Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

With Harbaugh At The Helm, THE GAME Looms Large In 2015 For Buckeyes

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

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We are getting into the stretch of games that I believe will be challenging for Ohio State. Not impossible, not insurmountable, but the type of games and opponents that Ohio State fans would be wise to not overlook or be overconfident about as the games approach. I am willing to bet that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff will be on guard against any overconfidence with the players.

Michigan Wolverines, AKA That Team Up North (Game 12)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 2 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: DB Jabrill Peppers, DE Henry Poggi, LB Mike McCray, S Jarrod Wilson, RB Ty Isaac, DE Taco Charlton, RB Wyatt Shallman, TE Chase Winovich, RB De’Veon Smith, RB Derrick Green, DB Dymonte Thomas, LB Ben Gedeon, DL Chris Wormley, DE Tom Strobel, OT Mason Cole, OL David Dawson, OL Kyle Kalis, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, DT Maurice Hurst Jr., WR Brian Cole, DE Lawrence Marshall. Ohioans from this group are McCray, Wilson, Charlton, Smith, Thomas, Gedeon, Wormley, Strobel, and Kalis. Derrick Green’s recruitment was ended after Ohio State began actively recruiting Ezekiel Elliott in 2013. I am more than willing to bet I may have inadvertently missed on some players; please let me know and I am happy to correct my error(s).

Game Date: November 28, 2015.

Kickoff Time: TBD

Location: Michigan Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: THE GAME. ‘Nuff said.

Prediction: Anyone who says Ohio State can go into Ann Arbor confidently must not truly know their history of this rivalry. Look up at that list of players who were recruited by both programs, especially the players from Ohio who decided to spurn the Buckeyes in favor of That Team Up North. Do you think any of them want to halt a three year losing streak to Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer? Do you think any of them remember how close they were to victory the last time Ohio State was in Ann Arbor?



Throw out the record books. This one usually comes down to the wire. Jim Harbaugh will have the Wolverines ready to go, as Coach Meyer will have the Buckeyes ready also. More than likely a noon kickoff, this is a great way to conclude Thanksgiving weekend.

Previous Posts In The Series:

12 – Hawaii
11 – Western Michigan
10 – at Indiana
9 – at Illinois
8 – Maryland
7 – Northern Illinois
6 – at Rutgers
5 – Minnesota
4 – Penn State
3 – at Virginia Tech

Friday, July 24, 2015

Virginia Tech Hoping To Make It Two In A Row Against Buckeyes

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

**

We are getting into the stretch of games that I believe will be challenging for Ohio State. Not impossible, not insurmountable, but the type of games and opponents that Ohio State fans would be wise to not overlook or be overconfident about as the games approach. I am willing to bet that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff will be on guard against any overconfidence with the players.

Virginia Tech Hokies (Game 1)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 3 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: TE Bucky Hodges, CB Kendall Fuller, OT Austin Clark, OL Brent Benedict. A few players on Virginia Tech’s roster are from Ohio, such as OL Cole Petit and QB Chris Durkin, but did not receive scholarship offers from the Buckeyes. I am more than willing to bet I may have inadvertently missed on some players; please let me know and I am happy to correct my error(s).

Game Date: September 7, 2015.

Kickoff Time: 8pm EST, ESPN telecast

Location: Lane Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: The lone blemish on Ohio State’s 2014 season, Virginia Tech befuddled the Buckeyes en route to a 35-21 victory in Ohio Stadium. I use the term “befuddled” as Ohio State’s inexperienced offensive line was unable to effectively handle a 46 Bear defensive front the Hokies used to essentially neutralize Ohio State’s traditionally strong offense.

This year, Ohio State starts the 2015 season on the road in a night game, at Lane Stadium, to begin defense of its 2014 national championship title, in what promises to be a raucous and hostile environment. Below is an example of what Ohio State has to look forward to in Lane Stadium…




Prediction: What a terrific way to kickoff the 2015 college football season for Ohio State, against the team that almost derailed its national championship hopes last season. Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer has been doing his best to hype the game, stating that “I think it’s the most anticipated game ever to come to Lane Stadium”. Look for Virginia Tech to try to play Ohio State in the same manner and fashion as last season. And has anyone forgotten that Ohio State may be playing Braxton Miller or Cardale Jones at quarterback against the Hokies? This looks to be a dandy.

Previous Posts In The Series:
12 – Hawaii
11 – Western Michigan
10 – at Indiana
9 – at Illinois
8 – Maryland
7 – Northern Illinois
6 – at Rutgers
5 – Minnesota
4 – Penn State

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nittany Lions At Night = Not Easy For Buckeyes

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

**

We are getting into the stretch of games that I believe will be challenging for Ohio State. Not impossible, not insurmountable, but the type of games and opponents that Ohio State fans would be wise to not overlook or be overconfident about as the games approach. I am willing to bet that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff will be on guard against any overconfidence with the players.

Penn State Nittany Lions (Game 7)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 4 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: WR Saeed Blacknall, TE Adam Breneman, TE Mike Gesicki, OT Paris Palmer, OT Sterling Jenkins, DE Garrett Sickels, RB Saquon Barkley, OL Steven Gonzalez, OT Ryan Bates, DB Garrett Taylor. I am more than willing to bet I may have inadvertently missed on some players; please let me know and I am happy to correct my error(s).

Game Date: October 17, 2015

Kickoff Time: 8pm EST. ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 telecast TBD.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: Ohio State destroyed Penn State in 2013, 63-14, under the lights in Ohio Stadium. The first year of Coach Meyer’s tenure, in Ohio Stadium, Ohio State defeated Penn State 35-23. Last season, Ohio State had to rally in two overtime periods to defeat Penn State, 31-24. While Ohio State will be heavily favored in this contest, with the improved talent base that Penn State is accumulating, this will certainly be in the big game atmosphere category. Looking at Penn State’s schedule, I would not be surprised if Penn State comes into Ohio Stadium undefeated, ready to avenge last season’s close loss.

Prediction: Night games in Ohio Stadium are always special. The fans have all day to tailgate, Coach Meyer traditionally targets recruiting visits for top prospects, and the opportunity to have a strong national television audience are all factors to be weighed. Ohio State will be favored, based upon these factors, but Penn State Head Coach James Franklin will be playing upon the underdog role in getting the Nittany Lions ready for this one.

Previous Posts In The Series:
12 – Hawaii
11 – Western Michigan
10 – at Indiana
9 – at Illinois
8 – Maryland
7 – Northern Illinois
6 – at Rutgers
5 – Minnesota

Friday, July 10, 2015

Minnesota May Not Be A “Min”or Contest For Buckeyes

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

**

We are getting into the stretch of games that I believe will be challenging for Ohio State. Not impossible, not insurmountable, but the type of games and opponents that Ohio State fans would be wise to not overlook or be overconfident about as the games approach. I am willing to bet that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff will be on guard against any overconfidence with the players.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (Game 9)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 5 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Jonah Pirsig. To the best of my knowledge, Pirsig is the only player on Minnesota’s roster that had an Ohio State offer. There are a few Ohioans on the roster, but I do not believe any were extended offers by Ohio State. As always, please let me know if I am mistaken, and I will correct my error.

Game Date: November 7, 2015

Kickoff Time: 7pm or 8pm EST. ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 telecast TBD.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: It would be so easy to look at this game on the surface and believe Ohio State will be a prohibitive favorite. It will be a night game, it is at home, and Ohio State will have had two weeks to prepare for Minnesota.

While all of those factors should be considered, something else weighs on my mind ~ how Ohio State struggled against Minnesota in 2014, winning 31-24. Yes, the weather was a factor, but give credit to Minnesota for continuing to battle against Ohio State. Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill and his staff have a fundamentally sound, physical, tough team that refuses to be intimidated. Night game in Ohio Stadium or not, Minnesota will be ready to play on November 7th.

Prediction: The best thing Ohio State can possibly do versus Minnesota is to get out to a good lead early, forcing Minnesota to adjust or possibly abandon its offensive focus, which is to run the ball. Minnesota will hope to improve its passing game this season, but will it be enough to keep pace against what should be a tenacious Ohio State defense.

Former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel used to preach to his Ohio State teams that “November is for contenders, we always say that,”. The arrival of a solid Minnesota squad on November 7th into Ohio Stadium will be a tremendous opportunity to see if Ohio State is at that status.

Previous Posts In The Series:
12 – Hawaii
11 – Western Michigan
10 – at Indiana
9 – at Illinois
8 – Maryland
7 – Northern Illinois
6 – at Rutgers

Friday, July 3, 2015

Buckeyes Will Look To Rumble Against Rutgers

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and safe 4th Of July weekend out there. Go Bucks!

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

Leave it to a native Ohioan to spell it out what needs to be done in order to win. West Point graduate, Civil War general, and former United State President, I am willing to bet Ulysses S. Grant would have given football coaching a shot if it had been around in his day.

While counting down the days until the 2015 college football season begins, I thought I would pass the time by ranking and reviewing the upcoming 2015 Ohio State opponents, from least difficult to most difficult. This ranking system of mine will be highly subjective, prone to possibilities of injuries, transfers, or other unforeseen events that could dramatically impact its accuracy. As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.

**

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Game 8)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 6 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 24, 2015

Kickoff Time: 8pm EST. ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 telecast TBD.

Location: High Point Solutions Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: Ohio State had no trouble last season with Rutgers in Ohio Stadium, defeating the Scarlet Knights 56-17. While another lopsided victory by Ohio State will be forecast by the Las Vegas prognosticators, something about a trip to Piscataway, New Jersey has me wondering how focused the Buckeyes will be. After all, Ohio State will have played always tough opponent Penn State the week before, and may be looking ahead to Minnesota the following week. Throw in the fact that this will be a night game, and the Rutgers faithful will have had all day to get ready for the first visit by the Buckeyes to High Points Solutions Stadium.

Prediction: Similar to my prediction for Northern Illinois, I see Ohio State possibly coming out slowly in this one, but picking up steam by the end of the first half. The longer Rutgers stays competitive in this one, the more the crowd will be into it, thus making it more challenging for Ohio State to pull away with a convincing win. Another 56-17 victory may be in the cards, but it will not surprise me if this stays closer than the 2014 contest.

Previous Posts In The Series:
12 – Hawaii
11 – Western Michigan
10 – at Indiana
9 – at Illinois
8 – Maryland
7 - Northern Illinois

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