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Football

All things pigskin.

It's difficult to take anything useful away from season openers. Last week brought us things that were new and exciting, but we didn't quite know what to make of them at the time. Is Ohio State's offense really that explosive? Is M*ch*g*n State a contender or a pretender? Is the SEC still the best conference team-for-team, top-to-bottom? Week two is where we first see things truly beginning to take shape. It's our first chance to put this season into context based on what we're seeing now, rather than just guessing based on what we remember from previous seasons.

With that in mind, what did we learn this week?
The big story coming out of Monday night's game was the quality and depth of talent the Buckeyes employ at the skill positions. Seemingly capable of big plays at will, Ohio State was praised a historic juggernaut and the nation's most enjoyable team to watch. However, that was certainly not true today.

Because of the recognized talent the Buckeyes have, when things aren't going smoothly, some fans struggle to identify the reasons or possible solutions. Not moving the ball? It must be the playcalling because a team this talented can only be held back by the guys who tell them what to do on every snap. Not moving the ball through the air? Feed Zeke. Or maybe they should switch quarterbacks. Maybe it's none of those things. Perhaps it's the short turnaround between the Virginia Tech game and this one. Maybe it's those stupid refs.

What often goes unnoticed is the performance of the offensive line. Good play in the trenches makes everybody else look good. You can run behind a dominant O-line. You can pass. You can take more chances. You can get the ball into the damn end zone after taking over 1st and goal at the 5-yard line.

I think everybody took for granted that this unit would be great. Last year's line was dominant at the end of the season, returned four out of five starters, and would continue to be led by the nation's premier coach in Ed Warinner. Through two games, though, that has not been the case. You can't say it's entirely down to the lone new starter Chase Farris, either. They allowed too much pressure against Virginia Tech. Against Hawai'i they committed numerous penalties that put the offense behind the chains and failed to get enough push in the run game.



Take a look at the picture in that tweet. That's the meanest the offensive line looked all day, and they were in suits instead of pads. That has to change if the Buckeyes are going to get where they want to go. The comforting...
This week we start with a little more background on our furry friend Poobert. This past week was his birthday. He just turned ten. We got him a new collar for his birthday. The ungrateful little butthole didn't like it. Wish him a happy birthday!

Poobert was a rescue cat - mangey and emaciated when he was taken into the shelter that my wife adopted him from. Because he was often starving and scavenging as a kitten, he eats voraciously and is always looking for his next meal. This was just the first time that my wife saved his life...
1. QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY

Love Cardale. Just love him.

Like the other one better.

2. PROPER USE OF YOUR DVR REMOTE

If you press the fast forward button and the pause button while holding your mouth just right you can get any of OSU's players to do a spin move.

3. THE DOW AND THE ZEKE

If you draw a trend line of Zeke's rushing yards in his last four games and extend it out he will have negative yards rushing against Hawaii.
The offseason can seem interminable, even when you get the spend the entire time reliving a championship season from the year before. After watching everybody else take the field, we finally got to see the Buckeyes. What can we take away from this game?

Top Plays:

3.)Michael Thomas: perhaps the most underrated player on the team, and in the country.


More after the jump...
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK.

We spend eight months taking in every little morsel of information we can get. We project who will win and who will lose, who will have a successful season and who will not. After all of the talk and hype, the first week of games should make things a little more clear about how the season will go. Did it though?

Most people thought TCU would be really good and Minnesota would be just OK. After what happened on Thursday, it seems we know less now than we did before they played each other. Does Minnesota miss its departed players on offense that bad, or were they simply stymied by a TCU team that traditionally has one of the best defenses in the country? Is TCU going to struggle to move the ball despite bringing everybody back from an offense that was nearly unstoppable last season, or is Minnesota better than we thought? Is this going to be one of those "good" Northwestern teams that sneaks up on people, or is Stanford just inept?

That's just one example. These kinds of questions can be asked after most of the games we've seen this weekend. Sweeping proclamations will be made - as college football fans it's something we just can't resist. However, we've only completed the first chapter of a book that's still being written. I think that instead of affirming answers that we thought we knew during the offseason, we've only discovered the questions that we didn't yet know to ask about this season. We don't know how this will end - or maybe we do...
Ohio State's defense wasn't great in 2014 (22.0 ppg, 342.4 ypg), but it didn't really need to be because the offense was (44.8 ppg, 511.6 ypg). The two biggest positives for the defense were its ability to create turnovers (25 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries, 6 touchdowns); and the progress that it made during the post-season with impressive performances against Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon and their respective superstars (Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper, and Marcus Mariota).

The defensive line was a strength in 2014, but the unit will have to replace All American defensive tackle
Michael Bennett; starting defensive end Steve Miller; and key reserve Rashad Frazier. Fortunately, junior All American Joey Bosa (55 tackles, 21 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, scoop six) returns. After only two seasons in Columbus, Bosa is already in 14th in career TFLs with 34.5, and 7th in career sacks with 21.0. Also returning is senior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington (48 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks) who has earned some pre-season All American recognitions. Senior Tommy Schutt has battled injuries throughout his career, and he will finally get a chance to lock down the nose tackle position. A trio of unproven players will get their opportunities at defensive end: sophomore Tyquan Lewis will start opposite Joey Bosa, while sophomore Jalyn Holmes and redshirt freshman Sam Hubbard will get...
The biggest question concerning the Ohio State offense - really the only question - is who will be the starting quarterback. The battle is between redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett, who set team records last season with 3,772 total yards and 45 total touchdowns; and redshirt junior Cardale Jones, who led the Buckeyes on their amazing run to the national championship after Barrett suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the fourth quarter of the Michigan game. With his keen grasp of the read-option, Barrett probably fits Urban Meyer's scheme better. On the other hand, Jones has outstanding size (6' 5", 265 lbs) and a rocket arm that can force opponents to defend the entire field. The winner supposedly won't be declared until the opening series of the Virginia Tech game. My guess is that Barrett will start and Jones will also see some valuable playing time.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott enters the 2015 as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. After his monster 2014 season (273 carries, 1,878 yards, 18 TDs), Elliott now has 2,140 yards rushing, good for 20th place in Ohio State history (tied with Ron Springs). Zeke needs 1,629 yards to claim second place on the all-time list behind the legendary Archie Griffin (5,589 yards). The biggest impediment to Elliott compiling huge numbers in 2015 will the Buckeyes themselves - will Zeke be able to get enough carries in an offense loaded with playmakers, especially when many of the games will likely be over by halftime?

With sophomore Curtis Samuel (58 carries, 383 yards, 6 TDs in 2014) moving to H-back, the reserve running back duties will be manned by a trio of inexperienced players: redshirt junior Bri'onte Dunn (34 carries, 196 yards,...
1. The 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes

The 2002 Buckeyes were characterized by a tenacious defense, a strong running attack, and an ability to win close games late in the contest. Some people might call this final quality "luck", but I prefer the term "preparation meeting opportunity". Whatever you want to call it, the Buckeyes had tons of it that year. And they needed every last ounce of it.

In their four previous national championship seasons, Ohio State opened their schedule with a team from the state of Texas: 1957 TCU; 1961 TCU; 1968 SMU; 1970 TAMU. In 2002, it would be Texas Tech. The Buckeyes routed the Red Raiders, 45-21 (and the game wasn't even that close). True freshman tailback Maurice Clarett rushed for 175 yards and 3 touchdowns (59, 45, and 2 yards) as the Buckeyes amassed 318 yards on the ground. The defense forced seven sacks and an interception, while holding Tech's high-powered offense to 21 points and 372 yards; 14 of those points and 152 of those yards came in garbage time.

After an easy 51-17 victory over Kent State, the #6 Buckeyes faced their first true test of the season when #10 Washington State visited The Horseshoe. The Cougars' quarterback, Jason Gesser, was a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, and many pundits felt that he would carve up the Buckeye defense. Despite the hype, the game wasn't much of a contest. The Buckeyes shut down Gesser (247 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 2 sacks), and rendered Washington State's running game nonexistent (22 carries for 18 yards). On the other hand, Maurice Clarett rushed for 230 yards, 194 of them (and 2 TDs) in the second half. The final score: Ohio State 25, Washington State 7.

Next on the schedule was Cincinnati, a game that the Buckeyes were expected to win handily. However, with Clarett on the sidelines with an injury and the Bearcats playing inspired football, Ohio State needed a Houdini act to escape Paul Brown Stadium undefeated. While the Buckeye...
Welcome to College Football Right Meow!

Not long ago, BuckeyePlanet got a brand new front page and @Clarity put out a call for #content to drive #traffic to the site. I thought to myself, “Gee, I’d really like to contribute but I’m not really an expert or insider.” Then I remembered that BuckeyePlanet is a site on the internet. The internet is comprised of about 50% college football #hottakes by idiots, and the other 50% is cats. That gave me an idea...

What if I made picks for college football games every week? What if one of my cats made picks too, and we tried to see who's best? We could generate #content every week complete with college football #hottakes, #banter, and cats. We could achieve Peak Internet. We could become famous on Twitter, which is pretty much the loftiest achievement one can aspire to in 2015.

[​IMG]
Me, speaking with my friend Jerry after coming up with this idea.

Though I do not pretend to be an expert, I do still have some pride. I don't want to get shown up by a cat. That means that if I'm going to stick my neck out there and make bold assertions, I need to set the bar low in terms of competition. Skip Bayless has mastered this. Everybody knows he's an idiot, but when he sits across from whatever rube ESPN lines up for him to "debate", viewers end up thinking that he *might not* be the dumbest person they are hearing speak at that particular moment. When it comes to generating #content, it's a winning formula.

That's why I chose to make picks against the dumber of our two cats. His name is Leo. That’s what my wife has told me his name is. I call him Poobert. “Leo” seems like a regal name. He looks looks like more of a “Poobert.” Behold:

poobert.png
This is Poobert. He is not very...