The Rose Bowl is good, actually. I know, I know, everyone seems to be treating it as an afterthought or consolation prize, which, is totally reasonable. But it is The Granddaddy of Them All, and by gum we're going to treat it that way!
With a matchup against Utah that ought to give you pause despite the odds, this is a game that Ohio State badly needs to win to avoid not only a two-game losing streak, but to reestablish some mojo in general. Things were a little wonky this season – up and down, you might say – and Ryan Day's squad doesn't want to go out having lost to every good team it played this year.
Chris Lauderback fills in for Johnny this week, so we'll also discuss the Buckeye basketball program's recent COVID-forced pause, and if that extended time off could fuel the dreaded January slump (spoiler alert: Chris doesn't think it will!).
Plus, Ask Us Anything (which, as always, you can do by emailing us at email@example.com) asks about the worst Christmas presents we've ever received, and our favorite perennial offseason conversation and forum fodder.
RUN OF THE SHOW
0:00 The still Rose Bowl deserves your respect!
6:45 Ohio State hasn't had any notable Bowl Game opt-outs... yet. We expect a couple of notables to skip right to NFL Draft prep, but several key players have announced they will play the game.
11:15 Bowl Game practices matter for team development, particularly with regard to developing next year's starters.
15:00 Utah presents the kind of offense that has given Ohio State's defense fits this season. Let's do Threat Level: Utah!
24:45 When Jim Knowles installs his defense as the new coordinator in two weeks, who will he be working with on the defensive staff, and who is out of a job?
27:32 Basketball! The Buckeyes cancelled some games due to COVID, and conference play is just around the corner. Chris gives his non-conference report card and what he expects coming into January.
42:53 Ask Us Anything! Let's talk crummy Christmas presents and our favorite offseason message board topics (will Ohio State finally start throwing to the tight end????).
50:42 Sidebar: Let's talk Bourbon!
59:56 Quick Cals: Ohio State has lost a handful of scholarship players to the transfer portal. Is this cause for concern or just the new normal?