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Shaun Wade has the potential to play almost anywhere on the field

The defensive back has received a ton of praise from coaches and teammates

Cincinnati v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“Hafley said he has had conversations with Wade about potentially playing outside and that could still happen this year even though Wade has played only at slot cornerback so far this season. “

- Jeff Hafley on cornerback Shaun Wade, via Eleven Warriors

Ohio State’s defense has been lights out this season, and a ton of the credit has gone to Jeff Okudah and Chase Young, as well as of course a completely revamped coaching staff. While these two guys have been a huge part of the unit’s resurgence this season, one of the unsung heroes has been defensive back Shaun Wade.

The redshirt sophomore is building off his first real playing time a season ago, where he kind of struggled to find a position but excelled nonetheless. Moving around between corner and safety, Wade finished the 2018 season with a team-high three interceptions, as well as seven pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked punt. This year, Wade has found his niche as the team’s primary slot corner. He has been awesome thus far, racking up 14 tackles with three for loss, two sacks and four pass breakups.

Wade drew a ton of praise from co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley at Monday’s press conference. Hafley commended Wade’s ability to do everything that is required of a slot corner, citing his athleticism and great work ethic as reasons for his success. He also noted that there is still time for Wade to play some outside corner this season as well, as he possess the skillset to play both roles.

Safety Jordan Fuller echoed Hafley’s sentiments on Wade, lauding the 6-foot-1 DB’s coverage ability and intelligence. He said Wade is “constantly” calling out plays on the field before they happen, and that he has the versatility to play every position in the secondary. Fuller even went on to say, “Shoot, my position I bet he’d excel at,” in reference to his strong safety spot.

There are six games remaining on the schedule, and those opponents start to get real tough as the Buckeyes embark on the second half. If the College Football Playoff is in their future, Ohio State will need Shaun Wade to continue to be an extremely active member in the defensive backfield.

Ah, don’t you miss when a bunch of computer algorithms decided your favorite team’s fate each and every year — said nobody ever. The BCS model of finding a national champion is rightfully dead and buried, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the what ifs. In a BCS simulation of the season to this point, Ohio State comes in at No. 2.

The rankings are kind of similar to the current AP Top 25, with a little shakeup at the top. Alabama reigns supreme, followed by OSU, LSU and then Clemson. What is quite surprising is how big the gap between Clemson and Oklahoma is, given how bad the Tigers have looked and how well the Sooners have played. Also strange is that Auburn is ranked ahead of Florida, even though the Gators beat them head-to-head, and handily at that, not too long ago.

At the end of the day, there is a reason this model became outdated and is no longer in use. The AP Poll still gets it wrong from time to time, but the College Football Playoff Committee rankings, which are always 100 percent correct tend to be more objective, come out on Nov. 5. No rating system is perfect, but we are undoubtedly in a better system than the BCS.

Unsurprisingly, Ohio State’s big matchup with Wisconsin has been scheduled for a noon kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 26. As Fox has done with all of its marquee matchups this season, the game will be featured as part of Fox’s new “Big Noon Saturday,” an effort on the network’s part to garner more attention earlier in the day so as not to compete with the primetime night game slate.

The Badgers, currently ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll, come into Columbus undefeated, and will be the Buckeyes’ biggest test of the season so far. The noon kickoff will end a stretch of three-straight night games for Ohio State, finishing off with this Friday’s 8:30 p.m. road contest against Northwestern.

“In the first major adjustment to the bowl projections through the first seven weeks of the 2019 season, Georgia bounced itself from the fourth seed in the postseason bracket and is replaced by Ohio State, which was able to enjoy its elevation into the field while on a bye this week.”

- Jerry Palm and Adam Silverstein, CBS Sports

Ohio State didn’t play this week, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t move up in some postseason predictions thanks to one shocking upset. Georgia’s loss to South Carolina had a huge impact of the College Football Playoff, as it took the Bulldogs out of their projected fourth seed in the postseason bracket. In their spot, the Buckeyes will gladly slide in as the No. 4 seed — the same position from which they won the National Championship in 2014.

The current CBS playoff prediction has Alabama as the No. 1 seed, with Clemson and Oklahoma coming in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. That puts Ohio State at No. 4, where they would once again be matched up with the Crimson Tide in the first round — the same scenario as the 2014 season. The CBS projection has LSU losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship, and settling for a matchup against Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

Other projected New Years Six bowl games include Wisconsin vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl, Virginia vs. Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, and Boise State vs. Georgia in the Cotton Bowl.

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