We are 10 days away from kickoff in Ohio Stadium! Can you feel it?! The excitement is real and the anticipation is high for 2013. Let’s take a look at the few things we’ve gathered from practices since we last met and finish our look at the college football schedule from a national perspective as we look at November and December. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
What we know
After a quiet spring and early summer, the suspension total from off-field shenanigans added up pretty fast. As it stands currently: Carlos Hyde will miss 3 games, Bradley Roby a minimum of 1 with potential for more to be added, Rod Smith will miss the opener while Najee Murray and Marcus Baugh are out indefinitely.
The one with the most to lose, in my humble opinion, has to be Rod Smith. Compliments of the stupidity of Hyde not walking away from an enraged “woo girl” at a club, Smith was going to be given the chance to see a starters share of the carries in the opener against Buffalo. There’s no question that Urban Meyer wants to move Jordan Hall all over the field, thus giving Smith plenty of opportunity to tote the rock.
Who knows, if he holds onto the ball showing he’s overcome the little bit of “fumble-itis” he showed last season and chews up 100 yard games in the first three, maybe he makes it very tough for them to take the ball out of his hands and just give the lion share of the load to El Guapo? It’s certainly possible. Instead he’ll have to watch as Bri’ontee Dunn or Warren Ball get those carries and get quality game reps. Now he has to convince Meyer and his staff that they should take the ball out of the hands of Dunn or Ball and give it to him. And if either of those two, or both, look good in the opener, why should they hand Rod Smith the keys to the Porsche especially knowing that one of the offenses leaders is returning two weeks later?
Ten Buckeye freshmen have had their black stripes removed from their helmets: Joe Ramstetter, Dontre Wilson, Ezekial Elliot, Billy Price, Joe Bosa, Mike Mitchell, Michael Hill, Cam Burrows, Aaron Mawhirter
3. Position changes and starters
Freshman Billy Price from Austintown Fitch High School has been moved to offense where he will play guard and center. Obviously, not at the same time, he’ll be working at both spots.
Armani Reeves will start opposite Doran Grant in the opener in place of Bradley Roby. Expect to see a lot of Eli Apple in the rotation at corner. Vonn Bell is said to really be pushing for the starting gig at star. Expect to see a lot of him against Buffalo as well.
4. Sad farewells
MaliBuckeye reported on Saturday: Jamie Wood, Adam Griffin and Blake Thomas have ended their careers at Ohio State for medical reasons. I can only echo his comments in saying that the contribution of these three young men will be greatly missed and there is a massive appreciation for their efforts on the football field and in the community. We wish them nothing but the best in all their future endeavors.
Looking ahead, the NCAA schedule
We finally wrap up my look ahead into the national games of significance from a preseason standpoint with the months of November and the early weeks of December. Let’s dive into it!
Week 10, October 31st – November 2nd kicks off on Halloween with a terrible trio of games headlined by Arizona State at Washington State. Friday night sees the USC Trojans travel to Oregon State in what might actually be a pretty solid late evening affair.
Saturday the action gets real as it usually does at this time of year. Miami travels to Florida State in what used to be the second best rivalry in college football. In the Big Ten, TSUN travel to East Lansing to take on Sparty while Nerdwestern takes a trip to Lincoln to face the Huskers. Both games should have impact on the Big Ten Championship game.
The highlight of the day will be Florida vs Georgia in the world’s largest barefoot cocktail party. Meanwhile, up north the Buckeyes may be walking into a trap as they travel to Purdue for their first matchup with Darrell Hazell’s new squad.
Week 11, November 5th – November 9th brings us the return of midweek MACtion! Two MAC games on Tuesday and one on Wednesday lead us to a Thursday night that we’ll all be tuned in to see as Oregon travels to Stanford at 9pm EST on ESPN. Fox Sports 1 is airing Oklahoma at Baylor at 7:30. Apparently the Mothership decided to flex its muscles and pulled some big guns to an epic Thursday night showdown.
Saturday isn’t too shabby either as TSUN hosts Nebraska, Virginia Tech goes to Miami, Texas travels up to Ben Nesselroad country and takes on West Virginia, Mississippi State goes to Texas A&M and Notre Lame goes to Pitt.
The Buckeyes get the weekend off to heal up and get ready for the final three regular season games and the Big Ten Championship.
Oh! And LSU plays at Alabama, where currently the cheapest ticket is a seat on the roof and is selling for $275.00
Week 12, November 12th – November 16th has MACtion on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday night will be interesting: Will Clemson hosting Georgia Tech be Clemson trying to stay perfect and in the national title hunt or Clemson as the steaming remains of whatever disastrous wreck has become of their season?
Purdue at Penn State on Saturday to kick the day off could be a good one. I’m pretty high on Darrell Hazell and his abilities. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they could some impact on the Big Ten Championship game race. Who knows, maybe they go to Un-Happy Valley still in it themselves?
Another pair of games that should have significant impact on the aforementioned title game race is TSUN going to Nerdwestern and Sparty going to Nebraska. And don’t forget to set your DVR for Indiana at Wisconsin. I’m kidding… am I?
By now we’ll have one eye firmly planted on the south and seeing how it shakes out in the SEC. Alabama could be walking into a trap situation at Mississippi State that afternoon. Georgia goes to Auburn in what should be a route. The big game of the day in the SEC and the country will likely be Florida at South Carolina.
Out west Stanford travels to USC and Oregon hosts Utah. Whatever.
The Buckeyes get back in action on the road at Illinois. Just a business trip, keep it together, don’t look ahead and take care of the team in front of you.
Week 13, November 19th – November 23rd as is now the norm has MACtion (again) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Kent State at Ohio on Tuesday should draw some interest around the state.
Thursday has nobody worth anything and Friday has even less that you care about.
Saturday looks good: TSUN goes to Iowa, Nebraska goes to Penn State, Sparty takes on the Nerds in Evanston. Meanwhile down south Alabama has a battle at home with someone called the Chattanooga Mocs. And they say the Big Ten schedules are weak…
Texas A&M goes to LSU in a game we will all will be watching. Should one of these two pull an upset on Alabama, this game easily becomes national title and SEC Championship game mondo importanto. Also, we’ll want to see how “Billionaire Playboy Bruce Wayne” Johnny Manziel is fairing with the Heisman vote nearing.
The Fighting Rich Rods at Arizona host Oregon. Right, I’ll move on.
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, will be at home against Indiana. Again, just take care of business, no looking ahead.
And then it is Michigan week.
Week 14, November 26th – November 30th, Thanksgiving is on the docket. As is some quality college football.
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night as Ole Miss travels to Mississippi that evening on ESPN. Over on Fox Sports 1, Texas Tech goes to Austin to play Texas.
Friday has a slate of solid action to keep an eye on as you put up your Christmas lights and eat leftovers while your wives and girlfriends sleep off their Black Friday shopping. And if you’re like me and have neither, then you’re truly happy and probably don’t waste your time reading my nonsense. Anyways, Friday, yes Friday!
Iowa will be at Nebraska in the “Cow and Hay Classic”. In the “game called Something About Apples” Washington State goes to Washington. In the evening, Fox Sports 1 will show you the “Civil War” as Oregon State travels to Oregon.
Saturday will have Florida State at Florida, Georgia at Georgia Tech, Alabama at Auburn in the “Deer Antler Spray Bowl”, Penn State at Wisconsin, Notre Dame at Stanford, UCLA at USC. A game that may have serious national title implications will see Clemson travel to South Carolina.
Who am I kidding, there’s no way Clemson is still relevant this late in the season.
And then it all comes down to The Game. Rivals in everything they do with state pride on the line. Flounder (to those new, that’s what I call Brady Hoke, go watch Animal House and you’ll see why) desperate to keep Urban Meyer out of the Big Ten title game and the national title picture. Should they be unbeaten, a not uncommon site seeing Michigan standing in the Buckeyes way as they strive for perfection and the crystal ball. In the last year of the Leaders and Legends divisions, is it a prelude to a rematch in the Big Ten Championship game?
Time will tell. We’ll all be watching.
Week 15, Saturday December 7th Texas plays at Baylor and Oklahoma goes to Oklahoma State in two games nobody will care about. The day will belong to the Big Ten, PAC 12 and SEC championship games. At the end of the night, the national title picture will be clear. Will Ohio State be in it? The chase starts in ten days!
Wrap it up
Next Wednesday we’ll be talking about “game week”. Amazing how fast things go. Hope you enjoyed this early morning addition on WNR. Until next week, Go Bucks!
Metallica track of the week
How about a grinder, something to get you wound up for the season starting? Let’s go back to Orion on Belle Isle in June for Harvester of Sorrow!