Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ohio State Football Preview

Football is about a month away from kickoff and I'm extremely excited. I'd have no interested in watching sports right now if the Cubs weren't one game out of first place. But anyways, let's get to my favorite sports team, the OHIO STATE BUCKEYES.

Coming off the national championship loss to Florida, a lot of people seem to be doubting the Bucks because who they lost (Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Antonio Pittman). Troy will be a huge loss obviously. Troy was everything you would want in your college quarterback. Athletic, good enough arm, great leader and a winner. I'm going to have to think long and hard throughout the years whether or not I think I enjoyed the Troy Smith era more then the Craig Krenzel (my favorite Buckeye ever, closely followed by A.J. Hawk)era. Whatever happened to that phrase defense wins championships? I'll break that down a little later with position-by-position breakdowns.

Here's a look (and my predictions) of the schedule for this season.

Sept. 1st Vs. Youngstown State
-Easy win. This game is essentially Jim Tressel allowing a team his used to coach to make some dough and play against the big boys.

Sept. 8th Vs. Akron
-Another easy win. Helping out the surrounding Ohio schools and keeping them in their place is what the Bucks do.

Sept. 15th @ Washington
-Some are calling it a potential slip-up, but I'm not seeing it. We give new QB Todd Boeckman enough time through practice and the first two games to catch up to game speed. Plus, who is going to stop the beast named Beanie Wells at running back? Simple answer: Not going to happen.

Sept. 22nd Vs. Northwestern
-Another game that will be won and be won handily. Sure, Northwestern has a great little running back in Tyrell Sutton, but we have the Legion of Doom (the OSU linebacking corp led by James "The Animal" Larianitis). It'll be a cold day in hell before the Wildcats beat the Buckeyes in the Shoe.

Sept. 29th @ Minnesota
-The easy schedule continues. Like Northwestern, Minny has a good runningback in Amir Pinnex, but lack fire power and I'm sure those Gopher fans are going to miss Bryan Cupito, I know I sure will.

Oct. 6th @ Purdue
-Kirk Herbstreit said this could be a potential upset. I forget his complete words, but I know he's expecting the Buckeyes to roll into Sappy Valley undefeated. This should be another win and more confidence boaster to Boeckman (pronounced Beckman apparently. Silent O? He'll always be Bo-eckman or Bo-Bo for now on to me anyhow).

Oct. 13th Vs. Kent State
-Easy win. See Akron/Youngstown State for the rest.

Oct. 20th Vs. Michigan State
-MSU sucks. It's as simple as that. I look forward to watching this game with one of my roommates who's an MSU fan. Mark, this one is going to get bad.

Oct. 27th @ Penn State
-The scariest game on the schedule for me. I remember sitting in my dorm room two years ago watching the last time the Bucks traveled to Sappy Valley. I've never been so angry after a football game in my life. I've been depressed plenty of times (see: last BCS National Championship and Super Bowl), but never have I been this angry. When you can barely hear the announcers because of how loud the stadium is, that's pretty damn impressive, so kudos to the boys and girls in Sappy Valley. If Anthony Morelli can actually play to his potential and same with Derrick Williams, the offense should be highly effective. Not to mention Dan Connor on the other side of the ball scares the crap out of me. If Boeckman can handle the pressure of playing in front of a huge and rowdy crowd, the Bucks will pull it off. If he wilts under pressure, this will be 2005 all over again.

Nov. 3rd Vs. Wisconsin
-I'm not buying this Wisconsin hype. Who exactly did they beat? Arkansas? A one-dimensional team with an atrocious (that's putting it nicely) QB? Iowa? Penn State? They played one very good team and that was Michigan, who was in control of that game from start to finish. How people have them ranked above the Bucks is beyond me. They lost the best player on their team by light years in Joe Thomas. If P.J. Hill thinks he's going to be able to run for days this year, he'll probably be sadly mistaken. If you think I'm wrong, go watch clips of P.J. Hill on YouTube but keep your eye on the mammoth of a man in Joe Thomas clear the way. Wisconsin is NOT better then Ohio State. Anything less then a win here and I'll be shocked.

Nov. 10th Vs. Illinois
-Illinois gave the Buckeyes a scare last year making the game intense in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter. It's hard to predict the Illini this year because it really all depends on the growth and maturation of Juice Williams and how all the freshman Ron Zook brought in will contribute as freshman. Namely Arrenlious Benn, one of the top receivers in his high school class. If Benn can become Juice's safety net, the offense might light up a few scoreboards. The Illini also have RB Rashard Mendenhall and TE Jeff Cumberland are also playmakers. CB Vontae Davis (brother of TE Vernon Davis, SF 49ers)is one of the best up-and-coming CB's in the nation. In the Shoe, this game should be a double digit Buckeye win since the Illini are still probably two years away from the success they had during Kurt Kittner's senior season.

Nov. 17th @ The Big House, Michigan
-The best rivarly in college football. Let's get this out in the open. There is no college athlete in any sport ever that I have the hatred that I do for QB Chad Henne. Unless Chad Henne beats Ohio State, finishes in the Heisman Top 5 and leads Michigan to the National Championship I'll refuse for the rest of my life to believe he's a good player. I'd say he could redeem himself by winning a Super Bowl or two, but he'd better be hoped to be drafted by the Bears, Colts, Saints or Patriots so he can be a third string QB and pick up the glory that comes with being a third string QB. Chad Henne will never be a successful NFL QB or human being. But enough of my ranting about him. One man that scares me on scUM is tackle Jake Long, who is the definition of brute strength. He'll likely be matched up with "The Incredible Hulk" Vernon Gholston, which will make a very entertaining battle in the trenches. I will never pick Michigan over Ohio State for a few reasons. One, I'm a huge Ohio State homer. Two, Chad Henne is 0-3 vs. the Buckeyes. Three, Lloyd Carr is 1-5 vs. Jim Tressel. Until these trends stop the Bucks could have my little brother playing QB and I'd pick the Buckeyes to win. Tressel is Ann Arbor's worst nightmare.

To me, it is entirely possible that the Buckeyes run the table and potentially head to another championship game. If there are two or more undefeated teams, the Bucks could be on the outside looking in though with a weak schedule that includes 2 MAC teams, 1 D-1AA team and probably only 3 teams worth any sort of consideration of being in the Top 25. Anything less then a BCS game appearance would be a disappointment. Here's to Boeckman putting on his best Craig Krenzel impersonation.

Next Update: Position-by-Position Breakdown