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Bank Bag: Ohio State Playoff Berth Edition

Ohio State has secured a spot in the upcoming playoffs, and the Buckeyes are out recruiting until the dead period starts this coming Monday. Bill Greene is back to answer questions from BSB subscribers about the team.

JohnCarrollBuckeye: What are you hearing on the Micah Parsons front? As you say watch what they do, and I watched him take two visits in November on his own dime while committed to PSU.

BG: He is one heck of a player, first off. And you know this drill as well as I do. Long way to go for this kid, but he has opened the door for Ohio State to recruit him hard. I would expect to see him back on campus again, maybe for a junior day.

irishkiller: A staff cools on their interest in a verbally committed player. Best way to handle that?? Frank conversation v cold shoulder hinting that it's time to look at other options? How would you handle it?

BG: I would always be upfront and honest with the player, his parents and his head coach. Spell out why I'm moving in a different direction, but it's a tough situation to go through for sure. The cold shoulder approach gets used too much by schools though, and I hate that. 

AkronBigDawg: I remember NBuck saying about recruiting...    It's not the ones you miss but rather the ones you take that you have to worry about. You say that no one "Banks" scholarships anymore. You also say there are players that aren't cutting it on the roster right now.   In many and maybe most cases, those players were questionable recruits (although some might be due to injury). Why take recruits if they aren't up to the OSU standard or questionable?  Why reach or take projects that probably have a low chance of working out?  Why not bank scholarships?   If some of the questionable signings on the roster now wouldn't have been offered, we would have room to take much higher rated guys this year and next. Is it because the staff assumes if a kid doesn't cut it, they will find themselves off of the roster?   Maybe they need roster "fillers"?   If that is the case, then why the numbers crunch this year?

BG: You bring up some great points here, and I wish I had that answer. I would bank the scholarships personally, but that's not the new way of doing things. I think Saban popularized the theory of "take who you want and figure it out later", and that has caught on across the country. I hate to mention specific names of course, but we could both name guys that were questionable takes and are probably not going to finish their careers in Columbus. And we are talking about Ohio State here, not some second rate school. This staff does an amazing job of filling out a roster, an unbelievable job, so you hate to criticize them at all for the talent they collect. But every year you kind of shake your head at a couple guys they sign. 

eastshade: Bill do you think Blaine Scott ends up with an offer? A while back I ended up talking to to someone real close to him and they all love OSU but that person told me as of right now his pick would v tech because they have the major he wants.

BG: I like him and think he has to be on their board for sure, but I'm not sure he's a Plan-A guy for them. He probably needs to work his tail off this winter, and tear it up in camp next June. 

victor64: Kerry Coombs is one of the hot names being discussed in Cincinnati for the UC job. Does he have a chance in your opinion. I am from there and think he would be a great fit.

BG: Very personable guy and a high energy coach for sure, but I'm not sure he's ready for that job. Never been a coordinator yet on the college level, so I'm not seeing him get that job. I've known Kerry since his high school days at Colerain and like him a lot. He would take it in a heartbeat and might do a great job, but I'm not seeing him getting that gig.

jnmbuck: When I see you and others posting about next years DB's, I don't see EGW's name mentioned. Do you think he will be content being a special teams standout or will he be looking elsewhere for a chance to play?

BG: I'm not sure they trust him to be more than a special teams guy right now. He needs to work his tail off at bowl practice and in the spring, to prove that he deserves playing time on defense. I don't see him leaving.

bucknutsinurface: Who is the hot young offensive coordinator in the country right now? Also, how long does Saban Coach at bama?

BG: I really like Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma and I'm surprised he's not landed a head coaching job yet this year. The Penn State offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead, is not all that young (43) but he is a freaking GENIUS of an offensive mind. To me, he's the top offensive mind in the country and he already has head coaching experience. He would be PERFECT at Cincinnati, in my opinion. I see Nick Saban keeping the beat going for at least five more years, maybe more. He shows no signs of slowing down and he is dominating the sport right now like nobody we've seen in a long, long time. If he wins this year it gives him 5 out of the last 8, and he will be preseason number-one next year. And probably the year after too. Why leave? 

BuckeyeBoyle: Bill, You often hear media tropes like "Watch what Urban can do with 4 weeks to prepare," or "I'm intrigued to see what Chris Peterson has cooked up for Saban with a month to get ready."  How much is this actually a truism/skill in that certain coaches (e.g. Urban) have a unique intangible quality to improve their teams/gameplans significantly with all this extra time? Does Urban actually have a leg up on the competition with extra prep time? If so, does that hurt our chances with Bama given that we'll have less time to prep for them than we did in 2014?

BG: I think the media does say a lot of stupid stuff, but I think this one is true. I think the better coaches are more dangerous with the extra time to prepare, but it usually gets balanced out by having four great coaches in the playoffs. Urban Meyer is 10-2 in bowl games in his career. That cannot happen by accident or luck. Now I don't see Chris Peterson outcoaching Saban at all, but he will throw in something new that hurts Bama. And he will attack Alabama's where they are weakest, and probably give them a game. I would give Urban a slight edge over Dabo, but not as much as people think. I would take the Urban Meyer vs Brian Kelly matchup all day, as well as Nick Saban vs Brian Kelly, especially with four weeks to prepare.

NorthPoleBuckeye: You may have answered this in another thread that I can no longer locate, but does Browning allow the in-home with Saban?

BG: I'm saying NO. I think Browning is done with the recruiting game. 

kbuckaro: Bill, without a smile on your face, would you have invited Peppers to be a Heisman finalist? 

BG: I love Peppers as a talent and would take him on my team every day and twice on Sunday. That being said, he's not a deserving Heisman finalist. I would have three players there, and be fine with any of them winning. Lamar Jackson is my choice. Then Deshaun Watson. Third would be D'Onta Foreman from Texas. 

buckeyeinsc: Any other "attrition" from 2017 verbals? We saw Moretti and Simmons...others potentially?

BG: I have one more I'm watching closely, but I haven't heard of anyone that's close to leaving the class.

WSPBuck: Which 2017 recruit currently committed to OSU do you think gets drafted highest in the NFL draft? If you were the Cincinnati Bengals owner would you fire Marvin Lewis? Which player on the OSU roster will be "that guy" who shines in bowl practice and comes out of nowhere as a major contributor against Clemson?

BG: Great question on the 2017 guys by the way. I'm going to go with Baron Browning, because I think he has more talent than guys like Ryan Shazier and Darron Lee who were both drafted high. I would definitely fire Marvin Lewis. Way too much talent on the Bengals to consistently underachieve. I want to say Austin Mack or Binjimen Victor for the last question. Ohio State will need to throw to win. They will not win this game 17-16. I'm not impressed with the wideouts that play every week, so maybe a young one pops in practice? 

NorthPoleBuckeye: Is Wade and Sheffield a either/or situation or do if we take both if possible?

BG: Definitely both, without question. Sheffield gets plugged in as a starter Day One, while Wade gets groomed to start down the road. Short term guy and a long term guy. 

buckzip: Is Tate Martell a D1 passing QB?

BG: He darn sure better be, because he's not a runner at 5-foot-6, 135-pounds. I like his arm and the ability to make plays throwing the ball outside the pocket. 

WraithBuck: You are a coach and a wanted prospect is ready to commit. You find out that by taking that commitment another top prospect will start looking around. Would you take the commitment and let the chips fall where they may or would you ask the prospect to hold off and keep it silent for the time being?

BG: I just hate the lying and game-playing, so I would take him and let the chips fall where they fall. If I had to lie and screw with teenagers to be successful, I would find another profession. 

AllianceMike: Bank, I am a firm believer that 99% of games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage. In looking at each of the Final 4 teams, what grade would you assign to each squads offensive and defensive lines? Also, make yourself an offensive and defensive coordinator........How would you attack each team's defense and offense?

BG: Agree with you 1000% about the line of scrimmage. I am not sold on Alabama's offensive line at all, but they're not bad by any means. I think Washington is close to them though on the O-line. I think Clemson has an advantage with their O-line over Ohio State's O-line, and think pass protection is going to be a problem for the Buckeyes. For D-lines, it's Alabama for sure but Clemson is not far behind. I would have Washington and Ohio State as pretty equal but behind the other two. I think everyone knows how to attack the Ohio State offense, and we've laid that out all year. The Ohio State strength defensively is in the back-7, and they're as good as it gets. You have to find a way to run on Ohio State, and that's not easy because they can play man coverage in the back end and commit linebackers to stop the run. For Alabama, you have commit as many defenders as possible to the run and make the freshman throw it to beat you. If you cannot slow down their run game, you're getting trampled. The Alabama defense needs attacked on the edges with a mobile QB that can throw on the run or take off. You will not run the ball on Bama, unless Zeke Elliott comes walking back through that door. You have to attack their DB's, but they put your mistakes in the end zone so be careful. To beat Washington, you're not going to out-finesse them. You have to beat them up like USC did. And Alabama can beat people up like nobody else so Washington is in trouble I think. I also believe Ohio State can pick off Watson if they can stop the run and make him throw it more than he wants to. Making Watson throw when he NEEDS to throw, like third-and-eight, and not when he wants to throw is the key. If Clemson can run the football that opens it up for Watson to make it a shootout, which Ohio State probably can't win. Don't see Barrett out-performing Watson in a 38-35 game. Ohio State needs Clemson under 28 to win, probably a 27-24 game type of game. If it comes down to Barrett vs Watson in a shootout, I think OSU loses. 

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