THE MATCHUP: Well, I do think this is a bad setting for Michigan, and I do see a major blowout taking place. Why? Because the best way to beat Ohio State is to look them in the eye, and hit them with all you got. Run right at them, playing power football, showing the bully you aren't intimidated. Michigan will not do this, attempting to quarterback draw, bubble screen and option their way to a win. Ain't happening. Michigan gives up 35-40 to every good team they play, and a few bad ones. At home, it's tough to get out of the teens against Ohio State. Calling it 41-14, Buckeyes Roll.
THE DECISION: No, not LeBoob James. More on him later. But, what will Michigan do with Rich Rodriguez? What should they do? They should bring him back, at least for one more year. and not be influenced by the outcome of this game, no matter the result. Make no mistake, Rodriguez tore the program to the ground, and he is attempting to rebuild it his way. There has been progress. They are very good offensively. What can you do about the "Indiana Backups" on defense? Firing the Teddy-Bear hugger is a must, but deeper than that, the recruiting strategy for defense needs revamped. Taking MAC-projects and starting them as freshmen is suicidal. If they can get the defense to be above-average, they will win a lot of games in this conference. What will they do? No clue, but there should be some announcement within 48 hours of the final whistle.
RECRUITING DREAM: Getting Ryan Shazier to visit, and eventually commit, would have been huge for the program, but that party is over. Could have helped with Jabari Gorman, who is probably headed elsewhere. And future recruits from the Miami area. Oh well, it was a nice try by the OSU staff.
RECRUITING NEEDS: See above. It's linebacker, for sure. A lot of uncertainty on the current roster for sure, and the graduation of Brian Rolle and Ross Homan is coming. They're now chasing Curtis Grant at 100MPH, and they must secure an official visit to get in the game. Ejuan Price has everyone scratching their heads, wondering if a FIFTH visit seals the deal? Or a SIXTH or SEVENTH? Will they turn to a couple Ohio kids, like Frank Clark, Steven Daniels or Antonio Poole? Stay tuned.
NEXT COMMIT? Gotta be Jacoby Boren, who is all signed and sealed, but waiting for the right time. Could it happen this weekend? It could, but I'm guessing in the next ten days it will be done and official. He will play center or guard for Ohio State, and looks to be similar to Brian Bobek.
NEXT 2011 COMMIT? Ahhh, now that one is tricky, because there aren't that many candidates left, and probably only five or six openings. If I had to guess, I'd say Ejuan Price, but that is a major reach. Doran Grant has visits left, as does Aundrey Walker, so the next commit could come out of the clouds and stun all of us.
HIGH SCHOOL MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Gotta be Saturday night in Massillon, when Toledo Whitmer plays Lakewood St. Edward. Geoff Mogus, Tyler Orlosky and Kyle Kalis going against Kenny Hayes and Chris Wormley. The trench warfare will be the story of the night, and with apologies to Hayes and Wormley, I think Ed's is the Big Dog in Ohio. St. Edward will win, and it might not be all that close. You have to be able to make Ed's throw the football, but how do you do that?
HIGH SCHOOL MATCHUP OF THE WEEK-II: Gotta be Huber Heights Wayne going against Hilliard Davidson, in what really boils down to super-quarterback Braxton Miller against super-coach Brian White. The Best against the Best. If I needed a coach to win a game and my life was on the line, I'm taking Brian White and canceling my appointment at the funeral home. White is the best coach in Ohio, in my opinion, and he finds a way to beat Huber in a close game. Braxton Miller is carrying Wayne on his back through the playoffs, but I think his fabulous career ends Saturday night.
HOW ABOUT 'DYAMITE' AGAINST BUCHTEL? 'Dynamite' Dymonte Thomas and his Marlington teammates take on Akron Buchtel Saturday night in another great contrast in style matchup. For once, Thomas won't have any speed advantage, and it will be interesting to see how the sophomore star fares against Corey Smith and the rest of the Buchtel speedsters. This game will go a long way in determining whether Thomas is the real deal, or not. I think he is, by the way.
THE BOB HOPE AWARD: A lot of great seniors playing their last game tomorrow for Ohio State, but how about a chorus of "Thanks For The Memories" to Dane Sanzenbacher? What a player he's become! He IS the go-to receiver for Terrelle Pryor, and here's hoping to see Dane pull a Brian Hartline, and go out in style with a two-touchdown day against Michigan. Sanzenbacher might not be a certain NFL prospect, but he has been everything people want in a Buckeye, and a player that will be remembered fondly forever.
ANYONE LOOKING TO GO EARLY? Always a hot topic of conversation this time of year, but this year it seems to be relatively quiet. My top two candidates are Nathan Williams, no surprise, and Boom Herron, big surprise. Herron could be thinking his value will never be higher than it is right now, so he might take the leap. Williams needs to look long and hard before leaping, because he could dramatically improve his stock with added strength, and a more diverse role next year. Mike Brewster, J.B. Shugarts and Mike Adams all have to submit their paperwork, and see where they are projected, but I see all three returning. Same with DeVier Posey and all the other eligible players, including the stud QB.
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER? Without question, it's Terrelle Pryor, who is under-appreciated by miles and miles. Wait until you see the quarterback play immediately after he leaves. Pryor will probably go down in history as the greatest Buckeye quarterback of all-time, but still not be fully appreciated by the fan base. Why? Who knows, I sure don't. You want Craig Krenzel back? Those types are everywhere, and you can recruit one every year if you want.
BUCKEYE THANKSGIVING POD? Easy. Did you see Malcolm Jenkins steal the football, and the victory, away from Roy Williams? Haven't seen that since Maurice Clarett clowned Sean Taylor a few years ago. Jenkins is quietly turning himself into a Pro Bowl player, and one of the best in the NFL. If you didn't see this play, YouTube it immediately, because it was amazing.
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON: NOT! Yes, Mr. Ego. the ultimate diva, LeBron James returns to his "home" next week, and it's exactly the spot he will shine in brightly. A meaningless game, against an out-manned opponent = monster night for the Queen. He can always put up numbers against a weaker team, and he's done it all his life. Now, a big game that means something, against an opponent that plays rough? It's Quitness Time again. See playoffs every year. The funny thing is he has EXACTLY what he whined about in Cleveland: No point guard, and Uncle Fester trying to play center in cement shoes. Miami officially stinks. Chris Posh is softer than Charmin, and D-Wade has seen his game go into the toilet, as he defers to the Queen. Too bad. Going to be fun watching them implode over the next few months, and thinking Grandpa Riley can save them. Riles can't rebound or defend the post either. The Little Three will be at each others' throats and it's going to be fun to watch, as the little girls pull their hair and make fun of each other. The Blame Game will be starting soon, and in that arena, LeBron is a TRUE champion.
PLEASE SHUT UP: The little geek in the bow tie needs to shut up. He's against a playoff, so he insults TCU and Boise State in pompous, arrogant style, and in the process makes the case FOR a playoff. Hey bro: You looked like a moron, so shut up!!!!! Before you call out other teams, you need to actually win something, which your team has not done in a while. See Florida. See LSU. See USC. Just shut up.
That's it until next week, so have a great weekend, and root for 41-14.