We are now just Dre’Mont Jones number of days away from the end of Big Ten Football Media Days. Or, for you older folks, we are now Dimitrious Stanley number of days away. In 83 days, we will once again be Dimitrious Stanley days away because Stanley wore two different jersey numbers while a Buckeye.
Tomorrow we’ll be Nuge number of days away. The day will probably start out terrible, but get better as the day goes on. By dinner time, it could arguably be the best day ever.
But that’s a countdown for another day. Today is the day for this countdown. Yesterday was also a day for a countdown, so 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
#86 Corey Linsley, 2009-2013
Ohio State’s 2009 recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten thanks to national names like Dorian Bell, Jaamal Berry, and Duron Carter, but it was the Ohio backbone of guys like C.J. Barnett, Marcus Hall, Jack Mewhort, Zach Boren, John Simon, and Corey Linsley who would set the tone for Urban Meyer’s first two seasons at Ohio State.
Meyer’s first spring at Ohio State brought with it many questions, including who would be starting at center. On the first day of spring, fourth-year junior Corey Linsley was there with the ones and he never wavered once. He was the only guy on the team who touched the ball more than quarterback Braxton Miller. He was named Honorable Mention All-B1G in 2012.
He came back even better in 2013. Linsley was one of five players selected to be a team captain and was named first-team all-Big Ten Conference by both the coaches and media. He was a major reason the Buckeyes ranked fifth nationally in rushing in 2013 (308.6 yards per game) and shattered school records for points scored (637), touchdowns (87) and touchdown passes (38). Additionally, Ohio State averaged an all-time program high 6.8 yards per carry that year.
Linsley was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has started all 54 games in which he has played. In December, he signed a three-year, $25.5 million contract extension.
Best Games This Fall
#86 Virginia Tech at Pitt
Virginia Tech and Pitt will battle for ACC Coastal Supremacy this year, which is like battling for best gas station pizza.
The last four games between Virginia Tech and Pitt have been decided by a total of 16 points, and none of them have been decided by more six points. They may not always be pretty, but they have at least been coming down to the wire of late.
The Hokies have won two in a row, but the series is even at 3-3 over the last six years. If we consider this a game seven, that would maybe give it some extra weight.
The Panthers do get one extra day to prepare for this November 10 matchup, as they play at Virginia on a Friday the week before hosting the Hokies.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#86 Ohio State Freshman Receiver Kamryn Babb
The Buckeyes landed a verbal commitment from 5-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson Sunday night. He’s very, very good, and has some Buckeye fans lamenting the fact that they won’t get to see him until the 2019 season.
You might not have to wait that long to see somebody like him, however. Incoming freshman receiver Kamryn Babb has a similar frame (6-1 189), but looks a little stronger after the catch. Babb missed his senior season with a torn ACL last August, but should be good to go for the Buckeyes this season.
Finding playing time won’t be easy, especially playing the same position as Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon. A large number of blowouts will help.
When Babb does get the ball, you’ll see a decisive runner who can make defenders look silly.
Matchup To Watch
#86 PSU MLB vs. OSU QB
This matchup is going to be huge, but currently it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, dipped in chocolate, and deep fried.
(I just added that last part because I was thinking of the Ohio State Fair.)
Linebacker Jason Cabinda was a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions’ defense, racking up 269 tackles over that span. Replacing Cabinda won’t be easy, but Penn State should have it figured out by the time the Buckeyes head to Happy Valley on September 29.
Of course, replacing multi-year starters is also a problem facing Ohio State. Quarterback J.T. Barrett is off to the NFL now, leaving Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow to pick up where he left off.
If the Buckeyes are going to win a division or conference or national title, this matchup will factor in heavily.