As part of our contractual obligation as sports bloggers, we wanted to bring you our predictions on Ohio State, the Big Ten, and some of the biggest nationwide stories du jour. The trouble is, there are a lot of us, and we usually don't agree on everything. That's why, for the second year in a row, we decided to a bring you our #HOT #TAKES in roundtable form. We'll circle back to this post again at the end of the season, just like last year, so we can single out the writers who were especially astute, and also poke fun at the guys who said things in 2012 like, "I really think Illinois could be a sleeper team in the division.".
Oh wait, that was ME? Well...er...sulks off to cover intramurals
Without further ado, our roundtable.
Ohio State related questions:
Who will be Ohio State's leading rusher this year?
This was one of the very few unanimous answers. While many of us think that Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller will say all the right things about limiting Miller's carries, the fact that Carlos Hyde will miss a few games, and the sheer depth behind him means that it's unlikely that only one guy will set himself apart from the pack and get all the carries. That means that we all think Braxton Miller will once again lead the team in rushing yards.
Who will be Ohio State's leading receiver?
Devin Smith: 7 votes
Philly Brown: 6 votes
If you were asking who would lead the team in receptions, the staff would have gone more strongly with Philly Brown, but if we're going by yardage, a narrow majority of writers felt that Smith's home threat ability could give him just enough yards to pass Brown.
If we set the O/U on quarters Braxton Miller misses due to injury at 4, will you take the over or the under?
Under: 10 votes
Over: 3 votes
There seems to be more confidence that Miller will be able to remain upright, and even though that took the over (including me) didn't seem particularly worried, unless those four quarters happened against Wisconsin, Northwestern or Michigan, Ohio State should be fine. Now, if we included blowouts, I think the staff would be far more inclined to take the Over. If Miller is playing late in the 3rd quarter against Florida A&M, God help us all.
Which freshman do you think will make the biggest impact on the team this season?
Mike Mitchell 4
These numbers don't add up because some people insisted on sending in an offensive AND defensive freshman, and I have terrible classroom management skills so I went ahead and counted those votes as well. Even with ballot stuffing, Dontre Wilson still led the way, in part because of the fact that he's getting the most positive press out of camp so far (adios black stripe), with his electric speed and playmaking ability. Mike Mitchell was a popular choice on defense (another black stripe departee), given the relative lack of linebacker depth that could lead to more playing time. Also, to be fair, Cameron Johnston probably will play more than any of these other guys. Unless of course, we never punt.
Which Buckeye that nobody is talking about will step up to make the biggest impact?
Cameron Johnston 4
Josh Perry 2
Jordan Hall: 1
"The entire offensive line" 1
TRESSELBALL AIN'T DEAD Y'ALL. While there are some quality other players on the defensive side of the ball, our staff seems to think that Cameron Johnston has the capability to make special teams just a little bit more special than last year.
Which game scares you the most?
Northwestern might be a trendy #BUZZ pick right now to give the Buckeyes fits, but more of our writers are concerned about a possible showdown in Ann Arbor, with the Buckeyes bringing an 11-0 record into a heated rivalry game where anything can happen. Luke and I, for what it's worth, are most concerned about Wisconsin, while a few other writers admitted to not really being worried about any of them. Andrew's quote on Northwestern?
Most people see Northwestern at night and immediately think that's going to be tough. I see Ryan Field filled 80% with scarlet and gray and an easy W over a team with inflated expectations after their first bowl win since 1949.
#SHOTSFIRED NORTHWESTERN. SHOTS. FIRED.
What will Ohio State's regular season record be?
Going 24-0 over two regular seasons does seem borderline absurd, especially when you look at the rosters of this year's and last year's Buckeye squads. They're both great, but it's not like these are the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers or 2001 Miami Hurricanes. On the other hand, that schedule.... It's tough to really find a loss, huh? The three of us that penciled in a loss (including Luke and I) struggled to pick an exact game, and were more concerned about just getting lucky enough to win 24 wins in a row than any particular matchup.
TL;DR, the Buckeyes should be really good next year.
What will Ohio State be in and what will the result be?
Title game vs Oregon and win 4
Title game vs Alabama and lose 3
Title gave vs Alabama and win 3
Rose Bowl vs Stanford and win 2
Rose Bowl vs Oregon and win 1
Pretty optimistic/confident bunch eh? There might be a bit of wishful thinking in hoping that the Buckeyes can duck an SEC team in the national title game, but hey, you never know. If Ohio State misses out on a chance at the title, a Rose Bowl win over either a great Stanford or Oregon team wouldn't be a terrible consolation prize.
How many members of OSU's coaching staff will leave for head coaching gigs this offseason?
1 coach 6
2 coaches 4
0 coaches 3
The most popular choice seems to be Ohio State offensive coordinator (and MENSA member) Tom Herman, although several others think Everett Withers could attract attention from a Sun Belt type school. Even Luke Fickell picked up a few votes, as well. With the Buckeyes likely to have a very successful season, and with such smart, talented coaches surrounding Urbz, it will be difficult to convince the entire band to stay together for one more season, unless there are a paucity of interesting job openings this offseason.
We'll dig into more specific Big Ten and national stories soon enough.
What do you think about these questions? Are there players we missed? Are we being too optimistic, or are the Buckeyes going to win it all? Is Matt is just a pessimistic curmudgeon, robbed of his ability to dream big by the Cleveland Indians, or what?