Friday, December 11, 2015

Final Heisman Ballots and Predictions

Godspeed, Ezekiel Elliott. You may be the most complete running back we've seen in quite a while, and any of us would rather have you on our team than any of the guys we're going to list, but you'll have to make do with your championship ring and impending early-round draft pick.

Let's Go Bucks Heisman Index
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3a. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3b. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Let's Go Bucks Heisman Prediction
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Deshaun Watson (QB--Clem)

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliot (RB--OSU)

Draper Heisman Prediction
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Deshaun Watson (QB--Clem)

Hoying Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Hoying Heisman Prediction (hello 2009)
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Deshaun Watson (QB--Clem)

Schweinfurth Heisman Ballot
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
2. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
3. Ezekiel Elliot (RB--OSU)

Schweinfurth Heisman Prediction
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Deshaun Watson (QB--Clem)
3. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Seeberg Heisman Prediction
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Deshaun Watson (QB-- Clem)

Sunday, December 06, 2015


The final PLAYOFF RANKINGS are due sometime around 12:30 P.M. on Sunday. Here's what the playoff would look like if we had a vote, plus what we think will actually happen.

Let's Go Bucks Playoff Field
1. Clemson
2. Michigan State
3. Alabama
4. Oklahoma

Let's Go Bucks Prediction
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Oklahoma

Draper Playoff Field
1. Clemson
2. Michigan State
3. Alabama
4. Oklahoma

Draper Prediction
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Oklahoma

Hoying Playoff Field
1. Clemson
2. Michigan State
3. Alabama
4. Oklahoma

Hoying Prediction
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Oklahoma

Schweinfurth Playoff Field
1. Clemson
2. Michigan State
3. Oklahoma
4. Alabama

Schweinfurth Prediction
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Michigan State
4. Oklahoma

Seeberg Playoff Field
1. Clemson
2. Oklahoma
3. Michigan State
4. Alabama

Seeberg Prediction
1. Clemson
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma
4. Michigan State

Friday, December 04, 2015

Week 14 - Just a Fool's Hope

1) Seeberg             49-21    (2-11 upset) 

2) Draper               46-24    (5-8 upset)
3) Schweinfurth    45-25    (2-11 upset)
4) Hoying              45-25    (1-12 upset)

The enemy is slain once again, but thanks to the Buckeyes forgetting not to give a damn for the whole STATE of Michigan, they find themselves at home on Championship Weekend for the first time since getting robbed of a berth in 2012. Our playoff hopes are likely not dead yet, but you'd be better off just buckling in and enjoying a weekend of entertaining matchups.

MAC: Bowling Green Falcons vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

Draper: I haven't seen BG at all this year, but I did see NIU hang with the Bucks for 4 quarters.  Yes, that Buckeye team was quite different, but NIU had fairly consistent QB play and a nice defense.  BG had some decent wins as well, but NIU seems to be peaking at the end of the year.  I'll lean to the Huskies for the champ of Maction.  BGSU: 31--NIU:35
Hoying: Do you remember when the 2-0 Huskies took the consensus #1 Ohio State Buckeyes to the wire in Columbus, and everyone wondered if NIU would be back on track toward a major bowl game? Pepperidge Farm remembers...Anyway, Northern Illinois has been pretty "eh" since then, scoring a nice win over Toledo but losing to a few mediocre teams along the way. However, tellingly, none of their losses has been due to a real defensive breakdown, which is good news for them, since the Falcons feature one of the nation's most potent offenses. Look for BG's attack to slow a bit this week, just enough for the MAC West's juggernaut to take another conference title. BGSU: 34--NIU: 35
Schweinfurth: Hey look, Northern Illinois is in another MACtion Championship game. This is the same Huskies team the slowed down Ohio State's (supposedly) high powered attack in week 2. Bowling Green runs much the same offense, so one would assume the Huskies will be ready for the Falcons. A Huskies' win makes OSU look better. BGSU: 17--NIU: 28
Seeberg:  Death, taxes, and NIU in the MAC title game.  The Huskies have been that consistent this year, but they are a bit down by comparison and needed some help to get to the title game this season.  The rest of the MAC (BGSU, Toledo, Western Michigan, etc.) is catching up.  Meanwhile, after a midseason offensive lull, the Falcons are back on stride, showing the form that allowed them to drop 48 on B1G foe Maryland before conference season hit.  I'm going with the hot team.  BGSU: 38--NIU: 31

AAC: #24 Temple Owls @ #17 Houston Cougars

Draper: Hmmmm...Houston took out Navy in surprising fashion last week, and Temple has been floating around after their close loss to ND.  This may be a game for a New Years Six bowl.  While people say defense wins championships, offense generally rules these lower level games.  In that case, Houston is the pick.  Tom Herman keeps the impressive debut rolling and his biggest question is where to go next year.  Tem: 20--Hou: 35
Hoying: OK. Maybe it was unfair for me to call out Tom Herman after Houston lost to mediocre UConn. Their star QB Greg Ward Jr. was injured and while Herman is no stranger to backup magic, there isn't quite the depth deep in the heart of Texas that he enjoyed at Ohio State. But after an impressive bounceback win against Navy, the Cougs' goals are still in front of them, and Kyle Postma's not taking snaps for Houston this time. Temple's had a nice season, and they played the Irish tough, but their D can't run with the Houston attack. Welcome back to the big leagues, boys. Tem: 24--Hou: 34

Schweinfurth: Houston can still make a New Year's 6 bowl and Touchdown Tom Herman will have the Cougars ready for this one. He will no undoubtedly have his team behind him after signing that nice, fat new contract to stay put. I doubt there is much defense in this game, but the Cougars seem to be able to make the adjustments needed in the second half (it's nice to have a MENSA member as a coach). Tem: 28--Hou: 42
Seeberg:  The Houston Hermans grabbed a huge win last Saturday, pummeling Navy after a shocking loss at UConn.  It seems that loss galvanized the troops (Va Tech loss in 2014, anyone)?  Temple plays a bit better defense than the Midshipmen, but it's hard to imagine them amassing a similar number of points.  Greg Ward Jr. looked healthy as can be swimming by the Navy last week, and there's little reason to think it won't continue in the AAC title game.  Onto a second straight New Year's Day bowl for Tom Herman.  Tem: 20--Hou: 35

SEC: #20 Florida Gators vs. #3 Alabama Crimson Tide
Draper: Get REEEEEEEALLLL lucky.  Florida used to be the pride of the SEC but they have completely faceplanted at the end of the 2015 season.  Bama is chugging along as the 'unstoppable juggernaut' without a marquee win on the docket (but lots of good wins).  The Gators don't provide the marquee opportunity, but with the committee's love for all things Saban, win and they're in.  As much as I want to punch myself in the face, I want the Gators to channel their inner Tebow, but I fear this will end like the 2009 SEC championship with Saban dining on Gator tears. UF: 3--Bama: 28
Hoying: Remember the 90's? When the East seemed to win this game every single year? Fortunes have reversed in the last several years, with the West division winner taking the SEC crown on their way to the championship every year since...2008, when Urban Meyer's #2 Gators whomped Saban's #1 Tide on their way to a second national title in 3 years. At least the East champ made it 2012. More remarkable statistic: Alabama is attempting to become the first SEC team to win back-to-back conference titles since TENNESSEE in 1997-98. In their way is a Florida team dead-set on emulating the 2014 Virginia Tech - Wake Forest debacle in every game. For Ohio State to have any chance at a playoff, they NEED the Gators to win, but can it be done? The Gator D is certainly tough enough to stop Henry and the Tide, but Treon Harris is still baaaaaaaaaad. Short of a multiple turnover performance by Alabama, I don't see it happening. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Flobi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. UF: 10--Bama: 20
Schweinfurth: For all the talk about how dominant the Bama defense is, Florida has a pretty damn good defense too. Alabama will have to pass to win this game because the Gator D is going to swarm Derrick Henry. Bama will win this game (even though I am hoping for chaos, see ACC Champ game) but Florida should make it interesting. Lots of field goals and not so many touchdowns. UF: 9--Bama: 15

Seeberg:  The question remains- will Lane Kiffin continue to do nothing more than give the ball to Derrick Henry?  The most overpaid coordinator on earth probably will- but the Gators' offense is so bad it likely won't matter.  I shudder to think what Zeke and the Slobs could've done to Auburn if he had 46 carries.  Nonetheless, not enough SEC chaos to help the Buckeyes' flickering CFP hopes.  Let's just hope Bama loses in the playoff so we can have THREE straight years of no SEC national champion and maybe people will finally shut up about that conference.  Fla: 6--Bama: 24

Pac-12: #23 USC Trojans vs. #7 Stanford Cardinal
Draper:  Stanford just won't die.  They're the team everyone touts without really understanding why.  Ask Northwestern about the love they've gotten with the same record and a win over the Cardinal.  SC has the horses to pull off the upset, but will their head be in the game? We saw this game earlier, but this time, the Trojans have a sober coach (although I don't get the removal of the interim tag, yet).  Christian McCaffrey is a solid all around player as is HOOOOGAN, but it's time for SC to bounce back and take their rightful place.  Kessler and the Trojans end the Pac 12 playoff hopes.  USC: 21--Stan: 20
Hoying: Didn't we do this already? Alternatively, Stanford is 8-1 in conference and USC is 6-3...why is this game necessary? You'd never expect it, but in a league with 12 teams playing 9 conference games each, you see A LOT of pointless rematches. At any rate, this game could have implications for Ohio State's already minuscule playoff hopes, in that a 2-loss Pac-12 Champion Stanford with wins over Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC could jump our beloved Bucks. This season proves that the most miserable part of a loss isn't the actual loss itself, it's having to root for Penn State, Florida, and USC afterwards. Not that rooting for Stanford would have made me any happier. Thank God the Michigan/Michigan State game happened earlier in the year so that we could savor the hilarious ending of that game for a few weeks before we realize it screwed us over in the B1G East standings. Blah blah Christian McCaffrey good blah blah USC defense bad blah blah Clay Helton prrrrrromotion. USC: 20--Stan: 31

Schweinfurth: Christian McCaffery is the real deal. Unfortunately for him and his Heisman hopes, he plays after most people have gone to bed (good job Pac-12 schedulers). USC has looked like a more cohesive team since Sark was let go, but Stanford should still steamroll the Trojans. USC: 17--Stan: 35
Seeberg:  Cardinal vs. Trojans, take two.  Rematches in the postseason in college football often go the opposite way of the initial meeting, but a lot has changed since then.  Oregon exposed Stanford's typically solid defense to hand the Cardinal their only conference loss.  USC has regained its form under interim head coach Clay Helton.  However, the Cardinal have a conceivable back door entrance into the CFP should Clemson or Bama be upset.  It would require a thrashing of a solid opponent in the title game clash, but amazingly, in just year two, there is already a precedent for that (albeit that team had only one loss).  With enough to play for since their kickoffs are just half an hour apart, the Cardinal beat USC again and sprint into the locker room to hope for an upset.  USC: 27--Stan: 38

ACC: #14 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #1 Clemson Tigers

Draper: Clemson in the playhoff....does anyone really buy it? Will the Clemsoning rear it's head in the playoffs or now? The Tigers have avoided the bug all year, but now they're in a period of complacency.  UNC has quietly stormed back after losing to a terrible South Carolina team and one.  I'm hoping for a little more magic in the tank and a little more Dabo to raise the chaos flag high and give hope to 5 teams: OSU, Stanford, UNC, B1G loser, and Clemson (still) for that last playoff spot.  UNC: 31--Clemson: 28
Hoying: They believed they had put it to rest...Just when they thought it was safe to go back onto the field...It's here, at last...THE CLEMSONING! UNC: -OK, so that wasn't exactly a hot take. Here's something that should stir up the masses a little: after Clemson Clemsons this away to a hot UNC squad, the Tigers will still be IN the playoff ahead of Ohio State (unless Stanford jumps them), and the Tar Heels will still be OUT. Take a look at each team's resume and tell me I'm wrong. UNC: 31--Clem: 27

Schweinfurth: There is something about college football chaos that brings back the warm and fuzzy feelings. We haven't has absolute chaos during Championship week since the infamous "all the teams ranked above Ohio State lose after the Bucks destroyed TUN" of 2007. Ladies and gentlemen, WE. ARE. DUE! Not only are we do for chaos, we are due for a Clemsoning. I don't care if Clemson still gets in over OSU, I just want to watch the crap hit the fan. UNC: 28--Clem: 24
Seeberg:  I gotta be honest here, I am stunned none of my colleagues have this game as high-scoring as I envision it.  UNC has been as dominant offensively as anybody this side of Oklahoma in the last 6 weeks.  Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson & Co. have meandered their way to the title game unscathed, seemingly a bit unfocused after beating their two trickiest oppponents in Notre Dame and Florida State relatively early in the season.  Can Clemson flip the proverbial switch like OSU did last season (or against scUM this season, or MSU against PSU this season, for that matter)?  My answer is...kinda.  I don't trust Dabo to get his team to peak at the proper time *cough COOPER cough*.  However, I do trust Deshaun Watson to simply outscore the Heels.  Clemson will get its comeuppance in the playoff, but it will, sadly for us, make it there.  UNC: 38--Clem: 48

B1G: #5 Michigan State Spartans vs. #2 Iowa Hawkeyes

Draper: This makes me sick.  There is NO reason the Buckeyes aren't here defending the crown other than one of the worst performances in recent memory.  Close your eyes and imagine it...your Undefeated 2015 National Champions: The Iowa that you're done laughing, it could actually happen.  About the X's and O's, MSU has a decided advantage in nearly every aspect of this game.  Better QB, RB, defense, etc. but Iowa can tout the unblemished schedule.  I think it comes to a close Sat as the Spartans end the hopes of the lovable Hawkeyes and head to the playoff in one of the most pedestrian playoffs in sports history.  This is on you Buckeyes.... MSU: 34--Iowa: 20
Hoying: Ughhhhh, this game makes me ill just to write about. Somehow, Iowa is still undefeated, and they haven't looked bad along the way. The win over Northwestern is holding up well, particularly since the Hawkeyes throttled the Wildcats, but Iowa hasn't been tested in quite a while. On the other side of the ball, the Spartans passed their toughest test in November and also fared well in big matchups against Michigan and Oregon, though no win was by more than one score. Wherein lies the edge? Dantonio and the Spartans don't lose many big games like this. 2 straight New Year's bowl wins, two wins over undefeated and top 2 ranked Buckeyes...this isn't a Rutgers or Indiana that Michigan State will struggle to put away. Iowa is legitimately good enough to keep this close, but the Sparty party continues into New Year's Eve (though likely not beyond). MSU: 31--Iowa: 21
Schweinfurth: For the record, I had a talk with my, at the time, 5 month old son about an undefeated Iowa. Thankfully, I don't think I will have to have another conversation like that this year. Yes, Iowa has had the best year in program history and will be in a New Year's 6 bowl, but Michigan State is just the better team. Dantonio has something cooking up there in East Lansing and it will be interesting to see what they do in the playoffs. This game is close in true Sparty fashion. MSU: 21--Iowa: 17
Seeberg:  Let's be real here, does ANYONE think Iowa is really the best in the B1G?  Yeah, me neither.  OSU, scUM and MSU likely run the table in the B1G West if referees figure out what out of bounds means anyways.  Connor Cook looked every bit as healthy as he could be in Sparty's torching of Penn State last week, dropping a double-nickel on a reasonably sound Nittany Lion defense.  Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes literally went 0'fer on 3rd downs (0-9, in fact) yet somehow did something Michigan State couldn't- win in Lincoln.  That 3rd-down conversion rate will be much more at a premium on Saturday as Ferentz will try to use the power run to shorten the game.  No such luck.  Sparty gets punched in the mouth early, but pulls away late.  MSU: 28--Iowa: 17

Upset Special

Draper: Texas over Baylor (why not?)
Hoying: Air Force over San Diego State
Schweinfurth: Southern Miss over WKU (not much to pick from)
Seeberg: Kansas State over West Virginia  

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 13

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish. Leave a comment to convince the Committee to put the Buckeyes in the top 4.

Let's Go Bucks Index
1. Clemson (unchanged)
2. Iowa (unchanged)
3. Alabama (unchanged)
4. Oklahoma (up 1)
5. Michigan State (down 1)
6. Ohio State (up 3)
7. Stanford (up 5)
8. Northwestern (up 5)
9. Notre Dame (down 3)
10. TCU (up 7)
11. Oklahoma State (down 3)
12. Florida State (up 5)
13. Baylor (down 6)
14. North Carolina (up 1)
15. Ole Miss (up 1)
16. Michigan (down 6)
17. Houston (up 3)
18. Oregon (up 1)
19. Utah (up 5)
20a. LSU (up 1)
20b. Florida (down 9)
22. Navy (down 9)
23. USC (unranked)
24. Temple (unranked)
25. Wisconsin (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #22 Washington State, #23 Mississippi State, #24 UCLA

Others receiving votes: Memphis

Let's Go Bucks Heisman Index

1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Others receiving votes: Baker Mayfield (QB--Okla)

Draper Top 25
1. Clemson (unchanged)
2. Iowa (unchanged)
3. Alabama (unchanged)4. Michigan State (up 1)
5. Oklahoma (up 1)
6. Ohio State (up 1)
7. Northwestern (up 6)
8. Stanford (up 6)
9. Notre Dame (down 5)
10. Florida State (up 7)
11. TCU (up 4)
12. North Carolina (up 4)
13. Baylor (down 5)
14. Michigan (down 3)
15. Oklahoma State (down 6)
16. Florida (down 4)
17. Ole Miss (up 1)
18. Houston (up 2)
19. Navy (down 9)
20. Oregon (up 1)
21. Temple (up 4)
22. USC (unranked)
23. Utah (unranked)
24. Louisiana State (unchanged)
25. Wisconsin (unranked)

Dropped from Rankings: #19 Washington State, #22 Mississippi State, #23 UCLA

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Alabama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliot (RB--OSU)

Hoying Top 25
1. Clemson (unchanged)
2. Iowa (unchanged)
3. Alabama (unchanged)
4. Michigan State (unchanged)
5. Oklahoma (up 1)
6. Northwestern (up 4)
7. Stanford (up 6) 
8. Ohio State (up 6)
9. Oklahoma State (down 1)
10. TCU (up 5)
11. Baylor (down 4)
12. Notre Dame (down 7)
13. Mississippi (up 3)
14. LSU (up 3)
15. Utah (up 4)
16. Michigan (down 5)
17. Oregon (up 3)
18. Florida State (up 5)
19. Houston (unranked) 
20. North Carolina (down 2)
21. Florida (down 12)
22. Navy (down 10)
23. USC (unranked)
24. Temple (down 3)
25. Memphis (down 3)

Dropped from rankings: #24 Texas A&M, #25 UCLA

Hoying Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Seeberg Top 25
1.) Clemson (same)
2.) Oklahoma (up 2)
3.) Alabama (down 1)
4.) Iowa (down 1)
5.) Michigan State (same)
6.) Ohio State (up 1)
7.) Stanford (up 3)
8.) North Carolina (up 4)
9.) Florida State (up 5)
10.) Notre Dame (down 2)
11.) Northwestern (up 4)
12.) Oklahoma State (down 3)
13.) TCU (up 11)
14.) Ole Miss (up 3)
15.) Baylor (down 9)
16.) Michigan (down 5)
17.) Houston (up 2)
18.) Oregon (same)
19.) Utah (up 6)
20.) USC (unranked)
21.) Navy (down 5)
22.) LSU (unranked)
23.) Florida (down 10)
24.) Wisconsin (unranked)
25.) Temple (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #20 Toledo, #21 Mississippi State, #22 UCLA, #23 Washington State

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2.) Baker Mayfield (QB-- Okla)
3.) Ezekiel Elliot (RB--OSU)
3.) (tie) Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Grading the Bucks: Week 13--That Team up North

Where has that been all year?...

Current Mood

Offense: A
An absolute massacre of one of the top (statistical) defenses in the country.  JT hit some nice throws but more importantly ran well, Thomas and Marshall played fantastically (what a TD by Marshall), and  The O-line looked to atone in a big way against the Wolverines and delivered.  This game only begged the question...Why? Why lay an egg vs. MSU? Yes, the D-line for MSU is appreciably better than that of UM, but the night and day difference was astonishing.  The weather had to have hampered the downfield game vs the Spartans, but the run blocking/play calling was night and day.

Defense: A-
This is the game in which Mr. Bosa made a TOOOOOOONNNNN of money.  The D-line was relentless against Jake Rudock who was actual turning into a serviceable option under center.  The secondary has a hiccup here or there, but overall, they played well.  The only slight downgrade was for a bad game (primarily in the first half) by Darron Lee.  Missed tackles and being out of position is quite uncharacteristic, but it wasn't up to his usual standards.  Still very nitpicky because the defense really got after (and may have murdered) Rudock.

Special Teams: C
Let's be honest, the roughing the punter was somewhat of a gift.  We did have a punt blocked (when the game was over) and I believe UM downed some inside the ten.  Honestly, the only downgrade was for the blocked punt.  No kicks out of bounds :):):):) and no missed PATs.  I honestly don't remember the special teams at all other than those facts.  I'm happy with not remembering special teams...that usually means they did their job.

Coaches: A
Well hello there semblance of a gameplan! The coaches decided to bow to Zeke's will (or perhaps they like the matchup much better) and decided to carve up the overrated UM rush defense.  I love the commitment to dominating on the line of scrimmage as well as the intelligent use of JT in the run game (other than straight runs only).  I would have had a little more of a passing game, but there was no need.  Also, UM's defense thrives on good corner play so attacking the front seven was a nice strategy.  Imagine that...Attacking an opponents weakness--yes, I know the stats say that the Wolverines have a great run defense, but their performance against good running backs (Booker and Howard) was really subpar.  Defensively, the focus was getting Rudock on his a$$...Mission Accomplished.  Amazing what happens with a coherent goal/plan of attack with this talent.

Overall: A
Goal: Dismantle and embarrass an emboldened rival thinking they had returned to promise.  Check and mate.  This team showed what promise it had.  A weak like this only serves to accentuate the crap with the Spartans.  What could have been? We'll never know....but at least we killed Michigan.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Not Dead Yet

Hope is a cruel mistress.

Yesterday, after I watched The Game with my in-laws in St. Louis, I made the long, boring trip back down I-70 to Columbus. By the time I reached Indianapolis, the Spartans had already killed the Nittany Lions (no surprise), so I spared a wistful glance towards Lucas Oil Stadium, knowing I wouldn't be returning to cheer on the Bucks for a third straight year.

The Buckeyes won't be Big Ten Champions this season. But could a larger goal still be within reach? After all, both the 2001 and 2011 seasons featured teams that didn't win their divisions yet still made it to the championship (Nebraska in 2001, Alabama in 2011), and 2003 featured a conference championship loser (Oklahoma).

Ohio State entered the weekend ranked #8 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. They then scored a blowout road win against #10 Michigan. #6 Notre Dame and #7 Baylor fell, and both are a lock to fall past the Bucks. Notre Dame has no more chances to pad their resume, while Baylor has only a game against Texas, which isn't likely to move any needles, especially now that the Bears have 2 losses. This leaves only 5 teams ahead of the Buckeyes, 4 of which play again next week.


Only #3 Oklahoma, who completed their pre-bowl season with a win over #11 Oklahoma State, is a total lock for the playoffs at this point. #4 Iowa and #5 Michigan State play each other. A loss by the Spartans would give them 2 losses and surely drop them past Ohio State. The Hawkeyes might be a trickier out, but if MSU crushes them, the Committee would likely compare such a loss to OSU's 17-14 squeaker and move the Buckeyes ahead.

That gets the Buckeyes up to at least #5. What of the other two teams currently ranked ahead of OSU?

Even with the ridiculous deference the committee has paid to #2 Alabama this season, it's hard to imagine them staying ahead of Ohio State with 2 losses should they fall to Florida next week. Clemson, if they lost to North Carolina, would be a tougher case. Wins over Notre Dame and Florida State would be tough to ignore, particularly compared to Ohio State's wins over Michigan and...Penn State? But it would be a very late loss to a team nobody seems to have any respect for. Can we really say that Clemson is really bulletproof at this point?


So a Florida win over Alabama or a North Carolina win over Clemson could at least open the door ahead of Ohio State in the playoff rankings. Do they need to worry about getting caught from behind?

#9 Stanford scored a win over #5 Notre Dame, but it's tough to see them jumping Ohio State this week given Ohio State's dismantling of a top ten team. However, a win over USC next week would give the Cardinal a conference championship, even if the USC win itself wouldn't really help Stanford all that much (Stanford beat USC this season already). Ohio State's loss is better than either of Stanford's, but this race would be very, very close.

#10 Michigan, #11 Oklahoma State, and #12 Florida all lost. Florida gets a chance at redemption next week against Alabama, and a win in that game would be huge, but it's terribly difficult to imagine Florida ending up in the Committee's top 4 after the November they've had.

The only other Power 5 team in the mix is #14 North Carolina. But they don't yet have a win over a team with fewer than 4 losses and their loss is to 3-9 South Carolina. I really don't see the Committee moving UNC ahead of OSU even with a win over Clemson.

Depending on how much the Committee weighs conference championships, Ohio State may still be very much alive in the title hunt. The surest path requires only a Florida win over Alabama (and maybe a USC win over Stanford, just to be safe), but a North Carolina win over Clemson might do the trick as well. Neither is terribly likely, but stranger things have happened to send OSU to the Playoff before. Missing out is not an option, so plan accordingly.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Week 13 - One Ga_e Season

1) Seeberg             44-18    (2-10 upset) 

2) Draper               42-20    (5-7 upset)
3) Hoying               40-22    (1-11 upset)
4) Schweinfurth     39-23    (2-10 upset)

It's rivalry week at Let's Go Bucks! With Ohio State's playoff hopes on life support, we turn our focus toward our first showdown with Captain Crazy (and a few other schools that happen to be playing as well).

#13 Navy _idship_en @ #20 Houston Cougars

Draper: Led by the greatest coach ever who never erred by ignoring a RB, Houston finally tripped up vs. a so-so at best Uconn squad.  Houston has had a pretty nice year, but they're still Houston.  Navy is chugging along with the only hiccup vs. the Irish.  I like Keenan Reynolds to keep the train a-rolling as the Cougs suffer a second straight defeat, this one at Chop-block-o-clock. Navy: 28--Houston: 24
Hoying: Take a good look, Buckeye Nation. Our previous offensive guru, your panacea for everything ailing the Ohio State O, just racked up all of 17 points in Houston's loss to the UConn Huskies. 17 points isn't going to get the job done against the NCAA's historic TD leader, Keenan Reynolds, and the devastating triple option. Navy has parlayed its first year in a conference into its best season since 1963 and it shows no signs of slowing down. Look for the streak to continue, setting up an AAC title showdown ahead of everyone's favorite rivalry. Navy: 31--Houston: 27

Schweinfurth: There is only one contest that counts this week. Navy: 24--Houston: 35
Seeberg:  Well, the Houston Hermans looked every bit like the Buckeyes last week, dropping an uninspired game to the UConn women's basketball team football Huskies by a field goal.  My guess?  A combination of lousy weather and looking ahead to their showdown with Navy.  Navy has showed up big in conference play all season and it's likely Keenan Reynolds and Co. will do so again.  However, the Cougars are likely to play some extra-inspired to make up for last week's dismal effort.  Had Houston coasted into this one undefeated (see:  Memphis) Navy likely would've anchored them down (see what I did there?), but off a loss the Cougars rise up and put up enough points to outscore the devastating triple option.  Navy: 38--Houston: 42

#7 Baylor Bears @ #17 TCU Horned Frogs
Draper: Don't look now, but Baylor appears to be raising a little stink after that OU loss.  Yeah, they're essentially too little too late (again), but they've essentially guaranteed playoff victory by tur:ning to a 3rd string QB.  100% of the squads in the playoffs led by a 3rd string QB have won the whole thing (it's science).  TCU put it all on the table last week and fell just short.  Nothing left in Fort Worth...and they're only on the second string...pfft.  Briles keeps alive for a New Year's Six bowl.  BU: 48--TCU: 35
Hoying: And here we have the 2014 Nearly Relevant Bowl. TCU's playoff hopes are officially dead after a furious rally against OU fell just short, while Baylor's are on life support after Gundy and the Pokes failed to score 40 against the Bears. We could possibly see a battle of the deep deep backup QB's, depending on how quickly Trevone Boykin recovers, but TCU's second-stringer has looked passable in his appearance last week, and Baylor churns out battle-ready QBs without losing a beat. Despite their effort last week, the Frogs are trending downward, while the Bears are unlikely to choke with a possible playoff berth in their sights. BU: 52--TCU: 45

There is only one contest that counts lets week. Lots of points, though. BU: 52--TCU: 55

Seeberg:  This is practically a war of attrition given the injuries on both sides of the ball.  The Bears are officially down to their 3rd-string QB but keep cranking out points and had an impressive win at Oklahoma State last week.  Tough to imagine TCU winning without both of their playmakers at full strength (Boykin may go but will be limited, and Doctson is probably still out).  I'm shocked myself, but Baylor may finish the regular season with back-to-back one-loss squads.  BU: 45--TCU: 34

Penn State Nittany Lions @ #4 _ichigan State Spartans
Draper:  Who will start for the Spartans? Cook wasn't needed this week (the Bucks saw to that), but he could be needed this week.  Saquon Barkley needs to show up in a big way, but in a cruel twist of fate, the Buckeye fate lies in the hands of Christian Hackenberg.  He's had a few flashes of brilliance, but a lot of 'huh?' plays.  This is the situation for Hackenberg to show the world why NFL scouts still (inexplicably) see the franchise QB of their future.  The weather allows for a passing attack and Lions reset the Buckeye train.  PSU: 24--Sparty: 21
Hoying: OK, Christian Hackenberg. You've sucked for a solid 3 years after showing a flash of talent as a first year. Do you have enough in the tank to pull off one consequential upset? The Lions have crapped the bed against the real live opponents they've seen so far this year (the Owls, the Buckeyes, the Wolverines), while the Spartans have petered along before scoring the knockout punch against our beloved Bucks. Cook is questionable once again, and the result of this tilt could depend on his availability, as well as Suckenberg's ability to find holes in a suspect Spartan secondary (sigh). Back in 2008, Buckeye Nation was rooting hard (in vain) for Penn State to fall flat on their face against Sparty in Happy Valley so that Ohio State could go to the Rose Bowl. Expect to be disappointed once again. PSU: 17--Sparty: 27

Schweinfurth: There is only one contest that counts this week. I will pick this how I want it to end. PSU: 17--Sparty: 14
Seeberg:  If ever there were a day when Hackenburg needed to fulfill all that potential, it's this Saturday for all of Buckeye Nation...but don't hold your breath Buckeye brethren.  The Spartans had their garbage game of the season and it still took a blown call for Nebraska to squeak out a win.  It's at home, and there's too much on the line for them not to be focused.  If Cook can't go or struggles, this one will stay close, but too much Sparty sack party does the Nittany Lions in.  PSU: 13--Sparty: 21

#17 Florida State Se_inoles @ #11 Florida Gators

Draper: Florida has dodged bullet after bullet sent by suck opponents.  Enter the Noles.  FSU had the inexcusable loss loss to Tech and an 'yeah, expected it' loss to the Tigers.  The Noles season expectations have changed for this year, but the focus on the Gators won't.  Cook and the Noles will be happy to oblige the Gators in their desire to practice losing before the SEC title.  Cook finally awakens those voters that forgot to be 'talkin bout the noles!'.  FSU: 27--UF: 10
Hoying: One, two three four five six...those Gators just about lost to Florida Atlantic. Such a loss would have been nearly as bad as falling to terrible terrible Georgia Tech. Is Florida losing its focus looking ahead to a titanic clash with the INVINCIBLE TIDE? Or have they truly been focused this week's contest against their rival? Treon Harris is still horrible, but the Gator D is as tough as ever. If Dalvin Cook can have a big day, expect the Noles to win. Florida doesn't have a Deshaun Watson to follow Cook blow-for-blow. The Gators couldn't stop Fournette, and they won't stop Cook either. FSU: 24--UF: 14
There is only one contest that counts this week. FSU: 28--UF: 13

Seeberg:  All right ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another game of "Will Florida score in the first half against an in-state opponent?"  Last week the answer was no...against 2-9 Florida Atlantic.  My guess is, even with an oddly unsettled quarterback position, the Seminoles will be just a smidge better.  Expect lots of Dalvin Cook to secure him an invite to NYC for the bronze stiff-arm, and another W for Jimbo and the 'Noles.  FSU: 24--UF: 6

#6 Notre Da_e Fighting Irish @ #12 Stanford Cardinal

Draper: The contest has huge playoff consequences, but I just don't care.  Stanford has been slogging through their schedule winning ugly and boring.  ND on the other hand...has done no different.  The difference is the huge injuries on the Irish side of the ball.  David Shaw finds a way to line up 11 on the line as the Cardinal end the Irish hopes.  Irish eyes will be crying in Palo Alto. ND: 17--Stan: 20
Hoying: Could this really be a year in which the Playoff features Sparty, the fighting Dabo Swinneys, AND the Irish??? Surely at least ONE of those has to choke before season's end. The Irish have been coasting on their road loss to #1 and a slew of AAC wins (over decent schools, to be fair), while the Cardinal have continuously been battle tested since week 1's loss at Northwestern. Stanford's star RB could be quietly working his way toward a few trophies at season's end, and a big effort in a win over a fellow Playoff contender will certainly help his case. ND: 24--Stan: 31
Schweinfurth: There is only one contest that counts this week. ND: 28--Stan: 35
Seeberg:  To be honest, I was leaning pretty strongly toward the Cardinal before the news that C.J. Prosise was out for this game.  Now?  Too much Stanford D that can feast on a one-dimensional Irish passing attack, and too much balance when the Tree takes the ball.  McAffrey and Hogan slice and dice the Golden Domers and officially (thankfully) knock them out of playoff talks.  ND: 17--Stan: 31

#5 Oklaho_a Sooners @ #8 Oklaho_a State Cowboys
Draper: The Pokes finally returned to Earth after rocking to a 10-0 record without anyone paying attention outside Stillwater.  We can all appreciate the offensive fire thanks to Gundy, but that defense is trash.  This contest is always good for an exciting couple of hours but the Sooners always tend to find a way to end on top.  Stoops was close to being snake bitten last week, but I don't expect a letdown here.  The OU defense isn't exactly spectacular, but they'll be enough with Baker leading the way.  OU: 51--OSU: 42  
Hoying: I was fooled. It looked like this would finally be the year the Cowboys finished a season, after crashing and burning in 2011 (and getting hosed by the voters). Now the Pokes need a big win over OU and a big loss by Baylor either this week or the next. OU's stud QB took a tough shot to the head in the win over the Horned Frogs, but he'll be back to lead what's turned into one of the nation's top offenses. I feel like I've seen the Sooners play out this story before, in which they need only reach out and grasp the opportunity at hand, but You-Know-What Bob chokes it away. I have that feeling again. OU: 38--OSU: 41
There is only one contest that counts this week. OU: 35--OSU: 42

Seeberg:  Man, this one seems WAY too easy on paper.  The Sooners are playing well on both sides of the ball save for about a quarter defensively against TCU, and Oklahoma State crashed and burned (again) losing to Baylor's we-found-this-QB-in-poli-sci-101-last-month 37th-string signal caller.  I'm fairly certain I could throw for 300 yards and 3 TDs per game in that system (remember, that's a below average day for their QBs).  Still, Stoops and Gundy can't both lose this game simultaneously.  It's a rivalry so anything can happen, but I just can't imagine the Sooners crapping away a playoff birth this late in the season...they already thought they'd accomplished that against the Longhorns.  Boomer Sooner indeed.  OU: 49--OSU: 35

#16 Ole _iss Rebels @ #23 _ississippi State Bulldogs

Draper: Woooo!! Egg Bowl!! Never know what's going down here.  Both the Dogs and the Rebels have been SUPER flaky this year.  The Dak Attack vs. the Landsharks should be quite fun.  The Rebs and Bulldogs both arrive off big wins (LSU and Bert respectively), but  I honestly don't know what to expect.  It's in Stark Vegas, so gotta go with CLANGA in this one because those cowbells are so sweet...or annoying. Rebels: 27--Bulldogs: 31
Hoying: Nothing says "Second-Tier Rivalry" like the Egg Bowl. This year's version retains a little significance, in the unlikely event that the Tide totally collapses against Auburn and the Rebels take their place in Atlanta, but it will probably only affect which school goes to the TaxSlayer Bowl and which one goes to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Bulldogs are likely frauds, with their best wins being over their state's top directional school and Louisiana Tech. Ooooohhhh. On the other sideline is a squad that, legend has it, was able to topple the Tide this very season (nobody told the Playoff selection overlords about it, though). Good Bo/Bad Bo has been replaced by Chad Kelly, but the Landsharks are still out in force. In honor of The Force Awakens opening in a few weeks, here's to a Rebel victory. Rebels: 31--Bulldogs: 24
Schweinfurth: There is only one contest that counts this week. Rebels: 31--Bulldogs: 17
Seeberg:  I have given up on predicting all things Ole Miss related since I somehow nailed their upset win of Bama.  The Bulldogs put up a billion yards against the Razorbacks last week (I'm too lazy to look up the actual number, but I know for a fact they had more yards in the first QUARTER than the Bucks did all game last week, so I'm guessing a billion is close) so Dak is back up and running after getting thumped by the Tide.  Given the nature of this nearly relevant rivalry both teams are likely to be up for this one, but that tends to lead to some errors from the mercurial Chad Kelly.  Prescott and Co. take advantage and take the egg bowl...presumably to make me an omelet later.  Rebels: 24--Bulldogs: 28

#9 THE Ohio State University Buckeyes @ #10 That School Up North
Draper:  There's only one thing that would be surprising...a close contest.  Will the Bucks rally under adversity to squelch the hated rival? Will the go quietly into that good night?  I expect either a flat defeated Buckeye squad waiting to get out and head to the NFL or a disrespected angry group ready to avenge the loss and take it out on the hated Wolverines.  Could a squad with the prodigious talent of the Buckeyes lay two eggs? I lean to no.  The line plays with renewed vigor, Zeke busts a few, JT actually throws a few passes for big gains, and the defense shuts down the crazy one on the other side.  Get the lights on Harbaugh, Saturday will lead to a nice breakdown or two.  It ain't worth winning if you can't win big.  OSU: 42--TTUN: 17
Hoying: I can recall a day when the Buckeyes were the consensus #1 squad but their bitter rivals were the nation's hottest, fresh off 3 straight shutouts. How the Spartans do shatter expectations in this conference. After a baffling total offensive failure, do the Buckeyes still have the will to give 100% in the biggest showdown of the season? Urban's boys always shine the brightest under the brightest lights (last week notwithstanding), especially when the Bucks are underdogs. And lookie, lookie, Ohio State is sitting at +1.5 going into this weekend. These are still two very good squads, but look for the OSU D-Line to get after Rudock and the Wolverine rushing attack after a subpar effort against Sparty. And it's possible that Zeke could actually get a few carries this week and run with a bit of purpose when given the chance. A win over Harbaugh caps a good season regardless of what happens in East Lansing, though not exactly a successful one. OSU: 28--TTUN: 20

Schweinfurth: This is the contest that counts this week. There are two ways these Buckeyes can go, galvanize together and win, or devide and get crushed. I have gone back and forth on which Buckeye offense will show up and I have settled on the one we expected to see. Urban is going to get involved this week and that usually signals a turnaround. After Zeke's little spat last week, he will run possessed. There is nothing quite like a butt whooping to cleanse the soul. The soul has been cleansed. The Bullets are still there and Jack Rudock is just a guy. The Bullets get two picks and the Bucks in another close one up north. OSU: 21--TTUN: 17
Seeberg:  Let's be honest, Buckeye Nation, we all knew that the Khaki Eclipse was going to bring ttun back to at least national respectability, but nobody expected them to be this good this fast.  How I LONG for Brady Hoke again.  If you had told me BOTH teams would be in the top ten for the 2015 version of The Game I would've laughed you out of town.  On paper it should be a 2-TD coast for the Bucks, but we haven't performed up to our paper status all year, and after the outbursts following the Sparty debacle, there's less reason to think we'll start now.  Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret:  I picked against the Bucks four times last year, and we went 4-0.  In all honesty?  I thought we would win two of them, but I didn't wanna ruin the mojo.  Time to recover last year's magic and inspire our Buckeyes by picking the stinkpile in Ann Arbor.  OSU: 17--TTUN: 20

Upset Special

Draper: South Carolina over Cle_son (screw it, go big or go ho_e)
Hoying: Illinois over Northwestern
Schweinfurth: Auburn over The Tide (I want to see the college football world burn)
Seeberg: Auburn over Alaba_a...KIDDING.  Let's go Georgia Tech over Georgia

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Top 25 and Heisman Ballots - After Week 12

Rankings, as always, are based on what teams have done so far, not how we believe they will finish. Leave a comment and console us in our misery.

Let's Go Bucks Index
1. Clemson (unchanged)
2. Iowa (up 1)
3. Alabama (up 2)
4. Michigan State (up 4)
5. Oklahoma (up 3)
6. Notre Dame (unchanged)
7. Baylor (up 9)
8. Oklahoma State (down 4)
9. Ohio State (down 7)
10. Michigan (up 1)
11. Florida (down 4)
12. Stanford (up 1)
13a. Navy (unchanged)
13b. Northwestern (up 4)
15. North Carolina (up 4)
16. Ole Miss (up 5)
17a. TCU (down 5)
17b. Florida State (up 2)
19. Oregon (up 5)
20. Houston (down 10)
21. LSU (down 6)
22. Washington State (unranked)
23. Mississippi State (unranked)
24a. Utah (down 6)
24b. UCLA (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #21 Wisconsin, #23 Memphis, #25 USC

Others receiving votes: Toledo, Temple, Memphis, Texas A&M

Let's Go Bucks Heisman Index

1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)

Others receiving votes: Baker Mayfield (QB--Okla), Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan), Ezekiel Elliott (RB--OSU)

Draper Top 25
1. Clemson (up 1)
2. Iowa (up 1)
3. Alabama (up 2)
4. Notre Dame (up 2)
5. Michigan State (up 3)
6. Oklahoma (up 3)
7. Ohio State (down 6)
8. Baylor (up 9)
9. Oklahoma State (down 5)
10. Navy (up 1)
11. Michigan (up 5)
12. Florida (down 5)
13. Northwestern (up 6)
14. Stanford (unchanged)
15. TCU (down 3)
16. North Carolina (up 2)
17. Florida State (up 4)
18. Ole Miss (up 7)
19. Washington State (up 4)
20. Houston (down 10)
21. Oregon (unranked)
22. Mississippi State (unranked)
23. UCLA (unranked)
24. Louisiana State (down 11)
25. Temple (unranked)

Dropped from Rankings: #15 Utah, #20 Wisconsin, #22 USC, #24 Memphis

Draper Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Alabama)
2. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)
3. Ezekiel Elliot (RB--OSU)

Hoying Top 25 (forgive me)
1. Clemson (unchanged)
2. Iowa (unchanged)
3. Alabama (up 2)
4. Michigan State (up 5)
5. Notre Dame (up 1)
6. Oklahoma (up 4)
7. Baylor (up 8)
8. Oklahoma State (down 5)
9. Florida (down 1)
10. Northwestern (up 2)
11. Michigan (up 2)
12. Navy (down 1)
13. Stanford (up 4)
14. Ohio State (down 10)
15. TCU (down 1)
16. Mississippi (up 3)
17. LSU (down 1)
18. North Carolina (up 7)
19. Utah (up 1)
20. Oregon (up 1)
21. Temple (unranked)
22. Memphis (down 4)
23. Florida State (unranked)
24. Texas A&M (unranked)
25. UCLA (unranked)

Dropped from rankings: #7 Houston, #22 Wisconsin, #23 USC, #24 Toledo

Hoying Heisman Ballot
1. Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2. Christian McCaffrey (RB--Stan)
3. Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)

Seeberg Top 25
1.) Clemson (up 1)
2.) Alabama (up 1)
3.) Iowa (up 2)
4.) Oklahoma (up 2)
5.) Michigan State (up 3)
6.) Baylor (up 6)
7.) Ohio State (down 6)
8.) Notre Dame (down 1)
9.) Oklahoma State (down 6)
10.) Stanford (up 1)
11.) Michigan (down 1)
12.) North Carolina (up 5)
13.) Florida (down 4)
14.) Florida State (down 1)
15.) Northwestern (up 3)
16.) Navy (up 4)
17.) Ole Miss (up 4)
18.) Oregon (up 4)
19.) Houston (down 3)
20.) Toledo (up 1)
21.) Mississippi State (unranked)
22.) UCLA (unranked)
23.) Washington State (unranked)
24.) TCU (down 9)
25.) Utah (down 9)
Dropped from rankings: #14 LSU, #23 Wisconsin, #25 USC

Seeberg Heisman Ballot
1.) Derrick Henry (RB--Bama)
2.) Baker Mayfield (QB--Okla)
3.) Dalvin Cook (RB--FSU)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Grading the Bucks: Week 12--Michigan State

No. Excuses.

The finger pointing has begun in Columbus, but make no mistake, this was a total team effort.  From the coaches, to the QB, to the RB, to the WR, to the lines, to the one is safe.

Offense: F
This was one of the most inept offensive performances by a Buckeye squad I've ever seen (the only one that comes close is 2004 Iowa--and that team was quite different).  If one unit must shoulder the bulk of the blame, it has to be the offensive line.  They were simply atrocious in this game.  Don't get me wrong, the Spartan D-line is very good and played an excellent game, but the trenches often determine the game, and the Spartans clearly outschemed and out'desired' the Bucks.  The line couldn't open up running lanes, couldn't protect JT for more than 2 seconds, and was simply abused.  Which brings me to the simple complaint, 'Why didn't Zeke get more carries?' Should he have? Maybe.  Was this a horrendous oversight by the coaches? Absolutely not.  Zeke refers to the power plays in which we 'gashed the Spartan D'.  He must have been watching a different game.  There was nowhere to run.  Again, should your best player be given more at-bats? Probably, but that doesn't address the 400lb gorilla of Shilique Calhoun and the D-line completely shutting Zeke down.  That isn't really on Zeke, but moreso on the O-line, but the team is a unit and the coaches need to look at the big picture.  The biggest flaw in the gameplan was utilizing Barrett on called runs over and over.  He had one or two successful plays, but not much room to run in general.  JT again made me look bad with another bad performance.  The conditions didn't help but he chose to tuck and run too quickly in my opinion.  Would Cardale have been better? Maybe but probably not.  The pocket was collapsing so fast (see O-line struggles) that Cardale's indecisiveness would have resulted in sacks rather than 'oh crap' 1 yard runs by JT.  Maybe, just maybe, we should have attacked Sparty's weakness of the secondary.  The weather didn't help but we threw deep 2 times.  Once, was to a wide open Braxton who was overthrown due to horrible pass protection and the other was against the wind in which Thomas had to prevent the interception.  Thomas, Braxton, Marshall, etc. are better downfield receivers but the Meyer scheme likes the quick screens...doesn't help when your receivers can't catch the ball.

Defense: B-
Only giving up 17 points to a top 10 team is a pretty good day, but not good enough.  The downgrade is for two major issues.  First, we were going against backup QB's in the muck.  Why are the safeties 15 yards off the line of scrimmage? MSU dared the Bucks to beat them over the top and we never tried.  Why didn't we do the same? If the backup hits it downfield, tip the cap, but allowing 200+ rushing yards (albeit against a really good team) when you know they are running the ball is a real problem.  The second issue is the lack of mental focus.  Every week, this team seems to roll the ball out there and expect to win based on the enormous talent gap (and yes, it is there).  Bosa had 3 HUGE offside penalties brought on by lack of focus.  Wipe those off the board, and I think the W is on the good guys end.  Think I'm going to far? one in particular was on a failed 4th and 8 making it 4th and 3 which was converted leading to a TD...seems pretty relevant in this game.  Oh yeah, that was the 3rd one.  How do you not adjust? Focus on what happened and learn.  Fool me once.... The secondary was fine, but the didn't have to do anything.  Perry got beat on the PA to the fullback for the touchdown but as I say, PA to the fullback is open 100% of the time (I may need to check the numbers, but sounds right).  He made a nice tackle but too late.  Of all the Buckeyes who saw their careers in the Show come to an end on Saturday, Perry is the only one who had a semblance of a decent game.

Special Teams: B-
A whole lot of 'eh' here other than the spectacular 5 yard punt by the normally solid Cam Johnston.  Most of his punts were fine, but that gem, while it didn't lead to points, bears note.  Hey! No kicks out of bounds and no missed kicks! Success!

Coaching: F
I'm gonna be that guy...I don't blame the coaching staff for not running Zeke repeatedly into a brick wall.  I would have given him a few more carries as opposed to the designed JT runs, but they were absolutely crazy to avoid the Bollman offense.  I will question the lack of stretching the field (or at least pretending to to back the safeties off).  Also, what happened to the option? JT generally runs it well although he had a few weird decisions in this game.  It all seemed to boil down to straight Zeke, straight JT run, or one read JT then take off (that's Cardale's job).  Defensive coaching was ok but to not cheat up with the safeties was a mistake to aid in the run game.  The biggest mistake from the coaches was not having the team prepared.  There was no gameplan, no motivation, no fire, no nothing.  We got complacent and it bit us...and that's on the coaches.  Don't get me wrong, the players sucked too, but the lack of fire is a lack of leadership both within and outside the huddle.

Overall: F
You play to win the game.  We didn't.  Everyone on that sideline contributed to the loss.  Everyone. This may be one of the most talented Buckeye teams in history, but because of this inexcusable performance, they will (likely) be an after thought in the annals of Buckeye lore.  That's a shame, but the truth.  You're remembered how you finish.  Last year, the team finished with a chip on their shoulder.  This year, the team flamed out amid a finger pointing, blaming, whine-fest.  You want to make a statement? There's only one thing left.  Pound Michigan into the ground so far that Harbaugh will regret leaving the University of San Diego let alone the Niners.  No mercy.  Or...come out flat, and be remembered as one of the biggest wastes of talent in recent memory.  The choices are yours and your alone.


Zeke: No
Don't you love the talking heads lauding Zeke for his postgame comments?  How many former players are siding with the stud RB?  Crickets.  Was he right in what he said? Maybe, but I'm not 100%.  Was he right to say it? NO. NO. NO.  This is the antithesis of a leader.  You have a problem with the coach, bring it up with him in his office.  You don't air the dirty laundry in the media.  Ever.  I don't care if he was completely right and the world knew it.  You don't throw your coaches/team under the bus.  EVER.
But he's just speaking his feelings...NO.
But he should have gotten more touches...NO.
But he's earned the right...NO
Imagine saying those things with Woody as the coach.  If I'm a player on the team, I lost some respect for Zeke shining the spot light on himself.  Players and coaches give lame answers to the media because that's how it's done.  If I'm Urban, I 100% sit him for the start of the game.  No, I don't suspend him.  He's earned the right to screw up, but actions have consequences.  You sit him for the start, not for his sake, but for the team's.  No one...NO ONE is bigger than the program.  Again, we're entitled to stumble but actions have consequences (a fact lost in our society today).  Imagine you have the world's dumbest boss and everyone agrees.  What happens if you publicly call him/her out? Actions. Have. Consequences.  He may be spot on with his comments (I happen to disagree in part), but you can't handle it like this because it foments doubt in the leadership.  The team with the cohesive goal is the team that flourishes (see 2014 Buckeyes).  Without the team mentality, we have a collection of really talented players, who have yet to put it together.

Want to go down in Buckeye lore in a more positive fashion? Hammer the Wolverines this week, Zeke.  Galvanize the team and throw your support behind the coaches.  One goal.  One mission.  BEAT BLUE!