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Ohio State v Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl AP

Ohio State v Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl

Ohio State and Head Coach Jim Tressel is hoping to give the Big Ten something to claim as proof that they are one of the best conferences in the country after five Big Ten teams lost in bowl games on New Years day. To further complicate matters, three of the Big Ten teams to lose on Saturday lost to SEC teams. Can Ohio State get the SEC monkey off it’s back Tuesday night?

By Steve Patterson

The quarterbacks should get the attention Tuesday night when Ohio State faces Arkansas. This is the match-up that could have happened years ago with Ryan Mallett playing for Michigan and Terrelle Pryor playing for Ohio State. But Mallett’s transfer to Arkansas delayed the battle of the pocket passer (Mallett) vs the athletic runner (Pryor). And running against Arkansas might be Pryor’s best option to get big chunks of yards for the Buckeyes.

The other big story remains the suspension of five Buckeye players that will get to play in the bowl game but have to sit out 5 games in 2011 if they return for their fourth years. Pryor being the most famous of the suspended players, he has recently disagreed with Coach Tressel that all five guaranteed their return for 2011 in exchange for being allowed to play now.

If Ohio State can relax from the pressure of defending the Big Ten, forget about the suspensions for one night, and win the battle of the quarterbacks, they will have gotten the SEC monkey off their back after years of losing to SEC teams. Buckeye fans hope the win against Oregon in the Rose Bowl last year is repeated with another “big-game” bowl win for Pryor and his teammates this year.

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