who will step up. Didn't they recently go to a national championship during a "rebuilding" year?
Is Ohio State set for a fall in 2009?
We heard the same talk about the Bucknuts going into the '06 season. That was supposed to be a rebuilding year, too. Like it or not, the sweatervest has that program at a stage where they have the ability to reload and not have to suffer through a rebuilding year or two.
They were at #1 in the pre-season rankings in '06 and stayed there throughout the season. I don't think anyone thought they were a "rebuilding" team that year.
Maybe you're thinking of '07.
You are correct.
and the line is very talented. they are the favorite.
He has hamstrings made of paper mache. He is a great talent when not hurt. Herron isn't bad either and Berry may be pretty good ... but not nearly as deep or as good as last year. WR will be young but very talented. Duron Carter and Devier Posey are NFL quality talent and Sazenbacher is a Gonzalez/hartline type.
The Buckeye fans that I talk to are pretty excited about this year's squad, because the departing starters were supposedly underacheivers and these guys will be better. I wonder how bad the departing players could be if they went to two national championship games and three BCS bowls. Normally when you lose a ton of guys to the NFL off of a three-loss team, you wouldn't expect a national championship contender.
I have never really understood the argument that a team will be better because good players got drafted, "making room" for better players. True, some players might have developed substantially in the last year, but the fact is that they couldn't beat out last year's players for the starting spot. I just don't see players that were not good enough to start last year being better than players drafted by the NFL - at least not right away. People seem to think that their young talent will step right into a starting role without missing a beat, but those same people think that our young talent will struggle to do the same.
Bingo, this is what I've been trying to say about OSU and MSU all offseason. Our young talent is, yikes!, young!, but theirs is ready to step in and replace guys like Laurinaitis, Ringer, and Jenkins, no problem
I don't know if they're in for a fall, but I know they have NOBODY behind Pryor. That kid gets hurt or has legal trouble, and their next best option is a 26 year old walk on who couldn't make it in Minor League Baseball.
Sophomore slump! (see: Henne, Colt McCoy)
Maybe another Chris Weinke...?
The Big Ten is going to be a two horse race between PSU and OSU. I can't see OSU losing more than 3 games. Big Ten is still weak and OSU's talent level is head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Tressel is a good coach; they'll have a strong year. 2010 and 2011 OSU's team is going to be a monster though; should be some fun matchups between us the next few years.
Sigh... what have we come to as Michigan fans when we've lost 6 and we're EXPECTING to lose more?
I know it's realism, but we're talking about the BUCKEYES, DAMMIT! Screw those guys! I hope they choke every game, and I have ABSOLUTE confidence in our team to beat them.
I HATE to say it but I think little brother could make a run at it too...but only because, like last year, I don't think the Big 10 will be quite as tough as normal, and they don't play Ohio State.
I also think they could do really shitty. I think it all depends on their QB play and if they get decent running from their non-Ringers.
they are not.
I have made the blanket decision not to underestimate Terrelle Pryor for the next three years.
I hope you're right; I hope this year will be The Crumbling* for Ohio State. But I'm not counting on it.
*When, not if, when Michigan is back on top of the Big Ten and Ohio State is scratching and clawing for fourth place and a trip to the Alamo Bowl, The Crumbling shall enter our collective lexicon as the moment that Ohio State began to plummet from the ranks of the elite.
Yeah, I don't know why we all underestimate him. I mean, come on, he's pretty good. (I can't believe I said that.)
I don't think that it is underestimating him to say that he is entirely unproven as a pro-style, drop-back passer. Tresel seems content to play Pryor as if he is another Boeckman. Pryor also seems content to do this. He apparently is so hellbent on not looking like a "dual threat" quarterback that he constantly runs out of bounds two yards in front of a first down marker when the nearest defender is five yards away. By doing this, he is essentially neutering the terrifying Vince Young-ish capabilities that he has. As has been pointed out, Pryor was a complete non-factor in the passing game against Michigan and Texas (other than one long TD). That's saying a lot, since neither team had a very good pass defense last year. For Pryor to be a huge threat, he either has to be more willing to play a "dual threat" style offense, or he has to improve dramatically as a passer.
Pryor was a TRUE freshman last year. Most struggle as freshman. He is going to be a better passer, and he can read coverage better. He is going to be good, and that Troy Smith offense was good. So that is what I expect them to do more this year.
He apparently is so hellbent on not looking like a "dual threat" quarterback that he constantly runs out of bounds two yards in front of a first down marker when the nearest defender is five yards away.
that's due to the fact that the cocky bastard knows he can get those few yards on the next down. It's like when you go for it on 4th and 1 in NCAA because you know the defense couldn't stop you if they had 15 guys on the field.
I just wish by "fall" we meant, like, "barely bowl-eligible" instead of "might not win Big Ten this time."
I guess it all depends on what you mean by "fall."
Is it a "fall" not to make the National Championship game?
Unfortunately, probably the worst OSU can/will do this year is the Big 10's 2nd BCS bid, and if somehow we don't merit a 2nd, I guess that would send them to the Citrus Bowl, which is a fall compared to what they've been up to lately.
But I'd like Michigan to be making that "fall."
Unfortunately they shouldn't be that bad unless TP goes down as mentioned. They have had ridiculous recruiting classes the last few years so expect a few names you haven't seen much of over the last year or so to do big things on the field this year. That is until we BEAT DEY ASSES. WHAT.
I recall thinking the following: No Beanie Wells to stiff arm would be tacklers and take it the distance...OSU is screwed. Yeah right. I'm pretty sure they're backup RB (Herron?) had a huge run against us last year on exactly the same play Beanie has run for TDs against us in past years.
I realize none of us like to see OSU succeed, but I don't see them falling off anytime soon. Maybe they won't make the national title game, but they will be a contender for the B10. They have been to a BCS bowl just about every year Tressel has been there. I don't see that changing, "rebuilding year" or not. They will be cemented in the top 3 of the polls if they beat USC early in the season.
is a very big IF. I don't see them beating USC. Not by a long shot. I do, however, see them at the top of the B10 whether we like it or not. I for one, hate it!
we'll certainly see. i don't think they're as good as last year's team
I just don't see the same level of talent at OSU this year (proven talent anyway). They have had some great recruiting classes of late though, so who knows. I still think they are #1 or #2 in the B10.
Herron is nowhere near as good as Wells. When Wells was out of other games, OSU's running game fell off dramatically. With that said, Pryor and the young WRs probably have way more upside than Hartline, Robiskie, and Boeckmann.
that i agree with that. over the last 2 game pryor was 10/26 with 2 tds a an interception. meanwhile boeckman had the only semblance of a passing game against texas and threw a key TD pass late in the game. in fact the only time they moved the ball through the air was with boeckman in the game.
Who caught that TD pass late in the UT game again?
It was Pryor, but that hardly refutes the point that he had a crappy game at the QB position. And with Boeckman gone, OSU can't afford to slide Pryor over to WR now and then.
My point is that Pryor can make plays all over the field, and isn't the kind of player who will either throw or get sacked like Boeckman was. He was a game manager last year. Will you really be surprised to see Tressel use him differently this year?
There is little reason to think OSU will fall this year, and what you're suggesting truly is wishful thinking. OSU, under Tressel/Carr period, became a de facto national powerhouse.
I feel like top to bottom, this year's OSU's team has more upside at most of the positions (other than at RB and LB). The talent level is always going to be there, no matter how you slice-it-'n-dice it.
However, I could care less how talented they are or how phenomenal/sick TP is. What I do care about is how and/or when this team will be able to compete with those bastards down south.
I feel the true measuring stick of the RR era will begin with this dilemma. I'm not expecting dominance over the series, but I feel like we hired RR for this very purpose - to get us over this hump. I respect the sweater vest, don't mean I have to like him or the institution he represents.
...and their D-line is not just meh as the OP suggests, it is very very solid. Not many teams will run successfully on the Buckeyes.
Great line play, solid defense, win the Big Ten, get crushed in a BCS bowl game, rinse, repeat. It is, like, what they do lately.
How do people see their game with USC shaking out this year?
nothing new to add, they'll be very good in a still mediocre conference.
We will beat them this year.
This is what has been on my mind since Sanchez left for the NFL. Each new starting quarterback for the Trojans the past few seasons has gone on the road and absolutely crushed a BCS worthy foe; Leinert at Auburn, JDB at Arkansas, Sanchez at Virginia and then at home against OSU. Keep that in mind when people talk about how they will be breaking in a new quarterback. It hasn't been a problem in the past. That said, I'm interested to see how the defense responds losing all the talent they did. If the new batch of talent steps up the way they can and should I don't see any reason why OSU won't be licking their wounds again. Nobody gets their boys up and ready to play for the big game in any venue like Carroll, nobody.
OSU will lose, but it shouldn't be as ugly as last year. Unless there is a God.
USC lost more talent off of their defense than any team I have ever seen. It's ridiculous. In 2005, they came into the season having lost a lot of great guys and their defense was not very good. Fortuntely for them, they had the Heisman winner returing, along with the '05 Heisman winner, another 1,000-yard rusher on top of that, and a 1,000-yard receiver to boot. That year they hid a mediocre (at best) defense with a sick, sick, sick offense. In the past, when USC has had a new starter at QB, they have had a dominant defense to essentially help protect him. They probably will not have that this year. I think that this could finally be the year when they lose 3+ games. Ohio State has a nice advantage getting them at home early. I really like the Bucks in this game.
is Pryor for this year and next, at a minimum. It's true that he's not a great passer, but he makes up for his passing game with his legs. He is big, fast and slippery. I don't like the guy because he plays for OSU but I respect his abilities. I think our only hope of beating OSU this season is if TP gets injured. I also hope that I eat my words.
I don't know how anybody could conclude that OSU will suffer a significant dropoff. If nothing else, Tressel has proven that he can take different teams with different strengths and weaknesses (2002's heavily-defense-oriented with vanilla offense team vs. the more wide-open Troy Smith teams) to NC contention.
And Rooster is right: RR has to beat OSU. If he goes 0-4 against the Buckeyes, then the fan base is going to be mightily dissatisfied unless we're also going 10-2 or 11-1 in the bargain. A string of 8-4/9-3 seasons that include losses to OSU will not cut it in the long run.
You mean like Lloyd Carr?
I seriously doubt that Martin hired Rich Rod (at salary of around $2.5 million a season) with the thought that the program would continue on in the direction that it has been headed over the last five or six years. At some point over the next few years I would think that Martin expects this team to make a serious push for a MNC under Rich Rod.
plenty of high-profile players in the NFL, plus a longtime link to Bo. RR has none of those things, and will not be given the same amount of "slack" that Carr was. Fair or not, there's simply no substitute for RR other than lots of victories, including wins over OSU.
I see nothing but improvement from Pryor. The Oline was terrible by OSU standards last year and will be better this year. Ton of talent on the two deep on D last year and now there will be other stars to step up.
That being said, the team did not play well without Wells last year, but the returning runners are competent, although not in the same league as wells.
I still expect very little to no dropoff with as much talent as they have recruited over the past four years.
the only difference was, for the most part, last year TP wasn't asked to win games (except maybe in the PSU game), he was asked to MANAGE games. this year it is a little different, the offense will be run through him, and its success will depend on his play at QB
In response to Don's comment, my best friend also a Mich Alum had a very provocative thought:
With all the fanfare of the RR hire, when does this flavor begin to wear bland? Certainly, one can’t be hasty and measure his success after a couple of years. But what after 5 years, he gives us Carr-like numbers (i.e. 9-3 seasons). We brought – and bought out his contract – for a reason, taking us from good to elite.
I know those riding the RR bandwagon preach patience, rightly so. I’m no fool; I know we won’t be able to see things grow into fruition until at least year three. But as crass as this may seem, if he doesn’t lead us to a BCS contention (in my opinion beating OSU is more important to me than a BCS-berth) after this “so-called leeway period” it’s like we traded/got rid of one reliable coach for one with a bunch of fancy useless options. Then we have to ask, "was it really worth it?" Don't get me wrong RR has a lot of upside, but at some point he will have to produce, and "produce what is the key question."
I’m a true BLUE fan, (class of 04 and 08), and I support our team. I respect RR, but I’m just not sold on him, and sorry if I haven’t drank to Kool-aid yet.
In thinking about it, it's possible 9-3 seasons would be OK with most UM fans IF they included a streak of victories over OSU. Sure, plenty would grumble over not getting into NC games or BCS bowls, but if we're beating OSU plus ND and MSU more often than not, RR might at least get himself another contract or an extension. But if victories against OSU are not forthcoming, then he's going to have to have some pretty impressive won-loss records to make up for it.
It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of that first victory over OSU for Bo. From 1970 through 1975, he went 1-4-1 against the Bucks, and if he didn't have that first victory in his pocket, there would have been much more grumbling than there was during that period. As it was, there were plenty of people complaining by 1975 that Bo "couldn't win the big one," which seems amazing in retrospect.
Let's just underestimate OSU. They've never been able to replace star players in the past.
I agree, to a degree. I think the Illinois game was a sign of things to come (possibly) for OSU- they had absolutely nothing doing against that center rush from the QB. I know working with Pryor should improve that, but I honestly think that there might be somewhat of a dropoff. Anyone have thoughts on PSU for this year? Will they be the class of the Big 10 again? I haven't looked into their team enough (except with the recent McDonald business).
I expect PSU to drop off significantly. They lost a TON of guys. I think that they have 9 or 10 returning starters and they lost a lot of guys in the trenches. All of the seniors that they had on the offensive and defensive lines were very important last year. Add on top of that, they haven't recruited consistently. In the last few years, they have had some mediocre classes, so the incoming talent to fill the gaps is questionable.
agree with this, but they seem to have found an actual QB and they ALWAYS develop a LB or DE (or even S) who comes out of nowhere to be solid. hell, wasn't that RS sr WR a walk on initially? plues, their OOC schedule is a huge joke. they are a lock for 8 wins.
USC lost a lot from last year, just like OSU. Actually, I think it will be a very interesting game considering that both teams lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but they should have young guys ready to step up.
I think it will be a closer game then last year, but USC plays well on the road.
I doubt they're too worried about their secondary, they've been growing good corners and safeties on trees down there forever, including the Cooper years. And I suspect they have some linebackers ready to step up too.
Their offense might be a little rougher than usual, but unless Pryor goes down (in which case they are 100% certifiably hosed) they're still going to get the job done. You forget how often they had to deal with either a less than 100% Beanie or one who had to sit out with injuries -- they've got some useful guys ready to play at RB.
look around at post on thier own sites...yes they are worried about the corner position (at least fans and bloggers are).
I don't think anything in my post said to underestimate them or say they were a terrible team. This is the first year in the last 5 years where it would not be a shock to see OSU finish 3rd in the Big Ten. I think they have a lot of good parts. I think having a good offensive and defensive line can help conceal the fact that they have zero proven skill players on offense.
Again this is not to say...OSU sucks. This just seems to be the weakest team they have had in awhile...which is still pretty darn good.
Yeah, Ohio State is full of unproven talent right now. It surprises me how quickly people are willing to pencil them in for the Big Ten title when they are getting new starters at running back, wide receiver, two offensive lineman, two linebackers, and a cornerback.
Yes, of course Ohio State has enough young talent to fill all those holes, but more often than not, even the best teams in the country struggle to bounce back in a season like this. Look at LSU last year, Florida and Michigan in 2007, Notre Dame recently, Texas and Georgia in 2006, Oklahoma in 2005, or Ohio State in 2004. These are the best of the best programs, and all of them (except for USC) still have down seasons when the talent doesn't have the experience.
OSU will be a wrecking machine in 2010. Their monster 2008 recruiting class will be in its third year with the program, and Pryor will be a very experienced junior. But for 2009, I just don't see OSU quite being "there" yet.
Does anybody remember our record last year?
Does anyone remember the two position groups widely considered responsible?
OSU 09 . . . not so much.
Pryor (the concensus #1 knob-slobering-est recruit last year) will be a sophomore, an unproven sophomore, but another year wiser nonetheless.
Tressel has shown (if not immense creativity) the ability to adapt, and has coached a Heisman winning QB.
Most people seem to agree that their O-line will be a good one, with the possibility for greatness.
They might not have the speed (at least defensively) to beat USC, but they can certainly handle the big 10 this year. Only a team with a monster D or the capacity to put up 50 pts are going to have a chance.
I also think most of you criticizing Pryor/Tressel for playing like Boeckman are correct, and if Tressel wants to beat USC he should let Pryor go all "Dennis Dixon" on their ass.
"I also think most of you criticizing Pryor/Tressel for playing like Boeckman are correct, and if Tressel wants to beat USC he should let Pryor go all "Dennis Dixon" on their ass."
Well, that could work well for that game (and others as well), but it opens him up for a much greater risk of injury. I don't think the vest is willing to risk that, but I could be wrong.
I can't imagine the risk of injury is so great that it would stop them from unleashing him in what is at the very worst their third most important game of the year.
I know this has been discussed on this board before, but have there been any studies, or any other real evidence that dual threat QBs really do get injured more often?
I honestly can't remember if this is "common knowledge" or "perpetuating myth".
Losing a QB is disastrous for almost any team, and playing injured is often worse than having your #2 in the game.
Some people mention preparing for a hit while running is better than getting blindsided.
But running/dual threat QBs almost always get tackled after a run so maybe that evens out.
I just can't imagine having a player with all Pryor's talents and coaching him to just stay in the pocket.
Thinking about the spread, and the different assignments and skills necessary, maybe the rest of the OSU team hasn't been ready to support him properly as a dual threat player.
I'm not saying they'll just keep him in the pocket, rather that I doubt they would overly expose him that early in the season. If he were to go down in their second game, the whole season easily goes to shit. Again, I could be wrong. JME.
I think Beanie Wells, like Javon Ringer at MSU, compensated for a lot of his team's deficiencies the last couple of years. I also think Pryor is miscast as a pocket passer, and they don't really have a RB who can break tackles like Wells.
OSU always has a great talent base, and it is usually enough to win the Big Ten if UM and PSU are down. I wouldn't be surprised to see OSU lose to PSU, USC, and UM this year. PSU could end up being THE team in the Big Ten this year, and Forcier won't be a rookie anymore by the OSU game.
Back to the original premise: for OSU's standards the last few years, three losses would be a bit of a "fall."
I would rather see OSU come into the UM game undefeated and lose to a three-loss UM team in a heartbreaking upset that costs them a chance at the NC game, though.
I would rather see OSU come into the UM game undefeated and lose to a three-loss UM team in a heartbreaking upset that costs them a chance at the NC game, though.
I agree completely, but how drunk do you have to be to root for OSU for their first 11 games!
If you can do it you're a better man than I am Gunga Din.
I think they’ll be straight on offense because I think Pryor will have great targets this year in Posey and Small. The line will be good and the defense just reloads every year. I remember after A.J. Hawk, Jenkins and all those other guys left, I was thinking, “good those guys are gone” and the following year they didn’t miss a beat. They are recruiting and developing talent better than anyone this side of USC (I guess you can add Florida too). Unfortunately they will be good. Maybe not NC good, but good.
While I agree with your conclusion that this may be a bit of a "down year", I just can't agree with what you base it on.
RB is far from weak. Receiver is far from weak. While young, the talent at both positions is other-worldly. Wide receiver might be the deepest unit on the entire team, while for now it may seem unproven. Daniel Herron, at the very least, is proven.
The offensive line, however, is just above average. On a good day. Not excellent in any sense of the word. I expect them to be marginally better than last year, but asking a big leap out of a group that's replacing three guys with solid playing time (Boone, Person and Rehring) last year is a bit much.
Corner is probably the second deepest unit on the team, and we've recruited the dickens out of it the past two years. Chekwa, despite an iffy Fiesta Bowl, is pretty damn solid. Andre Amos is largely an unknown quantity with a history of injury, but behind him is a veteran core of guys like Travis Howard, Donnie Evege, Devon Torrence, and behind those guys is an uber-talented three-strong freshman class of Corey Brown, CJ Barnett, Dominic Clarke.
That linebacker has "one returning starter" is misleading; Homan is the only starter back of course, but Spitler (a 5th-year senior) and Moeller have both seen more playing time than the average back-up as part of Tressel's rotational philosophy.