1. Carlos Hyde, Senior. 6’0”, 235 lbs. Our best running back since Clarett? Hyde hits the hole hard and wiggles in it. He puts tacklers on their backs, doesn't fumble, and he's durable. When he was complaining about playing time, I thought that was crap. BUCK UP BUDDY, WAIT YOUR TURN. Now? NEED MORE GUAP. If he’d left after just two-thirds of a season as a starter, that would have shown us. I would’ve left.
2. Jordan Hall, Senior. 5’9”, 198 lbs. Hall might not be the biggest or fastest, but he hurt his foot cleaning up after his dog like a goddamn hero. I live in Brooklyn, the dog-poop-on-the-sidewalk capital of the world. I’ll go for a jog and see 20 varieties of dog poop: Lincoln Log poops, Italian snake sausage poops, mooseberry poops, chocolate Tasti D-Lite poops, crumbly Stonehenge poops. My neighbors are frantic to catch the sociopaths who don’t clean up after their dogs. When I owned a dog, I got screamed at once a week. YOU BETTER CLEAN UP AFTER THAT PIT. Lady, he’s not even pooping, he’s trying to murder a bird shadow. He’s so cute! It got to the point where I’d hold my plastic bags in my hand at all times. You want to catch the people who don’t clean up after their dogs, stake out the corner at four in the morning. They know you ain’t like them.
3. Rod Smith, Junior. 6’3”, 230 lbs. I would shriek and dive out of the way rather than try to tackle this man. You guys remember the Oklahoma Drill? Bet they don’t do that drill any more (NSFW, language), what with the CTE that’s been going around. When I was in seventh grade, I fancied myself a pretty stout linebacker. Then they pitted me in an Oklahoma Drill against the eighth-grade’s starting tailback. Dude knocked me on my back with a stiff-arm, high-stepped on my stomach, and pranced away like Deion Sanders. Twas a real lonely moment. I didn’t quit the team—I have character—but after that I certainly did quit on the team. Stupid meritocracy, what about my dreams?
4. Bri’onte Dunn, Sophomore. 6’1”, 214 lbs. After Jamaal Berry, I'm no longer advocating for the flashy young backup. Dunn looks phenomenal when he gets to play, but is that just because Hyde and Smith have already destroyed the other team’s will? Or was Berry a great talent, but he just didn’t have his “head in the game” blap blap blap? Don’t ask me. I’m not the most sophisticated judge of talent. PUT HIM IN, HE SCORES THE TOUCHDOWNS.
5. Warren Ball, Freshman. 6’1”, 215 lbs. I hate that some people are acting like his window is already closed. He missed all season with a broken foot; give him a chance before chasing him off to Scranton A&M. Me, I’m fired up to root for Warren B the Regulators because I am old and I think 20-year-old hip-hop references are cool. When Bernard Pollard Wu-Tanged Steven Ridley in the AFC championship game, I rewound the hit about a hundred times while shouting lines from “Killer Tape” (Legos! NSFW). HE’S IN THE BLACK LAND WITH THE SHADOWS AND GHOSTS. My guests were nonplussed. I might be the last person left who’s a) old enough to care about Wu-Tang outros, yet b) immature enough to drunkenly yell them at a concussed dude on the TV. The worst part is that I seem to be bragging about this.
6. Ezekiel Elliott, Freshman. 6’0”, 205 lbs. He was best player from the state of Missouri, yet we nabbed him to be our sixth-string running back. I once dated the daughter of a billionaire, which is something I like to mention. I’ve got five grand in my checking account. Proportionally, her dad was richer than me like I’m richer than a dude with two cents. That’s not even sleeping-on-the-subway money. If a homelessman asked me for five bucks, well, I’d tell him to slag off, but what if that five bucks would change his whole life? GODSPEED, PUNGENT SOUL. But if I’d asked the billionaire for a million? He would’ve reacted like I asked to rear-end his dog. GITCHER FILTHY HANDS OFF MAH MONEY. And he’d be right—that ain’t America. America needs some dudes to be billionaires and other dudes to have weird lumps on their kidneys they can’t afford to get checked out. I don’t know why, but it does. That’s why college football is the quintessential American sport: OSU is the billionaire, Mizzou is the doofus with five grand, and the homelessman with 2¢ is, I dunno … Indiana? My point is, calling the Buckeyes “we” as they drub Indiana year after year feels really, really empowering.
Outlook: Dunn, Warren B, and the Regulators run for 13.4 YPC in fourth quarter after fourth quarter through opposing B1G defenses layin’ in their blood like a newborn child.