Falling apart completely is unlikely given the talent they still have on this team. The most likely option is option 3: 11-2 season with one more loss against that team that must not be named.
You have a perfectly valid point, but I do think it's about 50/50 on Meyer and Smith. While I do believe players like Grimes and Lindsay will help (along with Mack and Victor at some point), on the other hand some of those routes the young bucks were running last night were just god awful; whether former RBs or not, there's no reason they shouldn't be able to run a crisp route (which is what creates the separation they aren't getting) 2-3 years into the system. Let's be honest, that lack of separation has been an issue for 4-5 years now with the exception of perhaps Devin Smith.
The offense is only as good as the play of the OL. I tend to side with Hove when he says it's neither (innovative nor stale), it just is what it is. When the OL is blocking at an elite level, the offense is run at an elite level. When the OL is struggling, the offense shuts down. It is all predicated on the ability to run + have the time to pass, and currently they don't really have either.
Would'a, could'a, should'a's:
*Warinner never gets promoted, stays OL coach where he is elite (or perhaps is given the honorary title of Co-OC but is for all intents and purposes still the OL coach).
*Meyer uses the loss of Herman as an excuse to find the next great OC mind, rather than hiring a retread like Beck.
I'm really curious how OSU would look the last two years if those two decisions were made. I get that Warinner's coaching deserved some recognition, but you have to wonder, why mess with what was working?
I have a weird feeling with this being their 2nd straight game on the road in a tough environment after getting smacked in the mouth last week (despite winning), OSU will run over PSU this week. They have had all of their weaknesses exposed, which means OSU has had a week to coach up those areas. Not to mention, I think Urban is fantastic at bounce back / pride games above all else. PSU is not the same quality of team Wisconsin is (see the UM vs PSU game as compared to the UM vs Wisconsin game), and I wouldn't be shocked to see OSU come out angry and hungry to prove themselves. They're not going to be caught off guard the same way they were last week. They've been tested and IMO will have come out of it even stronger than they were before.
I like Webb in run support and as a guy who steps up to lay a nice hit from time to time, but he seems lost and gets beat bad once per game
Given that he was a CB all through high school (and NB most recently at OSU if I remember correctly), I think it's natural that it would take him some time to adjust to being a starting Safety. He was a fantastic cover corner coming out of HS (believed by most to be the #1 cover CB in his class), so I think his coverage skills at safety will catch up with his talent soon.
So is Nebraska for real or is Indiana having their usual post Buckeye game let down?
They're within 10 points, that's not too badly to be playing a top 10 team really. OSU beat them by 21 (would've been 28 were it not for the clipping call), so I'd say they're pretty much where I'd expect them to be w/Nebraska.
This is starting to really take the edge out of going to East Lansing this year. Might it turn into one of those "O-H-I-O" stadium chant games?
Alabama letting Tennessee hang around. Not a Tennessee fan, but that isn't smart.
Looks like Indiana may make this into a contest after all. Down 9 going into half isn't all bad considering their rough start.
Why does it feel like OSU has been battling weather every game this season? Let's just hope they're getting it out of the way early.
App state let those posers off the hook. Sec teams can win by 1 point against anyone including Fcs teams and not drop. Tennessee lost a week or 2 ago to Texas a&m and didnt drop at all. Its complete bullshit. Lot of heavy bias in the polls.
Alabama is great, and A&M is very good, but I don't see another SEC team that really deserves to be top 25. Maybe 2-loss Ole Miss? It's crazy how much benefit of the doubt average teams like Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida get just because they wear an SEC patch on their uniforms.
Really feeling like a year where there could be two B1G teams in the CFP. Clemson looks doomed to lose a game or two (haven't been impressive all year), and still have to think Washington finds a way to fall short. ACC, B12, and P12 have all been mediocre, so a 1-loss UM or OSU would have to look pretty good to them (given fan base, history, and just the quality of both teams this season).
OSU playing Indiana meh-ish + this Indiana/Nebraska game won't mean much if OSU beats up on Wisky tonight, let's be honest.
THIS. All this "depth" people keep speaking of is rather tenuous if Weber has to miss time.
translation: depth is not good at all this year.
I definitely respect your opinion on this Woodshed (as your recruiting-related posts have always stood out to me over the last few years), however I'm starting to feel like every year we're worried about depth/recruiting at a particular position (last year it was DL, two years ago QB, before that WR, OL, etc) -- and each year when it comes time for our Buckeyes to take the field they're fine. They recruit and develop better than any team in the country with the exception of perhaps Alabama. You are correct that there are a lot of unknowns behind Weber this year, though.
Regarding future RB recruiting though (given the nature of this thread in general), I'm personally not worried about the RB position going into the future. You have at least another year of Weber, two years of strength and conditioning for McCall (Meyer has said himself he'd like McCall to gain weight and he will; so I would be surprised if we don't see a heavier, stronger McCall by the time Weber is gone), and that's not to mention Antonio Williams who was a hot commodity by the end of the recruiting season last year. Dobbins is 200 lbs coming out of high school, I think he can add a good 15-20 in OSU's S&C program and run inside as well as he does outside. OSU has the #6 RB in 2018 already with time to add more. All this is assuming OSU doesn't land Cam Akers, and given he hasn't taken his OV to OSU yet, and the other programs that keep popping up are in turmoil to some degree (LSU has no coach and Ole Miss might get the NCAA hammer dropped on them here eventually), I think OSU has as good a shot at him as anyone. Though if I was betting my mind rather than my heart, I'd say he goes to Ole Miss. If that's the case, I wouldn't be shocked if OSU finds a way in with one of the already committed top RBs elsewhere; December-February are always crazy with the coaching changes, and more times than not Meyer swoops in and steals someone we didn't expect. I wouldn't be shocked if that happened again this year with a RB (maybe Oklahoma commit Trey Sermon, for example, who has no real ties there given he's a Georgia kid [and had a lot of early OSU interest]).
The game tomorrow starts and ends with our defensive line, IMO.
The DL is big for sure, but I'm more curious about how our OL will play myself. Some games I've watched this year they've looked dominate, others they look their age (i.e. green, with the exception of Elflein and Price). Meyer said himself this week that he thinks they need to do a better job pass blocking than they did against Indiana. I think that was a big part of Barrett's off game (never quite able to get comfortable/his feet firmly set in the pocket). Wisconsin's defense is considerably better than Indiana's, and if they're getting the same pass rush Indiana was, it could be a pretty tight game.
I'm not in love with Wisconsin's offense, but if OSU's offense isn't firing off either and the Camp Randall crowd is able to stay in the game for 3 quarters, the game could really swing either way.
This rundown actually made me breathe a little easier regarding the game. I still think it'll be tough, and I don't believe Wisconsin's offense is as bad as they look (considering that they've played both LSU [bad offense but always a top defense] and Michigan [top 5 defense] this year): however, as Hove and others have stated, I think OSU has a definite advantage here.
Camp Randall will tighten the gap a bit, especially in a bad weather scenario, but I do like OSU's chances to win by a couple of TDs for sure. Moreso than before looking at these statistics. The numbers that really stood out to me were J.T.'s passing stats: one bad week seems to have overshadowed what has been a pretty great passing season: I think he'll settle back into form and be just fine on Saturday.
It seems like loading the box is what MSU has done to stop OSU every year. In the case of the B1G CG loss the downfield passing game didn't work, OSU lost. In the blowout in East Lansing I remember JT and Devin Smith were ripping apart MSU deep repeatedly, OSU won going away. Then last year given the weather, there was no downfield passing game and OSU lost.
Could it really be as simple as all that? OSU has to have a downfield passing game against MSU (let's make it UM this year) or they likely lose? I hope not, but it has seemed that way the last few years.
Not to play devil's advocate, but they do have 7 teams in the top 25 (to the B1G's 4). Had MSU not dropped off the face of the Earth, I think there was a legitimate argument there that the B1G was the deepest conference in the country. Now I think the SEC has regained their foothold, at least among voters.
I like the B1G's top end talent over the SEC, though. Especially OSU and UM (both of whom I think could give Alabama a great game, OSU possibly beat them). I don't see any team in the SEC after Alabama that could challenge OSU and UM, with the exception of maybe A&M on a very good day (but unlikely). I think the bowl season will be very interesting this year. Those SEC v B1G matchups will be very competitive with perhaps the B1G finishing with a winning record in them.
This sounds like the set up for a joke (and perhaps is), but I don't think Jake Butt can leave soon enough for me as an OSU fan. He is really the only player on the UM offense that I think genuinely could have started for OSU the last couple of years.
I was reading through his recruitment timeline and it looks like he visited OSU, but never got an OSU offer. Was he always in the bag for UM? I forget how his recruitment went. I know OSU got Baugh, but you'd think they'd have made a bigger push for a top-200 kid in Ohio (and #6 TE overall in that class; even as a supplement to Baugh). It's possible that he didn't show the same kind of upside in HS. Wow, he's turned out to be a really fantastic, reliable TE for UM. Baugh's been kind of inconsistent, but it's early in his OSU (starting TE) career. He's had some good games this season, and then really seemed to have a tough game yesterday (to the point that he was taken out for Alexander). Though in his defense so did the rest of the team.
Personally I think Coach Fickell will continue to be offered MAC level jobs, but I don't see him getting offered anything above that. It would have happened by now if it was going to happen IMO. He's a great coach, but I think Schiano gets offered (and takes) another big job before Fickell does. I don't think people outside of the OSU fandom see Coach Fickell as the reason behind the stellar OSU defenses (last few years) nor the average/below average defenses (Withers years), he's just the rock/immovable force. And by "just the rock," he's incredibly important to the success of the defense but not a flashy name nor going to get the same attention as a Schiano or even Ash did.
I also thought Warinner would be offered big jobs by now, but for some reason hasn't (at least that we've been made aware of, but perhaps behind the scenes?). Maybe there's some question among ADs regarding whether Warinner is a "mind"/Head Coach type, or merely an elite coordinator. See: John Chavis as one of those elite coordinators that never really got the big job everyone expected. Maybe I'm just being a sunshine pumper though? I'd really hate to see Warinner leave.
LSU was the front runner for 5* LB Dylan Moses who just committed to Alabama.
As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think LSU being on shaky ground currently actually helps an Alabama team -- who doesn't need the help -- in recruiting moreso than it does anyone else in the country. Even with a good LSU team Alabama was already battling for most of 4 and 5* recruits in that state. LSU need a big hire quickly to keep the gap from growing even larger than it already is.