Dan Hope and Colin Hass-Hill of Eleven Warriors bring you inside the Ohio State football beat every Wednesday with the latest on the Buckeyes.
While both of us expected Wisconsin's defense to make life a little more difficult for Ohio State's offense than Toledo could, the Buckeyes kept things rolling against the Badgers, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions to race out to a 28-0 lead before ultimately cruising to a 52-21 victory.There were no shortage of standout performers for the Buckeyes in Saturday night's conference opener, from Miyan Williams, Cade Stover and the entire run-blocking unit on offense to Jyaire Brown, JK Johnson, Tanner McCalister and Tommy Eichenberg on defense. Of course, there are still a couple of lingering health-related questions for the Buckeyes after star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and starting cornerbacks Denzel Burke and Cameron Brown both missed the game with injuries.We talk about all of that in the first 40 minutes of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, then look ahead to this week's game against Rutgers, make our one-month-in picks for who will make the College Football Playoff and share our takeaways from Monday's Ohio State basketball media day.The full rundown of what we're talking about this week: 0:50: Ohio State exceeds our expectations again with a dominant offensive performance 5:25: Miyan Williams might be Ohio State's best running back, and that's no knock on TreVeyon Henderson 10:42: Ohio State's run blocking has been great, and that's a credit to Justin Frye, his offensive line, the tight ends and the wide receivers 14:50: Farmer Gronk is showing the value of actually throwing to the tight end 22:15: Ohio State needs to be cautious with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but don't assume this is a Nick Bosa situation 30:37: Jyaire Brown and JK Johnson stepped up nicely at cornerback 34:52: The pass defense still hasn't really been tested, and it's probably going to be a while before it actually is 37:38: Tanner McCalister shows why Ohio State brought him in as a transfer 39:31: Tommy Eichenberg continues to establish himself as Ohio State's best defensive player 41:55: Why we‘re expecting another blowout win vs. Rutgers 48:45: Should Ohio State be ranked higher than third in the polls? 51:07: Our picks to make the College Football Playoff one month into the season 53:58: Minnesota looks like the Big Ten West frontrunner, and Michigan State might be this year's Indiana 58:43: What we learned from Ohio State men's basketball media day 1:09:20: Dan and Griffin compliment players chosen by a random number generator
Ohio State's offense couldn't have been much more impressive in its win over Toledo.The Buckeyes dominated by both air and ground against the Rockets, scoring 77 points on 763 yards – the second-highest total in school history. In the process, Ohio State went from being ranked 40th in the country to total offense to leading the entire country in yards per game, while Toledo plummed from fourth to 80th in total defense.We begin this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by discussing all the ways Ohio State's offense impressed us against Toledo. Later in the show, we talk about why we aren't overly concerned with how the Buckeyes performed on defense – even though Jim Knowles wasn't happy about it – before turning the page to Wisconsin, which we believe will present a similar matchup for the Buckeyes this week as Notre Dame did in the season opener (which could be a good thing).Finally, we talk about our takeaways from the weekend that was elsewhere in the Big Ten and break down what the commitment of Taison Chatman means for Ohio State men's basketball recruiting class of 2023.The full rundown of what we're talking about this week: 0:45: How Ohio State's offense made a statement against Toledo 2:24: There were no shortage of standouts among Ohio State's offensive players, and the coaches were in their bag 4:09: Ohio State's depth of receiving weapons was on full display, but don't discount the impact Jaxon Smith-Njigba's presence made 9:15: Dallan Hayden and TC Caffey turn Ohio State's running back depth from a concern into a strength 16:56: The offensive line was great too, especially Dawand Jones 18:25: Ohio State's defense struggled to contain Dequan Finn, but it wasn't awful 21:12: Will Graham Mertz be the best quarterback Ohio State has played? We'd take Finn 22:02: Lingering questions about Ohio State's passing defense, particularly at cornerback 26:48: Javontae Jean-Baptiste and other defensive standouts against Toledo 32:30: Similarities between this week's game against Wisconsin and the season opener vs. Notre Dame 34:20: Stopping Braelon Allen will be a challenge, but the Buckeyes have been dominant against running backs so far 37:52: Wisconsin's defense is good, but will injuries in the secondary doom the Badgers? 40:45: Ryan Day says injured players will return this week, but Ohio State fans are understandably skeptical 44:30: Why one of us thinks Ohio State will cover against Wisconsin, and one of us doesn't 46:58: Keon Keeley headlines another big recruiting weekend for Ohio State football 49:06: The Big Ten's most impressive (Penn State, Minnesota) and disappointing (Michigan State, Northwestern) teams from Week 3 56:21: What Taison Chatman will bring to the Buckeyes and how he compares to decommit George Washington III 59:00: Why Chatman, not Bronny James, will likely be the final high school recruit in Ohio State's 2023 class 1:00:54: Who we're looking forward to talking to at next week's Ohio State men's basketball media day 1:04:26: Come see us at the Eleven Dubgate on Saturday
On this week's Real Pod Wednesdays, we give our overall assessment of Ohio State's 45-12 over the Red Wolves, which Buckeyes stood out in their second game of the season and why a wild second weekend of college football should serve as a reminder to appreciate what was ultimately a convincing win. We also look ahead to Saturday's game against Toledo, which we think might also be at least a slightly more competitive game than the point spread suggests.A rundown of some of the many topics we talk about this week: 1:45: Grading the win over Arkansas State 3:54: Ohio State's passing offense returns to form, showing how special it could be when Jaxon Smith-Njigba is healthy 7:25: Why it's dumb to be miserable after a 33-point win (even though there are some things to clean up) 11:14: The defense hasn't been fully tested yet, but it's been excellent so far, especially in the red zone 14:03: Mike Hall is a star, but don't discount the defensive ends' role in helping him make plays 17:17: Denzel Burke's slow start, what might be leading to that and why we think he will bounce back 21:27: Arkansas State might prove to be a better team than we thought 23:04: JK Johnson had a solid showing, but he still might be behind Jordan Hancock when healthy 25:15: Caden Curry, Dallan Hayden and Jyaire Brown among freshman standouts vs. Arkansas State 28:30: Cody Simon, Josh Proctor, Lathan Ransom, Gee Scott Jr., Mitch Rossi among under-the-radar standouts vs. Arkansas State 35:10: Why Toledo looks like a step up in competition from Arkansas State 43:50: Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba could both be back this week, but it's important for Fleming to be on the field 46:23: Ohio State vs. Toledo score predictions 48:40: Why TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams will likely continue to split carries evenly 49:57: How Ohio State's season-opening win loses some luster with Notre Dame's loss to Marshall 53:45: Nebraska had no choice but to fire Scott Frost 55:46: It was a bad weekend all the way around for the Big Ten West 57:41: Michigan and Michigan State look like Ohio State's top competition in the Big Ten 59:20: How our preseason confidence rankings Ohio State will win each game would change now 1:01:36: Ohio State should be ranked ahead of Alabama after Crimson Tide barely beat Texas
Although Ohio State's season opener against Notre Dame didn't go quite the way we expected, we came away with plenty of positive impressions from the Buckeyes' performance.Ohio State's defense exceeded our expectations while we expected more from the Buckeyes' offense against Notre Dame, but overall, we think there was more to like than dislike from Ohio State's season-opening 21-10 win over the Fighting Irish, who entered the season ranked fifth in the country.In nearly a full hour of discussion on the Buckeyes' first victory of the year, we talked about just about everything that resonated with us from Saturday night's season opener in the Shoe, including: 0:48: What stood out most to each us: The dominant debut of Jim Knowles' defense and Xavier Johnson's moment in the spotlight 7:49: Ohio State's defensive stars against Notre Dame: Mike Hall, Tommy Eichenberg and Lathan Ransom 14:02: How Ohio State's defensive rotations could change in future games 21:12: Ohio State's defense will face tougher tests as the season progresses – but maybe not for another month 25:42: Miyan Williams proves he needs to get consistent carries at running back 30:13: Jaxon Smith-Njigba's injury shows just how important he is to Ohio State's offense, and the Buckeyes shouldn't take any chances with him (or Luke Wypler) for the next two weeks 36:15: Ohio State's offense gets a reality check, but it's way too early to say Ryan Day should give up play calling 43:18: Barely any freshmen played against Notre Dame, but that's not a bad thing 46:18: A star-studded weekend at the Shoe was exactly what Ohio State needed to build recruiting momentum In the final 20 minutes of the show, we spend just a few minutes (starting at 49:43) talking about this week's game against Arkansas State before making our predictions on whether the Buckeyes will cover the 44-point spread. We also talk (beginning at 54:35) about how this weekend reaffirmed our belief that there‘s a gap between the top three teams in college football this year (Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State) and everyone else, and share our initial thoughts (59:59) on the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams, which Dan believes will be a net positive for the sport but Griffin is not so sure on.Finally (1:05:42), we talk about this week's developments in Ohio State basketball: the unfortunate but not shocking end of Seth Towns' career with the Buckeyes, the decommitment of George Washington III and the possibility that Taison Chatman and/or Bronny James could replace Washington in Ohio State's recruiting class of 2023.
After eight months of looking ahead to Ohio State's 2022 football season, it's finally game week in Columbus.Come next week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, we'll have an actual football game to recap and a much better feel of how good this year's Ohio State football team actually is and what it still needs to work on. This week, though, it's all about looking ahead to the first and one of the biggest games of the year as we break down how things could play out when the Buckeyes finally take the field against the Fighting Irish in Ohio Stadium on Saturday.The first half of this week's episode is all about previewing what will happen on the field in Saturday's big game. We break down what we expect to see from Jim Knowles' defense and what would constitute a good first game in terms of points and yards allowed and how much of a challenge Notre Dame's defense will present to Ohio State's offense, then make our score predictions (at the 33:30 mark) for how we think the game will ultimately play out.Later in the show (starting at 36:35), we talk about why this will also be a massive recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes – and not just in football – as Ohio State's top targets in both football and basketball will be on campus. Dan discusses why it's vital to Ohio State's 2023 defensive end recruiting for the Buckeyes to impress Keon Keeley, Matayo Uiagalelei and Damon Wilson this weekend, and Griffin discusses why he thinks Ohio State basketball has a genuine chance to land Bronny James.
With just one week to go until the first game week, it's time to look ahead at the season as a whole and make some predictions about how Ohio State's 2022 season will play out.To start things off on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, Dan and Griffin each rank Ohio State's 12 regular-season games from the game we're most confident the Buckeyes will win to the game we believe is most likely to be an upset. While we agree on which five games we're most confident Ohio State will win, our lists diverge from there, as Dan is more confident than Griffin about wins over Michigan and Notre Dame while he sees Michigan State and Iowa as bigger threats than Griffin does.Beginning at the 29:42 mark, we make some additional predictions for Ohio State's 2022 season, including: What Ohio State's record for the season will be Whether C.J. Stroud will win the Heisman Trophy and if Jaxon Smith-Njigba will join him in New York Which Buckeyes will earn first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors Why we believe Marvin Harrison Jr. will be Ohio State's second-most productive receiver and Emeka Egbuka will be Ohio State's third-most productive receiver Why Tommy Eichenberg and Ronnie Hickman are our defensive MVP selections Who we think will lead the Buckeyes in tackles, sacks and interceptions Why we believe Ohio State will have the No. 1 offense in the country but won't have a top-five defense In the final segment of the show (49:16), we talk about our takeaways from Ryan Day and Jim Knowles' Monday press conference and what Gene Smith had to say after the Big Ten announced its new TV deal last week. We're not expecting to see Chip Trayanum play at running back unless necessitated by further injuries, but we do believe a divisionless Big Ten and College Football Playoff expansion could both happen within the next couple of years.
Two weeks into preseason camp, it's becoming more clear which Ohio State players could be trending toward breakout years and where the Buckeyes still have concerns as the season draws closer.Running back depth emerged as a concern this week when Evan Pryor suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice, and that's where we begin this week's show. Is there reason to worry about Ohio State having only three scholarship running backs, and do the Buckeyes need to move someone else to running back for additional depth?While Ohio State might still have the nation's best one-two punch at running back in TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams, Pryor's injury increases the importance of Dallan Hayden's readiness, and we believe Kaleb Brown and Xavier Johnson – not Steele Chambers and Chip Trayanum – could be candidates to take snaps at running back if needed.About 14 minutes into the show, we shift the conversation to everything else we learned from watching a full practice last week and talking to Kevin Wilson, Larry Johnson and their tight ends and defensive linemen this week. Among the topics we covered: 15:10: Cornerback depth concerns and walk-on Lloyd McFarquhar taking advantage of his opportunity 18:18: Tommy Eichenberg standing out in practice and whether that will translate to three-down success 21:20: Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka both making their case as they battle for starting spot 26:00: Cade Stover's noticeable improvement as a pass-catcher 32:47: Defense making life more difficult for Ohio State's offense on the practice field 35:14: Whether Kevin Wilson's comments about the short-yardage run game are reason to worry 38:53: The depth of Ohio State's defensive line and why J.T. Tuimoloau could be the unidentified “alpha dog” 46:55: Why Mike Hall is a player to watch even though he's third on the nose tackle depth chart Finally (beginning at 48:04), we talk about the six players Ohio State chose to be captains – Kamryn Babb, C.J. Stroud, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg, Tyler Friday and Kourt Williams – and which players each of us were surprised to not see on the captain list.
Preseason camp is in full swing at Ohio State, and we've had plenty of access to the Buckeyes over the past week as a result.After watching a portion of the first two practices and attending four interview sessions at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center over the past week, we reconvene on this week's Real Pod Wednesdays to discuss the biggest things we learned from the first six days of camp.We start by talking about what we heard during Jim Knowles' interview session on Tuesday, when he made several eyebrow-raising comments. Should Ohio State fans be worried about the Buckeyes' cornerback depth? Knowles said only 25% of his defense has been installed so far; is that a cause for concern? And is Knowles setting expectations too high by saying the Buckeyes should have a top-five defense?Following about 25 minutes of conversation about the defense, we shift our attention to the offense and discuss what we heard during offensive line and running back interviews. We also highlight a few players who seem to be building momentum so far in camp – including Tyler Friday and Julian Fleming – and discuss our favorite “Dayisms” from Ryan Day's first press conferences of the preseason.Later in the show, we discuss the pros and cons of CBS and NBC replacing ESPN as Big Ten TV partners (41:00), our favorite outfits from hotel check-in (58:07) and what the past week of wins both on the recruiting trail and on the court mean for the present and future of Ohio State men's basketball (59:58).
We're officially one month away from Ohio State's first football game of the 2022 season and one day away from the start of preseason camp.We'll have the chance to watch the Buckeyes practice – well, at least a little bit of practice – on both Thursday and Friday as Ohio State holds its first two practices of preseason camp, and we're excited to see them up close, in person and on the field again. What will we be watching and listening for as camp begins? We start this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by talking about which players and position battles we'll have our eyes on.As much excitement as there is surrounding the upcoming Ohio State football season as the Buckeyes' preparation for the games ahead ramps up, many Buckeye fans are also feeling angst about the recent misses and decommitments Ohio State has suffered on the recruiting trail. In the second segment of this week's podcast (beginning at the 21-minute mark), Eleven Warriors recruiting analyst Garrick Hodge joins us to discuss what's going on with Ohio State recruiting, what needs to happen for the Buckeyes to overcome those losses and where he believes this year's class will ultimately stack up in the final rankings. (Note: This segment of the podcast was recorded before Ty Lockwood officially announced his flip to Alabama on Tuesday.)It's also a big week for Ohio State men's basketball, which is headed to the Bahamas on Thursday for a five-day trip in which it will play a pair of exhibition games against national teams from Puerto Rico and Egypt. In the final segment of this week's RPW (beginning at the 45-minute mark), we share our takeaways from watching the Buckeyes practice and talking to Chris Holtmann on Monday, and Griffin explains why he believes this could be a great week for Ohio State recruiting as four-star small forwards Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton are set to announce their commitments.
This week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays is coming to you one day later than usual, but we hope it will be worth the wait.We recorded this week's episode from Indianapolis, where we spent the past two days covering Big Ten Media Days. And we were joined by a special guest while we were there.Dan talked to Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith on Tuesday about a wide variety of topics including Big Ten expansion, College Football Playoff expansion, NIL, Ryan Day and Chris Holtmann's contract extensions, how Ohio State is making up for the deficit it incurred in 2020 and more. You can hear the entirety of their conversation in the first half of this week's episode.Griffin joins the show at the 24:10 mark for a conversation on everything we learned in Indianapolis including the likelihood of more expansion for the Big Ten, who is and isn't available for Ohio State going into the start of preseason camp and Day's confidence that the Buckeyes can have a top-10 defense this year. We also discuss what we heard from Michigan players about last year's rivalry game and the weirdest moments of Jim Harbaugh's media sessions on Tuesday.
Ohio State's first official media availability of the preseason will be held one week from today when Ryan Day, C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Ronnie Hickman will meet with reporters at Big Ten Media Days.With that in mind, we start today's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays – after Dan gloats for a bit about winning last week's draft – by looking ahead to next week's Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis, where representatives from all 14 Big Ten teams will meet with the media between Tuesday and Wednesday.We discuss why Stroud, Smith-Njigba and Hickman are the right choices to represent Ohio State at media days (though we would have also loved to see Dawand Jones back in his hometown) and what we could hear from each of them and Day. Expansion will undoubtedly be the dominant storyline next week, particularly during Kevin Warren's press conference on Tuesday, but we're also expecting plenty of Ohio State/Michigan talk – with the near-certainty that both fan bases will get riled up over something a representative from the other team says.(Programming note: Since Ohio State's day at Big Ten Media Days will be on Wednesday, next week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays – despite the name – will be published on Thursday, allowing us to talk about everything we learned in Indianapolis.)Around the halfway mark of the show (29:13), we shift our attention to the latest developments in Ohio State's recruiting for the 2023 class. Even though the Buckeyes still have the No. 1-ranked class in the country, some fans have expressed concerns after a few notable misses for Ohio State in recent days. Is there really anything to be concerned about with a class that still leads the nation? We take stock of what the Buckeyes have done well in the class and where they still have work to do.With last week's news that Ohio State will hold both a black-out and a scarlet-out this season, we also spend some time sharing our thoughts on Ohio State's alternate uniforms. Should the Buckeyes try some more creative uniform concepts, or should they simply stick with tradition? Should Ohio State bring back the gray sleeves permanently, or wear them for College Football Playoff games only? We discuss all of that (starting at 44:38).In the final 15 minutes of the show (beginning at 51:55), we turn our attention to basketball and get Griffin's thoughts on which current and former Ohio State players have stood out in the Kingdom League, what the Buckeyes could get out of their upcoming trip to the Bahamas and where the Buckeyes stand with top targets Scotty Middleton and Devin Royal.Finally, we show our youth with our answers to a fun listener question: Which Ohio State football and basketball players that you didn't get to watch live do you most wish you could have?
It's draft week on Real Pod Wednesdays.As we've done every year since we started this podcast, we held an Ohio State football team draft this week, selecting 44 total players from the current roster – 11 on offense and 11 on defense each – to build lineups for a hypothetical matchup of Buckeyes vs. Buckeyes if they were to play each other this fall.Through this exercise, we made our picks for who Ohio State's most valuable players will be this year, based not only on their individual talent but also on the depth at their respective positions, which influenced how highly each player got drafted.You can hear all of our picks on this week's podcast, and you can visit Eleven Warriors (https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/2022/07/131674/2022-ohio-state-football-team-draft-how-we-picked-head-to-head-lineups-for-a-matchup-of-buckeyes-vs-buckeyes) to read a full list of our selections, see the lineups side-by-side and cast your vote for whose team would win.
Landmark news broke in the world of college sports this past week.USC and UCLA are coming to the Big Ten in 2024, and the move will have ripple effects for years to come. With Dan Hope on vacation this week, Garrick Hodge joined Griffin Strom to break down how the Big Ten's latest expansion efforts will impact Ohio State and college athletics as a whole.We started by stating our initial reactions (2:35) to the news before assessing the pros and cons from several perspectives, and also dug into the potential recruiting impact the addition of USC and UCLA might have on the Buckeye program (8:10).With Griffin and Garrick both present at this past Friday's joint press conference between Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and president Kristina Johnson, we stated our biggest takeaways from the presser (21:45) and look ahead to what might come next as far as conference realignment.Aside from the biggest news of the week, there was still plenty to discuss in the world of recruiting (30:30), and Garrick had plenty to say about the recent commitments of four-star cornerbacks Kayin Lee, Calvin Simpson-Hunt and Jermaine Mathews. We then discussed the state of Ohio State's secondary in the 2023 cycle and assessed how Tim Walton and company have done on the recruiting trail since coming aboard the Buckeye staff.We wrapped up the show by talking about Griffin's experience at Kingdom League over the week weekend, where he saw past, present and potentially future Buckeyes put it work on the hardwood at Ohio Dominican University. Of note, current Buckeyes Zed Key, Kalen Etzler, Brice Sensabaugh, Bruce Thornton and Felix Okpara all played on Sunday, and Griffin let us in on a slice of what he saw from each (42:53).
It's been a huge week for Ohio State in recruiting – specifically, for wide receiver recruiting.Ohio State landed commitments from five-star wide receivers on back-to-back days when Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss committed to the Buckeyes on Monday and Tuesday. To help us put it all into context and explain how the Buckeyes pulled it off, Eleven Warriors recruiting analyst Garrick Hodge joins us on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.We break down how Ohio State's success recruiting wide receivers over the past five years is unprecedented and how Brian Hartline made OSU into the place top receiver prospects want to go, and Garrick shares his intel on how OSU ultimately won the battle for Tate after a push from Tennessee.In other recruiting storylines, this week brought us our first opportunity to see Dylan Raiola in person as he participated in Ohio State's final camp of the summer on Tuesday, and we share what impressed us (beginning 13 minutes in) while watching his throwing session and talking to him afterward.Another quarterback also stole the show on Tuesday as Colin Hurley earned an offer from the Buckeyes, and we discuss (starting around 18:40) how that could set up a fascinating race to be Ohio State's 2025 quarterback between Hurley and Ryan Montgomery.To wrap up camp season, all three of us make our picks (26:05) for who impressed us the most across Ohio State's seven camps. And Garrick predicts (31:00) which four players in the 2023 class will be the next players to commit to Ohio State. (Note: This episode was recorded before Jermaine Mathews, one of those four players, announced his July 1 commitment date.)In the final 22 minutes of the show (beginning at 36:15), Griffin and Dan preview this week's NBA draft and guesstimate where Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell will be selected while sharing our thoughts on what kind of players we think each of them will be at the next level.
More than 1,000 high school football players have made their way through the Woody Hayes Athletic Center over the past week for Ohio State's first three high school football camps of the year, and we've been there to watch all the action unfold.For the first half of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, we share what we've learned from attending those three camps, including a list of the most impressive prospects we've seen on the field so far, the most interesting things we've heard from talking to recruits and our observations from watching new Ohio State coaches Justin Frye, Jim Knowles and Tim Walton in action.In the second half of the show, we discuss some of the other headlines of the past week and address some questions from listeners, including: 30:30: Why Ryan Day said Ohio State needs $13 million in NIL money and whether that's a realistic target 36:40: How Ohio State is getting more involved in helping its athletes land NIL deals 41:56: What we make of Michigan's charms for winning The Game and Penn State choosing not to White Out Ohio State 46:00: Who we think will be surprise contributors in Ohio State's season opener vs. Notre Dame 51:10: Why we're disappointed Carmen's Crew isn't playing in The Basketball Tournament 55:32: Why Ohio State would benefit from an eight-team College Football Playoff with no automatic bids (Programming note: Griffin will be on vacation next week, so our next episode of Real Pod Wednesdays will be published on June 22.)
Ohio State's biggest recruiting month of the summer has begun.The first of seven camps for high school football players is taking place on Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Over the next 21 days, Ohio State will host thousands of high school football prospects hoping to earn an offer from the Buckeyes or at minimum, get some valuable coaching from members of OSU's coaching staff.Ohio State is set to also host more than 30 official visitors over the next four weeks, and those visits will be important to the Buckeyes' chances of landing commitments from some of their top targets in the 2023 recruiting class.To preview the entire month to come, Eleven Warriors recruiting analyst Garrick Hodge joins us for the first half of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays. In more than 30 minutes of recruiting talk, we discuss who we'll be watching at the camps and his choices for the five most important official visitors of the month. And if you like #BOOMs, you'll want to hear Garrick's prediction for how many commitments Ohio State will land between now and Fourth of July weekend.Later in the show, Dan and Griffin talk about what Ohio State men's basketball needs to accomplish on the recruiting trail this summer. We also share our thoughts on what we heard on the radio last week from Chris Holtmann and Ryan Day and on Ohio State playing a second home night game in September against Toledo.
Day is now one of the five highest-paid coaches in college football after receiving a two-year contract extension through the 2028 season that upped his compensation to $9.5 million per year. Holtmann received a pay bump to $3.5 million while his contract was extended through the 2027-28 season.Why was now the time to give both of them extensions, considering Ohio State football did not achieve its goals last year and men's basketball once again fell short of the Sweet 16? We analyze the timing and the impact of their contract extensions on this week's Real Pod Wednesdays.Holtmann's contract extension undoubtedly came with more scrutiny from Ohio State fans, yet it makes clear his job is safe for now – though we‘re not sure it guarantees anything beyond the next couple of seasons. We discuss why he deserves more time to continue building the Ohio State basketball program and what he will need to accomplish over the next couple of years to continue to be the right man for the job.As for Day's contract extension, we discuss how his new deal – and the money Ohio State spent on its assistant coaches this offseason – demonstrates that OSU is fully committed to doing what it needs to do to compete for national championships (12:20). Plus, we consider how Day's first three years as Ohio State's head coach stack up with his predecessors Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel.While we generally keep our focus on Ohio State sports on Real Pod Wednesdays, we couldn't not talk about the Nick Saban vs. Jimbo Fisher drama (23:02) this week. We personally want to see more public beefs between college football coaches, and we discuss why the SEC and college football as a whole should lean into the fun rather than trying to back away from it.We also talk about some of the other changes coming to college football, including: 33:05: The pros and cons for Ohio State of the likely death of divisions in the Big Ten 41:41: Whether eliminating the 25-man limit per signing class will make a real impact on recruiting 44:25: Why an FBS football split from the NCAA could solve some problems, but probably not all problems Finally, we share what we learned about Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell from the NBA Draft Combine (53:45) and make our picks for who will be Ohio State football's top competition in the Big Ten this year (57:00).
We now know exactly when Ohio State's 2022 season will kick off, and it's hard not to start getting excited.Ohio State's Sept. 3 season opener against Notre Dame is still more than three months away, but the buildup to the Buckeyes' first game of the year received a big jolt of energy Tuesday when ESPN announced that the highly anticipated non-conference clash at Ohio Stadium will be played under the lights, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.So we begin this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by starting to look ahead to the first game of the year, as we discuss some of the many reasons Ohio State vs. Notre Dame will be the Buckeyes' most exciting season opener in some time and share our thoughts on the early 13.5-point spread.In that same spirit, we also share our thoughts (beginning at 14:30) on the other early betting lines for Ohio State's big games that were recently released by FanDuel, which has the Buckeyes as a 16-point favorite over Wisconsin, 21-point favorite over Iowa, 13-point favorite over Penn State and 14-point favorite over Michigan. Are the Buckeyes really that much better than everyone else on their schedule, or are those spreads a bit too generous? And we make our picks for which games we'd feel most and least confident betting on Ohio State's side right now.We also take a look (20:08) at the early odds to win the Big Ten by BetOnline, which has Ohio State as a -200 favorite to take the conference crowd and no one else with better odds than +1000. Is betting on the Buckeyes good value even at 1-to-2 odds, and which other team in the conference would we be most inclined to take a flier on? Plus, we discuss which teams could be the sleepers to contend in the conference or at least pull off a big upset in Big Ten play.In the second half of the show, we hit on a variety of miscellaneous topics including: 29:57: Ohio lagging behind other states by not allowing high school athletes to make NIL deals 32:50: Why Noah Potter and Justin Ahrens' transfer destinations make sense 38:30: What Malaki Branham and E.J. Liddell could do at this week's NBA Draft Combine 42:40: Griffin's post-vacation thoughts on Ohio State basketball's addition of Isaac Likekele 46:11: Who the Big Ten's best running backs will be this year 48:40: Why Braxton Miller is Ohio State's most exciting quarterback of the past 20 years
We couldn't have picked a better week for Garrick Hodge to co-host Real Pod Wednesdays.With regular co-host Griffin Strom vacationing in Costa Rica, Eleven Warriors recruiting writer Garrick Hodge took his place on this week's episode of RPW, and the timing worked out perfectly as it gave us the opportunity to talk about Ohio State's biggest commitment of the year to date.Of course, we're talking about Dylan Raiola – ranked by multiple recruiting services as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 class – who became the first member of Ohio State's 2024 class when he committed to the Buckeyes on Monday night. We start this week's show by talking about what makes him such a special prospect and how his commitment sets Ohio State up for continued quarterback greatness for years to come.While Raiola was Ohio State's No. 1 target in any recruiting class, the Buckeyes' priorities now shift back to the recruiting class of 2023, where Ohio State also landed another commitment last week from Austin Siereveld. With 10 commitments in a class that's ranked fourth nationally so far, we discuss what needs to happen over the next seven months to turn Ohio State's 2023 class from a good class into a great class. Garrick calls his shot (beginning at 27:22) on the five uncommitted prospects he's most confident will eventually become Buckeyes, and Dan makes predictions on three more recruits – including two top-11 overall prospects in the 2023 class – he thinks will end up wearing scarlet and gray.The other big news of the week was the NCAA releasing new NIL guidelines on Monday, and the guys consider – with a healthy amount of skepticism – whether the NCAA will actually be able to enforce those guidelines (that discussion begins at 34:22). Garrick also reveals that he rarely hears about NIL when he talks to recruits about Ohio State, and he explains why he thinks that might be.We also discuss the impact of Marcus Crowley and Mitchell Melton's injuries (50:12), project what next season will look like for Ohio State men's basketball after the Buckeyes filled out their scholarship roster for 2022-23 with the transfer of former Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele (59:08), and we close out the show with some admittedly unconventional answers to a question about our favorite vacation spots.
Ohio State's 2022 NFL draft class was smaller than usual, but the Buckeyes should have a larger draft class in 2023.Those two topics get most of our attention on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, just a few days after Ohio State had six players selected in the 2022 NFL draft. This year's NFL draft was a mixture of good and bad for the Buckeyes, as there were plenty of moments worth celebrating, like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave (and Jameson Williams) going back-to-back and Jeremy Ruckert going to his favorite team. We talk about how great a recruiting pitch this year's draft will be for Brian Hartline, predict which of those receivers will make the bigger immediate impact and analyze why Nicholas Petit-Frere might have landed in the best spot of Ohio State's non-first-round picks.There were also some disappointments, like Thayer Munford falling to the seventh round and Haskell Garrett going undrafted, and we talk about what might have precipitated their falls (beginning at 20:48) and whether that should be a warning sign for players using their extra year of eligibility.At the 27:48 mark of the show, we begin to look ahead to next year's NFL draft and which Buckeyes could hear their names called a year from now. We discuss how high C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba could go, predict whether any other Buckeyes will join them in the first round and discuss how Ohio State could have as many as 10 or even more players selected in 2023 if they perform up to expectations this fall.In the final 20 minutes of the show, we discuss the latest roster moves impacting the current Ohio State football and men's basketball teams, as we consider why the Buckeyes brought in USC transfer Parker Lewis to bolster their kicking game and how Chris Holtmann's squad will be impacted by the departure of Malaki Branham even though his decision to stay in the NBA draft wasn't a surprise. Plus, we talk about the latest headlines surrounding NIL in college sports and why Ohio State isn't using NIL as aggressively in recruiting as some other schools.
It's time to make our predictions for where each Buckeye will land in the 2022 NFL draft.On this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, we preview the NFL draft by making predictions for which teams we think Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson will land with on Thursday night, what rounds we think Nicholas Petit-Frere, Jeremy Ruckert, Thayer Munford, Haskell Garrett and Tyreke Smith will be selected in and whether Master Teague, Antwuan Jackson, Demario McCall or Chris Booker could sneak into the draft.We also make our personal picks (starting at 27:45) for which Buckeyes we'd be most confident drafting if we were NFL general managers and share some overall thoughts on this year's Ohio State draft class, including what it says about the talent that will be returning to the Buckeyes in 2022.As for the 2022 Buckeyes, we also learned this week about some players who won't be returning to Ohio State this fall – namely Noah Potter, Andre Turrentine and Marcus Hooker – and we discuss (beginning at 34:25) what to make of the latest wave of transfer portal entries as Ohio State sits below the 85-scholarship limit for the first time this year.It was also another busy week for Ohio State men's basketball, as Sean McNeil committed to the Buckeyes and Seth Towns announced his return for a seventh year, and we discuss (starting at 49:05) what the Buckeyes will need from both of them during the 2022-23 season as well as what they will do with the one roster spot they're expected to have left.
The final week of spring football gave us our closest look yet at the 2022 Buckeyes.Ohio State took the field on Saturday for its annual spring game in Ohio Stadium, and while there wasn't necessarily any overarching storyline that came out of this year's scrimmage, there were no shortage of individual players who stood out.We begin this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by talking about some of the biggest standouts from this year's spring game, including players who have received plenty of post-spring game publicity like Kye Stokes and Jordan Hancock but also some players who deserve more attention for their spring game performances like Andre Turrentine, Noah Potter and Xavier Johnson.We also consider how much playing time Evan Pryor could see at running back this year, what we make of Gee Scott Jr. and the tight ends' performance in the spring game, why the offensive line remains Ryan Day's biggest concern, what we took away from Kyle McCord and Devin Brown's showings and what made Ohio State's halftime tribute to Dwayne Haskins so powerful.Before Saturday's spring game, both of us also had the opportunity to attend the Ohio State football coaches' clinic on Thursday and Friday, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at what Ohio State's coaches are teaching their players. Dan shares (starting around the 30:30 mark and continuing around the 40-minute mark) what he learned about the new defensive scheme from watching Jim Knowles speak and Griffin explains why Larry Johnson's presentation gave him a new lease on life.In the final 20 minutes of the show, we discuss a handful of other news items from the past week including Jacolbe Cowan entering the transfer portal, why Ohio State is recruiting former USC kicker Parker Lewis, what Sevyn Banks could do at LSU, the commitments of Bryson Rodgers and Dijon Johnson and how Meechie Johnson's departure makes it even more important for the Buckeyes to land a couple more high-quality players from the transfer portal.
While we're looking forward to this weekend's spring game at Ohio Stadium, we had to start this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by looking back.Following this weekend's tragic death of Dwayne Haskins, we took some time at the beginning of this week's show to reflect on the impact Haskins made on Ohio State and remember some of his most memorable performances as a Buckeye, including Ohio State's comeback wins against Michigan in 2017 and Penn State in 2018.After paying tribute to Haskins, we turn our attention (beginning at 15:20) to the upcoming scrimmage in the Shoe, where the general public will have the opportunity to watch this year's Buckeyes in action inside Ohio Stadium for the first time this year on Saturday. We discuss what we'll be watching most closely on Saturday – spoiler alert: the defense – and which players we believe could benefit most from a big spring game performance, including Julian Fleming and Evan Pryor.We also talk about everything we learned (starting at 26:38) from the final week of Ohio State player interviews before the spring game, including some telling comments from C.J. Stroud about what he's seeing from Jim Knowles' defense in practice this spring compared to what he saw from the Buckeyes' defense in practice last year. Could facing more defensive looks in practice have tangible benefits for Ohio State's offense when the actual games begin this fall? We think it will.Later in the show, we also discuss what Ohio State's new assistant coach contracts tell us (39:35) and what you should know about the two newest members of Ohio State's recruiting class of 2023, Malik Hartford and Mark Fletcher.We spend the final 10 minutes of the show talking about some of the latest developments with Ohio State men's basketball, including what we think should be expected from Justice Sueing after he announced his return to the Buckeyes for the 2022-23 season and who else the Buckeyes could still add from the transfer portal. (Note: This episode of Real Pod Wednesdays was recorded before Meechie Johnson Jr. announced his decision to transfer from Ohio State.)
You often ask us who's standing out and making a move up the depth chart at spring practice, and now, we feel equipped to actually answer those questions.Saturday's Student Appreciation Day gave us our first opportunity of the spring to watch the Buckeyes practice actual football – as in, we got to watch team drills, 7-on-7 drills and head-to-head competition rather than just warmups and individual drills – and as a result, we got our first real glimpse of who's where on the depth chart and who's making plays in competitive action.We spend the first half of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays talking all about what we took away from Saturday's viewing opportunity, including which players and position groups stood out most and which units look like they still have a lot of work to do between now and September.In the second half of this week's episode (beginning at 30:28), we talk about the impact of a busy week in the transfer portal for multiple Buckeye teams, starting with the football team, who lost defensive backs Lejond Cavazos and Bryson Shaw to the portal on Monday. While those moves are a hit to Ohio State's secondary depth, we discuss why neither of them came as a big surprise and why heading elsewhere at this point in their careers is probably in both of their best interests.After answering some listener football questions, we shift the conversation to basketball (beginning at 48:47) and talk about the likely departure of Malaki Branham from the Ohio State men's basketball team and how the incoming transfer of former Wright State guard Tanner Holden could help fill some of that void. We also discuss who else the Buckeyes could add from the portal – and whether the next priority should be a power forward or a point guard – after Justin Ahrens' entry into the portal.To wrap things up, we also share our thoughts on Chris Holtmann's hiring of Jack Owens and expected promotion of Mike Netti and on what we expect from Thad Matta's return to the sideline at Butler.
A national championship-winning coach joins us on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.Just over one week after she led Ohio State women's hockey to its first national title in program history, Nadine Muzerall joins us on RPW to talk about the Buckeyes' journey to making history.In a 20-minute interview with the Buckeyes' head coach, Muzerall tells us what makes winning a national championship so special, what former Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella told her after the win and how she was able to transform a “flawed” program into the top team in the country.She also tells us how her program has benefitted from the success of Ohio State football, says she is “very confident” that Ohio State women's hockey will get a new facility in the near future and explains why she was upset that Sophie Jaques did not win the Patty Kazmaier Award.Following our conversation with Muzerall, we shift our attention to the latest developments at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center (starting at 22:45), where there was a lot to learn during a 90-minute press conference with Ryan Day, Jim Knowles and Kevin Wilson on Tuesday. We discuss what we could see out of the “Jack” position in Knowles' defense, why Cade Stover is moving back to tight end yet again, why it's likely Tommy Eichenberg will continue to play a major role at linebacker this season and how Ronnie Hickman appears to be emerging as the frontrunner to start at free safety.Since we recorded last week's episode before pro day, we also share our takeaways from watching and talking to C.J. Stroud, Master Teague, Cardale Jones and the rest of Ohio State's pro day participants at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center last Wednesday (beginning at 50:10).For the final 20 minutes (beginning at 58:49) of this week's episode, we spend some time talking about the latest developments surrounding Ohio State basketball. We discuss whether Villanova's run to the Final Four softens the blow of the Buckeyes' second-round loss, make our picks for who will win it all this weekend and look back on the career of E.J. Liddell after he officially declared for the NBA draft. In response to some heated comments following last week's episode, we also seek to clarify our stance on Chris Holtmann – no, we do not believe he should or will be fired – and discuss the question of what expectations for Ohio State basketball actually should be.
While the college basketball season still has two more weeks to go, Ohio State's men's basketball season is over.Ohio State's 2021-22 season came to an end on Sunday, when the Buckeyes lost to Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Although the loss to Villanova wasn't particularly surprising, it still made for an unsatisfying ending to the season as Ohio State has now gone nine years without making the Sweet 16.The men's basketball Buckeyes draw the majority of our focus on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, though we start by talking about some good news from the weekend in Ohio State sports, as Ohio State women's hockey won its first-ever national championship and women's basketball did what the men couldn't by upsetting LSU and advancing to the Sweet 16.Our discussion on the men's basketball season that was starts about six minutes in, beginning with some conversation about the importance of the first-round win over Loyola but then looking at how the Buckeyes ultimately came up short of achieving their goals this season with another first-weekend NCAA Tournament exit. We agree that the lack of a consistent third scorer doomed the Buckeyes this season, and we consider whether that should be blamed more on injuries or simply not having a strong enough roster.As the offseason begins for Chris Holtmann's squad, we also look ahead to next season (beginning around the 28-minute mark) and why we aren't bullish on next year's Buckeyes being better than this year's Buckeyes. With E.J. Liddell, a bunch of seniors and possibly Malaki Branham leaving, we believe Ohio State will need to go transfer portal shopping for multiple veterans and will need several returning players – three in particular – to step up in a big way if the Buckeyes are going to have a chance to end their Sweet 16 drought in 2022-23.If you just want to hear us talk about Ohio State football, skip ahead to the 46:30 mark, where we talk about the latest developments from spring practice, including the possibility that the Leo position might not be as heavily utilized as originally expected, ongoing concerns about the tight end position and how Sonny Styles could help the Ohio State basketball team (even though he's expected to play only football at OSU).
Ohio State will play its first game of the NCAA Tournament at 12:15 p.m. Friday in Pittsburgh, where the seventh-seeded Buckeyes will face No. 10 seed Loyola in a matchup that has many calling for a first-round upset. Will the Buckeyes' late-season skid continue with a first-round NCAA Tournament loss for the second straight year, or will they make the most of their talent advantage against the Ramblers? We discuss where Ohio State should have the edge over Loyola and what makes Loyola a dangerous first-round opponent.As Ohio State's recent struggles have had many Buckeye fans questioning whether Chris Holtmann is the right man to lead the program, we also discuss (beginning at 11:55) whether Holtmann should be on the hot seat if Ohio State loses to Loyola, even though it doesn't appear likely that he actually will be regardless of what happens this weekend.Since our next podcast won't be until after the first two rounds of the tournament, we take a look at a hypothetical second-round matchup with Villanova (starting at 23:05) and what the Buckeyes' chances of upset against the Wildcats could be if they can get past Loyola.We also zoom out and make some predictions for the NCAA Tournament as a whole (beginning at 32:20), including which Big Ten teams we expect to make the deepest run, how we think the conference will fare as a whole and ultimately, who we have making the Final Four and winning it all in each of our brackets.The Ohio State football portion of this week's show begins at the 44-minute mark, where we talk about the impact of Harry Miller's mental health message and the stark reminder that comes with that. We also discuss our biggest takeaways from last week's interviews with Ohio State wide receivers and running backs, including the growing hype around Jayden Ballard and the potential for Kamryn Babb to make a real impact even after four ACL tears.Finally (beginning at 58:43), Dan tells you why you should take some time to watch Ohio State women's hockey play this weekend and take a look at Ohio State women's basketball's draw in the NCAA Tournament – and predict whether the men or women will go further in the Big Dance.
The Ohio State football team is back on the practice field, the NFL Scouting Combine is complete and the postseason is about to begin for Ohio State men's basketball.Tuesday was the first day of spring football at Ohio State, and that's where we begin on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, on which we share our takeaways from watching the first 30 minutes of the Buckeyes' opening practice and from talking to Ryan Day, Jim Knowles and Kevin Wilson after practice.We explain why there's already a clear group of frontrunners to start on the offensive line, discuss how Kourt Williams and Ronnie Hickman could coexist within Jim Knowles' defense and talk about some of the players who are clearly already making an impression on Ohio State's coaches this offseason, including second-year wide receiver Jayden Ballard and second-year cornerbacks Jordan Hancock and Jakailin Johnson.Dan also learned more about which Ohio State football players could have breakout years and about some of Ohio State's new coaches by talking to players at last week's NFL Scouting Combine, where he also watched former Buckeye wide receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave solidify themselves as first-round draft picks. We talk about what he learned in Indianapolis, including what three former Cincinnati defensive backs had to say about new Ohio State safeties coach Perry Eliano and what former UCLA offensive lineman Sean Rhyan said about new Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye, beginning around the 25:20 mark.While Dan just got back from Indianapolis, Griffin will be going to Indianapolis this week for the Big Ten men's basketball tournament, so we also talk about what we expect to see from the basketball Buckeyes as they begin postseason play. Can they bounce back from losing three of their final four regular-season games to make a deep run in the conference tournament, or will they have a short stay in Indianapolis? Beginning at the 38-minute mark, we talk about why they could make a run and why they might not, why there's an argument that they'd actually be better off not making a deep run and what NCAA Tournament seed we ultimately expect them to receive on Selection Sunday.In the final 11 minutes of the show, we talk about how Ohio State women's hockey has emerged as the best team on campus, how NIL is being used in recruiting and how Chris Holtmann can most effectively replace Ryan Pedon on his coaching staff.
This is March, which means there's plenty happening in the world of Ohio State sports.The Ohio State football team is expected to begin spring practices next week, so we start this week's episode – after Griffin recounts his near-death experience during his trip to Champaign for last week's basketball game at Illinois – by looking ahead to the start of spring ball and discussing who and what we'll be most looking forward to watching and what questions most need to be answered once practices begin.After 21 minutes of discussion about the current Ohio State football team, we shift gears to be previewing this week's NFL Scouting Combine, which Dan is in Indianapolis to cover as seven former Buckeyes – Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jeremy Ruckert, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Thayer Munford, Haskell Garrett and Tyreke Smith – look to impress scouts this week. Dan makes his picks for which Buckeyes will have the most impressive combine performances and who most needs to have good workouts to bolster their draft stocks.The Ohio State men's basketball team sent us back to the cutting-room floor early Wednesday morning to re-record the second half of this week's episode, as we had to talk about what happened on Tuesday night as the Buckeyes suffered a stunning loss to Nebraska, the last-place team in the Big Ten, at the Schottenstein Center. Beginning at the 31-minute mark, we talk about why the last two losses are more worthy of consternation than previous losses this season and discuss what will need to happen for the Buckeyes to turn things around for the rest of March.
Gene Smith's press conference at Ohio State last week provided plenty of fodder for this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.Of course, we had to start by talking about the news that got everyone talking: Smith saying he does not think Ohio State should host a College Football Playoff game at Ohio Stadium. Would it really make sense for the Buckeyes to give up home-field advantage in the CFP to play in Indianapolis instead? We can see why Ohio State might prefer to play indoors – and why Ohio State might not have as much of a home-field advantage over warm-weather teams as some people think – but that doesn't mean it's not disappointing.In the end, Smith's preference may end up being a moot point anyway, as the College Football Playoff announced last week that it will not expand until at least 2026. Griffin's holding out hope that the CFP might reconsider actually expanding to 12 teams, but Dan thinks the CFP is just delaying the inevitable.Smith's press conference last week gave us plenty of other topics to dive into as well, including why it's a good thing that Ohio State won't be playing annual games against the ACC and Pac-12 (17:25), why a divisionless Big Ten could be good for Ohio State (20:37), how the schedule might change if the playoff does expand (23:04), why Ohio State has to adapt to compete with other schools on NIL (29:42) and why a new contract for Ryan Day should be only a matter of time (35:28).Beginning at 39:55, we shift our focus to Ohio State basketball and take a look at where things stand for the Buckeyes with two weeks to go in the regular season. Dan makes the case for why Ohio State's basketball season should be viewed as a success so far, even though he understands where fans' frustration after losses comes from. We also discuss Malaki Branham's emergence as a second star and try to keep our streak going of correctly predicting how the next week of games will unfold for the Buckeyes.Finally, we talk about why Luke Montgomery is such an important addition to Ohio State's 2023 recruiting class (52:18) and share our thoughts on whether a five-game suspension is a fitting punishment for Juwan Howard's meltdown in Madison (54:45).
Should Ohio State really be a 17-point favorite over Georgia?That's a question we ask on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays after early bowl projections released by The Action Network earlier this week listed Ohio State as a 17-point favorite for a hypothetical College Football Playoff semifinal game over Georgia, as well as a 2-point favorite in a hypothetical national championship game against Alabama.We're buying that the Buckeyes are one of the top two frontrunners to make the national championship game this year, but we're not so sure about them being favored by three scores over Georgia or being favored at all against Alabama. We discuss all of that (beginning at 8:54) and make our early predictions for which teams will make the College Football Playoff, including a Pac-12 team that could crash the party for the first time.Another article that caught our attention this week was a re-ranking of college football's 2018 recruiting classes by The Athletic, which re-ranked Ohio State's 2018 class 12th, 10 spots lower than its original composite ranking of second. We take a look (starting at 21:55) at how the class has fallen short of expectations so far and how players like Josh Proctor, Cameron Brown and Taron Vincent could still at least partially rewrite the narrative of that class.Although we recorded before Tuesday night's win over Minnesota, we also talk about the latest developments surrounding Ohio State basketball (32:35), including E.J. Liddell's player of the year campaign and the commitment of 2023 big man Austin Parks.At the 50:22 mark of the show, Dan shares a few things he learned from interviews with Cade Stover and four other Ohio State football players last week.Finally (54:33), we give some love to Ohio State's other sports teams, as there are currently 15 Buckeye teams ranked in the top 25 in their respective sports, led by the No. 1-ranked men's tennis team, who will compete for an indoor national championship this weekend.
Ohio State's early enrollees met the media last week, there's been lots of coaching staff drama in Ann Arbor and Joe Burrow is about to play in the Super Bowl.We discuss all of those topics on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays – but first, we share our thoughts on the new turf at Ohio Stadium and our favorite fan-submitted designs.After projecting which players would be the stars of the 2022 recruiting class on last week's episode, we got the opportunity to meet more than half of the class when early enrollees met with the media last week, and we share our biggest takeaways (beginning at 4:18) from those conversations, including new insight on which positions Caden Curry and Gabe Powers might play, how Devin Brown already looks like a natural in the spotlight and an interesting comment about how athletic George Fitzpatrick is.We also discuss (at 18:08) why Sevyn Banks chose to enter the transfer portal rather than enter the 2022 NFL draft and why leaving Ohio State probably wasn't solely his decision.After that (starting at 25:00), we shift our attention up north to Ann Arbor following an eventful week in which Jim Harbaugh returned to Michigan after interviewing with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, but Josh Gattis became the second coordinator to leave the Wolverines in as many weeks. Are things already falling apart for the Wolverines after last season's College Football Playoff run, and how much of a threat to Ohio State will they be this year? We discuss our early expectations for the Buckeyes' biggest rival and who else could potentially emerge as Ohio State's top competition in the Big Ten.Then (beginning at 37:17) we look southwest to Cincinnati and furthermore to Los Angeles, where the Bengals and six former Ohio State players – four of whom actually finished their college careers at Ohio State – are set to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. We give our takes on the ongoing debate on whether Joe Burrow should be considered a Buckeye and make our predictions for whether Burrow, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Sam Hubbard, Isaiah Prince, Keandre Jones and the rest of the Bengals can beat the Los Angeles Rams this weekend.Finally (51:10), we end the show as we usually do this time of year by talking about Ohio State men's basketball, coming off of what might have been its most impressive performance so far in 2022 against Maryland and going into a pair of challenging road tests this week against Rutgers and Michigan.
Ohio State is wrapping up its recruiting class of 2022 today, and we finally got to meet the Buckeyes' new assistant coaches this week.We start this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by sharing our overall thoughts on the Buckeyes' recruiting class of 2022 and making our picks for which players we expect to make the biggest immediate impact from the class, who we expect to be the biggest stars long-term and who could be the class' hidden gems.At the 23:24 mark of the show, we shift the conversations to Ohio State's new assistant coaches – Jim Knowles, Justin Frye, Tim Walton and Perry Eliano – who we got to meet for the first time on Monday. We share our first impressions of the four new assistants as well as our takeaways from Ryan Day's first press conference of the offseason, in which we learned that several “super seniors” would be back with the Buckeyes, though cornerback Sevyn Banks will not.Later in the show, we also answer some listener questions, including the outlook for Knowles and Frye as recruiters, players who need to take a leap for the Buckeyes to be a College Football Playoff team next year and a potential date for the Ohio State spring game. Finally, we discuss the positives of negatives of the Ohio State men's basketball team's 5-3 month of January and what we need to see from those Buckeyes in February.
This week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays is all about Ohio State's 2022 depth chart.After Dan published his initial projection of Ohio State's 2022 depth chart on Eleven Warriors on Wednesday morning, the guys spend an hour analyzing the potential depth chart position-by-position.How will this year's wide receiver rotation look following the departures of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson? Who will step up at tight end? Where could Harry Miller factor into the offensive line depth chart, and who do we expect to be the next man up at tackle and guard? How might Jim Knowles' defensive scheme change the defensive end rotation? Who will emerge to play the biggest roles from a crowded group of linebackers? How will Ronnie Hickman and Kourt Williams coexist in this year's defense? And could we see a new face at punt returner this fall?We discuss all of those questions and more on this week's show, which starts with a look through the offensive depth chart for the first half of the show, continues with analysis of the defensive depth chart in the second half of the show and wraps up with a brief discussion on the special teams depth chart.
Ohio State continued to overhaul its defensive coaching staff, the Buckeyes got good news at the NFL draft entry deadline and Ohio State has a new schedule for the 2022 season.All of that made for a newsy week since our last episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, and we dive into all three of those topics as Griffin returns to the show this week.First up, we take a closer look at Ohio State's new hires on the defensive coaching staff – secondary coaches Tim Walton and Perry Eliano, as well as multiple additional support staff hires – and what we expect them to bring to the Buckeyes. We also reflect back on the tenures of Kerry Coombs and Al Washington and discuss how they should be remembered at Ohio State and why they are now headed elsewhere. In a little over 26 minutes of talk about the coaching staff, we also share our thoughts on yet another offensive coach getting a coordinator title and why we don't believe there will be any further changes to the full-time coaching staff before the 2022 season.At the 26:20 mark, we shift the conversation to a discussion about who will and won't be leaving Ohio State to enter the 2022 NFL draft. Dan explains why the return of Zach Harrison shouldn't be viewed as anything but a great thing and why Dawand Jones' return may be the Buckeyes' most important win among this year's NFL draft decisions. We also discuss why this year's NFL draft decisions went as well as Ohio State could have hoped, how many Buckeyes we think we will be drafted this year (36:26), who we think Ohio State will miss most next season (38:26) from the 2022 draft class and why the Buckeyes could have some work to do to get down to the 85-man scholarship limit (43:10).Finally, we take a look at Ohio State's newly revised 2022 schedule and share our early thoughts on what bodes well for the Buckeyes and where they could run into the biggest challenges before making our initial predictions (54:20) for Ohio State's 2022 regular-season record.
You'll hear two different voices on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.With Griffin Strom feeling under the weather, Kevin Harrish joins Dan Hope for the first half of this week's episode while Garrick Hodge joins Dan for the second half of the show as we talk about all of the latest developments in Ohio State football.Kevin and Dan start by sharing some Ohio State-themed takeaways from the national championship game – watching that Georgia defense sure looked different than watching Ohio State this year, didn't it? – and looking forward to what needs to happen for Ohio State to win it all next season.The guys also discuss why Ohio State fired Greg Studrawa and replaced him with Justin Frye (beginning at 15:50) and the possibility of further staff changes and take a look at incoming transfers DeaMonte Trayanum and Tanner McCalister, and Dan couldn't let Kevin go without asking him for his go-to order at Arby's.At the 35-minute mark of the show, Garrick joins Dan for a nearly half-hour discussion on Ohio State recruiting. Garrick breaks down each of the three commitments Ohio State landed for its recruiting class of 2022 last week – Hero Kanu, Carson Hinzman and Omari Abor – and shares his biggest takeaways from a week at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
Ohio State's 2021 football season ended in dramatic fashion.After spending a week in Southern California, where we watched Ohio State beat Utah 48-45 in what we both agreed was one of the wildest games we've ever covered, we have plenty to discuss from the Rose Bowl on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.Of course, we had to start by talking about Jaxon Smith-Njigba and C.J. Stroud, as we discuss how both Buckeyes rewrote the record books to cap off spectacular sophomore seasons and potentially set themselves up for even bigger years in 2022. We also talk about the emergence of Marvin Harrison Jr. (10:22), a few encouraging signs from the defense's second-half performance even though the Buckeyes gave up 45 points and how the events that unfolded during the game were crazy both on and off the field (25:40).We also discuss the Rose Bowl within the context of the 2021 season and whether it makes a disappointing season more of a success (28:30) and look back at the season as a whole by making our picks (beginning at 37:00) for who was Ohio State's team MVP (aside from Stroud), what the Buckeyes' biggest surprises and disappointments were and our favorite moments of the year.We also answer a bunch of questions submitted by our listeners (beginning at 45:55) looking ahead to the 2022 season, including which players we think will have breakout seasons next year, which incoming freshmen could make an immediate impact and what further changes, if any, could be coming to Ohio State's coaching staff now that the season is over.
It's the final week of the 2021 Ohio State football season, and we're in Los Angeles to watch it all unfold.Although we arrived in California one day later than expected thanks to travel issues, both members of the Real Pod Wednesdays crew are in Los Angeles to cover the Rose Bowl, and we spent the entirety of this week's show previewing Saturday's clash between Ohio State and Utah.First up, we talk about the biggest news of the week so far – that Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Nicholas Petit-Frere and Haskell Garrett are opting out of the Rose Bowl – and debate whether the absences at wide receiver or on the line of scrimmage will affect the Buckeyes more. We also talk about four other potential player absences – Sevyn Banks, Cody Simon, Antwuan Jackson and Marcus Williamson – and who will need to step up for the Buckeyes to replace those who will be unavailable.Then, we dive deeper into the matchup with Utah, looking at why the Utes will present another massive test for Ohio State's run defense – and why stopping the run will be the key to a victory for the Buckeyes – and where Utah's defense will test the Buckeyes most and where it could be most susceptible.Beginning at the 41:35 mark, we make our predictions for how the Rose Bowl will play out. While we're both predicting very similar final scores for Saturday's game, we disagree on which team will come out on top in what we both believe will be a close contest.Finally, we discuss why it's likely Ohio State's future plan for its coaching staff will be revealed much sooner than later after the Rose Bowl even though we haven't yet heard who will be leaving the staff and who else (if anyone) Jim Knowles could bring with him.
As the Rose Bowl draws nearer, dominoes are continuing to fall that could shape next year's Ohio State roster.There's still one last order of business for Ohio State to take care of in the 2021 season, and that's beating Utah in the Rose Bowl. While we'll dig deeper into the matchup with Utah on next week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays after we arrive in Los Angeles, we begin this week's episode by talking about some of the biggest storylines that were discussed by more than a dozen players during Ohio State's on-campus Rose Bowl media day last week.The matchup with Utah is an intriguing one on paper, as the Utes play a similar brand of football to Michigan, and that gives the Buckeyes all the more reason to be motivated to make a statement in Pasadena. Will be that enough to carry Ohio State to a victory, though, in a game where the Buckeyes could still potentially be without key players due to opt-outs? We start this week's show by discussing the Rose Bowl matchup and our biggest takeaways from last week's interviews.Last week also brought news that will be relevant to next year's roster, as 18 high school players signed with Ohio State's recruiting class of 2022 while Cameron Brown announced he'll be back at Ohio State for the 2022 season. We discuss the impact of Brown's return for the cornerback room (11:41), the ongoing NFL draft decisions that Zach Harrison and Dawand Jones still have to make (20:20) and what needs Ohio State still needs to fill on its 2022 roster after the early signing period (26:25).Ohio State has also lost five players to the transfer portal since the end of the regular season, but we discuss why we don't think those transfers are anything to panic about (32:57). Ohio State fans have also expressed some angst over how other schools appear to be using name, image and likeness deals to their advantage, but Dan explains (41:54) why Ryan Day's answer that Ohio State “cannot” set up NIL deals for recruits was the only way he could answer that question.The past week also brought some bad news on the Ohio State men's basketball front, as the Buckeyes were forced to cancel two consecutive games due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program. We discuss (48:56) how that could stall the Buckeyes' momentum and why the Buckeyes can still feel good about what they were able to accomplish in non-conference play, and also discuss the potential impact that COVID-19 could have – though we sincerely hope it doesn't – on the Rose Bowl (52:43).We also share our thoughts (56:10) on Urban Meyer's disastrous tenure as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and why Dan believes that will lead to Meyer returning to coach college football – though not at Ohio State. Plus, we discuss what Gabe Powers and Sonny Styles' roles on the Buckeye defense could be (1:00:30) and why we're looking forward to next week's trip to Los Angeles (1:03:25).
It's early signing day for the class of 2022, so we had to bring in our recruiting analyst to help us break it all down.With Dan Hope's voice recovering from a weekend bout with laryngitis, Garrick Hodge fills on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays at the perfect time for him to make his debut on the show, as Garrick and Griffin Strom talk about the players who just signed with Ohio State and who could be the early and long-term stars among the newly inked Buckeyes.In more than 30 minutes of discussion about the early signing class, Garrick and Griffin discuss what stands out to them about the Buckeyes' class so far and how Ohio State could round out the class of 2022 between now and the February signing day.In the second half of the show, the guys share their thoughts on a variety of additional topics including C.J. Stroud finishing fourth in the Heisman race (31:55), the latest developments in the transfer portal (38:51), Ohio State paying Jim Knowles $1.9 million to be its new defensive coordinator (43:45), the Ohio State men's basketball team's four-game winning streak (50:15) and which player could make the biggest leap in bowl practices (56:30).
It's been an eventful last few days for the Ohio State football program.Ohio State learned Sunday that it will be finishing its season by playing Utah in the Rose Bowl, and we spend the first 18:45 of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays discussing our initial thoughts on the matchup.We have mixed feelings about the game; it undoubtedly feels like a consolation prize, but we still think it matters for the Buckeyes to get a win. And from a football perspective, we think it will be an interesting matchup, as it will be another big test for the Buckeyes at the line of scrimmage as they look to make immediate improvements in the run game.After that, we talk about the big news that broke on Friday night, when Quinn Ewers entered the transfer portal. For about 25 minutes, we discuss the impact of his early departure, why Ohio State fans should still feel good about the future at quarterback with C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord and whether the events of this past year could change how Ohio State handles reclassifications (though we already know now they're accepting another one from Sonny Styles) and the transfer portal going forward.We also discussed Ohio State's hiring of Jim Knowles as defensive coordinator – in a segment we had to re-record after the news broke on Tuesday night – and share our initial thoughts (beginning at 43:47) on why this looks like a “home run” hire for the Buckeyes.Finally (beginning at 53:58), we talk about an encouraging stretch for the Ohio State men's basketball's team and what we took away from the upset of No. 1-ranked Duke and the most recent win over Penn State on Sunday.
This feels weird.For the first time in five years, Ohio State isn't playing in the Big Ten Championship Game. In a week where we thought we'd be going to Indianapolis to watch the Buckeyes play for a fifth consecutive Big Ten title and compete for a berth in the College Football Playoff, we're instead waiting to find out where the Buckeyes will finish their season in what will almost certainly be a non-playoff bowl game.That's because the Buckeyes suffered a 42-27 loss to Michigan in their final game of the regular season, their first loss to the Wolverines in 10 years, leaving them to watch from home this week while their rivals play for a Big Ten championship and a CFP berth.We spend the first half of this week's show discussing what went wrong for the Buckeyes against the Wolverines – and what might have contributed to that, including the tough second-half schedule, players being sick and a vanilla game plan on both sides of the ball – in a game where Michigan dominated the line of scrimmage and quite simply, appeared to be the tougher and more prepared team despite Ohio State's insistence that it prepares for The Game all year. (Plus, at the 14:08 mark, Dan explains why it's silly for anyone to be blaming the loss on C.J. Stroud.)If you don't want to relive the Michigan loss anymore, we discuss what's coming next for Ohio State beginning at the 31:10 mark. The guys explore the potential scenarios for the Buckeyes' bowl game – which likely will be a New Year's Six game, though it's highly unlikely to be a playoff game – and why it should still be important for the Buckeyes to finish the season with a win. Plus, we discuss the potential changes to the coaching staff that could be coming and ponder a listener question of whether Ohio State has become similar to Oklahoma.
Ohio State's win over Michigan State couldn't have been much more impressive, but another huge test looms this week.The Buckeyes were utterly dominant against the Spartans in their final home game of the season, defeating Michigan State 56-7 in an “ass-whooping” – as Haskell Garrett predicted – that was even more lopsided than the final score reflected.While C.J. Stroud, Chris Olave and the rest of Ohio State's offense deservedly got plenty of love for their performances – and do from us on this show, too – we start this week's episode by talking about how the Buckeyes turned in a lights-out performance on defense, which well exceeded our expectations after an underwhelming showing against Purdue.We also discuss how Saturday was yet another reflection of how great Ohio State's trio of wide receivers is and how the Buckeyes made the case that they're one of college football's two best teams this season before shifting our attention to this week's rivalry game in Ann Arbor (beginning at 22:30).Given that Ohio State already blew out one top-10 team in Michigan State last weekend and blew out Michigan in each of its last two games against the Wolverines, should we expect more of the same this weekend? Not if the oddsmakers are to be believed, as Ohio State is only favored to win Saturday's game by a little more than a touchdown. That said, one of us is predicting a far more lopsided game than the other after we discuss what advantages Ohio State should have in this game but also why this Michigan team shouldn't simply be assumed to be the same Michigan as years past.After a full 30 minutes of conversation about The Game, we wrap up the show (starting at 52:10) with some quick takeaways from Ohio State's last two men's basketball games and what we expect from the Buckeyes on the hardwood in the Fort Myers Tip-Off final against Florida on Wednesday night.
On last week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, we were asked if the defense could become Ohio State's strength this season. On Saturday against Purdue, it became clear that it isn't.The Buckeyes looked like who we thought they were against the Boilermakers, as they re-emerged as an offensive juggernaut by putting up 59 points and 624 yards but looked vulnerable on defense as they gave up 31 points on 481 yards, including 390 yards through the air.We begin the show by discussing Ohio State's return to offensive greatness, including C.J. Stroud's emergence as the potential Heisman frontrunner and Garrett Wilson's spectacular four-touchdown performance. Coming off of historically great performances by Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba in back-to-back weeks and Chris Olave being named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, we also have a discussion about which of Ohio State's three star receivers is best (4:55).Of course, we also had to talk about what didn't go as well for the Buckeyes on defense (10:41) – including an almost complete lack of pass-rush against the Boilermakers – and why that could be concerning but also why you probably shouldn't panic too much about how the defense played in a game that was never in doubt for the final three quarters.At the 20:20 mark of the show, we turn our attention ahead to this week's top-10 matchup with Michigan State. What makes this one of the toughest tests of the season for the Buckeyes, where should Ohio State have an edge over the Spartans and how do we ultimately see it playing out? We spend about 13 minutes discussing all of that.We also discuss who is and isn't participating in Senior Day and what that could mean for next season (33:25), discuss our takeaways from the first three games of the Ohio State basketball season and the impact of Justice Sueing's injury (42:00) and break down why Sonny Styles is such a big addition to Ohio State's recruiting class of 2023 (50:50).
While one bad game can be chalked up as an off day, two games is a trend, and Ohio State's offense has had some recurring issues in its last two games against Penn State and Nebraska.The Buckeyes have scored just two offensive touchdowns while settling for four field goals in each of their last two games as they've struggled to run the ball effectively and finish off drives in the red zone. Ryan Day's play calling has also drawn scrutiny from Ohio State fans, as has C.J. Stroud rarely running the ball.Diagnosing what's gone wrong with Ohio State's offense is our main topic of discussion on this week's Real Pod Wednesdays, as we spend the first half of this week's show looking back on Saturday's 26-17 win over Nebraska. While we personally believe the criticism toward Day and Stroud has been overblown, we discuss what the Buckeyes are going to need to do better on that side of the ball in order to win the big games they have coming up on the schedule.Beginning at the 25:30 mark, we also discuss whether the defense could become Ohio State's strength – we're not ready to go there yet – and talk about some of the Buckeyes who had standout performances against Nebraska including Tyreke Smith and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.Our look-ahead to this week's game against Purdue – another game that could be dangerous for the Buckeyes after the Boilermakers beat Michigan State for their second top-five upset of the season last week – begins at the 37:07 mark. We break down why Purdue could match up well with Ohio State, but also why we ultimately believe the Buckeyes will avoid the upset in their first matchup against Purdue since 2018.We also react to the College Football Playoff committee's latest head-scratching decision to rank Michigan State behind Michigan (44:40), project the likelihood that Ohio State will win out and make the playoff (49:55) and share our takeaways from the men's basketball Buckeyes getting all they could handle from Akron (55:38) in their Tuesday night season opener.
The Ohio State football team just won one of its biggest games of the year, the first College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night and the Buckeye basketball season is about to begin.That – not to look past another game that could be a test for the football Buckeyes against Nebraska this week – gave us a lot to pack into this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, but we still managed to cover it all in just over 70 minutes.Our review of Ohio State's 33-24 win over Penn State leads off the show, as we spend the first 23-plus minutes of this episode discussing the good and the bad from the Buckeyes' performance against the Nittany Lions. While any win over Penn State should be recognized as a good win for Ohio State, it was an unspectacular performance for the Buckeyes' offense – specifically in the red zone – and we analyze whether that should simply be a chalked up as a bad game or if there are issues that other top defenses could exploit.Our reaction to the initial College Football Playoff rankings of 2021 begins at 23:35 (forgive the decreased audio quality for this segment, as it was recorded over Zoom while the rest was recorded in our studio). While Dan believes the Buckeyes' No. 5 ranking supports what he's already been saying for weeks that Ohio State will almost certainly make the playoff if it wins out, Griffin plays devil's advocate as we discuss the one scenario that could – though that doesn't mean it actually will – keep the Buckeyes out of the four-team field even if they're a 12-1 Big Ten champion.If you just want to focus on the upcoming matchup rather than think about CFP scenarios right now, fast forward to 35:15, where we discuss this week's game against the Cornhuskers. We explain why Nebraska can't be dismissed as a threat even though it has a 3-6 record, then make our score predictions (which just so happen to be almost identical) for Saturday's game in Lincoln.We shift gears to the basketball court for the final 16 minutes of this week's show (beginning at 54:05). After briefly discussing our takeaways from Monday's exhibition against Indianapolis, we draft head-to-head lineups for a hypothetical intrasquad game between the players on this year's Ohio State basketball roster, so listen in and let us know who you think drafted the better team.
Ohio State keeps looking better and better each week, but this week's game should – or at least could? – give the Buckeyes a tougher test.The Buckeyes kept things rolling with another blowout win over Indiana on Saturday, and that's what we spent the first half of this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays discussing. There's plenty of good things to say about both Ohio State's offense and defense after the Buckeyes scored 54 and allowed just seven against the Hoosiers, and there were no shortage of players who had performances worthy of praise in Bloomington, from C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Evan Pryor, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jeremy Ruckert on offense to Tommy Eichenberg, Kourt Williams, Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith on defense.At the 28-minute mark, we shift our focus ahead to this week's game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions are the first ranked opponent Ohio State has played since its loss to Oregon, but they're also coming off of back-to-back losses, and the Buckeyes are favored to win Saturday's game by nearly touchdowns. Will Saturday night's game be another lopsided win for the Buckeyes, or will it be the battle that a game against Penn State usually is? We dig into the matchup and make our predictions for how it will play out.In the final 10 minutes of the show, we also discuss whether the winner of this week's Michigan/Michigan State game will jump Ohio State, how the first seven games of the 2021 season have been similar to 2014 and 2017 and why Saturday is C.J. Stroud's chance to become the Heisman frontrunner.
A week off for the Buckeyes gave us the opportunity to watch more of other teams playing college football this past weekend, and it only gave us more reason to believe Ohio State is still the team to beat in the Big Ten.Iowa got beaten soundly by Purdue and Michigan State barely beat Indiana, taking some wind out of the sails of two of Ohio State's top competitors in the conference. At the same time, though, it was also a reminder that there are plenty of teams capable of beating just about anybody in the Big Ten – a reminder that comes as the Buckeyes are about to begin a second-half schedule that includes many of the Big Ten's top teams, including Indiana this Saturday.We begin this week's episode by talking about why we think Ohio State is starting to more clearly look like the best team in the Big Ten, but also why the Buckeyes will have to prove themselves over and over again over the next seven weeks. We also take a look at the national landscape (15:45) and which teams outside the Big Ten look like top College Football Playoff contenders – and why there's truly no reason to worry about Ohio State being left out of the CFP if it can finish the season as a 1-loss Big Ten champion.We turn our focus to the task at hand at the 25:45 mark of the show and talk about this week's game against Indiana. The Hoosiers haven't been nearly as successful this year as they were last year, when they went into their matchup with Ohio State as a top-10 team and made a furious second-half comeback to lose to the Buckeyes by just seven points, but are they better than their 2-4 record indicates? We break down what to expect from Saturday's matchup and make our score predictions.In the final 17 minutes of the show, we discuss a grab bag of topics including how many carries TreVeyon Henderson should get in the second half of the season, a revelation that Quinn Ewers nearly played against Maryland even though he might not play at all this year and our takeaways from watching basketball practice last week.
We've officially reached the halfway point of the 2021 Ohio State football season.With no game on the schedule this weekend, that made it a perfect time for a midseason report on this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, on which we discuss what's impressed us most so far, what concerns we still have and what's surprised us most from the first half of the year.We begin that discussion a little over 23 minutes into the program, but first, we discuss our takeaways from Ohio State's 66-17 win over Maryland, including what's impressed us most about the Buckeyes' near-perfect offensive performances in back-to-back games, why we think the defense's improvement is for real and why Emeka Egbuka looks poised to break Ohio State's 11-year kickoff return drought. We also discuss Kerry Coombs' impassioned press conference on Tuesday (beginning at 12:54) and why it seems unlikely Coombs will remain at Ohio State beyond this season.In our midseason report, we answer what we feel best about and what concerns us most at the halfway point of the regular season (beginning at 23:45); take a look back at what Dan got wrong (and one thing he actually got right) in his preseason team draft with former RPW co-host Colin Hass-Hill (28:51); rank some of the biggest surprises from the first half of the year, including the emergences of Denzel Burke, Tyleik Williams and Steele Chambers (35:21); discuss what C.J. Stroud must do in the second half of the season to win the Heisman Trophy (43:02); and make our predictions for what Ohio State's second-half record will be and whether it will win the Big Ten, make the College Football Playoff and play for a national championship (52:02).We also make our early predictions for how the Ohio State/Michigan game will play out (58:18) and discuss what Griffin learned from attending last week's Big Ten basketball media days in Indianapolis (1:06:00).
Ohio State was impressive in every facet of the game against Rutgers.C.J. Stroud showed why he's Ohio State's starting quarterback while the defense was dominant for the second game in a row, and we begin this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays by discussing the tangible improvement we saw from Stroud and from the defense in Piscataway.Now that Ohio State is starting to look like the team it's supposed to be, the Buckeyes are beginning to re-emerge as one of this year's frontrunners to make the College Football Playoff, so we also spend a segment (beginning at 16:30) discussing why Ohio State should have a clear path to the CFP if it wins out, and why it's probably the third-most capable team of winning a national championship this year – but also how the rest of the Buckeyes' Big Ten schedule will provide plenty of potential pitfalls.At the 32:06 mark, we begin looking ahead to this week's game against Maryland and why it will be the biggest test of the year to date for the pass defense, even though the play of both teams last week doesn't exactly suggest that this game should be competitive.In the final half-hour of the show (beginning at 41:28), we discuss a vast array of questions submitted by our listeners, including whether Kerry Coombs could return next season as a non-coordinator, why Tyleik Williams isn't playing more and how this Ohio State offense could stack up with the Alabama and LSU offenses that won the last two national championships.
Although Ohio State's 59-7 win over Akron wasn't competitive, the game didn't lack for interesting storylines.It was our first opportunity to watch Kyle McCord and Jack Miller throw passes for the Buckeyes, and that's where we begin this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays, as we discuss what we saw from McCord and Miller and why their performances weren't enough to change Ryan Day's mind on who should start at quarterback.The other big story from Saturday night's game was K'Vaughan Pope's sideline outburst and subsequent dismissal from the team, and we discuss how we saw that unfold and the impact of Ohio State losing two senior linebackers in one week, beginning at the 21:30 mark.We also talk about why Ohio State's defensive depth chart still isn't quite settled (37:55), how Ohio State's interior pass rush stepped up but it still needs more from its defensive ends (41:12) and which true freshmen caught our eye against Akron (45:56).Beginning at 48:22, we look ahead to this week's game against Rutgers and discuss why we believe this will be Ohio State's most competitive game against the Scarlet Knights yet, although we do believe Rutgers' weakness (offense) will play into Ohio State's strength.We also answer a variety of miscellaneous questions from Real Pod Wednesdays (beginning at 58:52), including why this season is still about the present rather than the future, our honest expectations for the rest of the year, what makes the Ohio State beat unique, whether the Buckeyes should have done more to utilize Jameson Williams and which condiments belong on a hot dog.