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Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

Random Thoughts: MAC, OSU and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s edition of Random Thoughts centers around MAC football, public vs. private, Ohio State football, the Rose Bowl, the College Football Playoff, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.

MAC attack

It’s happened before and it’ll probably happen again, but three MAC schools will play for state championships on Saturday.

In my mind, Coldwater and Marion Local are the favorites to win Division VI and VII. Versailles has an interesting matchup in Division V. The opponent is three-time defending state champion Kirtland, a team that has won 55 consecutive games, the longest streak in the entire country.

It’ll be the final game of the seven championship games and it could be a great one.

Public vs. private

For those keeping track, there are nine public and five private or parochial schools competing for OSHAA football state championships this weekend.

Ohio State

By now, much has been said about Ohio State’s loss to Michigan.

Look, the Wolverines were going to win one sooner or later. It had to happen but it’s disappointing how it happened. Michigan didn’t necessarily do anything special but did play old school hard nosed football and they kept Ohio State off-balance all afternoon.

Here’s a telling stat – Michigan didn’t have a third down during the entire second half. Think about that. Zero first downs in the final two quarters.

That says a lot.

Miller and opt outs

Ohio State reserve quarterback Jack Miller has announced he’s entering the NCAA transfer portal, which is no surprise.

Miller wasn’t going to see substantial playing time in Columbus and his fate was all but sealed when he was arrested for OVI earlier this month. The charge was later reduced to reckless operation

Meanwhile, with a bowl bid looming, look for a handful of opt-outs from Ohio State players who are NFL draft eligible. That’s the trend now, especially for teams not competing for a national championship – opt out, avoid injury and prepare for the draft.

Rose Bowl?

If Michigan wins the Big 10 Championship Game, look for Ohio State to end up in the Rose Bowl. It’ll probably happen but it’s not definite.

Technically, the loser of the conference championship game is the runner up and could get the nod, but Ohio State attracts more TV viewers, which is what it’s all about.

Playoff

Yes, it’s still possible for Ohio State to make the College Football Playoff.

At this point, it would take a lot though, including losses this weekend by Alabama, Cincinnati, Michigan and Oklahoma State and even then it might not be enough.

One or two of those things could happen but I’ll be shocked if it all shakes out like that.

A rut

It’s safe to say the Cleveland Browns are in a real offensive rut.

Sunday night is proof of that. The Browns intercepted four Lamar Jackson passes but only put 10 points on the board. Any team causing four turnovers should win by a fairly substantial margin.

This is a team that appears to be lost on offense right now.

Bengals

I’ll come out and say it – the best and most well-rounded team in the AFC North right now is probably the Cincinnati Bengals.

Forget the loss to the Jets, this team is one that has found its stride and one that could be scary at playoff time.

If you have thoughts on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 11/30/21 at 4:53 am. FILED UNDER: Sports