The Wake-Up Call: Joe Theismann knocks J.T. Barrett, Ohio State has a chance to win it all and more
Welcome friends, to The Wake-Up Call for Saturday, August 20, 2016.
It’s the weekend and we’re now just 14 days away from Ohio State running out of the tunnel at Ohio Stadium to take on Bowling Green in the 2016 season opener.
It’s been a busy week and should be a relatively quiet weekend in the land of the Buckeyes, so let’s get you caught up on what you need to know so you can enjoy your Saturday, shall we?
Oh, in case you missed it, here are a few of the stories that found their way to Landof10.com on Friday.
- Why three South Florida wide receivers picked Ohio State
- Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder ready for the Olympics
- The Buckeyes official 2016 football poster
- Jim Harbaugh and Michigan claim Ryan Shazier, other players they didn’t recruit or coach, as theirs
Recruiting success keeps Buckeyes as one of the few who can win it all
You may be aware that Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football team have been one of the best programs in the country when it comes to recruiting, and have been since Meyer arrived in 2012.
You may not know exactly how good, though. According to SBNation.com, the Buckeyes have the second-highest ratio of blue chip talent (players ranked as 4-or-5 star players according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings) in the country, tied with USC (surprising?) and trailing only – you guessed it – Alabama.
What does that mean? Well, allegedly it means that Ohio State and only 12 other teams have a realistic opportunity to win the 2017 national championship.
From Bud Elliott:
The 13 teams to reach the blue-chip threshold this year are Alabama, USC, Ohio State,LSU, Notre Dame, Florida State, Michigan, Auburn, UCLA, Texas A&M, Georgia,Clemson, and Texas.
The metric used by Elliott and SBNation is simple: have you recruited more “blue-chip” talents than “average” players? Here are the teams that have done it, and the percentage of blue-chippers on their current roster.
Ohio State currently has the nation’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class, so it stands to reason their ratio will only be getting better moving forward. If there’s anything that can stand in the way of the Buckeyes from dominating the Big Ten moving forward, it could how good the Eastern Division of the Big Ten is.
It feels like ages since Urban Meyer lamented the lack of elite talent in the Big Ten.
His new complaint might be that it is all clustered in one division. The average Blue-Chip Ratio in the East Division is 30; in the West it is just 6.
As if Ohio State and Michigan weren’t enough, Penn State has been recruiting pretty well. Michigan State, the team with arguably the best development and on-field coaching in the league has been rapidly improving; turning wins into more talent could fuel more wins.
The Big Ten West is wide open if any program ever feels like stepping up.
Joe Theismann hates J.T. Barrett for some reason
This past January, Ohio State – behind J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott – ran roughshod over Notre Dame’s defense in the Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl, beating the Fighting Irish 44-28. The Buckeyes offense racked up 496 yards of offense and Barrett, with completing 19-31 for 211 yards, accounted for 307 of those.
If you ask former Notre Dame quarterback Joe Theismann though, you’ll quickly realize that he wasn’t impressed by Barrett or Cardale Jones. In fact, the 66-year-old Theismann thinks it’s the lack of a “true” No. 1 quarterback is a recurring issue for Urban Meyer.
“The guys at Ohio State (in 2015) really couldn’t play quarterback. That was their problem,” Theismann said. “When you don’t have a ‘1,’ you have a couple of 2’s, you don’t know what you’re going to do with them. One becomes a quarterback, and the other you’re not sure of. I think that was Urban (Meyer)’s situation.
“You have to look at Urban’s history with quarterbacks, too. Tim Tebow was not the best thrower of the football. The guys at Ohio State were just OK. The Notre Dame guys are actually passers. If somebody from Ohio State takes offense to that, I don’t care.”
I don’t think anyone does care, Joe. The Buckeyes have won a national championship in this decade, and Urban Meyer has won three in the last 10 years, so whatever he’s doing, it’s working.
It’s Greg Schiano’s turn to pump you up
Once more, the Buckeyes official Twitter account is trying to give fans an up-close-and-personal look at what happens behind the scenes of Ohio State’s 2016 fall camp with videos designed to pump up those of us sitting on our couch.
On Friday, it was former NFL head coach Greg Schiano’s turn to get his guys ready to rock and roll.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 19, 2016
You also get a chance to see Damon Arnette with a big hit, some excellent communication with Schiano and his safeties and Erick Smith answering an age old riddle.
That one time Nick Saban was fired…
Nick Saban is the best coach in college football, and no matter how much we’d like to refute that, it’s pretty tough to deny at this point.
But one time, a long time ago? Nick Saban was fired for the first time…by Ohio State and Earle Bruce. Hours after the Buckeyes narrowly escaped Navy in the 1981 Liberty Bowl, Saban – then the Ohio State defensive backs coach – was unceremoniously dismissed by Bruce after his secondary allowed 240 yards passing to the run-heavy Midshipmen.
It’s sometime around 2 a.m. when the team makes it back to Columbus. Only the coaches are summoned back to the office at 8 a.m. for a meeting. Thirty seconds in, Bruce breaks the news: the entire defensive staff is through. Everyone is stunned. After all, as linebackers coach Bob Tucker put it, “We’d just won a bowl game” and finished 9-3.
Nick Saban has just been fired for the first time in his career. He’s suddenly a 30-year-old, unemployed defensive backs coach. He has a tireless work ethic, a mind for complex coverages and an eye for evaluating talent, yet he has nowhere to use it.
At 30-years-old, Ohio State was Saban’s fourth career coaching stop. He was in Columbus for two seasons, hired in 1980 when he was brought into replace another relatively well-known coach – Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll – who had left Ohio State for North Carolina State that year. Saban’s replacement? Two-time NFL head coach and current Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
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