96 Days To Football*

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

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first work week of the deadest part of the college football offseason!

Although technically if you’re reading this Friday morning, you’ve only almost made it through the first work week of the deadest part of the college football offseason.

But… ya know… it’s Friday, so things are still pretty good.

Plus, the end of Big Ten preseason football media days is now 96 days away, which marks the start of college football season*.

In case you missed yesterday’s edition, 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.

Plus, we’ll preview one of this season’s 100 biggest personnel matchups.

Greatest Buckeyes Of The Ozone Era

#96 Cameron Johnston

Ohio State punter Cameron JohnstonB-1-G! B-1-G! Yes, we’re ranking a punter among the top 100 Buckeyes of The Ozone era.

Yes, people are likely going to argue that he’s under-ranked. No, he’s not going to be the last punter on this list.

The Big Ten has a brand, and it is strong.

Johnston was an Australian import who served as an incredible weapon on special teams for four straight years.

He never averaged less than 43.9 yards per punt in any season, dropped more than half of his punts inside the 20, and specialized in killing the ball inside the opponent’s 5.

He won first-team all-conference honors, second-team all-America, and was a Ray Guy Award finalist in 2016.

If you want to re-live Cameron Johnston’s incredible career, you can watch a 30-minute highlight video of his work below.

Just as a reminder, college football season is still pretty far away, so this will at least help kill a little time.

Best Games This Fall

#96 Colorado State at Florida, September 15

This doesn’t quite qualify as an “upset alert” but it’s something to at least keep an eye on.

Dan Mullen’s first year in Gainesville figures to be a little bumpy. The Florida program kind of jumped the shark under Jim McElwain, and it may take some time to get it fully back on track.

Meanwhile, McElwain’s other former team in Fort Collins is coming off a 7-6 year where it lost two games by a field goal and another in overtime.

Former Georgia quarterback Mike Bobo replaced McElwain and has actually finished with a 7-6 record in each of his three seasons in charge.

The Rams host Arkansas at home the week before they go to Gainesville, and there’s a decent chance they might be able to upset one of those SEC teams with first-year coaches.

What We Can’t Wait To See

#96 The Herm Edwards Era

It’s possible that hiring a coach who last worked in college in 1989, and who last coached anywhere in 2008 will work out wonderfully for the Sun Devils.

It’s possible that Rutgers could win the national championship this fall.

It’s possible that this was more than a first-time athletic director hiring his old buddy who he once represented as an agent.

It’s possible that the Yellowstone Supervolcano could erupt and we won’t have to worry about football season.

Lots of stuff is possible.

It’s also possible that this turns into college football’s most hilariously epic college football disaster this side of Derek Dooley.

This fall will be full of possibility.

Matchup To Watch

#96 Deonte Roberts, Rutgers MLB vs. Antonio Williams, OSU RB

Williams took huge strides toward becoming a featured back at Ohio State this spring. He said farewell to Honey Buns, dropped weight, and positioned himself as a viable alternative if J.K. Dobbins or Mike Weber goes down to injury.

Unfortunately for Williams, even if he’s one of the five or six-best running backs in the Big Ten – and he might be – he’s also likely only the third-best on his own team.

He should get a chance for extended playing time in a number of the Buckeyes’ early season games.

With the Rutgers game the week before a trip to Texas to face TCU, the Buckeye coaches will want to keep Weber and Dobbins fresh. That should mean a half of action or more for Williams.

Deonte Roberts is the man in the middle for the Rutgers defense. He’s racked up 92 and 96 tackles mainly as a run-stopper the last two seasons. He had an incredible 17 tackles against Michigan State in 2017.

Williams vs. Roberts probably won’t happen in a particularly high-stakes moment, but it should be an entertaining matchup between two guys who deserve more attention than they get.


One Response

  1. There’s some good punters to name. Bartholomew, Buchanan, Trapasso, Sanders, Groom, Johnston (I know I’m missing someone but too lazy to look it up!). For me the best would be between Groom, Buchanan, Johnston, and Sanders. IMPOSSIBLE to go wrong with any of them.

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