Thursday, August 5, 2010
Big Ten 2010-Ohio State Buckeyes
2009 Record: 11-2 (7-1)
Head Coach: Jim Tressel (94-21, 10th season...229-78-2 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Bollman (10th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Heacock (6th season) and Luke Fickell (6th season)
2009 Bowl Game: The Rose Bowl, defeated Oregon 26-17
Offense: It's all about Terelle Pryor. He showed the kind of QB that he is capable of being in the Rose Bowl, and it was scary. Pryor is an amazing combo of speed and size, and now that he has shown that he can be serious about the passing game as well as the running game, you are looking at the lead candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He passed for over 2000 yards and ran for over 700 last season, and that was him being inconsistent. Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey return as the top two receivers. Taurian Washington should be solid as the third receiver, and TE Jake Stoneburner is solid as well, and can block with the best of them. 4 starters return on the offensive line, which means major continuity, which means everyone including Pryor gets better. The only question marks are in the backfield at RB. Brandon Saine and Zach Boren return, but the Bucks can get better. Prized freshman Carlos Hyde could push for major playing time, and is 6-1 and 230 lbs with major speed.
Defense: The D was pretty awesome last season, and 7 starters come back from that group. The strength this season comes from the LB and secondary groups. The D-line returns Cameron Heyward at DE, and he is a beast. He is joined by DT Dexter Larimore, who weighs in at 310. Ross Holman and Brian Rolle return at LB, and were the two top tacklers a year ago, meaning that OSU has a ton of production at LB. Etienne Sabino is the new guy at OLB. Jermaine Hines will be at safety permanently after bouncing around as a S/LB combo player. Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrance both return at CB. Orhian Johnson will be the new starter at safety. The only issue is that there is no depth at the safety spot.
Special Teams: Devin Barclay is a 27 year old senior. He played pro soccer. He'll get a ton of PAT attempts this season. Ben Buchannon is the new punter, and has one entire game of experience. It should not matter.
Wins: 9/2 Marshall, 9/18 Ohio, 9/25 Eastern Michigan, 10/2 @ Illinois, 10/9 Indiana,10/23 Purdue, 10/30 @ Minnesota, 11/13 Penn State, 11/20 @ Iowa, 11/27 Michigan
Toss Up Games: 9/11 Miami, 10/16 @ Wisconsin
10 wins will be easy. Miami basically replaces USC, and that didn't go too well for two years, so the Bucks have a bunch to prove. Whomever wins the Wisconsin game will win the Big 10.
Outlook: The Buckeyes could be headed back to the national championship game, but must overcome the two hurdles on the toss list. If they do win those games, than it will be clear sailing into the BCS title game. If they lose to Miami, but beat Wisconsin, worst case scenario would be the Rose Bowl once more.