That was the case Wednesday afternoon in the meeting room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where the Buckeyes divvied up sides for the spring-ending intrasquad scrimmage (1:30 p.m. Saturday, ONN and WBNS-TV).
As always, OSU coach Jim Tressel acted as the commissioner. He divided his coaching staff and seniors down the middle to produce braintrusts for the Scarlet and Gray teams.
The Scarlet, coached by defensive coordinator Jim Heacock, received the following seniors: FS Nate Salley, MLB Anthony Schlegel, OLB Bobby Carpenter, DE Redgie Arden, OT Steve Winner, OT Rob Sims, OG Andree Tyree, TE Ryan Hamby and K Josh Huston.
The Gray, coached by offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, was given these seniors: CB Tyler Everett, S Rob Harley, WLB A.J. Hawk, MLB Mike D'Andrea, DE Mike Kudla, DT Marcus Green, OG John Conroy, C Nick Mangold and FB Brandon Schnittker.
Tressel then noted that a number of players would be sidelined or curtailed due to injuries. They include: DE Alex Barrow (questionable), DT Caesar Buie (out), MLB Mike D'Andrea (out), CB Tyler Everett (limited to two quarters), S Rob Harley (out), MLB John Kerr (out), DE Mike Kudla (out), DT Tim Schafer (out), MLB Anthony Schlegel (out), CB Brandon Underwood (out), TE R.J. Coleman (out), FB Steve Fender (out), WR Roy Hall (gametime decision, questionable), TE Ryan Hamby (out), TE Jordan Hoewischer (out), WR Santonio Holmes (out), WR Devin Jordan (out) and OL Kyle Mitchum (out).
The Gray squad then won the coin toss, allowing that side to open the first position. The draft continues with teams alternating players at each position until all players are taken. Then, the team with the next choice to open a position picks a position and first choice at that spot.
Gray began the draft by opening the quarterback position and selecting Troy Smith. Scarlet followed by taking Justin Zwick. Tressel then ruled that Todd Boeckman would play a quarter for each team.
It was revealed that, unlike last year's Scarlet and Gray Game when the quarterbacks were not allowed to be hit or run, the quarterbacks would be live on Saturday.
"We took the position we wanted to take first," Schnittker said of the Gray's first pick. "We chose the quarterback spot first because Troy can run. We think he can be a viable weapon."
The choice caught some off-guard. Many thought sophomore flanker Ted Ginn Jr., with his ability to run, catch and return kicks, would be the top pick. But Tressel's notes to each coaching staff showed that Ginn will be among 13 players whose reps will be curtailed.
"He could play in all four quarters and Smith won't," Tressel said, noting that Boeckman will work the second quarter for the Gray. "But he is the same as any other guy who is not going to play, perhaps, the full 60 minutes. That is just so we get enough of everyone playing."
The Scarlet responded by opening the wide receiver position and taking Ginn first at that spot.
"Our plan was to go for wide receiver and try to get Teddy," Carpenter said. "The second position we wanted was cornerback and third would have been quarterback. Teddy just does a lot of things in a game like this. You try and get guys who are versatile. He could play offense, return kicks and maybe even play some defense."
Here is a position-by-position look at the draft (first names for many walk-ons not provided):
* QB -- Gray, Troy Smith; Scarlet, Justin Zwick; Todd Boeckman (will play one quarter for both teams).
* WR -- Scarlet, Ted Ginn Jr.; Gray, Anthony Gonzalez; Scarlet, Albert Dukes; Gray, Devon Lyons; Scarlet, Roy Hall; Gray, Kyle Ruhl; Scarlet, Derek Harden; Gray, Brent Ullery; Scarlet, David Lisko; Gray, Ben Kacsandi (could also play QB); Scarlet, Santonio Holmes; Gray, Devin Jordan; Scarlet, Angelo Chattams.
* CB -- Tyler Everett placed with Gray. Gray, Ashton Youboty; Scarlet, Sirjo Welch; Gray, Michael Roberts; Scarlet, Shaun Lane; Gray, DeAngelo Haslam; Scarlet, Willis; Gray, Curry; Scarlet, Brandon Underwood.
* DL (DT, DT and one DE spot drafted together) -- Mike Kudla and Marcus Green placed on Gray; Redgie Arden placed on Scarlet. Scarlet, Jay Richardson; Gray, David Patterson; Scarlet, Quinn Pitcock; Gray, Joel Penton; Scarlet, Sian Cotton; Gray, Alex Barrow; Scarlet, Brandon Maupin; Gray, Nader Abdallah; Scarlet, Garnier; Gray, Tim Schafer.
* LB (all spots drafted together) -- A.J. Hawk and Mike D'Andrea on Gray; Anthony Schlegel and Bobby Carpenter on Scarlet. Gray, Marcus Freeman; Scarlet, Chad Hoobler; Gray, Curtis Terry; Scarlet, Trever Robinson; Gray, Brandon Smith; Scarlet, Ryan Lukens and John Kerr.
* Leo DE -- Scarlet, Vernon Gholston; Gray, Brett Daly.
* TB -- Gray, Antonio Pittman; Scarlet, Erik Haw; Gray, Carper; Scarlet, Oliver; Gray, Matt Johnson.
* OL (all positions drafted together) -- John Conroy and Nick Mangold on Gray; Rob Sims, Steve Winner, Andree Tyree on Scarlet. Scarlet, Kirk Barton; Gray, Doug Datish; Scarlet, T.J. Downing; Gray, Steve Rehring; Scarlet, Tyler Whaley; Gray, Jimmy Cordle; Scarlet, Jon Skinner; Gray, Ben Person; Gray, Hebner and Drew Parry; Scarlet, Kyle Mitchum and Daniel Dye.
* Safety (all drafted together) -- Rob Harley on Gray; Nate Salley on Scarlet. Gray, Donte Whitner; Scarlet, Brandon Mitchell; Gray, Curt Lukens; Scarlet, Nick Patterson; Gray, Antonio Smith; Scarlet, Michael Dougherty.
* TE -- Ryan Hamby on Scarlet. Scarlet, Rory Nicol; Gray, Marcel Frost; Scarlet, R.J. Coleman; Gray, Jordan Hoewischer.
* Punter -- Gray, A.J. Trapasso; Scarlet, Tyson Gentry (also plays WR); Gray, Matthew Ciepiela.
* FB -- Brandon Schnittker on Gray. Scarlet, Stan White Jr.; Gray, Dionte Johnson; Scarlet, Ryan Franzinger; Gray, Steve Fender; Scarlet, Matt Daniels.
* LS -- Gray, Drew Norman; Scarlet, Dimitrios Makridis and Matt Drummelsmith.
* K -- Josh Huston on Scarlet. Scarlet, Ryan Pretorius (will play first half with Scarlet and second half with Gray); Gray, Jonathan Skeete.
Notables and Quotables
* Schlegel on the Scarlet team -- "We feel really good with our picks. We're going to have a good pass rush. Our linebackers are pretty versatile. We're pretty much stoked and ready to go ... fair enough."
* Carpenter on loading up on defensive linemen with the Scarlet -- "The quarterbacks are live. That's why the pass rush is crucial."
* Sims on the Scarlet team -- "The names speak for themselves. We got older guys with a lot of experience. I think we'll be ready to go."
* Sims on whether he'll play guard or tackle -- "Both ... We'll alternate, I'm sure. We could move Steve Winner or Kirk Barton or even Jon Skinner to left tackle and I could play some at left guard."
* The Gray's Mangold on what is at stake -- "Pride. It would be nice to have like a free dinner deal and get Bobby to buy me dinner."
* Mangold on taking Smith No. 1 -- "He can move and shake and bake. He makes all the right cuts. In a game like this where it's a little more wide open, I think he has a distinct advantage in this game. We're happy with that pick."
* Tressel on why the quarterbacks will be live -- "I think that's just because of what we're working on and what we're focusing on. Last year, we focused on staying with rhythmic reads and throwaways. But at this point, the quarterbacks will be allowed to do the whole gamut. I think that's also good for our defense. We have some pretty good quarterbacks on the schedule we're playing. It will be good for the defense to constantly understand the quarterback and that element to defend."
* Tressel on who he would make the favorite -- "I'd say it's pretty equal. There were maybe a lot less surprises in the picking. I'd have to call it a toss-up."
* OSU officials say there have been 25,000 tickets sold. Tickets at $5 remain through the OSU ticket office at the Schottenstein Center or by phone at (614) 292-2624 or (800) GO-BUCKS. Tickets can also be purchased through the OSU web site at ohiostatebuckeyes.com A $1 donation from every ticket will go to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.