91 Days To Football*

This is the tenth in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.) 

The start of college football season* is now just 91 days away.

Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago will be over, and the real start of football season will be here.

Any time I have a work trip scheduled, I always check the schedule for that city’s sports teams to see if I can catch a game while I’m in town.

The Cubs will be home that week, which initially seemed like a good thing. But then I remembered that Gerd is a Cubs fan.

Going to a game at Wrigley with him will quickly devolve into 3+ hours of him nudging me, pointing at the “2016 World Champions” flag flying over the stadium and going “Hey, do you see that? Pretty cool!”

Baseball’s lovable losers are now neither of those things. Why couldn’t the stupid White Sox have been in town instead?

If you want help killing another 10 minutes before football season, check out yesterday’s edition.

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

#91 Craig Krenzel, 1999-2003

A Utica, Michigan native, Krenzel headed south of the border before that was a trendy thing to do. He redshirted during the disastrous 1999 season, and then barely played in either of the next two years.

However before the 2001 Illinois game, starting QB Steve Bellisari was suspended. Backup Scott McMullen got the nod, but was ineffective. Krenzel came in off the bench and played well enough in that loss to earn a start the following week in Ann Arbor.

He went 11-for-18 for 118 yards against the Wolverines, but that was enough for the Buckeyes to win in Michigan Stadium for the first time in seven tries.

Craig Krenzel touchdown 2003 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State
It wasn’t always pretty, but he got it done.

The next year, Krenzel helped lead the Buckeyes to a 14-0 season and a national title. He went just 7-for-21 in the Fiesta Bowl win over Miami, but was named MVP of the game on the strength of 81 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

He finished his career with more than 5,000 yards of total offense and a record of 26-3 as a starting quarterback.

Krenzel played six games with the Chicago Bears in 2004, throwing for 718 yards and 3 touchdowns. While those numbers would have ranked him as the greatest New Browns quarterback, he never played in the NFL after that year.

He returned to Columbus after retiring, where he has done work in local media and is now a Principal at an insurance company.

Best Games This Fall

#91 Kentucky at Florida, September 8

In 2007, after nearly a quarter-century of work, Boston completed The Big Dig.

In 2008, after years of waiting and false starts, Guns N Roses finally released Chinese Democracy.

In 2017, the first leg of New York’s Second Avenue subway line opened, a mere 45 years after work started.

Why are we talking about these in an article about football?

Because sometimes, just when you’re convinced something is just never going to happen, it finally does.

In 1987, Kentucky beat Florida, 10-3. It snapped a six-game Gator win streak in the series.

Kentucky, clearly relieved to see that seemingly endless losing streak come to an end, may have celebrated the win a little too hard.

Florida has won the last 31 games in the series.

Last year looked like it would be the year the streak ended. The Wildcats had a 27-14 lead with under 9 minutes to play.

They had a 27-21 lead with under a minute to go, but botched a substitution, leaving a Florida WR totally uncovered. He scored from 5 yards out, and the Gators won again, 28-27.

Maybe this is the year The Great Pumpkin shows up. Maybe this is the year the Wildcats end the streak. Maybe this is the year Godot arrives.


What We Can’t Wait To See

#91 Late-Night Hawaii Football

To a small, but devoted group of college football cultists, the name Robert Kekaula is pure magic.

He announces Hawaii football home games, which are generally only available in Ohio on dodgy internet streams.

The broadcasts aren’t what you’d call “high-production” but they have their charms, chief among them is Kekaula.

His personality is infectious and his shirts are always fantastic.

These games represent the opportunity to wring the last few drops of college football out of weekend.

If you are the type of person who wishes a college football Saturday would never end, late-night Hawaii football at least helps you extend it a few hours into Sunday.

Matchup To Watch

#91 Purdue QB To Be Named Later vs. Chase Young

We touched on Purdue’s return to college football relevance yesterday, but it’s worth repeating.

If you glanced through the 2018 Ohio State scheduled and immediately circled the date in West Lafayette as a sure win for the Buckeyes, you may not be paying attention.

The Boilermakers should be somewhere between “watchable” and “pretty decent” this fall, but their starting quarterback job is still somewhat up in the air.

David Blough is the presumed favorite to win the job, but is coming off a gruesome ankle injury last fall and was limited some during spring ball.

Elijah Sindelar, who split time with Blough in 2017, missed the spring following knee surgery.

Blough completed 65 percent of his throws for 7 yards per pass, and added another 100 yards on the ground. He’s not Tate Martell as a runner, but he’s not far off from another Buckeye quarterback we talked about a few paragraphs up.

Containing the Purdue offense will come down to an effective pass rush. If Young and the rest of the OSU defensive line and others can force Blough or Sindelar to rush their throws, it could go a long way toward avoiding an upset in West Lafayette.