Some of you may have heard that Ohio State has a decent football program. A year after winning the first College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes are still a formidable team, gunning selfishly for another championship. Our guest this week is Eric Seger, writer for Eleven Warriors, is as brash as could be expected from an OSU beat writer. Regardless, we greatly appreciate him taking the time to slum it for us Illinois fans -- which we'll remind you no one from the Penn State coterie could be bothered to do.
Smile Politely: As an Ohio State reporter, you must know quite a bit about dealing with scandals. Any tips for Illini fans (or school administrators) who read this? We've had quite a year.
Eric Seger: I'm actually too young to have been around and report on tattoo-gate and everything else that involved all things Jim Tressel. All I remember is the 2002 national championship, the decade-long dominance over Michigan and a crap ton of hair-pulling, heart-stopping victories. Sue me.
Anyway, the first and most obvious tip I can give to Illini fans and school administrators is pretty basic: Don't be stupid and don't lie. Is that too hard?
I know you guys have interim tags on basically everyone who matters in the athletic department, but hopefully your president can look through his money glasses and get some higher quality people as opposed to Mike Thomas and Tim Beckman. Yeesh.
SP: The narrative about the Buckeyes this year is that they haven't blown out opponents the way they have been expected to. If Tim Beckman were the Bucks' head coach how much larger would their average margin of victory be?
Seger: Shoot, if Beckman was Ohio State's coach, I think it's pretty safe to say the Buckeyes' margin of victory would be at least five touchdowns. He's probably the only coaching savant that could rival Urban Meyer.
SP: With OSU slipping from the top spot in the polls, have most Columbusites (Columbos? Columbusinessmen?) switched to the Columbus Crew bandwagon for some real football action?
Seger: I believe the term you're looking for is BUCKEYES, because there's nothing but BUCKEYES in this town, baby. That's the only football in this city, even if the Crew never lose a game again. Don't you ever forget it, either.
SP: Does the university have to keep the College Football Playoff trophy hidden to prevent adolescents from having their innocence ruined by its yonic shape?
Seger: That's a good question, but that thing never moves from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center unless Ohio State is frolicking it during championship celebrations (I know, Illinois fans have no idea what those are). The Woody is where Meyer's office is and also where Ohio State does prepares for its next game. So, yeah, some #teens see it during recruiting trips and when they're freshmen on campus, but only the brightest young people get to see it. So there's no chance an adolescent thinks it looks like a female sex organ.
SP: Any word on how Cardale Jones is doing playing school? He must be focusing on that a lot, since J.T. Barrett can drive drunk and get his job back a week later.
Seger: Meyer's spoken about how Jones is one of the more cerebral players on the team, regardless if it is the classroom, in the film room or on the field. He can focus on whatever he needs to focus on and do as he pleases, because as we saw last year he can play at a CHAMPIONSHIP level when called upon without even starting a game in the regular season. (brushes shoulder off)
SP: Donovan McNabb wants to know how he can get his DUI sentence commuted to what J.T. Barrett got. Do you have any leads on how he could do this?
Seger: I can't speak for McNabb because I haven't seen the footage of his DUI arrest, but Barrett was nothing but cooperative during his traffic stop. There's also this: How about McNabb go to a real school: NOT Syracuse.
SP: Is Joey Bosa's DNA proprietary or could Illinois have a crack at making another one of him? Wait, how much did it cost the OSU science department to create Joey Bosa in their lab? We've got some budget issues around here, so there might not be any Bosa money after we taxpayers pay Mike Thomas $2.5 million not to direct Illinois athletics any longer.
Seger: Saturday might be the last chance you'll have at getting a chance to snip some of Bosa's hair to help you spin your web of ineptitude. And $2.5 million is all you had to pay Thomas? smh
Also, Meyer's the one who probably has a secret lab stashed away in his office somewhere, but don't worry. He's already putting it to good use again, because Joey Bosa's younger brother, Nick, is coming here next year. Rumor has it he's better than Joey was in high school, even though he tore his ACL last month. HAVE FUN WITH THAT THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, BIG TEN.
SP: The interim AD at Illinois said it should be a destination for top college football coaches. Is all of Columbus quaking in fear that Urban Meyer relocates to Champaign?
Seger: I mean, basically. Once Meyer wins his second consecutive College Football Playoff national championship this season, what's left for him to do outside of go to podunk Champaign and build a champion in the wind tunnel? At least that will be challenging.
SP: Illinois's defense is ranked 33rd nationally and OSU's offense is ranked 32nd, so this is pretty much a straight pick 'em game, right?
Seger: Nah, man. Like you said, Barrett's back this week and the offense is way better with him in at quarterback instead of Jones. Ohio State by three touchdowns, 42-21. Bring on Sparty, already!
Illinois and Ohio State kick-off at 11 am at Memorial Stadium. The game will also be televised nationally on ABC, you don't even need cable to watch this one! If you'd like to follow along during the game, our guest is on Twitter at @ericseger33. Lead photo by the Columbus Dispatch; championship photo by USA Today