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.
Western Michigan Broncos (Game 4)
2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 11 out of 12
Players Recruited By Ohio State: N/A.
Game Date: September 26, 2015
Kickoff Time: TBD
Location: Ohio Stadium
Rationale For The Ranking: Western Michigan had a solid 2014 season, with an 8-5 season that concluded with a loss to Air Force in The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (38-24). Western Michigan did not have a game against a ranked opponent in 2014, and one could argue that Western Michigan played well in several losses (at Purdue; at Virginia Tech; versus Toledo in overtime, and versus Northern Illinois). In many instances, Western Michigan has been able to land recruits that other B1G institutions such as Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
Prediction: P.J. Fleck is widely considered one of the up and coming head coaches in college football, and it will not surprise me if Fleck ascends to a head coaching position within a Power 5 conference very soon. After a challenging start in 2013 (1-11) in his head coaching career, Fleck has been able to make Western Michigan a highly competitive team within the MAC. For those Ohio State fans who may not be aware, Fleck served as a graduate assistant on former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel's staff, back in the 2006 season, helping to coach the tight ends and special teams units.
Among the highly-touted players on Western Michigan's team this year are QB Zach Terrell, RB Jarvion Franklin, WR Daniel Braverman, OL James Kristof, DB Ronald Zamort, and KR Darius Phillips.
Why, then, am I ranking Western Michigan eleventh out of Ohio State's twelve opponents?
As stated up above, my rankings and rationale are highly subjective. While Western Michigan has been able to secure talent that other B1G teams recruited, it is worth noting that none of these players held offers from Ohio State. I believe the talent differential will become noticeable as the game progresses. Ohio State fans will have an opportunity to gauge Western Michigan's talent, as the Broncos open up the 2015 season on September 4th in East Lansing, Michigan, versus the Michigan State Spartans.
How do I believe it will wind up? Below are some Twitter exchanges between Mark Cerimele (@RealMarkCerimel) and myself that will give you an idea as to what I believe will transpire on September 26th in Ohio Stadium...
@RealMarkCerimel Mind if I use this tweet in an article re: this game?— Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich) May 28, 2015
@RealMarkCerimel I will include both tweets, as I expect OSU to put this away by the half. Thanks.— Chip Minnich (@ChipMinnich) May 28, 2015