"In the most likely College Football Playoff, ACC and defending National Champion, Florida State, tops Big Ten Champion, Ohio State, by a score of 39-27 in the Rose Bowl."
The good folks over at Prediction Machine make their living by running a program called the Predictalator. This aptly named simulator runs through the college football regular season and post-season a full 50,000 times to determine the most likely outcomes for the year.
The Predictalator thinks that Ohio State will reach the first annual College Football Playoff (we tend to agree). There, says the machine, the Buckeyes will fall to Jameis Winston and the Seminoles. The sim is remarkably high on the Wisconsin Badgers, who it says will finish the regular season first in the B1G before falling to OSU in the league championship game (33-30 Buckeyes).
On the other side of the bracket, Oregon is predicted to top Alabama in the Sugar Bowl by a score of 38-34. The sim projects that the Ducks will fall to the Seminoles in the title game, which would make two straight championships for FSU. Baylor, the putative winner of the Big 12, would be the only Big-5 conference winner left out of the playoffs. Granted, there's a reason they play the games on the field and not as computer models, but the Predictalator is better than 65% against the spread historically. It will be interesting to see which predictions come true and which fall flat (looking at you, Wisconsin).
"I wish I had the answer."
-Brady Hoke, on why toughness has eluded his teams (via CBS Detroit)
In a pointed screed about the state of UM's coaching, CBS Detroit's Jeff Riger laid out a rather long list of grievances about both the Rich Rodriguez years and the Brady Hoke years. Riger's most recent issue with Hoke is his lack of ownership of the toughness on his team. Hoke stated in press conference that he wants Michigan's identity to be "toughness on both sides of the ball," but was unable to give a satisfactory answer to the media's questions about where, exactly, that toughness has been the last few seasons.
Hoke is 26-13 as Michigan's head coach. Eleven of those wins came in his first season in Ann Arbor, which saw the Wolverines lose just two games on the way to a Sugar Bowl victory. Despite high hopes for UM in the polls, they have gone 8-5 and 7-6 in the two seasons since. Hoke wants to bring toughness back to Ann Arbor, but professes not to know, exactly, how to make that happen. As Riger so eloquently asks, "If you don't know, who does?"
"He couldn't play receiver last year. He didn't know what the hell he was doing."
-Tom Herman, on Dontre Wilson (per Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod)
Dontre Wilson has added bulk to go with his expanded knowledge of Ohio State's playbook heading into the 2014 season. Wilson, who Urban Meyer envisioned playing a "Percy Harvin-type" role in the Buckeye offense, saw a lot fewer touches than he would have liked in 2013. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman wasn't shy about why that was, essentially saying that Wilson's abilities were too one-dimensional for the coaches to use him how they had originally planned.
All of that should change this season. Wilson is officially listed as a wide receiver on the roster rather than a running back, and will be the Buckeyes' predominant slot guy. He's been taking a heavy volume of snaps at WR in camp, but is also dangerously dynamic out of the backfield--the kind of versatility the Buckeyes lacked last season. With a year of trial and error under his belt, Wilson says he is more confident heading into this fall than he was before last. "I just wish I didn't have all that hype and all that stuff before I got here," he said.
"Every student-athlete that grows up in the state of Ohio that plays football, their dream is to play in Ohio Stadium."
-Beau Rugg, assistant OHSAA commissioner (via Fox Sports Ohio)
Every year, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission hosts a "Morning Sports Report" that highlights notable central Ohio sporting moments from the last year and gives a preview of what's to come in the next. Most notable among these events are the seven high school football championship games that will be played in the 'Shoe in December. For 24 consecutive years, these title games have been played in Canton and Massillon, so this is a big deal for a lot of players and coaches (hence Rugg's quote above). Rugg cited the quality of OSU's facilities and Columbus' central location as reasons behind the switch.
The 2014 Morning Sports Report hosted several Ohio State football greats--quarterback Bobby Hoying, halfback/wide receiver Paul Warfield, and halfback Beanie Wells. Warfield, the most successful pro of the three, played on the 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. All three played their high school football in Ohio, and each spoke lovingly about what it meant to them to be able to play in Ohio Stadium in college. "This is really the pillar of football for the state of Ohio," said Warfield.
Also speaking at the event were Claire-Louise Bode and Catherine Shields, key members of Ohio State's two-time national champion Women's Rowing team, and Logan Stieber, who holds the OSU record with three consecutive national wrestling titles. The three athletes spoke about their experiences and achievements as Buckeyes.
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