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Chicago Connection


MEMBER SINCE   June 10, 2016

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Comment 17 Jul 2019

My thoughts exactly, Beonx. In fact, I thought the recruiting efforts would remain slow and wouldn't take off until after it Day had already turned in a strong performance in the 2019 season, so I'm sorta gobsmacked that the class is almost complete by... f'ing mid July?!!!

And a damned fine class it is. Granted, depending on how the class rounds for the Buckeyes relative to other teams, we might drop a notch or two, but it's now a pretty solid bet that we'll finish somewhere in the top 5, and again, it was looking like we'd need a great season just to finish in the top 10. 

One thing's for sure--Day not only has taken to heart Meyer's rule that you'd better make recruiting your #1 priority (it's the same with Saban, Swinney, and Smart), it's clear that he actually knows how to do it at the highest level.

That's especially reassuring, because a guy like Day could easily make the same mistake that so many Coordinators with the label "genius" next to their names have made after being promoted to Head Coaching jobs, i.e., "I can win with anybody, because my brilliance [on one side of the ball] will be enough for me to beat anybody."

Clearly, Day doesn't mind stepping into the much bigger shoes of responsibility that come with being a Head Coach, and as we're seeing per his hiring (and firing) of assistant coaches--and now with his stellar recruiting of players--those shoes seem to fit quite nicely.  

Comment 17 Jul 2019

Regardless of what happens on the field in 2019, I expect the Buckeyes will continue to sign top-5 or top-10 recruiting classes going forward, however, if Ohio State makes the playoffs or wins a National Championship this year, I'm thinkin' Day and company will land the first-ever #1 recruiting class for the Buckeyes, whether it's in 2021 or beyond. 

Granted, the Buckeyes have actually finished #1 a couple of times under Urban Meyer per the average ranking of recruits in said classes, but in those very same years, OSU didn't sign quite as many guys as schools like Alabama did, so they didn't get the "official" top ranking overall.

But with the current staff in place, I suspect that's about to change. 

Comment 17 Jul 2019

Yep--if this is the year some misguided people think he's supposed to beat the Buckeyes, well, it didn't happen off the field with recruiting, and in case anybody's keeping count, he's 0-for-2 during the season against Ryan Day plus 0-for-1 during the off season.

Or is it 0-for-3 during the off season, since he also lost two of his defensive coaches to Day?

TTUN hasn't stopped Day's 30-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust magic yet, and it isn't about to happen in 2019. I just wonder how long it'll be before Harbaugh goes AWOL and we see his face plastered on the side of one of his milk cartoons.

Comment 16 Jul 2019

Only a couple months back, I was one of those people who was concerned-but-not-panicked about the slow start for the 2020 class, but man-oh-man, the coaching staff has turned that around in the blink of an eye.

Beyond Ransom's signing being obvious great news, it tells us that Day (and company) are pretty darned good closers--they know what they want and they know how to get it. It's either that or they served up some of the most irresistible damned barbecue in the land at their June jamboree, and recruits just can't help coming back for second helpings.

All kidding aside, barring some sort of weird mass exodus via decommits, this class should only get better per the few remaining slots left on the board.

Meanwhile, looking at the big picture, this means that Day is 3-0 in more ways than one. That is, not only is he 1) 3-0 as an interim coach, he 2) has proven to be an extremely effective offensive coordinator at Ohio State, and now 2) he's proven himself to be a great recruiter.

It sure bodes well for what the future might hold for Buckeye fans.

Comment 11 Jul 2019

Yep, he's not only strong, but he's got one of the fastest 40 times on the team. I love a one-two punch with JK taking the lead and making his jump cuts.

At the same time, with Day's wide-open offense and improved run-blocking, we might see a few holes, and Master can hit 'em fast--and arm tackles won't do. 

Comment 11 Jul 2019

Agreed, Allbucks. I'm also guessing nobody will win the backup RB slot so much as Day will use different guys based on situations relative to different opponent's strengths, i.e., the guess here is that Teague will probably be JK's backup should dobbin's get injured while he'll also be used to crank out yards when JK needs a breather or when there's a big lead, but I see McCall playing when Day wants to spread a defense and give them an alternative look, and this will more likely happen on passing downs/passing situations. 

Comment 11 Jul 2019

I love JK and think he'll have a phenomenal year, but Master not only can be a great one, we're sitting pretty  should an injury occur. I also think the line is going to be stronger and more well-rounded this year, and as long as Fields stays healthy, this is going to be a great dual-threat offense. 

Comment 08 Jul 2019
As an added note, it now seems like a virtual lock that the Buckeyes will finish with a top 5 class, the best guess being they'll finish between 3-5, which basically translates to a National Championship caliber roster. It also means that in Year One of the Day Era, there will not have been a recruiting falloff from the Meyer Era, which is no small thing. In short, we're in Reload Mode vs. Rebuild Mode, which is huge, because Rebuilds are a lot less certain (see TTUN for further reference). And kudos to Meyer for setting the stage for the Reload Mode, despite some major challenges.
Comment 08 Jul 2019
On the field, Cooper looks even faster than his recent 4.49 time in the 40. Maybe it's those lightning-quick Rondale Moore style cuts, eh? Meanwhile, gee, I'm gettin' the feeling that it's more than a coincidence that in the roughly 1 1/2 years since Hartline took over coaching the WRs, the Buckeyes have had their best year ever receiving plus two years running of the best-ever WR recruiting, not to mention the best year of WRs being drafted into the NFL. Kinda makes a guy feel like the Buckeyes just might be a serious passing threat in the 2019 season (and now far beyond)--heck, maybe even if Fields did get injured (although, fingers crossed that he doesn't, of course).
Comment 06 Jul 2019
Darn! I wanted another 5 star recruit at WR but with Smith-Njigba all we've got is some measly combination of Michael Thomas, the leading receiver ever through three years in the NFL, and K.J. Hill, who'll likely finish with the most catches ever in a Buckeye uniform? It's so disappointing, especially when you realize that now they'll be coached by the best WR coach in college football combined with one of the best offensive minds in college football, especially in the passing game. Very disappointing. Gee, why even bother watching over the next few years? Well, okay, sure, if 30-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust are your thing down-after-down-after-down, have at it.
Comment 03 Jul 2019
I think you're right Steely, and overall, Day's approach seems to be a bit closer to Dabo Swinney's--a kind of two-tiered approach, where you sign a combination of 5-star monsters at glamor positions--guys who will likely be early exits to the NFL--along with developmental guys that hopefully blossom into 5-star talents by their junior and senior years. Granted, every program does this to some degree, mostly out of necessity, I guess, but it seems a little more intentional on Day's part per managing annual cycles and turnover, perhaps with an eye towards the growing impact of transfers. On a separate note, one other added emphasis I see--and maybe I'm imagining it--is hitting and/or sure tackling, etc., and I've got no complaint with that.
Comment 03 Jul 2019
Between more 3-star recruits + more local Ohio recruits + a little less emphasis on speed, one thing's for sure--this coaching staff clearly has a different philsophy per which players they sign and why. And yet, we have the same guy in charge of player personnel / recruiting (Mark Pantoni), not to mention player development, so I'll definitely give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, I wouldn't want to overstate the case here, because it's not as if there's a shortage of speed and top 100 commits in the 2020 class. Still, I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear Day discussing the rationale and related nuances of his recruiting philosophy relative to Meyer's. I mean, sure, he's already publicly stated that he's focused on talent and he also wants to make his imprint on Ohio, but I wonder if he has any other thoughts that he might be less willing to share in public? Maybe not, but it'll be fun to see how it all plays out, and if nothing else, nobody can accuse Day of trying to copy everything Meyer did. As far as I can tell, he's retained Urban's best practices, and yet, he's clearly his own man with his own notions, which I think is best. That is, as long as it works, right? But, hey, he'll likely finish with a top 5 recruiting class in his first year, if not better, which means OSU still enjoys an embarrassment of riches. Meanwhile, welcome on board Mr. Melton! OSU'S coaches really like you, and that's all that counts.
Comment 29 Jun 2019

Geez, the best Day during the Summer slow period is sign two four-star guys ranked only 154 and 121? Man, they need to pick up their game!  Obvious kidding aside, the 2020 class is really shaping up.

Enjoy your coffee, coaches. 

After all, "coffee is for closers."

Comment 29 Jun 2019
OMG! A recruit that's "only" ranked 154 in his class! The sky is falling! Oh, well, Mr. Simon, I guess you're gonna have to prove the experts should've rated you as the best LB in 2020 class. Meanwhile... Welcome on board, and keep the big booms on defense rolling, coaches. Landing a guy like this isn't too shabby for the "quiet period" of Summer recruiting.
Comment 26 Jun 2019

It tickles me, too, Buckaroo, but only because it's pretty obvious and likewise makes total sense. 

Thing is, while it'd be absurd to for anybody to say their bias applies to "everything" (since absolutes should tickle anybody's sense of logic), it'd be even more absurd to imagine that such a bias doesn't exist--or even shouldn't exist--because there's no denying the everyday, common-sense, self-interested financial angle whereby companies have a clear business rationale for diminishing competitive products.

It's that simple. The Big Ten, and particularly its BIGGEST Dog, i.e., Ohio State, are the competition, although not always, since ESPN sometimes covers Buckeye games, as well as those of other conferences, and generally wants to present itself as the King of the Whole NCAA Football World.

But rest assured, their investment is heavily vested and anchored in the SEC. 

Ergo, they'll pretend to be unbiased, since doing otherwise would undermine their efforts to appear fair and transparent to the nation at large, even as  they simultaneously diss the competition--and some people are even foolish enough to fall for it. As in, hey, if guys like Paul Finebaum Chris Low tell you that they're straight shooters, gee, it must be true.

No need to consider the source, right? 

Meanwhile, as for the crazy thought that an SEC-based writer might actually have a self-interested bias for their teams... NAHHHH!!!

Totally absurd! 

It'd never happen, except in the frenzied mind of OSU fans. 

After all, only Buckeye fans are biased. And even when they make credible points about things like exaggerated comments on competing schedules, we should toss all of our analysis aside and simply trust our SEC overlords at ESPN to light our way to the truth. 

Comment 26 Jun 2019

As a college football fan, nothing kills me more than to hearing alleged "experts" knowing less than a casual fan knows. In this case, the empty comment comes from Chris Low, an SEC blogger and shill who works for ESPN, the network whose lead analyst and official mouthpiece thought that Dwayne Haskins shouldn't be drafted very high by the NFL because he's just a running quarterback.

But still...

Anybody who actually follows college football is well aware that Cincinnati is a respectable program that tends to cycle up to being a top 25 team every three or four years. They also know that 2019 is expected to be one of those years. Personally, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Bearcats ended their regular season with one or two losses and a top 20 ranking. 

Heck, while it might be unlikely, it's not entirely unthinkable or absurd that the Buckeyes wind up being Cinci's only loss and--IF it's a close loss and OSU winds up in the playoffs--the Bearcats could be making a legit case for a playoff spot. 

At any rate, despite Nebraska's tradition and Scott Frost's reputation combined with a home-field advantage plus a dynamic sophomore QB--all good stuff, no doubt--there's no special reason to expect that Cincinnati won't be comparable (or better) overall than the Huskers in terms of difficulty.

They sure as heck have a better defense than the Huskers.

Granted, neither team is a juggernaut, but both are clearly tough opponents and you'd better bring your A-game or you'll lose.

Fact is, despite TCU canceling its original home-and-home games against Ohio State, so that 2019 in an "off year," the Buckeye's schedule would still be in the top tier of the SEC, arguably trailing five teams: South Carolina, Texas A&M, Auburn, LSU and Georgia.

Add the canceled TCU game back in the mix, which wasn't OSU's call, and the Buckeyes would have one of the toughest schedules in the nation. 

In any case, nobody "in the know" should expect either Cincinnati or Nebraska to be an easy out, in which case, Chris Low either hasn't done his homework or he's trying to cover up for the sins of the SEC's creampuff scheduling (especially featuring only eight conference games + routine breaks before big  rivalries), or he's taking a cheap shot at OSU.

When it comes to the hacks at ESPN, it's a safe bet that it's a combination of all those factors.