I am a Buckeye fan. I am also a realist. Last season far exceeded my expectations, but it is also increasing expectations within Buckeye Nation. Going 14-0 will be unlikely, much to the dismay of the fan base. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, mind you, and it also doesn’t mean that this won’t be a very special season.
OSU will lose 1 game:
It will not be a bowl game that OSU will lose. It will also not be in the B1GCG Instead, it will be at the hands of the Northwestern Wildcats. Originally, I had expected this loss to be at Cal given the B1G’s propensity of laying a huge egg on the West Coast. Now, I’m thinking Northwestern. I still have vivid memories of the last Buckeye loss to the Wildcats. It was a night game, I had been at the Iowa/Michigan State game earlier and entertaining out of town guests. It was hot, I was sunburned and dehydrated. I was also in a bar full of OSU-haters cheering Northwestern on. It was one of the most awful nights, ever.
It also showed how ridiculously overrated that 2004 team was. They were 7th when Northwestern won. They then proceeded to lose three straight games and spend most of the season unranked. They did rebound nicely finishing 20th in the AP after thumping Oklahoma State in the Alamo. No honest OSU fan thought that team was worthy of a top 10 ranking and that was a harsh reminder of how right we were about that.
I’m not saying that this team is that overrated, in fact I think the Northwestern loss will fire them up when they realize they are not invincible. I’m simply saying Northwestern has a way of ruining things and OSU will be the team they ruin this year. But that leads me to…
OSU will get revenge against Northwestern in the B1GCG:
I think Northwestern wins the Legends division. Mock me if you would like, but I am pretty high on the Wildcats’ chances. They do have a rough cross-over break getting both Wisconsin and OSU, but they get Michigan at home and I doubt Nebraska is as good as advertised.
OSU won’t lose to Northwestern twice and a fury will be unleashed upon the Wildcats in Indianapolis, the likes of which have never been seen nor will be seen again. Not only will they be super pissed off at the one team that beat them, but they will also basically be playing a home game. OSU fans would outnumber Wildcat fans at least 5-1 in Lucas Oil. Yes, at least.
OSU won’t make the National Championship game:
I want it too, I do. But if I am sticking with the one loss prediction, there is no way they will make the game. The voters will do whatever they can to keep a one-loss OSU out of that game. Sure, OSU’s SOS is stronger than Alabama’s in reality, but not in perception. I will fight anyone who disagrees with me on that. National Championship berths should not be given to teams with a schedule that includes an FCS team (Chattanooga) and a team with a program that has only existed since 2010 (Georgia State). Sure, all big time teams play a cupcake here and there, but that’s a ridiculous set of scheduling. Oh, yeah, they also get a bye week before their only solid road test.
I’m not a voter, however, and no one will admit the SEC is top heavy. So, a one-loss Bama, Oregon, Stanford, etc will make it before a one-loss OSU.
Ryan Shazier will win the Butkus:
Shazier is a beast. He will make a lot of plays. He’s got this.
Braxton Miller will win the Maxwell Award:
This, of course, means he will be the Heisman runner-up.
Urban Meyer will not win the B1G coach of the year award:
This is mostly inserted here so I can rant about the stupidity that is the B1G coach of the year award. An OSU coach won’t ever win it no matter how amazing their team is. OSU could beat every team they play by 50 and the Buckeye coach, whoever it is, will not win. The rationale, I’m assuming, is that people expect OSU to win so the coach didn’t do anything. Except the coach was the one who recruited them, developed them and got them on the field. But, sure, let’s go on giving the award to Kirk Ferentz every year. When Iowa wins 6 games instead of the expected 5, he will be given the award for getting the best out of that one unexpected win.
Kenny Guiton will win one game:
Braxton is going to be out at some point, I fear. When that happens, Kenny G will step in and lead the Buckeyes to victory. Heck, I won’t be shocked if he starts at some point. If Braxton continues as the team’s leading rusher, then this is a foregone conclusion. Except…
This is finally Jordan Hall’s year:
I mean it this time. This is actually it. Hyde will not regain his starting position after returning from suspension because Hall will have firmly rooted himself there. Had Hall not been injured last year, we would never have had any discussion of Hyde rushing for >1000 yards this year. Hyde would be somewhat of an unknown. Hall has a shot to up his stock, impress some scouts and lead this team in rushing. I expect him to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Noah Spence will make us forget what was lost on the DL:
Spence is a freak of nature. He is big, fast and has an attack mentality. I fear for the lives of the QBs that have to face this man. He’s still young, but his Sophomore year will be a big one and prior to his Junior year, he will be spoken about much in the same manner people speak about Jadeveon Clowney. He’s that good and I expect to hear his name a lot.
Ohio State will win a crappy Rose Bowl match-up:
Stanford or Oregon will be in the championship game, assuming the one-loss scenario. This means some at-large team will fall to The Rose. The Rose picks last, I believe, so they will end up with some undefeated or 12-1 mid-major ala the Northern Illinois/FSU Orange Bowl match-up. It will be a similar result, as well. OSU will thump the bejeezus out of their substantially overmatched opponent. While I’ll always take a Rose Bowl win, this will leave a bad taste in the mouths of a fan base that desperately wants that signature bowl win, preferably over an SEC team.
That’s OK, this team is still young and they want that, too. When most of them return in 2014…well, let’s just concentrate on this year, for now.