This is the first in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
We have good news and we have bad news.
Since you’re probably an Ohio State fan, and therefore someone who grumbles about 12-2 seasons, we’ll start with the bad news.
Spring football is now over in Columbus. We are now entering college football’s version of the Valley of Death.
But fear not, because this bleak period won’t last forever. Yes, football* will be back in just 100 days!
“What’s with the asterisk?” you might be asking, pessimistic as always.
Okay, so technically, no one is going to be playing football in 100 days.
But we’re 100 days from the conclusion of Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. And once coaches finish talking about “Taking it one day at a time” the season itself is practically here.
Each day until then, we’ll count down the 100 greatest Buckeyes of The Ozone era (1996-present).
We’ll 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.
Finally, we’ll examine one of this fall’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.
Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era
#100 Dane Sanzenbacher
Sanzenbacher was an undersized wide receiver from Toledo who put up 1,879 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his career.
His best season was his senior year of 2010. Sanzenbacher had 55 catches for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns that year, including a four touchdown day in a blowout win over Eastern Michigan.
Sanzenbacher played four seasons in the NFL, racking up 449 yards and three touchdowns for the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals.
Best Games This Fall
#100 Iowa State at Iowa, September 8
This annual intrastate grudge match has a history of crazy upsets.
Dubbed ¡El Assico! for its occasionally… uhhh… inconsistent quality of play, Iowa’s 44-41 overtime win in 2017 is a major outlier in the series.
Scores of 20-17, 9-6, 17-5, and 15-13 are more the norm.
This year’s matchup pits an up-and-coming Iowa State team against a group of Hawkeyes that could challenge for the Big Ten West title.
There’s a pretty good chance that ISU coach Matt Campbell will be coaching in a more upscale college football neighborhood this time next year, meaning this could be close to the high-water mark for the series.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#100 The 2018 Ohio Bobcats offense
OU got off to an incredible start in 2017 and seemed to be on the way to another MAC East title before an inexplicable loss to a middling Akron team.
In a game that was on pace for well over 100 total points during the second quarter, Frank Solich passed up a 4th-and-goal from the 1 to kick a field goal. The Bobcats ended up losing by 3.
Playing not to lose is a great way to lose.
Now, they return most of their skill talent and five offensive linemen who accounted for a majority of their starts. That’s a recipe for putting the Action in #MACtion.
The Bobcats have a couple of tough non-conference road games at Virginia and Cincinnati. In conference play, they miss Toledo, but have road trips to Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, and Miami.
There’s a decent shot they can win 9 or 10 games, but it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll be entertaining.
Matchup To Watch
#100 Noah Furbush, MICH LB vs. Mike Weber
We’ll start with the showdown between a Michigan linebacker from Ohio and an Ohio State running back from Michigan.
The Game pretty much always comes down to which team runs the ball better. The team that has rushed for more yards per carry on the Saturday after Thanksgiving has won the Ohio State/Michigan game every year since 2002. So yeah, it’s going to be pretty important.
Furbush is a Kenton, Ohio native. If Michigan’s defensive line can tie up the OSU offensive line, then Furbush and his fellow linebackers have a shot to corral the Detroit native Weber.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
The Buckeyes have owned the line of scrimmage for 16 years now, and thus they’ve owned the series, too.