That's what we think, so with that in mind, we're asking 20 Questions when it comes to the Ohio State football team. Every day from now until the opening game week, we'll have our BSB writers answer one question about the Ohio State football team. Some will be serious, some will be funny, and none will be "Animal, vegetable or mineral?" But all should help you think about the upcoming season, hopefully in a different way than before.
Question 4: If Ohio State could bring back one player from 2014 for this season, who would it be?
Ryan Ginn: Michael Bennett seems like the obvious choice here, and I won’t dispute that one. He was a senior captain at a position of need who really figured things out at the back end of the season and formed a fearsome tandem with Adolphus Washington. With that being said, I’d like to make the case for an outside-the-box selection: right tackle Darryl Baldwin. The offensive line was the straw that stirred OSU’s lethal offensive cocktail last season, and the fifth-year senior didn’t commit a single holding penalty in 15 starts. Bringing him back would allow Ohio State to field a starter-caliber backup at just about every position (with actual 2015 starter Chase Farris able to effectively play tackle or guard – just ask Alabama – and Jamarco Jones and Isaiah Prince serving as the tackle understudies). At a position group where any injury could be devastating, Ohio State would be covered – and then some.
Blake Williams: I’m tempted to say Devin Smith given his unmatched ability to track and catch the deep ball, but I think the Buckeyes can get a percentage of that from the playmakers on hand. Doran Grant was a key piece last year and the prospect of bringing back the entire secondary is intriguing, but one of Gareon Conley, Damon Webb, Marshon Lattimore and Eric Glover-Williams will be able to mimic what Eli Apple did last year as No. 13 assumes the No. 1 spot. With those options off the table I am going with Mike Bennett.
Bennett was a terror down the stretch and voiced his regret after the Michigan State game that he wasn’t playing all out the entire season. Getting a year of him going 100 percent next to Adolphus Washington and Joey Bosa would be amazing for Ohio State. While Washington will assume Bennett’s duties, I’m not sold on Tommy Schutt playing quiet Washington’s 2014 level. Bennett’s the choice because I think he is the senior the Buckeyes are least able to replace.
Jeff Svoboda: I think Michael Bennett is the obvious answer, and any time you can bring an All-American back into the fold at a critical spot like defensive tackle, it's a good thing. But my answer is Doran Grant. The now Pittsburgh Steeler would be a critical addition at a critical position, especially given how Ohio State now plays an agressive, demanding style with its cornerbacks. Having Grant, an All-Big Ten pick last year, opposite Eli Apple would give cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs a measure of confidence and peace of mind, but now the Buckeyes must break in a new starter. I think they'll find a good one among Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore and Damon Webb, but having Grant would eliminate a major question mark for OSU considering none of the three listed above have much on-field experience for the Buckeyes.
Question 1: Who Will Start At Quarterback For Ohio State?
Question 2: If Ohio State swapped coaches with the other team for every game, what would its regular season record be?
Question 3: How noticeable will the loss of Tom Herman be?