Bank Bag: OSU Playoff Berth Edition Part-II

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. Here is Part-Two.

mrbigbux: Your opinion on Paul Chryst as a head coach. Wiscy had a pretty good season - despite the meltdown in the B1G championship game. Does Alvarez still call the shots? If so is this why Peterson bailed? Where do you see their program going? Also the Brohm hire at Purdue. Do you see this as just what they needed to revive the program?

BG: I like Chryst and think he is the very definition of solid as a head coach. Not sure how much Alvarez meddles in the program, but he's a controlling person for sure. I think Peterson bailed because he wants to recruit JUCO's heavily, and that's not the Wisconsin way. I think Wisconsin can sustain their success at the current level, but I don't see them as a national championship contender. Really like the Brohm hire at Purdue, and there's no doubt you can win there with the right guy. Maybe Brohm is the right guy.

1XBUCK: If Malcolm Pridgeon returns healthy, does he battle for one of the right side line OL spots next year?

BG: I sure think so. That's why you bring in a guy like Pridgeon, and it's to be a starter. Maybe Prince moves inside? 

ScarletAndGray02: Bill I read that Munford might be trending toward UK. Have we told him thanks but no thanks, or is this someone we might now pursue since the Trey Smith chase is over?

BG: Without an Ohio State offer, I do see Thayer Munford trending toward Kentucky, but he wants a Buckeye offer for sure. I think he's still on the Plan-B list right now, until they see who they can get. I think they can wait on Munford a while, even if he would go ahead and commit to Kentucky.

tridentawc: Who are your predictions for the AFC and NFC Championship games and the ultimate SB51 victor?

BG: Tough to say obviously, but I would have Seattle beating Dallas in the NFC championship game. In the AFC, it's all New England and a bunch of average so they're in the Super Bowl. I will go with Seattle getting revenge for the Super Bowl they handed to the Patriots a few years ago on a silver platter. 

Coors73: Thanks again Bill.  Who are your two favorite offensive and defensive players from OSU going back to 1980 and who do you think the best two off/def players in the same time period were.  For the best I'd go with Elliot/Pace and then Will Smith/Speilman.  Also if possible who were a few guys that should have been good/great but blew it do to stupid choices they made off the field.

BG: My favorite guys from that era would be Eddie George and Mike Vrabel, and I hate to write that because Vrabes and I are friends and I would never want him to read this, LOL. I agree 100% on Zeke and Pace, and for defense I will go with Antoine Winfield. The list of guys that screwed up could fill an entire article. Chuck Jones was a monster defensive tackle, and would be a monster today as well. Grades messed him up. Louis Irizarry is the best tight end prospect I've ever seen in Ohio, think Gronk, and a great kid from a nice family. He went nuts at Ohio State and made a lot of bad choices off the field to derail a potential All-America career. A lot of people remember safety Damon Moore as a darn good player for Ohio State and the NFL. Moore was lucky that two guys named Che Bryant and Mike Burden screwed up in the classroom, because those two guys were much more talented than Moore and would have been great twin safeties. Eugene Clifford was another super safety done in by grades and off-field choices. 

donfatman: Bill, I personally think the intrigue from the four team playoff with the committee is awesome and is a step up from the BCS method. A lot of people complain quite a bit about still however; especially #5 and #6 of course. If you could set up NCAA football in any way you wanted, what would be your dream perfect scenario for crowning a champ.

BG: There is no perfect system, but I think they're getting closer to one. It's a lot better now than when writers used to vote for the champs after the season was over. I think I would like to see four super conferences, with ten teams in two divisions. That gives you 80 teams. The division winners would meet in the conference title game for the right to go to the playoffs. You could play two or three non-conference games and it wouldn't matter if you won or lost them all. You could schedule patsies, or you could schedule powerhouses to make your team better. 

ohiostate2002NC: Is there any matchup in bowl games that you feel are an absolute Lock ? Vs spread or outright. Best guess for starting LBs next year. How many carries should each RB get in our bowl game ? Your opinion. Would Urban consider a new WR coach but let Zach stay on in another role because he is a great recruiter ?? I saw Va Tech run some sweet plays on offense bs Clemson . Should OSU copy any ?

BG: I do not see Washington beating Alabama in any scenario. As far as pointspreads, I'm going to wait until the week of the games to try to figure that out. LB's next year I will go with Worley, Baker and Booker. Well I hope Samuel gets 5X the touches Barrett gets, not that it could ever happen of course, and Weber 3X. I think Zach Smith deserves an expanded role, not a reduced one. I think he's a heck of a position coach, and might be ready for play calling duties. Ohio State will scout every play Clemson was involved in this season, and plan to attack them accordingly. 

dfaulkne: Does Osu expect Torrance Gibson back or is it too early to tell still? Does his situation affect how they're pursuing Jaylen Harris at all?

BG: I do think Gibson is being counted on for next season, and I don't think that affects Jaylen Harris at all. 

bobosu: Bill Im really not beating a dead horse, but after reviewing OSU games. ITs IMPOSSIBle not to see that the Oline (#59) need HELP. If you review the OSU vs UM game. There were 8 sacks, but on 3 sacks #59 did not ,I repeat ,did not even put his hand on the UM D lineman. I know many experts,novices, etc have singled out this over and over. YET this glaring weakness persist. WHY would a great coach like Urban let this go game after game?? Game after game and JT pays the price ,why would this continue?? 

BG: It wasn't just Isaiah Prince in the Michigan game, trust me. The entire line got destroyed for three quarters. It was hard to go help Prince when everyone else was getting their tails kicked as well. But in the fourth quarter, they found themselves and played some darn good football. If they play that way against Clemson, that D-line will eat them alive. If the fourth quarter is who they are going forward, they will be just fine. Michigan State kicked their tails in too. The Clemson D-line is as good as Michigan, and far better than MSU, so they'd better be straight or Ohio State will lose the game. 

buckeyebones: I'm finding grandfatherhood to be pretty awesome. How do you think it will affect Urban?

BG: I think it will be good for him. At Ohio State he realized he can be a great coach, but still recognize you have a family, unlike his time at Florida. The health issues, and the year off, probably saved his life. Had he not made changes, he was headed down a self destructive path. 

buckeyebones: It must be frustrating as a program to be played for the sake of putting a second hat on the table. You obviously are good at reading that situation so I imagine the coaches are as well. How do they talk about it in their candid moments?

BG: HaHa, I don't think college coaches are all that good at realizing it, to be honest. I know Ohio State thought they were getting Trey Smith, and their confidence caused all the crystal ball errors. I think Alabama thought they were getting Raekwon McMillan, and Clemson thought they were getting Rashan Gary last year. I know both Alabama and Ohio State feel good about Shaun Wade as well. You fight the good fight to the end, and great recruiting staffs like Alabama and Ohio State just move onto the next one. You don't have time to feel sorry for yourself. Ohio State did all they could possibly do to land Trey Smith, and they would do it again. If he calls them today, they will start right back recruiting him again too. 

buckeyebones: Give us a few words about what you think were/are the defining best coaching attributes/skills of Woody, Bruce, Cooper, Tressel, Meyer.

BG: The players that played for Woody always talked about his toughness and how physical he wanted them to play. He wanted to physically dominate people, and he coached his teams hard. Earle Bruce was probably tougher and meaner than Woody, and I don't think people grasp just how much of a bad-azz Earle Bruce was. He just wasn't the people person Woody was off the field, so he couldn't recruit like Woody could. John Cooper was a player's coach, and when he first came to Ohio State the players were like birds being let out of their cage. Once Coop got his guys in the program, and got his program established, he did some really good things. He was and is a GREAT human being. I've met a ton of college coaches in this job, and he's the nicest person I've ever met. Parents and players loved the guy. I wish he could have beaten Michigan more, and won a national title at OSU, so the fans could love him too. There will NEVER, EVER, EVER be another Jim Tressel at Ohio State. He had the ability, and he still has it today, to make you like him. Even if you've never met him, you look at him as a friend or family member. What he did at Ohio State runs the gamut of wins and losses, NCAA issues as well as making tons of people's lives better. But through everything, the good and the bad, Jim Tressel is still loved in the state of Ohio today. And he will be until the day he dies. He was a player's coach, but he could be tough too. He wasn't loved by all his players, but they all played hard for him. Urban Meyer is the master motivator, and everything is about competing. Everything. Ohio State wins games they should/could lose because of how hard they compete, and how well they can execute under pressure because practices are so intense. You really have to kill these guys to beat them, and that comes from Meyer directly. They could have lost to Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State and Michigan. But they didn't even though they were outplayed in large stretches of those games. Meyer is an amazing recruiter, so talent is never going to be an issue at Ohio State. And when great talent competes so hard, even when young and inexperienced, you might lose to a Penn State, but you find a way to beat those other four that could have been losses. Under Tressel, Cooper, Bruce and Woody, there would be times after games where it was said "They just weren't ready to play today". Now Urban doesn't win every game and he's 61-5, not 66-0. But there has never been a game of those 66 where anyone has said afterwards that "Ohio State was flat and wasn't ready to play today". And to me, that's the greatness of Urban Meyer. 

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