"Best Offensive Player: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State running back (8 votes), Braxton Miller, Ohio State quarterback/wideout (3 votes)"
- Josh Moyer, ESPN
Josh Moyer of ESPN polled 17 of the 42 players on hand for the Big Ten media days in Chicago this past week, asking players for their vote for the best offensive and defensive players in their respective conference (we'll get to defense later). The results were mildly interesting, as Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott ran away with the vote, totaling eight votes from fellow Big Ten players. Buckeyes' quarterback-turned-wide receiver Braxton Miller tied for second in the vote, with three votes to his name (tied with Connor Cook). Surprisingly, both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones did not receive any votes from the 17 players.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of the players at the Big Ten media days were upperclassmen, and mainly seniors. So it's certainly possible the performances from Braxton Miller have stayed in the players minds for the past few seasons. It does show the effect of Miller's athleticism and playmaking ability, to receive that much respect from players in the same conference.
Good news. The College Football Playoff will expand its program to offset expenses for parents or guardians to travel to the semifinals.— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) August 4, 2015
You might remember during last season's run to the national championship, there was a lot of discussion about the College Football Playoff not giving families of players on each respective team a chance to watch them play because of traveling expenses (including hotels and meals). Last season, the College Football Playoff did pay the expenses for families for the national championship game itself, but the semifinal games were not covered under the previous program. That has now changed, and families will be receiving a $2,500 stipend to help with expenses.
This new program will help cover expenses for both the semifinal games and the national championship game as well this season, which is a great step forward in the right direction for helping players and their families not having to worry to pay through the nose just to watch and cheer on their family members.
"1. Jim Stillwagon, 2. Mike Vrabel, 3. Jim Marshall, 4. Will Smith, 5. Dan Wilkinson, 5A. Joey Bosa"
- Steve Helwagen, 247Sports
Steve Helwagen and the rest of the Bucknuts staff over at 247Sports have been listing the top players at each position in Ohio State history over the past couple of weeks, and today released their top Buckeye defensive linemen of all time. Their list starts with Jim Stillwagon (1968-70), ranked as the top defensive lineman, and moves to Mike Vrabel (1993-96), Jim Marshall (1957-58), Will Smith (2000-03), Dan Wilkinson (1992-93), and Joey Bosa (2013-14) as the top five (six) defensive linemen of all time.
Each player certainly has their own list of individual merits, but they were also all on extremely good teams. At least three of the names listed have won a national championship and all of them were on teams that contended and competed at a high level. Bosa sneaks in the list, and with another productive season in 2015 like he had in the previous two seasons, he could end up being in the top three on Ohio State's career lists in both sacks and tackles for loss, which is incredible to think about.
"2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State. Defending national champions come back loaded for a repeat, and Meyer already has helped himself and his team by moving one of three super-talented quarterbacks to a new position. In the jockeying for Greatest Current College Coach, Meyer now stands alongside Nick Saban on the mountaintop. Check back in a few months and he may have the summit to himself."
- Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports breaks down the top 25 most intriguing coaches of 2015 in college football, and Urban Meyer ranks second in the country, with a fascinating story line to follow this season. After winning his first national championship at Ohio State with an extremely young team, expectations are high for the Buckeyes to repeat their success (something that, traditionally, is rare to accomplish) and win another championship with a more seasoned team. Not so surprisingly is the first-ranked intriguing coach of 2015: Jim Harbaugh.
The new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines has all eyes on him and his team as he makes his coaching return back to college football and for a college behemoth. After his success at both Stanford in college and San Fransisco in the NFL, many believe Harbaugh can turn around a downtrodden Wolverines program desperate to return to the top tier in not only the Big Ten, but college football itself. Whether or not he can accomplish that remains to be seen, but it should be a fun ride regardless of the outcome.
"Best Defensive Player: Joey Bosa, Ohio State defensive end (8 votes), Darron Lee, Ohio State linebacker (1 vote) "
- Josh Moyer, ESPN
Back to the player voting at the Big Ten media days, players followed up their answers for the best offensive player in the Big Ten with the best defensive player, and Joey Bosa was the clear-cut favorite among the participants. The junior Ohio State defensive end has had tremendous success as a Buckeye, already ranked 14th at Ohio State in career tackles-for-loss (34.5), ninth in TFL yards (187), seventh in quarterback sacks (21.0) and sixth in QB sack yards (154). Bosa also has 99 career tackles, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, both for touchdowns.
Even with missing the 2015 season opener against Virginia Tech, if Bosa can produce similar numbers to his previous seasons, there's no reason he wouldn't go down as one of the best, if not the best, defensive linemen in Ohio State history. Buckeyes' sophomore linebacker Darron Lee also made the list with one vote to his name, and after an impressive freshman season in 2014, Lee looks to lead the Ohio State linebacking core alongside Joshua Perry and Raekwon McMillan.
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