Personally, I think Ohio State only gets in over Louisville if there are 3 undefeated teams. The biggest problem for OSU is the computers. ND was #1 last year going into the NCG even though everyone knew what was about to happen in large part due to the computers recognizing things voters ignore like superior SOS and efficiency and really, really low numbers of points against, etc. Any undefeated team from a power conference or ND, barring a huge surprise, will likely have a huge computer advantage due mostly to SOS. So really, thanks to the B1G at large being so weak, OSU has to win out and hope everyone else loses.
Those with more knowledge on the subject- does Gardner have anyone to throw to? He could be excellent next year and it wont matter if the lack of decent WR's/TE's continues around Ann Arbor and the OL/Running game struggle.
That was the magic of Denard. He could take a completely broken play and spring a big gain all by himself even as the rest of the O was getting destroyed by a superior defense.
Any Florida/Bama/SEC fans amongst?
I'd be curious to know how Meyer's Florida teams (best prediction for what OSU will look like?) compare with Saban's Bama teams in terms of TOP and starting field position for the offense. With the great defenses, Bama's "plays per touchdown" or quick-strike stat could be very skewed. With faster offenses, you tend to score more points, but the defense suffers from less rest- maybe the quick strike drops but the actual offense is superior.
Honestly, I'd argue that Olinemen are basically Olinemen. Even if you get just 3-star players, but your staff likes them, and you develop well, you're fine. How many 1st and 2nd round O-linemen have come out of Wisconsin recently? pretty much every single starter. And they're 75% 3-star players- lets not pretend Wisconsin's going toe-to-toe recruiting with, well, anyone. Iowa's not far behind, and they've been awful in an awful big ten recently. It's all about development.
With two dangerous, experienced quarterbacks and all rookies on the Dline (most importantly the ends), NW's offense could put some serious points on the board. of course, with two Northwestern quarterbacks, they could also end up putting some serious points on the OSU side of the scoreboard. And no one forget how easy it is to stop even the best running teams from moving the ball if they can't throw... it all depends on how miller and the front 7 develop. If they're shaky, this is a tossup.
Judging by his comments, I'm fairly certain that Mark May is directed by his shadowy ESPN overlords to frequently say disparaging things about the schools that have far and away the largest national followings - ND & OSU- simply because it gets ratings. Criticizing Bama isn't gonna get him any ratings, sadly (and they've pretty much made themselves impossible to criticize with their performance on the field). If they had the national media following, you can bet he'd more frequently be criticizing slipping SEC power LSU. Or the sh*tshow that is USC. but it wont generate enough views and pageclicks to be worth it.
...oh and it helps that people love to hate those two programs as well, so really its a win-win for ESPN to over-criticize them (just like ND and OSU get over-hyped when they win).
Exactly. And this is why I love the Big Ten's recruiting practices over the SEC's. At LSU or Bama, he probably would've been "encouraged" to transfer or leave the team, if he didn't have his scholarship pulled outright. Regardless of who they cheer for, anyone in the country should be able to give props to OSU and Urban for putting in the personal, face-to-face time and effort to get this young man back on track to live up to his enormous potential instead of simply moving on to the next hotshot recruit. Well done.
Don't get me wrong, if ND doesn't win I'll be cheering my a** off for whichever team isn't from the SEC. Ohio State winning is only good for ND, it proves to recruits from the south and Texas that we can "play football up north" too...
I just can't believe that a team returning NO d-line starters, especially in a 4-3, can field an effective enough defense to go undefeated. Go ahead, prove me wrong, but unless you've got a few all-american sophomores who despite not being good enough to play consistently last year will somehow be mentally ready to contain mobile qb's, stuff power running, and everything in between without a hiccup, and physically ready to dominate Juniors and Seniors (admittedly this one's more likely), good luck and I hope to see you in Pasedena. We'll show you what a real defense looks like, you can show us what a real offense looks like, and we'll see who comes out on top.
I'm glad you think so. But your QB rushed for fully 300 yards more than your leading rb in 2012, so I have to disagree. Additionally, the longest rushing play from scrimmage by an OSU player not named Braxton Miller was 33 yards. 3 yards and a cloud of dust is all and well, but its not gonna take the pressure of Miller and slow the pass rush.
As far as "easily the deepest most talented stable in the country", Remember that 33-yard stat? Alabama had four running backs with longer rushes, ND had three. And I'm sorry but last I checked your running backs are not even CLOSE to what Alabama, Georgia, even 7-6 Wisconsin are lining up (Yeldon? Gurley? Marshall? or Wisconsin's James White and Melvin Gordon who rushed for 800 and 600 yards, 12 and 3 touchdowns, respectively, behind MONTEE BALL, who only holds the all-time TD record and ran for 1800 and 33...)
Ohio State always has incredible talent. But let's not get away from ourselves. I just don't think Ohio State can realistically win a championship this season. Next year, sure. But prove you have a defense before you go talking national title, or you might crash like West Virginia.
As far as wisconsin, russel wilson is the only real qb they've had, since, well, ever. It rarely matters when you've got steroids or something turning farm boys into 1st round linemen year after year. They only throw to receivers who are left comically open when the defense has to put 8 or 9 in the box to stop the run... With an unproven D-line and linebackers, OSU should be VERY afraid of wisconsin, especially because wisconsin comes to play against OSU (they know who rules the Big 10 and they want that for themselves). OSU probably still wins, but it's far from a guarantee.
I don't know much about Northwestern, they may not even be good next year. But a trap game is a trap game, especially if they do end up good... there's a reason you can pick out trap games on team's schedules the year before and they still end up trap games. Again, OSU SHOULD win this. but a slow start and a few unlucky bounces and all of a sudden Northwestern has their biggest win in 30 years.
Michigan's a toss-up IMO. probably depends on which team develops better over the course of the year.
As far as the Dline... There's a big difference between a little bit of playing time and maintaining focus and sticking to their assignments every down. They shouldn't have much trouble pass rushing, their natural talent ensures that much. But run stuffing, especially against teams like Wisconsin and MSU that have been doing power running and only power running on offense for years, could be trouble. I think the D-lines development for you, good or bad, will cause about a 3 or 4 game swing in your record whichever way they go.
Good luck though, we need to get the crystal ball back on this side of the Mason-Dixon line, and please for the love of god beat scUM...
Gotcha. From my perspective, I'm not gonna believe OSU can play with the SEC big boys, Oregon, Stanford, even ND etc. in 2013 until I see the Defense, and especially the D-line play at a high level. Without an effective d-line (talent's there, theoretically. experience/development will be the key), you WILL get run on, and that's how you lose football games in my opinion. With that said, I agree with your assessment of 5-6 teams, including OSU, who have a reasonable chance of going undefeated. I just don't think that without a defense or a consistent RB-driven run game, getting the breaks required to go undefeated two seasons running is very likely. Especially because I personally think OSU has a smaller level of separation from their competition week-by-week than Stanford, LSU, Oregon, ND, Bama, etc, so the margin for error is smaller.
I see 9 or 10 wins, plus a bowl win, for OSU in 2013 and then a powerful title push in 2014 behind a defense with a year of experience and more crazy recruiting from Urban. If the D-line clicks in an unforseen way, though... 12-0 easily and then an ND-style loss to either Bama or Standford in the NC.
again, just my opinion, based on the theory that defense wins championships and offense-heavy teams end up like west virginia.
Admittedly I cheer for a different team (ND), but I don't quite get the confidence coming into this season for OSU. You're obviously the definitive favorite to win a weak big ten, but I'm hearing national championship talk from my OSU people and that seems a little unrealistic to this outsider. Losing half the defense and an entire defensive line... wow.
In my opinion, Ohio State crushes a lot of weaker Big Ten competition next year, but here's where I see trouble:
Wisconsin (assuming their new coach doesn't ruin everything): They've got two quality, proven running backs and somehow manage to turn random farm boys into 1st round picks every year. With a suspect D-line (especially a young, inexperienced one), things could get ugly very quickly if they establish their usual running game.
At Northwestern: Playing away from home... against (according to the hype, who knows) the best Northwestern football team in a LONG time... the week after wisconsin... players tend to overlook northwestern... this one just feels like a trap game.
at Michigan: sorry, but I think there's at least a 50/50 change scUM wins this one. They overachieved/had their lucky year when then won the sugar bowl, crashed back to reality last year, but I just can't see them trending downwards from last year given how they've recruited recently. If their QB gets his stuff together and their defense continues its recent improvement, they could actually be a top 15, maaaaybe top 10 team. Add in that it's at Michigan and I'd pick Michigan 6 times out of 10. or maybe 11 out of 20.
My impression is that OSU will lose at least 2, maybe all three of those games, depending on how good wisconsin and northwestern turn out to be. If Braxton gets hurt, the season could train wreck FAST.
What do you guys see that makes you think those games won't be a problem? Good luck anyway, especially against scUM!
As a student at Notre Dame, I truly don't understand why OSU doesn't just go Independent. You've got an enourmous alumni fanbase. You've been successful recently, so you've got tons of fairweather fans and a lot of "it" or "happening" factor. You're the dominant brand in a high-population state.
Notre Dame has done a whole lot more with a whole lot less to work with, with a comparatively small alumni base and lack of recent success, and being situated in the middle of (essentially ) slums surrounded by cornfields. More money, more clout politically/bcs-wise... Doesn't make a lot of sense.
The Big Ten is cool, but it's really fun to push around entire conferences during BCS negotiations and schedule whoever you want whenever you want. You also don't get people whining at you because of things other schools do or games other schools lose.
I always had a lot of respect for PSU. In my mind they were the only other team out there besides my Notre Dame Irish who were equally concerned with education and football. They also seemed to be the only other truly clean program that had experienced sustained success.
I dont mean to take a shot at the Big 10 but I have a cousin who played for Wisconsin and while the big 10 is nothing on the SEC, let me tell you, academic shennanigans and illegal benefits are rampant throughout the conference, even for walkons like my cousin.
I wanted so badly to believe that Penn State's slate was as white as their helmets. It gave me hope for the student part of student-athlete. But I guess its just not to be...
Yeah the SEC is never coming north (except for alabama playing at scUM in late summer. here's hoping for a freak snowstorm).
There's a reason Wisconsin never wins their bowl games. The northernmost team in the B1G who plays real football (sorry gophers) has to build a team that can win when you can't see your recievers because it's snowing too hard. I've been to winter games at Wisco, they're ridiculous. Swirling wind and snow, players getting injured all over the place...
I'd like to see Alabama's vaunted D go up against the monsters on basically any B1G O-line in conditions like that.
The SEC doesn't want to lose their home-team advantage in every bowl game they play. The argument they're making right now is that most schools dont have the infrastructure to handle that many people, but its not like there would be any more than a normal home game anyway.
...Can you imagine the atmosphere with semifinal games being held at legendary stadiums like the shoe, Notre Dame stadium, Michigan stadium (no matter how much we hate them, you cant deny there's tradition there!)