JohnCarrollBuckeye: Obvious question. If Ohio State wins the last two but they don't make it to the Big 10 Championship game do they still make the playoff? Does Simmons feel if he is being pushed out, and that is why the visit was taken or is he looking around on his own?
BG: It's hard for me to believe an 11-1 Ohio State team would not be in the playoffs, but there's a lot of football left to be played before I even look at who's in the final four. I know that Alabama is IN, but everyone else still has a lot to prove to the committee. How the committee sees your team on November 15 means nothing at all. Antjuan Simmons does not feel pushed out at all, and this visit was in the works for a while now. I heard about it last summer and knew it was possible. As soon as he showed up on Michigan State's campus I was alerted to it, and broke the story. He is supposed to take a few more visits too, but that will depend on whether he wants to be in the Ohio State class or not. I think they will give him this one for free, but any others will cost him his spot.
mrbigbux: Sugar Shane Morris. Most of us know NB's opinion of him coming out of high school and his 5 star rating. Did you have an opinion at the time?
BG: I actually saw Shane a lot and really liked him a lot. I thought he would be a star at the college level, but it just never happened for him. There are a lot of guys that came in with Shane that I thought were really hurt by the poor coaching and development of Brady Hoke's staff. Some of those guys are playing now and are salvaging their careers, but I don't think that's going to happen with Shane Morris.
buckeyeinsc: What do you think, in your mind has changed in this team the last two weeks? Re-focus, players executing, different scheme, what? I just seems that the stumble at PSU could have largely been avoided.
BG: It's so hard to say really, but I thought they really found themselves late in the Northwestern game. The defense got the big stop, and then the offense salted the game away with a few throws and some nice runs. Instead of trying to run Barrett all three downs behind 10 blockers, and punting the ball away. When this offensive staff showed a little confidence in their players, it seemed like the players responded and played better. The Penn State loss was the culmination of not playing well for a month. Wisconsin could have been a loss. Northwestern could have been a loss. But they survived and Ohio State is in position to accomplish all their goals.
Coors73: Charlie Strong in or out at Texas? If he does stay what's the effect on shared recruits? Any heat on Dantonio to show something these last two weeks?
BG: Word out of Austin is Strong can survive if he wins the next two, but I'm not sure I'm buying that. Baron Browning would be the one recruit that Ohio State should get from Strong's firing. Had Charlie survived, I think Browning was a Longhorn, but this should push him to Ohio State. No heat on Dantonio at all, nor should there be. He could survive one more season like this before things got hot for him. He was in the playoffs last year, and he's the one Big Ten team that can look Urban in the eye and not flinch.
RyanMcGlade: Can the Ohio State offensive line handle Michigan State's front seven?
BG: Simple answer would be YES. This is just not the typical Michigan State defense we've seen the past few years. Most of their problems come from the offense, but the defense has not held up well either. I think Ohio State will control them up front, but it won't be easy like it has been the past two weeks. Ohio State will have to earn this win, and I think they will win.
NoKyBuck: Thanks for doing this weekly Bill. Can Snead get to a similar weight as Zeke and/or Weber? Does he have the top end speed of Zeke? Do you anticipate two RB's in the 2018 class?
BG: Brian Snead is not a little guy at all, and I think he will play at 215-pounds or so in college. He does not have the speed of Zeke, but I think he's quicker than Mike Weber and will provide more of a home run threat than Weber. He's a heck of a player. The runningback depth is slim, so they are going to need two backs either this class or next to get the position stocked back up.
NoKyBuck: I'm sure it will change as we learn more about early entries but, as of now, how would you prioritize each position group for 2018? Rather than list from 1 to 9 how about in high, medium, & low. Again, thanks for doing this weekly.
BG: That is tough to do this early, but they have already taken care of QB, which is huge. Snead at RB is big as well. They will probably need two tight ends in the 2018 class, especially if they pass this year. The O-line got real healthy with the 2017 class, but you always need 3-4 every class. The WR's are stocked, but they will grab 2-3 more. They are getting good defensive tackles, but I would love to see them grab a GREAT one, so they will take two at least. They get great edge rushers every year, so two more defensive ends. They probably need to grab a legit middle backer for 2018, more than outside guys, so 3 LB's. The DB recruiting has been off the charts, so 2 more of each. There aren't too many position groups that aren't stacked, but I would list RB, TE and DT as areas that need attention.
NoKyBuck: Matt Jones in the 2018 class is listed as a OT. Does he has the wingspan at 6'4" to stay at OT or does he move to OG? I'm assuming he has the quick feet to play OT. Looking at 2018, do you think OSU would take more than 2 DT in this class? At the present time it would appear 6 or so DT have medium or higher interest in OSU.
BG: I'm not sure if I've seen Matt Jones in person yet, so I'm not sure to be honest. Looks agile enough to play tackle on film. Ohio State has a lot of defensive tackles on the roster, so no more than two in 2018. Would love to see them land a dominator here.
BuckeyeBK: 1) Still confident on Taron Vincient? What's your gut tell you? 2) Does Meyer go back to zone read run and bottle it up for Michigan game or is 1st down a throwing down in that game 3) Who do you think leaves early now? 4) Any surprise recruits yet? Bowden?
BG: Yes, I think Ohio State is in great shape to land Vincent and I think he can a great one at the college level. I would watch out for Michigan in his recruitment, but I would have Ohio State ahead right now. If Ohio State plays as confidently as an offensive staff as they have the past few weeks, they are going to move the football and score against Michigan. If they go scared, they will score around 20 and then it's a narrow path to winning. I absolutely love the play calling the past two games, and they need to stay aggressive, even if things don't go well early. I still think the same cast of characters are going to leave: Conley, Lattimore, Hooker, McMillan, Lewis and Samuel. Haven't really heard anything more on Barrett, and I still think him leaving is foolish. Guys like Price, Baugh and Hubbard are looking at their options. No surprise recruits yet, as it's too early. This time last year nobody was talking Keandre Jones, Dwayne Haskins, Malcolm Pridgeon or Jahsen Wint.
HINYG8: It appears some NFL teams are going to at least approach Jim H. Do you think he takes those calls and is there any offer than could get him to leave Ann Arbor? I didn't until I remembered they are going to lose 19-20 starters after this season and it will be a major rebuild with some performance/results risk. He might want to ride out on a white horse rather than one with some mud on it if the rebuild takes a couple of seasons to get back to this level. What is the deal with the OSU program seeming to need a loss to wake up and go into their top gear? So it was with Va Tech, MSU, and now the PSU game. Is that something the staff can correct...or is it just coincidental IYO? You open the envelop and the letter says you have won your dream vacation. Congrats! What would that vacation be?
BG: I believe Jim Harbaugh is very happy in Ann Arbor, and I think he's going to be there a long time. He's having great success, and the Michigan community loves the guy. No reason to leave the way he's building that program to compete for national championships in the future. They are recruiting at a high level, and they will be good next year and beyond. Don't see him leaving. Nobody goes undefeated. It's just so rare to do. Alabama is in the middle of a dynasty under Nick Saban. Four of the last seven, which is unheard of in modern times.During this amazing run, he's only had one undefeated season. It's very hard to do. Ohio State did not play well before Penn State, nor the game after Penn State, but they're cooking right now and nobody would want to play them. If they can finish 11-1 with this very inexperienced team, I believe that would be a heck of a year.
BuckeyeL: I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on Marvin Wilson. Your initial optimism, if I recall correctly, was based on two things; A.) the coaching changes at LSU and Texas, and B.) the commitments of his friends Jeff Okudah and Baron Browning. However in recent weeks you’ve indicated that things have not heated up between Wilson and the Buckeyes and that you still put him in the ‘longshot’ category. My question then, is why do you feel that momentum between the Buckeyes and Wilson would have picked up if neither of your original reasons for optimism have occurred yet. As far as Charlie Strong and Ed Orgeron have told Wilson, they’ll be the coaches at Texas and LSU next year. If and when they get fired, and if and when Baron Browning and Jeffrey Okudah publicly commit to Ohio State, do you see Ohio State picking up any momentum in this race?
BG: I thought Ohio State had a real shot to get seriously involved with Marvin Wilson because of the reasons you listed above, but that just has not materialized. I think the distance from home is too great for him, and the other schools are still great schools, with or without Strong or Orgeron. You never say never when it's Urban Meyer, but I don't see much shot at Ohio State signing Marvin Wilson at the end of the day.