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Chicago Connection

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Comment 27 Aug 2019

Yep, Fields--it drives me nuts how the current narrative is that Alabama, Clemson and Georgia are seen as being on one level of talent and performance, and then... there's everyone else. 

The Buckeyes and Sooners sometimes get honorable mentions, even though it's not only the case that the Buckeyes record over the past 5 years is second to none (sans as many Championship trophies), but it currently has a higher ratio of 4- and 5-star players on its roster. True fact. 

Granted, player rankings can be looked at from different angles, but anyway you slice it, the Buckeyes are effectively at talent parity with anybody, and when it comes to performance, only two teams can claim and ever-so-slight edge... something the 2019 Buckeyes will completely erase by January. 

Comment 27 Aug 2019

Mark who? Isn't he that failed TV analyst from Pitt that hates the Buckeyes?

Kidding aside, maybe Schlabach understands tiebreakers (although you can never be sure with the IQ of anything related to an ESPN story), but the best guess is that he's simply hedging his bets.

Thing is, if the Buckeyes beat Penn State and lose only one game or run the table, he can say "I-told-you-so" because, "well, I did say they'd win the Big Ten, so... close enough.... whereas if the Buckeyes were to slip and lose as many as 3 games, he could say "I-told-you-so" yet again, claiming, "Well, I did  say they'd lose 2 games, so I was only off by only one game."

While it's a feeble prediction, it kinda makes sense. Given that OSU is in a transitional year with a new head coach, new QB, a rebuilt O-line with a rebuilt defense, the Buckeyes are vulnerable to having their worst year since Meyer arrived in town. 

At the same time, most of these guys know the OSU roster is talented enough to go to the playoffs, so they usually toss that in, too. How bold, right? I mean, you could make that sorta lame prediction with just about any team. For example, he could just as easily Georgia will lose to Florida and one other team but win the SEC East.

Basically, Schlabach's given himself a pretty wide 3-game berth, which is pretty big in college football.

Anyway, the one thing the Buckeyes aren't given nearly enough credit for is their potential to be National Champions. Apparently, that's reserved for Alabama and Clemson... any maybe Georgia... and it's just impossible that anybody else can join that party. 

That's fine with me. I'm happy for us to go under the radar. 


Comment 23 Aug 2019

All true, Mooblue, and I think these predictions are based on the assumption of the Law of Averages kicking in--the notion that eventually, TTUN has to win one of these games, right?

The trouble is that the prediction falls into the category of the Gambler's fallacy more than the Law of Averages. Thing is, the latter law basically holds that 'all things being equal', eventually, the most likely outcomes will occur, and do so in equal proportion to other equally likely outcomes.

The problem is that all things aren't equal between OSU and TTUN, as we've both pointed out. The talent on the respective rosters still isn't equal; the culture clearly isn't on the same level; and one side has persistently demonstrated  a clear schematic edge on the other.

That's why I think the Gambler's Fallacy is more applicable here. As you might know, said fallacy occurs when a gambler keeps doubling down on a bet despite the fact that the odds haven't improved every time he plays.

For example, if your odds of winning at a roulette wheel in Vegas are 1,000 to one, then just because you lost the last time you played doesn't mean you'll have a better shot next time. The statistical fact is that every single time you or anybody else lays down your bet, the odds remain 1,000 to 1.

Yes, that does mean that eventually, there will be a winner one out of every 1,000 times, however, given the 1,000 to 1 odds, the chances are just as likely that you might not win after 5,000 chances as on your next throw.

In other words, ironically, it's actually the Law of Averages says that--on average--someone will win once every 1,000 tries if those are truly the odds, and it's a matter of random chance as to when the win will occur.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting that TTUN's chances of winning are 1,000 to 1, but what I am saying is that their chances of winning haven't improved whatsoever just because they've lost nearly every game against the Buckeyes this century. In fact, this fact alone is the best possible predictor that TTUN is more likely to lose.

Granted, they have a home game, an new offensive scheme, and a slightly improved talent, however, the off3ensive scheme is unproven and might take time to develop, and their slightly upgraded talent is relatively unproven, and more importantly, it's offset by the fact that they lost a lot of experienced players.

When all factors are considered, their chances of winning might be marginally improved because of playing at home, but this would make them anything but favorites. It's kinda like, gee, maybe the Buckeyes will be favored to win by 7 or 8 points instead of 10.

Comment 23 Aug 2019

I was pleasantly surprised to hear two of the elevenwarriors staff parting ways with their national media counterparts per being as bullish as I am about the Buckeye's National Championship prospects in 2019, which most of the country not only is overlooking, but somehow doesn't even seem to register as an actual possibility.

Kinda like in 2014.

Apparently, only those close to the program know what we've really got on our hands, which is a nice place to be. The groggy Network mouthpieces will get on the ColumBUS soon enough, although it might take them all the way to December to wake up.

I'm just glad to hear some people 'get it'. Meanwhile, outside of Columbus....

The Buckeyes are perceived with some strangely warped lenses.

Thing is, they're not really underrated at all, because most of the college football world sees the Bucks as serious playoff contenders, just as plenty of them equally see the Buckeyes possibly losing two or three games, mainly owing to the question marks surrounding a new coach, as well as a new QB, on top of a rebuilt defense and offensive line, all of which are legit concerns, HOWEVER...

I'm yet to hear a single national expert frame OSU as a serious threat to win it all, which is sorta odd given that most of the blowhards believe that a playoff appearance not only wouldn't be surprising, it's even fairly predictable (that is, for those experts not putting their money on TTUN).

One might ask, why is there such a clear limit on the perception of how far the Buckeyes can go in 2019?

Well, a consensus narrative largely accounts for this--i.e., nobody in college football is on the same talent and/or performance level of Alabama, Clemson or Georgia, even though most onlookers will readily (if vaguely) acknowledge that the Buckeyes enjoy relative talent parity or thereabouts.

That said, while there's a routine tip of the hat to the Buckeye's talent level, nobody notes that this year's squad happens to be THE most talented Buckeye roster on paper since, well, actually, it's the most loaded this century, if not ever, and in fact, the team has the nation's highest ratio of 4 and 5 star recruits.

I'm guessing that most of the experts (who tend to be shockingly ill-informed when it comes to these sorts of details) are entirely unaware of this fact, or, even if they've heard of such things, they dismiss it as irrelevant per their belief that the Buckeye's 'unknowns' surpass its talent, including, most especially, the problem of replacing Fields if he's injured.

Fair enough.

As if replacing an injury to Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailloa, Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts, or Joe Burrow will be a piece of cake for Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma or LSU, right?

As if every college team doesn't need to rebuild itself every year, such is the nature of college football.

Nonetheless, to be sure, the Bucks will need Fields to be healthy (and great) for most of the year; the defensive staff will need to be a major upgrade vs. last year's disaster; the O line recruits will need to live up to the red-carpet reputations that preceded them; and vets like Cooper, Cornell, Borland and others will need to take their games (and leadership) to the next level, or at least 'just enough," but...

IMHO, realizing every one of those goals is far more likely to happen than not.

In short, yes, the Buckeyes are vulnerable to having their worst year since Urban Meyer arrived on campus, and yet, at the same time, they're equally poised to have their best year since their National Championship. I also think the chemistry and focus of the team is just right, all of which is good news for a team that has averaged about one loss per year over the past seven years.

Not bad.

In fact, that record is pretty much as good as anybody in the country, save for more Natties.

In summary, there are lots of certifiably rational reasons why this team will be the best since 2014/15, bearing in mind that the word RATIO is the key to discerning what's RATIOnal and what isn't.

This leads to following rhetorical question: Given that OSU loses only one game each year, what should we expect to happen when a one-loss team is significantly improved and plays up to its potential when it has the highest ratio of talent on its roster this century, if not ever?

You don't need to answer that question.

Like I said, it was rhetorical.

In case you haven't noticed, the rhetorical response to the notion of Ohio State winning a National Championship now tends to include the assumption that Fate has forever consigned the Buckeyes to losing to a sub-par team every year, and worse, by a whopping margin.

We''ll see about that.

But, hey, I'm all for it if the rest of the country wants to sleep on the Buckeyes just like they did in 2014, or if it wants to pretend there's a law somewhere that says 2019 absolutely must, and shall, rhyme with 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The pundits and odds makers snoozed on Zeke, Joey, Cardale and company all the way up until the morning after the Buckeyes anvil-crushed Wisconsin, turning them into a convenient playoff platform for subsequently curb-stomping media faves Alabama and Oregon.

Personally, I'm fine with waiting until January to watch the experts fumble over themselves as they attempt to deconstruct all of the obvious things they missed back in August. As for the few, the proud, and the many in this forum who are 'in the know', we'll have just one question:


Comment 21 Aug 2019

True enough, Eph, although the good news is that there are still plenty of great 4- and 5-star players (and their parents) who don't want to build their career on a foundation of criminal activity.

Sure, fewer of those payers live south of the Mason-Dixon line, but some do--and they don't all like the stench of sleazy recruiting tactics. Heck, some of them even have an innate sense of honor, self-worth and fair play! 

But even if a player's only focus is dollars and cents, I'd like to think that OSU offers a better overall value than the going rate for bribes, and that being the case, the smartest players (or at least enough fo them) aren't dumb enough to penny-wise and pound-foolish. 

Of course, not every player is offered as much as Gary reportedly was, but I'd like to think that for the best and smartest players, a $300k payday and related reputational and/or criminal risk isn't worth the full package that OSU offers, namely...

1) An OSU degree + 2) the advantage OSU networking for career development + 3) being an OSU-developed football player, which surpasses virtually every other program. 

Comment 21 Aug 2019

While it's hard to believe... IF... Milton is really, truly recruiting Evans, and Evans is really, truly considering a commitment to the Bulldogs, then Milton obviously would stay committed to Georgia, however... IF...

Dobbins runs for 1,200-1,500+yards this year and the Buckeyes are a playoff team, you can bet that Milton, Evans and some of the nation's other top RB recruits are going to second-guess their commitments by signing day... 


They'l doom themselves to jealousy watching RBs that were smart enough to choose OSU after figuring out that they were being lied to by any competing programs that have suggested Day's high-flying offense is nothing but a gimmicky, one-dimensional aerial circus. 


Comment 19 Aug 2019
I wonder exactly how Meyer might define an "effort" penalty? I'd agree with him in cases where, for example, a guy is hustling to make a tackle and a runner changes his trajectory so that the tackler winds up with a debatable targeting or roughing call---stuff like that---but I do think the notion that you can't preach--and thereby presumably can't prevent--an "effort penalty" might be overstated. Most coaches agree that players can be coached to harness and control their energy and effort, at least to a degree. I'm guessing Meyer likewise would agree, so I'd love to know how he splits hairs when it comes to this issue then how he coaches players to maximize their effort while minimizing their mistakes.
Comment 19 Aug 2019

As many Buckeye fans have complained, the 2018 defense played out of position far too often last year, but IMHO, poor tackling was at least as much of a culprit.

Granted, poor positioning, not to mention too much reliance on one-on-one matchups, put added and unwelcome stress on defenders to make tackles in the open field, a situation that was amplified by having some inexperienced starters, especially on the back end, but still...

Better tackling will go a long way towards a better performance in 2019. 

Comment 18 Aug 2019
Very impressive, indeed, Phi. I hadn't heard about Shaw possibly seeing playing time this year, which would be quite an accomplishment, even if the second safety position is up for grabs. It'll be fun to see who earns that job, and then if they play well enough to keep it and take the D to the next level. May the best man win, whether it's Proctor, Shaw, an improved Pryor, Wint, Wade (mostly playing nickle), etc. There's no shortage of talent. No doubt, the team needs someone to
Comment 15 Aug 2019

Shaw is a seriously underrated player for no valid reason. He's a big BOOM hitter, too. To me, he's a classic case of not being concerned over a 3-star rating. 

In fact, it just means we got a steal (and we've got a smart recruiting staff).

I'll be surprised if he doesn't wind up being a starter--far sooner than the average recruiting expert would have it--and I trust we'll see him doing some major damage on special teams in 2019.

Congrats on losing your black stripe, Bryson. The best part about that is that now you can plant that big red stripe beneath the black one on some opposing players.

Comment 12 Aug 2019

Good questions, Zip. Of course, we'll probably never know what Diaz said behind closed doors, but if he's a smart coach, he'd be extremely positive and encouraging while being just careful enough to cover himself, so he could live with the results and avoid gaining a reputation for lying to players.

In other words, a smart coach would have told Martell something like...

"Look, we think you're terrific-- you possess rare talent and skills, and that's exactly why we not only think you can be a starter here and lead us to a championship, it's also why we fully expect you to go out and win our QB competition. That said, you'll still have to go out and win the job, because like every great program, we only play the best players. The bottom line is that if you have as much confidence in yourself as we have in you, you'll join our program and prove yourself on the field."

Who knows what Diaz actually said, but if he went any further than the above and lead him on, Tate's twitchy fingers will eventually take to Twitter and we'll hear all about it.

Comment 12 Aug 2019

To a degree, I think you've got a fair point, Kalmar, but at the same time, to the extent your opinion is actually correct and thereby ostensibly superior to the Martell critics on this board, aren't you "punching down" at them and undermining your opinion to some degree?

In other words, if punching down is a bad thing by definition, then doesn't that apply to everyone, whether you, Martell critics, or... Martell himself?

Mind you, I strongly support the expression of your opinion, and again, I agree with it to some degree... I think you're standing on relatively higher ground (i.e., I also don't believe that Tate is a bad guy and I honestly wish him well, even though he said some ill-advised things in public), BUT...

I also fully understand the opposing opinion and support every fan's right to express it, just as I likewise supported Martell's right to say whatever he wanted to say on Twitter, right or wrong.

Now, while I don't want to put words in your mouth, I'm guessing you also support the right of fans to say their piece, but you just disagree with some of them taking such a negative attitude. Fair enough, but just as it mattered enough for you to punch down at them, well, it's just not surprising to me that some fans would punch down at Martell, precisely because he, in turn, was punching down at a few targets himself.

To put it another way, just as you're saying that people here need to grow up, it's worth noting that many of the people criticizing Tate are simply saying that he needs to grow up.

Heck, if I'm being honest with myself, while I always kinda liked Tate and I'm still cheering for him at Miami, I feel like if I were to ignore the obvious and glaring connection between Tate's Twitter comments and his current fate, it would amount to me ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room.

In short, while some folks are expressing their opinions with harsher words than others and punching pretty hard, and maybe a little low, I can't blame them for noticing the most obvious connection, or else commenting on relevant news for anybody interested in discussing Buckeye-related updates.

Comment 12 Aug 2019
I like your sentiment, Vw, and while I don't think Tate is remotely the devil that some folks make him out to be, he did open himself up to the criticism he's now taking. Yeah, I know "he's still a kid"... to a degree, but he's also a young man who's still learning, and there's no better way to learn than through your own mistakes. Besides, he already should have learned this lesson, which is probably why he's getting so much grief. I mean, c'mon now--from the moment a kid brags about how great they are in the schoolyard then subsequently fall flat on his face, he learns that he better back up his boasts or he'll be mercilessly mocked and humbled. We're talkin' 3rd grade lessons on life and sports here. Martell seems to have ignored that lesson, and now he's made some big mistakes. I just hope he learns some big lessons, too, and he winds up being better off for it. In any case, as the cliche goes, "you've got to know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em," and unfortunately, Tate doubled down on a bad hand. I just hope he's learned to play his cards better going forward, because when you play at the big table with the big dogs, you can really get burned, and nobody likes a big bluffer.
Comment 12 Aug 2019
I don't think Tate was, or is, as bad a guy as advertised, but unfortunately, he was the primary advertiser and architect of his own bad reputation, so it's hard to have much sympathy for him. Still, despite today's news, I suspect we'll see him on the field sooner than later this year, maybe as early as two weeks from now, when Florida's D will probably chew up Miami's shiny freshman QB, in which case, Diaz will go to a backup QB to minimize the damage, and if Tate can't beat out the abominable Perry as a backup... Triple ouch! Either way, it may not be long before Buckeye fans not only realize that they got a major--even miraculous--upgrade at the position with Justin Fields, but with Gunner Hoak, too. If nothing else, the team got a major upgrade on its Twitter game. As far as I can tell, none of OSU's current QBs are going to self-destruct with their own big mouths or itchy fingers. I still wish Tate the best of luck--it'd be fun to see what he could do as a starter to see exactly what we missed in Columbus, but if he never (or rarely) plays in Miami, I guess that'll be even more revealing.
Comment 10 Aug 2019
Per Buckeye Phi, today's results fit the classic cliche for preseason camps, which is that the defense typically is--and "should" be--ahead of the offense, which takes a bit longer to get in sync, especially if it's a more dynamic system. Given last year's defensive woes, personally, I'd also be a whole lot more concerned if the O were pushing around the D at this juncture. The best news is that both sides of the ball are salty and battling hard day after day. Beyond that, this is the perfect time to make mistskes... Then watch film, learn, and clean it up.
Comment 09 Aug 2019

Exactly, SuperFan, although it'll be interesting to see where Matthew Jones fits in the mix (or other guys). He's a really talented guy who's continuing to develop, so further into the future, maybe he'll might move to guard while Miller eventually moves to center, or vice versa. 

Whatever happens, it's an embarrassment of riches, and the best guys and hardest workers will eventually get their shots to play on one of the premier stages for the NFL. 

Comment 09 Aug 2019

Munford and Jordan started as a Freshman, and it sounds like Miller might be ahead of both of them physically and mentally, and yet, he isn't gong to start unless there's an injury because we've already got Myers and more on the roster.

Still, he gives us the luxury of added depth, which is no small concern.

A lot of OSU fans were worried about O line depth in the offseason, and the national experts are still using it as a reason for doubting the Buckeyes 'ceiling' in 2019, but that's only because they're looking at the fact that a bunch of starters moved on to the NFL, ergo, a decline is likely.

But I don't think so. Not even close. 

Personally, I'm convinced this year's line not only will be a major upgrade vs. last year's line, but they've got the potential to be the best O-line ever at OSU, whether in 2019 or 2020. The key word here is "potential', and I can't wait to see how far they go in maximizing their talent. 

Comment 09 Aug 2019
Fortunately, the Buckeye's roster for 2019 will still be the most talented overall this century. For that reason alone, while I wouldn't say this OSU team is underrated in general, because they're still expected to be a top team by nearly everyone, I do believe they're flying under the radar in terms of winning a National Championship. IMHO, the question marks surrounding their transition are legit, but so is this team's potential to be absolutely great. And if that happens, the 2020 and 2021 classes may be our best ever, while the #14 ranked class of 2019 (which was lower rated in large part only because it was a relatively small class in quantity vs. qualty), will be a distant memory. In short, the table has been set for Ryan Day to prove that he's everything that we think he could be, whether good or bad, and speaking for myself, I'm putting my money on... Shocking the nation with a National Championship. Personally, I think OSU fans have had it so good for so long, it's difficult to fully realize the full level of excellence we're about to witness.
Comment 07 Aug 2019

To me, Wilson cuts a similar profile to J.K. Dobbins. There are just certain guys that immediately stand out as more mature, talented, and, well, field-ready from the time they hit campus.

Garrett not only looks the part, but his relative ability seems to be the consensus from everyone-coaches, teammates and onlookers alike.

Given how the WRs rotate so that everyone gets a shot, I suspect we'll see a lot of Wilson in 2019, and for the very best reason--I expect him to produce because he truly is a #1 level receiver.

Most guys need more development time, and some guys are just hype, but Wilson looks like the real deal, which is an awfully nice twist of fate after losing a few top WR draft picks to the NFL.

If I was on the Eleven Warriors staff, I might want to revise my predictions for Wilson's total receiving yards and TDs in 2019.

Comment 07 Aug 2019

Yep, BGSU, it's totally lazy analysis, or non-analysis. Anybody can predict a decline and/or not winning National Championships and thereby wind up being right, which means... Deace's measuring stick is utterly meaningless.

It tells us nothing more than what we already know. .

For example, from a historical / statistical standpoint, it would make perfect sense to predict a looming decline for Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney going forward, and the odds are that you'd probably wind up being right.

After all, what are the odds that Nick Saban will win another 5 National Championships over the next 10 years? Heck, he might not even be coaching in 10 years! And yet, using Deace's silly measuring stick and flawed logic, you'd be betting against the two coaches that are currently THE hottest / winning-est in college football.

Vegas absolutely loves those two coaches and their programs, and we all know that they'll be counted among the best in the history of the sport, and yet, if Vegas was forced to use Deace's yardstick, they'd be forced to bet against two living legends.

Here's the thing:  How many programs wouldn't take either of those coaches to lead their program if they could, including TTUN? That tells us  all you need to know--which is the most meaningful measure (the one that really counts), and that is... RELATIVE VALUE.

All that Deace is doing is using a convenient, lazy, overly simplistic, and one-sided metric that predictably devalues virtually everyone the metric is aimed at precisely because it totally (and blindly) ignores any positive side of the ledger sheet, not to mention any disconfirming evidence and competing facts, stats, etc. that would provide a more exacting and realistic context.

In short, it's just the sort of self-fulling prophecy that delusional losers love to embrace.

Unfortunately for TTUN, come this late November, there won't be an irrelevant statistic that shows up on the opposing sideline--it'll be a flesh-and-blood coach and pissed-off team that has basically wiped the floor with them this whole century.


Comment 06 Aug 2019

It's nice to hear Day's thoughts given there was a lot fo chatter in the offseason about so many O linemen exiting the roster and there being a serious lack of depth. Personally, I never bought into that notion, and in fact, I've been waiting for a couple of years to see the lineup we're likely to see in 2019 (particularly guys like Munford, Myer, Petit-Frere and Davis), because I think they're going to be beasts. 

I could be wrong, but by the end of the year, I suspect we'll be talking bout how this might become the best Buckeye offensive line this century.. They certainly shouldn't get any worse in 2020 after playing together for a year. 

It might take a couple of games, but I think they'll be better than last year's O line by the time the Nebraska game rolls around, especially in the running game, which is great news for Dobbins and Fields, because we need them to dominate in that area early in the season. .