dfaulkne: Texas a&m at 8 after losing to miss st and not having their qb the rest of the year, or Jabril peppers as an actual heisman candidate. What is the bigger fraud in your eyes?
BG: I didn't get the Texas A&M love in the first poll at all, and I'm not sure they're a top-ten team right now. But this is a weird year, where there is Alabama, and then everyone else right now. It's tough to rank these teams after the first six, and number-20 is probably as good as number-seven. By the end of the season, there could be complete chaos if upsets occur in the conference title games. And those upsets could very well happen. Regarding Peppers, I think he's a great football player. As for the Heisman, it's the old "best player on one of the best teams" thing. This will be his last year at Michigan, and he will be drafted in the upper part of the first round. I think he's a safety at the next level, and should be a great pro. When he was a high school senior, Peppers was the best player I saw that year. That being said, he's no Charles Woodson.
rico1990: Bill what will happen first? Cleveland Brown's win a game or Mark May picking the Buckeyes to win a game!
BG: I'm a Steelers fan, but even that part of me feels bad for the Browns fans. I'm not sure they want to win a game as an organization, but Hue Jackson and those players sure do. They play hard each and every week, and that is the first priority of the head coach, so I like Jackson a lot. But they have zero football players. And they draft horridly. Trading out of the number-two spot to get Corey Coleman and Shon Coleman is dumb. They could have had Carson Wentz, but they drafted no-talent Cody Kessler in the third to be the QB of the future. Stupid. They could have had Zeke Elliott and been set at RB for a decade. Taking five receivers was criminal, and the last four all suck. Let's say as a Steelers fan I'm not worried about the baseball guy running the Browns. Not sure his analytics will help anything more than losing football games. As for Mark May, he might be a closet Buckeye fan for all we know. But give the man credit. He makes a half-million dollars per year, and he really isn't good at his job. The shots at OSU are his entire worth. He's not a good analyst, not very personable, not much of anything on college football. But he is a rich man.
RyanMcGlade: Will Ohio State have another impressive showing like it did against Nebraska or revert back to how it looked the four weeks prior?
BG: I don't see them being challenged much by Maryland, and I called for Ohio State to whack Michigan State back last summer when we thought the Spartans would be good. This season will come down to the Michigan game, in a winner-take-all setting. As it should be. When was the last time this game actually meant something nationally for both teams? It's been a long, long time. I'm very excited to see these two put the ball on the tee and get going.
NorthPoleBuckeye: Do you have any read on Zamir White from North Carolina? Are we in the running for him?
BG: He's going to be recruited by everyone, and it's very early in his recruitment right now. That being said, he's been to campus already and has a good relationship with Tony Alford, who is a GREAT recruiter. Ohio State is clearly in the mix for White, and I think they have as good a shot as anyone. But his recruitment won't get good until a year from now in all likelihood.
bucknutsinurface: With the stock market taking a plunge. What stocks should I invest in. Also, I think Michigan will struggle on the road this weekend in Iowa. Think they win, but not as easy as they thought.
BG: I'm the last guy to take stock market advice from, believe me. I'm just sitting back and watching the market right now, like everyone else. I would think over time the election of Trump will be a good thing for our economy, but I'm just observing everything right now. I'm with you on Iowa giving Michigan a game, at least for a half. I think it will be low-scoring, and Michigan should put it away late. Maybe a 28-17 score?
WraithBuck: Bill, you are at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction with unlimited funds. What is the one car you would pay any price for?
BG: I can honestly say I've never had this thought before, LOL. I'm not a car guy at all, and buy my vehicles to accommodate lots of driving miles, comfort and room for 3-4 sets of golf clubs, LOL. But if we are going pure fantasy, with money no object, how about a 1988 red Ferrari Testarossa? At $269,500, I don't see how I can pass this one up.
drewsus: Thoughts on the Peppers Heisman campaign? He's a terrific player but this has to be the most contrived and corniest thing I've ever witnessed. The camera is focused on Peppers 95% of the time as mich beats up on cupcake squads...Griese conveniently calls every mich game and gushes over him nonstop. Again, Peppers is a terrific player but he's no Woodson. Couldn't just about every team take their most talented player in the secondary and give him some handoffs in the red zone and hype him up for the Heisman? Should Bosa have gotten some red zone carries last year against the MAC schools? On Mike Weber...his play has far exceeded my expectations for a redshirt freshman. What do you see as his ceiling in relation to other great backs at OSU? What kind of career do you see for him?
BG: Like I said before on Peppers, this is the "best player on one of the best teams" deal. I think he is a great football player, but like you said he's no Charles Woodson. Maybe they are hyping his chances with meaningless carries, but I haven't really noticed that. He's a very unique player as a defender that can play safety, cornerback and linebacker, and legitimately play all three really well. To have someone that versatile on the defensive side of the ball is pretty special. Add in the fact that he's a great return specialist, and you have a great football player. As for Mike Weber, this year has been a real good one for him. I think he's carrying too much weight and this is hurting his explosion and big play potential. I think he's not going to be looked at as an all-time OSU back unless he breaks some big runs. He will more than likely leave after next year if he has a good season, and that would only give him two seasons on the field for the Buckeyes. He will leave Ohio State being looked at as a good, not great, tailback. That would be my guess.
drewsus: How's Joey Burrow's deep ball? What took so long to get Dontre out of the punt returning role? Did he have incriminating photos of Urban? Any chance whatsoever that Malik Hooker could return next year? He's such a blast to watch...I feel cheated out of only watching him play for 1 season. And of course Malik should come back just to satisfy the fanbase:-). Could he have played a greater role in last year's defense?
BG: I think Burrow throws a fine deep ball, and he's always been a highly accurate thrower. No worries there from me. I've NEVER gotten the whole Dontre Wilson thing going back to his freshman year. He's a decent player, but every touch he gets in the open field could go to Curtis Samuel. Same with Parris Campbell running back kickoffs. Those could all be extra touches for Samuel, a guy they admit they aren't getting the ball enough. I see zero chance Hooker returns next year, and I don't think he should either. But I agree with you that the guy is so much fun to watch, and you do wish you could have seen him over three years. Regarding last year's defense, it's hard to fault them for not playing him. A few years ago it was criminal to have Vonn Bell on the bench for Corey Brown. Both Tyvis Powell and Bell were pretty good last year, and playing in the NFL now. And Ohio State was very good defensively last season.
Hayze: Any OOS guys from 2018 or 2019 that visited last weekend that OSU has a good shot with? Thinking of guys like Derrik Allen and the Herron from KY for 2019.
BG: Not real sure about Allen, but Stephen Herron is a guy Ohio State has a great shot at. He could be the next Tyquan Lewis for the Buckeyes. He's still very young and going to be offered by everybody, but I like their chances with him. They will go very slowly for 2018 nationally, and I think the in-state guys like Jack Carman, Jaelen Gill and Dallas Gant are the prime targets right now. Get the home boys locked up first, then branch out.
BadHabit48: When you label a player as being athletic, what are you implying? I ask because the idea of "athletic talent" is an incredibly subjective one and, for example, a player could be 6-5, run a 4.3 and lift all the weight in the gym but when you watch him play he has stiff hips, heavy feet and does not look at all fluid in his movement. I think it would be safe to say that opinions would be divided regarding this prospect's athleticism. With that in mind, if you had to choose, who would you label as the most athletic among these Ohio recruits: Blue Smith, Javonte Richardson, Jaylen Harris and Danny Davis? Also, how important do you feel it is that OSU recruit a "true" middle linebacker? Do you feel that many different types (heights, weights, HS experience, etc) of players can perform at this position as long as they are coached properly and have the requisite instincts or aggressive play-style?
BG: Agree with you 100% on what I would describe as athletic. It's more about fluidity of movement, change of direction and explosion, far more than forty time. And it doesn't always translate to the football field. Dante Booker is more athletic than Raekwon McMillan in my opinion. Rashod Berry is more athletic than Jake Hausmann. Malik Harrison is more athletic than Chris Worley. Of the guys you mention, they're all really good athletes. All good hoops players. Tough to separate, but I would go with Jaylen Harris when you added in his height, length and jumping ability. But the other three are all good, especially Davis but he's only about 170-pounds. I would have Smith at at a close number-four, but don't think he has the same explosion as the other three. I love the taller wide receivers, but there is definitely a place for the shorter guy as long as he can play. Talent always wins out in the end.
drewsus: How confident are your feelings on mich as a team given their craptastic level of competition and lack of road games played thus far? How do we really know who they are? How important is it for OSU to carry the offensive momentum gained against nebraska for the next two games? Or do you see them buttoning up the playbook once again against 2 inferior opponents before the big one? If nothing else, I think they need to give JT a lot of opportunities to find his groove passing. He missed some horribly easy throws against Nebraska. I still think he has a lot of rust to shake off. Given the magnitude of the game, any chance they push the kickoff back to 3:30 like they did in 2006? You get such an edge with the later start I can't imagine that Urban wouldn't push for it. He's made his thoughts on noon starts well known. Has Dante Booker's return to the lineup been affected by the emergence of Jerome Baker? Are they trying to push Booker into a redshirt? If you were advising Terrelle Pryor as a high school senior today, would you encourage him to enter college as a WR?
BG: I like Michigan a lot, and I'm not worried about the schedule all that much, but they definitely have played at home a ton so far. Iowa should be a good test, but they get to prove exactly how good they are or aren't, in three weeks. Is Ohio State the team we saw last week, or the team we saw the previous four games? I'm not sure. I would throw the football a lot against Maryland and Michigan State, but of course the only real priority is to win these two games. To beat Michigan, it can't be the QB running the zone read 30 times. They will have to complete passes to win that game. I think noon is pretty well locked in from what I'm hearing. Would love to see 3:30 or even 8:00. I said once Jerome Baker hit the field that somebody was going to be taking a seat. We have seen that. They need to have Booker ready in case one of the other three get hurt, so I'm not sure what the plan is for him. I always thought Pryor needed a position switch if he wanted to play in the NFL, either wide receiver or tight end/flex back. I'm glad he's having success, and think he has a chance to be a great NFL wideout. Look at all he's accomplishing with no QB and no talent around him at all.
buckeyebones: Bill tell us how you watch plays unfold. Where are your eyes? What is your progression? When watching recorded plays do you rewatch several times looking at different aspects?
BG: I watch live games just like you guys do, I think. I do rewatch everything, the high school games and Ohio State games. I then concentrate on QB, line play and either RB if it's a run or the WR"s on pass. It takes a lot of time, especially the high school games. I watch live games and take notes on my phone. When I rewatch games, I use a legal pad and basically chart everything from each play to be able to compile a somewhat coherent scouting report. It's one of my most favorite things to do, and there's nothing like sitting down at the computer or TV at 6:00 AM with the legal pad and pen. LOL.
buckeyebones: Give us a couple of interesting key things to focus on this game that highlight a players skill that we might otherwise overlook.
BG: Will have my Maryland game preview out later today.
buckeyebones: Give us your take on which programs repeatedly develop the best NFL prospects at each of these positions: OL, TE, WR, RB, QB, DT, DE, LB, CB, S. Associate one program per position.
BG: Very tough question to answer. Alabama has been head and shoulders above everyone lately, and I think it's because they get the best talent and they have the absolute best player development in football. Michigan State would be close in development, but doesn't get the thoroughbreds Bama gets. I love what Ohio State does under Urban as well. Florida State does another good job. LSU has as much talent as anyone, but their development doesn't match their talent collecting. Calling positions to certain schools can be totally subjective of course. For offensive linemen, I love what Wisconsin does year in and year out. For defensive linemen, Alabama and Georgia seem to put a lot of guys in the NFL. For linebackers, I love what Ohio State has done under Fickell. For tight ends, it's Notre Dame for me. For defensive backs, I love the LSU guys in the NFL and Ohio State and Alabama pump them out as well. For wideouts, I'm going with LSU again (hello Les Miles). At runningback, while the Alabama guys aren't superstars, there are a ton of them on NFL rosters. Carlos Hyde and Zeke definitely have you looking at Ohio State, as well as Boom Herron and Rod Smith. The QB's come from everywhere it seems, so it's hard to pick one. I like what Jimbo Fisher does with his QB's at Florida State.