The performance must be commended and, for this, Wells earns championship Player of the Game and December Madness MVP honors; however, with what truly matters, it was all for naught as the Buckeyes fell to the USC Trojans 19-17.
Many would say that, with four lost fumbles - just one by Wells - and six penalties, Ohio State uncharacteristically defeated itself, but this is the way that USC has been winning all of its post-season games. In fact, in this playoff format, few could argue that the best, most-talented team did not win.
En route to the championship, USC defeated conference rival Arizona State, second-ranked LSU, which had not lost a game in regulation all season, third-seeded Virginia Tech, which was the top-ranked team in the computers, and the BCS number one ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Not all of the games were pretty USCs average margin of victory was less than three points over its last three games but they were wins.
In the championship, junior kicker David Buehler was once again the late game hero, kicking two fourth quarter, 25 yard field goals, including the game-winner with just 1:59 left in the game. In all, Buehler connected on four of five field goals to give him 38 points for the tournament.
The entire game was a defensive battle. Only two offensive touchdowns were scored, a four yard run by Wells and a 54 yard, game-breaking sprint by USC sophomore Stafon Johnson. OSU also tacked on a defensive score as All-American linebacker James Laurinaitis snagged a John David Booty pass 15 yards downfield and returned it 73 yards to the house in the second quarter.
Booty did little to aid in the Trojans victory, completing exactly 50% of his passes for just 4.4 yards-per-attempt, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Fortunately for USC, Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman had a similar output with three turnovers of his own, an interception and two lost fumbles, to go with a 48% completion percentage and six yards-per-attempt.
In the running game, USCs Johnson and Chauncey Washington combined for Wells-like production with 223 yards on 39 carries. With Wells, Boeckman and a slew of juniors on the defensive depth chart a few of which will likely declare and USC losing Booty, Washington and many others, the future may look brightest for Ohio State. But that cannot change the outcome of this game. The 2007 USC Trojans are the best team in college football true national champions.
Player of the game: Chris Wells (153 yards, 1 TD)
Winning Percentage of 1,001 Simulations: USC 57% - Ohio State 43%
December Madness MVP: Chris Wells (750 rushing yards, 8 TDs)