Braxton Miller Cannot Be Defined by Urban Meyer

July 25, 2013 at 12:27p    by DJ Byrnes    
55 Comments

Sports on Earth is doing a QB Countdown, featuring the best quarterbacks in college football. Braxton Miller checks in at #6, ahead of Aaron Murray of Georgia, Jordan Lynch of NUI, and David Fales of San Jose State.

It's so easy to get caught up in the coaching, and it's so hard to assign credit elsewhere. At Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin and Kliff Kingsbury were revered for providing a platform for Johnny Manziel to succeed … but, as an exception, Manziel transcended them. In 2013, Manziel is Texas A&M football.

Up north in Columbus, however, Urban Meyer is Ohio State football, overshadowing a quarterback who finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting while leading the Buckeyes to a 12-0 season. Not that Braxton Miller isn't acclaimed or isn't seen as an All-America candidate, but he falls under the "Urban Meyer Quarterback" label. In his first season as starter, under interim coach Luke Fickell, Ohio State went 6-7 and was hopeless in the passing game. In his second season, under Meyer, Ohio State went 12-0. The variable is obvious.

We attach ourselves to coaching narratives in college football because they are the foundations of the sport. Players can't stick around for more than four years; successful coaches can theoretically stick around for decades. What is odd about the Ohio State situation is that, because of the 6-7 season after Tressel's firing, and because of the Big Ten's plunge into punch-line territory over the last decade since the Buckeyes won a national title, Meyer has been seen as a sort of savior of Buckeye football, ignoring the fact that Ohio State spent the previous decade totally dominating its conference, only coming up short -- yes, often in embarrassing fashion -- in bowl games, until Terrelle Pryor's final year, when they beat Oregon in Pasadena.

 


55 Comments

Comments

OSUStu's picture

Top five of...McCarron, Boyd, Mariota, Bridgewater, and Manziel?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

McCarron...no
Boyd...maybe
Mariota...no
Bridgewater...maybe
Manziel...maybe
 
I cannot justify a 6 ranking

edit: and when i say no for McCarron, if I need someone in there to make something happen, I would take Miller of McCarron 99 out of 100

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think Mariota is a maybe as well.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

OSUStu's picture

I didn't mean the ranking at 6 is justified.  Those are just who I think will be in the top 5.  Who do you think is the top 5?

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

no no no. I wasn't against you, bud lol. I believe your ranking to be true. I just don't agree with the article is all.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

OSUStu's picture

No problem even of you had meant it the other way. I just misunderstood and wondered who you thought would be on the list.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Kvs66's picture

They may have been better last year, but this should be Braxton's breakout season. (passing, I already believe he is the most dangerous scrambler)

kvs

Ahh Saturday's picture

1) TP's final year ended with a Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas.  The Rose Bowl win was his sophomore year.
2) Since when did twice ('06, '07 NCGs) become often?

DJ Byrnes's picture

Technically TP's last season was vacated and doesn't exist.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Whbrbl's picture

...and all sports writers, bloggers and journalists are obligated to ignore that season.

RedStorm45's picture

The author says "Pryor's final season."  Is that now is his sophomore year?

Toilrt Paper's picture

DJ, you said it, a technicality. What once sees with one's own eyes can not be obliterated from memory. 

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Well then I suppose I technically didn't go to New Orleans.  Therefore, I think I need to go again.  Road trip!

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

Bucksfan's picture

That season DOES exist.  The wins were vacated, not the losses.  That means everyone who lost to Ohio State that year, including Arkansas, still has that game on their books.
Vacated wins is pretty much the stupidest penalty you can get.

RedStorm45's picture

Texas Fiesta Bowl.  That's about it.

Ahh Saturday's picture

We lost the Fiesta Bowl  to Texas on a last (16?) second TD.  Heartbreaking?  Sure, but I wouldn't call it embarrassing.

Toilrt Paper's picture

If anything Texas should have been embarrassed they didn't win easily.

avail31678's picture

Agreed Toilert.  Many thought Texas should have been in the NC game that year (remember BIG 12 rules controversy - Texas beat OK in the regular season, but OK went to conference championship game and also NC game because they had a higher BCS rank)?  Our D slowed down a Texss team that averaged 40-odd points a game that year, and we darn near won that game. 
Yet somehow, BARELY losing to a higher ranked team became a blemish on our team's national perception.

awwwwwwop's picture

Even better, somebody called out his error and he responded by deleting any information about winning any bowl games. It now says this

...ignoring the fact that Ohio State spent the previous decade totally dominating its conference, only coming up short -- yes, often in embarrassing fashion -- in bowl games.

That is some expert trolling.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

gwalther's picture

There's so much wrong at the end of that paragraph. "Spent most of the previous decade..." GOING 5-3 IN BCS GAMES.
 

Class of 2008

biggy84's picture

Coming up short in bowl games? Evidently they didn't research Coach Tressel's bowl record.

Jelligrim's picture

Busch league article.

NW Buckeye's picture

So Manziel transcends Sumlin and Kingsbury, coaches who are known for offenses that feature a Q, and Braxton is sold short because Meyer's offense is also designed around the Q?  Color me confused....

hodge's picture

I take it as a compliment, even if the author didn't necessarily intend it as such.
It's pretty simple, Sumlin and Klingsbury's were easily outshined by Manziel's stardom--hell, it could be argued that he made their names.  Meyer, on the contrary, owns two BCS titles; and now he's at a place defined by the successes of its coaches--where feats like Manziel's have happened with enough frequency for us to not singularly canonize one player for their prowess.  The only exception to the previous point is Archie Griffin, college football's only two-time Heisman winner--and even he couldn't outshine ol' Woody.  
It's really the same at all of college football's bluebloods: the coach who presides over the success will be remembered longer because they're the singular constant of the era.  No matter how many spectacular athletes Saban's had to win him championships in Tuscaloosa, they all pale in comparison to their coach because he's the man making the university's name--players don't come to Alabama because of Mark Ingram, they come because of Saban.  In College Station, they'll come because of Manziel because the university hasn't had a singular entity ever mean so much to the program's current state.  Maybe Sumlin will one day, but right now he's riding Manziel's fame to the spotlight; even if Manziel rode his system to glory.

NW Buckeye's picture

Hodge, I love how your prove a point.  Well thought out and expressed eloquently!  I guess my point would be that if Manziel were in another system (like TTUN) he would be a good Q, possibly even great, but he would not put up the numbers he will in a Sumlin/Klingsbury offense.  Heck, even in Braxton's situation, as you kind of elude to, it is difficult for the Q to put up the weighty numbers like a Q in that S/L offense because of the talent around him.  As we all know, much of the S/L running game is basically long hand offs initiated by a forward pass by the Q (hence the Q gets all that yardage included in his passing total).  There is nothing wrong with that, it is a perfectly good offense.  But, when you have a back who can take a hand off, and an O line that will open holes, why pass?  By default, Braxton's #'s will not be as high as a Q in that system. 
So, in my book, he really does not transcend that offense or the coaches - he is merely an integral part of it, one that performs very well, the way it was designed to run.  Now if Manziel were in a Hoke/Borges offense and still put up the numbers he has at A&M, then he would, indeed, transcend his coaches and their philosophy. 

buckeyeEddie27's picture

wow.  just wow.   lets write an article based on bias memory and no research.  Punch line territory?  wtf?

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Color me confused. Isn't every single QB in college football the product of the system in which they play and the coaches they work with? 

Hovenaut's picture

This is preseason fluff, nothing more.

Buckeyefan52's picture

He finished 5th in the Heisman last year and is one of the frontrunners this year for the trophy, yet he's not even top 5 at his position?

Poison nuts's picture

Whatever. More opinions that are just opinions. 

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Opinions are like tails, and this author's got one.

avail31678's picture

That's just your opinion.

brandonbauer87's picture

This guy is an expert fisherman. He caught all of you with only one chunk of bait. 

Ahh Saturday's picture

Well, since you are posting in this thread, didn't he catch you as well?

brandonbauer87's picture

I'm not offended, so I'm not really caught. I'm more like the fish swimming by watching everyone else get caught. 

awwwwwwop's picture

If you continue reading the article, he does do some comparisons between miller and pryor in the Tressel/Fickell offense. He also does some comparisons to passing % and rushing stats to Smith, Tebow, and Josh Harris that are worth looking at.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Lawver_5's picture

Who would be in everyone else's top 5? I'm thinking Braxton should be at least in the top 4

cbusbuckeye's picture

Not an easy question to answer at all. For example, AJ McCarron does pretty damn well running Bamas O, but would be nowhere near the same running Urbans spread, same goes for Braxton when you flip the script. 
 
If we are judging QBs by how they would perform in a pro-style system, as is traditionally done, McCarron may be better, but give me XBrax all day if I'm picking guys for a one-game winner take all showdown. 

zachofaltrades's picture

And one of those BCS losses was to an excellent Texas squad which beat us in the last minute and who nearly played in the NC game if not for an unbelievable last minute catch by TTU's Michael Crabtree.  (I'm pretty sure that's the correct scenario anyways.)

avail31678's picture

Yep.  Texas actualy beat OK in the regular season, but due to the BIG 12's three-way tie-breaker rules, OK, who had the higher BCS rank, went to the conference championship game and then on the NC game.  Many people were screaming that Texas should have been in the NC game, FWIW.

tampa buckeye's picture

Wow 6#? There are not 5 better college qbs right now.

Maestro's picture

Guess he literally forgot about the Sugar Bowl victory by Pryor and Co.  Obviously this guy needs to be a better historian at a minimum.

vacuuming sucks

J.Mo's picture

"In his first season as starter, under interim coach Luke Fickell, Ohio State went 6-7 and was hopeless in the passing game. In his second season, under Meyer, Ohio State went 12-0. The variable is obvious."
People give Meyer too much credit and doesn't "credit" Jim Bollman/Nick Scillano enough for being incompetent. The variable isn't Meyer, the variable is no Jim Bollman. 

Nappy's picture

Why not both?

Fan of bacon since 1981

buckeyedude's picture

Although I don't really think he cares to much about individual awards, thanks for making our QB "angry."
Make no mistake. That was disrespect. He finished 5th last year and they have him as the 6th best this year? With almost all the same people surrounding him?
Thank you Sports on Earth.

 

 

unholy bucknut's picture

I got Miller at #3 McCarron 1  Manziel 2 Miller 3 Bridgewater 4 Murray 5.

TheBadOwl's picture

Based solely on last year, it definitely goes Manziel, Bridgewater, Mariota, Miller, McCarron.
Mariota is over Miller because he was MUCH more accurate as a passer and made more correct reads in the option game. By the end of this year, Miller and Mariota will be 1A and 1B, ahead of Bridgewater and Manziel, IMO. The surrounding talent has a lot to do with these rankings. McCarron wouldn't even be top 5 without Cooper and Yeldon.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

WhySoSerious's picture

B. Miller has all my spots on locked for top 5 quarter backs in the nation. First person to call me a homer gets a upvote lol.

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

WhySoSerious's picture

There you go..

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Gametime's picture

Brax is rated appropriately AS A QB, IMO. Is labeled as a Heisman front runner because he's a better football player then most of those guys. 
All of those QBs (McCarron, Manziel, Mariota, Boyd, & Bridgewater) completed passes at a 67-68% clip and around 3,000+ yards 25+ TDs and only Boyd (13) threw for 10+ INTs . These boys can sling that rock and execute their systems very well.
IF (when ;) ) Braxton makes a the same leap that Boyd did as a QB between his SO-JR efforts (59.7% to 67.2%), 3800yds+ 30TDs  along with his already dynamic running ability (which I believe he is expected to do) then he could run away with the Heisman.

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

pjtobin's picture

I would take Guiton over McCarron. I know that is a little far fetched. He is a proven winner. He is a leader. He is a gifted athlete. He is not a furniture mover. With my scarlet colored glasses, Kenny G takes the runner up. Just a tad behind Xbrax. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Patriot4098's picture

I might take some flack for this, but Miller has some improving to do. When compared to his own celing, passing #s, reads, and scrambling all need to make considerable jumps just in order to be considered best of the best, even in this ideally suited system Meyer has him quarterbacking. Its no slight on Miller, because he truly is exceptionally qualified due to his talent alone. Objectively, its been hard to grade Miller too high as a QB, when most of his ground yardage were off of designed run plays for him. I've said it before and ill say it again, Miller can run like like a tailback. Meyer and Herman know this. If his yardage were to have come by way of broken plays extended due to scrambling alone, that would be a uniquely quarterback quality. However this was not usually the case. Miller still needs to work on that. Combine that with the forementioned passing inadequacies, and you have a Heisman candidate he has not yet had his break-out season. With that said, more system familiarity with Meyer's read-option, better receiver play, and improved pocket awareness/scrambling ability SHOULD equate to not only Hesiman numbers but ELITE QB status as well. Though I think, he deserves an extra spot or two, I was more surprised to see Aaron Murray so low. No one can tell me that Aaron Murray couldn't do what McCarron has done in Alabamas "play-it-safe" system. I would argue, confidently, that he would do it better. And as for Miller. Number 1 QB buy the end of the year.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac