Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ohio State’s Games Against Hoosiers Are Often “Who Knows?”

“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
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Indiana Hoosiers (Game 5)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 9 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Tim Gardner, DB Tyler Green, and DB Jayme Thompson. Gardner was signed as part of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class, but left the program after a disciplinary incident in the summer of 2013. Gardner played in eleven games for Indiana in 2015. Tyler Green could technically be considered recruited by Ohio State, yet did not sign with Ohio State in 2015. Green played in eight games as a true freshman for Indiana in 2015. Jayme Thompson was also part of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class, like Tim Gardner. Thompson redshirted in 2013, transferred after the 2013 season to Iowa Western C.C. for 2014 and 2015, and signed with Indiana for the 2016 season.
Game Date: October 8, 2016
Kickoff Time: TBA
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Truth be told, I struggled with where to place Indiana on this opponent ranking. Think about how the games against Indiana have gone since Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer took over the program in 2012 – A nailbiter that went down to the wire in Bloomington in2012, 52-49. Ohio State rolled Indiana in Ohio Stadium in 2013, 42-14. Ohio State has to rally behind Jalin Marshall’s performance in 2014, 42-27. Ohio State survives Indiana last year in Bloomington, 34-27. Why not rank Indiana higher?
Here is why – Nate Sudfeld and Jordan Howard have both departed Indiana for the NFL. While Indiana returns quarterback Zander Diamont, who tormented the Buckeyes last season, I believe Ohio State will have too much on both sides of the ball for Indiana to be able to keep pace as they have in recent seasons.
Prediction: Ohio State will be coming off a home game versus Rutgers, and will be tempted to be looking ahead to two tough road trips on the horizon with Wisconsin and Penn State. Even with the road trips looming, Coach Meyer and his staff will be able to remind his players about Ohio State has had extremely tough, close calls against the Hoosiers, and I believe Ohio State will come out with a more focused approach more like the 2013 game than the 2014 or 2015 contests.
Previous Rankings:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Rutgers May Leave Columbus In October Feeling Ash(en)

“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Game 4)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 10 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: DL Darius Hamilton, DB Ronnie James. There may be more players on Rutgers’ roster that had offers from Ohio State, but Hamilton and James are the only ones I could find in my research. Please correct me if I am mistaken.
Game Date: October 1, 2016
Kickoff Time: 12pm EST. Network television has not yet been announced.
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Ohio State’s homecoming game is against an opponent that has posed little to no threat to Ohio State over the past two seasons. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 56-17 in 2014, and traveled to New Jersey in 2015 and handled the Scarlet Knights 49-7. That averages out to a usual score of 52-12, favoring the Buckeyes.
Prediction: Former Ohio State assistant Chris Ash has taken over the Rutgers program, and is doing everything in his power to mold the Buckeyes into a program that will be able to compete within The B1G East’s typical powers in Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State. Ash will try to mold Rutgers into a tough, physical program, but how quickly can Ash transform the Scarlet Knights, with the talent on hand? Throw in the fact that Ohio State will have a week off prior to this contest, and this one could be another blowout win for the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium.

Friday, May 13, 2016

BG’s Falcons Look To Be Hunted, Not Hunters, By Buckeyes In 2016 Opener

“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
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Bowling Green Falcons (Game 1)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 11 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A. To the best of my knowledge, there are no players on Bowling Green’s roster that Ohio State actively recruited or offered a scholarship. More on this below, but that is always something to be on alert against, whenever Ohio State plays another Ohio-based opponent.
Game Date: September 3, 2016
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Bowling Green is led by first year head coach Mike Jinks. Jinks comes to Bowling Green from Texas Tech, where he served as the associate head coach/running backs coach for Texas Tech. Just as I predict with Tulsa in game two, look for Bowling Green to come into Ohio Stadium, trying to run an uptempo offense, comparable to what Texas Tech or Baylor traditionally do.
Prediction: Any time Ohio State plays another Ohio-based opponent, there is always some concern.Remember the scare Toledo put into Ohio State, back in 2011? As written up above, there are players on Bowling Green’s roster that did not receive an Ohio State offer, and that perceived slight, fairly or unfairly, always seems to give that team a slight edge psychologically. Throw in the concerns that the Ohio State players may be taking this game lightly, and that is why I have listed Bowling Green eleventh out of the twelve scheduled opponents Ohio State will face in 2016.
Considering the depth and talent Ohio State has all across the board, no matter how inexperienced, as well as what should be a close to sellout crowd in Ohio Stadium for the 2016 season opener, look for Ohio State to come out with a little more intensity and fire than Bowling Green can match. This one will be entertaining for the offensive styles of play from both teams, but Ohio State should be able to have a comfortable lead by halftime.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tulsa Will Probably Be No Tussle For The Buckeyes

Before I progress into my early predictions for the 2016 Ohio State football season, I want to take a few moments to congratulate the twelve young men who were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, as well as the three young men who signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Eli Apple, Taylor Decker, Darron Lee, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, Adolphus Washington, Braxton Miller, Nick Vannett, Joshua Perry, Cardale Jones, Tyvis Powell, Jalin Marshall, and Chase Farris – thank you for all of your contributions to Ohio State football, from 2012-2015. Best of luck to you all in what I hope will be lengthy and successful NFL careers…#GoBucks
Here’s a tweet that I am not sure if Ohio State fans have truly contemplated…The first time since 2008 that NO member of the Boren family will be on the roster.

Below are some other impressive tweets that detailed the impressive 2016 NFL Draft for Ohio State...












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“ Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something…” ~ Thomas Edison
Leave it to Thomas Edison, an Ohioan and considered “The Father Of Invention”, to appropriately summarize the goals for the 2016 Ohio State football team. No rules – just accomplish something.
“Something” is a pretty vague and open concept. Considering how much talent Ohio State lost to graduation and the NFL Draft, considering how I have written throughout spring practice about how 44 players on Ohio State’s roster are either redshirt freshmen or true freshmen…Damn right, Mr. Edison. There are no rules. Ohio State fans are just looking to see what this team can accomplish against a much tougher schedule in 2016 than 2015, with tremendously talented, yet inexperienced, players.
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Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Game 2)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 12 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A. To the best of my knowledge, there are no players on Tulsa’s roster that Ohio State actively recruited or offered a scholarship.
Game Date: September 10, 2016
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Offensively, Tulsa is led by senior quarterback Dane Evans. Evans had a solid 2015 season, throwing 25 touchdowns and 4332 yards. Defensively, Tulsa surrendered points quite easily in 2015, averaging 40 points a game to the opponent in 2015. For a young team such as Ohio State, this game certainly will be an opportunity to work on every aspect offensively, before the big test down in Norman, Oklahoma, on September 17th.
Prediction: Tulsa’s head coach Phillip Montgomery did a solid job with the Golden Hurricane in 2015, leading them to a 6-7 record. Montgomery is a former Baylor offensive coordinator under Art Briles, meaning the Buckeyes can expect to see Tulsa throwing it all day long in Ohio Stadium on September 10th. With Ohio State having a young but talented defensive line, and inexperienced secondary, there may be some anxious moments, but look for Ohio State’s superior talent to be able to pull away in the second half. There is an old coaching axiom that a team makes its biggest improvement from game one to game two. Guess when these two teams meet? Game two, on September 10th.

Monday, May 2, 2016

My Thoughts On The Browns' 2016 NFL Draft? Receive Freely, And Frequently

Yes, I am still nursing a small grudge about the Browns bypassing quality Ohio State Buckeyes in the most recent NFL Draft...again.  But overall, I am pleased with the Browns' 2016 NFL Draft results.

Are there players I would have chosen instead, if I was the person in charge?  Sure.  I am quite confident I can find other Browns fans who would have a similar mindset.

Am I happy with the direction taken by the new management regime?  Very much so.

Was I surprised that Cody Kessler was the quarterback picked by the Browns, especially when most draft analysts had pegged Kessler as a 3rd day pick (4th-7th round)?  Certainly.  But I do like this quote from new Browns head coach Hue Jackson ~ "I understand where everybody's coming from, you've got to trust me on this one..." 

When I think about the quarterbacks Coach Jackson has coached in his past, and I think about the dreadful quarterbacks who have paraded through Berea since the Browns returned in 1999...just let me say that I am going to give Coach Jackson the benefit of the doubt.  Hey, it's not as though the Browns just mortgaged their future on Kessler, as Los Angeles did with Jared Goff and Philadelphia did with Carson Wentz.

How do I believe the quarterback spot will shake out?  At first, I believed Josh McCown would be traded during the weekend of the draft, but it makes no sense to trade McCown at this point of the year.  What if someone gets hurt for another team during the preseason?  What if RGIII gets hurt?  At least hold onto McCown through the preseason.  I am guessing the final quarterback depth chart will be RGIII as the starter, Kessler as the backup, and former quarterback-turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor will be the emergency quarterback, allowing the Browns to save a roster spot for wide receiver...provided Pryor develops into a better wide receiver than he showed in 2015.


Other observations - any time an organization selects four wide receivers in the draft does not just speak volumes about what the front office and coaching staff think about the veteran depth chart, it blasts the stereo so loud that the neighbors are going to be calling the police.  With Corey Coleman and Ricardo Louis, the Browns added two speedy wide receivers to stretch the field; with Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins, the Browns added two quality possession receivers, something the franchise has lacked since Joe Jurevicius' career with Cleveland ended after the 2008 season.


While Scooby Wright seems to be the early choice for a Browns fan favorite of the 2016 NFL Draft, I am going to be rooting for Penn State DE Carl Nassib.  Maybe I am mistaken, but Nassib strikes me as the type of player who has a tremendous hunger and passion for the game.


The sleeper?  None bigger than 4th round pick Seth DeValve from Princeton, the highest draft choice in his illustrious school's football history.  DeValve is a WR who is being converted to TE, to give the offense the type of athletic tight end that Coach Jackson is used to highlighting within his offense.


Do I believe the Browns will become a miracle turnaround team in 2016?  Not at all.  The schedule is brutal, the quarterback spot will be a question mark, based on RGIII's injury history, and the team is going to be decidedly young.

Do I believe the 2016 NFL Draft by the Browns is a step in the right direction, to turning this team around?  Emphatically yes.

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