Ladies and gentleman, it is one month away. We are one short month away from August 30, 2014 and the football season opener in Baltimore against Navy. Are you starting to get that weird feeling in your stomach? Are you starting to get that “Christmas morning” excitement adding a little pep to your step? Me too.
Where we left off
When we last saw our fearless heroes in action, they were chasing Sammy Watkins all over the Orange Bowl in what ended up being a 40-35 loss to the Clemson Tigers. I said it then and my mind hasn’t changed: I don’t want to hear about skill positions and injuries, Ohio State should never lose to Clemson. In anything. Read More
It’s almost that time of year with only 44 days until The Ohio State Buckeyes play the Naval Academy in Baltimore.
As I sat and thought about it, I realized it would be a good time to get some opinions from the fans of Ohio State and our staff here at The Buckeye Battle Cry.
I look forward to the comments on the site and the discussion that follows. These articles are some of my favorites as it gets as many Buckeye fans involved that want to be!!!
So without holding the process up any longer I think we need to hear from the Best Damn Fans in the Land!!
Here are the questions I posed to the fans and staff:
Who do you think will be the starting cornerbacks for the Buckeyes when the season starts? Mid –Season?
Ken – Doran Grant and Armani Reeves will be opening day starters. As mid-season starters? I have no idea. There is some impressive talent (Apple, Conley, Lattimore, and Webb) but they are inexperienced. I see the variables as; the play of Grant/Reeves, the development of “youngsters and injuries. Let’s talk the week of the Penn State game.
Jason – Doran Grant and Eli Apple. I’ll say the same two at mid-season. As for why, Grant I think is obviously pretty talented. Apple I’m kind of hoping.
@GrChZebo – I think Doran Grant and Gareon Conley will be the starting CBs to start and end the season (barring injury). Grant is an obvious choice and I think Conley will better fit the mold of the “new” defense that Coach Ash is looking to install. He’s long and very athletic and I think that’s going to tip things in his favor.
Mali – Grant and Apple, and I have no idea about a mid-season change. I’m hoping that any transition at the position is due to excellence and not due to craptastic play and/or injury.
With all the social media and recruiting websites out there, I must admit that I have issues with recruiting rankings.
I mean the kids love it, but to me it just does not matter as much as The Ohio State coaches evaluation of said recruits.
I believe in most cases, coaches recruit to fill specific needs in regards to the depth chart.
With that being said, you will always have a handful of players you give scholarships regardless. Once you get to a certain point in your class though — just like the NFL draft – you take the best available players and let them earn a spot on the depth chart.
Now I want to stress that in the same breath, the staff needs to get the best players in Ohio every year. This keeps the border protected around the Buckeye State and somewhat makes it a huge pipeline.
Who I would love to see be the next five commitments to The Ohio State in the class of 2015?
Here is my list, or as we called it in the Air Force, my “Dream Sheet”.
1. Josh Sweat, DE, Oscar Smith HS, Chesapeake, VA. — Sweat has drawn comparisons to Jadeveon Clowning due to his freakish athletic ability and sudden burst. Last year, the 6’4’’, 240-pound All-American put himself at the center of the national recruiting radar, when he totaled a whopping 22 sacks and 94 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss. Although it’s going to be a dogfight to land this recruit, he did enjoy his visit to Ohio State.
Only question left is, does Ohio State get an Official Visit? It also helps that Hilliard and Cornell are recruiting dynamos.
|Part two of our conference preview looks at the “group of death” and a likely conference title game:|
Many feel the east will be a battle of 2 teams and the winner of the November 8th battle in East Lansing between Ohio State and Michigan State can go ahead and make plans for Indy.
OHIO STATE 12-2 (8-0)
There is no doubt that all of Buckeye nation is still reeling from the 10 point loss to Michigan State in last year’s B1G Championship game.
There are so many “what if’s” from that game: What if they don’t have the 3 personal fouls on the Spartans first drive? What if they give the ball to Hyde on 4th and 1? What if……..okay, I’ll stop. There’s no doubt Urban Meyer will use that loss as motivation for the 2014 Buckeyes.
The turnover for this squad was quite large. Gone are 4 5th’s of an offensive line that many believed was one of the best in the nation last year as is its work horse back Carlos Hyde. Also gone are Philly Brown, Ryan Shazier, Bradley Roby, Christian Bryant, and C.J. Barnett.
Now, some will say that losing players on defense isn’t such a bad thing. The front seven should be very very solid. Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphis Washington, and Michael Bennett should keep a ton of pressure on B1G qb’s while the secondary led by Doran Grant and Von Bell begin to mesh.
The best news of the offseason was most surely the return of Braxton Miller. Miller is considered by many to be a preseason top 5 Heisman candidate but will have to do it behind a rebuilt offensive line and with a new running mate in his backfield. Ezekiel Elliott is the odds on favorite to take the torch from Hyde. Elliott showed glimpses of greatness when given a chance last year. The Buckeyes B1G portion of their schedule shapes up rather nice.
Home games against Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana, and TSUN seems rather easy and to most, their only tough road test will fall on November 8th as they travel to East Lansing for a date with Sparty. Other road games include Maryland, Penn State, and Minnesota putting the Buckeyes in a great position for a return trip to Indy and a date with Wisconsin.
MICHIGAN STATE 13-1 (8-0) Read More
|Not content to only preview Ohio State’s schedule, Patrick is taking a two part look at the B1G for 2014. Here’s a look at the newbies and our Western Division brethren; after lunch the East gets due scrutiny in addition to the championship game predictions.|
When the dust settled on the 2013-14 season, the B1G had a Rose Bowl champion and……another bad bowl record as a conference.
Michigan State and Nebraska were the lone winners (Rose and Gator Bowls respectively) and the conference was 2-7 overall. Yet even after that showing, many pundits feel like the B1G is poised to be a top tier conference this season. When the season opens, they will more than likely have two top 10 teams (Michigan State and Ohio State) as well as a slew of others ranked in the top 25.
The B1G welcomes two new members this season as well. Maryland and Rutgers will make their football debuts in 2014. The B1G received a ton of criticism for the recent additions. Other conferences such as the SEC are adding schools like Texas A&M and Missouri while many people feel the B1G adding “schedule padders” for football. What people won’t tell you is that these two schools gets the B1G into markets (Washington DC and New York) that they haven’t been in since its inception.
The non conference schedules for a lot of the B1G schools is very very good this season. Defending champion MSU will travel west to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks, Ohio State welcomes Va Tech into Columbus, Wisconsin takes on LSU in Houston, Nebraska travels to Fresno for a battle with Fresno St and then back home the following week to take on the Miami Hurricanes, Michigan will try to avenge a loss to Appalachian St (did I really just type that) as well as take on Notre Dame for the last time and welcome the Utes of Utah to Ann Arbor, and Minnesota will travel to Texas to battle TCU. The B1G as a conference will need a lot of wins from these non conference tilts in order to gain some respect from the rest of the country and the national media
2014 will also mark the first year of new conference alignment. Gone are the awful Leaders and Legends divisions and we finally get a traditional East/West divisions.
*2014 will also mark the 3rd year that Penn State will be ineligible for post season play.
Even though the B1G divided up the divisions by east/west location, many feel the west is by far the weaker of the two. Nebraska and Wisconsin should battle for the next few years for the west crown with little challenge. Read More
As the Buckeyes come off their first bye week of the 2014 season and prepare for B1G football play, they’ll have one more task standing in front of them in the form of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. This will be the first meeting between the two Ohio schools since 2006 when the Bucks came away victorious 37-7.
The Bearcats are coming off the first year for head coach Tommy Tuberville and a very successful one it was. UC was 9-4 (6-2 in the AAC) and lost to North Carolina 39-17 in the 2013 Belk Bowl. The 2013 season also included wins over B1G members Purdue, and soon to be member Rutgers. They also beat something called Northwestern, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of.
The biggest and best news for the Bearcats this offseason was getting transfer QB Gunner Kiel. The former big time recruit made national news over his recruiting process by committing to Indiana, then LSU, THEN finally to Notre Dame. When Kiel found himself behind several other qb’s in South Bend including returning starter from 2012, Everett Golson, he decided to transfer to Cincinnati. Kiel sat out the 2013 season and has 3 years of eligibility remaining. Kiel impressed all during the Bearcats spring game and seems to have the lead for the starting job heading into fall camp.
The Bearcats are looking forward to what could be a special season if their quarterback situation pans out and their defense will be more consistent with a new coordinator. Kiel has a big arm, is very accurate, can throw a nice deep ball and has good mobility. The one area he must improve on is throwing the football on the run. The one challenger he will have this fall is from junior college transfer Jarred Evans. Former starter Munchie Legaux will return for his fifth year after suffering a severe knee injury last September.
Whoever the quarterback will be Cincinnati will return its top three rushers including Hosey Williams, Ralph David Abernathy and Tion Green. The wide receiver position is in good shape with Senior Shaq Washington and Chris Moore. Washington is an excellent possession receiver who had 78 catches last year. The offensive line returns three starters including tackle Eric Lefeld (6-6 309).
Cincinnati’s defense ranked ninth in the country in total defense and yet still fired their defensive coordinator Art Kaufman. Coach Tuberville hired Hank Hughes to run the defense, and they will continue to run the 4-3 defense that was implemented last year. Read More
A little while back I let it out of the bag that one of my favorite writers is Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
Forget what you think of him as an analyst on Sunday Night Football, his columns are top notch and he has a style unique to himself. (One of these days I’ll spill who my favorite is and if you read his work you’ll instantly see the influence)
One of King’s mainstays is his Monday Morning Quarterback segment that goes live (you guessed it!) on Monday mornings. Inside the MMQB piece each week is a segment he calls “10 things I think I think”. His 10 things encompass everything from the NFL to his favorite order at Starbucks.
Last summer I did my own tribute to Peter King by going through some things I think I thought. With this being the dead period for college football, I figured “why not” and decided to do it again. So, without further ado, here are: Things I Think That I Think.
It has been reported and confirmed that Joe Burrow committed to The Ohio State Buckeyes! That said, Burrow will most likely be the only quarterback taken this year unless Torrance Gibson comes this way. Some may see that as a bad thing, but with 2016 being a strong group of quarterbacks and Danny Clark coming in 2017, I think we could be in a much worse situation. To top it off, Burrow’s commitment has landed us a visit from Chris Clark, and he is working to help recruit a lot of these national kids! As a side bar, both Burrow and Clark showed up to the Elite 11 yesterday decked out in The Ohio State gear!!! (all smiles)
Then there is Damien Harris being interviewed here (all smiles):
“It’s still kind of cool the way things go with Coach Meyer,” Harris told cleveland.com Sunday, while attending a Nike Football Training Camp at Ohio State. “As a kid growing up, I’d see him on TV and I was like, ‘Man, he’s the man.’ And now I get to be real cool with him. We walk into a basketball game together, we just get to enjoy life together right now – maybe for the next four years. It’ definitely been a blessing. I get to be looked at as important enough to spend time with one of the greats of all time. It’s definitely an honor. I don’t take it for granted. I’m real thankful for it.”
If you have read all the reports you know that Justin Hilliard is now an OSU lean, in my opinion. Why else would you be recruiting other players to come to OSU, and befriend Raekwon McMillian. Remember, Sam Hubbard is an ex-teammate and very good friend (all smiles).
Now we get to Matthew Burrell, the big OL out of Virginia. This young man is 6’6, 290lbs and I would now say a Buckeye lean after his visit this past weekend. I heard he absolutely loved it and will be back (all smiles). Read More