Football

99 Days To Football*

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

99 days to Big Ten Media Days, 99 days days to Big Teeeeennnn, take one down, pass it around…

The end of Big Ten preseason football media days is now 99 days away, which means the countdown to the start of college football season* is now down to double digits.

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

#99 Anthony Schlegel

Ohio State linebacker Anthony Schlegel
Anthony Schlegel

Schlegel started his playing career at the Air Force Academy, serving as a team captain during his sophomore season.

He transferred to OSU following that year.

He played two seasons for the Buckeyes, racking up 84 and 82 tackles alongside A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter in 2004 and 2005.

Schlegel played for the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL, recording 34 career tackles as a pro.

After retiring, he returned to Ohio State to serve as an assistant strength coach.

His tenure was slightly more memorable than the typical behind-the-scenes assistant.

Anthony Schlegel Strength Coach
Don’t run onto the field, kids.

In 2014, a fan ran onto the playing field at Ohio Stadium during the OSU-Cincinnati game.

The fan managed to evade security, but he wasn’t so lucky when he got to Schlegel.

The former linebacker showed the he still knew how to stick and wrap up, driving the fan into the turf.

Schlegel now runs his own business, selling strength and conditioning equipment to colleges across the nation.

Best Games This Fall

#99 Notre Dame vs Navy, October 27

This is theoretically a Navy home game, although it will be played in San Diego.

At one point, this was an automatic win for Notre Dame every season. The Irish beat the Midshipmen 43 straight times from 1964-2006.

But after Paul Johnson rebuilt the Mids from laughingstock to knee-bruising terrors, the series has been far more competitive.

Starting with a 46-43 triple-OT win that snapped the streak in 2007, Navy has actually won 6 against the Irish and lost only 5.

Notre Dame has a chance to be part of the playoff discussion this fall, meaning that a Navy upset could have major national implications.

This would be a lot higher on the list if the Irish didn’t have a week off before this game to rest, heal up, and prepare its defense for the option game.

What We Can’t Wait To See

#99 Year One For Jeremy Pruitt

Tennessee’s fire drill of a coaching search settled on Pruitt, who had previously served as Alabama’s defensive coordinator.

SEC teams hiring former Nick Saban assistants have seen their selections go one of two ways: 1) Hilarious disaster or 2) Kirby Smart.

The list of disasters includes Tennessee hiring Derek Dooley and Florida hiring both Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain.

Saban is 12-0 against his former assistants, including the national title game win over Smart.

Pruitt walks into a total mess in Knoxville. The Vols have not recruited particularly well recently and they’re coming off an 0-8 season in the SEC.

It’s entirely possible that they could go 0-for-2018 in conference play as well.

Pruitt will ultimately get the Vols at least back to respectability, but getting back to the top of the East will be tough.

Smart has a big head start in Athens, and Dan Mullen walks into a far better situation in Gainesville than Pruitt does.

Matchup To Watch

#99 Joe Bachie, MSU MLB vs. Ohio State QB

The second half of this matchup is still a little bit TBD. But no matter whether Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins, or Tate Martell is taking snaps at that point, this will be a big one.

Bachie was a breakout star for the Spartans in 2017, racking up 100 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks.

However, he was almost a total non-factor in MSU’s blowout loss in Columbus.

He had just four tackles that day as the Buckeyes ran over, around and through the Green and White defense.

Bachie should be the starting middle linebacker for the Spartans this season, meaning he’ll be tasked with containing the quarterback run.

If he can’t make his presence felt this year, the Buckeyes could run wild again.