I think a lot of people may have written off the Ohio State Buckeyes after Heisman candidate Quarterback Braxton Miller went down for the season with a shoulder injury.
JT Barrett, a 6-1, 225 redshirt freshman out of Wichita Falls, Texas beat out sophomore Cardale Jones for the starting spot. Jones had played a little in 2013, but obviously Barrett had never taken a snap in college.
Barrett’s first start came against Navy and he struggled a bit. But, that would be expected of a freshman Quarterback. But, in his second start Barrett had a miserable game as the Buckeyes lost a night game at home to Virginia Tech. This is not the Virginia Tech of yesteryear so this was a huge concern for the Buckeyes.
Barrett struggled in that game and completed only 9 out of 29 passes, plus he threw 3 interceptions.
Thankfully, the Buckeyes had some easier competition ahead that allowed Barrett the time to gain some useful game experience. Barrett did develop his skills in those games and other than the Penn State game where he was held in check, he has had a sensational year with his best game so far coming last weekend against the Michigan State Spartans.
The Ohio State Buckeyes beat the defending Big 10 Champion Michigan State Spartans, 49-37.
Michigan State’s defense is good, but they are nowhere near as tough as last year’s version. The Spartans defense pretty much dominated everyone they faced in 2013, but not so much this year.
On Saturday, playing the Buckeyes on their very own turf, the Spartans gave up 568 yards including a whopping 268 yards rushing.
The Ohio State Buckeye offense looked almost unstoppable.
By beating Michigan State and improving to 8-1 on the season, does Ohio State move into the playoff picture?
The Buckeyes eliminated the Michigan State Spartans from a possible shot at the playoffs and this weekend they visit the 7-2 Minnesota Gophers.
They had better not take the Gophers lightly as they pounded the Iowa Hawkeyes last weekend 51-14 and have dangerous Running Back David Cobb.
Cobb is a 5-11, 220 big back from Killeen, Texas and is in the top 10 in rushing yardage in the nation with 1,205.
Minnesota has a good ground attack, but their offense is one of the worst in the country because they don’t throw the ball well at all. The Buckeyes should stuff the run and dominate this game by forcing the Gophers to try and throw the ball, which they will not be able to accomplish.
The Buckeyes other competition for Big 10 supremacy lies in the Western Division.
Western leader Nebraska travels to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers this Saturday.
Nebraska has an 8-1 record and Wisconsin is sitting at 7-2. Both have Heisman candidate Running Backs and stout defenses. Wisconsin currently has the top defense in the country.
Wisconsin should win this game which would effectively end any other Big 10 team outside of Ohio a shot at a playoff berth.
Minnesota and the winner of the Nebraska/Wisconsin game are the only real challengers left for the Buckeyes unless the unforeseen happens.
The Ohio State Buckeyes only have Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan left on the regular season. If they win out, then, they will have the Big 10 championship game against possibly Wisconsin or Nebraska.
It would be a complete shock if any of these schools were to actually beat the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes have one of the nation’s best offenses and one of the best defenses. So, if they win out and take the Big 10 title with a 12-1 record, why not a playoff berth for the Buckeyes?
SEC fans would say no, but just because they are in the Big 10.
They may be right, but you might want to examine the Buckeyes coaching staff and players before you convince me 100 percent.
As everyone knows, Urban Meyer coached at Florida for a few years and won a National Championship while there. He actually won 2 of them.
Meyer has a coaching record of 136- 26 and he is 7-2 in bowl games. Meyers knows the SEC and knows what it would take to beat an SEC team.
Ohio State has the lure and the money to draw talent from the same areas that the SEC teams do, the Deep South. Plus, they can pretty much pick and choose their best in-state talent.
Never underestimate your opponent in a sporting event, a business deal or anything else. The state of Ohio produces some quality football talent and Ohio State uses their home state as it’s recruiting base, as they well should.
But, the Buckeyes raid the South and other areas for talent as well.
Their top tackler is Joshua Perry who is a 6-4, 250 Linebacker and a home grown guy from Galena, Ohio. The next most productive tackler is a safety, Tyvis Powell from Bedford, Ohio.
But, right with Powell is fellow safety Vonn Bell, from Rossville, Georgia. Their other top Linebackers are Ohio guy and redshirt freshmen Darron Lee and Virginia native Curtis Grant. But, the new star of the linebacker group and the defense over all, is 5 star true freshman Raekwon McMillan the hottest Inside Linebacker recruit from Hinesville, Georgia.
Top Cornerback Eli Apple is a tough guy from Voorhees, New Jersey.
Possibly, their best Defensive lineman is Joey Bosa from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Buckeye defense is filled with Ohio guys and some extremely talented players from SEC territories.
The Ohio State offense is led by Quarterback JT Barrett who just happens to be from Wichita Falls, Texas. Many Texas fans hate Mack Brown for passing on JT Barrett and Barrett has already proven to be a talent. He is an up and coming star and I am curious what the Buckeye coaching staff does next season when Braxton Miller returns. It’s hard to see a talent like Barrett standing on the sidelines.
Top Running Back is Ezekiel Elliott and he is from St Louis, Missouri. Pardon me, but aren’t the Missouri Tigers the defending SEC East Champion? Don’t they recruit a lot of Missouri kids also?
Back up Running Back is Curtis Samuel who is a true freshman out of Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn is not exactly a hot bed of recruiting talent, but old school players and legends like Lyle Alzado, Randy Cross, and John Brockington came from Brooklyn. John Mackey is maybe the greatest tight End in the history of the NFL and he is from New York City. New Jersey and New York have been surprisingly good talent producers over the decades and it would be foolish to disrespect based on what the media keeps saying. New Jersey has provided talent for schools like Ohio State and Penn State for decades.
Wide Receiver Devin Smith is a speedster from Massillon, Ohio and fellow receiver Michael Thomas is from Los Angeles, California. The State of California has more players in the NFL than any other.
Their other top receiver is hybrid Running Back/Wide Receiver Dontre Wilson is from Dallas, Texas.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are not just a football team loaded with Ohio players. They have talent from all over the country. Urban Meyer is building on that every season.
Do I think Ohio State is one of the 4 best teams in the country?
I think they can be and they probably will be the next season.
Urban Meyer didn’t get to where he is by being an idiot.
Dr Tom Osborne and his Nebraska Cornhuskers went up against the Florida schools time and time again back in the day only to fall a little bit short year after year for the National Championship. Osborne was no idiot, either.
He finally figured out that he could use a little more speed on defense. The Huskers were always fine in their home state for Offensive Linemen. They needed a quick and talented dual threat Quarterback to run his I-formation run based offense. He needed a talented I-back and a dangerous Wide Receiver and a good Tight End. He usually had those things, but they generally lacked the speed on defense that he would face when he met a Florida State or a Miami in the Orange Bowl.
Miami and Florida State always had really fast defenses and even though the Cornhuskers kept the games competitive, they never could get over the hump. Then, Osborne brought in some of his own speed on defense. He recruited the South really, really hard and what resulted were some of college football’s greatest teams ever. Osborne and the Nebraska Cornhuskers won 3 National Championships. They won it all in 1994, 1995 and 1997.
Many people think that the 1995 Huskers led by Quarterback Tommie Frazier, who just happened to be from Florida, was the best college football team of all time.
Urban Meyer knows these things. They have 20 recruits committed for the next class with several of them being from hot recruiting areas in Florida and Georgia.
Yep, Ohio State is in control of it’s own destiny and seemingly in control of the Big 10 right now. They are in the process of becoming a threat nationally.
Like I said previously, Urban Meyers is no fool. He knows exactly what he is doing.