Jeremy Birmingham/Landof10
Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford

Praise for Ohio State’s Kevin Wilson hire, Urban Meyer’s insanely good offense and more

Ryan Ginn

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

Today is Thursday, March 2, and it’s time to Wake Up, Sloopy.

Ohio State gets love for Kevin Wilson hire

With the departures of offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck, Ohio State was counting on some big hires to jump-start the offense.

The Buckeyes tapped San Francisco 49ers assistant Ryan Day to lead the quarterbacks. The real coup, however, came when Ohio State secured Kevin Wilson as offensive coordinator. Wilson directed one of the nation’s best offenses while at Oklahoma and then led Indiana to unprecedented success in his first head coaching job.

Both moves were widely praised when they were announced. However, Wilson’s hire drew more raves on Wednesday. Sports Illustrated listed the top 10 coordinator hires this offseason, and Wilson occupied the No. 1 spot.

From Sports Illustrated:

Wilson’s departure from Indiana was unexpected and raised questions about his treatment of his players. However, his credentials as an offensive mind are indisputable. Wilson’s offenses at Indiana consistently put up big numbers, including 6.58 yards per play in 2013 and 6.23 in 2015. He built his reputation guiding potent attacks at Oklahoma, where he won a Broyles Award in 2008. The Buckeyes have struggled to replicate the production they had under Tom Herman. We’ll see if Wilson is the man to get them back on track.

Wilson was always going to battle expectations, especially in regards to the offense produced by Herman in the past. However, those expectations only seem to be growing as spring football nears.

Urban Meyer’s offense is tough to beat

Ohio State’s Week 2 meeting with Oklahoma should feature no shortage of points.

Some research done by Ohio State’s athletic department indicates Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Meyer are neck-and-neck when it comes to career scoring averages. Among active coaches with 15 years under their belts, Stoops ranks first in scoring offense. Meyer sits just one-tenth of a point behind him in second place.

Here’s the top five according to Ohio State:

1. Bob Stoops Oklahoma 37.5
2. Urban Meyer Ohio State 37.4
3. Mike Leach Washington State 34.9
4. Gary Patterson TCU 33.5
5. Nick Saban Alabama 31.8

It’s pretty wild to see Saban rank fifth in any comparison of coaches, because his teams have largely been built on the backs of his defenses.

As for Stoops and Meyer, they’ll soon meet again on the field. If the 2017 meeting is anything like the 2016 one, Meyer will be well-positioned to catch Stoops and take over the lead.

The King is here

Michigan has famously integrated Nike’s Jordan brand into its apparel, including football. Now, Ohio State may be looking to do the something similar.

On Wednesday, the Buckeyes shared a video of Ohio State-themed gear in the King James brand.

Could all of this be building toward a uniform with James’ brand? My colleague Jeremy Birmingham seems to think so.

Cardale back?

All Cardale Jones needs is a chance. (Exhibit A: the 2014 season.) It sounds like there’s at least a chance he’ll get it in Buffalo.

The Bills selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He rode the bench this season behind Tyrod Taylor as a rookie. However, the Bills haven’t committed to bringing back Taylor. In the meantime, Jones appears to be in the process of trying to win over his coaches.

Now that’d be fun to watch.

B1G Happenings

• Ravens coach John Harbaugh might be eyeing some Michigan players

• Penn State RB Saquon Barkley runs pretty fast

• Miles Bridges’ dad hints at his son returning to Michigan State

Nebraska coach Mike Riley explains his newfangled recruiting department

• Penn State is no longer No. 1 in the class of 2018 recruiting rankings