Ohio State Getting Hyped Too Soon
Tony Salinas: Ohio State Getting Hyped Too Soon
Ohio State hosts California early Saturday in a game that ESPN hopes will help sell the Buckeyes as a resurgent power in college football. They were on TV when they beat Miami of Ohio. Last week's game with Central Florida was also televised. Now, Ohio State has a chance to make a statement in another intersectional game against a visitor from the Pac 10.
Hey, Ohio State may win this game easily since it's a "bad body clock" start for the Bears. Kickoff is at 9 a.m. body time for the California kids...who have been practicing at 8 a.m. all week trying to get ready. But, I'm already pretty confident that Ohio State is becoming overrated by the media, the public, and the Vegas line. There will be spots coming up where handicappers must try to take advantage of that.
Why is Ohio State becoming overrated?
ESPN spent the offseason hyping Urban Meyer as a championship caliber head coach who was going to bring the program back to greatness. Hiring Meyer as an announcer after he left Florida gave them an "in" for special coverage when he took the Ohio State job. ESPN jumped at the chance, because they need everyone to believe in the Big Ten if they're to draw big TV ratings for their telecasts. It was as if ESPN knew they needed to replace Joe Paterno as the face of the conference and decided Meyer was their man.
Ohio State playing day games the last two weeks meant their highlights were constantly on TV. If you win early...then EVERY studio show shows your highlights ALL DAY. If you win in prime time, or in prime time on the West Coast...part of the country never sees what you did. How many highlights from Washington-LSU did you watch last week? How about Illinois-Arizona State or Oklahoma State-Arizona? Now, how many times did you see the same plays run over and over again from Ohio State beating Central Florida? Over the day, it starts to feel to the public like Ohio State won 50-0 when they didn't even cover the spread in a 31-16 win.
Because most of the Big Ten has struggled out of the gate, the pollsters have adopted Ohio State as the defacto power of the conference. They're up to #12 in the AP poll after sitting at #18 before the season started. That's six spots higher even though all they've done is wear down lowly Miami of Ohio before not covering against Central Florida! Ohio State was so sloppy in their win against Central Florida (3 turnovers) that they should have gone DOWN, not up
I have no doubt that this year's team is going to be better than last year's huge disappointment, nor that Meyer has them moving back in the right direction. He's a quality coach, and it looks for now like he's the right man for the job. But, Vegas is already pricing Ohio State like a power again...and the public is betting them like last year never happened. Let's assume it takes Meyer a year or two to really get things back where they should be. Vegas is pricing Ohio State right now as if it's November of 2013 or September of 2014.
It was another bad day last Saturday for ranked teams. Oregon and USC failed to cover as favorites a second time. Arkansas fell from #8 in the poll to all the way out of the Top 25 with a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Number 13 Wisconsin was an embarrassment at Oregon State. I expect the ranked teams to continue to burn money because too many are overrated. Ohio State may catch California in a down spot today, but won't be so lucky when they run into fired up conference rivals in league play.
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I will be fading Ohio State at some point in the next few weeks because so many ranked teams are just flat overpriced. Stop throwing your money away on overhyped pretenders. Start GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!
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