Opinion: Ohio State is a Lock to Win More Than 10 Games

By DJ Byrnes on June 2, 2014 at 12:01p

Image via @ESPNCFB

62 Comments

Moments ago, as part of their #CountdowntoKickoff series, ESPN asked us, "Will Ohio State win more than ten games in 2014?" (5Dimes, an offshore sportsbook, posted the over/under on Ohio State's regular season wins at 10 ½.) 

Granted, something like Braxton Miller breaking his leg or Urban Meyer contracting an 19th century disease like the measles could happen, but barring anything calamitous, I don't see a scenario in which Ohio State loses more than a game this season.

Let's take a Hater's look at the schedule for confirmation.


at Navy (in baltimore):

I, like most Americans with a brain attached to my spinal cord, have an abundance of respect for our nation's military. After all, they're the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.

Unfortunately for the Naval Academy, they can't defeat Ohio State by launching a cruise missile from the cozy confines of the Baltimore Harbor. Well, they could, but I'm pretty sure there are laws against that.

The game will probably be a game closer than the nuttier fans will like, but I still expect a victory.

Virginia tech

What the hell is a Hokie, anyway? Don't answer that, because I don't care.

Virginia Tech has lost 11 games in the last two years. They'll be replacing Logan Thomas with a quarterback who will be making his second career start (after debuting against the mighty William and Mary) in a night game in the Horseshoe in front of 106,000+ fans, many of which will have been drinking for 12 hours.

Sure, Matt Barkley did something similar once upon a time, but this Virginia Tech team will never be confused with that USC team.

KENT STATE

I'm sure the Golden Flashes will have this one circled, but so have the hundred of other Ohio teams Ohio State has felled since a 7-6 loss to Oberlin(!) in 1921. 

Cincinnati

This has a potential to be the best game on Ohio State's out-of-conference slate. Old Me would've made a Cincinnati-Kentucky joke here, but the Queen City is within Ohio's borders and belongs to our great state as much as anyone else, even Steubenville. 

What I don't like about this game is it's a classic lose/lose situation for OSU; it has nothing to gain by playing Cincinnati. If the Buckeyes demolish them, they were supposed to. If Cincinnati plays them close or even beats them, then it's further proof of how "overrated" the Buckeyes are.

Make no mistake, though, if the Buckeyes lose to the Bearcats we all will have severely overrated this team. While I'm probably more nervous about this game than most, I still think it ends with an Ohio State victory. (Hopefully the Bearcats don't tarnish the victory by falling off a cliff like Northwestern did last year.)

AT MARYLAND

I'd be more nervous about this game if Ohio State didn't open the campaign with a trip to Baltimore. I do expect the Naval Academy to put up stiffer competition than Maryland. I'd also rather eat garbage than a crabcake. 

"But Maryland is on the come-up!" Some of you might say. Whatever. Just give me the fourth quarter shots of a forlorn Stefon Diggs on the sideline as he wonders what could've been. THIS IS THE LIFE YOU CHOSE, STEFON.

RUTGERS

Mark it down in stone: If Braxton Miller is healthy, Urban Meyer isn't dead and Rutgers beats Ohio State in Ohio Stadium, I will get a small (but tasteful) Scarlet Knights tattoo somewhere on my body.

AT PENN STATE

This one is going to be a lot of fun. James Franklin won't be saved by the United Postal Service, and despite his recruiting blitzkrieg, he'll still be inheriting the bulk of the team that got taxed last year to the tune of 63-14.

Think about that: Urban Meyer humiliated a renowned good guy like Bill O'Brien. I can only imagine what he's going to do to a guy who openly relishes the villain role like James Frankllin.

Expect Urban Meyer to send a message to those recruits who chose Penn State over Ohio State, namely there's still time to play for the good guys. 

ILLINOIS

Why is this a night game? I don't know; recruiting, maybe? Why is Illinois still playing football? Another question for a mind a lot sharper than mine.

AT MICHIGAN STATE

We have arrived at the only regular season game I could see Ohio State losing. I'm not even going to talk trash on the Spartans because they won their bragging rights last year on the field.

Hopefully Michigan State handles their business against Oregon early in the season, because this could be a game that puts the Big Ten back on the map.

AT MINNESOTA

This is my vote for "Trap Game of the Year" because Jerry Kill is a baller. It also doesn't help the Buckeyes could be coming off an emotional win over Michigan State and could be ripe for an upset.

Regardless, a loss in any form would be a shocking turn of events. I'm glad Minnesota is back on the schedule, though; they're honorable opponents.

INDIANA

LOL.

MICHIGAN

Double LOL.

Urban Meyer doesn't lose rivalry games, especially at home. I expect the Silver Bullets to be humming along nicely when the Wolverines come a'knocking in late November.


Michigan State is the only game in which there's a chance Ohio State won't be favored by the gambling gods. Think about that. 

Where else would the second loss come from? It's only the first week of June, but it's hard for me to see.

62 Comments

Comments

Poison nuts's picture

Agreed on Minnesota. Hopefully, that's something the powerful coaching demon/angel known as Urban Frank Meyer realizes this & will prepare the team appropriately.

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

Spivan's picture

Wait... you mean it's not Urban F*cking Meyer? The things you learn on the interwebs...

Poison nuts's picture

It's most definitely both! 

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

jedkat's picture

Because this could be a game that puts the Big Ten back on the map.

Dare I even say a BANGER, DJ?

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

+11 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

*strokes beard while caressing my cat* Yes...Hmmmm...  yes... I THINK I WILL ALLOW IT.

#BANGER it is.

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

Barnsey69's picture

Indiana.

LOL.

Double LOL.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+2 HS
MordenoftheSith's picture

I vote for "Double LOL" as the new term for TTUN, we can even shorten it to "DLOL"; that was so damn hilarious.

If you only knew the POWER of the Dark Side.

+10 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Rather eat Garbage than a crabcake?  As a resident of the beautiful Delmarva Peninsula on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I assure you, there is no garbage that tastes that good.  Maybe you haven't had a real one made with real Maryland Crab Meat.  Not some frozen, flash fried patty made out of imitation crab meat.

+8 HS
Blackbeards Delight's picture

Hyde Park garbage, yes.

Cheesecake Factory garbage, dessert only.

Waffle House garbage, come on we're not Michigan fans.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Bitches.

- Me

 

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Old Me would've made a Cincinnati-Kentucky joke here, but the Queen City is within Ohio's borders and belongs to our great state as much as anyone else, even Steubenville. 

I like the new DJ.  Keepin' it classy.

Nothing classier than a fine Scotch.

 

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

+2 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

As a new resident to the state of Maryland I am extremely thrilled to have two chances to see my beloved Buckeyes.  I plan on demolishing crab cakes and at least 20 Natty Bo's before the opener in B'more.

I'll take the over on 10 1/2.  I agree that there's no way we drop more than 1 regular season game this season.  If we run the table I'm put at ease knowing we wouldn't have to play MSU again in the title game.

+3 HS
Hovenaut's picture

As if I didn't love the site already, a Natty Bo name drop.

 

+4 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Natty Boh is definitely not the stuff of the gods but it gets the job done.  I don't think it's coincidence that it's now owned by Pabst.

Hove, will you be attending the games in B'more and College Park?  If I remember correctly you reside in this area.

 

+2 HS
Hovenaut's picture

It gets the job done YTown - yes it does.

I wish I could make the Navy game - up in Jersey that weekend as we always go up to the shore Labor Day week.  Hoping to keep October 4th open, I'd love to make it to College Park to see the good guys.

I'm way overdue - I've only seen the Buckeyes live once - the loss to PSU in 1997. And State College is a toilet.

+1 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I too will most likely not be going to the Navy game.  Wife is due with our first child in early August and I highly doubt that's going to fly a month afterward.  With the following here in the DC Metro area, there's sure to be some good Buckeye tailgates in College Park.

And, yes, you're absolutely correct in State College being a toilet.  I've been there once in 2007 or 2008, I can't remember.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Best of luck to the pending arrival - my son's turning four Sunday, it goes quick.

Hoping to catch up if given the opportunity this season, before he was born I caught a couple games with some Buckeye fans at the Crystal City Sports Pub outside Arlington. With Maryland onboard and (hopefully) Comcast/Xfinity bringing the B1G network to my area (Frederick) I'm eager to amplify my Ohio State fan experience.
 

mh277907's picture

Last year we could get away with guaranteeing at least 10 victories because the schedule was so bad. This year.. I still would like to see our defense stop someone before I say we are a lock for 10+ wins.

buckeyebobcat

+5 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

The defense has to be an improvement from last season.  But even if the improvement is only marginal, we still win at least 10 games.  MSU defense might be the only one who can limit our scoring.

 

mh277907's picture

I think we can win 10 with the D only improving marginally IF the offense plays at or close to the level they did last year - which I think will be a huge task. I would much rather a significantly improved D in case our offensive line does not play as well as we are hoping it to.

buckeyebobcat

+1 HS
DoubleB's picture

INDIANA

LOL.

I did DJ... I did.

I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over.
-Joey Bosa

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

INDIANA

LOL.

 

I spit pop all over my computer screen at work.  Thanks DJ.

+1 HS
Ethos's picture

spit pop soda all over my computer screen at work.  Thanks DJ

 Fixed :)

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

Don't play like that, Ethos.

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

No, no.  I didnt spot carbonated water, I spot carbonated water mixed with a delicious concentrated syrup - "pop."

;-)

avail31678's picture

No, no.  I didn't spit carbonated water, I spit carbonated water mixed with a delicious concentrated syrup - "pop."

;-)

Hoody Wayes's picture

We have to remember more than a few projected Braxton Miller heading to the NFL. Then he didn’t. Then we found out he was hurt.

So, Braxton Miller returned for his senior year to get surgery and get healthy for the draft.  This season, I see him on the chill…protecting his investment.

I expect Braxton will "Clowney-ize" himself: Braxton Miller becomes Braxton Chiller, in 2014. You can’t blame him. The man has a son.

Unfortunately, this bodes a transition year at Buckeye-QB, with time split between a cautious #5 and a Cardale Jones who will need to be ready when “Chiller Time” comes, without notice. 

As QB goes, so goes a football team. If there’s a transition behind center, we can reasonably project 2014 will be a transition year for the S&G. 

Unless the Buckeyes play pissed, several matches on its schedule look tricky, to me. Meyer will face two, former, SEC foes at the helm of the Bearcats and Nitts, respectively. Ohio State will be the underdog en route to East Lansing, most likely. I can see the Buckeyes winning a tight game over the Spartans…and losing a tight game, the following week against the Gophers.

Never count scUM out. Lest we forget last year's installment of, The Game.

10 wins.   

 

+1 HS
BROSEPH's picture

Braxton is a baller.  Ballers ball.  I just can't picture him playing conservatively to the point that it effects his game.  I do think the gameplan will try to keep the hits on him low. 

Ethos's picture

You do realize that although he is a great athlete, if he wants to be a pro QB he has a lot of prove this year right?  The kid is an incredible athlete, but how many pro teams do you see picking him up (outside of Kelly) for their system as he stands right now?  He still has room to grow, and needs to show them that he can be a QB, and not just an "athlete".

I would look for him to sling that ball around like crazy.

"What do you need water for, Sunshine?!" - Coach Coombs, if you don't love this man, you have no soul.

+3 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I agree 100% with Ethos.  No way he takes it easy this season.  He has way to much to prove to play in the NFL.  I think it was his last few games and his statistics that made him choose to come back.  That and "The Chase"

-1 HS
Klytus21's picture

Agree.  Braxton is a competitor.  When he sees that open lane on a broken play, no way he doesn't take it.

NJBuck

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

 If anything he may play smarter and slide and or step out rather than take the big hit if there is no avoiding it. Clowney IMO was considered lazy because he didn't put effort in during practice and took plays off. Miller cannot afford to "Clowney-ize" his game because he has to improve to increase his draft stock. Franklin has not done anything yet at PSU besides recruiting to consider them to be tricky, depth issues will be their problem this year.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

As a defensive end, Clowney could get away with taking plays off. I don't think you can make the same parallel with a quarterback, especially as one as dynamic as #5.

That said, and on your point, I DO expect the staff to proactive with maximizing Braxton's effectiveness while minimizing risks to his future on Sundays. Quick passing and ball distribution are going to be key.

Miller via the ground cannot totally be contained, but whoever emerges as the running back(s) will need to be consistent in order take the pressure off the scrambles, read-option keepers, etc. I'm not expecting another El Guapo - because there isn't another El Guapo, but I do think there are enough horses in the stable to keep the chains moving.

+1 HS
Woodysghost's picture

Is there even such a thing as a "tasteful" Scarlet Knights tattoo? 

+3 HS
Earle's picture

I can see DJ rocking this guy (though really I hope he doesn't have to):

 

Italics are for emphasis.

+2 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

Is there something that looks like a defense, namely a pass D, that will show up this season.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

celtic020's picture

OSU will be favored in EL barring any injury to Braxton Miller.  Golden Nugget has Game of Year openers set to release in early July.   I expect to see OSU -3.5.   

-1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

My two biggest concerns for the '14 Buckeyes are the health of Braxton Miller and the quick development of the OL. I'm surprisingly --maybe indefensibly-- optimistic about the development of the defense.

THEOSUfan's picture

Anywhere there is an "at" on the schedule makes me nervous.  And chances are that Ohio State will lay an egg in one of their home games: Va Tech, Cincy, or Illinois would be my candidates.

 

Just have to see what kind of focus these Buckeyes have.

 

 

Furious George 27's picture

I can see what you are getting at with away games, but what is your basis for saying that they: "Will lay an egg in one of their home games?" There is nothing to suggest yet that they would lay an egg to Cincy and VT unless they were an amazing passing team in which they are not.... And Illinois?

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

allinosu's picture

You must be vey young. Illinois has beaten us 7 out of the last 12 times in Columbus. I still don't think it will happen but to dismiss them is a mistake. They had nothing going for them in 2007 and we were #1.

Furious George 27's picture

So you are trying to say Illinois is fielding a team as good as those prior along with a semi competent coaching staff? I am old enough to know that the answer is no. I can think of far better teams this year than Illinois to point to. *ichigan has done more damage to OSU in the shoe why not name them? Just trying to understand why Illinois besides the linkage of a game played 7 years ago

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

They have a history of beating us when the shouldn't. Probably because of the attitude that we are so superior and look past them which you seem to possess. Do you not remember Purdue at home the season before last? I said I don't believe it will happen but to completely dismiss them is foolish.

Furious George 27's picture

Once again you are naming teams that had far better talent than what they possess now. Don't pull this so superior mindset BS on me and quit making teams better than what they are based on something that happened years ago. I am well aware that anyone is beatable, but lets be realistic in who we look at this year rather than rattling off teams who beat OSU 7 years ago. Why not Rutgers? they return a lot of players and are not a complete dumpster fire as Illinois is. Its a better case than stating Illinois because of 2007 and some wins in the 90s. Call me crazy, but I am just not a firm believer in worrying about a team because of what they did with players and coaches they no longer have. I guess that makes me an elitist right?

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

allinosu's picture

No one was worrying about them. You just write them off as though they are nothing . What did Purdue have going for them when they almost took us out. That why we play the games. Your attitude is the same as the sec uses on us when it's completely smug. A few things probably has to happen but if we lay an egg and they get a few breaks they can pull it off and that's all the man was trying to say. 

THEOSUfan's picture

The basis is simply this: How many teams typically navigate their schedule with no losses?  Answer: 1-3, and 3 would be a high number.  So, the vast majority of teams lose games that they didn't expect to lose or weren't able to win some competitive games.  The other basis is that young people, 18-22 year olds, typically have a problem focusing on the matter at hand without being over-confident about their past achievements or over-confident that they will be able to do this week what they did last week.

Just trying to be realitistic - and that's separate from my rooting interests - which will be that Ohio State will win every game on their schedule, the B1G Champ game, the national semi-final, and the final. But the odds of them being able to do that probably belie my rooting interest.

+4 HS
Silver Bullet 10's picture

Hoke outcoached Meyer.... Tressel would have pounded that sorry Michigan team. Urban has much to prove.

+8 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture

He out clapped him maybe, I don't consider a 'coach' who doesn't wear a headset a coach at all. The coordinators maybe out coached us. But I agree with your Tressel statement....with a mediocre defense that game isn't close. Too bad we didn't have one.

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

+1 HS
TheTeam16's picture

My high school coach didn't wear a headset...guess we just got to Ohio High School D1 playoffs every year on pure luck and student coaching.

I think it is strange the dude doesn't wear a headset throughout the game, but to say that makes him "Not a coach" is ignorance. 

stevebelliseeya's picture

Good lord take it easy man. Disagreeing is fine but calling me ignorant is ignorant. #takeitdownanotch

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

Furious George 27's picture

Except for the fact that he lost and called the same two point play after OSU took a time out.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

allinosu's picture

Al Borges called the play.

TheTeam16's picture

Al Borges called the play, brady let him run it cause he trusted him.

Just like Urban decided to let Herman run miller on 4th down against MSU when everyone in their mother knew what was coming. 

Sometimes poeple make mistakes, it is part of human nature after all. 

Toilrt Paper's picture

They better win them all. That could be needed to make the playoffs

-1 HS
OhioValley10's picture

Steubenville made Eleven Warriors!!!!! Roll Red Roll!

 

+1 HS
benlight01's picture

Hey, William and Mary is mighty... every four years at the FCS level.  I went there, so I have to say something after a rare mention in a sports article.  With VT's great history against FCS teams (cough, 2010 JMU, cough), I'm looking forward to them leaving Columbus 0-2.

jBarnes's picture

DJ, I know you didn't want to hear this but I got curious.  A 'Hokie' isn't anything - it's just a made up word for a fight song written for the school back in the 19th century.  Somehow Hokie kinda stuck (http://www.vt.edu/about/traditions/hokie.html), as college traditions sometimes do, and now it is uniquely VT.  It actually makes more sense than 'Hoosier'.

Also Maryland's crab cakes are really pretty good, you should give them another chance.  However, their turtle soup in the fall is delicious.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  ― Douglas Adams

causeicouldntgo43's picture

I suspect turtle soup will be on the Buckeye's menu after their eviseration of the Maryland Terrapins.............

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I'm seeing a 12-0 regular season with a playoff berth!

Go Bucks!!

Dougger's picture

DJ I had to log in just to commend you on your outstanding writing for this. Gold.

Can't wait to see the end results of that Scarlet Knights tattoo

Edit: GO BUCKS

I like football

Groveport Heisman's picture

Worst case scenario~ Lose one regular season game to MSU dont make the B1G and lose a bowl game. 2L's record 11-2

Other worse case~Lose one regular season game,make the B1G,lose that and lose a bowl game. 3L's 11-3

Best case scenario~ Win every fucking game by 3 TD's,pound out both *ichigan teams,steam roll into the playoff and crush 2 sec teams on the way to a National title. record 15-0

Most likely scenario~ Lose one regular season game to a random,Make B1G final and pound Wisky into the dirt,make playoff and Win first game by ten points,make it to title game and its tied 28-28 with 45 seconds left.You write the rest...record 13-2 or 14-1? See no way on Earth we do not win 11 games without Brax blowing a tire.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

HilltopHustle's picture

Unless Braxton gets hurt (which, let's be real, he could... at any time), or his injury perhaps is worse with his progression than the staff is leading on, there's no one team on this schedule that we should fear. And, yes, that's a B1G problem.