May 22, 2012
The B1G Schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons were released yesterday and rather than just present the schedules without comment, UnScripted Ohio has reached out to a few members of The Buckeye Blogger Network to get their thoughts not only regarding the schedules, but how they might play out in the years to come.
Over the next few months, UnScripted Ohio will be bringing you our Yearly Preview, in which we handicap and predict the 2012 season. For now, the UnScripted Roundtable focuses on the years of 2013-2016. Since we are covering four complete seasons, we have broken this roundtable into four parts for the sake of our readers. No tl;dr's here.
Part 1: 2013
Part 3: 2015
Part 4: 2016
Many thanks to everyone who participated: Jeremy Birmingham, Professor of Birminology at UnScripted Ohio, Grant Edgell, Editor in Chief of BuckeyeHouseCall.com, Jeremy Schneider of OurHonorDefend.com and my good friend Chris Hunt, writer for TheBuckeyeBattleCry.com
We went through many virtual adult beverages in this conversation, had a few laughs, and generally had a Real Good Time discussing Buckeye Football in a positive manner. The questions may have been written down beforehand, but the answers are all UnScripted.
THE 2014 OHIO STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
1. Ohio State has a reputation for scheduling some tough OOC opponents, and 2014 looks to be no different with Virginia Tech and Cincinnati coming into the Shoe. Which of these games give the Buckeyes the most troubles?
Jeremy Birmingham, UnScripted Ohio:
I would imagine it will be Virginia Tech, but they will be breaking in a new QB and who knows how long Beamer Ball will last. He's gotta retire sometime, doesn't he? For UC, I imagine that Butch Jones will have a chance to move on to greener pastures after next year, so maybe they'll be in transition too. For now, I am going to say Virginia Tech.
Jeremy Schneider, OurHonorDefend:
The in-state schools always scare the heck out of me. Sure, a loss to Va Tech would sting, but losing to an in-stater would be darn near catastrophic. Most of these kids on the Cincinnati roster are Ohio kids, growing up either rooting for Ohio State or being keenly aware of what's happening in Buckeye land; some of them may have been recruited by Ohio State and turned away, so no matter which way you look at it, a win over the big, bad Buckeyes would completely make the season of any Ohio college program, making the Bearcats much more dangerous.
Grant Edgell, BuckeyeHouseCall:
Probably not the popular pick, but I'd say the Bearcats. Ohio State will be amped for that VaTech game, quite possibly hosting them at night in their first big game of the 2014 season. It's the potential let down the following week that scares me, and while Cincinnati won't likely be what they were two years ago, getting back up after a hyped contest with Beamer-ball could be an early season chore.
Chris Hunt, TheBuckeyeBattleCry:
Cincinnati will always be one of those in-state schools that scare me. There have been many recruits in and around Cincy that haven't been coddled by tOSU but all of that will change thanks to two men. Kerry Coombs and Urban Meyer will own Cincy now so this makes the VA Tech game tougher by default. I am really looking forward to this match up with the Hokies.
2. TTUN comes into Columbus in what is likely Braxton Miller's last game in Ohio Stadium. Just how many points do the Scarlet and Gray hang on Brady Hoke's squad?
I'm going with the double nickel. In years past that would be nothing more than wishful thinking, but Urban Meyer isn't the grind-it-out guy. I believe he'll put as many points on TSUN as he can get on the scoreboard in three and a half hours. Brax and Meyer will have 38+ games under their belt as a tandem by then, as will Urban's entire 2013 recruiting class. Heads up.
This Game has the potential to beat all previous Games in the Rivalry. Braxton Miller told us against TTUN last season how he feels about this game. He won't make any excuses his Senior year and could make his overall record against the Wolverweenies to 3-1.
I'm reminded of the old Super Fans sketch from Saturday Night Live, where the guys pit Mike Ditka against a hurricane, with Ditka winning something like 150-to-negative 6. That's my hope at least. This will be three years into the Meyer regime at OSU, and hopefully by that point he has some blazers lining up at the skill positions, so I really think 35 points is a low estimate.
The 2014 offense should be pretty special with a combination of Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball toting the rock and Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Jalin Marshall (at least) highlighting the passing game. That being said, it's still ALWAYS about the guys in the trenches, and I think that UM has done a great job of recruiting on that front, so we're likely to see a barnburner. 38-35 Buckeyes.
3. Two Bye Weeks sandwich a 4 game homestand. Does the additional rest prove detrimental or a boon before heading into the meat of the B1G Schedule?
Traditionally this has worked out fairly well for the Buckeyes. They will use the off weeks as opportunities to get healthy if needed and to try out some new wrinkles.
Like I said about the bye week in 2013 - any chance for rest is a good thing.
By the time they get to the second bye week, the first will have been forgotten after the four-game home stand. I'll take the additional rest before heading to Iowa City. That will be our first meeting with the Hawkeyes since Pryor broke their hearts at Kinnick two years ago, and Ferentz always has them up for the Buckeyes (see 2009-10). With Northwestern coming to Columbus after our trip to Iowa City, all eyes will be on the Hawkeyes. I'll take the rest and an extra week to prepare.
I hate having two bye weeks. The schedule isn't that long anyways and I waited from January to August to see some Ohio State football; the last thing I want is two weekends away. Having both of those byes so early in the season could hinder the Buckeyes. Having played Va Tech and Cincy in back-to-back weeks heading into the second bye week is helpful, but that first one is a complete waste. I really hope the Bucks don't need that extra week to regroup after facing Navy and heading into a Kent State matchup. In an ideal world, that bye week is much more helpful in early November when OSU faces the meat of the schedule (at Wisconsin, v. Illinois, at Penn State, at Indiana, at TTUN). But the schedule makers didn't ask me for some reason, so we live with it.
Thanks again to Jeremy, Grant, Chris, and Jeremy for sitting down at the not-so Roundtable here at UnScripted Ohio. Don't forget to check out our articles on the other seasons as well.