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Billy Price’s consistency has allowed Ohio State to find its best balance in years

Chris Holtmann is trying to buy your affection with fried chicken!

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

“He cares not because the story is particularly important, but because in Billy Price's life, nothing is trivial, nothing is overlooked, nothing slides.”

- Doug Lesmerises,

With all of the accomplishments that senior Billy Price has, and will have, under his belt by the time that his Ohio State playing career concludes at season’s end, perhaps the one that has had the biggest impact on his team is his school record of starting 51 games in his career; a number that could get as high as 56 if everything breaks the Buckeyes’ way.

Whether it was at guard, or now at center, the consistency that Price has afford the offensive line, as well as the leadership that he has provided his younger linemates, has allowed the team to settle into as good of an offensive balance as they’ve had in his time on the field.

If you take a look at this chart from everyone’s favorite certified financial planner (that’s what the CFP stands for, not College Football Playoff), you will see that the number of QB runs (designed or otherwise) that the Buckeyes have relied on this year is the lowest in Price’s time on the line, and the split between running back, H-back, tight end, and wide receiver is as balanced as it’s been.

These are the things that Urban Meyer is referencing when he talks about how having a mature and experienced offensive line can pay huge dividends in all aspects of the offensive gameplan. While it hasn’t happened all at once, and likely not as quickly as many had hoped, the Buckeyes are at the point now where they seem to have found the proper workload for backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins, as well as quarterback J.T. Barrett.

If they are able to recreate the balance and “chances” that led to the demolishing of Michigan State last weekend over the next three weeks, the Buckeyes should be able to put themselves in position to sneak their way back into the College Football Playoff, should a number of teams falter above them.

Look, let’s call this what it is. New Buckeye men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann is trying to buy the attention and affection of the normally football-obsessed Ohio State student body, especially before all focus turns to Michigan Week. And if I were still a student at OSU, it would totally work on me.

As I discussed with 97.1 The Fan’s Lori Schmidt on the Hangout in the Holy Land podcast, Holtmann is actively attempting to find ways to connect with OSU fans and his program’s history.

And, if that includes buying some delicious fast food fried chicken for some poor, hungry college students, what’s the harm in that? Well, of course that assumes that the poor hungry college students are not also scholarship athletes, as that would get into a gray area that we would need compliance to weigh in on first.

This Saturday’s matchup against the Illinois Fighting Illini will mark the final game for this year’s Buckeyes at The Horseshoe, and with Senior Day comes all of the requisite emotions about ending one chapter of a young man’s life and beginning another.

Though we like to think of our college football players as warriors who only show emotion when it comes to running someone over, the nostalgic memories of camaraderie shared over the years can be overwhelming for even the most grizzled of athletes. That is why the fact that OSU is playing Illinois in its final home game of the season should (and I emphasize “should”) allow the Buckeyes time to settle into the game after the sentimental pregame ceremony.

Of course, don’t tell Lovie Smith and his crew that, but the Buckeyes are fortunate that with less than zero margin for error, that they are hosting the Illini, rather than the Spartans or Wolverines on Senior Day.

“Although it’s not two top 10-ranked opponents coming to Columbus as over the past weekend, the next stretch of games for the Ohio State women’s basketball team will be another significant test.”

- Josh Horton, The Columbus Dispatch

If you hadn’t heard, over the weekend, the No. 9 Ohio State women’s basketball team knocked off No. 14 Stanford and fell to No. 5 Louisville in overtime to start the 2017-2018 season. Kevin McGuff’s squad is looking to make it to the Final Four, which will be held at Columbus’ Nationwide Arena this spring, and while the challenges might not be as significant this week as they were last, the Buckeyes are in for a grueling three games in five days at the Value City Arena.

Facing off against Idaho on Wednesday, Quinnipiac on Friday, and Washington (McGuff’s old school) on Sunday will very much recreate the intensity and turn around that OSU will need to make a run in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

While Horton explains that postseason preparedness was not the purpose of scheduling the games as they are, no doubt that these early season challenges should provide McGuff’s team opportunities to test themselves early on in a potentially historic season.