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BuckeyePlanet

Ohio State Athletics Fan Community

1. QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY

Love Cardale. Just love him.

Like the other one better.

2. PROPER USE OF YOUR DVR REMOTE

If you press the fast forward button and the pause button while holding your mouth just right you can get any of OSU's players to do a spin move.

3. THE DOW AND THE ZEKE

If you draw a trend line of Zeke's rushing yards in his last four games and extend it out he will have negative yards rushing against Hawaii.
The offseason can seem interminable, even when you get the spend the entire time reliving a championship season from the year before. After watching everybody else take the field, we finally got to see the Buckeyes. What can we take away from this game?

Top Plays:

3.)Michael Thomas: perhaps the most underrated player on the team, and in the country.


More after the jump...
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK.

We spend eight months taking in every little morsel of information we can get. We project who will win and who will lose, who will have a successful season and who will not. After all of the talk and hype, the first week of games should make things a little more clear about how the season will go. Did it though?

Most people thought TCU would be really good and Minnesota would be just OK. After what happened on Thursday, it seems we know less now than we did before they played each other. Does Minnesota miss its departed players on offense that bad, or were they simply stymied by a TCU team that traditionally has one of the best defenses in the country? Is TCU going to struggle to move the ball despite bringing everybody back from an offense that was nearly unstoppable last season, or is Minnesota better than we thought? Is this going to be one of those "good" Northwestern teams that sneaks up on people, or is Stanford just inept?

That's just one example. These kinds of questions can be asked after most of the games we've seen this weekend. Sweeping proclamations will be made - as college football fans it's something we just can't resist. However, we've only completed the first chapter of a book that's still being written. I think that instead of affirming answers that we thought we knew during the offseason, we've only discovered the questions that we didn't yet know to ask about this season. We don't know how this will end - or maybe we do...
Ohio State's defense wasn't great in 2014 (22.0 ppg, 342.4 ypg), but it didn't really need to be because the offense was (44.8 ppg, 511.6 ypg). The two biggest positives for the defense were its ability to create turnovers (25 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries, 6 touchdowns); and the progress that it made during the post-season with impressive performances against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon and their respective superstars (Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper, and Marcus Mariota).

The defensive line was a strength in 2014, but the unit will have to replace All American defensive tackle
Michael Bennett; starting defensive end Steve Miller; and key reserve Rashad Frazier. Fortunately, junior All American Joey Bosa (55 tackles, 21 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, scoop six) returns. After only two seasons in Columbus, Bosa is already in 14th in career TFLs with 34.5, and 7th in career sacks with 21.0. Also returning is senior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington (48 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks) who has earned some pre-season All American recognitions. Senior Tommy Schutt has battled injuries throughout his career, and he will finally get a chance to lock down the nose tackle position. A trio of unproven players will get their opportunities at defensive end: sophomore Tyquan Lewis will start opposite Joey Bosa, while sophomore Jalyn Holmes and redshirt freshman Sam Hubbard will get...
The biggest question concerning the Ohio State offense - really the only question - is who will be the starting quarterback. The battle is between redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett, who set team records last season with 3,772 total yards and 45 total touchdowns; and redshirt junior Cardale Jones, who led the Buckeyes on their amazing run to the national championship after Barrett suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the fourth quarter of the Michigan game. With his keen grasp of the read-option, Barrett probably fits Urban Meyer's scheme better. On the other hand, Jones has outstanding size (6' 5", 265 lbs) and a rocket arm that can force opponents to defend the entire field. The winner supposedly won't be declared until the opening series of the Virginia Tech game. My guess is that Barrett will start and Jones will also see some valuable playing time.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott enters the 2015 as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. After his monster 2014 season (273 carries, 1,878 yards, 18 TDs), Elliott now has 2,140 yards rushing, good for 20th place in Ohio State history (tied with Ron Springs). Zeke needs 1,629 yards to claim second place on the all-time list behind the legendary Archie Griffin (5,589 yards). The biggest impediment to Elliott compiling huge numbers in 2015 will the Buckeyes themselves - will Zeke be able to get enough carries in an offense loaded with playmakers, especially when many of the games will likely be over by halftime?

With sophomore Curtis Samuel (58 carries, 383 yards, 6 TDs in 2014) moving to H-back, the reserve running back duties will be manned by a trio of inexperienced players: redshirt junior Bri'onte Dunn (34 carries, 196 yards,...
1. The 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes

The 2002 Buckeyes were characterized by a tenacious defense, a strong running attack, and an ability to win close games late in the contest. Some people might call this final quality "luck", but I prefer the term "preparation meeting opportunity". Whatever you want to call it, the Buckeyes had tons of it that year. And they needed every last ounce of it.

In their four previous national championship seasons, Ohio State opened their schedule with a team from the state of Texas: 1957 TCU; 1961 TCU; 1968 SMU; 1970 TAMU. In 2002, it would be Texas Tech. The Buckeyes routed the Red Raiders, 45-21 (and the game wasn't even that close). True freshman tailback Maurice Clarett rushed for 175 yards and 3 touchdowns (59, 45, and 2 yards) as the Buckeyes amassed 318 yards on the ground. The defense forced seven sacks and an interception, while holding Tech's high-powered offense to 21 points and 372 yards; 14 of those points and 152 of those yards came in garbage time.

After an easy 51-17 victory over Kent State, the #6 Buckeyes faced their first true test of the season when #10 Washington State visited The Horseshoe. The Cougars' quarterback, Jason Gesser, was a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, and many pundits felt that he would carve up the Buckeye defense. Despite the hype, the game wasn't much of a contest. The Buckeyes shut down Gesser (247 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 2 sacks), and rendered Washington State's running game nonexistent (22 carries for 18 yards). On the other hand, Maurice Clarett rushed for 230 yards, 194 of them (and 2 TDs) in the second half. The final score: Ohio State 25, Washington State 7.

Next on the schedule was Cincinnati, a game that the Buckeyes were expected to win handily. However, with Clarett on the sidelines with an injury and the Bearcats playing inspired football, Ohio State needed a Houdini act to escape Paul Brown Stadium undefeated. While the Buckeye...
Welcome to College Football Right Meow!

Not long ago, BuckeyePlanet got a brand new front page and @Clarity put out a call for #content to drive #traffic to the site. I thought to myself, “Gee, I’d really like to contribute but I’m not really an expert or insider.” Then I remembered that BuckeyePlanet is a site on the internet. The internet is comprised of about 50% college football #hottakes by idiots, and the other 50% is cats. That gave me an idea...

What if I made picks for college football games every week? What if one of my cats made picks too, and we tried to see who's best? We could generate #content every week complete with college football #hottakes, #banter, and cats. We could achieve Peak Internet. We could become famous on Twitter, which is pretty much the loftiest achievement one can aspire to in 2015.

[​IMG]
Me, speaking with my friend Jerry after coming up with this idea.

Though I do not pretend to be an expert, I do still have some pride. I don't want to get shown up by a cat. That means that if I'm going to stick my neck out there and make bold assertions, I need to set the bar low in terms of competition. Skip Bayless has mastered this. Everybody knows he's an idiot, but when he sits across from whatever rube ESPN lines up for him to "debate", viewers end up thinking that he *might not* be the dumbest person they are hearing speak at that particular moment. When it comes to generating #content, it's a winning formula.

That's why I chose to make picks against the dumber of our two cats. His name is Leo. That’s what my wife has told me his name is. I call him Poobert. “Leo” seems like a regal name. He looks looks like more of a “Poobert.” Behold:

poobert.png
This is Poobert. He is not very...
2. The 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes

Regardless of what happens in the future, this team will always be remembered as the winner of the first ever college playoff for major college football. But the road to that playoff berth was a rocky one, and the final destination was in doubt until the very end.

Ohio State began the 2014 season ranked #5 in the AP poll, but before the team ever saw the field that ranking was already in jeopardy. Just eleven days before the opening game, starting quarterback Braxton Miller (2012, 2013 Big Ten OPOY) was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. The Buckeye offense would now be in the inexperienced hands of redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who had never taken a snap at the college level. To make matters worse, Barrett would be operating behind an offensive line that was breaking in four new starters, none of whom had been a blue chip recruit.

The Buckeyes opened on the road against Navy, and they certainly didn't look like a top-ten squad. Trailing 7 to 6 early in the third quarter, Ohio State got its first touchdown of the year on a 61-yard fumble recovery by freshman linebacker Darron Lee; the offense wouldn't find the end zone for another nine minutes, when Barrett connected on an 80-yard pass to wide receiver Devin Smith. A pair of fourth quarter scores pushed the final score to 34-17. In the end, the more talented team won, but it was a struggle the entire way.

The offense's woes became much worse in week two against Virginia Tech. Facing the Hokies' "Bear" defense, the Buckeyes managed only 21 points and 327 yards. Barrett completed just 9 of 29 passes, was sacked seven times, and threw three interceptions. The defense wasn't much better, especially in the first half when it allowed the Hokies to score 21 points and convert 7 of 9 third downs. Despite the uninspiring effort, with 59 seconds left on the clock the Buckeyes had the ball at midfield with a chance to tie the game...
3. The 1968 Ohio State Buckeyes

In the eight-year span from 1954 to 1961, Woody Hayes won three national titles (1954, 1957, and 1961) and four Big Ten championships (1954, 1955, 1957, and 1961); and produced thirteen All Americans and a Heisman Trophy (Hopalong Cassady), a Maxwell Award (Bob Ferguson), and an Outland Trophy (Jim Parker).

But after those glory days, Hayes saw his program enter the doldrums. From 1962 to 1967, Ohio State had a record of 35-18-1 (.657 winning percentage), with no Big Ten championships, no major award winners, and only six All Americans. To many observers, it looked like Woody's career at Ohio State might be done.

And then came 1968. In a year that symbolized unrest in the world at large, Ohio State arose from the ashes to upend the college football world. The Buckeyes were young, and they would start as many as twelve untested sophomores, including Rex Kern at the all-important quarterback position. By the end of the season, these fine rookies would prove their worth and would become known as the "Super Sophs".

As in 1957 and 1961, the Buckeyes began their 1968 national championship run against a team from Texas. This time it was SMU instead of TCU. Unlike those earlier seasons, however, the Buckeyes won their opening contest by a comfortable 35-14 margin. After defeating the Oregon Ducks 21 to 6, Ohio State began its conference slate with a game against Purdue. The Boilermakers had won the Big Ten crown in 1967, and they were favored to repeat in 1968; at that early point in the season, Purdue also held the number one ranking in the AP poll. With All American tailback Leroy Keyes and quarterback Mike Phipps, the Boilermakers were a solid 13-point favorite, but the Buckeyes were not intimidated by the high-powered Purdue offense. A stifling Buckeye defense held Keyes to just 18 yards rushing, and Phipps to 10 of 28 passing for 106 yards and a "pick six", all while holding the...
4. The 1954 Ohio State Buckeyes

In the nine years between the 1944 perfect season and 1953, the Buckeyes had four head coaches who posted a combined record of 48-27-7 (for a mediocre winning percentage of .628) with just a single Big Ten co-championship in the 1949 season. Against arch rival Michigan the Buckeyes had performed much worse, with a record of 1-7-1 while being outscored by the Wolverines 149-49. And even those lousy numbers painted a brighter picture than reality: In their lone win (1952), the Buckeyes had scored 27 of those 49 points; in the other eight games, they averaged less than three points, failed to crack double digits, and had been held scoreless on three separate occasions.

During the Buckeyes' slide into mediocrity, Ohio State was becoming known as the graveyard of coaches. The fourth head coach in the post-Paul Brown era was a relatively young and unknown commodity who'd had brief tenures at Denison University and Miami of Ohio before accepting the Buckeyes' post. He was already on the hot seat after only three seasons, but an overall record of 16-9-2 will generally earn you a quick ticket out of Columbus. Fortunately for Buckeye fans, that coach got one more year, and he made the most of his final opportunity.

Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes was hired in 1951 to be Ohio State's head football coach when Buckeye legend Wes Fesler (All American in 1928, 1929, and 1930) resigned after losing to Michigan in the infamous Snow Bowl. Hayes was not the school's first choice (the hiring committee initially offered the job to Missouri head coach Don Faurot), nor a very popular selection amongst the fans (who wanted Paul Brown to return to Columbus after his success with the Cleveland Browns). During his first three years on campus, Hayes did little to endear himself with either group, winning less than sixty percent of his games while suffering two shut-out losses to Michigan in three tries....