Each Thursday at 1 p.m. during Ohio State's football season, Dispatch.com and BuckeyeXtra.com readers can chat online with either Rob Oller, Tim May or Bill Rabinowitz of The Dispatch. Here's the transcript of our latest chat.
Each Thursday at 1 p.m. during Ohio State's football season, Dispatch.com and BuckeyeXtra.com readers can chat online with either Rob Oller, Tim May or Bill Rabinowitz of The Dispatch.
>> On chat days, click here to join the chat, or go to dispatch.com/osuchat.
Here's the transcript of our latest chat:
Comment From Rob Oller
I'm ready and rarin' to go.
We'll begin in about 5. Start hydrating.
If you only knew ...
Water, I meant.
Big believer in liquids.
Just shed the sweatshirt. Sleeves rolled up. Bring the juice, chatters.
Sounds good ...
Comment From JSD
Is linebacker McMillan healthy?
Yes. Lots of questions why Raekwon hasn't been playing as much lately. Here's the poop, so to speak. He played one series against Alabama and got burned on long screen/swing pass. Out he went. But mostly he is a victim of circumstances. Linebacker Curtis Grant is simply better built to deal with the power teams the Buckeyes have faced of late. I would expect McMillan to see more time against Oregon.
Comment From Guest
Looking at the average number of offensive plays run per game, Oregon averages just a few more than OSU (75 to 72, I think?). Are the Ducks that much more up-tempo than OSU?
Yes ... and no. You mention the play totals, which do not seem extremely different, but the Ducks show more urgency with their offense than does Ohio State. It's a thin line, but you'll see what I mean on Monday night.
Comment From Paul Dulac
Rob, I think Ohio State's offense has more of an advantage over Oregon's defense than Oregon's offense has over Ohio State's defense. Do you agree?
Hey Paul, thanks for dropping by. And, yes, I agree. The X factor is Zeke Elliott, who showed against Alabama that he cannot be ignored. Elliott allows Ohio State to keep the Ducks honest on defense, and when that happens Cardale Jones should be able to go over the top for big scores.
Comment From Jimmy V
Despite what Urban Meyer says, don't you think 8 teams in the playoff is inevitable? Especially after the egg that FSU laid at the expense of TCU being excluded.
I hope so, but Meyer (and AD Gene Smith; look for my story on Sunday) both insist that four is better than eight. I say money trumps all, and there is more money in eight teams than four. I would expect there to be some delay before reaching eight teams, but maybe within 5-7 years I see it happening.
Comment From lowcountryBuckeye
How does the OSU O-line match up with Ducks's D-line?
Favorably; just ask Alabama. Actually, Oregon's D-line is smaller (and quicker?) than Alabama's, which might benefit the Ducks. But regardless I see OSU's line being able to move Oregon out of the way enough to spring Elliott. Ed Warinner has done a fantastic job with this bunch.
Comment From twit fan
Danny Sheridan doesn't think Urban Meyer is one of the top 25 coaches in the country? Honestly, before today, did you know Danny Sheridan was still alive?
You sure he is? I saw that and laughed. OK, maybe, MAYBE he can make some odd argument about Meyer not being in the top 5, but not in the top 25? Can you say, Hold a Grudge Much?
Comment From Guest
I think an 8 team play off would exhaust people's interest and bank accounts, unless those first rounds were held in home fields of lower seeds and earlier than late December. My husband just returned from the Sugar and we are off to Texas. I'm excited, but certainly couldn't do this another time or two.
Caveat: my eight-team playoff plan depends on first-round games at home sites of higher seeds. Otherwise, travel becomes too expensive (and let's face it; travel already is too expensive). I would not cry if the playoff stays at four. There are some advantages, like more controversy, which has fueled college football forever. I just think eight teams is more equitable. Ohio State barely got in, and is now proving itself. Doesn't that also mean the No. 8 team in the future might prove itself, too? I wouldn't move past eight, and could live with six and a play-in game.
Comment From alex
It's not enough that parents of OSU scholarship players don't have to worry about tuition? They also need their trips to the bowl game paid for? Seems like the feeling of entitlement doesn't end with the players. Thoughts?
You've struck a nerve with me. I couch this as the CFP doing something nice for parents, but it was NOT necessary. I get the money thing; that of all those millions made off of TV some should go to players and their parents. But I'm slightly old-school on this topic. In business, do you deserve to make more just because the owner makes millions? I'll leave it at that. Again, a nice gesture, but not one that needed to be made on moral grounds. Sorry, Urban.
Comment From Raffy O
given that Ohio State football team has won all eight of the games that they've played against Oregon, do you think the historical record can be trusted in predicting Monday's outcome?
Nope. History has nothing to do with this one. Making fewer turnovers, slowing Mariota and pushing around the Ducks D-line has everything to do with it.
Comment From Buck-i-Nut
How about Dontre Wilson, I had read where last week he said he was going to play vs Bama. But I don't remember seeing him out there.
Didn't play. And he was spotted at practice this week, in uniform, but with a walking boot. If I'm OSU, I'd actually be hesitant to play a guy who hasn't seen the field in awhile. Why mess with success? The Buckeyes did pretty well without him.
Comment From Guest
So the NCAA was able to get the pay-for-travel issue settled within a couple of weeks, but Jameis Winston's hearing wasn't able to get scheduled for months ... until mid-December, when FSU's regular season was finished. Honestly, how can anyone take the NCAA seriously?
I've taken my share of shots at the NCAA. Like any other huge institution, politics plays a big part in the operations. To think otherwise is naive.
Comment From Jacob
Has the 4 team playoff already passed up the NCAA Basketball tourney in terms of interest and excitement?
I wouldn't go that far, because the NCAA hoops tourney has one BIG thing the playoffs don't. OFFICE POOLS. It's true that the two playoff games were the most watched cable programs in history, but the bk tourney lasts nearly three weeks. And happens during the day when office workers can access games when they should be working. Which reminds me, why are you on this chat and not working? Wink wink.
Comment From flour power
Do you think Braxton will be in an Ohio State uni next season. Don't see how he can stay.
I'm with you. To me, it's only a matter of whether he transfers (and I have no inside info on that) or whether he declares for the draft. But I also can see where every big-time athlete BELIEVES he is the best at his position, so Miller may be thinking he can win the job back. And maybe he can. After all, no one thought Cardale could pass J.T, right? And it's happening.
Comment From Guest
Seems everyone has a report on where Miller is heading. Does anyone in your office have a better scoop?
Moderator needs to start reading the answers before posting next question.
Nope. I've heard Duke (where Miller reportedly worked with the QB coach over the summer), FSU (with Winston gone) and even Oregon (no more Mariota). The problem is Miller's health. Can he even still throw the ball and what school will take that chance? I would think a team that is somewhat desperate.
Comment From Gene
I get what you say about history, but I can't help thinking of the 2010 Rose Bowl, when the prevailing narrative was the up-tempo, hi-scoring Ducks would run us off the field. Yet our defense and T Pryor controlled the game. No parallels there to consider?
I have a different take on that game. Go back and watch it. Pryor played great, but the game was much closer than the score indicated. A few balls bounce Oregon's way and who knows? And this Oregon team trumps that Oregon team. Not saying the Ducks will win. I actually have the Buckeyes winning 41-38, but I don't see OSU controlling the game.
Comment From Maxx
who do you think replaces Tom Herman?
Was just checking on that. Some names to consider: 1. current O-line coach Ed Warinner (best best); 2. Lincoln Riley, ECU; 3. Greg Studrawa, Maryland. Not necessarily in that order, except I do think Warinner gets it.
Comment From big fan
Do you feel Herman could have gotten a Power 5 job had he held out a bt longer? I do think Houston is a good job, ) but Herman is credited (along with Urban) with this explosive offense and 3 QB development. Did he jump the gun or was this the ceiling for a 39 year old assistant?
I think it's a good landing spot, for a couple reasons. Herman knows Texas like the back of his hand. Had five other coaching jobs down there, I think. And he is still a little rough around the edges in terms of running the entire show. Houston allows him to grow into the non-playcalling side of the job.
Comment From Oh, Jonnnnnny
Is TBDBITL making the trip to Dallas? If so, location of the toga party?
Har-har. Not sure, but would expect the band to be there. Maybe serenade Jerry Jones and Gov. Christie.
Comment From Guest
What is the best way to attack Oregon's defense?
Soften it by running Elliott, then expose the defensive backs by throwing deep. The Ducks' pass defense is OK, but a little soft against the deep ball. I'd also use the tight ends more, but I've been harping on that for years, with only so-so success. :)
Comment From Don
What do you think of Miller as a H back? Doubt he'll ever be a big time QB so why not show off his legs?
But why show off your legs in college when you can go straight to the pros and save the wear and tear on the body? Miller doesn't need to prove to scouts that he can run; only that he can throw. And I just don't see him returning to OSU as a "second option" type of player.
Comment From Buckeye Capt.
Who's the pressure on more, Cardale Jones or OSU defense?
Jones. Again. We all saw how shaky Cardale was at the beginning of the Sugar Bowl. He settled down, but part of that was because Bama -- for some unknown reason -- dropped pressure on him. Put it this way: OSU's defense is going to give up points. Heck, Bama scored 35 against the Bullets. So the Buckeyes will need to keep pace. And that doesn't happen if Jones has a bad game.
Comment From Guest
Does Oregon have a running game to speak of?
Yes. Two good backs. One a power guy. Don't sleep on OU's run game. Plus Mariota, who might be the best runner on the team.
Comment From a-b-c-d
I worry that Oregon actually will be better prepared to face Ohio State's offense than Alabama was because West Coast teams are more similar than the opponents Alabama was used to seeing.
Interesting point. But being prepared to stop Ohio State and actually doing it are two different things. I see Meyer and Herman calling a game similar to the Sugar. With similar success.
Comment From Guest
What surprised you most in how OSU beat Alabama?
How easily OSU ran against the Tide. And, really, how dumb Lane Kiffin was in abandoning the Bama run in favor of ineffective passes into the flat.
Comment From The Jake
I felt after the Alabama game that OSU had won a National Title. Did you also have that feeling? That being said, if they come up short in this title game would you already consider it one of the best OSU seasons of all time?
No way. Gotta win it to earn that title. Lots of OSU teams -- especially under Woody in the '70s -- were dominant but lost either to Michigan or in the bowl game. Few remember them.
Comment From GoBux
Re: OSU throwing deep late vs Alabama instead of running time. Does Urban get too cute for his own good sometime?
That play was a baffler. Urban took the "blame," but I wonder if he wasn't covering for Herman, who at times likes to fiddle when he should be sticking to the basics of running Zeke.
Comment From 59-0
Taking Braxton out of the mix of a QB controversy ... if OSU wins Monday night, how do you tell either Cardale or JT that he's not the starter next season. Unreal problem, no?
I've been saying that "A good problem to have" is still a problem. But it gets much easier if Miller transfers/enters draft. Every team needs a back-up QB, and having a super sub like Jones (Or Barrett) is a pretty sweet luxury for Meyer. But it does get interesting, doesn't it? How do you sit a player who beat Wisky, Bama and maybe Oregon? The last two the best Meyer has faced at OSU? That's why they pay Urb his millions, I guess.
Comment From manny
Do you have a take on the consensus around the country. Are the media thinking OSU or Oregon?
Vegas has Oregon by 6 or 6.5. I would think the national media have it a little closer. For sure the majority of media will pick the Ducks.
Comment From kdssks
I am not sensing the urgency not the hype about this national championship game from the fan base. Everyone seems so casual. Even the questions are about non-game items. I hope the team is as focused and as intense as it should be.
Meyer is nothing if not a great motivator. He'll have the team focused. As for the fanbase. I sense some Sugar Bowl hangover, and maybe a bit of overconfidence? "We beat Bama, we can beat anyone." Not saying that's wrong, but Oregon is no pushover.
Comment From Guest
I thought the turning point in the Bama game was when they failed to score after the crazy bounce the OSU punt took and the Tide picked up 20-some yards. Agree?
There were so many turning points, but the Bell INT was huge, no doubt. So was Steve Miller's pick-6, and Jones first real strike down the middle that showed he was settling in. And don't forget about Jones getting out of the endzone to avoid the safety. Great game. Entertaining.
Comment From Emily
My dad let me enter a bowl pool he's in, and if the Buckeyes win on Monday night and there are 65 or more total points scored, I win $880. How do you like my chances?
I like your chances. My total is 79.
Comment From GB from Lakewood
Since both teams played sparty as a common for this season, can we take anything from it?
Some things, yes. Oregon wore down the Spartans in the second half, so OSU should be prepared to roll in more defensive players than normal. Mostly, however, that first MSU game showed that Mariota is a winner -- and never underestimate a winner. I wrote today about OSU has done a great job against Heisman finalists in two straight games. Check it out at buckeyextra.dispatch.com.
Comment From Bob R.
Any guest speakers like Tebow, Tressel, 2002 Nat'l champ team going to give pep talks?
Not that I know of. Urb hasn't asked me yet, but I'm preparing something just in case.
Comment From OSU grad
Are there any more Boren brothers? These guys play as hard and are as tough as anyone. It would be scary how good they would be if they were blessed with NFL type bodies. Can you imagine Jacoby at 6'4 315
Dudes have attitudes, which Meyer loves. At some point, the pipeline will end -- until the Borens start having babies.
Comment From Matt K
FSU had 5 turnovers against Oregon...Do you think that makes Oregon's win look less impressive?
Or you could argue it makes it look more impressive. Turnovers typically are caused by the defense. And the Ducks are pretty good at creating them.
Championship-caliber chat. Thanks, everyone, for the questions. Thanks, Robo, for not criticizing anyone's questions. Enjoy the game. That's a wrap.