Analyzing Ohio State fans’ bold predictions for the 2023 college football season

COLUMBUS, Ohio — All right, football season is here.

Instead of giving you another set of bold predictions, after the set I did in January, I figured it would be best to get some predictions from you all and analyze those.

Many of you had the same prediction ideas about Ohio State’s record, so I only took one of those to analyze and then gave my own.

But there were some hot takes and bold predictions in this, so well done. Let’s jump into some of them, now.

Eric F.

The much-hyped QB battle is much ado about nothing as the offensive line play is so bad the team struggles to run or complete mid and deep passes as the QBs have no time. The OSU defense looks great against weak teams but gets torched in losses to Notre Dame and Michigan. The team is more competitive in a loss to Penn State as OSU loses a tight contest there. Fans call for Ryan Day’s head after another embarrassing loss to Michigan but OSU rewards him with a contract extension anyway.

Analysis: OK, so a few things here.

On the offensive line play, I understand the concern. One thing I don’t worry about here is the running game. You could see it in the spring, this offensive line is a group that should be very good at run blocking, and it will help to have five running backs to pick from. That starts inside, but Josh Fryar and Josh Simmons are two good tackles who can get to the second level on outside zone and stretch plays. Simmons has been taking linebackers out during preseason camp, to the surprise of the other linemen like Fryar.

As for if the quarterbacks will have time to throw, time will tell on that. That’s hard to gauge in practice because Ohio State’s defensive line is the real deal. It’s one of the major things I’ll be looking at against Indiana.

As for the record, I don’t want to double-dip on the record stuff, so I’ll save those opinions for later.

USATSI 17448421 1 scaled e1693481934144

Kyle McCord will start at quarterback for Ohio State on Saturday against Indiana. (Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)

John H.

OL peaks at the right time, DL has two All-Americans, safeties amaze, WRs as advertised, backfield stays healthy. Pain for opponents.

Analysis: Ohhh, two All-Americans on the defensive line. If that’s the case, one of them has to be JT Tuimoloau, right? The second candidate, in my opinion, is Mike Hall Jr.

Ohio State talks about him like he’s the next big thing, and he should be if he can stay healthy. We talked to Hall on Wednesday evening; he’s slimmed down a bit, and you can tell. He told the media members he is down to 19 percent body fat and is just more than 280 pounds. He could have a dynamic year. Big Ten honors are certainly on the table and maybe an All-America year if he stays healthy. That’s the key for him, as it is for everybody, but we saw Hall healthy against Notre Dame last year. He can do that every game if he’s healthy, and that’s no exaggeration.

Rob W.

An early season loss at Notre Dame and another loss to Penn State, but Day has revenge with a win in Ann Arbor.

Analysis: There were a lot of people in these bold predictions claiming that Ohio State is going to lose to Notre Dame, so I want to start with that part.

Where is this coming from? Was Notre Dame’s 42-3 win against Navy that big of a deal? It was a blowout, sure, but before I’m ready to say that Notre Dame is going to upset one of the most talented teams in the country that has two first-round draft picks at receiver, I’d like to see the Irish defend a pass. Navy threw seven passes in the game. Ohio State could exceed that on the first drive. I’m not sure the Irish have the horses to go four quarters with Ohio State this year. And that’s coming from a Sam Hartman fan.

As for Penn State and Michigan, both games will be tough even if Penn State is at home. I do believe Ohio State will split those two games.

We’re also overlooking a night game Oct. 28 at Wisconsin, the week after Penn State. That won’t be an easy one.

Gnilly 9

Dallan Hayden leads the Buckeyes in rushing yards this year. Carnell Tate has more receptions than Julian Fleming. Offense averages more rushing yards per game than passing yards.

Analysis: Hayden is not leading the Buckeyes in rushing unless something drastic happens to Treveyon Henderson. He’s going to have a big year, I have no doubt about that. He spoke to the media on Wednesday, and you could hear it in his voice. He’s ready to go. I spoke to him afterward, as well, and he’s also really high on the rest of the running backs. Don’t be surprised if you see a combination of them all in different games. He loves the versatility everybody brings to the offense.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Tate carves out a major role by the midway point of the season, so I could see this happening but don’t sleep on Fleming. He has a skillset Ohio State can, and will, utilize this season.



Can Julian Fleming deliver on 5-star potential? What he’s learned through setbacks at OSU

The last of those predictions is a good one to consider seeing as Ohio State has five running backs and is just now naming its starting quarterback. But in Day’s tenure, Ohio State has averaged more rushing yards than passing yards just once, in 2019. With the talent at receiver, I don’t see that happening again, but it will be closer to even.

Braden R.

Ohio State loses to TTUN in the regular season but gets a rematch in the CFP where they win. The Buckeyes then take on Georgia in the national championship and get a win in the rematch from last year.

Analysis: Oh, this is a dream scenario for some Ohio State fans, I’m sure. Most would rather beat Michigan both times, but taking it out in the semifinal would set a lot of TV records and then a chance at revenge against Georgia. That would be perfect for the Buckeyes.

Lee J.

Shades of 2014. One loss by midseason. Lincoln Kienholz becomes the starting QB at some point. Beat Michigan, win BigTen and national championship to bookend four-team Playoff era.

Analysis: Hahahahaha. You really did take the word “bold” in the bold predictions to heart. There is no chance that Kienholz becomes the starting quarterback. Well, I guess I won’t say never because if Kyle McCord, Devin Brown and Tristan Gebbia get hurt, Kienholz is up, but that’s unlikely to happen. I applaud your creativity! As for beating Michigan, winning the Big Ten and a national championship, none of that would surprise me.

Brett S.

Top-five defense. Lorenzo Styles All-American. C.J. Hicks All-BIG — splits LB job with Steele Chambers and plays Jack. Neither leaves the field.

Analysis: Top-five defense isn’t out of the realm of possibility. They were in the top five in total defense for much of last season and finished 12th despite struggles against Michigan and Georgia. If Ohio State can cut down on the big plays, it should be able to make that jump.

I don’t think Styles makes the jump as an All-American, and I’m certain Hicks isn’t splitting linebacker snaps with Chambers. He might rotate in, but “split?” There’s no chance.

I do like the thought of Hicks playing Jack for the Buckeyes, depending on how much it’s used this year.

Michael M: Marvin Harrison Jr. is a Heisman finalist, and Ohio State leads the Big Ten in interceptions.

Analysis: The first one isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but it’s hard for receivers because they can’t solely rely on their skill. I’ll stick with it, however, because it was one of my predictions this offseason.

As for the interceptions, let’s talk about them.

Since Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette left for the NFL Draft, Ohio State’s cornerbacks have been lacking in the interception department. They had none last season. They had five in 2021, two from Ryan Watts, one from Denzel Burke and one from Cameron Brown. Then there was 2020 when the corners had three, combined with two from Shaun Wade and one from Sevyn Banks.

I know you didn’t mention the corners would lead the Big Ten, but this has been on my mind so I’m going on a rant, I apologize. The corners this year, should beat all of those numbers from the last three years.

Burke is due for a breakout year, Davison Igbinosun is a playmaker with long arms and good ball skills, and then there’s Jordan Hancock has been terrific this spring. Burke told me that Hancock is “the best off corner I’ve ever seen.” That’s high praise from a player like Burke who people are talking about as potentially one of the best in the conference.

I know it’s easy to just look at last year and say, “Oh this secondary stinks,” but I urge you to buy stock in these corners now. I like this trio a lot. We’ll see if it translates on the field, but I beleieve it will.



Ohio State camp concludes: 5 things we know, 3 things we don’t about the Buckeyes

My predictions

I’m calling Ohio State at 11-1.

Before you call me a homer, let me explain. I’m not sure who the one loss comes to, but it’s either somewhere in the Penn State-Wisconsin, back-to-back run or at Michigan.

Notre Dame isn’t what some people are talking about right now. The Irish are just one of a few teams that have actually played this year. I’ve watched Hartman nearly his whole career, going back to my time covering Louisville. I like him a lot. He was terrific in Dave Clawson’s scheme at Wake Forest, but he’s not a program savior.

Notre Dame will be better, but only Georgia has more talent than Ohio State this year.

Quarterback won’t be as big of a deal as some make it out to be. I like McCord, and if he holds on to the job, he’ll be a capable starter along with the offensive line. Simmons, if he can keep penalties down, should be a welcome addition.



Is Ohio State’s QB battle over? Kyle McCord is starting, but there’s plenty left to resolve

The key is the secondary, specifically the safeties. If they can cut down on the big plays, Ohio State might be one of the most complete teams in the country.

So, for that reason, I’m taking the Buckeyes to be undefeated going into the Penn State game. They’ll trip up either there or at Wisconsin but go to Ann Arbor, with their College Football Playoff hopes on the line and win at Michigan.

Day gets another shot at a national championship and keeps his job security as a new athletic director comes in.

(Top photo of Jason Day: Jason Mowry / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top