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2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

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2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby Toxicadam » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:38 pm

Ohio State opened 2010 by cruising to a comfortable Rose Bowl win over Oregon, and passed two longstanding barriers in the process: a) After four straight losses in high-profile non-conference games since 2006, the Buckeyes finally snapped the streak against top-10 teams, and b) Quarterback Terrelle Pryor finally shed the "potential" label with the best game of his career, establishing new career highs for attempts (37) and yards (266) while adding another 72 yards on the ground to secure his place at the top of next year's Heisman list.

In all, the sophomore phenom accounted for just over 80 percent of OSU's 419 total yards -- easily the most Ohio State has gained against a ranked team since the 2006 win over Michigan. Not coincidentally, that triumph against the Wolverines stands as both the high-point of Tressel Ball and the last time the buttoned-down, run-first philosophy yielded to the exceptional talents of a multi-faceted quarterback. With Pryor suddenly qualifying as a veteran, and with November wins over conference rivals Penn State and Iowa -- both of which finished in the top 10 in every major poll after January bowl wins of their own -- adding to the sense that the nation's most notorious chokers have turned a corner in big games, the preseason polls are almost certain to have the Buckeyes right back at the front of the national championship race next fall.

With the hot finish and veteran lineup coming back, it was inevitable: If there's any year in the immediate future Ohio State is going to breakthrough after being quickly relegated to the also-ran heap in the last two, this is it.

Part of that optimism comes from the sheer volume of returning talent: OSU gets back nine offensive starters, including the top four running backs, top three receivers and four-fifths of the offensive line, and loses a little less than 8 percent of its total yards for the season with the departures of tight end Jake Ballard and receiver Ray Small. But it's also due to the slight uptick in that talent over the last two recruiting cycles, the first time under Tressel that OSU has moved beyond "Big Ten elite" into the national elite:



The only program with a better haul over the last two years is Alabama, whose young stars just played a major role in delivering a national championship to Tuscaloosa ahead of schedule. There's a reason the Tide look like an overwhelming favorite to open next season at No. 1. Ohio State can be right there with them, and not only because of Pryor: Touted classmates DeVier Posey, Mike Webster, J.B. Shugarts are on the brink of maturing into All-Americans at the same time, with a hyped transfer (former Michigan guard Justin Boren) and reliable vets Brandon Saine, Dan Herron and Dane Sanzenbacher rounding out the most explosive Buckeye offense since the 2006 team that scored at least 35 points nine times and went coast-to-coast as No. 1 before running into Florida in the BCS title game.

That game, of course -- along with the championship loss to LSU a year later and the 35-3 humiliation at USC in early 2008 -- has loomed over the program like a plague, and will continue to some extent until the Buckeyes finally take out a truly elite non-conference power (sorry, Oregon) in a BCS game. Nebraska faced the same bogus hurdle in the eighties and nineties -- Midwesterners "can't compete with Southern speed" -- until the 'Huskers dominated Miami, Florida and Tennessee to cap three undefeated, national championship seasons in a four-year span from 1994-97. Mack Brown was a "couldn't win the big one" figure at Texas, dogged by a lopsided losing streak against Oklahoma, until he added a difference-making athlete, Vince Young, and turned him loose to devastating effect in 2005.

With the '08 class coming of age, Ohio State is in better position to put the skeptics in their place than at any other point in Tressel's tenure; with All-American Cameron Heyward back on the defensive line and Pryor's eye certain to wander to the draft at the end of his junior campaign, 2010 is the Bucks' best shot (and maybe its last for another two or three years) to make good again.


http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/b ... aaf,214542

:yessss:
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby jb » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:09 pm

If there's any year in the immediate future Ohio State is going to breakthrough after being quickly relegated to the also-ran heap in the last two, this is it.


So BCS bowls qualify as "also-ran" status?

:fu:
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:24 pm

Sure JB,

Sincerely,

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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:33 pm

Fuck yeah it's the year of the Buckeye.

We're gonna win the whole fuckin thing.

And we're gonna beat the SEC in Title game to do it.
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby danwismar » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:02 pm

OSU fans are no doubt surprised to learn that Mike Webster will be playing on their offensive line this year.

Thought he was dead.
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby DrPoove » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:47 pm

"Let's not start sucking each others dicks just yet, gentlemen."

But it is set up very nicely on paper. No reason expectation shouldn't be high. But let's wait until August.
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby osucrazy18 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:43 pm

im expecting it in Football AND basketball
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby pod2dawg » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:09 am

The table is set.

Pryor has/is developing as a passer.

tVest is going to open up the playbook.

The D will be nasty.

:dingle:
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby neoleo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:28 pm

osucrazy18 wrote:im expecting it in Football AND basketball


No Way Turner comes back, but boy would that be a nasty team if he did.

I just hope Matta has the balls to plant Lauderdale on the bench where his soft ass belongs and starts Sullinger in his place. We know Matta doesn't like the 2 big man lineup, and although Sullinger might be more of a true 4, he's not going to play with Lauderdale so he better replace him. I'm tired of watching Lauderdale play 30 minutes and get 2 rebounds and 1 block while committing three stupid offensive fouls away from the ball.

My other concern is PG play. If Turner doesn't come back, we're starting true freshman Aaron Craft at the point, or one of Buford or Lighty takes over the Turner point forward role. Both of those scenarios worry me to be honest.
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Re: 2010: The Year of the Buckeye?

Unread postby neoleo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:34 pm

pod2dawg wrote:The table is set.

Pryor has/is developing as a passer.

tVest is going to open up the playbook.

The D will be nasty.

:dingle:


I'm so excited for our offense. Running back depth is sick with Boom and Saine back, plus Hall, Martin and Berry from this year and Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde coming in next year. Wide Receiver returns Lil Dane and Posey plus Carter if his grades are right and by all accounts Chris Fields was the highlight of bowl practices. Plus there's speedster James Jackson and Taurian Washington still hanging around. That's not counting the incoming freshman. And we returned 4/5ths of the line with Adams, Miller and Hall all having starting experience.

It's all there to let Pryor make plays, just like the Rose Bowl. I love those quick little tosses out to the wide outs to let our athletes make plays. That eventually opens up the middle of the field for our running game to pick up huge chunks and for the little Anthony Gonzalez slants that Tressel loves to call.
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