“It is very logical to me that this is a business and you have to realize that now. It’s also a beautiful game that we love.”
-Joey Bosa on brother, Nick, via Sam Fortier, The Athletic
It’s been a quiet few weeks for both Bosa brothers, though the national spotlight has continued to shine particularly brightly on younger brother, Nick, following his decision to forego the rest of the season with Ohio State in order to better prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft next spring.
Joey, meanwhile, has yet to make his season debut with the Chargers as a result of a bruised bone in his foot. However, Joey recently opened up about both his own injury and his brother’s decision to forego the opportunity to return to Ohio State this season.
Though the elder Bosa has had his share of injury issues (he missed the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring injury), he is still a force to be reckoned with when he is actually on the field with the Chargers. In just 12 games as a rookie, Bosa had 10.5 sacks. His performance in 2017 earned him a Pro Bowl selection. The Chargers, meanwhile, are tied for 21st in the league in total sacks on the season, recording just 18 through seven games. The team is sitting at 5-2 and coming off a bye week as Anthony Lynn and company prepare to travel to Seattle next week.
Nick, meanwhile, has faced criticism from a small segment of the Ohio State fanbase for his decision to leave school early. However, that decision is one which Joey supports, telling Sam Fortier of the Athletic, “He wishes more than anything he could be there but from a logical point of view is the right decision.”
Joey acknowledged that the decision was a family one, and that Nick has an “amazing opportunity” ahead. Joey also mentioned that the nature of Nick’s injury--a groin injury requiring significant surgery--is not something that should be rushed. Big brother also defended Nick’s choice not to return, calling out those who questioned the decision.
“The Horned Frogs fell to 3-5 and have now lost five of their last six games. They also gave the Jayhawks their first win in October since 2009.”
-Tim Bielik, Cleveland.com
Ohio State’s loss to Purdue last Saturday dealt a big enough blow to the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff hopes on it’s own. Even in the bye week that followed, however, the picture got a lot dimmer for Ohio State, as TCU--far and above the Buckeyes’ best out of conference win this season--fell to Kansas 27-26 Saturday. After starting the season 2-0 heading into their matchup with Ohio State, the Horned Frogs now sit at 3-5 on the year, and are losers of three-straight. Gary Patterson’s team is tied with Kansas and Kansas State for the worst conference record in the Big 12 (1-4), the Horned Frogs’ only win coming over Iowa State.
But that’s just the start of it. Ohio State’s opponents have fared poorly in their subsequent games after playing the Buckeyes, garnering a 1-7 overall record against their next FBS opponents. Tulane, who overcame Memphis 40-27 the week after losing 49-6 in Columbus, owns the lone follow-on win. That kind of letdown reflects poorly back on Ohio State. After starting 0-6, Nebraska earned its first win of the season over Minnesota, who played the Buckeyes the week prior. Most recently, Purdue lost 23-13 on the road to an unranked Michigan State. While the Boilermakers’ loss looks like a true hangover, the perception of opponents immediately losing makes Ohio State’s wins look less legitimate.
Nonetheless, the season is far from over for the Buckeyes, as they still have the chance to earn wins on the road against the Spartans and home against No. 5 Michigan to round out the regular season. Then things get interesting, as the current Big Ten West leader--Northwestern--could prove that final hurdle before the Playoff. TBD on if a win over the Wildcats will be perceived as well as a projected win over Wisconsin would have been earlier this season. Of course, all will be revealed tonight at 7 p.m. EST when the first CFP rankings are announced.
“So whether you think a team from a certain conference is overrated or if your team is out of the running, it’s clear a lot of changes are still ahead.”
-Morgan Moriarty, SB Nation
All that being said, the Buckeyes are certainly not out of the College Football Playoff picture. In fact, in the four previous years the Playoff has existed, the opening rankings turned out to be relatively meaningless, except as an indication of how the committee thinks and what, up to that point in the season, it has found valuable.
As a case in point, in 2014, Ohio State opened at the No. 16 spot in the initial rankings. The four top teams that year were Mississippi State and Florida State, both of whom were undefeated at the time, ahead of Auburn and Ole Miss. While these standings naturally induced a lot of panic for anyone in a conference not called the SEC, the fact was that a significant amount of conference play remained, both in the regular season and in the conference championship game which would surely knock at least one of the teams from contention. On the flip side, it was apparent that conference champions emerging from other major conferences would boast strong, Playoff-worthy resumes.
And that’s exactly what ended up happening with Ohio State in 2014. While the outlook seemed grim, with the loss to Virginia Tech still relatively fresh in the minds of voters, it took wins over Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin to convince the committee to put the Buckeyes in the group of four.
The same phenomenon has occurred in subsequent years as well, which should make sense given how the average Power-5 team structures its season. In 2015, LSU looked like an early favorite while Oklahoma took time to get on the committee’s radar. The same story occurred in 2016, with Texas A&M falling off after the initial rankings and Penn State rising high at the tail end. Last season, Notre Dame lost its power position as Auburn rose.
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