“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.