Football

Morning Constitutional: What Will It Take for OSU to Make the Playoffs in 2019?

Ohio State Football Urban Meyer Buckeyes

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.

21 Responses

  1. We were one team who could match up with Clemson or Bama. Definitely better than the Domers or OU. Yes, there’s work to be done but YIKES! with friends like these….

  2. The following are a few thoughts I,ve had on some of our teams short comings. In no way do I know all the hurdles the teams had to overcome behind the scenes. No one elase peck,n a keypad on this board does either.

    For whatever reason I feel pretty good about Day and were we are headed here. I not one to throw blame around. I think that was one of Tressell’s theorys, Something like that plays over… if your wasting time looking back it inhibits your ability to make your next move.

    Im not sure the recent coaches were as much at to blame defensively as the personel turnover the last 3,4 years. Its tough to start over with a new secondary of under classmen every year. There are exceptions but the biggest factor in team strength is experiance. A team full of seniors has a distinct advantage. Thats something we,ll have to deal with on going at Ohio State. It pkayed s factor this season with linebackers and DB,
    On the coaching issue, a lot of people liked to doubt him but the defense has suffered after Fickel left. Also a guy I originally doubted coming from the HS ranks… Kerry Combs has been a loss to. Im not sure either were super game planners but both brought that desire effect. I hope Day an the defensive minds stay with the press coverage. The back seven should have a leg up next season with less turnover this winter.

    Offensively Im not overly excited about Martel, but I ghink Day can take him and win. He should get his chance at least. I think Meyer started out well maintaining the power run gane when he took over. Basically the power spread. If Day gets a way from that he will fail in the B10. Wether it was due to Haskins or lack of physical O linemen they couldn,t impose their will in the run game this past season. From time to tine you can survive without line domination but its rare. Power is still king in the B10..

    On the national scene we will always have extra hurdles to overcome. We get everyones best effort. We also have to overcome espn, Im not sure if its a vendetta from the
    Clarrett saga or ehat… But it sure seemsblike its there. They start lobbying against OSU early in the season an pick their spot throughout the season. They lobby for the sec because they carry their ganes, thats understandable. They do inflate the rankings of the teams in the sec early on. Im not sure how that factors in the end but it cant hurt.

    Hopefully the bew staff takes tgese ohio kids when possible. Tressell used that to destroy ttun,s program. They,dblike to turn yhe tables on that.

    There,s been a surge of energy with every new coach since Woody left… good luck Ryan Day!!. Somebody spell chek that ness

    1. @ D Rose. I think you’ve hit on several critical answers.The first is that there is CERTAINLY a National media bias in favor of the Suck Eggs Conference. Every year it seems like a junk level Miss State team is ranked far above where they have any business being ranked, or they over-inflate the actual caliber of team Georgia is. People can say that the CFB Playoff committee is independent…….but that’s pure bull shark. They are owned and operated by the clunk heads at ESPiN and 247 sports. Create the false scenario of how good those schools are and they can pull the wool over most of America’s eyes who don’t follow their obvious biases every year. If they say that Miss State, Mississippi, Georgia, LSU…………Kentucky (everyone has jokes) are so good, it’s easy for them to mislead the public by and large about just how good that conference actually is. The fact is that they don’t beat up on each other, and they play pathetic OOC competition for the most part.

      I personally think that Tate Martell is a winner. Matt Baldwin is also a damned good passer with better than average wheels. I don’t like the spoiled brat antics of the other guy. I view him as the same self centered persona as Terrell Pryor.

      None of that (the offense) will matter if the defense doesn’t get a LOT better. The recent collapse against teams the Buckeyes should blow out of their own stadiums is essential. The offense will be different, but it’ll still be dynamic. Maybe not AS dynamic but should be able to do enough to win every game if the defense can make the last 2 years Pop Warner standards a thing of the past.

      The Buckeyes will not get the benefit of the doubt…..period. They either win all the games on the schedule or they will be on the outside looking in.

  3. 1) Develop the QB (regardless of who is selected to start) into one of the best in the country. 2) Coach the defense back up to the level of the Silver Bullets. 3) Effectively develop the pieces into a strong unit on the O-line.

  4. Good call, Bill Marks. Loved your grammatical correction. Although I’m not sure many others understood it.

  5. Looking forward to next year, things are not looking good. We are losing 1500 yards in receiving and the quarterback who made many of those yards possible. And based on what I’ve seen of Tate Martel, he’s not CFP material, in the same way J.T. Barrett wasn’t. Big game players are hard to come by. We all remember the years of guys who couldn’t get open. It was real eye opener this year when we had a quarterback who could throw guys open. Turns out receiver were taking the hit for J.T.’s lack of accuracy and arm strength. The year goes down as another blown CFP opportunity. In that sense the horse has left the barn. Who knows when we’ll have another offence like that?

    But along with everyone else, the biggest waste this year in my opinion was on defence. I’ve never seen so many long runs given up because linemen were out of thier lanes, and DBs and linebackers didn’t cover their gaps. There was some miscommunication on who had edge responsibility that would have been embarrassing for high school teams. There were angles take by safeties that just din’t make any sense, in any universe. I’m not seeing it as a talent issue. I’m seeing it as mental issues. Someone needed to grab some of these guys by the shoulders and say “Do your job.”

    So hope for next year comes from the possibility of an improvement on defence. We really can’t hope for an as good or better offence. A safer defence that doesn’t lead the nation in big plays allowed, how hard can it be to set something like that up? We gave up more big plays than teams with a fraction the talent, and in my mind, that’s on the coaches. And it should be easily improve-able. The question being will it be enough improvement to make up for what we’ll be losing on offence? Only time will tell.

    But hey, every year is full of surprises. Only 9 months to wait.

    1. The thing Schiano did this year with the scheme and linebackers was as pathetic idea as I have ever seen. Sure, on some stunts a linebacker will move in to take on a lineman, but to do it on every down early in the season was a pure recipe’ for getting shredded in the second level. Especially so when playing press man coverage. Add in that 1 linebacker was playing “injured” and the other was fundamentally horrendous and always got washed away by any and all opponents who engaged him in blocking………….bang, you have Slippery Rock level defense during their worst years. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but, this was a historically awful defense.

      LOL…..I don’t like bad surprises. I’ll be content when the Buckeye defense doesn’t get bitch slapped by 3rd tier offenses like Purdue or Iowa.

  6. You could start to see the cracks forming in my opinion starting with the 2015 team. The loss of Herman hampered the offense all season. Instead of hiring a top notch OC Urban hires Tim Beck from Nebraska. Yes that juggernaut Nebraska team. What a headscratcher. Beck and Warriner were disasters in 2015 and instead of making changes after that season, they get to ruin the 2016 offense which was capped off by that wonderful performance in the playoffs. So now Urban is pissed and bye bye to Beck and Wariner and in come Day and Wilson. The 2017 offense is much improved but the defense is taking steps backward under Davis and Schiano which carried over into 2018 which greatly contributed to two unacceptable losses. Saban and Dabo are ruthless dudes who demand nothing but excellence. No friends on the staff. Perform or next man gets the chance. Do you think Urban would’ve ever benched Barrett in a national championship game no matter how bad he played? Urban was a great coach no doubt and he was great for Ohio State but I question if he still had the fire after the national championship season. No question Urban underachieved given the talent he has recruited over the last four seasons. If our goal is the big 10 championship and a nice bowl game then great but the standard today is the CFP every season.

  7. We need a whole new committee for OSU to get in and an expansion to an 8 game playoff. Division 1-AA (now FCS) has had a 16 game playoff for years, so it’s hard to argue that an 8 game playoff isn’t doable.

    1. I’m ok with those things, but no, that’s not what we need. We need to beat the teams that we SHOULD beat. Next year, that means we need to be undefeated. We can’t get blown out by Purdue and complain about a bias.

      1. There’s certainly a bias, but you’re right. Going in everyone in America KNOWS that if Ohio State wants even in the conversation (which they weren’t this year), they can’t get swatted by opponents they should roll by 4 scores.

  8. It is painfully obvious that there have been problems with the coaching staffs over the past five years. In 2015 we had 12 players drafted by the NFL and didn’t even make the playoffs. This year we end up #3 at the end of the season and didn’t make it because of the ostrich egg we laid against Purdue. That is extreme underperformance by the coaching staff, IMO. Changes were needed and have been made. Now maybe we’ll see production that matches potential from the highly-rated recruiting classes. I’m excited for the Day era and it looks like it is off to a good start.

  9. Obviously the Bucks can’t get blown out by unranked opponents. That’s a given, but there is also no doubt that the 31-0 loss to Clemson has been hanging around their necks for 2 years in the committees eyes. There is no way this embarassing loss that Bama just suffered to Clemson will go past week 1 next season. The committee showed us that they were going to put Georgia in if Oklahoma had lost to Texas, so there is a big perception gap for OSU to fill and they need to do it quickly. Clemson, Bama and/or the SEC champion is already in next year’s playoff. OSU needs to be dominant all season to assure that they get one of those 2 (or 1) final spots.

    1. Maybe the committee will give Bama the same treatment as the Buckeyes post Clemson —s whooping. If they don’t win the SEC I’m not certain they get a bye – especially if the B1G champ doesn’t lay an egg

  10. Biggest difference between Bama Clemson this year in terms of personal was the LBs and RBs. Our LBs wouldn’t be third string at Alabama. RBs are good but not elite backs like those schools. Our DT depth isn’t there yet either. Not far off though.

    You aren’t winning a national title with Borland.

  11. Specifically in regard to making the 2019 playoffs, OSU faces 2 huge hurdles:

    1) OSU’s non conference schedule next year is vomitous. Alabama does it year after year, you say? Yes, they do, and they don’t get dinged for it. OSU will get dinged for it. If they crush a weak team the response will be that they “should” crush them. If it is within 21 points, then OSU is magically “overrated”. Just one quality non conference opponent would have been important as a potential win.

    2) OSU will get judged on poor past performances, while their good past performances will be forgotten. OSU’s big bowl performance record over the past 15 years is actually really good- and there’s no way in the world anyone can convince me it ‘s “bad”. People will bring up Clemson from what will be 3 years in the past in 2019- but Alabama getting their butts handed to them by the same team THIS YEAR won’t count.

    Basically, the CFP system is horribly flawed and it is hurting a great sport. OSU’s only way in is to maul everyone they can and hope.

    1. The D should be much better next year with a lot of depth and a coaching overhaul. The O will be my concern. Lots of new players and little depth on the O line. The loss of Jordan will hurt almost as much as Haskins. Fortunately Day is an O genius.

  12. The template is there and their called Clemson!

    1. Imagine the score if we had to play them in the NC….YIKES!!! Work to be done!

    2. They’re not their. Their, now I feel better. Wait, I meant there. I’m so confused!

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