OSU Blue Ribbon Preview

The MTV of the sports world has published the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook‘s 2008 Ohio State Team Preview.

It’s a must read. It contains enough scary language to shake the knees of Big Ten offensive/defensive coordinators – mostly stuff we already knew, like:

“The talent and depth is amazing. Traditionally, quarterbacks make big improvements in their second full year of starting, which bodes well for Boeckman. With a horse like Wells at his disposal, experienced receivers, and a veteran line in front, he doesn’t need to try and do too much… The addition of Pryor and emphasis on using backs such as Saine in the passing game will be interesting to watch.”

However, the Yearbook’s research revealed some interesting changes to the Buckeye offense that we may see this season:

“His workload is not likely to increase this year, however, mainly because the Buckeyes are trying to diversify their offense a bit. As part of that effort, OSU spent much of the spring working on a formation that features two tailbacks on the field at once, a so-called ‘pony formation.’ The reason behind that effort is to get more out of sophomore Brandon Saine (6-1, 217), Ohio’s Mr. Football in 2006 and a high school track star.”

Pony formation? Wow. I’ve said it before: could you imagine the possibilities for this offense if Pryor replaced Boeckman in near-goal-line situations, with Saine and The Stiff Arm of JusticeTM in the backfield, and the Brians and Nichol on the line?

Defensively, the analysis gives the Buckeyes the following kudos:

“Defensively, the front needs to step up. But with all four tackles and three experienced ends returning, that should happen. Laurinaitis, Freeman and Jenkins are All-America caliber, and again, the defense has incredible depth. No question, this is the favorite to win the Big Ten, which would be the first time a team has won three straight outright league championships.”

It’s a bit odd that the review talks up the superiority of the OSU defense but then gives them a grade of ‘B,’ but that seems reasonable to me, if for no other reason than no other defensive squad dropped 15 interceptions last year (which is also mentioned). Still, if this year’s team can get the butter off its hands… they could easily control most Big Ten offenses — just like they did last year, but more consistently.

Enough! I’m getting sucked into analysis already, and we’ll have enough of that over the next month or so. For now just be sated with the Yearbook’s Preview.

H/T: Sean @ ATO


  1. This year’s offense is scary good.

    And I LOVE the fact that Tressel is willing to use every facet of the offense. I still fondly recall a 1st-and-goal at the 3 yard line against Michigan, and we sent a 5-wideout formation on the field.

  2. @Jeff – yeah, this offense reminds me a LOT of Cooper’s great offenses from the mid-90s.

    It’s not just OSU… there are a lot of great offenses in CFB this year. Florida put up 43 points a game last year, and no doubt they won’t get any worse this year. Oklahoma too, w/ Bradford. Gonna be a high-scoring year for lots of teams.


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