Enclosed is your prospectus for the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeye brand is one of the gold standards in college football, and we strongly feel this season will be one of the most profitable years in recent memory. With a diversified portfolio that ranges from platinum level coaching to 20 shekels worth of quality blogging, we feel Buckeye football will be a strong 'buy' throughout the fall and into winter, and that is due, in large part, to the diversified portfolio we have developed for you. Before we get to our recommendations, we'd like to share with you a brief message from one of the members of the board, Mr. Thomas Petty.
I rolled on as the sky grew dark
I put the pedal down to make some time
There's something good waitin' down this road
I'm pickin' up whatever's mine
Yeah runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me
Workin' on a mystery, goin' wherever it leads
Runnin' down a dream
Your pre-season SMR follows.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Urban Meyer, Head Coach: There is no better coach in the Big Ten, and you can count on one hand the number of coaches that are a better combination of recruiter and gameday strategist. The reason we put Coach Meyer as a 'blue chip' is three fold. For one, he has a track record of success that has been almost unmatched in modern college football. Secondly, he took a mediocre 2011 team that was under .500 and transformed them into the only undefeated team in college football in 2012, and he has added depth and playmakers with two staggeringly good recruiting classes. The short and long term future of Ohio State football is in very good hands.
Braxton Miller, QB: Miller's stock has been steadily rising since his original posting on the Columbus Stock Exchange, and we feel 2013 will be a breakout year for him. His play has steadily improved, and he now has a full complement of weapons to spread the football around to. When you add in his playmaking ability with his feet, it's no surprise that Miller has been named the Big Ten's pre-season offensive player, and is on almost everyone's pre-season Heisman watch list.
Ryan Shazier, LB: Along the front seven, there is only one returning starter, and Shazier forms the third corner of our blue chip triangle. Gone is emotional leader John Simon, and guys who were expected to lead by example have done a poor job early on. A lot will be expected of Shazier, both in terms of talent and leadership. It will be largely up to him to set the tone for the front seven early, and how he handles these responsibilities will go a long way in setting the tone for the Ohio State defense.
Dontre Wilson, WR: This is a startup stock that we feel will make big strides in 2013. His IPO is scheduled for Aug 31st, and we expect a near vertical trajectory. Wilson is the type of speed demon that Meyer craves at his skill positions, and reports from fall camp have Buckeye fans eager with anticipation.
Curtis Grant, MLB: If Grant were a stock, he would be like Facebook–showed lots of promise, had a bad beginning, eventually stabilized, and now, hopefully, he'll get back to even money and perform at the level we all expected when he came out of high school. Grant's knock was that he couldn't catch up to the speed of the college game, but he has apparently made great strides during spring practice and continued his momentum in fall camp. A solid and reliable Grant in the middle will help stabilize a young but talented Buckeye defense early on, and will go a long way in taking Ohio State's defense from good/very good to potentially elite.
Cameron Johnston, P: In 1985, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton (and one of my all time favorites) wrote the best April Fool's hoax-story in sports history – The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch. When I started hearing about this Australian punter that could punt the ball 80 yards, I immediately thought of the Plimpton story, but Johnston is the real deal. No, he doesn't kick with one hiking boot, but he should help shore up a special teams that was as bad as it had been in recent Ohio State memory.
Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby: Hyde and Roby are seniors, and as seniors they're supposed to set the example. Unfortunately, neither of them did, and now they're suspended. Hyde will miss three games and Roby will miss one. These stocks can be bought for pennies on the dollar right now, and Buckeye Investments strongly feels that by the end of September, both will be back on solid financial ground.
Rod Smith, RB: Rod Smith did something to really run afoul of Urban Meyer this past winter (but no one from the team is saying what that something is), and now he's paying for it with a one game suspension. That's bad for Smith, because with Hyde out, he was on track to be the starting running back against Buffalo. But Meyer had some ominous words for the talented running back after Saturday's practice when he said, basically, Smith didn't have any more chances left with the team. I hadn't heard that Smith was that far in Meyer's doghouse, and with all the talent that Meyer is bringing in, Smith had better figure out how to get in Meyer's good graces or risk getting kicked off the team.
Buy: Going undefeated. Okay, here's the deal. You've probably read that it's next to impossible to go undefeated two seasons in a row, the Buckeyes only have a 28% chance, at best, of going undefeated, blah blah blah. But consider this: In 2012, Ohio State had what I thought was a much harder schedule, a less talented roster, nothing to play for...and they went undefeated. In 2013, their schedule is easier, the talent has either one more year of experience or has been upgraded, and they are of one mindset in what they want to accomplish. I think the path to going undefeated is actually easier this year than it was last year, to be honest.
Sell: Ohio State's schedule will prevent them from playing in the BCS National Championship. Is Ohio State's schedule pretty suspect? Yep. Does it matter? Nope. Look, Ohio State is ranked #2 in all the major pre-season polls, and if they keep winning, they stay at #2. They have tough games against at Northwestern, against Wisconsin, and at Michigan. Then they'll have a Big Ten championship game. Win those games, and they will solidify a #2 ranking, minimum.
Buy: Significant contributions from the freshman class. There are several freshmen that will see significant playing time, specifically on offense. When asked if guys like Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and Ezekiel Elliott would play, Meyer responded that 'they have to play' if OSU was going to have the kind of success they are striving for. Remember those three names, because three years from now we could very well look back and say it was like having three Ted Ginn, Jr's. on the team at the same time. On defense, if Curtis Grant falters, look for MLB Mike Mitchell to see the field. This is a talented incoming class, and they will have an immediate and long term impact on this team.
Sell: Significant contributions from Jordan Hall. There were three guys that were coming back that I thought were going to play big roles in Ohio State's offense in 2013, besides Braxton Miller. They were Rod Smith, Philly Brown, and Hall. Smith and Brown are going to be big parts of this offense, but I just don't think Hall is going to have the impact we thought at the end of 2012. When you consider the freshmen that are pushing behind Hall, I expect him to be eased out little by little. I hope I'm wrong, but Hall is not the prototypical 'Star' position guy, and that's where he's slotted to play.
We're under seven days until the 2013 OSU football season kicks off, and I can't wait. Let The Chase begin.