Let's say you're Christian Bryant. You're a true freshman, right out of high school, and through your heady and ballhawking play in the preseason practices you've been rewarded with a second string spot behind Tyler Moeller at the Star position. You know that Star is a somewhat unique position in the 4-3 defense; different schools run different variations of the idea, but at Ohio State it requires a versatile defensive back who can cover someone just as well as he can stop the run. At 5 foot 9 and 175 pounds you may be somewhat undersized for your position, but hell, Antoine Winfield is that size and he certainly hasn't suffered for it.
Then against Illinois, Tyler Moeller is lost for the season and you are suddenly thrust into the starting role, a virtual impossibility at Ohio State for a true freshman on defense. It's possible you react to the news like you've just been attacked by Sharktopus, but it's more likely that you handle it in stride by saying:
Orhian Johnson was telling me throughout, 'You're a grown man now,' so I had to step up. I had to leave a little kid game. I had to grow to be a man.
And during the game you perform very well, recording 5 solo tackles and looking like you've been out there all season. Which is terrific. And hey, next week you get a chance to ease in to Big Ten play a little more against an Indiana team that is more than a three touchdown dog. "Sure it's the Big Ten," you think, "but at least it isn't Denard or Cousins or somebody."
Well, Hypothetical Christian Bryant, I'm afraid you've just screwed up. Because while it is pretty unlikely the Hoosiers will pull off the upset, you, Christian Bryant (5 foot 9, 175 pounds, true freshman) are very probably going to be picked on all game long by the first of many teams who have been licking their chops at the idea of an Ohio State defensive weakness they could exploit. And unfortunately for you, the Indiana Hoosiers are probably the most dangerous team offensively in the Big Ten that no one is talking about.