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LGHL Ohio State writers' terrible preseason predictions, revisited

Matt Brown

Ohio State writers' terrible preseason predictions, revisited
Matt Brown
via our friends at Land-Grant Holy Land
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Now that the regular season is in the books, we take a look at what we got right, and what we got hilariously wrong, before the season started.

Before the season started, like we've done every year, all of our writers huddle together and drop a few articles worth of preseason predictions, touching on what we think will happen with Ohio State, the Big Ten, and the national college football scene at large. After the season, it's only fair that we take a look at those predictions, so we can pat ourselves on the back when get something right, and laugh at our horribly dumb predictions.

So, what are we doing this year? Let's take a look.

Which Ohio State QB will play the most snaps this season?

J.T. Barrett: 13 votes

Cardale Jones: 3 votes

Actual answer: Cardale Jones. Sure, J.T. Barrett finished the season as the starter, but it was Jones that threw more passes and actually played more games, thanks his earning the starting job over the offseason, and Barrett's untimely suspension thanks to an OVI. Both, of course, played deep into the season, and perhaps the lack of a consistent, definitive QB played a role in the offensive regression from both players.

After Zeke, who will rush for the most yards next season?

Curtis Samuel: 6 votes

J.T. Barrett: 4 votes

'Zeke with a fake mustache and eye patch': 1 vote

Actual answer: J.T. Barrett. Maybe this makes sense, given how dominating Elliott was this season, but other Ohio State running backs barely got any carries this year. Curtis Samuel got the most running back carries after Elliott, and he only had 17 on the year (Dunn had 14, Warren Ball had 10). Mike Weber was injured in the offseason and didn't play this year. With Elliott leaving, there won't be much game experience left in Ohio State's backfield, although there will be plenty of exciting options.

Who will be Ohio State's leading receiver in terms of yardage?

Michael Thomas: 12 votes

Jalin Marshall: 3 votes

Actual answer: Michael Thomas. This one wasn't that close, as Thomas (709 yards) had 261 more yards than his closest competition, Jalin Marshall. The overall yardage totals perhaps weren't as impressive from this group as we might have thought, but a ton of WR injuries, plus QB instability, plus new offensive coaches would all explain that pretty well.

What kind of impact will Braxton Miller have on offense? Either a Huge Impact, a Strong Impact, a Moderate Impact, A Low Impact, No Impact, or the inevitable transfer to Alabama.

Moderate impact: 9 votes

Strong impact: 6 votes

Actual Answer: Subjective, but probably between moderate and low. Miller was electric in the Virginia Tech game, but it was clear that he was also still learning how to be a wideout, and the offense sometimes struggled to find ways to use him effectively. Miller had 329 yards and 3 TDs as a WR, third on the team, and had a few other big games against Maryland and Rutgers, but as of late, hasn't been much of a factor. In Ohio State's last three games (Illinois, Michigan State and Michigan), Miller has a combined 20 yards. That's not much of an impact.

Which true freshman do you think will make the biggest impact on the team this season?

Jashon Cornell: 5 votes

Justin Hilliard: 3 votes

Mike Weber: 3 votes

A bunch of other people: 1 vote

Actual answer: Nobody, since basically nobody even played. Getting much of an impact from true freshman was a bit of a longshot this year, given Ohio State's experience up and down the field, but we didn't expect redshirting on such a massive scale. Almost nobody from the class of 2015 actually played, and it would be difficult to say that any of them had a substantive impact on the field this season. There'll be plenty of opportunities for this group to earn big playing time next season though.

Which Buckeye that nobody is talking about will step up to make the biggest impact (non-freshman edition)?

Nick Vannett: 3 votes

Sam Hubbard: 2 votes

Noah Brown: 2 votes

A bunch of other people: 1 vote

Actual answer: Subjective, but let's go with Tyquan Lewis. Joey Bosa gets the headlines and the accolades, and deservedly so, but Lewis also had a monster season for the Buckeyes, leading the team in sacks, and will set up what should be another solid Ohio State pass rush for next season, teamed with Sam Hubbard, who also had a great year.

Which game this season scares you the most?

Michigan: 6 votes

Michigan State: 6 votes

Actual answer: Michigan State. Let's not talk about it that one ever again.

What will Ohio State's regular season record be?

12-0: 13 votes

11-1: 3 votes

Actual answer: 11-1. Well, can't win 'em all forever I guess.

How will Ohio State's season end?

Repeat as national champions: 12 votes

First round playoff loss: 2 votes

Championship game loss: 2 votes

Actual answer: No playoff bid, Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. Well, we were all wrong. Stupid homer blogs.

How many Ohio State coaches will leave for other jobs after the season?

2: 10 votes

1: 6 votes

Actual answer: Just one, so far. There is technically still time for another coach to leave, perhaps after the bowl game, but it seems like Chris Ash leaving to take the Rutgers head coaching job will be the only Ohio State assistant leaving.

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten East (7 points for a 1st place finish, 6 points for 2nd, etc)

Ohio State: 112 points (unanimous)

Michigan State: 95 points

Penn State: 75 points

Michigan: 66 points

Maryland: 42 points

Indiana: 32 points

Rutgers: 26 points

Actual answer: Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

LET THE RECORD STATE that I also specifically mentioned in our post that I thought Maryland was going to totally suck. It is one of the two things I personally nailed this preseason.

Please list your predicted order of finish in the Big Ten West

Wisconsin: 107 points

Nebraska: 89 points

Minnesota: 81 points

Iowa: 64 points

Illinois: 44 points

Northwestern: 41 points

Purdue: 21 points

Actual answer: Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue. Lol. Welp.

What Big Ten team is most likely to surpass expectations this year?

Penn State: 6 votes

Michigan: 3 votes

Actual answer: Iowa. I mean, fine, Northwestern and Michigan had solid seasons, but nobody had to have a difficult conversation with their children about Northwestern this year. Iowa got exactly one vote from our staff. So did Rutgers.

Who in the Big Ten is most likely to wildly disappoint?

Michigan: 3 votes

Minnesota: 3 votes

Nebraska: 3 votes

A bunch of other teams: 1 vote

Actual answer: Subjective, but Minnesota and Nebraska are probably fine. Two teams that were expected to compete for a division title ended up going 5-7 and backed into an embarrassing bowl because of their APR scores. Great season! At least Nebraska won their bowl game.

Who is your Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year?

Ezekiel Elliott: 12 votes

J.T. Barrett: 4 votes

Actual answer: Ezekiel Elliott. In a year where a lot of Ohio State's offensive players struggled, Ezekiel Elliott still absolutely lived up to expectations.

Who is your Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year?

Joey Bosa: 8 votes

Darron Lee: 4 votes

Shilique Calhoun: 3 votes

Joshua Perry: 1 vote

Actual answer: Carl Nassib. That isn't to say that Bosa and Calhoun didn't have a great years, but it's difficult to ignore Nassib's massive statistical performances.

Which Big Ten player that nobody is talking about will have a monster season?

De'Mornay Pierson-El: 2 votes

A bunch of other people: 1 vote

Actual answer: Subjective, but Desmond King or Carl Nassib probably are fine picks. Many of the players who got votes had fine seasons, like Jake Butt and L.J Scott, but not like King or Nassib had. Pierson-El was hurt most of the season. Whoops.

Which team in the preseason Coaches Poll Top 10 is most likely to disappoint?

TCU: 4 votes

Notre Dame: 4 votes

Actual answer: Probably Auburn. TCU and Notre Dame both ended up with perfectly fine seasons, although outside of the playoff. Georgia and Auburn, two other teams to get votes from our staff members, did not.

Which team in the preseason Coaches Poll 11-25 range do you see as having the best chance of making the playoffs?

Georgia Tech: 4 votes

LSU: 3 votes

Clemson: 3 votes

UCLA: 2 votes

Actual answer: Clemson and Oklahoma. Well how about that, two teams from the 11-25 spots ended up making the playoff. We had a few smart folks nail their Clemson pick, but nobody took Oklahoma. We had lots of people who were excited about a team that didn't even make a bowl game though, so we have that going for us, which is nice.

Which team outside the top 25 do you see a potential sleeper?

Texas A&M: 5 votes

South Carolina: 2 votes

Penn State: 2 vote

A bunch of other teams: 1 vote

Actual answer: North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Michigan. All three of these teams each got one vote from one of our staffers, while the teams that we had some real excitement about all underachieved pretty significantly.

Which team outside of the Power 5 do you see as the most dangerous?

Boise State: 8 votes

Cincinnati: 3 votes

BYU: 2 votes

Actual answer: Houston. This was a banner year for The American, and as a staff, we mostly whiffed on it. The one AAC team we did like before the season got demolished by San Diego State in the Hawaii bowl. Meanwhile, Houston, led by former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman, beat out multiple other solid AAC squads like Navy and Temple to grab the Group of Five bid and a shot at Florida State in the Peach Bowl.

Who is the highest profile coach that's going to get axed this year?

Al Golden: 11 votes

A couple of other coaches: 1 vote

Actual answer: Mark Richt. I mean, Al Golden did get fired, so I think we all deserve partial credit for that.

Who is winning the Heisman Trophy?

Ezekiel Elliott: 7 votes

Trevone Boykin: 3 votes

Nick Chubb: 3 votes

A few guys who are not Derrick Henry: 1 vote

Actual answer: Derrick Henry. This was a fairly big miss from our staff, as only one actual Heisman finalist, Deshaun Watson, got a single vote. I think I voted for Cody Kessler. That, in retrospect, wasn't smart.

Who are your four playoff teams, and who is going to win it all?

Ohio State: 16 playoff votes, 9 championship votes

TCU: 8 playoff votes

Alabama: 7 playoff votes, 3 championship votes

Auburn: 7 playoff votes

USC: 6 playoff votes, 1 championship vote

A bunch of teams that are not Oklahoma or Clemson: a few votes

Actual answers: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma. Auburn, Georgia, USC and Georgia Tech getting votes, in retrospect, does seem a little silly. Michigan State got a single vote from an author, but nobody picked Clemson or Oklahoma.

So all in all, not the best of showings from the LGHL staff, but given how high expectations were for Ohio State back in August, the near-consensus level of optimistic wasn't crazy or too homer-tinged. We'll have to see if we can do better next season.

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