Five Predictions for the Second Half of Ohio State’s Season

Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio Stadium

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.

18 Responses

  1. BWA HA HA HA. #4. You’re a fool. Wisconsin’s coach wins 10 games and takes it.

  2. If tuf borland is on the field during the playoffs bucks aint winning the whole thing.

  3. Do my Pre-Dick-shuns lead with my fizzicality? IDK Well, i doo but i will wait for someone to blame to step forward first…. ;-{)}

    Have we played any of our scheduled top 3 2019 opponents yet?

    How long does it take a feel good we’re the greatest bandwagon to go overboard? Over the cliff? Unlearn what we so learned over again from the last time we displayed our manifest emotional craving needs?

    Is there ANY player who has achieved his potential now, midway through this season?

    Are any of our players discouraged by how they are doing this year? How they are feeling now? Apprehensions about the rest of this year? What are ‘we’ doing for each one? How do you ‘help’ when public conjecture is hardly the ‘preferred method’ of ‘helping’?

    What is it when ‘NFL early talk’ starts halfway through a season where we have not yet played our top 3 regular opponents, let alone the BIG CG game or BCS or playoff game[s]?

    Compared to tactics terms and behaviors, what is this “establishing the run”, “shortening the game” et al creeping in from our past mantras/traditions?

    Since we all know a team must “improve the most from game 1 to game 2”, are we required to improve less and less as we play more and more games?

    Are we ‘developing’ some parts of our team ‘more’ than others?

    Fields has done very, very well. Where does he need, and/or the team need, him to improve? We luv stats… are there any that suggest point[s] of departure for improving?

    If ‘reps’ = ‘experience’ and so forth… is ‘shortening the game’ a plus or minus for all our players’ opportunities?

    How exactly does ‘balance’ fit within strategy and/or tactics? Is football a game of out-competing… or ‘out-balancing’?

    IMO in the last couple weeks some of our usual [and FATAL to a champion] foibles and foolish claims have started ‘creeping in’… along with the usual self – distractions.

    But… this is nothing new, is it? So it does show that, once again, there are a few indications that, once again, we have not ‘learned our lesson’.

    We could try… “minimizing” our compulsions to “condemn ourselves” to repeating our history… of ‘being the greatest’ before the season is over…

    AND… we’re playing with that big ugly trinket on some stage somewhere….


  4. I think the Buckeyes will lose to Wisconsin or Penn State. Wisconsin beat MSU much more convincingly than OSU did and Penn State is looking really tough.
    No way the Buckeyes are the best team in the country either, Tony.

    1. Dave, how can you be taken seriously with “No way…?” It appears to be your opinion that they are not the best, and that’s fine. At least give us some reasoning for your subjective “No way…” nonsense.

    2. Hi Dave… R U Dave Right or Dave Left? ;-{)} JK… with one hand…. I don’t have to look very long and deep in my mirror to ‘fear we’ll lose’ to whoever or whatever i conjure up into my beast.

      Nor feed my fear by “really tough” appearances.

      And I ‘so relish’ where my fears ‘lead’… from my stupid pre-dick-shuns to the amazingly foolish “no way” of ‘can’t’.

      nb. I’m speaking only about my self – nice, fair, balanced, loyal fan… that i honestly am…. ;-{)}

      I’d say ‘GO BUCKS’… but u ‘made me’ ‘feel bad.’ LOL

    3. Dave penn states defense looks good but there offense hasn’t showed much of anything close games against Pitt and Iowa. Iowa has no offense. Second I think whisky game is going to be a dog fight but whisky defense hasn’t been tested by any good offense yet and osu score against Michigan st should have been 41-10 so not sure how whisky looked more dominant then osu. They great Taylor was held to 88 yards rushing against Michigan st. Dobbins went for 172 rushing. Osu has looked dominant in every game all yr whisky game we’ll see what they are really made of though. They win that game easily they are a top team in country no doubt.

  5. #4. That’s just crazy talk. 1,2,3 & 5 are all more likely than 4. However, crazy things sometimes happen.

  6. Hey Tony, great stuff as always. I remember thinking last week when I read your predictions that you had a good chance of getting all five right. I’m kind of surprised you ended up 2/5. Hmm, this guessing business must be a tough gig after all.

    As for your Second Half of the Season predictions, I think you will do better than 2/5. My gut tells me you have the first three in the bag. History tells me that #4 will never happen. And #5, well, I feel like it’s superstitious to say it out loud at this point. But, I hope you’re right of course.

  7. Tony when you comment on seeing space and time collapse is that sort of like speed in space because watching UM’s offense I’m still trying to figure out what the hell that is? Sorry to go off topic.

    1. KJS — Speed in space collapses in on itself regardless of any other physics going on. It’s like a slice of cheese. Sure, it can stand up when it’s cold, but once you put a little heat to it, it melts or folds.

  8. Clever article, Tony.

    As to your predictions, I disagree with #4. The B1G always disrespects Ohio State. They’ll find a way to give it to Fleck, or somebody inferior to him.

    As for #5, right on! At first, I was irritated with Arnette for his comments, but after those six games, this team has “Natty” written all over it.

  9. No way Day wins Big 10 Coach of the Year. This award is reserved strictly for Kirk Ferentz. If Tress didn’t win it in 2002 going 14-0 with a National Championship or Urb in 2012 or 2014 then it’s never going to happen again.

  10. What, no Tip Sheet this week? How am I going to make it through the week-end?

  11. They won’t give Day the Coach of the Year award. No way, no how! Not at Ohio State. Wisconsin would get it before Ohio State. It’s not meant for the Alabamas, Ohio States, and traditional blue-bloods of the world.

    1. Charlie — Nick Saban has won the SEC Coach of the Year Award three times at Alabama and once at LSU.

      1. I was referring to B1G Coach of the Year. My bad. I misread.

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