Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

Minnesota May Not Be A “Min”or Contest 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.

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We are getting into the stretch of games that I believe will be challenging for Ohio State. Not impossible, not insurmountable, but the type of games and opponents that Ohio State fans would be wise to not overlook or be overconfident about as the games approach. I am willing to bet that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff will be on guard against any overconfidence with the players.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (Game 9)

2015 OSU Opponent Ranking: 5 out of 12

Players Recruited By Ohio State: OL Jonah Pirsig. To the best of my knowledge, Pirsig is the only player on Minnesota’s roster that had an Ohio State offer. There are a few Ohioans on the roster, but I do not believe any were extended offers by Ohio State. As always, please let me know if I am mistaken, and I will correct my error.

Game Date: November 7, 2015

Kickoff Time: 7pm or 8pm EST. ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 telecast TBD.

Location: Ohio Stadium

Rationale For The Ranking: It would be so easy to look at this game on the surface and believe Ohio State will be a prohibitive favorite. It will be a night game, it is at home, and Ohio State will have had two weeks to prepare for Minnesota.

While all of those factors should be considered, something else weighs on my mind ~ how Ohio State struggled against Minnesota in 2014, winning 31-24. Yes, the weather was a factor, but give credit to Minnesota for continuing to battle against Ohio State. Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill and his staff have a fundamentally sound, physical, tough team that refuses to be intimidated. Night game in Ohio Stadium or not, Minnesota will be ready to play on November 7th.

Prediction: The best thing Ohio State can possibly do versus Minnesota is to get out to a good lead early, forcing Minnesota to adjust or possibly abandon its offensive focus, which is to run the ball. Minnesota will hope to improve its passing game this season, but will it be enough to keep pace against what should be a tenacious Ohio State defense.

Former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel used to preach to his Ohio State teams that “November is for contenders, we always say that,”. The arrival of a solid Minnesota squad on November 7th into Ohio Stadium will be a tremendous opportunity to see if Ohio State is at that status.

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

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