WPBucki: what Win / Loss record would you predict, were Joe Burrow were the 2017 season starting QB (considering a possible 15 games season)?
BG: I'm going to predict an undefeated season and national championship for Ohio State regardless of who the QB is next year. If the DB's can get shored up, and I have a lot of faith in Greg Schiano, then this team has the potential to be a Monster. Getting this offensive mess straightened out, and I think it was a complete mess even with all the school records and all the wins, takes this team to a new level. Urban took the necessary first step by replacing two coaches. Now he needs to take the next step and step away from the offense and be more of a CEO. Let Wilson have the offense, and concentrate more on game situations, clock management and use of timeouts, which was also pretty bad all year.
donfatman: Bill Serious Question: Will you please drop the 2 from your message board title? I mean with all due respect to the original Message Board Hero 1, he is absent from this site and it is time for you to claim the title solo. What do you say?
BG: HaHa, there is a story behind that and it means a lot to me. First off, it does not refer at all to Nevada, who I still consider a good friend and like very much. When the split occurred back 10 years ago, the owner of the previous site where I worked made the claim that I would never be successful in this business, because I was just a message board hero. Not a writer. Not a reporter. Not good enough to be full time in this business. Just a decent message board poster. I hold no animosity towards anyone, but it's good to read that every once in a while to remind myself where I came from and how hard I have to work to be successful. There's no Northwestern journalism degree hanging on my wall. I think I represent a lot of the newer guys in this business, like Derek Young, like Birm, and others. And none of us are potential Pullitzer Prize winners, but there is definitely a place in this world for guys like us. The business changed drastically with what Nevada and I were doing 10 years ago, and I'm proud of the work we did back then. It laid the groundwork for what people want today. We took stands on where kids were going to sign, and didn't feel that the usual 50-50 was much to brag about. Or even 75%. We WERE the crystal ball before that thing was even a dream in someone's eye. People wanted more than the usual stupid articles where we could read "The food was good. The coaches were great. The crowd was loud. I really like the school a lot". We always felt there was more importance in the message board discussions than the dumbass articles. And we were right, and it's been proven the way the business is today.
WSPBuck: Thoughts on Michigan going to Europe? Is Harbaugh going too far with this? Or is it genius? I feel with such a young team it will be a distraction & not worth the benefits
BG: I don't know what to think of it really, but it should be a great trip for those guys. The idea is to get your work in, and that can happen anywhere. Might be just Harbaugh tweaking the NCAA at the end of the day, and be much about nothing.
mrbigbux: Reading in the PD that Swinney says that if the Browns do not pick Watson #1 they are passing on the next Michael Jordan. Agree with this?
BG: I think the world of Dabo and feel he's really headed for greatness in the coaching profession. But he's just repping his guy here and that's cool with me. I do not at all agree with him. Cleveland needs football players, first and foremost. Forget the QB position in this draft, because none of these guys are better than what you have. Forget the wideouts and live with all the junk you took last year in the draft. Get FOOTBALL PLAYERS. Get some D-linemen that stop the run and get after the passer. Get DB's that can actually play. Build that O-line. But I'm sure the genius baseball guy has some more Moneyball theories that might help him win two games next year.
1BUCKI: Did OSU seriously consider OL Joel Honigford? Were you surprised he was offered (and accepted) by um? Do you think he has a chance to play there?
BG: I don't think Ohio State felt Honigford was comparable to the guys they had committed in this class, and viewed him as a long-term project. Which I would agree with. Like the kid a lot, and he has great size and quick feet. But the quality of competition was so awful that college is going to be a culture shock for him, and it's going to take a few years for him to develop. Michigan will need to be patient with him and let him develop slowly, not throw him to the fire too early. If they're patient they could be rewarded with a heck of a player down the road.
buck1075: With one week to go until NSD give us an inside look at what the coaches are going through. Any names you can give us that the coaches contacted in these final hours?
BG: The wide receiver position got a lot of attention this week. Oliver Martin told them he was not interested and will go to Michigan. Guys like Gardiner, Johnson and Palmer had the tires kicked, but I don't think those guys are better than what they have. But Ohio State is digging for another wideout. They put a lot into their final push for both Jay Tufele and Marvin Wilson, and they conducted home visits with both. I think they put a wrap on Thayer Munford last weekend, and he is all theirs if academics stay in order. These guys recruit until the clock runs out. They will probably try to get an official visitor or two this weekend if any guys make sense.
drewsus: Bigger loss to this class...Moretti or Lindsay? Watching OSU scramble for 3-star WR's a week before signing day is a bit disconcerting. How do you compare Jemore Baker and Darron Lee at similar points in their career and what kind of ceiling do you see for Baker? What do you know about Ryan Day and why do you think he's a good hire/fit for the OSU offense under Wilson/Meyer?
BG: To me, Jake Moretti is a HUGE loss and much bigger than a slot receiver. You can find slots all over, but big-time O-linemen? They don't grow on trees. I like Baker and think he has a very bright future. He can be as good as Lee in my opinion. All I know about Ryan Day is what I've read on his resume, and I will take my chances that he's an upgrade in the on-field coaching at the QB spot. He was with Urban at Florida back in the day, so he must feel pretty comfortable with him. Day is a Chip Kelly protege, so we shall see what the QB's look like this year throwing the football.
woodyl: Will Neurenberger (sp?) be OSU's kicker next season or will it go to some presently unknown walk on? Who do we have waiting in the wings as our punter? Johnston did such a great job as our punter the last couple of years and as we all know from Coach Tress, "the punt is the most important play in football." I feel that our field goal kicker kinda had a bad run (to put it mildly) the last two games this year. In the semi's, if he had made those kicks, who knows what might have happened? Not saying OSU would have beaten Clemson, but those missed kicks just killed the team's spirit and any momentum we could have had . . . at least IMHO. Seems like Urban doesn't emphasize the kicking game all that much and I've always felt it would come back to bite him some day in the close games. I think it did in two this year (PSU and almost v. UM) and may have contributed to the Clemson loss as well.
BG: We have to see who steps up next year and grabs the kicking job. Maybe Sean Nuernberger rediscovers the magic he had as a high school player? Maybe a walkon shows something? No clue on the punter, but they're sure going to miss Cam Johnston who was pretty remarkable in his career. The kicking game definitely bit them in the butt last year, and you have to think they know things have to be better this year. There are very few question marks with this team going into next season, but kicker and punter would be near the top of the list.