Quarterly Appraisal Report: 2015 Buckeyes

Believe it or not, the 2015 regular season is a quarter of the way complete. Even though the #1 Buckeyes are sitting at 3-0, there is a lot that needs fixed.

Ohio State has made a smart move and hired me- Nick Picker (2 time America’s Top Business Analyst) to come to Columbus and give a report on how each department is running.

Despite the 6 figure salary it brings me, appraisals are arguably the dumbest invention in human history. Confused as to why your business is struggling? Why not pay some arrogant jamoke thousands of dollars to come visit you for a week and pass judgement? Mortgage appraisals are even worse…

You want house? Not before some nerd slithers around your new place and cuts the value of your future home by 10K because Ned (who lives a mile away) lost his job and got his house foreclosed on (This is literally how it works).

What were we talking about? Oh football. I graded every department of the Bucks on the standard business model: Needs Improvement, Meets Expectations or Exceeds Expectations based on the first three games.

Here’s my Quarterly 2015 Ohio State Football Appraisal:

Of course I will start with the Quarterback Department:

Grade: Needs Improvement

Assessment: There is too much talent here between Barrett and Jones to play as poorly as they have the last two weeks. Not all the fault lies with them and I will get into that later.

Action Plan: Start using your legs more. This offense has flourished when the quarterback is a threat to keep the ball and for some reason this has been forgotten the last two games. This will open up the field more for everybody on offense.

RB and HB Department:

Grade: Meets Expectations

Assessment: Elliott is still the best player on offense and will start breaking more long gains when others around him improve. Braxton and Samuel (now moved to WR) have been steady. Need more big plays. Brionte Dunn should get more carries.

Action Plan: Other than some concerning fumbles, there is not much these guys can do until the blocking and passing game improves. Just keep hitting the holes and eventually the big plays from week 1 will be common place.

Wide Receiver Department:

Grade: Meets Expectations

Assessment: The only reason this wasn’t a needs is because Michael Thomas (on the few chances he has been given) has been exceptional. It seems every time he is targeted it is a first down, pass interference or touchdown. Curtis Samuel has been moved to WR on this weeks depth chart due to injuries to Parris Campbell and Noah Brown. Freshmen Johnnie Dixon and Terry Mclaurin need to become veterans and quick. Is Corey Brown still on the team?

Action Plan: To everybody but MT: If you’re not going to become a downfield threat then at least start blocking. Start going downfield more and make Braxton run legit WR routes 5-10 times a game.

Tight End Department:

Grade: Needs Improvement

Assessment: Does Ohio State have tight ends anymore? Nick Vannett had a few catches last week and appeared to find holes in the zone but how about somebody make a play? Marcus Baugh is supposedly coming along…

Action Plan: Go on the field and do normal tight end things like block and make a catch.

Oline Department:

Grade: Needs Improvement

Assessment: Out of sync is the best way to describe this unit. Odd fronts have caused confusion, penalties and no room for the running game. Very disappointing for a department with so much experience.

Action Plan: How about when you practice during the week you actually prepare for multiple fronts? Understand that when you are Ohio State and defending National Champion that teams will try to trick you with new wrinkles. Maybe get your mean streak back?

Dline Department:

Grade: Exceeds Expectations

Assessment: Stifling the run game and chaotic pressure on the quarterback have been the norm for this crew. Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard have been outstanding newcomers while Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington have been QB and RB nightmares.

Action Plan: Keep doing what you’re doing.

Linebacker Department:

Grade: Exceeds Expectations

Assessment: Joshua Perry and Raekwon McMillan have been steady tacklers and exactly what is needed for the defense. Darron Lee has been arguably the best defensive playmaker in the nation. My goodness does he have a nose for the ball.

Action Plan: Stay healthy as the backups are still an unknown.

Defensive back Department:

Grade: Exceeds Expectations

Assessment: Minus two misdirection plays in the first week, this unit has given up nothing. Von Bell is always around the ball making plays, Tyvis Powell is solid as usual, Eli Apple has gotten even better after a great freshmen year and Gareon Conley has performed 10x better than anybody has expected.

Action Plan: For the love of Woody, do not change.

Kicking Department:

Grade: NA

Assessment: I am too important and make too much money to waste my time on evaluating kickers.

Action Plan: NA

Offensive Coaching Department:

Grade: Needs Improvement

Assessment: Yikes, where to start? Odd play calling, quarterback limbo and a complete change of identity from a National Title year have killed the mojo on offense. Seems like they are making life difficult by trying to appease all the playmakers.

Action Plan: Most importantly- pick a quarterback. One.

Quit trying to force the ball to players by design; call the best play for the situation and let the players decide who will step up. It’s time to quit worrying about feelings.  On 3rd and short in 4 down territory, quit calling deep patterns; give it to Zeke.  Throw the damn ball to Michael Thomas downfield at least 5 times a game; good things will happen.

Defensive Coaching Department:

Grade: Exceeds Expectations

Assessment: With great players and an aggressive approach, yards are hard to come by for Buckeye opponents so far.

Action Plan: Go to the offense meeting rooms during the week and coach them on keeping it simple and playing aggressive.

2015 Buckeyes Final Grades

Grade: Needs Improvement

Assessment: This team is not national championship caliber yet. The good thing is not many other teams are either.

AP: Let it ride boys. Enjoy the game again.


  1. Can I take this in to Krispy Kreme as a report card for my kid? I think I could get a couple lemon donuts out of this.

    I think it’s interesting you say to get more carries for Bri’onte. Any particular reason why? Change of pace? Rest for Zeke? (Does he need rest?)

    Great appraisal, but the question is — did the value go up on this team or nah?

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