I can hear you now. “Football season is neeeevvvver going to get here!”
First of all, stop whining. I deal with that enough with my kids.
Second of all, we are now 17 days into our countdown, which means we are officially just over 1/6th of the way through it.
It’s like when you were a kid and counting the days until the end of the school year. Except in this case, we’re at the equivalent of mid-October or so. Which is football season!
Except in this countdown to football season, it’s not football season. This is all very confusing.
Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s installment if you haven’t yet.
Now please join us as we continue our countdown of the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We will also preview one of the 100 most exciting games on this fall’s college football schedule, and one of the 100 things we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#83 Devier Posey, 2008-2011
There won’t be many guys on this list whose production plummeted as badly in their senior seasons as Posey’s did.
He had 828 yards receiving as a sophomore, 848 as a junior, and then cratered to just 162 during a suspension-shortened senior year.
Posey was one of the central figures in the whole tattoos for memorabilia scandal.
It was treated with the seriousness of the Pentagon Papers at the time, but would basically earn an eye-roll now.
On the field, Posey put up five career 100-yard games, including the Rose Bowl win over Oregon as a sophomore.
A third-round pick by the Houston Texans, a ruptured Achilles tendon derailed his career.
Posey played sparingly in three NFL seasons before taking his talents to… uhh… North Beach.
He blossomed into a star in the Canadian Football League, racking up 744 yards and 7 touchdowns for the Toronto Argonauts in 2017. He was named MVP of the Grey Cup, the CFL’s version of the Super Bowl.
That earned him a contract with the Baltimore Ravens this spring, where he will try to revive his NFL career.
Best Games This Fall
#83 Marshall at South Carolina, September 15
This is one of those theoretically interesting games that could get very uninteresting after a quarter.
Marshall returns a pretty good team this fall, coming off an 8-5 season. They could be the best team in CUSA that isn’t coached by Lane Kiffin.
This game comes a week after the Gamecocks have to travel to Athens to face Georgia, so they could come in banged up or dispirited and start slowly.
If the Herd can pull this off and then beat N.C. State in Huntington the following week, their showdown with FAU could vault one of those teams into the New Year’s Six bowls.
It’s not a given, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#83 The Alabama Quarterback Derby
Nick Saban’s Alabama football program has spent much of the past decade churning out results.
But they’ve done it with all the fun and excitement of a father unenthusiastically destroying his small child on one of those preschool basketball hoops.
Yes, you can drive around your kid and dunk it whenever you want to.
But you know it means basically nothing, and you’re deriving no real enjoyment from it.
That’s Alabama rolling over Arkansas or Tennessee, or (fill-in-the-blank SoCon school).
This year, they might actually face a little adversity. How interesting that could be.
Yes, their “adversity” consists of deciding between two of the better quarterbacks in the nation. But still.
It has a chance to sow some legitimate locker room strife in Tuscaloosa. Plus, if Jalen Hurts ends up leaving, it leaves the Tide dangerously thin at the position.
Saban will undoubtedly work it out, and then grind his way joylessly back into the College Football Playoff again.
But for the moment, we can all dream.
Matchup To Watch
#83 Karan Higdon, MICH RB vs. Tuf Borland
Karan Higdon looked like he was about to become Michigan’s featured back at one point last fall. He put up 200-yard games against both Indiana and Minnesota, and added a 158-yard day against archrival Rutgers.
Then, down the stretch, he faded back to the pack. He averaged less than 50 yards per game over the Wolverines’ final four matchups of the year.
It’s a cliche that the team that runs the ball better in the Ohio State – Michigan game is the one that wins.
However, unlike a lot of old cliches and conventional wisdom, that one has actually held true in every season since 2002.
Tuf Borland will likely be out until at least September with an Achilles injury. When he returns, he will likely regain his starting spot as the MIKE linebacker, and be tasked with controlling Higdon.
If he can, history indicates that there’s a pretty good chance he’ll get a pair of Gold Pants to celebrate the occasion.