Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/17/14
  In his very first year The Urban Meyer took our Buckeyes to the land of the unbeaten, but thanks to Gene Smith going full retard we have no BCS National Championship to win. When Urban was hired expectations in Columbus went through the roof and after this past season the expectations are higher than a stripper at Kahoots.  In October we gave the Buckeye football team some pretty tough but fair grades on their midterms.  Football season has come to a close and like most teachers do we spent a great deal of time partying before giving out any final grades.  It’s tough to be too critical with a perfect season in the books but we tried to give some constructive criticism.  Just like the Mid Season grades the final grades will be given in units instead of individually. Offense Quarterbacks: B Braxton had a solid season and made great strides from where he was as a freshman.  We have to assume that at least a few months had to be spent with him unlearning everything he was taught by that Youngstown assembly line operator Nick Siciliano.  Braxton managed to win the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and also finished fifth in the Heisman voting.  Next year he will undoubtedly be considered a front-runner for the award.  In our mid-season report card we mentioned that we loved Kenny Guiton and would take him over any other QB in the Big Ten.  Then the Purdue game happened and it made us look even more like geniuses than we usually do.  The issue with grading this position is that Braxton hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of how good he can be.  The kid can become the greatest Buckeye quarterback of all time.  For that reason the grade gives room for improvement. Running Backs: B- Hyde your kids Hyde your wife. This beast put the Ohio State running game on his shoulders the last two games of the season.  We absolutely loved the way he dominated Michigan late in the 4th quarter to put that game away.  He even brought that OSU swag by imitating Retardo Denardo’s feed me ********.  Hyde won over Urban with his downhill running and work ethic.  When the season rolls around next year expect Hyde to be the featured back in this offense.  On top of that we think Hyde can be a Heisman dark horse…..shhhhh.  We have some depth with Rod Smith earning the coaching staff’s trust late in the season and maybe even Jordan Hall getting a medical red shirt.  We actually could care less about Hall and worry about him stealing carries for incoming freshman Jalin Marshall (Percy Harvin role) and Ezekiel Elliot who look to be real game changers and good change of pace backs. Wide Receiver’s/Tight Ends: C We are keeping this grade right where we had it mid-season.  Philly Brown became the go to receiver for Braxton and had a pretty good second half of the season.  But overall this group still struggled with consistency and too many dropped balls.  Devin Smith was either boom or bust and fans are hoping that Michael Thomas doesn’t become Mr. Spring Game.  Jake Stoneburner is probably one of the most overhyped players in Ohio State history but Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman showed some flashes that make it look like the tight end position is set for years to come. For this team to make improved strides next year this group will need to step up.  Also look for Urban to add 1-2 more wide receiver commitments in this years recruiting class.  All things considered they took a step in the right direction and with another year in Urban’s system you can look for major improvements. Offensive Line: A This group has been impressive all season long.  They opened holes bigger holes than Mark May’s mouth but with way less ******** coming out of them.  Granted none of the offensive lineman received 1st or 2nd team All Big Ten from the coaches but if those idiots knew how to spot talent then maybe their team’s wouldn’t suck.  Hyde and Braxton benefited from their drastic improvements with each of those guys finishing as Top 10 rushers in the conference.  The line should also get a ton of credit for the lack of penalties they received during the season as no one on this team reminded us of JB Shugarts.  This group gets most improved from last year and only losing Fragel sets this group up nicely for next season. Defense Defensive Line: A We predicted this group would finish with an A on their grade card and they did not disappoint. Just do yourself a favor and go back and watch the games against Wisconsin and Michigan. The game that John Simon had against the Badgers in Madison was ******* unreal. He was unblockable during that game and was double teamed for most of it. The 2nd half against Michigan was one of the most exciting of the season. They were incredible in short yardage situations, stuffing Michigan time and time again.  John Simon finished as the Big Ten Defensive Player of The Year and Johnathan Hankins is pulling in his share of post season hardware as well.  Not only is this unit losing Simon and Hankins but also it’s losing Garrett Goebel and Nathan Williams as well.  Goebel was a captain and the guy that would do the dirty work.  Williams was probably the most underrated guy on the defense.  Him being healthy made a huge difference because his versatility allowed for the coaches to rush him of the edge or even drop him into coverage.  All four will be huge losses but there is no shortage of talent thanks to the recruiting class last year that included Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington and guys like Joey Bosa and Tracy Sprinkle coming in next year. Linebackers: C+ At mid-season the linebackers were a nightmare.  Shazier was playing average, Etienne Sabino was hurt, Curtis Grant had been benched for Storm Klein, and Zach Boren was a fullback.  Give the coaching staff a ton of credit here.  At mid-season we had never seen a linebacking core worse than the one that was taking the field every Saturday for the Silver Bullets.  By the end of the season the coaching staff had to put together a serviceable crew that put the LOCKDOWN on Michigan during the second half of the game.  Shazier turned into the best defensive player in the Big Ten and Boren had us all wondering why he wasn’t switched earlier in his career.  The memory of him smashing Devin Gardener into the turf of The Shoe will never leave our minds.  With Sabino and Boren graduating the off season battles for the linebacker spots will be one of the most interesting storylines. Defensive Backs/Saftey’s: B- Don’t be a tool, wrap up that fool.  We are guessing that this was the unit’s mantra for the second half of the season, or something slightly less stupid.  For the most part they were improved but Christian Bryant, CJ Barnett, and Travis Howard still had their moments when they thought giving a guy chest bump would be enough to knock him over.  Bradley Roby on the other hand was a flat out stud and we think the best cornerback in the nation.  Actually nevermind, he’s not that good aka PLEASE COME BACK!  Overall we saw some improvements but not enough to change their mid term grade.  They were probably helped by the fact that the Big Ten has awful quarterbacks and mediocre skill position players.  Next year this team will really need Barnett and Bryant to shore up the back end. Special Teams: B We will keep this grade the same as the midterm.  You didn’t see the blocked extra points,  field goals , or punts like the first half, but you also didn’t see us getting our **** packed in either.  Philly Brown did **** a couple of punts, but also dazzled with some nice returns and the big one in Madison.  This group will continue to improve under Urban, do you remember those Florida special team units.? With the athletes Ohio State gets this unit is bound to get nasty. Coaching: B Slow down and stop writing our names on your people to kill list.  We know they went undefeated.  Once again we tried to give Urban the grade we think he would give himself.   Going 12-0 was a remarkable accomplishment especially in his first season, with a new system, and not having “Urban Meyer guys”.   But, we also realize that this team was not perfect and if we gave an A there would be no room for growth.  The Buckeyes non-conference schedule was easy as **** and the Big10 schedule was easier.  The important thing is that we saw improvement from players and coaches as the season progressived, especially on the much maligned defensive side of the ball.  Urban expects his team to play better and play more complete games.  He will continue to tweak this team until he has them just where he wants them…fighting for National Championships year after year.  Great job coach, we look forward to next year.
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