Well, Ivan Maisel and ESPN finally made their way around to doing their Ohio State 2006 season preview
. Really, the article is just a focus on, get this: It turns out Jim Tressel is a conservative guy. But in all seriousness, I do think that ESPN finally hit a good angle with this article. Regardless of how many heisman contenders may be on the offensive side of the ball, it still can't win championships on it's own. Vince Young may have done all that and more to beat USC, but when push came to shove, had the defense not stopped USC on 4th & 2, we would be talking 4-peat about this time.
Don't expect quite the same Ohio State offense that we saw in the Fiesta Bowl last season or the Outback bowl the season before. The reason our offenses have gone so bezerk towards the tail-end of the past few seasons was because we started expanding our playbook more for the bigger games. You know, just Tressel pulling some new tricks out of his sleeve, right? Expect us to remain a relatively conservative offensive team heading into conference play. With an offensive line that will be as good as any in the nation, and a trio of halfbacks that could start at plenty of other D-I schools, Tressel should be running the clock, keeping the defense off the field, and getting 3 yards and a cloud of dust play in and play out. We don't want to show the rest of the Big 10 (or Texas, for that matter) what this offense is all about. The spread, despite being the most revolutionary offense since the I-Formation, doesn't need to be used all the time. I'm sure Tressel would much rather have us win games 24-14 with a huge advantage in time of posession, rather than winning 45-42, thanks to a last second drive where we didn't even know if we would get the ball back with enough time.
Then again, as long as we win, I won't complainP.S. Ivan
, with Ron English now running the entire defense for TBGUN, expect Troy Story 3 come November. Those corners were clueless against us, and now the entire defense very well may get that mindset. But you do get bonus points for bringing up the oft-forgotten point that our defense is still experienced.
Speaking of nice little ESPN stories about Ohio State players, I have now seen my very first suck-up column devoted to Tony Pittman
. There have been umpteen thousand written about Troy, Teddy, and Quinn, but this is the first one I've seen to range out beyond that. Behind our line, and when we do spread out the field, Pittman could very well have an absolute field day against defenses all season long. He has the speed to run by opponents, but has also recently developed the confidence to run right at them with a full head of steam as well. If he gets his carries, which is the only real question at this point, there's no reason he can't be one of the top two rushers in the entire conference. Defenses will stack the box against Tyrell Sutton, and I'm not totally sold on Tony Hunt yet, which leaves only Mike Hart and Albert Young that could potentially outduel him this season.
By the way, as you can see, I have added a poll above wondering what you, the reader, has to say about Pittman. Any more details in the comments section is greatly appreciated.