ScarletAndGray02: 1) Listening to Urban talk about this team and telling people not to talk about championships, do you think he is preparing the fans/media that this team is young and isn't a championship team or trying to motivate? Imo he's basically trying to lower expectations on the outside. I also he really likes this team, but knows they are a year away imo. 2) As it currently stands, is Nebraska in that next group behind Michigan and OSU.......aka Wiski, Penn St? Or have they just not played anybody and have benefited. Again, imo I think they are very comparable to UW and PSU and if OSU doesn't play well they will lose Saturday..........no NW effort going to cut it this week. Am I wrong?
BG: With Urban Meyer, you get one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, but you also get a guy that says some really ridiculous stuff throughout the year. I pretty much don't listen to anything he says, other than the press conferences immediately after a game. At that point you get his raw feelings, as opposed to during the week when I'm not sure what you get. I think you are 100% on the money this week regarding Northwestern. I don't think they're Michigan by a longshot. Ohio State could have lost to Wisconsin and Northwestern, and did lose to Penn State, so they can lose to Nebraska too. If Ohio State plays well they won't lose. If they play poorly they will get beat. If they play an average game, it could go to the wire. The days of Ohio State playing average and stomping people are over for this season. But if they play really well, they can bang with anyone in America.
gstrike01: Do you see any chance late in the recruiting season that Lynn Bowden could get a offer from Ohio State? I believe he is the best player in the state and worth the risks off the field.
BG: I think Tyjon Lindsey is the slot for this class, so there's no room for Bowden. They have too many slots now, so if they're going to grab a third wideout it's going to be a bigger one like Jaylen Harris. If the numbers were better, they might take both. And I would agree that Bowden is a stud.
ScarletAndGray02: Bill on one more question....sorry I don't want to monopolize this....but do you think Victor plays real minutes this week? Meyer keeps saying he's close to playing and how advanced he is for his age.....is this more smoke we see from Urban from time to time or does he actually play?
BG: Never apologize for asking questions. Without them there is no Bank Bag column. So thank you for asking. The kid is so thin and needs physical development badly, and in this offense the wideouts are more pulling guards than they are pass catchers. But maybe put him in there for passing situations, and actually throw the football to him? Don't make him block a 250-pound linebacker in the run game. I agree with you. Play the kid. It's not like he's playing behind a bunch of All-conference dudes.
HINYG8: What's wrong with the offense and why isn't JT looking to throw downfield? Urban seems super relaxed the last few weeks....does this suggest he knows he's got a squad capable of big things over the next few seasons...or is he doing that to try and relax the team? News out of Baylor seems to get worse as time goes by...are they in BIG trouble...or do you think the NCAA will largely ignore it as it seems to be more criminal than in the spirit of competition? I'm going to get some new irons....recommendations..and what brand is in your bag?
BG: The offense suffers from a lot of minor woes right now, but let's look at strictly personnel. Northwestern throws the football a lot better than Ohio State does. That's an indisputable fact. How many offensive linemen would start for Ohio State? Try zero. How many receivers? I know Carr looks good in that system, but would Meyer recruit that kid? Would they recruit a Clayton Thorson? So wouldn't it make a little bit of sense that an Ohio State should be able to throw it as well as Northwestern? I don't think Ohio State wants to turn itself into Washington State, nor should they. But they are ranked at #77 nationally this year. Last year, with a ton of NFL players, the passing offense ranked at #100. That's a joke. With Zeke Elliott, the greatest runningback in football on your team, nobody even game planned against the Ohio State passing offense, because if you could stop Elliott you would be thrilled to let the QB beat you. So with no defenses even caring about your passing attack, you still can't throw the football? Unacceptable. The scheme needs updated and something needs adjusted with the playcalling. You cannot change the scheme in November. But the playcalling can be changed from Thursday to Saturday.
Coors73: Bill thanks again for these Q&A's. I'm a northwest Ohio guy and follow the local teams fairly closely. Interesting write up about Whitmer's QB. Will he end up a B1G, SEC or ACC type QB or do you think more of a MAC or equivalent type? Who are the state champs in each division this year? How about a re-cap of the Massillon vs McKinley game.
BG: Riley Keller looks like he's going to be something special to me. He has a good arm, good size and good athleticism. But GREAT field awareness, GREAT accuracy. And GREAT ability to process things very quickly. I think he ends up as a highest level recruit, and a four-star QB. I don't do team predictions in high school for one good reason: I suck at it. I'm pretty good at telling you which kids can play Division-I college football, but lousy at telling you which team will win each week. The Massillon/McKinley game was another classic game, with Massillon hanging on to win. If you live in Stark County, you "get" this game. If you don't, make plans to see it at least one time. I talked a media guy from a competing company to check it out this year, and he was blown away. There were only two players that would interest Ohio State. Massillon sophomore linebacker Jamir Thomas, who was really good and has lots of offers already. And senior offensive lineman Thayer Munford, who they are watching closely to see if they might be able to add him in late.
bucknutsinurface: Bill, Will we be able to contain Nebraska's qb? Also, does weber break a big one. It seems he is always just one arm tackles away and this offense thrived off of Elliott's big play ability.
BG: I like Tommy Armstrong a lot, but wouldn't fear him beating Ohio State without help from the Buckeyes if that makes any sense. He's going to make a few plays, but usually he also turns it over at the worst time. Mike Weber is carrying too much weight in my opinion, and needs to slim down. I think he should take the LeVeon Bell career path. Bigger isn't always better. He needs to be more explosive. Weber is averaging FOUR yards per reception, or just slightly behind what Shelley Meyer would average if she had 17 catches. You could throw it to Billy Price 17 times and he would get more than 75 yards. What if all those 17 catches went to Curtis Samuel or Dontre Wilson?
RyanMcGlade: Is Ohio State being a 17-point favorite a little too much?
BG: I think I would be the last guy to ask because I keep agreeing with Las Vegas every week, and I think we both probably think too much of this team. I want to look at this a little closer, but right now I don't think I would take 17 and Nebraska. This OSU offense has been maligned so much lately that they just might explode, and Nebraska is coming off an emotional loss that had to hurt their psyche. Now they travel to Columbus for a Saturday night game? Good luck Huskers.
RyanMcGlade: OSU has had some trouble with mobile quarterbacks the past couple weeks. Will that trend continue against Tommy Armstrong Jr.?
BG: I think he's a good player, but I think he's an easy one for Ohio State to prepare for. This defense needs to get back to turning people over again. What better QB to help you achieve that goal is there than this guy? The OSU defensive line should have their way with Nebraska's O-line, and that leads to turnovers as well. I see a Pick-6 coming this week.
buckii5: U keep on saying if they play like they did against Oklahoma they u can see them in the final 4. But u also say that they will lose to Michigan. Clarify? R u sticking to 2 losses or u see them in the playoffs? The way u have been playing it so far with this question It's like u are dating a hot girl and trying to double dip with the hotter sister So what's your final say being it's 3/4 thru the season.
BG: HaHaHa, well played. It's hard for me to say what this team is going to look like in two days, let alone in another four weeks. Right now, I see Michigan winning, but I don't have to make that prediction this week. I will have a writeup and prediction for that game on the day before. I'm sticking with two losses right now, because that's what I said before the season. Cannot give a final say today, because I want to know if I'm getting the September Ohio State team, or the October Ohio State team. When will they stop taking backwards steps and start going forward? I think it could be this week, but let's just try to go week by week. I do not have Ohio State losing this week.
mrbigbux: Can Sparty turn this thing around for next year? Lack of talent on the roster? Do they miss Narduzzi?
BG: Pat Narduzzi had nothing to do with their offense turning the ball over at an alarming rate. You cannot play this game without a QB, and theirs have all been AWFUL this season. And the O-line has been pretty bad too. Defensively, it's just not looked good for most of the year and maybe Narduzzi figures in there, but Dantonio is the defensive genius there. And Pitt's defense is pretty terrible too. I'm inclined to chalk it up to "one of those years" for Michigan State, but they had better get a quarterback before next season.