I wonder what will happen after Ohio State defeats Georgia 27-14 to win the national championship in Pasadena, Calif., on the evening of Jan. 6. I wonder how many callers to Paul Finebaum's radio program will threaten to initiate class-action lawsuits against Mark Richt for gross negligence. I wonder if Gerry DiNardo will get his groove back. I wonder if Alabama's public schools will no longer acknowledge the presidency of William McKinley. I wonder if Urban Meyer will forever be banned from Waffle Houses. I wonder if people will take it all out on Vanderbilt.
I have no good reason to believe this scenario will play out the way I've envisioned it. It's just a feeling, and I get feelings all the time, and most of the time I am quite adept at ignoring them. But this feeling came to me in a dream: I was ordering a pineapple-coffee milkshake at a Swensons Drive In restaurant in Akron, Ohio, and Woody Hayes was my carhop, wearing that red windbreaker and those Drew Carey glasses and exhorting his fellow employees to cook like they meant it. And he poked his head into my window and said, "This is the year," and then he spent 20 minutes lambasting the Occupy Wall Street movement, and then I woke up. And I thought, perhaps this is the year the Southeastern Conference fails to win a national championship. And as soon as I thought that, an Alabama fan emailed me and said, "You're (sic) subconscious is terrible and your (sic) an idiot ROLL TIDE." And I thought, perhaps this eloquent gentleman is correct, and perhaps Woody and I are deluding ourselves, and the SEC shall rule over all, forever, amen, War Eagle, Chick-fil-A, etc.
But certain things keep bringing me back to the Buckeyes, and the first is that they went 12-0 last season with an alarming nonchalance. The second is that Ohio State does still play in the Big Ten, which means that if it makes it to the month of November undefeated -- which would require, essentially, beating Northwestern on the road and beating Penn State and Wisconsin at home -- here is its reward: at Purdue, bye week, at Illinois, home against Indiana. This is the lead-up to the game against Michigan, and to the Big Ten championship game (which may well be a rematch against Michigan, since they currently play in separate divisions, the names of which I refuse to acknowledge until they cease to exist). And this means that, in the month leading up to the culmination of their season, the Buckeyes could contract with at least nine Ohio high-school teams to play their games for them, and they would remain undefeated. They can hang out at Eddie George's restaurant, and catch up on "Scandal," and if they get really bored they could even try studying, and they will not lose.
The third thing that brings me back to Ohio State is named Dontre Wilson. To which you reply, Who? And to which I reply, Exactly, because I don't really know who he is, either, and I have no idea whether or how much Dontre Wilson will play this season. But I do know that Dontre Wilson is from Texas, and Dontre Wilson was committed to Oregon until Chip Kelly fled for the NFL, and Dontre Wilson appears to be the kind of athlete who would have literally rolled on the floor, laughing off overtures from the Big Ten, until Urban Meyer arrived. According to Meyer, Wilson has "electric speed," and electric speed tends to play well in a steampunk league, and even if Dontre Wilson is not an immediate impact player, I imagine Dontre Wilson epitomizes the notion that Urban Meyer can, at least at this moment, both out-recruit and out-scheme pretty much any program in a league filled with works in progress, works on probation, works of admirable competitiveness with inherent limitations (hello, Northwestern), and works of sheer hopelessness.
And so I believe it will come to pass that Ohio State will once again finish the regular season 12-0, and I believe it will come down to one game, presumably against an SEC team. And I believe said SEC team will be wearied by a long season of the SEC lauding the SEC, and said SEC team will not take Ohio State as seriously as it should, because even if it is Urban Meyer, it is still Ohio State, and because all along Jim Tressel was running the long con. And this is the moment when it pays off. This is the year that seven seasons of SEC hegemony comes crashing to an end. This is the turning point, and if for any reason I am wrong, I will do the proper thing and take it out on Vanderbilt.
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19 Other Wildly Specific (and Purposefully Vague) Predictions for the 2013 College Football Season
Aug. 29: South Carolina defeats North Carolina 11-6 on the opening night of the 2013 campaign. Jadeveon Clowney finishes with seven tackles for loss and convinces the entire left side of the Tar Heels' offensive line to forfeit their scholarships and enroll in dental school. He also forces two safeties, the second of which ends badly when North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner (164 yards passing, two interceptions), in the midst of being swallowed within Clowney's 108-inch wingspan, asks Clowney if they can just "hug it out" instead. Afterward, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier inadvertently insults the entire North Carolina state legislature and declares that the Tar Heels "are pretty darn good, for a basketball team."
Sept. 7: Washington State beats USC 24-23 on a last-second tackle-eligible play coach Mike Leach dubs the "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Leach then conducts his entire postgame press conference in Creole.
Sept. 14: Alabama throttles Texas A&M 37-14 after Johnny Manziel quits football the day before in order to train elite racing greyhounds. He returns the next week, after being spotted during the game at a Tastee Freez in Skiatook, Okla., reading a copy of Larry McMurtry's "All My Friends Are Going To Be Strangers;" he throws for 565 yards and rushes for 128 in a win over SMU while wearing a fedora under his helmet. He finishes second in the Heisman Trophy voting, voluntarily forfeits his 2012 Heisman, feeling slighted, and spends the spring preparing for the NFL draft at an ashram in Calabasas, Calif., with Kendrick Lamar and the actor who played Gunther on "Friends."
Sept. 17: A Mid-American Conference quarterback is suspended indefinitely after a Vine post depicts him accepting a three-year-old Twinkie from a hobo.
Sept. 20: Quarterback Joe Southwick throws for 368 yards and three touchdowns as Boise State defeats Fresno State 34-17. The Broncos go 12-0, defeat Arizona 52-14 in the Las Vegas Bowl and finish the season ranked 23rd, behind a four-loss Vanderbilt squad.
Sept. 28: Oklahoma State runs 119 offensive plays in an 84-72 victory over West Virginia.
Sept. 29: A Mid-American Conference team's locker room erupts in controversy after a second-string running back tweets a spoiler from the final episode of "Breaking Bad."
Oct. 5: Minnesota upsets Michigan 14-11 on a last-second field goal, to extend its record to 6-0; in the midst of the celebration, Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson (285 yards, two touchdowns) drops the Little Brown Jug on his foot, breaking his third metatarsal and blowing out his knee at the same time. The following game, the Gophers commence a 27-game losing streak.
Oct. 10: A prominent coach is arrested (and later convicted) on charges of insider trading. He wins 11 games, and is given a contract extension.
Oct. 12: LSU defeats Florida 9-7 on a dropkick off a double reverse. LSU coach Les Miles says the play came to him in a dream, in a past life, when he was working as the groundskeeper for the Canton Bulldogs. He also admits he regularly leaves tickets at will call for Marie Curie.
Oct. 19: Texas Tech runs 122 offensive plays in an 86-65 victory over West Virginia. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury conducts his postgame press conference wearing a satin jacket with a scorpion on the back.
Oct. 22: The Louisiana Lafayette-Arkansas State game goes 14 overtimes, tied at 93, before both teams agree to resolve it by playing a televised game of "Words With Friends" on ESPNU.
Nov. 2: Braxton Miller rushes for 127 yards and throws for three touchdowns in Ohio State's 49-12 win over Purdue. Reached for comment, retired OSU president Gordon Gee refers to Orville Redenbacher as "an arrogant ninny in a bow tie."
Nov. 7: Kevin Hogan completes 16-of-18 passes as Stanford beats Oregon 17-14 after the Ducks' kicker misses a 47-yard field goal at the end of regulation. An outraged Phil Knight responds by pledging $140 million to build a dedicated Special Teams Dorm with gilded toilets and an interactive wall based on this Bleacher Report slideshow.
Nov. 12: A Tuesday night Mid-American Conference game is postponed on account of locusts.
Nov. 23: In perhaps the most shocking upset in recent history, undefeated Clemson loses 13-10 to the Citadel. Steve Spurrier reacts by stating that Clemson "is still probably one of the top five football teams in Pickens County."
Nov. 30: Clemson beats undefeated South Carolina 44-14 after Spurrier suspends Clowney for reading James Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy" during practice. Two weeks later, Clowney wins the Heisman Trophy, announces he's converted to scientology and declares that he will play professionally only if he is drafted as a quarterback by a Canadian Football League team west of Winnipeg.
Dec. 6: The Mid-American Conference championship game is postponed on account of water-elf disease.
Jan. 7: The day after Ohio State defeats Georgia 27-14 to win the national championship, Urban Meyer announces his permanent retirement. Two weeks later, he is hired as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. After Mack Brown announces his resignation as head coach at Texas, Kliff Kingsbury accepts the job. He immediately throws a party at the moontower.