"He's playing. He had the knee injury, but he's well ahead of schedule. Looks fantastic, and he's a little ahead of his brother at this time."
- Urban Meyer via Brian Bennett, ESPN
Ohio State's class of 2016 leaves fans with plenty to be excited about. With names like Jonathon Cooper, Demario McCall, Austin Mack, Dwayne Haskins, Michael Jordan, and Binjimen Victor all suiting up in the scarlet and gray this fall, there will be a healthy helping of expectations around this group. But perhaps the top newcomer among this class is Nick Bosa, the five-star defensive end from Florida. Bosa, of course, is the younger brother of former Buckeye Joey Bosa. Ever since the recruitment started for the younger Bosa, there has been plenty of talk about how he could end up being even better than the current Bosa brother that's in the NFL. Whether that turns out to be the case or not, the excitement level is currently there.
Although Bosa suffered a knee injury during his senior year of high school that has sidelined him for some of the offseason while getting acclimated with Ohio State's system, there's definitely a chance that Bosa will still see plenty of action this fall. Even with both Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis likely locked in as the starters at defensive end, it could be a safe bet that Urban Meyer and his staff will make sure Bosa sees his fair share of the field. And if what Meyer says is true about Bosa being ahead of Joey at the same time, then Buckeye fans could be in for a treat this season and beyond.
"New Year's Six bowls: Rose Bowl - Ohio State vs. Washington"
- Jason Kirk, SB Nation
Jason Kirk of SB Nation broke down his projections for the full 2016 bowl lineup and where teams would be slotted this season. For Ohio State, Kirk lists the Buckeyes as heading to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl as a part of the New Year's Six bowl games. In 2015, Ohio State was in the same lineup but in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. This time, Kirk has the Buckeyes facing off against the Washington Huskies which could end up being a very favorable matchup for Urban Meyer's team. Among the other notable games, for the College Football Playoff, Kirk listed LSU, Clemson, Michigan, and TCU. He has LSU and Clemson facing off in the national championship game.
For Big Ten teams, Kirk has Wisconsin facing Stanford in the Foster Farms bowl, Nebraska and Florida in the Outback bowl, Penn State and Ole Miss in the Citrus bowl, Iowa and South Carolina in the Music City bowl, Pitt and Minnesota in the Pinstripe bowl, Maryland and Western Kentucky in the Heart of Dallas bowl, Michigan State and UCLA in the Holiday bowl, Northwestern and Mississippi State in the Independence bowl, and Indiana and Syracuse in the Quick Lane bowl.
"Last year, the Big Ten finished the season with six teams ranked in the final AP Top 25: Ohio State (4), Michigan State (6), Iowa (9), Michigan (12), Wisconsin (21) and Northwestern (23)."
- Jesse Temple via Brian Bennett, ESPN
Speaking of the Big Ten, the good folks at ESPN gave their thoughts on how many teams would be ranked in the top 25 at the end of the 2016 season. With the over-under set at 5.5, and the teams that were ranked at the end of last season listed above, they took a look at how the Big Ten might stack up this year. Jesse Temple makes a good point that four of the above teams - Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, and Michigan - might be considered locks this season to finish in the top 25. But after that it becomes a little murky with Wisconsin facing a tough schedule that includes its first six league games against Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern. Temple also mentions that five losses likely knocks the Badgers out of the top 25, and I would have to agree.
Now, Bennett does mention that whichever team finishes second in the West division will likely have a pretty good record, and it could be either Northwestern or Wisconsin. Even with that tough schedule, it does provide the chance for the Badgers to get big wins over hypothetical top teams and show off its tough schedule. Northwestern had 10 wins last season and Bennett doesn't see the Wildcats getting that many this season, but does say they could reach about eight wins. Again, good points by both sides, and for me personally, I think the Wildcats definitely have a good shot at finishing in the top 25.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- The Ohio State campus is getting an 'iconic' 75-foot clock tower.
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- The confusing world of talking to computers.