Home > Uncategorized > So, what does this game mean…

So, what does this game mean…

Well, that was some finish wasn’t it? Sitting on the couch last night, flipping between the Sugar Bowl and the tedious Lakers – Pistons game (remember when that game might have meant something?), my remote became stuck on Ohio State – Arkansas with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter. You remember, it was just after Ohio State had been flagged for a false start, setting up a 3rd and 15 on their own 23. It was just before the center snapped the ball off his voluminous backside, causing the play to break down, and Tyrelle “I should have been suspended” Prior to scramble out of the madness for a 14 and a half yard gain. Inches shy of the first down from their own 37, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel didn’t hesitate for a second, the Buckeyes were going for it on fourth down.

Watching from the couch, vaguely cheering for Arkansas because Ohio State president Gordon “Try my Popcorn” Gee is such a tool and because Ohio State was playing with five guys who should have been suspended for the game, I saw Buckeye running back Dan Herron leap over the pack for the first down. Only… he forgot to bring the ball with him.

“You HAVE to hold on to that ball. HAVE to.” I shouted to no one in particular, but my wife, sitting beside me on the couch, her nose buried in some blog (I can assure you not this one…), looked up. Her interest peaked.

They pull the bodies off the pile, Ohio State has recovered, but since the ball landed around the line of scrimmage, determining who held it was really just a formality. Arkansas ball from the Ohio State 37.

“That was huge,” I say to her. “I guarantee that if Arkansas wins this game, that fumble will be the lead topic on PTI, or at least discussed within the framework of the lead story.”

Arkansas rushes for a small gain. Flag. Holding.

“What? NO. You simply cannot get a holding penalty in this situation. You can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t.”

A terrible throw by Arkansas QB Ryan Mallet and a four yard dump to Knile Davis and it is 3rd and seventeen.

“Arkansas can probably use both downs to get the first down here,” I tell my wife. “They need to pick up at least ten here though,” Mallet throws a perfect pass right into the numbers of Lance Ray. At least 14 yards down field. Probably a 16 yard gain by the time he’s tackled. Except that Ray drops the pass.

“Are you KIDDING me… You cannot drop that pass there. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. YOWZA.” Arkansas punts. The wife asks, “I thought they had two more downs to get a first.” I explain that without picking up most of the yardage on the previous play, it’s just too far for a reasonable first down shot and there’s still enough time on the clock that if Arkansas can stop the Buckeyes and force a punt they’ll be in good position.

Herron takes the handoff on first down and rushes for 17 yards. First Down. Then he rushes for another one. Pryor then rushes for eight and on thrid and one, squeezes out the first down. First down Ohio State at their own 31. Two and a half minutes remaining.

“Do they still have a lot of time,” my wife asked, somewhat sarcastically.


Herron runs for three. Timeout. Herron runs for 2. Timeout. Herron runs for two. Fourth down. Timeout. Ohio State punts from their… BOOM goes the dynamite. Colton Miles-Nash gets around the corner and blocks Ben Buchanan’s punt.

“WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW. That’s unbelievable,” I’m now practically frothing at the mouth. “These last five minutes have been insane.” My wife’s eyeing my warily, wondering if she’s going to have to put me down. Arkansas should have picked up the ball and scrambled in for a touchdown, but they at least have the ball on Ohio State’s 18. There’s a minute-nine left. Plenty of time.

First down, Mallet throws incomplete. Second down, Ohio State’s bringing the pressure, Mallet, feeling the outstretched, desperate, fingers of four OSU defenders, steps forward in the pocket and throws… right into the arms of Solomon “How Appropriate that the biggest play of the game is made by one of the players who should have been suspended” Thomas.

“Ohhhh, man. You cannot throw an interception in this situation. You just can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Can’t. Throw it out of bounds. Throw if off the mascot. Throw it anywhere but to an Ohio State player.” Ohio State takes the ball and kneels out the final forty seconds.

Game over.

“So what does this game mean?” my wife asks me when I’ve stopped blindly shouting at the TV. “What does Ohio State get for winning?”

“Ahh… well, it’s the Sugar Bowl.” She starred at me blankly. “You see there’s all these bowls and four of them in particular have a long history of importance. This one…” I went on to explain to her about the Sugar, Orange, Rose, and Fiesta.

“So these two teams aren’t in the same league?”


“And, Ohio State aren’t champions of anything now?”

“Well, they’re the Sugar Bowl champs…”

“Yeah, but they aren’t, like, the best team in the country or anything.”


“And they aren’t advancing to play someone else.”


“Well,” I could just tell we were coming full circle. “What was the point then?”

I stammered, somewhat incoherently.

“Why wouldn’t they just have a playoff?”

Good question…

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