Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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We here at ‘Our Sports Report’ are frequent readers of ‘The Bleacher Report’. Many of their articles are great, many of them are not so great, but all of them are capable of sparking a healthy debate at any time.
On January 2nd, Michael Felder wrote an article in which he ranked the top 250 players in college football. A total of eleven Buckeye players made the list. I myself didn’t have much of an issue with where these players fell on the list, when compared against every player in college football. However, I did have a problem with how Mr. Felder ranked the Buckeye players amongst themselves.
Here are the Buckeye players as they graced the list:
- Noah Spence – 195
- Curtis Grant – 191
- Jeff Heuerman – 163
- Carlos Hyde – 148
- Kenny Guiton – 108
- Joey Bosa – 105
- Bradley Roby – 97
- Braxton Miller – 63
- Ryan Shazier – 41
- Michael Bennett – 28
- Jack Mewhort – 23
Now, are we really to believe that Jack Mewhort was the best player on the Buckeye football team this year? Urban Meyer certainly had great things to say about Mewhort, constantly complementing both his skill set and his leadership. Mewhort certainly performed well this season in leading the Ohio State offensive line. But was he the best player on the team? I’m not so sure.
Kenny Guiton played very well in limited snaps this season. He certainly put the team on his back and kept the winning streak alive when Braxton Miller was injured. But was he a better player than Carlos Hyde or Noah Spence? I’m not so sure.
Of the names on the list, was Noah Spence the least valuable of these players? Absolutely not! Shoot, I’m not even sure why Curtis Grant is even on this list. He had a relatively quiet season and when compared to Ryan Shazier, seemed like he should’ve been a practice squad player.
If I had to put a list of the eleven best Buckeye players of the season, just using the above choices, I think it would look something like this:
11. Curtis Grant
10. Kenny Guiton
9. Jeff Heuerman
8. Bradley Roby
7. Michael Bennett
6. Jack Mewhort
5. Ryan Shazier
4. Braxton Miller
3. Noah Spence
2. Carlos Hyde
1. Joey Bosa
Now, I will freely admit that my list is very biased, but I am a fan, not a professional sports writer. I’m allowed to make ridiculous claims as a fan. However, I won’t just let this list go unexplained.
Frankly, I felt like Braxton Miller had somewhat of an up and down year, almost directly related to how well his offensive line played for him…hence why Miller and Mewhort fall in the middle of the pack.
Bradley Roby, if graded strictly on last year’s contributions, would probably top the list. However, as a fan, I watched him get burnt too many times this year by receivers who were average. To me, when you’re supposedly the best player in the pass defense, I had better be seeing your number making tackles and not running after players who just torched you.
Kenny Guiton was not the starter. Period. As much as we all love us some smooth jazz, we can’t ignore this fact. There is a reason that he doesn’t start, and that reason is that Braxton Miller is better than Kenny Guiton. When both players are healthy, Miller gives you a better chance to win.
Carlos Hyde, to me, was more valuable than Braxton Miller. Carlos Hyde gave defenses something to focus on, which allowed Miller to thrive at times. At other times, Carlos Hyde flat put this team on his back, like in the Northwestern game when Braxton Miller was having an off night. We will definitely miss him next season.
Speaking of missing him next season, Ryan Shazier is leaving for the NFL. This is a presence that will surely be missed. When I think of defensive leaders on this team, one of the first names that come to mind is Ryan Shazier. Besides being one goofy looking dude, he is also one of the most feared tacklers on the Buckeye defense…because he’s everywhere!
Joey Bosa and Noah Spence were the best two players on this defense. Let’s be real, if we had a decent pass defense this year, we would be better than Michigan State on defense. Our pass defense became a liability that we just couldn’t overcome by the end of the season. However, these two guys played consistently well all season long. Even though Noah Spence had a better season statistically than Joey Bosa, his stupidity at season’s end kept him from getting the top spot.
And then there’s Joey Bosa, the ‘Our Sports Report’ Grown Ass Man of the Year, who as a true freshman played like a senior. Everyone expected this guy to play in the shadows this year, but Bosa just couldn’t be ignored. The sky is the limit with this kid and I can’t wait to see him lead this defense in the coming seasons.
This is by no means a definitive list. Please, by all means, argue with me. Give me your list as you see things. I’m curious to know how all of you Buckeye fans feel about your team.