Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Buckeyes Cannot Be Complacent Against Northern Illinois Huskies

“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.

**
Northern Illinois Huskies (Game 3)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 7 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A

Game Date: September 19, 2015

Kickoff Time: 3:30pm EST. ABC/ESPN telecast.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: Last season, Northern Illinois went to Northwestern and defeated the Wildcats, 23-15. In 2013, Northern Illinois went to Iowa and Purdue, and was victorious in both contests (30-27 over Iowa; 55-24 over Purdue). The point I am trying to raise with you is that Northern Illinois is the type of team that thrives on being the underdog, coming into a hostile environment, and playing well enough to win over a higher-ranked opponent.

I can already hear the disbelieving commentary and can see the eyes rolling from the skeptics. “Minnich actually believes that Northern Illinois can play with Ohio State…”

Here is another reason why I am concerned ~ where Northern Illinois falls on the schedule.

Do not forget who Ohio State will play the week before – Hawaii. The same Hawaii that I am predicting will be little to no contest at all for Ohio State.

Hence my reasoning – after what should be a considerably easy win for Ohio State, it may be challenging to keep the players properly focused and not become too complacent. It kind of reminds me of a classic quote from the character Tony “Duke” Evers, who played the part of Apollo Creed’s trainer in the first Rocky ~ “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show. He thinks it’s a damn fight.”.

Prediction: Ohio State will be a considerable favorite over Northern Illinois, and may not come out with guns blazing against the Huskies. The longer this stays in this category, with Ohio State possibly just going through the motions, the more Northern Illinois will believe the upset is possible. Ohio State has the superior talent and potential to end this quickly, but it will be interesting to see if my fears were warranted on September 19th in Ohio Stadium.

Everyone loves an underdog. It will be interesting to see how Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer prepares his Buckeyes against a team that thrives on the underdog role.

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Buckeyes May Not Be Kind Homecoming Hosts For Maryland

“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.

**
Maryland Terrapins (Game 6)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 8 out of 12

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: October 10, 2015

Kickoff Time: 12pm EST. Telecast TBD.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: Last season, Ohio State traveled to play Maryland for the first time as a B1G conference opponent and won in quite convincing fashion, 52-24. Maryland could start off the non-conference portion of its 2015 schedule undefeated, with three winnable games at home (Richmond, Bowling Green, South Florida), as well as a road trip to West Virginia. Maryland gets Michigan at home before the Terrapins make their trip to Ohio Stadium. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Maryland is undefeated coming into Columbus.

Why the low ranking, then?

The aforementioned blowout win from last season, for starters. Ohio State was not truly pushed by Maryland last season, and that was when Maryland had Stefon Diggs that the Buckeyes had to account for defensively. Diggs is now gone, after declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft. Last season, Ohio State led Maryland 31-10 at the half; I am guessing it could be more of the same in Ohio Stadium on October 10th.

Prediction: Ohio State traditionally does not have a difficult time motivation-wise as it relates to homecoming games. The home crowd, plus Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer’s exceptional skills for motivation, lead me to believe that Ohio State will come out for this game fired up and ready to go. Maryland might be able to make it a game for maybe the first half, but I have difficulty seeing the Terrapins keeping pace with the Buckeyes for long.

Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall is trying to position the Terrapins as one of the better teams within The B1G. Playing Ohio State tough as a homecoming opponent might be a step in that direction.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Exciting News Re: athlonsports.com

I have been offered an opportunity to become a contributor to athlonsports.com's website on Ohio State football.  All of my opinions, perspectives, and ideas about Ohio State will remain the same as they have been over the past six years (has it been that long?!?) since I began From The Mind Of Minnich, and expanded into other arenas such as menofthescarletandgray.com, and now athlonsports.com.

I cannot thank my good friend Tim enough, as he was always the voice in my ear and the e-mails/texts in my sight, encouraging me to begin this blog.  Now, I have another forum in which to spread my passion about Ohio State football.

Look for future articles, tweets, Facebook posts, that will point you to athlonsports.com, in which I am a part.  As always, thank you for all of your encouragement and support, and Go Bucks!

Friday, June 12, 2015

OSU At Illinois May Result In Tim Beckman Being ‘Bye, Bye-Man’ In 2015

“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.
**
Illinois Fighting Illini (Game 10)
2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 9 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio StateDB Caleb Day. Day played his high school ball at Hilliard, and turned down a scholarship from Ohio State to play for Illinois. There are other Ohioans on Illinois’ roster, but to the best of my knowledge and research, none of them were offered scholarships by Ohio State.
Game Date: November 14, 2015
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Memorial Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Remember how I wrote up above, “As always, I encourage comments and critique about what I have projected.“? I am truly anticipating my man Jeremiah Sharpe letting me have it on this one. But I will try to lay out my thinking on this.
I recognize how Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL, has often been a challenging venue for Ohio State through the years, with Ohio State’s last visit to Champaign resulting in a 60-35 victory in 2013. That game was more representative of the poor defensive approach of the 2013 Buckeyes, more than the talent of the 2013 Fighting Illini.
Looking at Illinois’ 2015 schedule, I see a team that may be teetering on the brink of implosion when Ohio State comes into town. Illinois’ non-conference schedule should have them well-positioned at the beginning of B1G conference competition, but games that precede the Buckeyes (Nebraska, at Iowa, Wisconsin, at Penn State, at Purdue) may make them ripe for a knockout punch from Ohio State.
This could be the game that will end the Tim Beckman era at Illinois, based upon how possibly dominant Ohio State performs in this one. With all of the offseason turmoil Beckman and the program have experienced, the offseason injury to wide receiver Mike Dudek, and just the general sense of the program not moving forward competitively, it could possibly be a breaking point in Beckman’s career at Illinois.
Prediction: Right now, Illinois can point to this game as the highlight of their season, as the Buckeyes are the toughest team on the 2015 schedule (Aren’t the Buckeyes the toughest team oneveryone’s schedule? But I digress.). Another key factor to remember is Ohio State plays Michigan State the following week, so it may be challenging for Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer to keep the players focused upon Illinois, and not looking ahead to Michigan State.
Can Illinois pull off the upset? The last Illinois victory over Ohio State in Champaign was October 12, 1991 (Illinois 10, Ohio State 7). Yes, there have been some notable close calls in Champaign since then that Buckeye fans remember (2002, 2006, 2011), but most Ohio State fans have come to dread Illinois for the upset in Ohio Stadium like in 2007. For all of the difficulties throwing the ball due to the bizarre wind conditions, Ohio State has been pretty solid in Memorial Stadium.
Will Tim Beckman be able to pull off some magic and trickery against the Buckeyes on November 14, 2015? His team’s bowl eligibility, and his job, may depend heavily upon it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

At Indiana Is Often Like “Home Away From Home” 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.
**
Indiana Hoosiers (Game 5)
2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 10 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Tim Gardner. 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.
Game Date: October 3, 2015
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Memorial Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Yes, I recall how Indiana stayed with Ohio State late into the fourth quarter in 2014, until Ohio State pulled away with a 42-27 victory. Yes, I recall how Ohio State barely hung on the last time the Buckeyes visited Bloomington in 2012, with a 52-49 win. And I can vividly recall Matt Finkes coming up with the key fumble recovery against Indiana, back in 1996, to clinch The Rose Bowl for Ohio State. It would be fair to say that Indiana has often played Ohio State tough, especially when the odds are strongly in Ohio State’s favor.
Here is why I believe Ohio State will win handily over Indiana, in nine words ~ Tevin Coleman Is Now Playing For The Atlanta Falcons.
Want some more? Shane Wynn, the leading receiver for Indiana and a one-time Ohio State recruiting target out of Cleveland Glenville, is now also with Coleman, trying to earn a spot on the Falcons as an undrafted NFL free agent. While Wynn did not score any touchdowns versus Ohio State in 2014, Wynn did have seven receptions for 93 yards against the Buckeyes in 2014. Losing players like Coleman and Wynn to the NFL will not make Indiana’s chance for an upset any easier.
Prediction: Indiana opens up its season with the following opponents – Southern Indiana, Florida International, Western Kentucky, and at Wake Forest. It is possible Indiana may be undefeated when Ohio State comes to town in October. Remember, Indiana did win on the road at Missouri last season, which was a shockwave to the mighty SEC. Indiana’s path to bowl eligibility will be heavily dependent upon getting off to a strong start at the beginning of the season.
While Indiana has been fairly decent on the offensive side of the ball, Indiana has struggled to stop teams defensively. In last year’s eight losses, Indiana gave up over forty points six times. While Indiana will make every effort to improve upon the defensive side of the ball, does anyone truly believe the Hoosiers will be able to stop, or even slow down, what looks to be an offensive juggernaut by the Buckeyes?
The late Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner was frustrated in 2005 when Ohio State fans began chanting the “O-H-I-O” cheer in Memorial Stadium. Considering the relatively easy drive and distance from Columbus to Bloomington, it will not surprise me if many Ohio State fans make the trip as they have in the past, as Indiana has so often been quite the hospitable hosts for Buckeye fans. If Ohio State fans do take over Memorial Stadium, it will also not surprise me if current Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson experiences some equal frustration comparable to Coach Hoeppner in the 2005 contest.

Ohio State Video

Loading...