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Ohio State team talented enough to make you forget about scandal

The question is, how much of the past month should we forget?

Goodyear Cotton Bowl - USC v Ohio State Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

“The Buckeyes, with or without Meyer, are going to absolutely kick ass this season. Since he took over the program, Ohio State has posted just eight losses in six seasons.”

-Nick Martin, Deadspin

First off, this is a Deadspin article, so you know that this isn’t going to be your traditional straight-forward, season preview piece (side-eye, typos, and all). But, one interesting point in the article is that, despite all of the ill-will, arguments, and accusations generated by the Zach Smith fiasco this fall, there is one thing that will put it out of the minds of most Ohio State fans— and college football fans at large—, and that is winning.

For better or for worse, one of the reasons that this storyline took up so much oxygen in the Buckeye fandom is because there was literally nothing else to talk about. With practices being closed, and no interviews being granted, there was no other way to engage with the Ohio State football program other than by engaging with the investigation.

Now that the media blackout has been lifted, and we are just days away from the season opener, that is changing—and fast. From a selfish perspective (that’s something that’s going to become a recurring theme in today’s article), I want to put the mess that we’ve been suffering through over the past month as far behind me as possible, and a 45-point win against Oregon State on Saturday would be a great start to doing just that.

However, I’m not sure that we should forget about this traveshamockery that quickly. Certainly it doesn’t need to be at the forefront of future Ohio State football coverage, but no matter where you come down on what became the eventual outcome, there is no doubt that at every step— from the initial hiring of Zach Smith through last Wednesday’s announcement—this situation was bungled. From how the university handles accusations of wrongdoing against coaches, to crisis management communication, to transparency, to punishment, this whole debacle will one day make for an illuminating, if not, aggravating, case study on how not to handle scandal.

So, while I, for one, hope that on Monday we are talking exclusively about Dwayne Haskins throwing for 400 yards and six touchdowns and Nick Bosa recording eight sacks, I also hope that the university remembers the lessons learned over the past month and makes steps to prevent them from being repeated in the future.

Arnette’s got good size (6-foot, 195 pounds), plays physical and brings an attitude to a position group that features more low key guys in Sheffield and Okudah.”

-Bill Landis,

This is a really interesting article from Landis, who is one of the most insightful voices in the Ohio State media. He admits that he was a little surprised when Damon Arnette was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-American second-team, and I understand why.

Most Buckeye fans have been salivating over the idea of getting Jeffrey Okudah in the cornerback rotation alongside Ohio State Track and Field’s 60-meter dash record-holder Kendall Sheffield.

However, when you look at the advanced metrics, Arnette was incredibly effective last season, especially when lining up opposite slot receivers. Last season, the junior corner posted the fourth lowest passer-rating when targeted in the Big Ten by defensive backs with more than 70 snaps in the slot.

Now, that might seem like an especially random and specific stat to draw any type of conclusions on, but Ohio State’s corners are known for pressing wide receivers. So, with newly-named captain Jordan Fuller locking down half of the field at safety, and Isaiah Pryor and Jahsen Wint rotating opposite him, if the CBs are able to jam receivers at the line, it should make it far more difficult for opposing quarterbacks to get the ball out quickly, meaning that the defensive line and linebackers will have extra opportunities to wreak havoc in the backfield.

And selfishly, who doesn’t want to more Bosa shrugs?

I personally believe that Dwayne Haskins was the right choice in the quarterback battle that unfolded in Columbus this past spring. However, selfishly, I would have far preferred that Joe Burrow remained at Ohio State, if for nothing else than to be available should Haskins struggle or get hurt.

That being typed, transferring certainly appears to have been the right move for the Athens (OH) High School alum. Burrow proved that he had DI-starter ability during his time at OSU, and given the opportunity to play with the Buckeye first team in 2018, I think that he could have taken the team incredibly far.

But, now that he is going to be leading the Tigers in the Bayou, I wish him the absolute best of luck... that is until LSU meets OSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship game!

Also, can we stop with the “Jeaux Burreaux” jokes now?

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