"I'm going to be very outspoken about that. If there's any more conversation about adding games, there better be coaches on that (committee) and student-athletes."
- Urban Meyer
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer appeared on The Dan Patrick Show this morning where he was asked about the possibility of the College Football Playoff being expanded to include eight teams. While Ohio State may have just slipped into the inaugural playoff, Meyer is not in favor of the CFP doubling in size. Meyer stated how if the CFP proposes the increase, coaches and student-athletes should be a part of the committee should be involved in the discussion.
One area of concern of Meyer has been vocal about is the costs on the parents to travel twice in a little less than two weeks. The CFP has announced some relief but what would it be like if a possible third game is added? Another concern Meyer has is the wear it has on the players. Monday's game will be the 15th on the season for Ohio State. If the CFP is doubled there is the chance a team could be 16 games in a season with the last few games of the season being very high-pressure games.
"I don't know that you can trick Marcus Mariota. But you have to give him different looks, take advantage of the fact you have one of the most athletic defensive lines in the country and use those guys to confuse him to some extent. The hard part is he's seen everything under the sun. Ohio State isn't going to do anything new."
- Land-Grant Holy Land editor Luke Zimmermann
After first slowing down Melvin Gordon in the Big Ten Championship Game, followed by Amari Cooper in the Sugar Bowl, now the most daunting task faces Ohio State's defense: how to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Martin Rickman of SI.com put together a plan for Ohio State to try and put the clamps on Mariota, with help from some writers and analysts around the country, including our own Matt Brown and Luke Zimmermann. While Luke mentioned about mixing up the looks Mariota sees from the defense, Matt thought the offense was key, as they need to be able to run the ball successfully and not turn the football over like Florida State did, letting the Ducks strike quickly.
When Oregon does get their hands on the football, the Buckeyes need to play sound on first down, forcing the Ducks into 2nd & long situations, which could put them behind schedule and not let the Ducks get into the up-tempo offense they love to run. When Oregon is able to move the football on the Buckeyes, Ohio State has to tighten up when they get inside the red zone and not let Oregon into the end zone. These were just a few of the other ways mentioned to try and stop a quarterback who can beat you in so many ways.
"It's so awesome to see all these guys out there making great plays and playing so well. Obviously, I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think our class was one of the best in the nation and capable of winning national championships ... It's really great to see everything turn out the way you hoped."
- Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa
If anyone is looking for a reason Ohio State has made the College Football Playoff Championship Game, look no farther than the 2013 recruiting class of Urban Meyer. Included in the class were J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, and Jalin Marshall, just to name a few. The 2013 class was ranked just behind Alabama by Rivals but the Buckeyes showed why rankings don't always mean everything in the Sugar Bowl. Redshirt freshman Barrett might have had the biggest impact on the Buckeyes this year, picking Ohio State up after the loss of Braxton Miller to a shoulder injury just before the regular season.
Ezekiel Elliott has been a major contributor for the Ohio State offense when it has counted most. The sophomore has rushed for over 200 yards in each of his last two games and totaled four rushing touchdowns. Bosa was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Redshirt freshman Darron Lee has been outstanding at linebacker after playing quarterback in high school, and Vonn Bell leads Ohio State with six interceptions this year. Next year was supposed to be the year for this recruiting class to shine, but their performances this year has set the table for even higher expectations in 2015.
"From a uniform standpoint, this figured to be a case of old school against new school. But the new-schoolers -- Oregon --have confounded expectations by choosing to wear a white jersey and a fairly conventional uni design. So instead of seeing a traditional football uniform facing off against a superhero costume, we have two teams in gray pants. Who would've expected that."
- Paul Lukas, ESPN.com
Earlier this week the uniforms for Ohio State and Oregon were revealed, which promoted Paul Lukas of ESPN's Uni Watch to delve a little deeper into some parts of the uniforms which might be missed at first glance. A carryover from the Rose and Sugar Bowls is the "fractal diamond" pattern which is meant to signify the diamond championship ring which will be at stake on Monday night. As a tribute to the 1968 Ohio State national championship team, the Buckeyes will use black TV numbers and gray/white sleeve striping.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott gave a little reasoning as to why he prefers to wear the crop top jersey instead of a tucked in uniform. The sophomore said it gives opponents less to grab on to when they are trying to tackle him. Also, a little bit of an explanation is given when it comes to Cardale Jones and the amount of Buckeye leaves he has on his helmet despite only playing two games. But with the play of Jones in those two games it almost feels like he has earned all of those Buckeyes with how well he has played. Along with the Buckeye leaves, Ohio State will be sporting five decals on the back of their helmets, including a memorial decal for Kosta Karageorge.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Remember the "snow rollers" in Columbus last year? Now Lake Michigan has "ice balls" washing ashore.
- Steve Ballmer really likes himself some Fergie.
- Relief is coming to any Los Angeles Buckeyes who have missed Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.
- Bad news for anybody who used Lyft in Columbus.
- Apparently a missing woman joined a search party for herself.