OSU's offense will be different without Brax ...will it be more difficult or easier for other teams to prep for or defend? I think the potential to go all the way goes up when you become less dependent on one player for your offense assuming you have a productive offense with several play makers. An injury to the star is devastating especially late in the season when driving for championships. Your thoughts Bill. Thanks. -Staffordbuckeye.
BG: It has to be harder for teams to prepare for, because there is zero film on this offense playing yet. They have to go off last year's film, but this offense could be radically different under J.T. Barrett. I think Urban Meyer would still want Braxton Miller under center, and he would also take back Carlos Hyde, Philly Brown, Jack Mewhort, and the rest, LOL. Everything revolves around talent, offensively and defensively. Florida Atlantic has leaders, winners, team guys, great coaches, bands of brothers, all for one and one for all, etc. etc. Good luck with that when you line up against Bama. TALENT rules.
BG: Tough answer on Miami, but that program historically succeeded by keeping all the studs home that lived within 25 miles of campus. They are way behind in facilities and I'm not sure it can be rectified to match Bama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon, and the rest. The stadium situation is beyond awful. They went from having the absolute best home field in college football in the old Orange Bowl, to the absolute worst in the Dolphins cave. The players now bus 45-60 minutes to home games played before nobody. The recruit sees this, and then visits Alabama or Florida, where they walk to the stadium surrounded by adoring fans and play in packed houses. Tough to overcome the stigma that nobody cares about "THE U" anymore. But I love Al Golden and think he's doing a good job against tough odds.
BG: Great, Great, Great question. Because he has a three-year head start, I'm going to go with Urban Meyer, but Charlie Strong is one of my picks as one of the top coaches in all of college football. I think he is perfect for Texas........if those folks accept the culture change. I hope he wins early and often, because early struggles could turn people against Strong and things might not recover. I felt Texas made a GREAT hire, but maybe a risky one. My guess is that it works out beautifully.
Anyways, how much does the OSU need to contend with Franklin and PSU now recruiting in Mid-Atlantic areas where OSU has had a lot of recent success that probably -- to some degree -- a windfall of PSU chaos? -BuckeyeAlum84.
BG: I think Ohio State will continue to do well in the East, but make no mistake, James Franklin is great on the recruiting trail. That whole staff has inroads with high school coaches in the East, especially Pennsylvania. They work their tails off as a staff also, so they are going to be formidable in that area. Hiring Larry Johnson was pretty brilliant by Meyer, and at least gives Ohio State one guy with great ties in that area of the country. I thought O'Brien was great to get Penn State through the initial scandal, but he was always looking toward the NFL. Franklin should be there for the long haul, and should have great success at a school with so much going for it when you combine everything Penn State has to offer. I think Franklin/Penn State marriage is perfect for both.
With high school season kicking off this weekend, is there any "shouldn't miss" kids that I should plan on going to see in the Northwest Ohio area? Most of the talent up here seems pretty pedestrian this year. -or264.
BG: I really like the talent at Toledo Central Catholic, and think junior linebacker Zach Sandwisch has a chance at being a BCS recruit. But overall, I would agree that not too many are sticking out right now.
What are your favorite Florida HS teams to watch? Larger schools and smaller schools? -Tartan34.
BG: You can go about anywhere and see great talent, but my best contacts are in the Miami area, and I love those schools and coaches. They treat me great. I hate to leave anyone out, but St. Thomas Aquinas, Miramar, Plantation, Northwestern, Carol City, Booker T. Washington, Central, Chaminade-Madonna, Champagnat, American Heritage and Hallandale are among my favorites.
What are your thoughts on player only meetings? -loweralbuck.
BG: Tough to answer. Player-only meetings rarely happen with undefeated teams that have no discipline issues. Usually, if there's a player's only meeting, something bad is going down. Not sure what you were looking for here, to be honest.
Which conference has more out of conference wins this season against BCS conference opponents, the BIG or MAC? -loweralbuck.
BG: I know some think I've been out in the sun too long this summer, but I actually think the Big Ten is going to be pretty strong this year. I think Wisconsin can beat LSU this week and set the tone for a surprising season, where the Big Ten gains back some respect.
Thanks Bill! Has Torrance Gibson commented yet on his teammate's claim that he is an "Ohio State Commit"? -instridekline.
BG: HA-HA, not to me. As I've said from the beginning, I have zero interest in anything he says to teammates, coaches and especially reporters. I have a GREAT source on this one, and think I have a pretty good feel for this one. If Torrance had to sign today, it would be Ohio State. But it would be the last school he's visited throughout this process: Tennessee, Auburn and Ohio State. Watch out for Miami and possibly Florida State, but Ohio State is in GREAT position. There's a chance he could commit to Ohio State the weekend of his Virginia Tech visit, and I'm not so certain that helps Urban Meyer get his signature in the end. There are LOTS of visits to go, including some we might actually know about. LOL.
Played 9 yesterday after an 8.5-9 month layoff. I muttered a few choice words following "a few" shots despite playing with my 8-yr old son. Any words of wisdom about justifying such words to my son, or better yet my wife when my son points the finger at me when she asks where he learned the language? -Timbargar.
BG: You're going to lose that one. I would get out in front of it, both with your son and your wife. Explain to junior that daddy did something bad, and it won't happen again. Then go to wifey, and tell her you messed up but used your messup as a teaching moment with junior.
****DISCLAIMER**** Anyone taking relationship/marital advice from me needs to submit for drug testing today. Not a high success rate for me in this area.
Mack Truck Theory - Say the head coaching job suddenly became available, who would be the leading candidate? (not that I expect or want this to happen, but learned a long time ago you have to have a contigency for EVERYthing) -mancow3.
BG: This has been one of my favorite subjects dating to back to the first days I posted on the internet. There are other subjects I positively HATE, but they come with the job so I hold my nose and answer as politely as possible, LOL. I do love this one though.
I would think Mark Dantonio has elevated himself into the position of being in the discussion. Maybe they would look to Nick Saban, as he has Ohio ties and there were Cleveland Browns rumors. Others could be NFL guys like Josh McDaniels or Mel Tucker, and both have Ohio ties. This question actually caught me by surprise, and I think the Mack Truck would be the only way it comes into play. I think Urban Meyer will be at Ohio State a long time.
Do you like to fish? -buckeyebones.
BG: I do like it, but I never do it. If that makes any sense? ALL my free time goes to golf, and I'm addicted to that game and love playing it so much. I do like the peacefulness and serenity of being out in a boat on a beautiful lake, and just kicking back and relaxing. I totally get why folks LOVE fishing, but I've never taken the time to do it all that often.
BG: I actually thought Lonnie had a slight chance to play, but you're right about my thoughts on Gardner. There are so very few players that I've felt strongly could not play at Ohio State since I started covering their recruiting. In this class, there is nobody sticking out as a questionable take to me. There are guys committed that definitely weren't high on their board, but you go after top targets and adjust from there. I think this is a good class, with the potential to finish strong.
How is Gibson's decision making as a passer? -toddzilla76.
BG: Not really good at all. He struggles with decision making in 7on7, and he has no rush to deal with, and no blitzing linebackers or defensive backs, nor complicated coverages. Add in game conditions and speed things up for college football, and he's going to struggle in this area. In 7on7, his teams promise him they will play him at quarterback most of the time, but also at wide receiver. It usually results in him playing wideout when the championship is on the line, and he plays quarterback in easy wins. If he would insist on playing quarterback fulltime, there would be no reason to play him in 7on7.
Build your model OSU RB using the top attributes of former buckeyes: Quickness, vision, elusiveness, top-end speed, power, catching and pass pro..... -podseedy.
BG: To me, Eddie George as a senior at Ohio State was the absolute perfect runningback. He had amazing talent around him, but he was everything I would want in a back. I would have thrown to him more often, and I still remember Bobby Hoying hitting Eddie out of the backfield in the season opener when they were backed up in their own end. Handing it off to him wasn't a bad option either, LOL.
But if you want to combine guys, I can try that. I would take Beanie's body. Michael Wiley's pure speed. Archie's quickness and agility. Loved Raymont Harris for his will and his ability to block. Maurice Clarett for his power and his sheer meanness running the ball. Carlos Hyde catching the football was highly underrated and underutilized. Robert Smith's vision and elusiveness.
Add those guys together and you might have a pretty good runningback. This was a great question, but only God can make this type of player.