Coors73: Thanks again Bill. I thought JTB looked better in 2014 both running and throwing (mostly throwing). He looks so tentative doing both. What do you think happened? I know you don't like to blame coaches but I feel Beck has to take some responsibility here being his position coach. I've seen some question Burrow's arm, do you think he has enough arm to be a good passer next year if Barrett leaves?
BG: I know there was a bad injury against Michigan, and maybe that limited his mobility? I also think Tim Beck is responsible for what happens on the field to his position group, even though as you say I hate to crack on coaches. I DO like Joey Burrow's arm and think he can be very good running an offense that primarily requires him to throw and not be a 15-20 carry runner.
Oricus: Bill, this week there has been some smoke about Baron Browning to Alabama. I'm not particularly buying it with the OSU visit coming up, but you do have to keep an eye on Alabama and he has already visited there. I know Wiltfong CB'd him to Bama and Alabama Insider Andrew Bone has suggested there is growing confidence with the Bama Staff. I'm hoping it is just another hat on the table but with Alabama you never know. What are your thoughts?
BG: I think Ohio State is going to get Baron Browning, and the only thing that could stop it "MIGHT" be Charlie Strong returning, which I do not see happening. I do not think Bama can outrecruit Ohio State for this kid, even though Wiltfong and Bone are both solid guys in this business.
scarletletter: You've had ichigan winning this game since summer. At the same time u have said that u think it's necessary for a team to have to battle in close games to be a championship team (in most cases). With that in mind does the schedule ichigan has played give u pause? I see the Iowa game as the only real test they've had all year and they lost. Does that still qualify as the type of game that builds a championship team?
BG: I think they're really good, and as we've seen over the years, it's very hard to go undefeated. I think they are just as good as Ohio State in just about every way. They lost one they should have won to Iowa, but Ohio State did the same thing with Penn State. And Ohio State could have lost to Northwestern and Michigan State, not exactly two powerhouse teams. The only part about their schedule that concerns me is the lack of quality road games, and that could play a factor this Saturday.
buckeyebones: I'm thinking about Dantonio. Gives us fits yearly despite the talent gap. Develops players like no other. What if he was at a destination school that attracts elite talent? What is his ceiling?
BG: Collecting talent is still the name of the game, so could he collect big time talent at Alabama or Ohio State if he were the head coach? Because in terms of on field coaching and player development, he's as good as they come. If he could recruit like Saban or Meyer, it would be great because he can coach his tail off.
BuckinDC: Bill, What are your thoughts on the coaching match-ups in this game? Harbaugh and his offensive staff are very creative at utilizing all of their personnel, including the fullbacks and TEs. And I'm sure they will have some new wrinkles, but I'm also confident at Schiano's ability to make in-game adjustments, which he's done very well this season. However, I'm not at all confident in the our offensive staff's ability to make in-game adjustments. At times it seems they are incapable of making even the most obvious slight in-game adjustments (e.g., throw on 1st down or help out the right tackle). This is what had me most concerned about this game. Thoughts?
BG: Regarding Schiano vs. Drevno, Fisch and Harbaugh, I like Ohio State's chances in this matchup. There's no way they out-scheme Schiano in this game, and anything new they throw at him, he will figure out quickly. Regarding the OSU offensive staff of Urban, Warinner and Beck, I'm not quite so confident, and I think a lot of Michigan DC Don Brown. I would share your concerns regarding the Ohio State offense. If they open the playbook, and realize you have either an injured Speight or a not-so-good O'Korn, then make this a track meet and try to put huge points on the board. No reason to play scared this week and try to win this thing 17-16. Press tempo, and if you have some mistakes, don't get scared and just keep pressing the pace. Ohio State has a QB advantage, so use it.
buckeyebones: Who do you think will have the emotional edge Sat? Which team will want it more?
BG: To me, the emotional part of this lies with the Michigan seniors that have had their noses rubbed in it for four and five years now by Ohio State. Do they give the performances of their lives in what is clearly the most important game of their lives to date? Or are they going to crumble under the weight of having never been in this moment before? I cannot answer that, but I think those seniors are the key to this game. I know coaches and players on both sides of this game, so there's no side that "wants it more", trust me. The "wanting it" factor will be at the highest level possible for both teams this Saturday at noon.
buckeyebones: Give us some of your favorites Bill--restaurant, Thanksgiving food, TV show, movie, actor, actress, song, golf course, vacation destination, BB player. Thanks, have a happy Thanksgiving.
BG: HaHa. remember I'm a very simple guy, so these will be boring to you guys. Favorite restaurant is a place in downtown Canton called Lucca, and it reminds me of something out of the Godfather. Italian place with a piano player, great food, smaller dining area and awesome atmosphere. The go-to place for my lady and I in town. There is a very similar place in Fort Lauderdale called Anthony's Runway 84 that we also love. My favorite Thanksgiving meal is one we've had for years and years: turkey and lasagna. I do not have a favorite TV show, but I used to love Seinfield in the '90's, and LA Law in the '80's. Movie is of course Godfather I. Favorite actor would be Al Pacino, obviously. Favorite actress is Meryl Streep and it's not close. Golf course to play is The Quarry here in Canton, or Turnberry Isle in Miami. Vacation destination would be Miami in January. Basketball player? I really enjoy watching Russell Westbrook because of his talent and how hard he plays.
ohiostate2002NC: Bill - first off, I applaud you for being brutally honest, especially in your assessment with JTB. It is what it is, we all wish he was Lamar Jackson but he isn't so we are all happy he has led us to so many wins, but we also recognize his shortcomings lead us to some losses and/or many close games as well. I much prefer honest assessment then what I read on the other sites which is just azz kissing. Thanks. My question is: do you think part of JTBs issue is him thinking not to throw INTs and not to make mistakes ??
BG: J.T. Barrett at his best is good enough to win the national title for Ohio State. At his worst? He's an average QB. I think he has regressed mentally, and that can be the result of his injury and not trusting his body. Or the QB mess Urban created last year that ruined 2 pretty good QB's. Or not meshing with his coach. Or a combination of all three. He has not built on who he was two years ago, for whatever reason. I do think this game with Michigan will go a long way in defining his legacy at Ohio State.
ohiostate2002NC: Bill ... I am confused by the lack of developement of some of the backup OL. We have many 4 Jr and Sr OL who were highly touted and have not sniffed any PT. My question is not specific to these guys but more generic, what happens to these OL who come in so highly ranked and never ever get any PT. The 5 from Ohio from a few years ago comes to mind. Do they not put the time in ?? Do they just have too much fun in college ?? Were they not that good in the first place ?? What are some thoughts as to why these guys dont get off the couch in their college careers ??
BG: It's a tough question to answer. You can only play five at a time, so with some of these guys they just need a shot. With Brown, Underwood and Carter from a while back, they weren't good enough and were panic takers by Tressel and Bollman. I was not at all high on Feder, Schmidt, Bowen, Jurkovic and Alabi from two years ago, but maybe one or two of them can work out? I have high hopes for Burrell and Prince is going to be a star. Last year's group is going to be just fine I believe, and I really like this year's group as well.
ohiostate2002NC: What time slot do players least want to play in ?? 12 noon, 330pm or 8pm games ?? why might that be ?? a former player once told me 12 noon because players are creatures of habit and to not wake up in their bed and have familiar things around them, makes them uncomfortable and thus they are groggy and not sharp at kickoff, not sure if you agree.
BG: Great question and I'm not sure I know the answer. I would guess that 3:30 would be the preferred time for these guys, but I'm just guessing.
ohiostate2002NC: Should and Can Urban march into Gene Smiths office and complain about future years schedule with respect to bye week positioning and playing tough opponents back to back ?? Can he say cmon Gene get me Rutgers the week before Michigan ??
BG: I guess I would do that if I were him, but I'm not sure about the makeup of the schedule and what goes into it. Not sure what Gene controls and what the Big Ten controls. I'm sure he would prefer a breather before Michigan. I know I would.
ohiostate2002NC: How do u rate Baugh ?? He has an NFL body right now. He can make some great plays but I see alot of drops (lack of focus) and I see a lack of effort on blocks many times on replays where if he just maintains his block for 1 more second, he springs the runner. I think if he wanted it, he could really be devastating but that desire seems in and out from my view. What do you think ??
BG: Very inconsistent player in every way. Loved him as a high school player at the Under Armor All-Star game, but he's been way too up and down throughout his career. I would agree with you.
Buckem: Is Jim Tressel smiling as he watches Dantonio consistently outcoach his replacement? 2006 vs 2016 Buckeyes, who you got? When Cardale was pondering his future after the 2014 season, Urban seemed to do everything to try to get him to stay. Will he do the same for JT? Or is he ready to move on?
BG: I think Tress loves Ohio State through and through, first off. But there's no doubting he likes Dantonio very, very much, while there's a lot of frostiness between Tress and Urban. I would take the 2006 Buckeyes over this team. I believe Urban will go to the wall trying to get J.T. back for one more year.
ohiostate2002NC: Why do we use up all the seconds on the clock on most plays and not snap it within 12 seconds to put more pressure on the defense ?? Does this work or not work if you think its to scan the defense and make adjustments vs the adv. of snapping it quickly. better pair of corners ?? this years or last years for OSU ??
BG: I think J.T. is looking to the sideline for their look as long as possible before snapping the ball. I'm fine with it, as long as there are no delay of game penalties. I would take this year's group of Lattimore, Conley and Ward over last year's group of Apple, Conley and Webb.
RelivBuckeye: Bill, do you have any thoughts on why we seem to get the short end of the stick week after week on penalties in general. The difference with holding calls last week was epic. MSU wasn't called for holding on some plays where you could use the video to illustrate perfect tackling technique with the ref 5 feet away, in the picture and looking right at it.
BG: I've always felt Ohio State comes out just fine over the course of the year on officiating. If you read other message boards they're always howling that holding is never called on OSU. Yet, OSU fans think they get hosed. The truth is probably in the middle.
KansasCityBuckeye: Bill, if you were building a coaching staff from just tOSU and TTUN coaches (including HC), who would you take from each slot (give no thought to "chemisrty.")
BG: Ahhh, very tough to do obviously. I would take Urban at the top, based on his track record. For DC, I think Brown and Schiano are a wash. For offense, I think Drevno and Fisch would get it over Beck and Warinner. Would take Zach Smith as WR coach. Really like Greg Mattison, but Larry Johnson is good as a D-line coach as well. Would take Fickell at LB coach. Love Mike Zordich as DB coach. Really like Tony Alford as RB coach. Combine all those dudes and you have an Alabama staff.