With Oklahoma at Ohio State kicking off in 26 and a half hours and the Marion Popcorn Festival beer garden opening in seven, it's your duty as an American patriot to leave your job at 10:30 EST to get your mind right by spending $10,000 in the City of Kings.
Please feel free to name and shame any "boss" who doesn't allow that in the comments and consider the boycott en route to their pockets. Nothing can take the wind out of Ohio's sails of fortune this weekend.
- Film Study: Baker Mayfield presents new challenges this time around.
- Oklahoma beat writer Berry Tramel: These Sooners completely different than last year.
- J.K. Dobbins will start and other Urban Meyer call-in show observations.
- Meyer on Tom Herman giving up 51 points to Maryland: "He got a dose of reality."
- Help put a life-size statue of Woody Hayes in his hometown of Newcomerstown, Ohio.
Word of the Day: Nascent.
HUBBARD'S GROWTH. Sam Hubbard will be about 1 of 27 Pokémon deployed by Meyer and Larry Johnson on Saturday night against Oklahoma's venerable offensive line.
While it might have looked like destiny since Meyer famously first spotted Hubbard at a dodgeball game, it was not something his parents saw in the stars.
Let's start with a story about projection. After all, Sam Hubbard does have a 3.6 GPA in finance, a field rooted in projection, and last year he earned Academic All-American honors. But we’re not going to begin with that story. This one actually goes back a lot further, 22 years ago to a doctor’s office in Cincinnati.
The Hubbards had brought little Sammy in for his six-month check-up. The pediatrician examined the baby and told Sam’s mother Amy that her baby boy would grow to be 6' 5" or 6' 6".
“I thought, ‘No way,’” recalled Amy. “Nobody in the family has kids that size.”
Amy is 5' 5". Her husband Jim is 6' 0". Little Sam, the youngest of their three children, now stands 6' 5", 267 pounds, and he has grown into a critical leadership role on what is arguably the nation’s best defensive line. One game into his junior season, Hubbard ranks second among active Buckeyes in career tackles for loss (17) and sacks (11), and his evolution from lacrosse commit to feared defensive end is one of the more intriguing stories in college football.
Lord, pleased let my estranged mediocre son read this. Even though I couldn't get him to panhandle an I-75 exit like his old man, there might still be hope he can rise above his mediocre gene pool and become a top pro prospect at a school like Ohio State.
Also shoutout to the dads who just read that, clenched their sweaty little hand, and promised to a new vigor to his son's ongoing athletic training.
ZONE 6 ON CALL... AGAIN. Ohio State's passing game wasn't perfect against Indiana, though first game outings usually aren't. The stakes will be higher Saturday night, when Zone 6 faces Jordan Thomas, a cornerback capable of locking down an entire half of the field.
A four-year starter, Thomas snagged two interceptions to go along with his 17 pass breakups – third most in school history – last season. His 49 tackles were good for a career-high and he could surpass that personal best in 2017.
When the two-time, All-Big 12 corner is locked in, he can lockdown any receiver in the country. Oklahoma’s coverage on defense is literally predicated on Thomas completely eliminating one side of the field.
If he’s indeed locked in and is blanketing a whole side of the field, it’ll make life exceedingly difficult for a Buckeye passing game that has never been able to duplicate their performance against Oklahoma in 2016.
A fan asked Meyer on his call-in show who has the most potential to be a dominating No. 1 wide receiver. He cited Parris Campbell before falling into clichés about having six starters and not just one.
So we'll see how that plays out. The legs of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber and J.T. Barrett might still be enough to win them the game, but Ohio State won't reach their goals if one cornerback is capable of covering an entire half of the field.
DID SOMEBODY SAY BILLY FOOTBALL? Quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield are what makes CFB a better overall product than the NFL. Which is ironic considering Mayfield won't be a top overall pick or anything.
But he'll still get his shot.
From nfl.com on Mayfield's NFL comparisons:
Executive 2: Colt McCoy
"He reminds me a little of Colt McCoy, but Baker has more of an edge to him."
Executive 3: Russell Wilson
"I see a lot of the same things I saw in Russell Wilson. Similar size, mobility, arm strength and play-making skills."
Executive 4: Johnny Manziel
"He's similar to Manziel. They have a similar gunslinger/backyard style of play. He's not the same athlete as Johnny, but he's got better arm strength and accuracy from the pocket."
Jerome Baker, who spied Mayfield last year, also cited Mayfield's arm as what sets him apart from other smaller scramblers.
LOOKS RIGHT TO ME. The S&P+ poll is the only poll I trust... unless it puts Ohio State out of playoff contention. Thankfully that hasn't happened yet.
Looks 'bout right. If Clemson gets back to the playoffs, I'll be forced to tilt my cap toward a dude named Dabo for the third time in my life. That's three more times than I suspected I would have to tilt my cap to a guy named Dabo in my life.
But we'll know more about the Tigers after they play No. 8 Auburn.
THOSE WMDs. Hackers gain direct access to US power grid controls... Dude who claimed to invent email told by judge he didn't invent email... Wild dog packs count sneezes to vote democratically... A confidence calibration exercise... Two towns to one: How Fairborn was born.