Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, June 24, 2016

It May Be Wild When The Wildcats Play At Ohio Stadium

“ 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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Northwestern Wildcats (Game 8)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 6 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo was for certain.  DL Ben Oxley claimed to have an Ohio State offer, but I did not see that on any of the recruiting sites I visited.  Oxley does hail from my hometown of Avon Lake, which is a plus in my book.
Game Date: October 29, 2016
Kickoff Time: 5:30pm EST, telecast TBD on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Northwestern makes its first trip into Ohio Stadium since 2007, when Jim Tressel was the head coach for the Buckeyes, Todd Boeckman was the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, and virtually everyone on both teams were still in grade school.  Ohio State played at Northwestern in 2013, when Carlos Hyde came back from a three game suspension to score three touchdowns and rush for 168 yards in a 40-30 victory.
Here’s a better reason why I think Ohio State needs to be on their toes for this one - Ohio State will be coming off two road games at night (at Wisconsin, at Penn State), while Northwestern will have played a home game versus Indiana the week before.  This is the kind of game that Ohio State cannot afford to be complacent about, as Northwestern won ten games in 2015.  Pat Fitzgerald will have the Wildcats thinking upset.
Prediction: Ohio State will be excited to be playing in front of the home crowd for the first time in weeks.  While not a traditional "night game", the sun will have set by the time this game concludes.  Considering this is Halloween weekend, the fans will be in good form for this one.  As long as Ohio State comes into this game in the right frame of mind, after two potentially challenging road games, look for the Buckeyes to finish up October on a winning note.
Previous Rankings:
8 – at Maryland
9 – Indiana 
10- Rutgers
11- Bowling Green
12- Tulsa

Friday, June 10, 2016

Nebraska At Night In November Needs No Hype

“ 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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Nebraska Cornhuskers (Game 9)
2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 7 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A, surprisingly. Ohio State did recruit DL Greg McMullen years ago, but McMullen announced his intention to quit football earlier this spring.
Game Date: November 5, 2016
Kickoff Time: 8pm EST, telecast TBD on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Nebraska was truly snakebitten during 2015. Coming off a 5-7 season under Mike Riley, the Cornhuskers can only go up, right? Right?
Here’s a better reason why I think Ohio State will be in good shape for this game ~ Nebraska will be coming off another road game, at Wisconsin. Ohio State has a challenging game of their own the week before against Northwestern, but at home. Oh, by the way…This is a night game in Ohio Stadium. Do you think Urban Meyer may be wanting to send a message as November begins? I was in attendance in Ohio Stadium in 2012 the last time Nebraska visited; I have no doubt the crowd will be revved up for this one also.
Prediction: Ohio State will be coming off a home game against Northwestern, while who knows what kind of condition Nebraska will be in after a road game at Wisconsin. Look for many of Ohio State’s top recruits to be in attendance, as Coach Meyer always salivates at the opportunity to showcase Ohio State football in night games. This could be a preview of The B1G Championship Game in December, depending on how Nebraska responds after such a trying 2015 season.
Previous Rankings:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Buckeyes Will Need To Keep Their Minds On Maryland In November

“ 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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Maryland Terrapins (Game 10)

2016 OSU Opponent Ranking: 8 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Derwin Gray, OL Damian Prince, WR Taivon Jacobs, RB Wes Brown, DL Adam McLean. Jacobs actually gave a verbal commitment to Ohio State back in 2013, but decided to sign with Maryland to be closer to his young daughter.

Game Date: November 12, 2016

Kickoff Time: TBA

Location: Byrd Stadium (College Park, Maryland)

Rationale For The Ranking: Maryland gave Ohio State a tougher than expected game in 2015, eventually losing 49-28 in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State had no problems with Maryland in Byrd Stadium, defeating Maryland 52-24. Why is Maryland ranked higher than other Ohio State opponents?

As in most things in life, timing is key. Ohio State will be coming off a night game against Nebraska on November 5th, and a revenge game is on the horizon at Michigan State on November 19th. Will Ohio State be tempted to be looking ahead?

Prediction: Former Urban Meyer protege D.J. Durkin is at the helm for Maryland now, and look for the Terrapins to become a more physical team that will be able to compete against the other traditional powers in The B1G East. Ohio State should be able to control this game, provided the Buckeyes do not take the Terrapins too lightly or look ahead to the trip to East Lansing.
Previous Rankings:

9 – Indiana
10- Rutgers
11- Bowling Green
12- Tulsa

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: