Ohio State destroys Clemson

Clemson was heavily favored, and Dabo Swinney ranked the Buckeyes #11 in his coaches poll. On ESPN, “analyst” Bart Scott said Ohio State was the “JV” team that had no chance against Clemson who was favored by over a touchdown. And Justin Fields had to hear about his subpar performance against Northwestern.

And of course, last year Ohio State outplayed Clemson but suffered a crushing defeat after several ridiculous calls and missed opportunities by the Buckeyes.

So the stage was set, and what transpired was the most satisfying victory for Buckeye fans since the 2014 National Championship. Ohio State whipped Clemson, dominating on both sides of the ball. Clemson was simply outmatched by a better football team that had something to prove. Ryan Day called a brilliant game and Justin Fields had the game of his life while the Buckeye defense teed off on Trevor Lawrence.

This one was sweet.

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Will the Lane Kiffin fiasco hurt Alabama versus Clemson?

Is anyone surprised that things didn’t work out between Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin after Kiffin accepted a head coaching job? This was bound to happen, and Kiffin ends up looking like a buffoon as usual.

Now Alabama has to rely on Steve Sarkisian to run the offense as they square off against Clemson for the National Championship. Sark is a great coach, and Alabama has plenty of talent on offense, but they have a young QB and they’ll be facing a tough Clemson defense that shot out Ohio State.

Should be interesting . . .

Offensive explosion in college football

What happened to the notion of defense in college football (or the NFL for that matter)?

The Alabama-Texas A&M game was memorable, with Johnny Manziel working his magic and Nick Saban’s crew putting on a clinic on the offensive side of the ball. Yet meanwhile neither side could play a lick of defense. This is what we’re seeing everywhere in college football, as the new spread offenses have completely changed the game.

We have a number of teams that have not been stopped on offense, with Oregon leading the way. Other offensive juggernauts include Clemson, Louisville, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State tearing up defenses.

We’ll see as the year goes on if any of these teams or the other contenders can put together a defense that can slow down these high octane offenses. That team will have an excellent shot at playing for and winning a national championship.

Fade Material: College Football Week 3 Predictions

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Well, go figure. I change the name of this column to “Fade Material” and then I start handing out winning picks. If I knew that was all I had to do, I would have changed the title years ago and avoided all the years of .500 or below predictions.

After a 3-1 performance in Week 1, I finished 3-0-1 with my Week 2 picks. Georgia was a push against South Carolina but TCU, Alabama and BYU had no problems covering. I’m still looking for my first sweep of the season, so let’s see if we can’t nail it this week. (Although I admit to having reservations about “Road Test Weekend.” There are some tough games on the board…)

Auburn @ Clemson, 12:00PM ET
Everyone keeps waiting for Auburn to lose and all they’ve done the past two weeks is pull wins out of their backsides. The No. 19 Tigers find themselves once again as underdogs, this time against an unranked Clemson team. Nobody can ever quite figure out Clemson, which either plays the game of its life or sinks to the level of its competition. They’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 versus the SEC, while Auburn is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Auburn is also 6-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four games an underdog. I think the Tigers of Auburn keeps this within a field goal, making that 3.5-point spread highly attractive.
THE PICK: AUBURN TIGERS +3.5

Ohio State @ Miami, 7:30PM ET
The Buckeyes face their first road test under new head coach Luke Fickell and while they didn’t look particularly sharp against Toledo last week at home, I like OSU to win outright tonight. They’ll face a quarterback in Jacory Harris, who is coming off a one-game suspension and who was unimpressive against Oho State last year. He threw four interceptions, including three in the first half alone. Granted, that was a different Buckeyes team last season but the defense is still solid and I expect them to give Harris trouble again this time around. The Buckeyes are 11-3 against the number in all games over the last two seasons and 14-4 ATS in road games in September since 1992.
THE PICK: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES +2.5

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Big Saturday in basketball

Check it out…

#25 Ohio State/#12 West Virginia @ 2 PM on CBS
#1 Texas/#21 UConn @ 4 PM on CBS
Thunder/Cavs @ 7:30 PM on NBA League Pass
#6 Duke/#16 Clemson @ 9 PM on ESPN

(All times Eastern.)

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