PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- Which team is going to win the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game? Pat Forde counters with 20 reasons Ohio State will earn its second title in five years.
20. You cannot ignore the prophecy of Mr. Bo Biafra, lead singer/hypester of the band formerly known as the Dead Schembechlers and now renamed the Bastard Sons of Woody. Months ago, Biafra informed me that in August he was visited in spirit by the late Woody Hayes, and Woodrow told him this would be the most memorable season in Ohio State history. If Woody told Bo, it must be true.
19. Buckeyes fans' O-H-I-O hand motions during "Hang on Sloopy" beat Florida fans' chomp during "Gator Bait."
18. Wire to wire means something to the Buckeyes. They're on the verge of going the entire season ranked No. 1 and earning a special place in Ohio State lore, and they've transferred that motivation into focused preparation for this game. The idea of beating three second-ranked teams in a single season -- including two in a row -- only adds to it.
17. Ohio State won't be fooled by Florida's misdirection stuff. Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock said that once you get past all the Gators' "window dressing," they run the same kind of plays as everyone else. Don't expect the Buckeyes to be flummoxed by reverses, motion or funky formations.
16. The sweater vest. Jim Tressel scores key style points over Urban Meyer, whose look is indistinguishable from 100 other coaches.
15. The speed thing is overrated, too. Something tells me, after roughly 50 questions about Florida's speed and the SEC's speed, the Buckeyes are plenty motivated to show they're not a bunch of dump trucks lined up against Ferraris. Over the past decade the high-end Big Ten teams have all upgraded their speed enough to run with the SEC -- and if you don't believe me, check video of Penn State beating Tennessee and Wisconsin beating Arkansas last week.
14. The long layoff is overrated. Sure, the Buckeyes haven't played in roughly three years, but so what? This season's 50-day layoff is only seven days longer than last season, and Ohio State was razor sharp in ripping Notre Dame. Nobody has proven better at preparing a team for a bowl game than Tressel, who has won four bowls in a row.
13. Applying heat. Ohio State is tied for sixth in the country in sacks per game at 3.1. Florida is a mediocre 44th in sacks allowed at 1.7 per game. If the Buckeyes consistently get in Chris Leak's face, he's bound to make a big mistake
12. Because it's THE Ohio State University, not THE University of Florida.
11. Place kicking. We all know that Florida's Chris Hetland is only 50-50 to hit the broad side of a barn from right in front of it, having missed 9 of 13 field-goal attempts this season. Ohio State kicker Aaron Pettrey has made his last five field goals and eight of his last nine, with a career long of 52 yards.
10. X factor receiver. Both teams have a quality third wide receiver, Ohio State in Brian Robiskie and Florida in Jemalle Cornelius. But Robiskie has been the bigger performer in the bigger games. Against ranked teams, Cornelius has five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Robiskie has 14 catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns.