#16 Ohio State Buckeyes: College Football 77 in 77

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2010 was the year that (technically) didn’t happen for Ohio State.  All 12 of the team’s wins from last season will never be recorded, including a win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl that would have ended their all-time 0-9 drought against the SEC.  The 2010-2011 offense was supposed to be one of Jim Tressel’s best.   Now there is no Tressel, and three members of the starting offense are gone for at-least five games, with one Terrelle Pryor taking a permanent vacation from college football.

Yet from the ashes of the biggest scandal in Columbus since Maurice Clarett rises a squad that will still compete this year.  The team will be younger and much less experienced than anyone ever believed it would be, starting with new Head Coach, Luke Fickell, down to a green receiving corps mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores, but the talent is there.  The question is, will talent in lieu of a lack of  game experience be enough to carry this team to another Big Ten crown?

Did you like the intro? It was guest written by my OSU guy Jeff Beck. Now I’ll take over for the rest of the 77 in 77.

2010 was:  not actually within the plane of existence anymore. Meaning those two Ohio State Buckeyes games I covered (opening night vs. Marshall and the annual grudge match versus the hated Michigan Wolverines) no longer officially exist.

Maybe the local rube harassing me about my generic blue and orange scarf, the random guy at the stadium who yelled “AUBURN FAGGOT!” at me before the season finale- maybe he doesn’t exist either? Or the Buckeyes meat-head in the front row who disparaged my summer wardrobe in the opener while I was on the field by screaming “Hey Crockett, where’s Tubbs?” Perhaps he doesn’t exist as well.

Yes Ohio State fans certainly know how to make a college football reporter feel welcome. And they’re going to need that sense of humor now more than ever, as their team is on probation for two years.

BMOCs:  Center Mike Brewster, more on him here, WR DeVier Posey and RB Boom Herron (when they return in midseason) Jordan Hall, Jamaal Berry, Carlos Hyde- one of them will have to emerge as the featured back until Dan Herron returns, and QB is still a question mark with either Braxton Miller or Joe Bauserman getting the call, TE Jake Stoneburner (awesome name!) and OT Mike Adams.

On defense, keep an eye on SS Orhian Johnson, LB Andrew Sweat, DEs Nathan Williams and John Simon

2011 will be fruitful if: a few hundred thousand of the millions of questions about this team get answered. They’ll be without their top guy at QB-WR-RB for the first half of the season; and breaking in a new signal caller, the most important position in all of sports. What about the otehr side of the ball? Only four starters return there. In other words, 2010 was the year to make big things happen. This is a year to re-load.

2011 will be awful if: Fickell doesn’t assume the reins in an authoritative manner. And he needs to find a field general to be a coach among the players too.

“It’s been about the team it’s not about any one person.  Sometimes obviously there is someone who is in charge and someone who is going to take the heat. Usually the head coach and the QB are usually those two guys, but its always been since Ive been there about the team.  Trying to spread the wealth, not about any one person,” Fickell said at media day

Bottom Line:  Despite all the issues, both on and off-the-field, a trip to the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game is still within reach. Yes, it’s scorched Earth time in Columbus, but that scenario still includes classes and classes of tremendous talent. There’s just way too many play-makers around on both sides of the ball for them not to still come close to double digit wins.

“We could sit here and tell you that we’re moving forward, but until you see it you still got that doubt in your mind,” Fickell said at Media day.

“The players are saying the right things doing the right things, but getting out and doing it is where the therapeutic part comes in and we will let everyone else decide if that makes up for Ohio State if that does anything for repairing our name.”

OSU Rankings: #9 Athlon, #14 Lindy’s, #16 Phil Steele

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

CHECK OUT ALL THE 77 IN 77s

#17 Wisconsin Badgers

#18 West Virginia Mountaineers

#19 Michigan State Spartans

#20 Texas A&M Aggies

#21 Texas Longhorns

#22 Miami Hurricanes

#23 South Carolina Gamecocks

#24 Arizona State Sun Devils

#25 Mississippi State Bulldogs

#26 Michigan Wolverines

#27 Air Force Falcons

#28 Mizzou Tigers

#29 Penn State Nittany Lions

#30 USC Trojans

#31 NC State Wolfpack

#32 Texas Tech Red Raiders

#33 North Carolina Tar Heels

#34 BYU Cougars

#35 Northwestern Wildcats

#36 Iowa Hawkeyes

#37 Utah Utes

#38 Illinois Fighting Illini

#39 Arizona Wildcats

#40 Tennessee Volunteers

#41 USF Bulls

#42 Auburn Tigers

#43 Baylor Bears

#44 Maryland Terrapins

#45 Syracuse Orange

#46 Pittsburgh Panthers

#47 Clemson Tigers

#48 Boston College Eagles

#49 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

#50 Southern Miss Golden Eagles

#51 Central Florida Knights

#52 Washington Huskies

#53 SMU Mustangs

#54 Houston Cougars

#55 Iowa State Cyclones

#56 California Golden Bears

#57 Cincinnati Bearcats

#58 UConn Huskies

#59 Louisville Cardinals

#60 Oregon State Beavers

#61 Purdue Boilermakers

#62 San Diego State Aztecs

#63 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

#64 Kentucky Wildcats

#65 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

#66 Navy Midshipmen

#67 Toledo Rockets

#68 Duke Blue Devils

#69 UCLA Bruins

#70 Nevada Wolfpack

#71 Ole Miss Rebels

#72 Hawaii Warriors

#73 Colorado Buffaloes

#74 NIU Huskies

#75 Army Black Knights

#76 Indiana Hoosiers

#77 Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Comments

  1. The “Hey Crockett, where’s Tubbs?” guy might be a meathead, but he’s a funny meathead.

  2. paulmbanks says

    he was awesome. I turned and smiled. And then he said “looking good man”

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