In a way I agree, but after the pasting of Wisconsin I was a believer - but I felt the SEC monkey just like this Clemson one and I just didn't know if we could compete - or WOULD compete. After we trounced Wisconsin, when Urban said "I don't think there's any doubt that we're one of the four best teams in America" - which was something he had never brazenly said before - or after that, not in 2016 certainly when he was much more reserved, I just felt like he knew they had a shot. Actually it was after we blasted Michigan State and we're blowing teams doors off that got me to be a believer. I thought we could definitely beat Oregon but Nick Satan's Tide was a different animal
Im nervous but slightly less than the Bama game. This is a much different team than 2016, much better assistant coaches. I think we will struggle a little in the first half but calm down and put it to them - i think we win by 4-7 points in the end. I fully expect it to be a battle for whoever comes out on top but I got faith in our boys - you can bet Day wants this one bad!
The talent on this year's Buckeyes team is far and away better than 2016 (and 2013, the two times we played them) - also a MAJOR difference is coaching. We had awful offensive coordinators last time and we also really didn't have star power on the Defensive line like we do this year - 2016 was Nick Bosa's freshman campaign and he wasn't on the same level as Chase Young 3.0, with hopefully a healthy (finally!) Tyreke Smith to bookend.
Also in 2016 we had a putrid offensive line and Isaiah Prince was a big reason. Our O-Line this year is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better.
Our Running back is also waaaaaaaaaaaaay better, I mean we had Mike Webber in his redshirt freshman season in '16.
Also the Buckeyes had EVERYTHING go wrong for them in '16 - like two or three missed field goals, an offense that sputtered with poor play calling and penalties at the worst times - our defense held it's own for that first half and kept the game within reach despite our offense imploding, I mean even if we get those field goals, it could've been a different game.
I want this one just as badly as I did the Alabama game, and I'm just as nervous/excited, but these are two very different Buckeyes teams led by much better assistants, and dare I say...head coach???
I really hope Phillips picks the Buckeyes - talk about elite development! Nearly every highly rated defensive back prospect that's come through here has finished as an early round draft pick - even less heralded recruits do too, regardless of who we have had since Meyer took over, and now Day has continued that. I can't recall too many cornerback busts from high school to Ohio State which is amazing testament in my mind!
Besides committing to an assistant at almost any major program is a disappointment waiting to happen - especially at Ohio State. Outside of Living Legend LJ and possibly Brian Hartline from the sounds of it - most assistants who are young, up-and-coming at Ohio State are going to get cherry-picked by other programs in need of a Head Coach - I mean outside of a Head coaching gig, there aren't too many places better to be an assistant. LJ has carved out a niche as defensive line guru so it's not so much that I don't think he COULD be a great head coach, he's older, and it almost seems criminal for him NOT to be coaching up what is in my mind one of the most important positions in football - he's just way too good at it. I think he should get a deserved bump in pay though, same with Hartline.
The reason that we lose great assistants is also a great selling point to future assistants though too, especially young up-and-comers seeking to eventually get a head coaching gig - do a great job as an assistant here, you will get that opportunity!
Great article Ramzy! I'm a barista so I do get to read 11W during work if we're slow, which happens between breakfast and lunch rushes.
Always look forward to the Situationals - hard to believe this magical regular season is over! I'm going to miss these articles in the off-season.
I really hope this team keeps this magical ride rolling right on past Clemson so we can stretch it out as far as it can go! How crazy will it be when Justin Fields squares off against his fellow highschool .999+ 5 star and Joe Burrow!
The only issue I have with your guys' fantastic podcast is about the media bias towards conferences....
While network bias is definitely real and "goes both ways"
That said, when ESPN NETWORK has a MONETARY DEAL for ownership of the Playoffs, and the SEC and ACC both have TV deals controlling their conference's cable channels, how is it NOT a conflict of interest that the B1G doesn't have TV rights singed to them when they get snubbed in almost every way supposedly justifiable, while other teams from conferences that play ball and do similar or worse get nothing at all???
How about Clemson's issues with PED's and other violations brought to light by FBI basketball probes none the less??
If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best! I, for one, am excited/anxious/nervous to play Clemson, just how I felt about the matchup against Alabama during the 2014 run.
2016 was a strange year with a talented team that had a.) Poor offensive coordinators/QB coaches, one of whom is probably about to get fired by Texas Tom in order to save his own job, the other reverted back to his former occupation as O-Line coach for TTUN... obviously neither were capable of performing at the highest levels at their respective jobs...
B.) We didn't have either a running back or a QB in the same Galaxy as this season - in fact I don't even remember who our running back was in 2016, which is shocking to me because I'm an avid follower of not only Ohio State but their recruiting efforts as well.
C.) Our offensive line this year is far and away better than the one we sported in 2016! I don't know if any of you remember Isaiah Prince's first season at Tackle, but he was awful! He was a turnstile who had an awful knack of getting a false start penalty on literally almost every third and short situation!
Also our defensive line didn't have star power like it does this season, it was Nick Bosa's first year in which he played sparingly.
About the only thing that's similar between this year's team and the one from 2016 is the stellar play in the secondary. If our offense (and field goal kicker) had been even moderately effective, that would've been a different game from the '16 roster, as our defense kept the game within reach in the first half, but missed field goals, inability to get movement from the O-Line, no real running game or downfield threat, our defense was on the field far too long to stay effective.
Oh yeah, Mike Webber was our running back in 2016, and I never really felt he was that great. Jk Dobbins is the real deal, though.
I would love nothing more than to beat Dabo and Clemson!
Also I have felt watching the SEC this year that they are overrated as a whole, I think LSU is a great team, but I would like our chances against them if we can beat Clemson. I think Georgia had a great defense this year, but their offense was mediocre, they had a number of injuries in the game yesterday, I don't think LSU is unbeatable
I like Oklahoma to cover based on how Baylor lost last time. I don't think the Fighting Fickells knock off Memphis unfortunately. I also wouldn't be shocked if the SEC forces LSU to take a dive in order to get two teams in this year, or at least throws flags against LSU at inopportune times to even things out.
I feel like Utah might get upset although I wouldn't bet on it...I just feel like even though they are the better team, Oregon might play angry, inspired football
Obviously this season isn't over, but I'm of the opinion that not only Day should get a pay raise, so should his assistants. If Ohio State doesn't buck up and pay, guaranteed these guys will be gone.
Hafley, Living Legend LJ especially need pay bumps along with Day
I don't know, I think Rutgers fudged up in not hiring Schiano. I don't know how Rutgers expects to try and compete in college football these days without investing in their program. It didn't sound like Schiano was asking for anything unreasonable! I mean their program has been a doormat in the B1G since joining, and it's going to take a lot to build a competitive program, especially considering you have to play tOSU, Penn State and Xichigan every year - even Xichigan State every year is no gimme. Based on recruiting, there is a lot of talent in New Jersey, but in order to convince recruits to go there, you have got to invest some cash in good assistants and support recruiting nationally, finding over-looked talent, guys who didn't get an offer from their dream schools, and develop players. It won't be easy, but it's feasible that Rutgers could be a bowl-eligible team annually.
However, as a first time head coach, I think Hafley could land a much, much better job so long as he's patient. Rutgers could potentially ruin future opportunities like it's seemed to with Chris Ash
If Ryan Day and this coaching staff go undefeated, winning the B1G Championship and possibly more, then they need to increase these coaches' salaries! Pay Hafley and Day more cash to keep them there, give LJ a nice bump because he deserves every penny he makes and then some.
However, right now Day makes a relatively modest salary, considering guys like Jimbo Fisher are raking in 7 mil/year or something like that.
It's a very real possibility that Hafley, without a significant pay raise, will take a head coaching gig someplace else. Unfortunately in today's ruthless coaching/coaches' assistants market, if tOSU wants to maintain the phenomenal level of player development, not to mention the recruiting prowess of guys like Hafley, Hartline, living legend LJ and Day himself, then they are going to have to shell out some cash. Either that or struggle every year or two to keep talented assistants in tow, having to spend almost as much time recruiting coaches! Besides the effect that can have on recruits...
Everything I've read about Hafley and co. is that these guys are the real deal. It's possible to keep a talented defensive assistant on staff, i.e. Brent Venables at Clemson.
Really excited for the direction the program is heading in, if I was a talented QB, I would want to come to Ohio State - they have almost always had talented O-lines to play behind, guys who go up against LJ's defensive line in practice... Plus with the skill positions Hartline is recruiting and developing, there aren't going to be too many places that could offer what the Buckeyes will - I just hope Ohio State pays these coaches to stay right here!
I definitely think Indiana is trending up, and they should be able to, Indiana is not a bad state for high school football, plus recruiting Ohio kids who don't make it to tOSU they should be able to field nationally competitive teams. I think they have some good offensive minds, and in fact I think they were a BIG reason for the Buckeyes offensive success against Xichigan last year, Indiana exposed their defense with the success they had attacking the middle with crossing routes, even though they lost. I think they showed that teams can have success against the PSU secondary, although I also believe that PSU could have been caught looking ahead to the matchup in Columbus. In fact, that's what's so infuriating about having to play the two next best teams in the entire conference in back-to-back weeks! If Ohio State can make it to December undefeated, then I definitely believe they can hang with ANYONE. My worry also is they can get really banged up right before The Game, which is on the road.
How about teams from the West hire coaches who go out and recruit better? I don't think realignment is a real answer. Besides whatever division Ohio State is in will always be perceived to be the tougher division and I love the fact Ohio State plays Michigan and Penn State every year with (usually) the best team from the West in a Championship game. Those potential wins are necessary in a conference with a lot of national cellar dwellers.
As far as the rivalry games are concerned, those are what make college football what is, the traditions. Besides watching the Big 12 championship game is kinda lame because it's always a rematch, and just like last year, what good is a rematch, especially between teams like Texas and Oklahoma who play on a neutral site during the regular season AND during the conference championship if they split??? It just seems like you need a rubber match. That's another reason I hated the playoff rematch between Alabama and Georgia a couple years ago, who played two neutral site games against each other - and big surprise, Alabama won both. However had Alabama lost the National Title game in a close loss, what would we have learned?? It's always tougher to beat a team twice in one year in football
I got a similar score for the Buckeyes as last week, in fact, I don't even think our starters should play unless necessary, but if they do I have trouble imagining Rutgers doing better than Maryland did against us. I think Rutgers will score 3-6 points.
I'm picking the Spartans in an upset, I think they come out against an arrogant Xichigan squad and shock the fighting Harbaughs
My brother gave me great advice - bet against your favorite team, that way if they lose, at least you get paid. If they win then it's kinda worth it to spend the money for a V!
Also props to Ramzy and Vance, you guys are killing it. I don't know if you are like me at all, but the only time I do any good at calling games is if I have nothing riding on it. Soon as I bet money my Nostradamus disappears - if he was ever there in the first place.
I don't expect tOSU to cover the ridiculous spread, only because Chase Young isn't playing, he was a major factor in their defensive dominance, which added to their offensive tries... Imagine the second half of the Wisconsin game without him! I know he wasn't the only defensive lineman creating chaos, but he was a big factor.
That said I got Alabama covering if Tua plays and is healthy, in fact I think Alabama will flex their muscle on LSU with only Joe Burrow showing out against them with a lot of passing yards totalling over 300, 1-2 TDs with an INT. I am hoping LSU beats Alabama but between Orgeron and Saban, plus the recruiting talent over the past four years alongside home field advantage for the Tide, I just don't see LSU winning. Last year at home LSU got clobbered, and although these aren't the same teams, they also aren't THAT different.
For PSU and Minnesota, I almost feel like this could be an upset in favor of the Gophers, but I also feel like Penn State could blow the doors off them. A lot of intriguing games tomorrow! I will ride with Minnesota covering, though I'm thinking Penn State will win, in fact I'm hoping they win up until the 23rd.
I have Wisconsin over Iowa, I think they cover if only because they are at home - if in Iowa I would ride with the Hawkeyes
If this loan was for airfare for his family the NCAA should be ashamed of themselves for suspending him. In fact, there SHOULD be a program that pays for families of players to go to home games at least! The NCAA has enough money, so does the B1G - not to mention that money is made on the backs of these parents' kids!
Like how a lot of you feel, I was thinking that things were just going too well for the Buckeyes. I hope and pray we get Chase Young back by the Penn State game! Ugh how unfortunate that a couple days after finally getting some love from the playoff committee, THIS happens...
If Chase is out indefinitely then we can kiss the CFP Championship goodbye - hell, we might not even win the B1G Championship without him! Offenses have to game-plan around him, not T. Friday or T. Smith, Cooper or Z. Harrison. I hate to be so pessimistic, but if ANY major program was under the microscope (Clemson, say) someone could find violations. Of course it's regarding our best player and not anyone else.
That said, I don't blame Chase, these kids (yes, KIDS) are under A TON of pressure, they are virtual National Celebrities, essentially treated like Rockstars in Columbus, and many at only 19, 20 years old! I can't imagine the pressure of not making a mistake, doing something stupid - I know I could NOT have handled that well when I was 18-21, so I feel for Chase Young, I hope he can come back and continue to chase a Nattie with his teammates
I hadn't realized that Scott Frost was complaining about playing the better half of the BIG East - what's crazy is just not too long ago Nebraska fans were complaining about the division alignment because they DON'T get to play teams like Ohio State enough! I know the fans sometimes want different things than the coaches, but I wonder how the fans feel today?
Try BEING in the be B1G East! I really don't care that every year the Buckeyes have to play 3/4 of the best opponents in the B1G Conference just to make it to the B1G Championship where they get to play that 4th, especially in a season like this one where the Buckeyes have to try to beat what has been the 2nd best B1G team for the last 3 years THE WEEK BEFORE THEY PLAY THE THIRD BEST B1G TEAM WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE THEIR HEATED RIVAL, but it's happening
Ok first time trying my hand at this:
UCF; Penn St;
Tenn; Ohio State;
My goodness I hope, I REALLY REALLY HOPE, that Gene Smith pay Hafley a head coach's salary, same for LJ, I would say the same about Mattison but he already is! Pay the guy so he stays, much like Venables at Clemson, Ohio State would be wise to have a sort of dual head coach scenario, Ryan Day running the offense, Hafley and Mattison running the defense as they have been, and the living legend LJ overseeing the uber-important defensive line, which in my opinion is one of the most critical components to a successful football squad, at least on defense