I’m sitting here one day away from Ohio State’s kickoff and I just realized that I haven’t made any season predictions for the Buckeyes, or if I have, I have no recollection of it. I don’t want to start a dangerous precedent of not making season predictions because how else are you going to know how brilliant or stupid I am?
I don’t really have time to do this — I need to be writing the Tip Sheet — but I feel like if I can do this very quickly and haphazardly, not only can I make predictions for you, but I also have a lock-tight excuse for why I was wrong.
I don’t have any of this jotted down, so I’m just gonna write down whatever comes to me. This is probably how they do it when they set the lines in Vegas.
1. J.K. Dobbins is rushing for 1,000 yards this year.
I’m sorry, but I’m all in on J.K. Dobbins and I have been for a year and a half or so. Kevin Wilson has had a pair of 1,000-yard rushers before, and Mike Weber’s hamstring issues make this much more likely to happen now than say two months ago. And really, Dobbins is only going to need to average 67 yards rushing per game to get to 1,000.
2. Kendall Sheffield will have two pick sixes this season.
I see Kendall Sheffield as an instant punt returner when the ball is in his hands. The Ohio State defense knows exactly where to go and who to block when a turnover happens, and Sheffield is comfortable as a returner. Plus, he’s like faster than 99.9982% of the entire world, and what are the chances that that 0.0018% of the world are the ones chasing him down?
3. J.T. Barrett will be a Heisman finalist.
I’ve talked about what Kevin Wilson means to this offense way too much, and in so doing I’ve neglected to harp on the impact that Ryan Day has made as the quarterbacks coach.
4. No Buckeye will hit double-digit sacks this year.
The Ohio State defensive ends are going to be allowed to rush the passer more aggressively on early downs, which is going to lead to more sacks than a year ago. I’m just not sure how any one defensive end is going to put up double digit sacks when they are having to split time with four or five other dudes.
5. Parris Campbell will have more all-purpose yards than Curtis Samuel had last year.
This might be a spectacular failure, but Spectacular Failure is my band’s name, so I’m gonna go with it. Curtis Samuel had 1,655 all-purpose yards last year, which includes returns. Parris Campbell, meanwhile, finished with 759 all-purpose yards, with 584 of those yards coming via kick return. So if we assume the returns are going to be similar, then I’m gonna need Campbell to finish with 1,100 combined yards rushing and receiving. That would be a pretty good year, if you ask me.
6. Damon Webb will be at least Second-Team All-Big Ten this year.
Damon Webb earned Honorable Mention All-B1G accolades last season from the conference coaches, but Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano are expecting much more from him this year. There are a few openings in the Big Ten secondaries for accolades, so I’ll go ahead and put Webb’s hat in the ring right now.
7. Jerome Baker will be a First-Team All-American
Even if I have to create an All-American team myself, I’m going to be right about this one. I won’t need to, however. Jerome Baker is going to be all over the place this season.
8. The Buckeyes will lead the league in pass plays of 40 or more yards.
Last season, Ohio State had just four pass plays of at least 40 yards. Only Minnesota and Wisconsin were worse in the Big Ten. Indiana, meanwhile, had 16. That was still seven shy of what Penn State did, but so much of the Nittany Lions’ success was Trace McSorley’s right wing and a prayer.
9. Ohio State will not be shutout this season.
(I don’t want to start out 0-for-10.)
10. Six underclassmen will leave early…
…And that’s just from the Ohio State defense.