This is the 37th in a series of 100 daily posts, a Countdown to College Football. (Sort of.)
The difficult thing about having a series that runs for 100 days in a row is coming up with 100 different intros. Fortunately, since Tony Gerdeman and I are doing this thing together, that only means 50 a piece. And I’m pretty sure I can get away with running the same intro twice or just stealing one of Gerd’s old ones, which cuts my total number of intros down to 25, which is still a whole hell of a lot.
I’ll probably have to wait a while before re-running this one, however, because it has turned out pretty good so far.
Anyway, if you missed yesterday’s edition, you can find it right here.
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
#64 Corey “Philly” Brown, 2010-2013
One of two Corey Browns from Pennsylvania on the team at the time, the wide receiver “Philly” was a more consistent contributor than “Pitt”, who played safety.
Philly spent two quiet seasons in Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman offenses before turning into a significant threat after Urban Meyer’s arrival.
He put up 765 and 813 total yards in his two years with Meyer, scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.
Philly was Meyer’s first Buckeye starter at the H position, then known as “the Percy Harvin role.”
His biggest game in 2012 came in the season finale against Michigan, where he put up 95 receiving yards and a score.
In 2013, he scored two touchdowns in a 31-24 thriller over Wisconsin, including a 40-yard bomb just one second before halftime.
Brown put up more than 1,000 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in three seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
He also had an 86-yard touchdown reception in a divisional playoff game, and had 80 yards receiving in the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss.
Best Games This Fall
#64 Stanford at Oregon, September 22
Washington has to be considered the favorite to win the Pac-12 North this fall, but if they don’t, this game will probably decide who does.
New Ducks coach Mario Cristobal has star quarterback Justin Herbert back.
Herbert averaged 9.6 yards per attempt last season. (That’s good). But when he missed five games with an injury, the Ducks went 1-4. (That’s bad). But then he came back and they started winning again. (That’s good). The toppings contain potassium benzoate. (That’s bad). But Herbert is healthy again this year. (That’s good).
Stanford has its own star player returning from injury, running back Bryce Love.
Love rolled up insane rushing stats (2,118 rushing yards in a season! 263 vs. UCLA! 301 vs. Arizona State!) before rolling his ankle last fall.
He still finished second in the Heisman voting.
This game should have a fun mixture of offenses scoring a whole lot of points.
And with an outside shot that one of these teams could make a push for a playoff spot, it could be more than just entertaining viewing.
What We Can’t Wait To See
#64 Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M
Look, I can’t guarantee that this will end badly. But if you had to design a coaching marriage to end badly, this wouldn’t be a bad start.
Take a coach who seemed to possibly be backsliding at his previous stop. Move him to a new school with very limited top-level success in the past two decades, but expectations that go way beyond that.
Then give him a ludicrous contract.
Jimbo Fisher is basically Jim Harbaugh, if Harbaugh actually had a history of developing NFL quarterbacks.
Texas A&M boosters are quite certain that the level of play from that one magical Johnny Manziel season is where they belong all the time. But here’s the thing: they’ve won 10 or more games once since 1998. That one magical year was it.
They gave Fisher a 10-year guaranteed contract with an annual salary of the GDP of Luxembourg, so they’re expecting a big bump up from the last guy.
Kevin Sumlin got fired for the terrible crime of only winning 8 games a year.
Fisher might get a one-year grace period, but that’s about it. He needs to start winning big, and he needs to do it soon.
There’s a pretty good chance things could start getting weirder than normal in College Station as he pulls out all the stops to get there.
Matchup To Watch
#64 Jonathan Banks TUL QB vs. Isaiah Pryor
The Tulane game is definitely the least compelling one on the Buckeyes’ 2018 schedule.
Oregon State will be a blowout, but at least it’s a Power 5 team and the season opener.
Tulane has one of the five greatest mascots in college football going for it and… that’s about it.
Head coach Willie Fritz parlayed a couple seasons of option-based success at Georgia Southern into the Tulane job, and still runs a similar offense today.
Jonathan Banks is the trigger-man. He rushed for 592 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2017, along with 1,797 yards passing and 12 touchdowns through the air.
The Kansas State transfer will be a senior this fall, and should be even more dangerous at the helm of the offense.
Isaiah Pryor is the likely starter at boundary safety for the Buckeyes this fall. He may be tasked with helping stop both ends of Banks’ dual threat profile.
In run support, he’ll have to help keep contain to prevent big plays. In pass coverage, he’ll have to be careful not to get fooled by play action and let a receiver get behind him.
There’s very little chance Tulane gives Ohio State a four-quarter scare this fall. But if the defense can’t contain Banks, it could be competitive longer than expected.