Thursday night around 7:30 PM, the pigskin will fly off the tee and the much anticipated 2010 season will finally begin. Nobody knows for sure what all will take place, but here are a few predictions to sink your teeth into and ponder, and disagree with in the remaining hours before kickoff.
1. Terrelle Pryor will throw for over 2500 yards and 25 touchdowns, but finish second to John Clay in voting for Big Ten POY.
Pryor's mechanics and throwing ability is always going to receive some scrutiny, but his consistency will improve in 2010. Tressel has already given Pryor the green light to air it out more this season, and with the weapons around him these seem like very attainable numbers. As good as this year could be for Pryor though, we feel he falls short of the Big Ten POY. He simply has too many weapons around him, and we all know these honors go to guys who have to put the team on his shoulders all year long.
2. Either Jamaal Berry or Jordan Hall will take a kickoff to the house.
We just learned that Berry and Hall will be returning kickoffs, so expect some fireworks. The last few years have been pretty mediocre in terms on special teams, especially in the return game, and these two youngsters should provide a much needed spark.
3. Despite all the good tailbacks in the backfield, Brandon Saine will separate himself from the pack and total over 1,200 yards of total offense.
Saine's versatility provides matchup nightmares for opposing defenses, as we learned last year. The Buckeyes have too many tailbacks for an 1,000 yard rusher in 2010, but Saine's hands out of the backfield will help him accumulate around 1,200 yards of total offense. It should be a great senior campaign for Saine.
4. Jake Stoneburner will NOT catch more than 30 balls this year.
Stoney is definitely going to make the tight end position relevant again in Columbus, but there are simply too many talented playmakers on offense. Our guess is that he is a two catch a game guy, which would leave him just shy of the 30 reception mark.
5. Ohio State will receive the first half kickoff in every game but one.
Yes, we all know Tressel's strategy - he likes to get the ball first. Most opposing coaches have no problem with this, most probably think he is partially insane. There always seems to be one coach who wants to outsmart Tressel and take the ball first, like it's the key to the Buckeye game plan. Typically it's a desperate coach like Ron Zook. Mark it down, it will happen!
Rolle and Homan may be two of the most underrated linebackers in the country, especially Homan. That's going to change this season. While the d-line was the strength on the defense a year ago, the linebacking core will be carrying the Buckeye defense in '10. Get ready for lots of accolades for Homan, Rolle, and Sweat come November.
7. Scott McVey will cause a concussion - either to himself or an opponent - while covering a kickoff.
The Buckeyes always seem to have one special teams gem every season who has bad intentions. Our man this year is Scott McVey. He isn't the biggest or fastest out there, but all the reports is that he flat knows how to hit. We are look forward to some big collisions!
8. DeVier Posey will be the first Buckeye receiver to surpass 1,000 yards since Michael Jenkins in 2002.
This isn't going to be an easy task because Pryor has so many different weapons, but Pryor obviously favors Posey. On top of that, Pryor will be throwing the ball a lot more this season. No. 8 should be on the receiving end of a lot of those balls, and why not, he is arguably the most complete Buckeye receiver in Tressel's tenure.
9. The Buckeyes will lose one game on the road, and tie for the Big Ten title, again finishing 12-1.
The Buckeyes play at Wisconsin and Iowa, and we don't think they escape both of those. We aren't trying to be pessimistic, we just respect the Big Ten that much this year. Losing at Kinnick Stadium would be a tough blow though because it could be the difference in a Rose Bowl/National Championship appearance or not.
10. Jim Tressel will once again NOT be selected as Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Tressel has been victim of high preseason expectations. The Buckeyes have been conference favorites almost every year during his tenure, allowing many to minimize his coaching efforts. We would like to think that this will finally be the year he gets the credit he deserves, but we aren't holding our breath. There seems to be a conspiracy!