DRIVING THE DAY: BUCKEYES REPORT TO CAMP TODAY; ‘FREE FOR ALL’ FOR PLAYING TIME.
OFFSEASON IS OVER. The Ohio State football team reports for camp today. It’s a different team. Six starters are back, while Zeke, Bosa and crew are in the NFL earning their Madden ratings. Urban Meyer called camp “a free-for-all for playing time.” Competition will be fierce as kickoff for Bowling Green sits four weeks away. Bill Rabinowitz digs into camp competition for spots. Tim Shoemaker on why this year’s camp kickoff feels a little different than last year’s spectacle. Bill Landis breaks down the full camp schedule.
WHAT DOES 2016 HOLD FOR THE BUCKEYES? THERE ARE TWO COMPETING NARRATIVES: NARRATIVE I: THIS IS A DOWN YEAR FOR OHIO STATE: Ohio State only returns six starters and the schedule is brutal. Looking at the projected two-deep is like taking a peek into a recruiting magazine from 3 years ago. And, even a seasoned Ohio State team would struggle with this schedule, which is the college football equivalent of walking on a bed of nails. On the road against a loaded Baker Mayfield led Oklahoma team in Week 3. Back-to-back road night games against Wisconsin and Penn State. And finishing up with games in East Lansing and in the Shoe’ vs That School Up North. There are too many question marks on offense and defense and too tough a schedule for this Buckeye team not to come away with at least a couple of losses. It will be the second year in a row Urban watches the BIG Championship game from a TV in Columbus.
NARRATIVE II: URBAN RELOADS, OHIO STATE WILL WIN THE BIG: There’s a reason Vegas gives OSU the second best odds to win the National Championship and Ohio State is picked by media to win the B1G: This team has the talent to run and hit like an October hurricane. JT Barrett is one of the smartest and talented quarterbacks in the country. He is the country’s best leader. Add to that an explosive Mike Weber at running back, a dynamic Curtis Samuel at H-Back (Not to mention a finally healthy Dontre Wilson ready to fly) and you’ve got an offense that is going to drive D-Coordinators crazy. Raekwon McMillan is an All-American anchoring the middle of the D, Gareon Conley is ready to step in as the next great lock-down corner. And, what team in the Big 10 is better? That School Up North’s best offensive player is a defensive safety, Penn State is coming off a 7-6 record and loses a lot from a defense that was their strength, the Spartans only return four starters on offense and lose QB Connor Cook. Ohio State doesn’t start the heart of the B1G schedule until October 15 @ Wisconsin, by that time the offense and defense will be gelled under its All-American leadership on both sides of the ball and Urban will have The Big Scarlet Machine on the warpath.
Have you enjoyed the offseason? So have we. But now (thankfully) it’s time for football. Welcome back to the first 2016 edition of The Buckeye Daily – the Ohio State morning football briefing the press, program and fans read, edited by Sporting News college football contributor Jim Baird. We’ll be with you all season as the Buckeyes chase a BIG Championship and beyond. Got a tip or know someone who would appreciate this e-mail? Send me a line firstname.lastname@example.org. And join the squad following on Twitter for the latest @buckeyedaily.
#1 Ohio State ranking in AP All-Time Greatest Program Rankings
#3 Ohio State ranking in College Football News AP All-Time Greatest Program Adjusted Rankings
4-0 Urban Meyer’s record against That School Up North
#5 Ohio State ranking in 2016 Coaches Poll
25 Mike Weber’s new jersey number, changed from 20
28 Days until Ohio State opens with Bowling Green in the ‘Shoe
1715 Days since Ohio State lost to That School Up North
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Eleven Warriors – August 5
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Matt Brown, Land-Grant Holy Land – August 4