Catching Up With ’18 OT Will Lawrence

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Will Lawrence is an Offensive Tackle coming out of the Class of 2018. Already, he has piles of offers from all over the country. Being so young, he is not rated by any recruiting sites at the moment but it is clear he will be one of top tackles coming out of his class. When asked about the recruiting process Will said “It’s been great! I’ve enjoyed meeting the coaches and learning about the schools.”

Will stated that Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arizona State, TCU, West Virginia, Duke, Louisville, Kansas, Florida Atlantic, Indiana and Cincinnati as the programs that had offered him. When asked about the schools recruiting him the hardest he listed Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State, Alabama, Ohio State, TCU and Florida State. “I have no favorites at this point.” Lawrence said.

Lawrence will head over to Auburn on March 7th. “That’s all I have set up right now. I’m going to set up other visits later but not right now.” he explained.

Right now, there has not been much contact with Ohio State recently, but Will stated he is planning on calling Coach Johnson soon. Will described his game as “The best part of my game right now is pass protection on the edge. I get a lot of pancakes on the run game but I really want to improve my run game technique so I’ll get more.”

The biggest thing he is looking for in a program is a team that feels like a family, and an offensive line coach that could develop him. He is also looking for a really good strength program. Already, Will squats 430, deadlifts 480, power cleans 240 and benches 250. Off the field, he likes to hunt and mountain climb. Will Lawrence will just continue to pile on the offers and he will be rated as one of the top recruits in his class in my opinion.

Here are some highlights: 

Follow him on twitter @will_lawrence76

 

MotSaG Chat With 2017 QB Commit Danny Clark

This week I had the privilege of interviewing Danny Clark, who was the first verbal commit in the 2017 class for Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Clark hails from legendary Massillon, Ohio where he plays for arguably the greatest high school football team in world history. Sound dramatic? Here is a little history lesson for you: From 1935-1965, the Massillon Tigers won 9 national championships and 20 state championships. That is incredible and will never be replicated again. The Tigers are also involved in the greatest high school rivalry in the nation when they square off against archrival Canton McKinley. Great tradition, great rivalry… sounds like another team I root for.

He is ranked at No. 2 for players in great state of Ohio (trailing only OL Josh Myers from Miamisburg- Ohio State commit) and as the second ranked Pro-Style Quarterback in all of America for the 2017 class. Clark is ranked as the 48th best player in the nation according to 247 Sports. I highly suggest getting to one of his games this season because he is fantastic to watch on the football field. You will not be disappointed. So without further adieu, here is my Q&A with 4 star Massillon Tigers Quarterback, Danny Clark.

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NB: When did schools start recruiting you?

DC: I’ve started taking unofficial visits in 7th grade but schools weren’t allowed to recruit me until I was a freshman on varsity.

NB: What was the first school where you had an unofficial visit?

DC: Tennessee Volunteers, me and my dad went to a Tennessee Alabama night game as a guest of Tennessee.

NB: What schools have made a strong impression on you besides Ohio State?

DC: None. No other school comes close.

NB: What has it been like playing in the football crazed town of Massillon?

DC: It has been a great experience there’s only one Massillon.

NB: What has been your favorite memory playing for them so far?

DC: The second play of my of varsity career was a 59 yard touchdown pass to Reggie Rogers, I’ll never forget it.

NB: How does your rivalry game against Canton McKinley help prepare you for Ohio State’s game with the team up north?

DC: It’s the greatest high school rivalry in the country. There’s nothing like playing in that game. Its huge. 20,000 people. It’s a must win. NB: Who is your favorite current or former NFL quarterback and why?

DC: Peyton manning. There’s no one like the sheriff. He’s a great quarterback, a great leader, and a good guy off the field.

NB: What is a hobby you enjoy outside of football?

DC: I love lifting weights, boating, working on cars, motorcycle, and watching the Buckeyes.

NB: Have you gotten to know a lot of other 2017 recruits looking at Ohio State?

DC: Yes. Josh Meyers and I are real close, and I’ve developed a strong relationship with Bruce Judson. Trevon Grimes and I are real tight too. They’re all good guys I just try to let them know how great Ohio State is and what we can do together here. There has never been a better time to be a Buckeye.

NB: Do you know what you will be majoring in yet?

DC: Right now I’m thinking journalism. Or maybe sports broadcasting.

NB: Last question: favorite movie of all time?

DC: Predator or The Program.

I would like to thank Danny Clark for taking the time out of his day to give me this interview, my first as a member of the staff at Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Out of all the players that the Buckeyes have, either on the team already or in the midst of recruiting, Clark is one of my favorite ones. He will be something to behold when he heads to Columbus.

Below is a Danny Clark highlight tape:

Offensive Tackle Jordan McNair Talks Recruiting

The Class of 2017 is full of talent, including four star Jordan McNair. McNair is a highly recruited tackle out of Owings Mills, MD. 247Sports has his rating at 92 and the 8th Offensive Tackle coming out of the Class of 2017.  The recruiting process has started to pick up for McNair just this past year as he was able to take some visits to a couple of Big Ten schools. “The recruiting process has been going good so far.” McNair said.

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When asked about schools showing interest McNair said “Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland have offered me. I also have interest from Georgia, Tennessee and NC State.”

McNair plans to visit Ohio State over this upcoming summer. The staff was able to get out to his HS for a visit. He had many positive thoughts about Ohio State. He explained his relationship with Ohio State as “I talked to coach Larrry Johnson when he visited and told me that he liked my tape and then later that day my coach told me that they have offered me.”

Having a scholarship on the table from a top program means a lot to McNair. He explained how it was a huge honor to get an offer to play for a championship team just as only a sophomore. “Ohio State is at the top right now.” McNair said.

There is no set date on a commitment right now. Jordan just wants to improve on his game and become better. “I think I could always get stronger and work on staying on blocks longer.” he explained.

Jordan also plays basketball for his high school team. In college, he wants to study sports medicine and later become a physical therapist.

Here are some highlights of Jordan.

 

 

Rush to Judgment

We as fans cringe when we hear players from our favorite teams make it into the news for allegedly doing something bad. We Buckeye fans have lived through a dark time with Tattoo Gate and in recent years since the Urban Meyer hire, some players gain national attention for possible indiscretions. Since Meyer has joined the Buckeyes as their head coach there was a ton of criticism from national pundits, like the all to infamous Clay Travis, blasting Meyer always claiming his players were out of control. Let’s not even talk about the hack jobs who blame Urban for the Hernandez situation. Remember the whole Carlos Hyde situation and the national media outrage that Urban is helping cover up the “crime”.

Last night Action19 News out of Cleveland, Ohio ran a story that Carl Monday investigated. First off as a Clevelander seeing that man in a trench coat with a microphone walking around is never good because he seems to uncover some stuff. Carl Monday found the dash cam of the Jackson Township car that was involved with the Devin Smith car accident investigation. I won’t go into all the details, that’s why you should watch their video they ran last night on it, but to sum it up basically it seems like sometimes maybe an officer has an agenda of his own or even (this is what I’m going with) they make mistakes cause you know they are like you and me human.

Just remember all the haters who want to say that Urban is always covering up his players indiscretions, there is more than meets the eye and on several occasions now the video doesn’t lie. Stop rushing to judgment to get some web hits haters and Buckeye fans stop giving them the satisfaction by clicking on the bait.

Funny thing about this story was and ironically not very well known and after seeing the video for good reason it wasn’t.

What I Learned From the College Football Playoff

As a longtime playoff proponent/BCS hater, it’s tempting to do a victory lap right now. It would be easy to go through each year of the BCS era and question how often a different team would have won the title in a four-team playoff system. It would be easy to point to the various experts who have confirmed that this year’s BCS match up would have been Alabama vs. Florida State, the two teams who lost in the playoff semi-finals. It would be easy to beat the dead horse of the BCS for every time the system got it wrong, calling every championship won in the era out as questionable.

And if I had written this last week, that’s what I would have done.

But while I still think the BCS was the wrong way to determine a champion and that the current playoff is infinitely better, I hesitate to call the results of the BCS “wrong,” because that would have to mean that there was another, alternate result that was “right.” That mindset–that we can objectively assess which team of any pair is better, without actually seeing them play–is exactly what was wrong with the BCS to begin with.

Half of the BCS title games were won by the #1-ranked team and half by the #2-ranked team. Even though it’s a little surprising that it worked out so perfectly, we should have expected it to be fairly even. After all, the rankings weren’t (nor could they have been) based on anything concrete; they were simply an amalgamation of various opinions (yes, computer rankings are opinions just like human polls are) and opinions are a crap shoot of reliability.

This isn’t intended as a shot against the BCS rankings; they did as well as they probably could have. I expect the playoff to achieve a similar type of balance, with the 3- and 4-seeds winning about as often as the 1’s and 2’s do. I like the committee system’s ability to introduce discussion and divergent thinking into the mix, but at the end of the day, we’re still talking about a bunch of opinions.

And that’s all we’ll ever be talking about, no matter what form the playoff eventually takes. Besides the possibility of automatic bids for conference champions, there will always be some element of subjectivity involved. In fact, the assertion that every conference champion deserves an automatic bid (something I believe) is subjective in itself. The truth is no team deserves a national championship, because that’s not the point.

There is no “best” team. Ever. There is no right answer that the post-season must conclude on so as to be considered legitimate. If Oregon had beaten Ohio State last Monday night, that would have been acceptable; their championship would have been legit. The same is true if Alabama or Florida State had won. Or if Baylor or TCU would have made the playoff in our place and won.

So what I learned from the college football playoff is that the BCS-era titles are no less legitimate or more questionable than titles won going forward. They are nothing more (or less) than the result of the system in place at the time, just like every title has always been and always will be.

The Transformation of Cardale Jones

On October 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM, Cardale Jones tweeted out one of the most infamous tweets of all time. We all know what it says, so I will just leave it at that. I’ll admit that I had never heard of Mr. Jones when the ESPN and media reports broke that an “Ohio State QB tweeted something stupid.” The nation bashed the Buckeyes and Cardale for it and as we all remember they were coming off a 6-7 season after Tatgate while looking at the Michigan game as the season finale due to sanctions. It was gasoline on a dumpster fire.

Fast forward 2 years and 3 months, and Cardale Jones had just beaten Wisconsin, top ranked Alabama and second ranked Oregon to win the National Championship. Who saw this coming? Not me. Not anyone. Maybe not even Cardale.

To add to that, Cardale announced today that he would be returning for another season with Ohio State because he wanted to graduate. From his press conference this afternoon at the Ginn Academy (Via ESPN):

“It’s everybody’s dream and goal when they play football or any collegiate sport to make it to the next level, but at my point in my career, I feel like it’s best for me to go back to school… [Meyer] always preaches to us that education is what is most important, and he knows and we know that with all three of us back next year, it’s going to bring out the best in us.”

Jones also mentioned that he knows his football days will come to an end someday and that he needs to be prepared for that. He would like to be a Financial Planner once that day comes.

That is an incredible and unprecedented transformation for a young man in just two short years. It is also a refreshing story in college football that a star player values his education and will pass up millions of potential dollars in the NFL to take classes and graduate. No matter how Cardale’s professional career pans out, I believe 100 percent that he will be a productive person in society and serve as a role model for thousands of kids who were in similar situations to him (especially those who hail from East Cleveland).

As a student at The Ohio State University, I worked at an on-campus pizza shop to help pay for various expenses any college student has (beer, mostly). Most of my shifts were in the morning from 8-12pm where we would serve breakfast then switch to lunch half way through that time period. Jones would come in nearly every day I worked while usually ordering the same thing. Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon, Egg, and Cheese or some variation of that order was his go-to.

Plenty of other players would come in at times too, and being the fan that I am, I would always try to talk to them and make conversation. Without naming names, many of the players wouldn’t pay too much attention to me (which is fine- I’m sure they get that all the time). But Cardale would always talk to me which I thought was just the coolest thing in the world. I would usually have SportsCenter on so we would usually discuss the current day’s sports news, giving predictions, etc.

I never saw him as the troubled freshman who had academic issues. He was always very courteous to everyone and was never without a smile. So now that he has come full circle, I have to say that I couldn’t be more proud of him. I cannot say enough about how great it is that he values his education that much- Woody Hayes would be very proud.

12 Gauge will go down as a legend at Ohio State for many reasons but none more than being the 3rd string Quarterback who led the Buckeyes to a National Championship after everything he went through.

And the best part is, Cardale Jones will one day have a degree from The Ohio State University which is a huge accomplishment in its own. Looks like in the end, he came here to play school.

2015 NFL Draft Part 2

Many Browns and Bengals fans will be reading this section seeing that both teams draft picks will be in this section. The third part of the series will unfortunately not appear until after the Super Bowl. I will post revised columns of Part 1 and 2 throughout that time.Please keep in mind that not all players have declared for the draft so things could get shaken up when certain players declare. Again I am putting who Todd McShay posted in his first Mock Draft below my choices.

 

11. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

While an OT is the true need for the Vikings, I do not think that where they are and what OT are available are worth the reach here. If Winston declares then the door is opened for them because that will change a lot of things in the early part of the draft. I give the nod to White over DeVante Parker. I like White’s big play ability more than Parker and I think White has better hands. White would go much higher if his route running skills were a little bit better and a team had a bigger need at WR. I feel the Vikings need to upgrade their WR core. As I mentioned before in Part 1 you cannot evaluate a quarterback’s future or skill set unless you give him talent to work with.

McShay: Cedric Ogbuehi

12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Shelton is a force in the middle and with Phil Taylor having injury problems and the Browns ability to not stop the run. Shelton is a great fit for a future replacement for Phil Taylor and a great piece to stopping the run.

McShay: Danny Shelton

13. New Orleans Saints: Dante Fowler Jr, DE/OLB, Florida

Fowler could see himself rise into the Top 10, but it all has to do with if Winston declares. The Saints continue to ignore the defensive side of the ball and that has plagued them. They also need help on the offensive line and I could see them moving down to meet that need. However, at some point you cannot ignore the defensive side of the ball. Fowler played the DE/OLB role for the Gators this season. I expect him to transition into the NFL nicely at the same position. With the amount of playing time I think he should get with the Saints he could be a dark horse for defensive rookie of the year.

McShay (When the Mock Draft was posted Saints were picking 21): TJ Clemmings

14. Miami Dolphins: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

I personally think that the Dolphins need to take a WR here like Parker or Jaelen Strong. However they only take a WR in the first round if they part ways with Mike Wallace. Currently Wallace is still on the roster so the Dolphins go OLB. Thompson is very good in coverage and is a terrific athlete, also played and started at running back for the Huskies. I think that speed will transition very well in the NFL and he could end up being a stud at this position.

McShay: Shaq Thompson

15. San Francisco 49ers: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

San Francisco needs to add help for Kaepernick. I could see them upgrading their D-Line because that unit seemed desperate for depth. I am not a fan of Crabtree and never really was in the NFL. I think Parker could actually be comparable to Anquan Boldin. I think both would compliment each other very well.

McShay: Devin Funchess

16. Houston Texans: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

Houston could take a WR so Parker or White could be in play here if they drop this far. I think Bennett would be a great fit for Houston. He can play the DE in a 3-4 or could play as a smaller DT in a 4-3. His play down the stretch against Wisconsin and Alabama makes him the top DT prospect. I gave the Browns the nod to Shelton because of his size and what Cleveland needs. Bennett is the better player between the two and Houston’s front line on defense could get scary. If Houston makes a move or two in the secondary and Mallet stays healthy they could be dangerous in 2015-2016.

McShay (Houston was picking 13 when Mock Draft came out): Devante Parker

17.  San Diego Chargers: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

I went back and watched some of the Oregon vs Florida State game to review this pick when I saw Goldman was still highly thought of. When I watched Goldman specifically he seemed to play pretty well in that game. He did seem very winded in that game, but when your over 300 pounds how do you not get winded by Oregon’s offense? I like Goldman a lot for the Chargers he plays the run well and can get after the quarterback a little bit from his position.

McShay: Eddie Goldman

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

The Chiefs are so desperate for a WR you just know they will not pick one in the first round, but they should. The WR’s the Chiefs have are mediocre at best. Strong has size and some good speed and I think he could be a great stepping stone for the Chiefs to upgrade their WR position.

McShay: Kevin White

19. Cleveland Browns: La’el Collins, OT/G, LSU

When Collins was thinking about going pro last year many labeled him as a potential stud guard in the NFL. I am still going to label him there because I would not be surprised at all if he lands there. The Browns would love to land one of the four very talented WR’s in this draft. However, Schwartz is not the answer at RT and I think Collins could add much needed depth and talent to the OL. The Browns need to do something because once Mack went down so did the season and the OL.

McShay Jaelen Strong

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

His length to speed ratio is going to be something NFL teams love because that seems to be the trend, bigger corners. The Eagles were pretty bad at the corner back position and Waynes is a talented corner who has some pretty good hands.

McShay: Trae Waynes

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

Back to Back Spartans on the board. This pick is probably the hardest to project because the Bengals are talented and their true need, in my opinion, is a QB who could actually push Dalton. The Bengals could draft an OT if they cannot resign Whitworth. They could draft a WR to complement Green. While Sanu had a good year, he struggled when it was his time to shine and I think his ability would best be suited in the slot. With that said at the end of the day the Bengals had 1 sack in the playoff game against the Colts. If you want to help your struggling QB you need to be able to pressure the opposing Quarterback and get better field position. That is why the Bengals choose Calhoun.

McShay (Bengals picked 24th in the Mock Draft)L Andrus Peat

National Championship: Game Balls

Well I know it has been a few days since the game ended but I wanted time to digest the game and watch it several times before I made this post. I wish I could give Game balls to everyone but I will try to not do that lol. This truly felt like a total team win even though a few guys stood out it was a matter of everyone doing their job. So lets get started.

OFFENSE

Ezekiel Elliott- It would be impossible to do this post and not mention Zeke. 36 carries for 246 yards and 4 TDs. He beat Oregon all by himself and instantly made himself a Heisman candidate and top NFL draft pick when he leaves.

The blockers- Sure it would be easy to say the Oline here they were dominant but this offense is based on EVERYONE blocking from the OL, TEs, WRs, RBs, and even QB. They all did an amazing job and deserve credit.

DEFENSE

Tyvis Powell- Here is a guy that is a fan favorite because he truly is an OSU fan just like all of us. He makes big plays in big games and did that in the NCG as well. Led the team in tackles with 9.

Eli Apple- What he did on that TE td play to make it a non-td is one of the greatest play in the history of Ohio State. He had the awareness to push him out of bounds and save OSU several points. He also had 7 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 Pass Break up.

Run Defense- Much like blocking this is an entire unit process. Everyone is required to help stop the run and hit guys and fill gaps. OSU held Oregon to more than 100 yards less than their game average. This is why Oregon could not get their offense going and why OSU won easily.

INTANGIBLES

The Fans- What can you say I dont care what ESPN tried to say with their 70% OSU fans at Jerry’s World. If it was less than 90% OSU fans I would be shocked. It was a home game and you could feel the energy. The team felt it for sure.

The Parents- It is time to recognize how important it is to have an involved Parents Group for OSU. They do so much for the team and are very much involved in making OSU successful. Plus they are a powerful group getting the NCAA to change rules to allow parents to watch their kids win titles.

Luke Fickell- I have been a loud voice in support of Fickell for years now in a sea of angry Fire Fickell voices. It is time for those people to apologize. Coach Fickell did what he has the last 3 years call the Front 7 defense and help OSU win a lot of game. Chris Ash was brought in to fix the DBs and he did a masterful job. It is time for OSU fans to realize Fickell wasnt the problem Everett Withers was. Silver Bullets are back big time.

Ohio State Postseason Awards

National Champions!! What started off as what could have been a disaster of a season after Braxton Miller went down days before the Navy game and a 2 touchdown loss to Virginia Tech at home on September 6 has now ended with the Buckeyes being the Undisputed Number One team in the land. Wow. So now that this season is in the books (football is over- this sucks) it is time to take a look at which players and coaches were the best for at Ohio State this season.

Newcomer of the Year- Defense: Darron Lee

Darron Lee came out of nowhere this season and transformed into one of the leaders on that Silver Bullets defense. He was highly praised by his teammates during camp and lived up to that hype starting off with a fumble return for a touchdown in the opening game against Navy. He had the tall task of replacing Ryan Shazier (who is good enough to be a starter on the Steelers in his rookie season) and yet that defense didn’t skip a beat. An MVP performance in the Sugar Bowl shows the incredible potential the young man has in Columbus.

Newcomer of the Year- Offense: Ezekiel Elliott

ZEEEEEEEEEEEKE!! I cannot say enough for how well Ezekiel Elliott played this season. He rushed for the second most yards in a season in Ohio State history, trailing only the 1995 Heisman winner Eddie George. Number 15 ran for over 200 yards in his last 3 games while also going for 4 touchdowns in the title game against Oregon. He also turned Saban’s vaunted defense into rubble. I almost gave this to J.T. Barrett but he may or may not be getting a different award.

Play of the Year

Cardale takes the snap, flips it to Jalin Marshall who tosses it to Evan Spencer. Spencer sets up and throws it into the endzone to Michael Thomas for 6! This closed the gap to one in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and changed the momentum of the game completely headed into the second half. My runner up would be Joey Bosa throwing Penn State’s running back into Christian Hackenberg to seal an overtime win in Happy Valley.

Buckeye in the NFL Rookie of the Year: Corey Linsley, Packers

A lot of the rookie Buckeyes in the NFL had a great year (seven started) but none meant more to their team than Corey Linsley did for the Packers. Being a center in the National Football League is tough enough but doing it as a rookie on a playoff team is unprecedented. Their first game of the season was against the defending champion Seahawks and he held his own (despite being taunted most of the game). Linsley has anchored that Packer line and has created a great relationship with Aaron Rodgers. He is now on his way to the NFC Championship game for a rematch with Seattle.

Coach of the Year: Ed Warinner, Offensive Line

This award could have gone to anyone (Tom Herman and Chris Ash were just as deserving) but Ed Warinner’s development of a young O-line takes the cake. All we heard at the start of the season was how the Buckeyes had to replace 4 out of 5 starters on the offensive line. Then after the Virginia Tech debacle we heard it even more that they were a work in progress. By season’s end (especially in the National Championship) the offense rode them to a dominating rushing attack by Zeke Elliott. What started as a weakness, ended in a strength and all the credit in the world goes to Ed Warinner.

Team MVP: Joe Thomas Barrett IV

After Braxton Miller went down, most of the country wrote off Ohio State as national and even Big Ten contenders. In stepped J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman from Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. He became a Heisman Trophy contender after racking up 45 total touchdowns while breaking Ohio State and Big Ten records on the way (records held by Miller, Heisman Trophy Winner Troy Smith and Super Bowl Champion Drew Brees fell this season to Barrett). If it wasn’t for an ankle injury during the Michigan game, Barrett would have found himself in New York City for the Heisman presentation. But as the confetti fell to the turf of AT&T Stadium after the Buckeyes brought home Number Eight, make no mistake about it, it wouldn’t have been possible without the man wearing number 16 for the Scarlet and Gray. Scary thing is, he’s just getting started.

Head Coach match-up: Urban Meyer & Mark Helfrich

As we inch closer and closer to the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship in Arlington, Texas on Monday, January 12th, all the talk is about the players and their match-ups on the field. Rightfully so, the players are the ones that will decide the outcome on Monday night at AT&T Stadium. With that being said, Urban Meyer and Mark Helfrich are the architects of both of these great football teams. Both have reached this point in different ways, but they’ve both done it with one thing in common – it’s been on their terms.

Both Meyer and Helfrich are coaching at their home state’s premier institutions. Meyer was born in Toledo, Ohio and Helfrich was born in Coos Bay, Oregon. They both played college football in their home state as well. Meyer played at Cincinnati and Helfrich at Southern Oregon. Both guys understand what it means to their home states when their programs are at the pinnacle of college football. Ohio State is one of the true blue bloods of college football with a rich tradition and 7 national championships to its credit. Oregon is a newcomer to the elite scene of college football. They’ve been building to this moment for the past few decades and appeared in their only national championship a few years ago when they were defeated by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers.

While Oregon is the favorite to win the game according to Vegas (-6 as of Saturday morning), the coaching match-up advantage has to go to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. That’s not to diminish Helfrich’s ability, but Meyer has won 2 National Championships (Florida – 2006, 2008), and has a career record of 141 – 26 (.844) including a 37 – 3 (.925) mark at Ohio State and an 8 – 2 (.800) record in bowl games including Ohio State’s 42-35 victory over Alabama in this year’s Sugar Bowl. Helfrich is less experienced, as he’s only in his second season as a head coach at any level. He’s proving he belongs at this level though with a record of 24 – 3 with a 2 – 0 bowl record including his dominating victory over defending champion Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl.

Both guys are also known as offensive head coaches. Both run spread attacks and love getting their athletes out in space in one-on-one opportunities. Don’t be fooled though, both understand the importance of running the ball and what it means for their offenses long term success. Royce Freeman leads Oregon in rushing with 1,343 yards and 18 TD’s while Ezekiel Elliott leads Ohio State in rushing with 1,632 yards and 14 TD’s. Both offenses average over 500 yards per game and 7 yards per play. So it’ll be interesting to see if either defense can slow down the opposing offense at all. Whether it be with turnovers or excellent execution.

Another interesting side note is the familiarity between Urban Meyer and the Oregon program. During Meyer’s year off working for ESPN, he went out to Eugene 2 or 3 times to study the program and hang out with then Head Coach Chip Kelly. Over his tenure at Ohio State, Meyer has mentioned Oregon and how they go about their business. It’s not just about scheme and X’s and O’s, but he mentions how Oregon’s whole program is “aligned” from players to coaches to administration staff and even the student body. Without a doubt, both programs and head coaches’ respect one another. Both are class acts and represent their programs and home states with dignity and class. The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship should be one to remember. Helfrich hopes to bring home Oregon’s first ever national championship in this new era of college football while Meyer hopes to bring home his third and Ohio State’s 8th. Guess we’ll have to wait until Monday night – which by the way can’t get here soon enough.

College Football Playoff National Championship – Ohio State vs. Oregon

Monday, January 12th, 8:30pm EST

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX