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At first, I was crushed. Now, I'm ready to run through a wall (and you should be, too)

TheBadOwl's picture
August 19, 2014 at 2:18pm

When the Braxton news hit, I was crushed. It's my senior year and, selfishly, I was in denial. I wanted to see a national championship while I'm still in school here. So I've been moping around all day, until about five minutes ago.

Apparently Braxton said to his teammates last night that he's redshirting and coming back if the doctors ruled him out this season. Yes, that's a spur-of-the-moment type of decision.

Also, 1) Hope is not entirely lost yet...

2) I think he will be back, and I'm not alone...

3) This team is going to be very good anyways.

Anyways, into the meat of my long post now...

By all accounts, JT Barrett is one hell of a leader and he has intangibles that are off the charts. And he's physically gifted enough to run this system. The skill positions are much more talented this year.

This isn't last year's defense. I think they'll surprise a lot of people. This might be a bit foolish of me, but whatever. Bear with me here.

The 2014 team is going to be an exciting young team with a shot at winning every game they're in. Will MSU be a huge challenge? Yes. But so was Wisconsin my freshman year. And a true freshman QB threw this bomb to a true freshman WR and shocked the world.

This isn't that 2011 team. The coaching is better, there's more talent and there's more depth. We're still a 9-10 win team, possibly better.

I have no problem watching a young and exciting team my senior year. And looking ahead to 2015 is pretty fun...

Key seniors this year: Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, Jeff Heuerman, Mike Bennett, Curtis Grant, Doran Grant.

Replacements for those seniors: Corey Smith, Mike Thomas, Nick Vannett, Tommy Schutt/Mike Hill, Raekwon McMillan, Eli Apple/Gareon Conley/Damon Webb/Marshon Lattimore/Armani Reeves. 

As for players leaving early for the draft, I think Decker, Elflein and Perry are the kind of players who will stay basically no matter what. Adolphus Washington could get some draft attention but it's too early to really project that, seeing as he'll be flanked by 3 first-rounders.

Noah Spence could declare but even if he does, Jalyn Holmes has been very impressive, so has Tyquan Lewis. And we're still in on Josh Sweat, plus we have Cornell and Jones committed.

The biggest weaknesses of the 2014 team, on paper, were backup QB, the inexperienced o-line, and inexperience at linebacker.

In 2015, if Braxton comes back, JT would likely slide back down to backup QB, turning that into a massive strength for the team. The o-line won't be inexperienced or going through growing pains anymore.

McMillan will start in front of Grant at linebacker, flanked by a third-year starter (Perry) and a second-year starter (Lee) with good backups at each spot.

The defensive backfield? Well, it'll be Vonn Bell's (or Cam Burrows's) second year as a starter. Same for Powell. The corners will be a battle between Reeves, Apple, Conley, Webb and Lattimore. By then, I think that'll be a strength as well.

The only potential big losses are probably the assistants, but I think everyone thought Herman and Warriner were gone this past year. Who knows, maybe they decide to come back? If not, we're Ohio Damn State, we'll get top assistants.

The players we're losing after this year all have obvious in-house replacements. Our core is mostly made up of sophomores and juniors, and when the #Dream14 has a year under their belt, we'll see some special things. Add Braxton to that equation and it's a recipe for success.

I'm still going to every 2014 game. I'm staying for Carmen, as I always have. I think this team can surprise a lot of people. And the future is brighter than ever.

So sit back, enjoy today's gorgeous Columbus weather, put on this song, and relax. O-H!


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AngryWoody's picture

Our Honor Defend!

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Braxton is the man. But it's not about having "the man" it's about having "the team." The last Buckeye QB to win a title was Craig Krenzel. The season isn't over.

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.

+4 HS
jmacaulay17's picture

Exactly. Both of our last two championships in '68 and '02 had first year starters at quarterback. Rex Kern and Krenzel. 

Our defense should be much improved over last year, so hopefully be less reliant on our offense to put up so many points. We still have what could be the best defensive line in the country. Our offensive skill players are overall probably the best we have had since Urban has been here. And our offensive line remains to be a big question, however, we have recruited extremely well at that position and Warinner is a fantastic coach.

Yes there will be growing pains with an inexperienced offensive line and young quarterback, but like TheBadOwl said, this season is not over. We are still a damn good team overall.

The Ohio State University Class of 2013

jeremytwoface's picture

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

+3 HS
Hovenaut's picture

If Shane Falco can survive, so can I.

(I prefer the guy currently wearing number 16...just to be clear)

+1 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Being a glass half full guy, I believe the D will be light years better. A return of the silver bullets during the Heacock years. Give nothing on 1st/2nd down and all hell breaks loose on 3rd down. It's been four years since we've seen that but I used to enjoy watching the D as much as O. I believe that will return this year.

Also I wouldn't trade this team with JT under center for any other team in the BIG. Will MSU be a tough game, and could lose that game for sure. But that game will probably come down to the 4th qtr., so anyone's game.

+2 HS
cplunk's picture

I love Brax but if he comes back I would not say "JT would liekly slide back to backup QB".

JT was a very highly recruited QB. If he has a really good year and Brax is coming off a season missed by shoulder injury, I don't think it will be that clear cut. In fact, I think it will be the worst possible situation- two possible starters. At any other position that is depth. At QB that is often a mess.

+2 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

We asked for a lot of "Kenny + Brax" last year.  Imagine Braxton in the slot with JT at QB.  Oh the possibilities...

TheBadOwl's picture

The thing is, JT is the kind of guy who would do anything to help the team win. I'm not saying Braxton wouldn't have to earn it back, but he'd be the presumed starter (seeing as JT only recently overtook Jones). With everything I've heard about JT, nothing leads me to believe that he wouldn't be okay with this.

If JT lights it up, things get a bit complicated and it's more of a competition. But if Braxton comes back, he's the guy.

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.

-2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

OSU is bigger than one player, although that player is one of my all-time faves. It's certainly quite sad for his career as a Buckeye to end this way.

On the bright side, Notre Dame is wearing these -


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

bigbadbuck's picture

Well they gotta have something that's intimidating looking, don't ya think?

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

jamesrbrown322's picture

I think I created something similar on NCAA Football like 10 years ago...

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

bigbadbuck's picture

Initially I was going to say "like the last time they were relevant in the world of college football" but then I remembered other than the blip on the screen that got their heads handed to them by Bama in the NC game its been closer to 30 years

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

I'm not saying his career is over as a Buckeye until he does.

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.

JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

I dont know if i want him back. Say JT balls out this year. Who's the starter?  Let Braxton rest up for the combine and wish him luck.

Buckeye fan from PA

+2 HS
Orlando Buckeye's picture

Maybe Braxton comes back and plays slot receiver? 

+1 HS
nikolajz1's picture

If we get Braxton on next years team that very well may be the most talented team the Buckeye's have fielded since the mid-90's. It is doubtful we were gonna win the title this year with the tremendous amount of youth we have everywhere. 

+1 HS
Whoa Nellie's picture

"I believe this will be our finest hour."

"Failure is not an option."

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

+2 HS
rkylet83's picture

Hopefully Braxton can get healed up and recover to either go to the draft or return for a RS senior season.  Either one should be good by all of us fans.  

I'm actually excited to see J.T. run the offense.  The kid is really talented and has a ton of potential.  Lastly, this really gives our team a leg up for next season.  We'll have a second year starter with most of the offensive line and weapons coming back, combined with an experienced and seasoned defense.  We have great players and great coaches.  Great things will still happen.

+1 HS
Bags5150's picture

Dont get me wrong, I LOVE Braxton and wish things were different.  But by all accounts, the word is that JT is oight years ahead of where Braxton was as a freshman.  Honestly, Braxton is not the greatest thrower of the ball.  If JT can dustribute the ball to the overabundance of weapons he has at his disposal, he could be fantastic.  My only concernis that Braxton would be a much better option behind an inexperienced offensive line.  In Ed Warriner I trust!

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth~Mike Tyson

TheBadOwl's picture

In Braxton's second year (first in Urban's offense), he won B1G POY. It's JT's second year and his second one in the system, and I'd be absolutely shocked if he won B1G POY.

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.

Rob Reese's picture

This might not be the season we were all envisioning a few days ago, but it's just going to make this season all that much sweeter in the end. Defensive line?  Check.  Improved secondary (obviously, no tangible way of measuring that as of now, but I think we all agree it can only improve).  Check.  Stacked to the gills with play-makers in J. Marshall, D. Wilson, Eze, C. Samuel?  Check.  Bringing in a kid who's playstyle (dual threat) is made for this kind of offense? Check.  A coaching staff that has won everywhere it's been? Check. 

The only question mark in my mind isn't the QB, it's the o-line.  And that wasn't going to change with or without Brax.

While personally my thoughts and prayers are with Brax -- who by all accounts isn't just a great QB but a great human being as well -- but it's a great time to be a Buckeye.

Alumni lounge attracts pretty people
TURD_BUCKET's picture

I'm just ready for some football


“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Reading depressing comments has led me to be diagnosed with Chronic Upvote-itis. Best described as a fake disease for giving fellow fans virtual high fives.

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

I find myself doing the same; +1

Alumni lounge attracts pretty people
bigbadbuck's picture

It's on to the next guy...........I hope you get better Braxton and we love you not only as a player but a person as well, but its J.T.Barrett time and its time to get this party started!!!.Go Bucks!!!!!!!!

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

+1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Good post. Like the optimism

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+2 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

I'm excited to see J.T. in action with 2014 edition of OSU!!

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs