"If someone could convince Elliott that every game on the Buckeyes' schedule is a playoff contest, the Heisman would unquestionably be his to lose. Assuming Elliott can perform similarly against such Big Ten powerhouses as Rutgers and Illinois, his only challenge will be outshining his team's starting quarterback — which, admittedly, won't be easy."
- Matt Borcas, Grantland
Matt Borcas of Grantland examined some of the odds of who could win the Heisman Trophy this fall. The favorite in Vegas right now is TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, who led the Horned Frogs to an impressive 2014 campaign, just falling short of the College Football Playoff. Second on that list, however, was Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, with 5-1 odds (the same as Boykin) to win the award. Borcas notes that if Elliott can run like he did against Alabama, running against teams such as Rutgers or Illinois should be a breeze.
The third-best odds to win the trophy come from either of Ohio State's quarterbacks in J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones. Whoever wins the job will likely be one of the top performers during the season and produce plenty of numbers to impress voters. The only real obstacle standing in the way for the three players is each other. Elliott's campaign could slow down if Barrett or Jones is stealing the show, and vice versa. Regardless, an exciting season is about to be under way.
"The last three days have been really fluid, and I think a lot of it is just his body's feeling good again after going through the 'What the heck is this?' and that is the constant running that his body wasn't used to."
- Urban Meyer via Ari Wasserman, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Braxton Miller is slated to start at H-back, at the very least for the opener against Virginia Tech on Monday. That might not come as too much of a surprise to an Ohio State fan, but the transformation that Miller has made from being a quarterback to being a wide receiver is pretty remarkable, considering the talent that surrounds Miller at the H-back/wide receiver spot. Few quarterbacks in the country could pull that off, and it speaks to Miller's athleticism and hunger to be back on the field for the Buckeyes.
At the start, even Urban Meyer wasn't sure about the move. Meyer mentioned it usually takes a player a year and a half to to learn to play wide receiver properly, and Miller has accomplished it in just a few months. The potential is tantalizing, and also being named the starter at returning punts this season, Miller has a great opportunity to prove he's still the game-changer he was before his injuries.
"2. Ohio State will break the FBS scoring record: Florida State set the mark for most points in an FBS season with 732 back in its 2013 championship season. Given all the offensive weapons the Buckeyes have, plus a fairly manageable schedule and the possibility of a 15th game, that record should fall."
- Brian Bennett, ESPN
Brian Bennett of ESPN gave five bold predictions for the Big Ten conference on Tuesday. One of those was that a Big Ten player would win a Heisman this season (either Ezekiel Elliott, an Ohio State quarterback, or Connor Cook). The other interesting prediction was that the Buckeyes would break the FBS scoring record this season. Florida State's national championship team in 2013 currently holds the record, with 732 points. Bennett thinks with the additional games in the playoffs, Ohio State could break that with the talent they return on both sides of the ball.
To do that, the Buckeyes would need to average about 49 points a game over the course of 15 games. Something that isn't impossible, especially considering last season they averaged 44.8 points per game with a freshman quarterback under center. Now with experience both on the ground and through the air, including a defense that returns a loaded roster, there's a chance they could accomplish breaking the record set by the Seminoles.
"It could be an in-game [adjustment], it could be weekly, too. I think I have to do what's best for the team in the moment. You have two very good players that are very invested, so who has the best chance of moving the team down the field and putting them in the end zone? That is kind of the mindset I have right now."
- Urban Meyer via Austin Ward, ESPN
Ohio State fans have been waiting all offseason to find out who will be the starting quarterback. It's been the topic of much debate, both by fans and media alike. Seemingly everyone has had an opinion on it, and any conversation that the Buckeyes get brought up in, you'd better believe you're going to hear that person's take. Urban Meyer supposedly hasn't made the decision yet. Even with the depth chart released on Tuesday, it showed no indication of who will start against Virginia Tech.
The waiting will have to continue. At least, for about five more days. Once they see either J.T. Barrett or Cardale Jones out on the field with the offensive starters, the choice will have been made. I don't quite buy the notion of coach Meyer not knowing who he's going to start yet, but it's his decision to keep quiet about the situation. With any luck, Ohio State will win the coin toss on Monday night and elect to receive. Or maybe Meyer will opt to kick it, just to keep people guessing.
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