Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TBT Q&A: FORGET ABOUT THE 2011 BUCKEYES BEING MICHIGAN OF 2008

The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Just a few days until the 18th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes kick off their 2011 campaign against Akron, and the flood of questions about the team in my inbox isn't receding whatsoever.

Ok, I will nix the formalities this week so I can answer a few more than questions this time around from my gracious, and in one case, delusional readers.

Again, I will use full names from Twitter and initials/first names from e-mails ...

BRANDON via e-mail: Hi Lee, I enjoy reading your blog and read it pretty regularly. I am reading one of your recent posts and your mentions of (Urban) Meyer toward the end. I am curious about what you meant with Urban? Should we expect to see something regarding violations at Florida in the near future?

LEE HUDNELL: Thanks for reading my work, Brandon, I really appreciate it!

With my reference to Meyer, and why he left Gainesville? Well, I think you can expect something regarding violations at any big-time college football program. Because I absolutely despise using unnamed sources in my stories, I'll just say this ... Florida and its former coach are not immune.

CLY via e-mail: I had to laugh at your predictions when you said the Buckeyes would finish with 10 wins and be Big Ten champs. I don't care how good a quarterback Braxton (Miller), you don't win 10 games with a new coach and a freshman quarterback. I see a season like Michigan had when (Rich) Rodriguez took over with a freshman quarterback (Denard Robinson) in 2008. Five wins tops.

HUDNELL: I have to laugh at your reply, CLY! First, I never stated that they would be "Big Ten Champs." I said they would play in the the Big Ten title game. Larry Coker (a former OSU assistant) went 12-0 and won a national title in his first season as head coach at Miami in 2001. Michael Vick, who is very similar athletically with Miller, won 11 games as a freshman in 1999 and led Virginia Tech to the national championship game that season.

Comparing this season's Buckeyes with Michigan of 2008 is asinine. If you think they will only win five games, I'm sure you can find a person or two to honor any bets you would like to place. Me included!

STADIUM GUY via Twitter: Any talk of any of the other two quarterbacks (Ken Guiton and Taylor Graham) transferring?

HUDNELL: I haven't heard anything or had any indication that either are wanting to leave. I have stated, though, that if Graham wants to be a collegiate starting QB, he must transfer to do so. He is a red-shirt freshman who's currently fourth on the depth chart, and already behind a true freshman (Miller). Next year, he will be third ... at best. Former Cleveland Glenville star signal caller Cardale Jones is already signed on in Columbus for 2012.

Guiton should stay. He will be a junior next season and the clear No. 2. That's just one injury away from being the starter.

NATE PARSONS via Twitter: What are the chances of Sparty beating OSU this season?

HUDNELL: Much better than they have been in recent years. Michigan State's football program has improved greatly in the past two seasons, not to mention Ohio State will be without the tat five when they play on Oct. 1.

The last time these two teams played in 2008, Ohio State won 45-7. I think Sparty has tightened the gap some since that game, but haven't closed it. OSU 45-10? Don't worry, Nate ... you can edit that last part out!

DALE via e-mail: I've noticed that ESPN hasn't been anywhere near as critical on Miami (violations) as they have been with OSU. They were doing some illicit things down there, parties, drugs, cash, etc ... The Buckeyes sold their own stuff for tattoos. Incredible.

HUDNELL: As I've said before, it's about business with ESPN. Miami's downfall isn't as profitable as Ohio State's.

BILL SWENSON via Twitter: I know the quarterbacks have been discussed in great length, but what about the battle in the backfield? Which guys do you think will be the man?

HUDNELL: It will be a committee, Bill. Jordan Hall will get the first snaps, like Joe Bauserman will at quarterback, but Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde will get plenty of work, especially in the first two weeks against Akron and Toledo.

I still really like Smith. Of all the backs on the team he just looks the part. He has the size, power and speed that you want to see in the backfield. Hall has proven to be the best receiving back. And Hyde has impressed, as well. Again, committee early on until someone emerges.

If you would like to ask a question or leave a comment about Ohio State football, follow us at Twitter @TheBuckeyeTimes. Or e-mail at leehudnell@thebuckeyetimes.com or lee@bryantimes.com.