“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