Each Thursday at 1 p.m. during the college football season, "Dispatch" OSU football beat writers answer readers' questions about the Buckeyes, Big Ten and college football in general during an hourlong chat. Here's the transcript of today's Q&A session with Tim May.

Each Thursday at 1 p.m. during the college football season, Dispatch OSU football beat writers answer readers' questions about the Buckeyes, Big Ten and college football in general during an hourlong chat. Here's the transcript of today's Q&A session with Tim May:

12:59:14 Rob_(moderator): Hi, Tim. Ready to face the nation?

13:00:19 Tim May: Good afternoon. Good to be here again. Before we start, some breaking news, as usual. Luke Fickell told us a little while ago that backup cornerback Dominic Clarke won't make the trip because of some problem he had on campus. Oh, well, another week, another interesting developmen. With that, fire away.

13:00:32 JB_Sucks: Who is the back up qb in your eyes?

13:02:25 Tim May: After last week, it has to be Kenny Guiton, because, seriously, could he be any worse? Well, yes, if he goes in and turns the ball over, something Bauserman hasn't done, unless you count the souvenirs he threw into the stands. Real funny, though, that the quarterback controversy isn't over the starter but over the backup. Unbelieveable. But then, that's the kind of year it's been starting last December.

13:02:34 gabuckeye: Looking at play calling on defense John Simon is double teamed alot, Why are we not blitzing more and taking advantage of this.

13:04:53 Tim May: I thought they did a pretty good job of sending guys the past three weeks. Remember that last week you definitely had to guard against the ridiculously fast Taylor Martinez shaking loose. But then the Buckeyes let that guard down in the second half. Linebacker Etienne Sabino over pursued and got blocked right out of the play on that Martinez option TD run after the Braxton Miller turnover. It was Katie bar the door after that, and Katie did not.

13:05:01 Joe Payne: What is the background of the "All-In" stickers on OSU's helmets? Seems interesting, considering this was Rich Rodriguez's rallying cry his final season.

13:06:49 Tim May: Not real sure, except that it has to do with the whole team -- besieged by the comings, goings, suspensions, etc. -- buying in to getting through this morass of a situation and a season together. Sort of the like the "Next man up" motto for the defense. That said, it always helps when an individual or two steps up and makes a play on his own.

13:06:57 Ed: If Ohio State decides to go for a "name" coach next year, what do you think of the chances of Luke Fickell staying as a DC under the new coach? It seems like Luke is a real "home-town boy" who would love to stay in Columbus.

13:08:42 Tim May: No matter what happens from here on out, Fickell deserves credit for being willing to step in to the breach in the first place. But at this moment, it would be like me speculating on what's going to happen to you when you lose your job, but you've been a really good employee. It's a little premature.

13:08:50 newguy: Has anyone involved in managing the Buckeyes come up with a credibl answer to why the defense blew apart from the 3rd qtr on? Which defense will we see Sat ?

13:10:39 Tim May: No, but I did. Nebraska jumped into the loaded Pistol to score that first TD on an option keeper by Martinez, who weaved in untouched. You actually could see the defense lose its confidence from a sense of "didn't see that coming. What else are they going to do?" The defense was playing so good up to that point, and so bad after that. Confidence and momentum go hand in hand.

13:10:56 Rob_(moderator): Via email: How damaged is Gene Smith by the endless problems, and would it be easier to lure a new, high-profile coach with a different AD in place?

13:13:31 Tim May: Wow, man, these speculation questions are are tough, simply because any answer -- which is speculation -- just throws fuel on a fire. Of course Smith's reputation has taken a hit, as has the athletic department -- especially the compliance arm -- and the school. As far as luring a coach if or when that time comes, though, I predict there will be a line of candidates with blinders on.

13:13:40 jim: Smart move playing an injured miller?

13:15:44 Tim May: He's practiced since Sunday, so how hurt was he? I believe when he tweaked his ankled he was more freaked out than injured, because he has dealt with injuries his entire playing career. The word is he looks none the worse for wear, and sometimes a player must learn on his own the threshold.

13:15:49 mdawg64e: based on the season so far, who do you think will be the coach next year? do you think they will give Fickell another chance or do you think they will bring someone else in? if they bring someone else in, who do you think would be the best fit for the Buckeyes?

13:21:32 Tim May: I still think Fickell has a chance to be the coach. Granted, in the news release that accompanied his press conference in June, the school stated it was just a one-season appointment, then officials would make assessments and look around if need be. We'll see. I think having an idea how to deal with this fan base is key, and I don't believe in gimmick offensive or defensive coaches, but in program builders and maintainers if it gets to the "nationwide search" part. That said, Fickell has been tossed into the toughest of circumstances. Now he needs to show he can generate a little magic.

13:21:37 Joe Payne: Who do you think are the early winners/losers of the divisional alignment? Seems Michigan is making out well, while OSU's division will consistently be more difficult given Wisconsin's rise to national prominence. Seems they are better positioned that Iowa (their counterpart from the "historical analysis" the conference used) to mainain a consistent level of success.

13:23:41 Tim May: Just two games in it is really up in the air in the Legends, and you are right, Wisconsin is looking like a national title contender in the Leaders, though the Badgers have played just one league game. Some people are a little confused, by the way. The division winner will be the team with the best W-L record in all eight league games. The only time the divisional record comes into play is as the tiebreaker if there is a tie for first.

13:23:46 Jcroniger: How many touches does Boom get? Has he taken back his starting job?

13:26:14 Tim May: From what I could tell this week, Carlos Hyde is No.1 going into Saturday, but mainly because the coaches want to work Herron back into the swing. Like I said, I am calling these fellows the H backs -- Herron, Hyde and Jordan Hall -- and the situation at that spots looks very strong headed into the last six games of the season. They've all proven they can perform, and don't forget that Champaign is where Boom started the rise to his 1,000-yard season a year ago.

13:26:18 Sarasota Buckeye: If the Buckeyes are going to be successful recruiting in the coming years, don't you think they have to hire a coach who has a good reputation and has run a successful Div I program?

13:28:02 Tim May: Don't know what to say to that except "Yes."

13:28:07 ncflash: In your opinion, with the same team but with Tressel coaching - would we still be 3-3?

13:30:43 Tim May: You mean with Tressel AND Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey and Boom Herron and Mike Adams? The team would be 6-0. But that's really not a fair question, because the man is gone for good. And don't forget, he was going to be suspended the first five games, at least from the games.

13:30:47 Hocking HIck: What do you think the chances are of seeing Guiton - and when? And what do either of you see as the W-L record this year? I think 7-5 is highly optomistic...

13:33:53 Tim May: The chances are very good at seeing Guiton, at least if something goes wrong with Miller. As for 7-5, well, I have picked them to win this week. Unlike others, I see only one more game where I might not pick them, and that is in two weeks vs. Wisconsin in Ohio Stadium. But that's going on the assumption that this week they play four full quarters on offense and defense.

13:34:00 #1 OSU fan: It seems that ESPN is after OSU. I quit watching ESPN college shows because of their bias.

13:36:31 Tim May: Don't know what to say about that, except that TV builds its ratings in part by chasing the stories people are going to pay attention to. And let's face it, Ohio State has been hanging out there like a pinata for 10 months now, and every time someone hits it, a little piece of candy seems to fall out.

13:36:36 Buckeye in Dayton: What will be more challenging for the Bucks on Saturday, offense or defense?

13:38:11 Tim May: All of the above, plus special teams if the wind is blowing as usual in Memorial Stadium. I do believe the Buckeyes can line up and run on the Illini. As for the defense, containing the dual-threat and intelligent Nathan Scheelhaase will be a chore, because he is a good run and a very accurate passer.

13:38:15 xstructx12: With the speed and pass catching ability of Hall and Berry, why have we not seen them lined up in the slot? I feel we are wasting speed and talent by not getting them touches any way we can. I remember Saine getting the big catch in the Rose Bowl matched up against a linebacker from the slot position.

13:40:32 Tim May: You have seen Hall lined up in the slot, especially last week, unless that was when you got up to get more tortilla chips and salsa. I think you will see some of that from time to time, because the OSU offense is diverse in its schemes if nothing else. But the top three backs going into Saturday definitely are Hyde, Hall and Herron, and they likely are going to do a lot more running from the I than running and catching from the slot.

13:40:35 rockporttx_buckeye: How the HELL does Auburn get off scott free? Is OSU the ninny here by cooperating with the NCAA?

13:43:22 Tim May: Man, I don't know what to say about that, since Auburn had four former players say on camera for HBO that they received cash, etc., when they played there. BUt the NCAA said it could not prove any of those things, one reason being lack of cooperation from most of those players. Meanwhile, Boom Herron supposedly got overpaid $292.50 over a couple of years at a part-time job, the proof of that being pretty much more conjecture than fact. So, I don't know what to tell you.

13:43:29 Ed: If Luke Fickell does stay next year, what are the chances for a new OC?

13:45:20 Tim May: I think we all are interested to see what kind of changes Luke Fickell would make were he to be signed to a multi-year contract at the end of the season. That said, I really liked the plays and the playcalling in the first 2-1/2 quarters last week at Nebraska. But the 10 passes Bauserman was asked to throw, completing one, in the last 20 minutes ... still haven't figured that one out.

13:45:26 Joe Payne: It seems like Gene Smith is gambling by not self-imposing a post-season ban like was done in basketball a few years ago. Ironically, OSU wouldn't be missing much this year! (...a bowl game in Detroit vs. a MAC school?)

13:47:08 Tim May: The experts I have talked to, and whom we have quoted in the past, aren't sold on the idea OSU will be hit with a post-season ban. And heck, the final ruling from the NCAA might not come until the season is over now, anyway. BUt I do expect the Buckeyes to lose a scholarship or two for a couple of seasons in football.

13:47:14 jim: Read about Urban Meyer being in Fort Myers at his daughters volleyball game, and he was quoted as saying he was looking to get back in to college coaching in the next few months-anything we should know?

13:48:51 Tim May: No, except I guess that means he is over the health problems he had that caused him to try to quit at Florida twice in two years, the second time for good, so to speak.

13:48:58 rockporttx_buckeye: Ok let me frame this up like so: If Bauserman truly is the second best QB on the roster, then how do we justify Graham and Guiton having a scholarship? Put another way, how can Fickel not take drastic measures to shore up coaching deficiencies at OC?

13:49:39 Tim May: Yeah, that's a frameup all right. I think you will see a new No.2 at QB this week. As for the other, Fickell got the job in June, and he had to dance with the men he had in that room, plus hiree Mike Vrabel. No doubt he has stuck his head - and voice -- into the offensive room probably a lot in the last few weeks. We'll see how this plays out. But remember, they are now playing a freshman quarterback.

13:51:45 ncflash: I will re-ask an earlier question in a different way to try and get an answer - Do you think a more experienced head coach would be 3-3 at this junction with the exact same team as Fickell has been coaching?

13:54:03 Tim May: In that case, let me answer it in a different way. Unless I say yes, you won't be satisifed. That said, there were issues in the Miami game, in terms of eating those timeouts, and there were issues at Nebraska the other night when a veteran head coach likely would have gotten on the headset and said "If you call one more pass for Bauserman to throw, heads are going to roll!" If that's what you mean.

13:54:11 Neal5858: I think OSU has alot to prove this week, I believe they will "upset" the Illni, agree??

13:56:12 Tim May: I have picked Ohio State this week. I did not pick Ohio State last week (and the ground shook). I still think the Buckeyes are as talented or more so as every team they will face down the stretch. But remember, they now have nine new starters compared to this time a year ago on defense, and they are playing with freshman quarterback and a fledgling bunch of receivers. This was always going to be an interesting year when anything could happen.

13:56:30 Ed: As a former faculty member in the University of Missouri system, our administration was constantly comparing us to the Big Ten in the areas of salaries, research dollars, etc. without any reference to football. Do you think that the Big Ten has totally shut the door on Missouri joining the Conference? It seems to me that Missouri would fit into the Big Ten better than the SEC.

13:58:38 Tim May: I agree with you wholeheartedly, because believe me, if you fellas dive into the SEC, you are going to be swimming with sharks. Most of those schools take football zealot to a whole new level. And really, being good in football and pretty good in basketball is all that really matters these days.

13:58:42 gabuckeye: Any updates on the recruiting front I am getting nerveous about the big 2 in Ohio jumping ship?

13:59:56 Tim May: The Buckeyes have several fellows in a holding pattern at the moment, because everyone is waiting for the final word from the NCAA. I think if the ruling isn't so bad, you're going to see activity in the opposite direction.

14:00:35 Rob_(moderator): Thanks, everyone. We'll do it again next week. That's a wrap.

14:00:58 Tim May: I enjoyed it as usual.