Today’s Topic: What Will It Take for OSU to Make the Playoffs in 2019?
With Clemson’s blowout win over Alabama in last night’s College Football Playoff championship game, we have put another season in the books. Which also means preparation for the 2019 season starts today.
Even though there is a new head coach at Ohio State, you can expect the goals to remain the same. That goal will be a Big Ten title, and then whatever that win ends up bringing along with it.
The last two seasons, however, it failed to bring the playoffs.
So how does Ryan Day fix that?
Well, the first rule of Big Ten Fight Club is not to get blown out on the road against a Big Ten West opponent. This rule has not been followed the last two years, which is why OSU’s seasons have ended in the Cotton and Rose Bowl the last two years, respectively.
This is first and foremost on the blackboard of dos and don’ts.
The Buckeyes can still lose on the road next year, say at Nebraska, and they’ll be fine. They just can’t get blown out. They can’t let people think this is the same program that they justifiably kept out the previous two seasons.
Day and this Ohio State football team have to show that things have changed on the field, just as they have changed off the field.
Just as Clemsoning is now a thing of the past, the Buckeyes too have to move on from their embarrassing slip-ups from the previous couple of years.
Day also needs to have a top three Big Ten defense because he has top one Big Ten talent.
There is a reason the defensive staff is going to look a lot different in 2019 than it looked in 2018. Allowing 25 points per game is unacceptable and making the same mistakes week after week has to go away.
The Ohio State defense was broken and Day has gone about trying to fix it.
This was necessary and should bring improvements that will help in a playoff chase.
Offensively, there are three quarterbacks vying for the job, three offensive linemen saying goodbye, and a handful of veteran receivers doing the same. This is going to be a different offense, but nobody expects it to be anything other than dynamic.
Each week, the Buckeye offense should do enough to keep this team ranked in the top four. The special teams benefited from Urban Meyer’s focus, so it will be key for that emphasis to remain as important as it ever has been. Defensively, it’s time for this group to get back to its play-making ways.
The more plays the defense makes, the more likely they will be playoff bound.
But even if the defense still gives up 25 points per game, just don’t lose by more than two touchdowns on the road.
It shouldn’t be that hard, even though it’s been impossible the last two seasons.
Road games at Nebraska, Northwestern, and Michigan are the biggest concerns, but good luck to those defenses against the offense that Ohio State will put on the field next year.
There should no longer be such a thing as a ‘trap game’ for this program, and if the Buckeyes can simply avoid that random hiccup, the schedule is quite manageable.
The road to the playoffs is actually pretty simple — don’t lay an egg and you won’t have to worry about it hatching on your face.