Eleven Warriors Roundtable: 2013 Ohio State Football Season Outlook

By Jeff Beck on August 23, 2013 at 2:00p
51 Comments
SO BEAUTIFULEleven Warriors 2013 Ohio State Football Preview

Believe it or not, one week from tomorrow there will be actual college football being played on the banks of the Olentangy. Say that with me again, "one week from tomorrow there will be actual college football being played on the banks of the Olentangy."

Like we do every year, we'll close out our season preview series the best way we know how: with an 11W roundtable. It truly is the finest nightcap to a long and winding offseason. I've asked the questions...you get the answers from none other than the finest minds in Buckeye football blog-dom. Specifically, that is our own cast of thousands: Joe Beale, Jeremy Birmingham, Michael Citro, Johnny Ginter, Nicholas Jervey, Chris Lauderback, Ramzy Nasrallah, Chad Peltier, Kyle Rowland, Jordan Wagner and Mike Young.

Let's do this.

We’re heading into the 2013 college football season. How do you feel? What are your expectations? 

Nicholas: Would "cautiously optimistic" be too cliché? This team obviously has enough talent to make a national championship run, but there will doubtlessly be some close calls along the way that they'll have to survive. Last year's Michigan State game is a great example of the type of game that could trip up the Buckeyes: a road game against a team with a great defense where the fumbles are going to the other team. There's no way of telling how any team will respond in the heat of the moment, so all our preseason hype needs a caveat. At bare minimum, expectations should be no worse than 6-2 in conference and a plum January bowl game.

Chad: I couldn't feel better, and I mean that in two ways. First, the team is well rounded, with studs in almost every position and solid young backups. Second, I think this has to be the year. Even though Braxton will be a senior next season, he'll be behind a line that will replace four starters, while the secondary will replace both safeties and an All-American corner. At least in the immediate future, this is Urban's best shot at a national title. 

Johnny: I'm nervous. I'm always nervous when there's an expectation of success. Last year I was riding easy on the train to "meh"-ville because I knew that even an undefeated season didn't really mean a whole lot, given the postseason ban. This year, the expectation should be and is that Ohio State steamroll through the Big Ten on their way to a national championship.

Jordan: We all survived another offseason. I'm excited for the Buckeyes to finally take the field again. Can't wait to spend my Saturdays in The Shoe with 105,000+ fans. After a 12-0 season, I am expecting 14-0 this season and I honestly believe this team has all the tools to do so. I don't think this season will be a cakewalk by any means. Nothing would be better than an undefeated season capped off with a win over an SEC team in the National Championship. I'd love to see Clay Travis' column after an Ohio State win over the SEC in the championship game.

Which offensive player not named Braxton Miller or Dontre Wilson are you most excited to watch and why?

Ramzy: Jack Mewhort. When the Buckeyes run between the hashes you'll see him violently opening the door for them. [Gruden voice] He's a football player.

Michael: I’m mostly looking forward to seeing Carlos Hyde get his suspension behind him and start trucking people. I’m also eager to see Jordan Hall in that hybrid spot we’ve been hearing about. I think this offense will be fun to watch when all the parts are in place.

Chris: Devin Smith. With Braxton’s improvement in both his passing mechanics and understanding of the offense combined with the plethora of weapons Miller can go underneath and sideline to sideline, I expect Herman and Meyer will look to expose teams over the top with increasingly regularity and Smith should be the prime benefactor. I fully expect Smith to build on his 20.6 yards per catch and six touchdowns of a year ago.  

The 11W RoundTableRare shot of the 11W Roundtable from inside 11W HQ

Kyle:  Jeff Heuerman is a big wild card. I could see him having tremendous production this season. Braxton, Dontre, Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith, Philly Brown, Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, etc. are going to be weapons all season. It's remarkable when you go down the list and realize there are more than 10 players that can deemed dangerous. So, obviously, there will be someone that benefits from the attention paid to other players. I think Heuerman is the guy, with Spencer as another candidate. Heuerman just has the skill set to be a star. Tall, speed, good hands, solid blocker. He seems like the total package in what Urban Meyer wants in a tight end. 

What game do the Buckeyes have the greatest chance of losing?

Jeremy: The game I have had mentally circled all along is October 5th at Northwestern. It's a night game in Chicago against a hungry group of Wildcats that will be hoping to show they belong in the upper-crust of the B1G, at least conversationally. Throw in that it's the week after an emotional game for the Buckeyes (at home, at night against Wisconsin) and the chance for a letdown is real.

Johnny: Michigan. People might be sleeping on them because of their losses on both sides of the ball (they're only returning 12 starters), but Gardner is a legit QB and they get Ohio State at home. The Wolverines will be hard pressed to get to 10 wins this season, but could be really dangerous towards the end of the year if their younger guys can start to gel and they can find someone to run the ball.

Mike: Is this a trick question? Honestly, I'll go with TTUN because of the road, rivalry game factor. Even in Rich Rod's only game against OSU in AA, they were competitive for about a quarter! Between that and the time they played Eastern Michigan, he had about 5 competitive quarters of football in his 3 years.  

Jordan: Cal. It will be the Buckeyes first away game. It seems like everyone is sleeping on Cal, but Sonny Dykes will have their spread offense scoring points. Last year, the secondary struggled at times. If that isn't corrected, the Buckeyes could be heading into week four with a 2-1 record. 

Chris: The sexy pick is at Northwestern but I’m not overly concerned about that one. It could be a shootout but I like Ohio State’s chances in a game like that. The most concerning game for me is the B1G championship game because it’ll be the first time Ohio State has played in Indy, they might be forced to beat the same team in back-to-back games, and they’ll likely be playing for a spot in the national title game.

The passing game didn’t exactly light it up last season (coming in at 105th in the country). Will this improve in 2013? Why or why not?

Ramzy: Braxton Miller's barista previous position coach taught him nothing his freshman year. When you're that raw and athletic, you take the easiest bailout. Passing statistics are going to improve significantly in 2013 in part because Ohio State's passing game contains a lot of what are basically long hand-offs. And Miller has a real position coach again instead of a fake one.

Chris: Braxton’s evolution as a quarterback and his improved understanding of the offense combined with the noted increase in weapons could add in the neighborhood of an additional 60-70 passing yards per game. Doing that would vault the Buckeyes from 101st in Passing Offense last season (181.5 ypg) to somewhere around 245 passing yards per game this season (probably good for about 50th). The fact Braxton is still the best running back on the team despite all the other legit options keeps the passing yards from showing an even larger increase. Oh, and the fact Braxton won’t get to finish many games due to blowouts doesn’t help pad the stats either.  

Joe: With more experience, all of the principals involved (Braxton + receivers) should improve, and all indications so far say that they have. Whether or not that translates into more yards this season remains to be seen, but they should be more efficient in any event.

Which RB pulls away from the pack and solidifies himself as a second option behind Carlos Hyde and/or Jordan Hall?

Jeremy: This question is just impossible to answer because there's so much talent and depth in the backfield for the Buckeyes. Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball each do different things well, but I think Dunn is most complete of the group and the experience he gained last year as a freshman will help him sneak ahead of the pack.

Nicholas: Rod Smith. Without Carlos Hyde in the mix for the first three games, he has the opportunity to rack up some carries. On paper, the only things on holding him back from 150 yard games are opportunity and fumbling issues.

Kyle: We'll look back at season's end and say, 'Wow, Rod Smith might be a stud in 2014.' He's the total package at running back. Size, speed, elusiveness. I think he is on track for a breakout year. Few people will even remember his fumble woes. 

Which unit scares you the most heading into 2013?

Michael: The linebackers. The team is just so thin there due to high attrition. Shazier is very good but he has to stay healthy. I want to see Curtis Grant and Josh Perry walk the walk before I feel comfortable. Also, the D-line is a concern to me. Can they withstand a direct frontal assault from a ground-and-pound team? I’m not sure yet.

Mike: I think it's the cornerback cornerback group. We know Roby will miss one game. Even with him, corner spots are relatively inexperienced. Christian Bryant, like much of the defense, progressed as last season went along. I suppose going from disastrous to competent is a gigantic leap. Based on what we've heard from him in practice, I expect another leap. So, he can erase CB mistakes. I'm not as concerned about the linebackers because we'll never three on the field at once. Corners are an underrated issue. 

Chad: Is there any way this isn't the linebackers? I guess it's only one guy in the standard 4-2-5 and we keep hearing good things about Tyvis Powell in the Star position, but I think the coaches would prefer the option of a third linebacker stepping up to rotate with Powell. 

The defense gave up over 3 TDs a game in 2012 (22.8 ppg). What does this group need to do to get better in 2013?

Michael: Being faster will help, and this year’s defense should be faster. One thing that hurt last year was the team took such bad angles the first half of the year and at times they didn’t wrap well. That needs to be cleaned up. If Jim Heacock is indeed going to help in the film room, that should also pay dividends defensively on Saturdays.

Jeremy: Hit. The. Quarterback. Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington are no longer green and their impact will shape the entire defense this fall. Get to the quarterback and force quick decisions, that's how the Buckeyes improve defensively.

Johnny: Eliminate the big play. Ohio State gave up far, far too many touchdowns of 25 yards or more last year, and it led to several teams staying in games that they really had no business being in (see: Hoosiers, Indiana). If they can keep the action in front of them, they should be able to improve on that number significantly.

It seems like expectations this year are undefeated or bust. Can you ever remember a season with more pre-season hype? If so, what year?

Chris: I have to go back to 1998. That team entered the season ranked #1 in the polls thanks to a roster littered with studs like Germaine, Wiley, Boston, Miller, Winfield, Plummer, Katzenmoyer, Moore, and Diggs, among others. Plus, Germaine was no longer forced to split time with a lesser quarterback and virtually the entire offensive line returned. Damn, that team was loaded.

Mike: There are quite a few similarities to 2010. Pre-season Heisman favorite, trendy national title pick, start the season behind Alabama in the polls. But, more hype? The 2006 season is obvious. That was pre- "Big Ten 'speed' =  fat midwestern farmers aahhhaa so slowwww (hurr durr)" and the Buckeyes were overwhelmingly predicted to go to the national title game. Put it this way: pretty much any time they're coming off a relatively strong season, there will be the "undefeated or bust" kind of hype surrounding them. Which is good, of course. 

Joe: 1980, 1995, 1998, and 2006 are all comparable in terms of hype of how good the team is, but I don’t think there’s ever been as much fear/dread of the team as I’m feeling from opposing fanbases now. It seems like they’re all waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak. It’s almost as if they’re taking pre-emptive shots at Meyer and the team because they’re expecting the inevitable.

Over/under 50 points per game this season for the offense?

Chad: Under- I'll put it at the mid-to-low 40s.

Jordan: Under. Louisiana Tech was the only team to do this last season.  I realize the schedule is pretty easy, but 50 points per game is a lot! I'm thinking 41 is a good number, which would put the Buckeyes 6th on last year's list. 

Nicholas: Under. Even if OSU puts up 80 against Florida A&M, they'd have to average 47.3 points per game against the other 11 opponents to hit 50 points per game, which isn't a reasonable expectation for even the pass-heaviest Big 12 offenses. 40 points per game is more reasonable.

Michael: If this offense clicks, it’s quite capable putting up over 50 per game on average and a couple teams will see Ohio State rack up 60 or even 70.

What is your best-case worse-case scenario for the 2013 Buckeyes?

Chris: Best case: NATIONAL TITLE, WOOT WOOT! Worst case: Anything less than a national title.

Mike: Ideally, Braxton Miller will bathe in the blood of the persecuted, poor and defenseless Big Ten conference. He'd throw for – precisely – 11,952  yards (doubling the previous season record), eclipse Case Keenum's career touchdown mark in one season by throwing for 156 touchdowns. Hopefully that's good enough to put them in the national title game, where they go on to defeat their only suitable competition, the Canton Greats, to win the national championship. 

But I can't even imagine how crushing it would be to lose... one game. Just like 2010, there's so much hype going into the season. After they lost to Wisconsin in 2010 (my junior year at OSU), I couldn't physically bring myself to go to the Purdue game the following week. As it turns out, that game didn't happen. Any loss is worst-case scenario. That prevents a national title game appearance. 

Nicholas: Best case scenario: 14-0, national champions, drinking the tears of Alabama fans in Pasadena while Mike Bianchi and Mark May and all the other media trolls turn into gibbering messes. Worst case scenario: 8-5 with an Outback Bowl loss to Vanderbilt, and the SEC ribbing continues unabated.

Kyle: The best case is pretty simple: national championship. The worst outcome would be Braxton Miller suffering an injury that impacts the season. Losing to Michigan while undefeated would also be a significant blow. The scenario I've played in my head is losing to Michigan in November and then winning the Big Ten Championship Game. Would fans even be happy with the Rose Bowl berth? It would be interesting. If Miller (and others) stay healthy, I just don't see Ohio State losing more than one game. The team is too good and the schedule is so weak.

Ramzy: Best case: 14-0. Worst case: 0-12. You can't fool me with these trick questions.

51 Comments

Comments

OSUgrunt0311's picture

Im some what new to commenting, and use 11w for all my OSU news. Love reading the post and comments of users, and now that I can remember my log in info Ill be around more often. I can not wait for the season to start.

81Alum's picture

The homer in me says 14-0 or bust. Realistically, I can see NW or TTUN being close, so I'll go with 13-1 being realistic (losing 1 game but winning the Rose Bowl, or 13-0 and losing a close NCG).

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

I was about to upvote you, but you somehow listed the two most painful ways our season could go while trying to be realistic.  Although, I guess a Rose Bowl wouldn't be the end of the world in any other season.

Orlando Pancakes's picture

People, people (and by that I mean two of you at the time of me writing this), please refresh yourselves on the commenting/voting policy. The ingenious voting policy was put in by the 11W staff to limit the number of trolls on this site and it does a great job of that. There is absolutely nothing in 81ALUM's comment that deserves a downvote. Simply disagreeing with someone does not constitute a downvote. Downvotes should be reserved for trolls and anything that violates the commenting policy like political or religious talk. Ok, rant over. Go Bucks!!! 14-0!!!

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

Thank you for putting that out there. One thread down, 300 to go haha.

nfischer's picture

Yes, thank you. The moderators should take away 25 helmet stickers from the down voters (or 5%, whichever is higher)...in my opinion. I don't know how people will otherwise get the hint.

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

Oyster would lose like 350 stickers at 5% and he is a repeat offender...Not such a bad idea, Fischer.

FROMTHE18's picture

I think if the team takes it 1 game at a time, and doesnt look at the record as X-0 but simply 0-0 going into a game and 1-0 or 0-1 after and then on Monday, start again at 0-0 for the next week, i think they wont get lost in the season or have a chance at falling into any pitholes and can run the table...its keeping the eye on the ball and improving each week that is key for this team, not talent. I think they, on paper, are better than every team on their schedule, but obviously you ahve to play the games to win the games.

Hovenaut's picture

Well done gents, appreciate the insight.

I keep staring at a calendar.

I am not the Last Dragon, therefore I do not possess the power of the Glow.

buckeyepastor's picture

Our uncertainty at LB scares me enough that while the NC game is a possibility, it is not as probable to me as some are saying.  I know that many teams we face will have us in a nickel or dime package, but if it becomes apparent early that our LBs are not strong, teams will game-plan each week to exploit that.   We all need to remember how much we were gashed by the same teams last year for much of the season, basically until Boren was moved over.  LB struggles can be a big problem again, even if we're only using 2 on the field at a time.   
Most looking forward to seeing Washington and Spence on every down.   They were used only sparingly last year and made a huge difference.   Excited to see them dominate.  
I think Smith, if he stays out of trouble, will benefit the most from Hyde's absence mostly because of his running style.   He is a crushing, downhill type guy.   Jordan Hall, I hope, will be a big difference maker in the slot and in some running situations, but I don't see him running in the zone read with the same assertiveness as Hyde and Smith.  Dunn and Ball have looked good, but Smith just has more experience.   
The Cal game scares me the most as the first road game, and also because it's early in the season, we'll still be without Hyde, and even though Cal's record was lousy last year moving from Buffalo and SDSU at home to a road game against a PAC-12 school will be a big step. Never a good thing, to me, when your first real opponent is on the road.  To be honest, Buffalo and SDSU aren't good enough to show us what we really have.  Think Akron in 2011.   We looked unstoppable against them.   Two weeks later, not so much.   
 

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

ScoobyKnows's picture

To me the worst case scenario is going to the National Championship Game and then getting blown out by an SEC team.  I don't think I could handle that...again!  Just the thought makes me ill.  I honestly think I've anticipated this year more than any other.  Let's play already!!!!!

Baroclinicity's picture

I think Chad is right, regarding this being the year as opposed to 2014 when Miller is a senior.  
My biggest fear is a Beanie Wells-caliber injury. 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

TheShookster's picture

Not sure why but I laughed really hard at the rare picture of the 11W round table.
Excellent material.

raki's picture

Best Case National champions, worst case Rose bowl champions.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I have to be honest... Anything other than a national title and I will be crushed.  Living down here in SEC country I can't stand hearing all of the trash talk.  I need bragging rights for at least a year.  I'm worried specifically about NW and scUM mainly because they're on the road and scUM is a rivalry game. 

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

The first line pretty much sums it up for 99% of us.

741's picture

Manage your expectations people. For me it's win the B1G conference championship, win the Rose Bowl. Anything achieved beyond these lofty goals is incredible! No fan in their right mind should "expect" a national championship - it's incredibly difficult and there are so many variables... a lot of luck is involved. Even for Saban and Alabama.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Jordan: We all survived another offseason.

It's not over yet...

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

jdagrava.1's picture

I love best case/worst case scenarios.  You guys make it so funny.
I think we can all agree that the best case scenario is an undefeated season, particularly one where we beat Alabama in the NCG.
However, I don't think anyone has mentioned the potential to play M*ch!g@n twice this year (the last year that it can ever happen).  Beating or losing to TTUN twice has to be included on my best case/worst case scenarios.

"It takes a little something special to be a great player.  What you got in you, we're going to find out.  And if there's a touch of greatness in there, how cool would that be?"

-Urban F. Meyer

Jabba the Hoke's picture

Beating TTUN 2x would be awesome, but only if it didn't hurt our chance at getting into a championship game.

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

Freshman year was the only time I played on a high school level sports team that went undefeated (basketball), probably because it's the only year where that is realistically possible.  JV and Varsity teams almost always lose a game.  Anyways...
We went 19-0 and were the unanimous #1 team in the Coaches' Poll at the end of the season, making us de facto Freshmen State Champions, just minus the fanfare and trophy.  Anyways, once you roll through the first half of the schedule undefeated, you get a cockiness about the team that wasn't there at first.  For us, tough opponents brought us back down to earth.  We played a crosstown rival when we were 17-0 and they were 16-1, and that was intense for a freshmen game.  I remember it distinctly because I think 5 people from that game are D1 right now, and we won by 2 points.
My point is, the Buckeyes don't look like they will really have a 17-0 v 16-1 game, so I'm not sure what will keep them grounded.  Nothing would hurt worse than pulling a 1998.  But no way does Urban pull a Cooper.  I'm hoping these coaches are good enough to keep these players hungry.

iamcbs's picture

I can tell all of the Roundtable Guys are under 35 YO by the way the answered the Pre-Season Hype Question. No one mentioned the undefeated, defending National Champions of 1969. There was just a bit of hype about that squad, even though there was no internet or 24-Hour Sports Television!!

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep, I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion~Alexander the Great

ChazBuckeye's picture

I like hearing your guy's opinions.  It's cool to see that most, if not all of you feel similar to us. I'm optimistic.  I can see some hick-ups on this schedule even though many are seeing 12-0 with 13-0 in the BTCG.  I'm more incline to say that OSU will have two tough games and may be three.  
NW away worries me for obvious reasons.  OSU will have a dog fight against Wiscy but I think they'll make it look like a blow out on the score board (kind of like NEB last year). However, that Wiscy game before NW is what I'm worried about.  Not to mention, besides OSU, NW was the next best team in tB1G.  
Now my other one that on paper looks like a white wash, Purdue.  I see that as a potential hick up to be honest. A former Tress disciple at HC, I could see doing OK in his first HC job in the B1G.  
Lastly, TTUN.  No words need be said on that one. Just look at history and OSU going in their unbeaten. Not too good if you look it up...I'd rather not give the ones who come here any fuel with stats on it.  
I'm not going to say anything about game 14.  I'd rather see who that is before commenting on it...

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

I just look at the B1G this year and basically see a rebuilding, changing, pile of trash with Ohio State sooooooo far above everybody else.  The only true obstacle to a perfect season will be Alabama/Florida.  Either one would have me pumped if they were the opponent in the MNC game.

BTBuckeye's picture

Damn it Tyvis!!!!!!!!!!!

Buckeye419er's picture

Best Case Scenario: We Beat TTUN twice in the same year which is something we will have done and they would never ever get a chance to match. Followed by a National Title appearance in which we dismantle the SEC team of choice making many, many unworthy sports analysts eat a large foreboding crow *cawwww nevermore*. 

Worst Case Scenario: We lose next week to Buffalo a game in which we lose Miller to injury and find out via the same unworthy sports analysts that coach Meyer actually did help Aaron Hernandez cover up two previous murders while in Florida. The team becomes so struck with depression that they can't seem to get their act together and therefor lose multiple games this season and don't make a bowl appearance for the second straight year. 

Side note: If the worst case scenario happens I will probably drown myself in the Olentangy in fear that I have actually jinxed the team. Tell my mom I love her. Then end. 

porkchop's picture

The only prediction I feel I can make with any degree of certainty is that if we do win the National Championship, someone will put an asterisk next to it indicating that it was the last gaffe in a flawed BCS system.  If Bama wins, then the National Championship will be perceived as the game that solidified their legacy as a college football dynasty.  Am I a double-standard conspiracy theorist?  I think I might be.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

You always want to be a realist and you never want to build up such great expectations that may not even be plausible, but I would expect, barring a catastrophic injury, a B1G title and BCS bowl. A 2nd tier bowl with 2-3-4 losses would definitely be a disappointment. Yeah, it would suck to see us lose in a potential NCG or even the Rose Bowl, but to get there means we had one hell of a season (and that nothing screwy happened).
One important thing to remember, I think how we close the season will affect how we close our 2014 class. We run the table or go 13-1 and lose a nailbiter in the NCG our 2014 class will close with more fireworks than 2013 did. Another thing is that our younger players are going to get a TON of experience in big time games. We're still going to be relatively young next year. A solid year will boost 2014 and 2015. We need to have a great season if for no other reason than that.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

captain obvious's picture

14-0 would be phenomenal but 12-2 or 11-3 arent bad either. I still think next year is the Buckeye team that can truly challenge the SEC but I hope I'm wrong and we do it this year.

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

Most years I would most like wholeheartedly agree with you.  But how can you honestly say that 11-3 would be in any way, shape or form acceptable as the final record for 2013?

captain obvious's picture

I just remember all the close calls last season and how we had to depend on Braxton's legs to save us. I used to watch the in game comments on 11w and it was 70% negative. Next year is our year but then that could mean we go undefeated with some close calls and next year we go undedfeated and win by an average of 40pts a game. Like I said i hope Im wrong but this is still Urbans 1st 100% recruiting class.

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

ChicagoBuckeye33's picture

True. However, when I look back, the only game I ever really felt as though we might lose was Purdue, and if Braxton had not gotten injured Im not so sure that game would have needed Kenny G's last second heroics (welll no shit) and by that I mean Braxton was really starting to ignite the OSU offense.
I really hope that our defense this year can defend screen passes.  Teams that threw quick and bubble screens killed us last year, but I'm sure the coaching staff has made adjustments.

captain obvious's picture

You must have more composure than I do.
I thought we were in trouble late vs:
CAL
Mich St
Indiana
Purdue
Wisconsin
I was 12 pack of Coors Light deep in all those games probably more like a case for Indy (night game)

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

HotSauceCommittee's picture

I agree. Although Cal and Indiana were in the process of being blowouts until we had lapses. Michigan State was a dog fight throughout, WI seemed like we could have went up three tds at any moment and Purdue we played flat and stunk up the joint until late. 

Squirrel Master's picture

1. My expectations is championship. I just don't see any road bumps and I think this team is not only talented enough but hungry enough. We talk about pressure but this team won't feel it because they want it bad enough that I doubt a let down will happen.
2. I have to say Taylor Decker. The line should be an obvious strength. Outside of the hiking issues Linsley was facing late in the season, the 4 returning starters won't be much of a concern. Decker will either solidify this line or be the weakest link. I think he will do great. All those skill players wouldn't mean much if Decker can't keep defenders off Braxton's ass!
3. UM. They are by far the toughest game. I think they are the biggest challenge talentwise and playing them in AA will be tough. I think they should win, but it won't be the cakewalk some believe.
4. I just can't see how Braxton won't get better in the passing game. With the new weapons added, the work with a QB guru and another year in the system should all mean at the very least an increase in the overall numbers. I also think Devin will help his stats too. Devin unfortunately had some early drops in the season that I think stunted both of them and could have really opened things up. Braxton should have had another 500 yards in drops from multiple receivers. I don't see how even the best defenses could stop them this year. So many weapons and Urban will open up the playbook more creating so many mismatches. Dontre and a healthy Hall will help too!
5. Is Dontre an option? I say Rod Smith. Despite his bad timing with these inconsistencies, he is a immensely talented RB that could start on many teams. Eze, Dunn and Ball will get their chances but I see Rod getting his opportunity and succeeding. If not, I don't think it would be bad for the team, just bad for him because someone will step up and he will get moved to the side. That would be unfortunate!
6. has to be linebacker. So much talent but so few bodies! When you can count the scholarship position depth on practically one hand, never a good thing! I think with the heavy use of a 4-2-5 and 2 games that should allow this defense to get their feet wet will ease those concerns. I almost want to say #buckeyeproblems because RDS and Co. are really talented. Mike Mitchell, probably the guy I want to see most on defense pull a Katzenmoyer (start from day one) because he is that good, not because others had failed!
7. I think they are there. Boren made a huge difference mid season last year but I also think at that time they started to click. And I'm not talking about only the players. The coaches were a heated mess the first part of the season and no one knew their heads from their ass! I think they have a workable plan now and with another year under their belts (and I think the Dline is going to be dynamic) they should be fine. Mistakes will happen still but we'll see at least double if not more of the big plays being made. Turnovers and negative yard plays will increase.
8. 1998 is the year that has me feeling sick about this season. They were so dominant and going to win it all when they walked into The Game! Then it all went downhill. The reason why that one its home is because I don't see any challengers until The Game. So that game lingers so much right now.
9. Last year's offense was so bad, really it was! and yet they average over 35 ppg. How was that possible? It will be tough to do it but I think 50 is possible. I would have to see how they do against Buffalo to really say yes or no. I don't really care about average as much as minimum. If they can pretty much guarantee 35 or more in each game, I would feel much better about that. If the defense can know that the offense will guarantee that, then it will be on. I can easily see the defense not allowing more than 21 also.
10. best case: heisman, undefeated national championship and beating any of the top SEC teams for it. Worst case: 2 loses and not even winning the B1G. I don't see how it could get worst than that and I have no desire to play what ifs with injures and braxton. That wouldn't be worst case, that would be straight up dire! I trust Kenny and believe he could get it done but I would hate to see a kid like Braxton go down. He is the ultimate "anti-manziel" and deserves everything he gets. He has gone through the worst of times with this program and he has earned a chance to get some glory.
 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

HotSauceCommittee's picture

I agree with your 9 answer. The offense was bad and inconsistent last season. That being said it was also explosive at times. Too many three and outs. Too many missed 5 yard passes. We improve if Braxton is consistent. He does have to be spectacular. If he is spectacular whoa buddy. 
Defense improves if we tackle in space and don't overrun plays. Too many would be 5 yarders were busted for 45 yard touchdowns.
Little offensive improvement and little defensive improvements puts us in the rose bowl at least.
I ain't buying what some pundits are saying, Michigan will not be as good as last season. Denard's big plays, much like Braxton's, bailed them out several times last season. 
Football is back baby!

rmartoo's picture

I don't understand why everyone seems to overlook Wisky.  The one area this year's team is likely to be inferior to last year's is stuffing the between-the-tackles run.  We have no Jonathon Hankins.  The rest of the line may be better at rushing the passer than last year, but to rush the passer, they must be passing, which means we have to stop the run. And then there are the LBs - for last year's game against the Badgers, Boren had settled in at linebacker, and Sabino was back from injury.  This year we'll have two untested LBs, still early in the season.  Yet run down-hill is what Wisky does best.  After subtracting negative yardage for sacks, the Badgers ran for 240 yards against LAST YEAR's front seven.
And finally, the offense.  The pre-"new-and-improved" offense last year managed only seven points in regulation, with the other two TDs coming via punt return and in OT.  This year, if the offense doesn't do a lot better in scoring early, allowing Wisky to play even or ahead, the Badgers can sit back and pound away up the middle, wearing down our defensive front seven.  That scares the hell out of me.
Does no one here share this concern?  I'm betting the coaches do.
 
 

Analyticalguy

BeijingBucks's picture

Wispy= new cocoaches. Remember how that worked out last year?
Not everyone is an urban 1st year wonder.  PSU was an anomaly last year

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

USMC11917's picture

There is hope though. We stopped the Spartans running game but they weren't a huge passing threat.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

This season can't come soon enough.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article Jeff.  Can't wait for us to get started with the season!  Only a week away!!
Go Bucks!

pjtobin's picture

That was a fun read. I love the round table. Please do more of them. Thank you all for doing this. Please keep up the great work. 

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

GR8TBUCKS's picture

My worst case is beating tsun then losing the BIG championship game, that would mean no Natty and no Rose Bowl. Best case in that scenario, we play and beat an Sec team.

MY BUTT'S SO BIG, I SPLIT MY PJ BOTTOMS

USMC11917's picture

I think it's unreasonable to expect to win a national championship, so the most disappointing and worst case scenario for me would be for us to go undefeated and somehow get passed over for a shot at the title. (Especially if it is for a one loss Alabama or Georgia. Georgia is conceivable because of their tough schedule) That would enrage me like little else could. Surprised the 11w staff didn't think it possible. Maybe it isn't /shrugs.

buckeyestu's picture

Best case, undefeated and national title. Worst case, 2 losses to scum and a loss to an sec team in a bowl game.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Well communicated thoughts about the upcoming season guys, thanks for an entertaining read.  With the recruiting classes Meyer has been getting I wouldn't assume there will be a drop off next season, I think in the third year under Urban they may be an even better team than this season.  However, it looks like next season's OOC schedule is quite a bit more challenging.  But hey, I'll throw in a best case scenario of two NC's in a row (if someone else already did, my apologies).   I know, that's cheating.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

awlinBrutus's picture

thanks so much great info.
 
and "MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS"

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

D. Anthony's picture

Chad: this probably will be, but This doesn't "have to be the year". Don't forget how bad the o-line was for Braxton's freshman year and it was the perceived big weekness or unknown heading into last year. They really developed under a great coach AND I think Braxton's play making ability/exscapability helped make them, dare I say, a little overrated last year. Next year new guys, but guys who've now been practicing to play in our system for a few years will step in. It should give them a little bit of an advantage over what last years line stepped into with new coaches and schemes... and everything turned out pretty well.

D. Anthony