The Other Crystal Ball

Yesterday, we did a Bucknuts Fan Club article where we got together five people on the Bucknuts staff and answered a set of questions regarding this year's team. Ramzy was not in that group, but he wanted to answer the questions too, so he formed his own panel to give answers

Since his stunningly insightful comments were missing from The Staff Crystal Ball session where Dave, Duane, Jerry, Kirk and Mr. B gave their best guesses on the upcoming Buckeye football season, Ramzy decided to have a crystal ball session of his own at his kitchen table.  Because the event was thrown together at the last minute, this roundtable did not feature as esteemed a group of prognosticators as he had hoped.  Let's meet the panel of experts:

Ramzy – Bucknuts staff writer
South Side – the graveyard shift doorman at Ramzy's apartment building
Jose – just delivered extra large pizza to apartment
Jill – Ramzy's fiancée
Peanut – the cat

Predicted Overall Record (including Bowl):

Ramzy: 10-4
South Side: 7-7
Jose: Ocho y seises
Jill: 13-1
Peanut: 12-2

Games OSU Will Lose and Why:

Ramzy:  It's something you can say every year, but this year it's as true as ever – they could win them all.  The toughest games are at home.  Regardless of the last two years, I will never accept Purdue and Illinois as anything more than good MAC teams.  It's in my arrogant Big Two Miserable Eight blood.  OSU hasn't lost at Wisconsin in ages and paybacks are a bitch, unless it's OSU playing a team from Michigan.  I think they'll choke on an early home game they should win, and then they'll give away Purdue, Illinois and Michigan in tragic fashion.

South Side: I say they'll go seven and seven, because that's my drink of choice.  They'll win every other game.

Jose: No sé mucho sobre el Buckeyes, sino que los pienso perderé al Estado de Kent, al Estado del San Jose, a Minnesota, a del noroeste, y Michigan.

Jill: They'll lose to the pride and joy of Illinois, the defending conference champions, the Illini!

Peanut: Well obviously, the Buckeyes will lose to my distant relatives, the Cougars of Washington State and the Wildcats of Northwestern.

Games That Will Be More Difficult to Win than People Think and Why:

Ramzy: Penn State, just because they've been rolled every time they've come to Columbus and we're used to it now.  Michigan, even if their offense is going to be atrocious.  Purdue and Northwestern, because of the annoying brand of flag football they play.

South Side: Do they play the White Sox?  The White Sox will give them a game.

Jose: Serían muy elegantes evitar de pasar por alto los Gopher poderosos de Minnesota. ¿Recuerde Homecoming 2000?

Jill: Since they will lose to Illinois, I'll go with Michigan.  Two in a row?  That will be tough.

Peanut: It would take an historic effort of magnaminous proportions to win all fourteen games; so frankly, I'm going to say that every one of these battles is going to be an epic struggle.  Especially with the depth at cornerback.

Games That Will Be Easier Than People Think and Why:

Ramzy: Washington State.  The whole cross-country thing.  Barring a terrific lightning storm and a uniform switch to USC, the Bucks should win.

South Side: Northwestern is terrible.  I don't care where they play the game.  Buckeyes by 40.

Jose: Encuentro muy duro creer que el Buckeyes tendrá cualquier apuro el abrir de la lata de a de crema del azote en Wisconsin.

Jill: Northwestern.  The gig is up.  They're chumps.  They should quit football and start up a physics club for jocks.

Peanut: Being a cat, and staying at home all day alone, I've been able to give this a tremendous amount of thought.  I'm going to go with Texas Tech.  You hear about their passing attack and their returning starters, but honestly, I don't see that defense as being much more than a matador's towel.  Olé!

Offensive MVP:

Ramzy: Because I think it's going to be running back by committee, I'll go with Michael Jenkins.

South Side: Maurice Hall.  Or Paul Konerko.

Jose: No tengo ninguna idea. ¿Craig Krenzel?

Jill: The guy that knocked his teeth out with a steak sandwich.  Chris Vance.

Peanut: I was going to go with Bam Childress, because he's small like me – but I didn't know about the steak sandwich thing.  That's awesome.  I'll go with Vance too.

Defensive MVP:

Ramzy: Mike Doss.  I think he's already won it. 

South Side: Matt Wilhelm.  Healthy.

Jose: Donnie Nickey.

Jill: Will Smith.  Then NFL.

Peanut: Tim Anderson.  I like the wrestlers.

Player Not Named Will Smith Who Will Have a Huge Breakout Season and Why:

Ramzy: I'll go with Craig Krenzel.  All he has to do is be average and he'll be the best quarterback Ohio State has had since 1998.  I'd consider that a breakout.

South Side: This question sucks.  Fine.  I'll say Bill Smith.

Jose: Pienso que para el final de Octubre, Maurice Clarett habrá emergido como el ir al individuo en ofensa.  

Jill: I'll agree with Ramzy.  Decent quarterback play would be considered a breakout.  It's too bad that he'll never be as good as Kurt Kittner or Jack Trudeau.

Peanut: As someone with no hands, I'll go with Mike Nugent.  He will lead the special teams to glory on the strength of his field goal conversions. 

Non-starter not named Chris Gamble or who is not a running back who will have a breakout season and why:

Ramzy: Bryce Bishop.  He should meet the high school hype this year.

South Side: Branden Joe.  I like Ohio State fullbacks.

Jose:  Todos los pedazos están en el lugar para que el Dustin Fox sea un tapón en la esquina. Toda lo que él necesita es una esposa caliente que está en la televisión con frecuencia.

Jill: I didn't understand a word that Jose said except "Dustin Fox".  I agree with that, if that's what he said.

Peanut: You're all crazy.  Bobby Britton will have you dusting off your old Gary Berry jerseys in celebration.

Running Back Who Will Have the Biggest Year and Why:

Ramzy: Jesse Kline

South Side: Jesse Kline

Jose: Jesse Kline

Jill: Jesse Kline

Peanut: Roshawn Parker

Impact Freshman and Why: 

Ramzy: D'Andrea.  If not him, Hawk or Carpenter.  Because if not, we're in trouble at LB.

South Side: EJ Underwood – they need someone to emerge at corner.

Jose: Eso es una pregunta resistente - pero iré con AJ Hawk. Sí, ha habido muchos, muchos chumps para salir de Centerville, pero los pienso rompí el molde con este individuo.

Jill: If he's eligible, Derek Morris.  If not, D'Andrea.  That guy is big.

Peanut: Tim Schafer.  Wait, this was the question we were all going to answer with the guy from Upper Arlington, right?

Player who not many people are talking about to keep an eye on because he might surprise and have a big year and why: 

Ramzy: Chris Gamble.  I'm betting the whole QB accuracy/reading defenses thing is going to be light years better than it has been, and the 1A and 2 passing options will reap the fruits of that.

South Side: Shane Olivea, who was opening holes for Jonathan Wells and playing his best football at the end of the season until his leg was snapped violently against the demons to the north, the Chicago Cubs.

Jose: Con todo el hoopla que rodea Maurice Clarett, pienso a muchos en la gente me he olvidado sobre la exhibición de que Lydell Ross puso encendido contra Indiana. Él podría ser el hombre.

Jill: Are we almost done?  The pizza is getting cold.  Robert Reynolds, because he's good.

Peanut: I'm torn between Branden Joe and Brandon Schnittker.  The fullback is going to get plenty of opportunity in this offense to make big blocks that will certainly be fawned over by Brent Musburger.

Area of Biggest Concern and Why:

Ramzy: Playcalling.  You cannot control OL or CB depth, or how well Krenzel will adjust to playing regularly.  You can control overly conservative play calling.

South Side: If there are any injuries on the offensive line, then goodbye season.

Jose: Tenían mejor rogar que alguien o algo filtra hacia fuera en las esquinas. Nickey y Doss no pueden cubrir cada uno.  

Jill: Quarterback.  It's where your team begins and ends, lives and dies, wins and loses.  Pizza?

Peanut: Making it through a long season.  Two extra games is a lot to ask for, and the bye week is right at the beginning.

Area of Least Concern and Why:

Ramzy: Defensive line and running back.  Depth.

South Side: Defensive line.

Jose: Línea defensiva.

Jill: Running backs.

Peanut: Punting, and team leadership from the punter position.

OSU Will Play in a BCS Game if:

Ramzy: Krenzel and the offensive line are average and every other facet of the team simply plays to its potential.  I love the Big Ten, but this year's conference sucks, period.  Not a worldbeater in the bunch.  It won't take much – aside from endurance – to win the conference.

South Side: If someone beats Michigan State, and if Ohio State finishes games the way they didn't last year.

Jose: Debo comenzar diciendo que pienso el BCS soy el manojo más grande de crap hoy en el mundo de deportes. ¿Cómo estúpidos son los monos que funcionan esta cosa y que la pellizcan cada año? El Buckeyes hará este farce de una serie del campeonato si la ofensa juega con consistencia positiva y el backfield defensivo cubre sus agujeros.

Jill: If Illinois somehow loses its grip on excellence, for the sake of my home life I'd like to see Ohio State take the BCS birthright.

Peanut: It all depends on play calling.  It would be catastrophic to see Ohio State in position to win the conference, only to have it ruined by lousy play calling in the clutch.  I don't know if I'd be able to live with myself if that ever happened in my lifetime.

To Me, This Season Will Be Successful If:

Ramzy: The Buckeyes win the Big Ten, beat Michigan and win the Rose Bowl.

South Side: The Buckeyes need to go undefeated.  Otherwise, how is it any different from the last 34 years?

Jose: Con conferencia relativa a este año, cualquier cosa menos de siete triunfos contra estos equipos mediocres es una falta.

Jill: They just need to beat Michigan.  Look how average they were last year, but because they beat Michigan people act as if they were actually good.  The damn pizza is freezing cold now.

Peanut: Personally, I'll be happy if the overfed bastards don't go on strike.

We had a lot of fun discussing the upcoming season, and it looks as though there were only a few areas where we all agreed with each other.  Feel free to talk about any of these subjects on the message boards, or with your neighbors and pets.

Ramzy will forward any messages to Peanut received at

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