This is not an argument to lament advanced statistical modeling. Bill Connelly is smarter than me today, tomorrow, and every day on into the future. If he says that Indiana is the 69th best team in the country, so be it. I have no argument against this point, and it is foolish for me to posture as if I do.
My friend Matt Brown over at Land-Grant Holy-Land says that Indiana doesn't have a chance. That's fine. They probably don't. Indiana hasn't beaten Ohio State in football in my lifetime. To attempt to argue logically that this Indiana team, without possibly its best defensive player, can beat the top-ranked, undefeated, national champs seems like a pipe dream at best. Fine.
Fine. I do not care.
These assumptions are based on the fact that sporting events follow a predictable series of algorithims. They're based on the fact that humans are programmable robots. Or maybe they're based on that Ohio State is, by far, the most talented football team in the country when things are clicking. I don't know.
Wait, shut up, stop. Stop using logic. Stop it, now.
I don't even know what I'm writing. This just a stream of consciousness, of thought. I know I need to write something -- give you something to discuss about this game. Give you some morsel to chew on why Indiana could actually pull this thing off. We want reassurance. We want hope. We want reason to believe that Indiana can win this football game. Here, allow me to list those reasons for you, in order:
Indiana is a good team. Probably a good enough team to go to a bowl game. Maybe good enough to win 8 games. Maybe good enough to beat Ohio State. But that evidence, that logic, does not yet exist. Stop wasting your time on Friday afternoon looking for it.
Just, I don't know, like, think good things for once. Just say shit. Just guess.
Logic has never been a requirement to say things in this country. We elect politicians that run on unrealistic platforms. We buy weight-loss pills. People stop eating gluten, well, because. We let celebrities openly argue against vaccinating children. A Super Bowl winning football coach wonders out loud whether or not 9/11 was an inside job. You can say very stupid things not materially different from shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre in this country, and no one will be coming around the corner to take your house. You certainly do not need to justify A Sports Opinion with logic, numbers, and other scientia.
Just, like, say they'll win. No one's going to come throw you in hoosegow for people with faulty sports logic.
You are not indebted to every Ohio State fan that walks upon you Saturday to indicate that you are mentally prepared and ready for the out-behind-the-shed beatdown about to be placed upon you by your Big Ten football overlords. It's okay to say, like, yeah, I don't know. I think Indiana might win. They'll get mad, shout stats at you, talk about schedules, Heisman candidates, etc, etc. They'll want logic, they'll want reason.
Don't give them one. Smile, chuckle, turn away, and go pour another bourbon.