"Ohio State has another shot at recruiting [Kyle] Allen, if it wants it."
- Ari Wasserman, Cleveland.com
Former superstar QB recruit Kyle Allen is transferring out of Texas A&M. That means the one-time Ohio State target is back on the market, and while he'd have to sit out a season because of NCAA transfer rules, he's still an attractive prospect for many schools. Could that list include Ohio State?
At first glance, it doesn't seem like a fantastic fit. Though Cardale Jones is as good as gone, J.T. Barrett still has two years of eligibility remaining. Barrett, hardly a prototypical NFL quarterback at this point in his career, and likely wouldn't leave school early unless his junior season rivals his freshman efforts. Even then, he might stick around. The Buckeyes seem pretty deep beyond Barrett, with Ohio's former Mr. Football Joe Burrow, QB/WR Torrance Gibson, and a pair of commits from the next two classes in Tristen Wallace and Danny Clark. Plus, Ohio Sate might add another QB in this class anyway.
It's hard to see Ohio State realistically targeting Allen given that depth, and it's just as difficult to see Allen picking the Buckeyes over other suitors with more opportunities to seize the starting job. Allen's a good QB, if inconsistent (remember those three pick-sixes against Alabama?), and there are plenty of places that could use him more definitively -- and more immediately -- than Ohio State.
"It's a well-coached [team], very good athletes on both sides of the ball, [a] physical style of football."
- Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, via FOXSports.com
Count Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly among the ranks of those not underestimating Ohio State. Kelly, though undaunted by the prospect of facing the Buckeyes, was still very candid about the things that Urban Meyer's team does well in a teleconference on Sunday.
Kelly praised the physicality of Ohio State, both on offense and defense, and how multi-dimensional the team is. "If one area is not strong, you're going to be compromised, and I think Ohio State will compromise you if you're not strong in all three phases," said Kelly in perfect coach-speak. According to FOXSports, Kelly added, "It's a darned good football team, but I think we know who we are, and we've been tested by some very, very good football teams."
The Fighting Irish, like the Buckeyes, were playoff hopefuls who had their championship hopes dashed by a game-winning field goal. In both losses they suffered -- to No. 5 Stanford and No. 1 Clemson -- they fell by two points. The Buckeyes, already down one of their best defensive players in Adolphus Washington, will have to contend with a team that hung with two of the best in the country until the bitter end. It should make for a wild one on New Year's Day.
"Ohio State now looks up only to the University of Texas when it comes to athletic departments."
- Evan Weese, Cincinnati Business Courier
Fear not, skeptics: the above quote refers solely to the revenue generated by college athletic departments, not, say, prowess on the football field. (In that regard, the Longhorns are a sinking ship and no one is coming aboard.) The Buckeyes jumped into second place in athletic revenue in 2015, leapfrogging Alabama -- a fitting act, given that a $27 million increase came mostly on the heels of Ohio State's national championship run, during which they bested the Crimson Tide before taking down Oregon in the title game.
In total, the athletic department's revenue for the last fiscal year was $171 million, a 19% increase over the previous period, which ended at $144 million. Texas, which sits in first place, had revenue upwards of $180 million. As if anyone needed further proof that Ohio State dominates Michigan, the Wolverines' revenue came in at $132 million, actually down $4 million from the previous year.
It's just really hard to see where the money would come from to pay players, you know?
"We had a great relationship, a great visit, couldn't have gone any better...but in the end, Mom wanted him closer to home, and it turned out to be a great choice."
- Thad Matta, via Bill Landis, Cleveland.com
Sterling Gibbs, who will be suiting up for UConn when the Buckeyes face the Huskies on Saturday, could very well have been wearing the Scarlet and Gray instead of Flag Blue and White. When Gibbs left Seton Hall and became immediately available as a graduate transfer, Ohio State was one of the schools he visited. When he chose the Huskies over the Buckeyes, Thad Matta insisted there would be no hard feelings, saying that "I'm gonna be your biggest fan, except for one day," according to Cleveland.com's Bill Landis.
Landis raises the point that, while the Buckeyes could certainly have used Gibbs this year, losing out on him to UConn could very well be a blessing in disguise. Consider the fit: Gibbs could have slotted in as the primary point guard, and while that would have given Matta some flexibility with his lineups, it also would have taken away serious minutes and experience from his young guards, JaQuan Lyle and A.J. Harris. Given that no one is blowing smoke about Ohio State being seriously competitive this year -- it's been billed as a rebuilding, developmental effort from the get-go -- it's perhaps smarter to let the young guys get tried by fire in the hopes that next year will be one in which a talent-rich team can make a deep postseason run.
Kind of makes you feel for D'Angelo Russell, though.