There is no Buckeye football game for me to make predictions about this week, but to paraphrase Jim Tressel regarding recruiting, taking a week off of predicting is like taking a week off of shaving — you’ll end up looking like a bum.
During off weeks, I do many of the same things the coaches are doing right now. I am self scouting. I am evaluating my picks. I don’t do it to get better, because I’m already at the top of my game. I just do it to brag.
Just look at last week. I went an unprecedented 2-for-5 in my predictions for the Michigan State game. That is an unheard of number. I FOIA’d the Predictor’s Guild Database to see if a 2-for-5 has ever been done before, but since they are a private club, they do not fall under the Freedom of Information Act. I have solicited a hacker to get me that database, however, and when I do get my hands on that database, you guys will be the first to know it.
So let’s get to the amazing results from last week before I go ahead and spoil the rest of the season for you.
Prediction 1: Justin Fields will have a career-high in passing yards.
Outcome: Failed it. Or, more precisely, the Ohio State offensive line failed it by being so damn dominant on the ground.
Prediction 2: Ohio State will have at least one rush of 20 or more yards.
Outcome: Nailed it. In fact, everybody who carried the ball for the Buckeyes had at least one 20-yard carry.
Prediction 3: Brian Lewerke will be held under 35 yards rushing by the first-team defense.
Outcome: Nailed it. Brian Lewerke was held to a loss of four yards.
Prediction 4: At least three Buckeye receivers will score.
Outcome: Failed it, but hear me out. I specifically said in that prediction “For clarification’s sake, anybody who catches a pass is a receiver. Just an FYI. Even the defense.” Jordan Fuller did intercept a pass and he did score, but because I don’t want to see space and time collapse in on themselves by correctly predicting three items, I will accept the loss here.
Prediction 5: Malik Harrison will have at least 1.5 tackles for loss.
Outcome: Failed it. Malik Harrison finished a half a TFL short.
For the season, I am now at a record pace, having correctly predicted 16 of my 25 predictions.
Not even Ted Williams had a .640 season.
And now, we move on to the rest of our lives.
1. The Buckeyes won’t get three cornerbacks on the first team All-Big Ten team, but they should.
I was actually trying to get myself to predict the opposite, but I don’t see the voters being that smart. We know Jeff Okudah will be there because he gets the hype, but I’m not sure anybody in the nation is playing better than Damon Arnette. And we all know Shaun Wade has played lights out this season as well. They’ll all deserve it and probably all land within the first two teams, but if there was a cornerback draft held in the Big Ten, you’re looking at the first three picks.
2. Ohio State will have a special teams touchdown.
Over the last four-and-a-half seasons, Ohio State has scored just one special teams touchdown, and that came on a punt block in last year’s Michigan game. The last kickoff return for the Buckeyes was by Jordan Hall in 2010 and the last punt return touchdown was in 2014 by Jalin Marshall. The Buckeyes are clearly due here, but I think we can all rule out a kickoff return, unless Jameson Williams gets another shot in a blowout later this season. If you give Garrett Wilson 10 returns, he will take one of them to the house over the next nine games. Ultimately, however, this might be a case of Chase Young blocking a field goal and somebody picking it up and running it back.
3. Chase Young will break the Ohio State school record in sacks.
Speaking of Chase Young, he now has 8.5 sacks, which is 5.5 away from tying Vernon Gholston’s school record. He has tallied at least a half a sack in each game this season. In fact, if you go back to last year when he had at least one sack in the last three games of the season, he has now gone nine games in a row of dropping a quarterback in the backfield. Joey Bosa’s best mark was five games in a row, which he did twice. Nick Bosa had six games in a row spanning the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but never did better than three games in a row in the same season.
4. Ryan Day will win the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award.
The last Ohio State head coach to win the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award was Earle Bruce in 1979. If a Buckeye head coach was ever going to win this award again, it would have happened in 2002 with Jim Tressel or 2012 with Urban Meyer. But aside from those two times, if a Buckeye head coach was ever really going to win the award again, it would be with a first-time head coach in his first full seasons at Ohio State. It also doesn’t hurt that the voting media really has no preconceived thoughts on him regarding his attitude or treatment of the media. *This prediction is null and void if Minnesota wins 10 games.
5. Ohio State will win the College Football Playoffs.
Let’s face it, Ohio State is the most complete team in the nation right now. Clemson is looking for an offensive identity, Alabama is young on defense and is having trouble running the ball, Oklahoma has a Big XII defense, Georgia may win the SEC with two losses, and LSU has a quarterback who would never stab Ohio State in the back twice. The Buckeyes have the right mix of talent, coaching, scheme, demeanor, veterans, and defense. There is more to like at Ohio State right now than anywhere else, even the prohibitive preseason Big Ten favorite Michigan Wolverines.