11W Offseason Mailbag: Early Projections for Ohio State Football, Expectations for Kaleb Wesson and Underrated Recruits

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wigmon's picture

I agree with you that the basketball team should start in the 20-25 range in the rankings, but in looking at the polls done just after the end of this past season, most had us in the 10-15 range. 

HS
BucksHave7's picture

On the UFM coaching again question (and its always implied NOT at tOSU).....

What would UFM gain coaching somewhere else that tOSU would give him?

BucksHave7

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BbBnD's picture

A new challenge. He seems to like those. 

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awlinBrutus's picture

Considering President Drake wanted Meyer fired and never once publicly supported him before during or after the investigation. It all made sense after the Straus scandal came to light. Imo OSU was in breach of contract by suspending him. Meyer handled it better than I would have.I would have told Drake to go ——— and would have told the board fire me or reinstate. I guess looking @  the big picture was his reasons not to immediately quit and file a lawsuit.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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DeacBuck's picture

Here's a question, if Ryan Day completely flops (highly unlikely), and Urban has control of his health issues, is there a situation where he pulls a Bill Snyder (kinda) and comes back to coach the Buckeyes? I'd say yes, although it's an incredibly small chance, obviously.

Go Bucks, Deacs, Panthers, Braves

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GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

It's so obvious to me that Urban recommended Day because he knew that he would flop. This will give him a few years to rest and heal up before returning when Saban retires and Clemson has fallen off the wagon.

/s

"We talkin' about practice?!" -Allen Iverson 2002

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85ThruTheHeart's picture

Did you forget italics? Otherwise, I’ll take 2 of what you had.

"He has that look in his eye when it's time to start feeding the beast" UFM on EZE

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GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

No, I'm being completely serious.

/s

"We talkin' about practice?!" -Allen Iverson 2002

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Chicago Connection's picture

That was one of my first thoughts when Meyer retired, and it continues to be one of a persistent consideration. I'd say my confidence in Day matches the average Buckeye fan--i.e, he seems like the real deal and we all have high hopes. That said, there's no guarantee that he might fail--at least enough for him to want to head back to the NFL, OR, maybe he'll win three straight nattys, get bored, and then head for the NFL.

Whatever the reason for a possible Day exit, if it happens while Urban is still in town and not committed elsewhere (a big IF, right?), Meyer would be a natural fit to come back to either "save" the program or keep the chains moving until, well, probably until he chooses to leave. 

 

chicagobuckeye

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BucksHave7's picture

I believe the only place he would ever coach again is tOSU.  tOSU could financially match any other offer and Urban has a special fondness for Ohio.  Plus his son is at CIncy for next 3 years. 

BucksHave7

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

Trap Game = Maryland. After last year's escape, I could agree with that one, Colin. Good call.

One other note of interest: Ohio State has a bye week before playing Northwestern in Evanston. But so do the Wildcats.

The Game is The Game. You're right. Anything can happen.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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Hovenaut's picture

As a Maryland resident, and one who witnessed said escape, I'm ashamed that I haven't even given the Terps a double take for this coming season.

It's going to be another fun season.

To CHH - thanks for taking my question, and yes I think the moniker 'Nebrasketball' is awesome.

HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I was there too my friend...definitely not what I was expecting, but maybe I should have.  Parked in a parking garage and joked to the Ohio State fans who were next to me when we were pre-paying for how long we needed that hopefully our time doesn't run out if the game goes to OT...SMH.  It was all my fault.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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Hovenaut's picture

Well, to be fair, parking is unkind all over Maryland it seems...campuses and beyond.

I know I needed the slow drive out of campus...my nerves were just about too shot to handle the beltway.

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allinosu's picture

Maryland? Maybe, but I feel Cincinnati could be a threat. They return most of last years group and will be well coached and fired up. I don't think that's enough for an upset but it will be early and if Fields has some early struggles and our defense is slow shaking off last years mistakes, then it could get interesting.

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buckeye1964's picture

until we see what we have at linebacker, o-line, and quarterback  - every game will make me nervous.

danny

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Poco Loco's picture

If Ohio State loses to Cincinnati this site will crash.

a hard rock miner from Butte, Montana

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Won't even be close. We will be favored by 24 but will win by 30+. Superior talent by far.

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Bucks19's picture

Will you give me 29 for a $1000?

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BuckeyeDevil's picture

I can see Urban sitting out a year or two and going to Notre Dame once they finally figure out that the Brian Kelly experiment isn’t working out

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brothadudeguy's picture

They just made the playoffs last year which is probably about as good as that program could ever expect. Brian Kelly isn't going anywhere. 

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Bucks19's picture

What in the world are you talking about? ND just went undefeated in regular season and made the playoffs. He’s good for minimum 4-5 years 

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awlinBrutus's picture

Nah, USC

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

JT Barrett, the first three time captain, gets my vote as a great candidate to coach college football.

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

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brothadudeguy's picture

3,500 passing yards and 800 rushing yards with 34 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns.

This would be a nice first year for Fields and very reasonable that he could get there. I'm not sure if I want him rushing for 800 yards though. If the play breaks down and he gets out of bounds or slides then sure but 800 yards makes me think he would be getting hit a lot.  

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fear_the_nut70's picture

I don’t know if I will be the first to say this, but Meyer takes over for Day when he jumps to the NFL, even if it is just as an interim job while a full time replacement is found.  I never bought the USC rumor and I believe Day will bolt to NFL, probably in the 3-4 year range.

You are entitled to you own opinion, not your own facts.

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brothadudeguy's picture

I'm not sure I buy "Day to the NFL". He turned down multiple NFL offers to stay at Ohio State and there isn't a bigger job in football than the head coach at Ohio State. 

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ibuck's picture

Having read the interview where Ryan Day said he wanted to stay at one place for a stable life for his family, especially kids, it seems pretty unlikely that he leaves—assuming that he is successful as Head Coach at OSU.

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

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awlinBrutus's picture

I think college football is a lot more stable than coaching in the NFL. In college, coaches control the roster. Not so in the NFL. So many times coaches get fired trying to make teams work that are picked by the GM and owners. 

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Kenny guiton is already coaching and he was a starter for a few games 

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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buckerew's picture

Urban Meyer will coach again.........at The Ohio State University. When Day leaves voluntarily or involuntarily Urban will be back in the saddle for his "historic" second round at OSU like what is happening at North Carolina.  JMHO or wishful thinking. lolololol

Buckeye since 1952.

Go Bucks!

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semperfibuck's picture

So your assuming Drake the Duck will be gone? Hope your right! And I wish Urban well whatever he does...

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KBonay's picture

As of the time of this writing, Kaleb Wesson just picked up his 3rd foul......

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Ron Brown's picture

That played out joke is corny as hell. 

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Chicago Connection's picture

I can understand why the Mattison hire might be considered as a bit of a head scratcher, but it makes sense to me for at least a half dozen good reasons (listed below), but in general, I think it's because he offers a steadying hand and influence, as well as tons of experience and knowledge, not to mention particular expertise in a critical area of need (linebacker), especially when combined with Al Washington. 

If you look at it from the standpoint of saying, "don't fix what ain't broken," and yet, make damn sure that you recognize and address what is broken, well, that points to at least a half dozen factors that Day probably has zeroed in on like the rest of us:

1) the KNOWS that he's a first-year coach with a focus on offense and inexperienced when it comes to defense, so he probably shouldn't get too cute with who you bring in as his defensive coaches, plus, it makes sense to bring in a guy with a reputation as a great teacher because, guess what? You'll be one of his main students (i.e., to a degree, he's hiring a trusted advisor and tutor for himself)... and maybe Hafley, too;

2) he NKOWS that he's a dynamic offensive coach who expects to score lots of points, so he didn't want to hire defensive coaches who take unnecessary risks that are subject to big breakdowns. To put it another way, Day is likely thinking, "Look, we know we can score lots of points on any team in the country, but we can't afford any more Purdue, Iowa, Clemson debacles that cost us playoff games." 

3) since Day KNOWs the talent level, attitude and effort are all top-notch yet the defense has severely underperformed anyway, it is either because the guys are lacking fundamentals or else the scheme isn't maximizing the talent/attitude/effort, probably because it's taking unnecessary risks, so bring in a coordinator with a proven record--someone you can trust to diagnose existing problems then teach fundamentals and minimize risks;

4) Day KNOWS LB play has been atrocious, and he absolutely MUST KNOW that Davis was inept, so, again, don't get too cute in repairing what should be easy to fix, mostly by eliminating a big negative (i.e., Davis). Again, the talent should be able to speak for itself, but whatever you do, make sure you focus on this area (ergo, Davis isn't merely being replaced by Mattison, but Mattison and Washington... that's a huge upgrade and safe bet);

5) do NOT bring in coaches who (as seemed to be the case with Schiano) get a little too caught up in taking unnecessary risks and related schemes, and perhaps have outsized egos that will see them doubling down no matter what the cost to your program. In other words, bring in a guy who's experienced but humble--a team player by all accounts;

6) since the defense has seen lots of turnover, try to bring in a guy who's at a point in his career where he just might stick around and lend some continuity to the program;

7) Day knows that if Mattison doesn't work out, he's got his guy waiting in the wings, i.e., Hafley. The bonus is that Mattison can help round out Hafley's experience in the mean time, playing a bit of a mentor role, which is a luxury vs. a Coordinator being threatened by his colleague, which might have been part of the problem with Schiano and Grinch, who didn't seem to have the best chemistry, and--surprise!--the defense likewise lacked chemistry, mirroring their coaches. Clearly, chemistry is critical, and as much as anything, maybe that's why Day hired Mattison--he's a guy who could be trusted to improve chemistry rather than disrupt it--no small consideration--and you know Mattison already has chemistry with Washington, and Day knows that Al is a top recruiter, which helps to make up for an area where Mattison isn't quite as strong.

8) Mattison's experience and record speaks for itself, but Meyer could vouch for him as well, in which case, if he really, truly is a coach who adds value to your defense and its chemistry, then you've effectively damaged your rival by removing a positive from their defense. In other words, it's also an addition by virtue of TTUN's subtraction (again, especially when combined with Washington's exit from TTUN).

Personally, I think those are eight pretty sound motives.

Still, yeah, it isn't a sexy hire--Mattison definitely isn't the latest, greatest and youngest "it" coach of college football--the next defensive guru / savant--but, hey, we just had one of those in Alex Grinch, who I think was vastly overrated, and if nothing else, theres' no evidence he added any value for the Buckeye's defense.

I mean, look, even if Schiano didn't give him the elbow room he would have liked, the guy was still coaching up DBs and he was absolutely wretched!

Fact is, a lot of the 'geniuses' aren't always what they're cracked up to be--sometimes they're a bit too stubborn and married to their genius. Heck, that might be the case with Don Brown. The guy's knowledge is pretty well documented, and nobody's disputing that he can be masterful, and few people are going to argue that Harbaugh's problem with TTUN is his defense.

That said, like Schiano, he's been susceptible to major breakdowns in key situations as teams exploit his tendencies. 

Now, maybe some of that is on Mattison, but I doubt it. By all accounts, Don Brown's defense features Don Brown's scheme and he calls the shots. I'd be chocked if Mattison wasn't a good soldier, such is his team player persona. That said, I'd be shocked if Day didn't absolutely interrogate Mattison about what he and/or Brown were thinking when it came to adjusting to what the Buckeyes did to them, or rather, failing to adjust. 

And yet, Day hired him. We can be pretty confident that he didn't hire him because he thought, "gee, now I can see why it was so easy to exploit TTUN's defense--this dope was the problem, not Don Brown, so I think I'll hire him."

Finally, who's to say that Mattison isn't a bit underrated? His track record is pretty impressive relative to his teams and talent. In short, IMHO, he seems like a fairly safe and logical--and he might have a lot more upside than we imagine. Thing is, if the Buckeyes' defense finished in the top 25 or better  in 2019 (which I expect), then it's likely that Mattison will have been enough of genius to get us into the playoffs... and then win  it all.

chicagobuckeye

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mmp15f's picture

I pretty much agree with everything you're saying here.

Washington was a great addition, he knows how to coach LBs (certainly better than Davis), and the players seem to love him and his style already, but he's also only spent 2yrs as a LB coach in his career. Mattison hasn't been a LB coach (technically) much in his career either, but he's been around forever and has been around a lot of great coaches. Plus the LB units he's coached, including the ones when his title was solely "Defensive Coordinator" because he surely had a lot of influence on the LBs regardless, have always been good. Having him help Washington for a couple years before retiring, especially given the fact that they already have good chemistry, is a great thing.

Anyone looking for a reason to feel more optimistic about Mattison needs to look back at Michigan's team in 2014. The defense was on the field all game every game because their offense couldn't move the ball to save their lives and, truthfully, that defense didn't exactly have a bunch of individual talent. With Mattison as DC/LBs coach, their defense still ranked 7th overall nationally.  

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Chicago Connection's picture

Great points, Mmp. Imagine where we would have finished last year if the D was ranked 7th nationally--or where we might finish this year if the D is ranked in the top 10? 

Good point per Mattison and Washington not being LB specialists, but their combination of experience is decent, while their success is still more impressive, but relative to the Buckeye needs, maybe it's best that we have coaches who bring a wider perspective to the position.

Personally, I agree with the criticism that the LB unit was routinely exploited because it was so poorly positioned relative to the rest of the D, so I'd like to think they'll not only literally put our LBs in a better position to be successful on the field, but they'll prompt greater field awareness in general, as well as better communication across the board. 

chicagobuckeye

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Floyd Stahl's picture

These are all great points, CC, and assuages my fears a bit. I'm glad to hear to hear that he'll be helping out Washington with the LB's. What scared me was when I read Mattison saying he wanted to help out Larry with the D-Line; in my mind I was thinking, no, leave that alone. Larry is doing a great job as it is and don't go in there and mess that up.

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Chicago Connection's picture

Thanks, Floyd, and the good news is that Mattison has gone way out of his way to stay out of Coach Johnson's way. I've gotta think Day discussed that with him in his interview, but I doubt it would have been an issue anyway, since Johnson's reputation is pretty well known. 

Even better, Mattison and Johnson are both genuine team players, and can only help that they have a good line of communication and related chemistry, since (let's hope) that translates to LBs working better in tandem with DLs, which we obviously didn't see with Davis, although Schiano didn't help per the way he was lining up LBs relative to the line, which opposing offenses routinely exploited. 

chicagobuckeye

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minnbuck's picture

Colin - thanks for selecting and answering my question, and I hate to be a punk, but you missed Proctor in your order of defensive snaps. Very curious where you'd put him in your list.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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Colin Hass-Hill's picture

Oops, sorry about that. I'd slot him behind Browning and ahead of Togiai. But there's a lot of variance with him, as well as the three I'd have above him. He's one of the players who was mentioned multiple times by coaches as flashing this spring, and if he continues on that trajectory, I might be undershooting him. But with Fuller and White at safety, he's coming off the bench. The question becomes whether he's someone who you just can't keep off the field, no matter who's playing his position.

GlassCityBuckeyes's picture

Some really solid questions ladies and gentlemen, some solid answers as well. Nice job everyone.

Noon games suck

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mmp15f's picture

As critical as I've been of Werner, I agree that his spot his safe. He has the size and speed to be a good player with better coaching coupled with more experience as time goes on. We heard a lot about Mitchell and Gant this spring, but not much about Pope which kinda told me that he hadn't been doing enough to beat out Werner, even though I know that could also mean nothing at all. The only scenario that Werner loses his spot as the #1 Sam LB, in my opinion, is if they move Browning outside. Even then, there's no guarantee that Browning would beat out Werner. Besides, moving Browning doesn't look very likely at this point in time anyways.

Have to disagree about Borland starting again, however, for a number of reasons: 

1. His play last season doesn't help his case when it comes to Mattison & Washington reviewing those game films to evaluate him, first of all. 

2. He missed the entire spring so he didn't get the chance to make a case while Mitchell & Browning both reportedly had good springs. This also allowed the two of them to adjust to the new system with actual reps, while Borland only learned through meetings & film studies. 

3. He'll have nothing given to him, despite starting and being named captain last season, because he has a new HC, new DCs, and a new position coach.

4. He's up against two guys who are bigger and more athletic than him, and those two are now receiving proper coaching. 

5. The praise that Mitchell has received from his coaches is like nothing I've ever seen a young guy get during spring practice, and it definitely seems like some sort of indicator to me.

6. Ryan Day essentially said he's hoping Browning becomes a starter when he announced that Browning would be staying at inside linebacker. That lead me to believe that he doesn't have much faith in Borland. 

7. Al Washington talked about Malik Harrison being a 4th-year guy who's put in a good body of work and can be comfortable when it comes to his starting spot, but didn't include Borland in that category of guys until one of the reporters brought him up in response to what Washington said, even though Borland's a 4th-year guy and a returning starter too.

Obviously, the last 3 reasons I gave could definitely be me looking too deep into what's being said, but I'm just giving my reasons for my prediction that Borland won't start. I think Mitchell will be the starter this year. He seems to be the most natural Mike LB on the team and just appears ready to be "the guy" at that position. 

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Bucks19's picture

Why does everyone think NW is a trap game? They just won the west folks. Not one player or coach is overlooking them. 

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Chicago Connection's picture

Agree, Bucks19--it's anything but a trap game psychologically, given that the "trap" usually refers to a team taking its opponent for granted, whether they're overlooking them because they presume they're just not that good or else because they're focused on the next (ostensibly tougher) opponent).

There's just no way the Buckeye will presume Northwestern will be a pushover, especially on the road, on top of which, that will be a nationally broadcast game on a Friday night, which will generate extra special attention. Plus, it's not inconceivable that both teams will be undefeated, which will command even more focus.

Oh, the other thing is if the Cats are undefeated, it will probably have more than a little to do with Hunter Johnson, NU's 5-star QB who transferred from Clemson. Ergo, there would be mage hype for a game featuring two of the top rated quarterbacks in their respective years. 

As for why people think Northwestern might be a trap game, my guess is that it has everything to do with history--the fact that the Wildcats have previously upset OSU at home in a genuine trap game.

Beyond that, I think maybe some people are just being a bit lazy with their language by tabbing a matchup as a "trap' game when they really mean that they're simply playing in 'tough' game that (at least on paper) will be a challenging matchup on the road against a team that will be motivated to beat the reigning Kings of the Big Ten and thereby avenge their loss in last year's championship game.

But none of that equates to a "trap" game. Actually, it's quite the opposite--we'd all be shocked if the Buckeyes treated the game as a shrug of the shoulders. 

 

 

chicagobuckeye

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Chicago Connection's picture

Agreed, Color, unless he not only regains the speed he lost owing to injury, but he gains a half step or so, which seems unlikely. I hate to beat up on the guy, but he was a real weakness and highly overrated, although I have to add the major caveat of trying to return a bit early from a very serious injury plus playing with a far bigger handicap... Billy Davis. 

Who knows--maybe he'll recover enough speed to make a difference. Thing is, nobody would argue that he doesn't bring smarts, effort, and leadership to the field, but to keep his job, I suspect he'll need to bring more to the table than that to fend off some serious competition, whether from Browning, or maybe even more from Mitchell. 

That said, I suspect we'll still see Borland on running downs and there will be more than a little rotation. But.. who knows? This one will be interesting to watch because there's so much competition combined with new coaches. I doubt Washington and Mattison will have any allegiance to Davis's assessment of the LB talent, so if Borland starts, I'll be fairly confident that it's because he really is better than the alternatives.

It'll be fund to watch, and may the best man win. 

chicagobuckeye

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Floyd Stahl's picture

Thanks, Colin. This was very informative. I, as well, am baffled to this day by the Mattison hire for the reasons you mentioned.

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NOBLUE's picture

after experiencing the ugly side of politics in college sports after giving his all to OSU Meyer will never coach again ...just as The Senator learned .....

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Buctor's picture

Everyone's opinion about Coach Meyer returning to coach again, or not, left out what has to be close to if not the most important aspect!  What does or will his wife say!!!

Beat everyone, in every sport, all the time!!!

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OSUtopia's picture

1) When you have a new head coach who is assuming responsibility for the worst defense (statistically) in OSU history, you hire a guy like Mattison to make damn sure things get fixed.

2) Home games are not trap games.

3) Other than Martinez, name another really good Nebraska player. Frost may be a great coach but he needs time to fix a program that lacks overall talent. Riley didn't recruit all that well and a number of his best recruits have left the program.

OSUtopia

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

I still don't quite understand the Greg Mattison hire.

I think that Mattison just may fit into what Day was looking for.  So, it's not that he was the best hire for everyone, but the best hire for this particular situation.  I think of hiring like putting a center piece in a jigsaw puzzle - it has to fit in on all four sides.  So, maybe what Day saw in Mattison was a guy that could coach guys up and get along with the support staff (fitting in below his piece), a guy who fit in with his peers on offense and defense (fitting in on both sides of his piece), and a guy who's career goals didn't have him scanning the horizon line to run off and be a head coach, and who wanted to be a part of what Day is building (fitting in above his piece). 

Sometimes getting the right person for you means you're picking what was the wrong person for anyone else.  I trust that Day chose wisely and it will all work out.

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MuraliPatel's picture

Here's a follow up regarding Togiai; once upon a time, a young man named Billy Price was the strongest guy on the team, and was buried in the rotation at D-Tackle. We needed O-Line depth, and Price was moved to guard. The rest is history... do you see Togiai taking a similar path, or do you think he sticks at D-Tackle?

"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."

HS