At Least He’s Not In The SEC Anymore: Urban Meyer’s 2015 Buckeyes are Terrifying
(Author’s note: This is NOT a man crush post on
the Ohio State University, because I loathe Urban Meyer, the state of Ohio, and Big Ten everything. This is a warning that the squad hoisting the trophy on Monday night should be even better next year.)
Dear God, what did we just witness in the first College Football Playoff?
Urban Meyer is BACK, y’all. And he has somehow taken a 6-6 team under a fairly silly bowl ban to a national championship with a third-string quarterback. In just under three years. He combined #SECspeed with #B1Gcornfed with terrifying results against physical teams in Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Alabama, and with great prejudice against spread team Oregon in the championship. Both lines of scrimmage were painted scarlet and gray very early on, and the explosiveness of the skill guys and back seven looked like the most dominant of recent SEC teams.
Oh, and the Buckeyes stand to bring back 16 starters from this tour de force.
It’s absolutely egregious that a team can take their third-team quarterback and win neutral site games against the 13th, 1st and 2nd ranked teams in the land, and do it scoring a MINIMUM of 42 points. But that’s what the Buckeyes did with Cardale Jones, who I seriously believe should take his talents to the NFL. They don’t teach that kind of arm strength, but BOY do they pay for it. His replacement? 3rd-place Heisman finisher J.T. Barrett. Or former Heisman candidate Braxton Miller, who is rumored to be likely to transfer, but still. No issues there.
The running game is strong behind preseason-hype-generator Ezekiel Elliott, but this is the scary part: that O-line that thoroughly manhandled Oregon brings back 4 starters and 4 second-teamers. Yikes.
Despite the loss of leading receiver Devin Smith (28 ypc? WHAT?), the receiving game promises to improve as well, with the return of Dontre Wilson from injury and literally everyone else due to being ineligible for the NFL. Jalin Marshall in the Percy Harvin spot, as we saw on Monday, is going to be a problem.
More bad news here: 8 of the top 10 tacklers are slated to return, and logical replacements for both Curtis and Doran Grant are already established players! To a defense that finished 19th in yards per game THIS year!
Yeah, holy s**t.
One of the most impressive players I saw when rewatching the game last night was one with whom Georgia fans should be somewhat familiar: Raekwon (love the Wu-Tang penetration into sports culture) McMillan. The Georgia native only registered 54 tackles and 2.5 sacks this year, but he was a true freshman playing a backup role to the departing Curtis Grant.
Another true freshman LB, Darron Lee, had 5.5 sacks. Joey Bosa, a rising junior DE, had 13.5.
There are more names on both sides of the ball attached to a veritable ton of recruiting stars, but they don’t even merit mentioning yet until we see them on the field. Given the fact that the last three classes for the Buckeyes have all ranked in the top 3 nationally, expect more superstar names to emerge and be added to the list above.
We’ll finish the rant with Ohio State’s schedule. No, they were not promoted to the SEC or any other real league due to their dominance in the CFP. They still play in the B1G, which means losses are harder to come by.
They open with a Labor Day revenge trip to Virginia Tech, which may or may not be the last game of Frank Beamer’s career. A nonconference slate of no-names visiting the Horseshoe follows.
October road trips: Indiana and Rutgers. Home? Penn State and Maryland, which…still…eh. Add a home game vs. Minnesota and a trip to Illinois Nov. 14, and 10-0 is a mortal lock.
So, yeah. With all of this, Ohio State is two wins over the Michigans away from an undefeated (and unchallenged) regular season. They get Sparty at home, and travel to play
Brady Hoke hangover Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan team Thanksgiving weekend.
It bears repeating: This is NOT a man crush post on
the Ohio State University, because I loathe Urban Meyer, the state of Ohio, and Big Ten everything. This is a warning that the squad hoisting the trophy on Monday night should be even better next year.