What I Believe Will Be the Biggest Surprise of the 2019 Season

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milhouse4588's picture

Until I see otherwise, a Don Brown-led Defense has the best chance at best D in the Big Ten. However, said Defense got roasted in back to back games starting with The Game last year so who knows how good they really were? Clemson and Bama probably would have put up at least 40 on them too.

I think our Defense will improve a lot, but the moment Borland or Werner look slow or out of place on the field I expect the coaches to make changes. If not, it'll be the same shit, different day.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

HS
Woodylives®'s picture

scUM only returns 5 starters on defense, and unless they get some speed on the field, I think that they will continue to pound the Indianas and Rutgers teams, and lose to good teams.  Michigan State returns 9 on their excellent defense, so they could dominate on that side of the ball, again, but their offense is so terrible that they continue to put too much pressure on the defense.  OSU has speed to burn on defense, and if the offense continues to flourish, which they should, with Ryan Day, then I think that the defense will get better and better before the tough Big Ten schedule kicks in.

HS
milhouse4588's picture

I don't necessarily disagree with you but you have to use the same realization for us as you do them.

We have 4/5 new starts on the o-line, replacing 3/4 top WR, and a record setting QB on offense. If them returning only 5 guys on D means they risk not being nearly as good, we have to objectively look at our offense the same way.

Do I think that will be the case? Hell no. But I'm being objective.

When it comes to our Defense we are still replacing multiple coaches who are brining in another new scheme and (presumably) using the same shitty LBs from last year (not including Harrison here). If everyone improves as much as they should and the best players play we should definitely see a huge improvement. But I'm not ready to believe we are going to be the true Silver Bullets again just yet.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

HS
Woodylives®'s picture

Oh, I agree with you, this is all purely speculation, but I do know that Urban, with Day's help recently, put together Top recruiting classes for the last decade, and the defense has some NFL talent all over the field.  If Mattison and company can put the in the correct position, I just think that this will be the most improved unit in the B1G this year.  If so, then the offense won't have to carry the team the way that Haskins and Co. had to in 2018, and this will pay HUGE dividends.  

PS  Don't be surprised if Tuf comes back a few steps quicker, because, with this type of injury, he never should've stepped on the field until he was 100%, which he wasn't for the entire year.

HS
milhouse4588's picture

Tuf was awful last year. If he was in pursuit of anyone there was a guarantee he would not catch them. His injury obviously hadn't healed and they were setting him up to fail.

I have no idea why they kept him in all year. Hopefully he's healed up and ready to go because he's a leader. But if not, he needs to sit.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

same shitty LBs from last year

I 100% disagree. Talented LBs from last year, poorly coached and not put in the position to succeed (including Tuf who was clearly not all the way back from his injury).

That being said, the best LBs need to be on the field, and if Borland and/or Werner aren't the ones, so be it.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

HS
allinosu's picture

Agreed. Let the coaches coach.

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Defiance's picture

Until I see otherwise, a Don Brown-led Defense has the best chance at best D in the Big Ten.

 Call me crazy but I would say we have seen otherwise...

"Defiance in Silence" 

Shhhh

HS
stuckupnorth's picture

I agree, everyone was capping on Michigan last year. Leading up to the game this board went bananas on Michigan defense.After the game it was so much worse on this board. People saying overrated, they slow, poorly coached, media darlings, Brown to old cant recruit...........Then a bad Florida team put up numbers on them and it got worse. All of a sudden those two guys are buckeyes, then the forum acts like it’s Nick Saban and Bill bellicheck joined the staff. It’s the scarlet colored glasses. I know Don Brown BC led nation ...........I just find it humorous that because they are buckeyes they the best in the buisness.No homerism on this site

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Buckeye_bob's picture

Have you not figured Don Brown's magic show yet, Awesome against horrible teams and very average against good, like talent?  He is the most overrated coach in college football! Blitz on every down and what we did to him last year was because he never changed one bit from the year before in scheme. Sure blitz teams you will beat on every down instead of working on improving so when you play a good team you will be better. Padded stats against bad teams!

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dschuetz11's picture

Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich were very limited with significant injuries and played tentatively—perhaps to preserve their bodies for the NFL combine?

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Scooter's picture

"However, said Defense got roasted in back to back games starting with The Game last year so who knows how good they really were?"

Indiana also pretty much had their way with them on crossing routes, too.

Scooter

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allinosu's picture

A Don Brown-led defense only works playing against slow traditional offenses. If Indiana or Nwestern had a little better talent they would have been able to finish the job against them. That defense will see more plays against them by speeding up the offense and since their depth is questionable at best. Look for them to take a step back on the defensive side. It wasn't just those two who looked slow and out of place. To play fast you must react fast and many looked to be evaluating instead of making a play. Those two will play a big role in a solid defense this year.

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Knarcisi's picture

Baron Browning ... the light goes on this year. 

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USArmyBuckeye's picture

This would be a beautiful thing

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Knarcisi's picture

Gotta think we will finally have him attacking and playing downhill rather than filling gaps at the line of scrimmage and overthinking things. Plug him in for Devin Bush is the way I like to think of it. 

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NHBuckeye's picture

Browning on the outside and Teradja Mitchell in the middle.  Both can have monster seasons.

Fields of Dreams

 

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Major H's picture

With a little bit of Cade Stover sprinkled in for extra flavor.

I'd rather be an hour early than a minute late.

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NHBuckeye's picture

And Gant too.  The talent at the position is certainly there.  Let's hope we see the kind of turnaround we are all expecting.

Fields of Dreams

 

HS
Buckeye_bob's picture

Browning might start?? I don't see either one getting the majority of the snaps on defense. Browning gets lost and can't shed blocks at all and Mitchell is the fan darling because of special teams, lol

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JTFor President2016's picture

I could see the defense mirroring that of the 2014 defense. We all know how good they were down the stretch, but that defense still had its fair share of issues. Similarly to this season, a new philosophy was implemented with young players. It is often forgotten, but the 2014 defense struggled pretty badly against the run. Late in the season, they allowed well over 200 rushing yards to both IU and Minnesota. 

But by playoff time, they turned it up about 5 notches. I could see that being the case this year. I have a feeling FAU and Cincy could make things not so pretty. But hopefully come mid-october and November, the players are fully comfortable in the system. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

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IH8UOFM's picture

I also think that the D is gonna see a massive resurgence this season

And on on A-Side, I'm hoping one day someone comes out and gives an insider's scoop on what went wrong in the Iowa/Purdue debacles...

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

The defense doesn't need to be Top 5. A Top 30 D would've gotten us in the CFP last year. I would be happy with that. I just dont want any more Purdue or Marylands. That got old so fast the paint hadn't dried yet.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

HS
MichiBuck12's picture

I also think the defense is going to surprise people. We have a ton of really really good football players on defense that were schemed out of position all of last year. Now everybody nationally thinks they suck. They have a ton of talent, and I would expect a chip on their shoulder to prove everybody wrong. With a more efficient system to run, I expect big things from them. I think whats going to be the bigger surprise is how often the defense is going to have to bail out the offense. I think the offense is going to put up good numbers but with a first year coach and a first year QB I think there will be times where the offense needs bailed out and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by that.

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Dstacify's picture

Dobbins will rush for 1,500+ yds (I only list this as a surprise because I think a lot of people don't really see Dobbins as an every-down back and believe he might struggle having to pick up more of the load with Weber gone).

11 Strong.

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JTFor President2016's picture

The stats back your prediction up. Dobbins has played much better in games where he got more carries than Weber. Strangely, his YPC actually increase with increasing reps, leading me to believe he is a workhorse and will be at his best in the 4th quarter. The TCU game comes to mind. Not much happened all game on the ground, until the 4th quarter, when JK was instrumental in keeping the clock moving. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

HS
Byaaaahhh's picture

Supposedly, the hot hand got the carries, so it's hard to say if the results weren't also the cause. 

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JTFor President2016's picture

That is true. But Dobbins did put up absolutely ridiculous numbers in the handful of games Weber missed. You do make a great point though. 

Elliott dots the eye, on this national championship win. 

HS
NorthPoleBuckeye's picture

Hard to get a hot hand when you keep alternating series. RB's need to get into a rhythm, and I am not sure Dobbins ever did. 

HS
BrewstersMillions's picture

I don't know. I think the talent is there but they won't turn around to that level. They also don't need to. You don't have to shut teams out anymore, you need timely defense. Stops and turnovers at good times. Offenses will score points in this era.

Tackle in space, get some rush on the QB, take the ball away and let the offense continue to put you 14 points up at any given time.

Proudly dispensing unbridled arrogance since 1983.

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Keze's picture

You can not beat the real good teams with SLOOOOOOOOW LBers.

Hell even the so so teams beat us with our slow LBers. All you do is run plays that isolate RB on a slow LB and it's SEEYA 

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niblick's picture

Our LB's are so bad, I won't expect different results until I actually see it on the field with my own eyes. And our LB's arent slow, they are out of position or late to react or stuck in the wrong gap not shedding a block 99% of the time.  But slow, they are not.  Shitty and undisciplined yes, slow, no.

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WorthyBuck's picture

Tuf Borland is incredibly slow.  

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1MechEng's picture

I don't think Borland ever fully recovered from his injury last year, and that led to his slowness.

Trust me! I'm an Engineer.

HS
Buckeye_bob's picture

Undisciplined defense, not slow bad habits and poor fundamentals! By everyone on the defense! Plus last year's defense was a really young defense after Bosa went down.

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

I think the defense is for sure hungry to prove that last year it was more of a scheme issue than a talent issue.

That said, I'm not expecting a wholesale turn around, but think that seeing marked improvements is very realistic. 

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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Scooter's picture

Just remember Ransom's words. Huge improvement in 3 weeks.

Scooter

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BuckIDave's picture

Biggest surprise just might be that Coach Ryan Day is better than many thought he would be.

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BuckeyeGrove's picture

I'm optimistic about the defense as well. There will be struggles, but they have all the keys to success covered.

  • Budding first round talent (Young, Okudah, Wade) 
  • Depth at DL, and decent depth at DB
  • Talented seniors (Cooper, Hamilton, Landers, Arnette, Fuller, Harrison) offering experience and leadership

None of the returning seniors may be super stars, but I think all of them greatly solidify what would've otherwise been a green and thin defense. I think holding opponents to ~17ppg, ~330 ypg would be a great swing and make this a ready dangerous team.

HS
OSU56's picture

Time will tell how the D plays- I will wait and see when games are played. Same goes with the offense.

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

HS
MiamiBuckeye's picture

The biggest surprise will be when we win all our B1G West games and don't get caught unprepared in Lincoln

"porque las estirpes condenadas a cien años de soledad no tenían una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra."

HS
osuflacco's picture

I think the surprise will be the O-line will be better this year than last year, think our interior play was pretty bad in the run game last year and should be improved with guys actually playing their position (not tackle bodies on the interior) creating better leverage and push.  

The defense can't be worse (fingers crossed), Schiano was a seemingly good guy and recruiter but brutal in Xs and Os last two years against any offensive mind who could exploit the middle of the field.  

HS
tcm1968's picture

I'll go with the offense doesn't skip a beat and the narrative goes from Haskins as a once a few decades QB to the national folks saying Day has a rock solid plug and place system..

I've seen enough tape of Tuf Borland to know he's not fast enough to lead a championship caliber team. I don't care what the scheme is when a guy can't chase people down side to side or after a player breaks the line of scrimmage that's not fixable. We've heard a LOT of get ready for more Borland and Werner ( don't mind Werner in pass coverage though).. if Borland is playing big snaps it means we still have problems at LB and the defense will still be ripe to be exposed against the better OCs... 

Go Bucks!

HS
Buckeye_bob's picture

You been watching tape on the linebackers in the off season?? Oh wow!! Coach!

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Knarcisi's picture

Ah, from our defensive coaching/recruiting know-it-all. That’s rich. 

HS
Buckeye_bob's picture

Borland was plenty fast enough the year before and he is as true MLB, when we play teams who run RPO's or Spread schemes he usually isn't on the field, I admit he missed a lot of tackles early last year and that was most likely from lack of conditioning, but he was the 1 LB who was in the right place most of the time, the guy is not going to run anyone down from behind and most MLB's won't, When were in Nickle, Harrison and Werner were by far the best 2 LB's on the team. Harrison was undisciplined most of the year maybe as bad as anyone on the team. Browning gets tangled up in the running game and is not great shedding contact, I really doubt if he is ever a true MLB,seems like he don't like contact. Mitchell? What makes anyone think that this guy is a great LB? Because he made some tackles on special teams? Werner was the special team hawk the year before.You have to remember the LB have a job of keeping runners from getting down field by forcing them lateral as much as making tackles, that is where the DB's come in, they have to clean up these plays. Last year the DB's were as bad as I have ever seen them in the short passing game and running game, not all on the LB's. I think that the new scheme of playing zone in certain situations and man when it's to our advantage will give us a lot of new looks for opposing offenses.

HS
Brandon26841's picture

Mitchell? What makes anyone think that this guy is a great LB? Because he made some tackles on special teams?

He never even recorded a single official tackle last season. I'm buying stock in Mitchell because of what's came out of the coach's mouths the past few months (similar comments have been made about players that everyone hates like Borland and Werner FWIW too) but everyone that was yelling "Mitchell NEEDS to be our starting MLB! He's our best option by far!" we're literally basing that purely off of high school highlights / rankings, which we all know don't mean a damn thing once they get to this level. We literally had nothing from Mitchell to go off of, and yet people are SURE he's the best option. I just don't get it. I'm seeing the same thing with Browning as we saw with Etienne Sabino, Curtis Grant, even Justin Hilliard to a degree. They can't get those 5 star rankings out of their head and the idea / potential of these guys as a player is more exciting than what's actually happened out on the field.  

I just want the best 3 out there. If that's Mitchell this year, great. Borland? Cool.  

HS
stuckupnorth's picture

As far as linebackers go. I see three scenarios from last year. 1. The players behind Borland/Werner are really bad and could not beat them out 2. Coaches didn’t want to put more talented players on the field. Either they are not talented despite being highly ranked and wanted by every program. Or they are not able to pick up the defense/ uncoachable3. The scheme and coaches put players in a bad spot. I kind of lean towards 2&3. Meyer has a pattern of loyalty to both coaches and players. Whatever the reason with the prestige and the abundance of talent available at OSU they should have all big ten performers at linebacker year in and year out. I understand that you can’t have it  every year as there are finenplayers in the league. However last year was probably the worst I’ve seen linebacker play since I can remember 25 yearish. With the historically bad defense I don’t think I’m too out of line on this. I’m excited for this years defense

HS
OSU56's picture

The linebackers will be better....passing game will surprise....and we will run back 1-2 kickoffs/Punt returns for TD's.

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

HS
aledyard's picture

I would tend to agree that the defense will be much better this year, but I don't know that that will be much of a surprise as the defense sucked ass last year. 

I think the surprise will be on the offensive side of the ball.  While I think Fields will be good this year, I don't think he will perform at the level of Haskins from last year.  I think he will struggle a bit as a first year starter and will be viewed as a bit of a disappointment by fans. I think the offense will rank in the top third of the B1G, but fans will expect it to be the best, which I don't think will be the case.   

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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Scooter's picture

I don't understand folks being worried about a first year starter at qb. Our last one worked out ok.

Scooter

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aledyard's picture

I think Fields will be good, just not as good as Haskins.  It's unrealistic to think a first year QB will perform at the level Haskins did this past season.  

"In America, anyone can become president.  That's the problem."  George Carlin

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Snake64's picture

There's a few reasons for concern and why Haskins working out last year doesn't play directly into Fields.

1) Haskins was in the system for two years before starting. Getting both familiar with the system but also all the other players. He also got meaningful playing time prior to starting like taking over THE GAME.

2)Haskins was exceptional and it's hard to imagine the next qb being just as good or better right away. Normally doesn't happen except for maybe the Oklahoma situation. Still Kyler sat in the system for a year before playing.

3) Fields has yet to play any meaningful snaps at UGA or OSU yet so his production on the field is unknown. He couldn't beat out Fromm let's not kid ourselves either. 

Fields could be great but there are more than a few reasons to be hesistant just because of Haskins 1 year of unprecedented success.

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

Early in the year, the QB run will win us some games while the O-line gels. He will go for 100 yards rushing in a couple games this year. Still, he will be an efficient passer in those games, too. 200/100 type stat lines. 

Fields will not pass as good as Dwayne Haskins in year one, but his first year starting will be better than Adrian Martinez’ first year starting at Nebraska. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Hovenaut's picture

Just seeing this, and I'm all in.

Defense wins championships. I'd love to see the Silver Bullets return to standard.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

HS
buckeye phi's picture

I don't think it will be a surprise at all if the defense improves from last year's mess.  That was possibly the worst defense in school history.  It's not gonna take much to improve from that. 

I will not be surprised if we win the conference again. 

I think the surprise will be that we will not stub our toe against some middling B1G West team this season.  And if everything else goes even close to as well as I expect it to this year, that should open the door to a playoff appearance. 

An even bigger surprise?  That, contrary to our last playoff appearance, we actually perform well when we get there -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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Buckeye_bob's picture

I expect our defense to have a Michigan State look almost and sometimes playing Quarters, last years attack man scheme makes it really hard to defend the slant and trap game one cut and missed assignment and it's a big play, I think this year players will be responsible for area's not not certain men. Last year was a train wreck, we never actually stopped anyone!

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dschuetz11's picture

Biggest surprise of the 2019 season?

Justin Fields goes down and Gunnar Hoak ends up channeling Craig Krenzel, and Coach Day becomes the next incarnation of Jim Tressel and OSU plays conservative “Tressel-ball” to an 11-2 season!

Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining!

~Judge Judy~

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Ps it's's picture

Looking at the S&P+ Overall Defense national rankings from last year:

2.  Michigan State - expect them to lead the B1G in defense again this year

9.  scUM - big losses to graduation and some pretty good recruits coming up

11.  Penn State - return a lot of 4-star talent and have some playmakers 

18.  Iowa - some pretty key losses to graduation - ??

26.  Ohio State - No Bosa but lots of depth on DL and DB's look outstanding and Hafley is highly regarded coach

29. Wisconsin - will be solid again

30.  Northwestern - see Wisconsin

39.  Minnesota - pffft

51.  Maryland - ???

55.  Nebraska - will get better

67.  Rutgers - can Chris Ash do anything there?

75.  Indiana - is it basketball season yet?

88.  Purdue - Ohio State not scoring against this D in the red zone is baffling

115.  Illinois - they're still shitty

Limit the explosive plays and it shouldn't be too hard for the Buckeyes to move into the top 15 

you don't got to be Stonewall Jackson to know you don't want to fight in a basement

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

If we all expect and demand that the defense be better that cannot be a surprise if it happens.

Biggest surprise has to be something we would not normally expect. I will put my money on Garrett Wilson leading the team in receiving touchdowns this year and a defensive end other than Chase Young leading the team in sacks. Tyreke Smith is my guess.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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mr.green's picture

  biggest surprise? Alabama’s third loss. 

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SilverBullets_PHX's picture

Ohio State has two 1,000 yard rushers with 10+ TDs each.... Dobbins and Fields.  

Fields' first (and only) game with 300+ yards passing doesn't come until November.

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Bucksguy001's picture

I will assume history seems to repeat itself. OSU's defense got significantly better after an awful start last year. Poor angles, never finding the ball in coverage, etc., are coaching issues. Those coaches are GONE. Missing tackles is a PLAYER issue because they were in the right spot defensively they just couldnt make the play. With Urban came too much loyalty sometimes to both players and coaches. I hope that Day doesnt have that same loyalty that condones poor performance. How many Brendon White's are there on the bench that can out perform the guy struggling on the field in front of him? All they need is the opportunity. Last year we saw them get that opportunity in the second half of the year and it got better defensively. I think the defense will continue to get better and be extremely good by the meat of the schedule.

As far as who will have the best D in the B1G? I think MSU will be right up there but they will again struggle to score points offensively. History will repeat itself here as well. 

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FeedZeke420's picture

Biggest surprise, Buckeyes beating PSU, TTUN, Iowa (CCG), Georgia, Clemson to finish an undefeated season.

also bama missing the playoffs

Go Bucks!

HS