Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Rumors surfaced earlier this week that Ohio State quarterback, Braxton Miller, had met with representatives from the Oregon Ducks to discuss a transfer for next season. While those rumors were quickly shot down by both schools, one can’t help but wonder whether or not Miller’s time in Scarlet and Grey has really come to a close.
I mean, really, think about it. J.T. Barrett has come in and played better than pretty much anybody thought he would. Nobody expected him to lead this Buckeye team like he has, let alone have his name on the short list for the Heisman Trophy! Add to that the fact that Miller is set to graduate, and could transfer to another program without having to sit out for a year, and you’ve got the perfect mix of factors that could contribute to Braxton looking elsewhere next season.
With all that in mind, here is a list of possible (not necessarily probable) landing spots for Braxton Miller:
Ohio State Buckeyes: That’s right, this might all be for nothing. Braxton Miller may very well come back, don the scarlet and red (thank you LeBron James), and pick up right where he left off. In some ways, that would certainly make sense. Miller is a two-time Big Ten player of the year, so it’s not as if he’s some slouch. However, Miller has never won the Heisman Trophy during his time at Ohio State. J.T. Barrett could end up doing both of those things this season. If that happens, Urban Meyer certainly has one heck of a situation on his hands. Does he bench a Heisman Trophy winner in order to play a two-time Big Ten player of the year? (Isn’t that a nice problem to have?)
Now there’s been talk of putting Braxton Miller at wide receiver, tight-end, or even at running back. Sure, schematically that might all work out fine, but Miller wants to play quarterback. He’s openly complained about taking so many tackles in the past, so I don’t think that switching positions will really be his cup of tea. That said, if he wants to remain a Buckeye, that’s the conversation he may find himself having with his coach.
Oregon Ducks: Since the rumor mill put this possibility out there for us (and since Curt mentioned it on the podcast a week earlier), we have to talk about the Oregon Ducks. Chip Kelly’s former team still runs the offense that Urban Meyer openly sought advice about this past summer. Add to that the fact that Marcus Mariota will be leaving for the NFL Draft, and you’ve got a perfect landing spot for Miller. Would Oregon like to pick up right where they left of with Mariota? Absolutely they would.
However, I refer you to the same thing I said about Miller changing positions at Ohio Sate. He’s openly complained about taking too many hits in this spread offense. Let’s not forget the fact that Braxton Miller was a Jim Tressel recruit, not an Urban Meyer recruit. Miller signed up to run a pro-style offense, not the read option. So he may very well want nothing to do with this system, even on such a high-powered team as Oregon. It could happen, but I don’t think it will.
Florida State Seminoles: Jameis Winston will be heading for the NFL for the same reason that Pete Carroll left for the NFL…because if he doesn’t, he’s about to get in some serious trouble. As good as Winston is, he’s been nothing but trouble during his time at Florida State. Enter Braxton Miller, a guy who’s had absolutely no trouble, other than injuries, during his time at Ohio State. Miller certainly has all the tools to step in as Winston’s replacement, but just like the situation with the Oregon Ducks, will Miller want to put his body through that sort of torture again? He’s already had two major shoulder injuries, and he’s got a career to think about.
Michigan Wolverines: Now yes, this option certainly creates one of the absolute best story lines on the face of the planet. I mean really, Shakespeare himself couldn’t have thought this crap up. But hear me out: What coach does Michigan really want to land this off-season? Yes, Jim Harbaugh. What type of offense did Harbaugh run at Standford? A pro-style offense. What other quarterback had great success in that offense, which then translated to big time success at the NFL level? That’s right, Andrew Luck.
Does Braxton Miller want to play quarterback in the NFL? Yes. Does he have the skill-set to pull it off? Maybe. But he certainly has a better chance if he can plug into an offense that will actually prepare him to play at the next level.
So here it is, my bold prediction: If Jim Harbaugh becomes Michigan’s next head coach, Braxton Miller will become their next starting quarterback, taking what is possibly the greatest rivalry in all of sports to levels that could only be dreamed of.
But what say all of you out there? Where do you think Braxton Miller ends up? Does he remain a Buckeye? Does he head to Eugene to become a quack? Or does he become the first Benedict Arnold in all of sports history? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, congratulations to Alex Shields of Louisville, KY for winning the $25 Gift Card to Buffalo Wild Wings in the 'Our Sports Report' Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway! His suggestions of the Louisville Slugger Museum, a shaving kit and an engraved bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon is enough to make any man weep with joy. Well done, Alex!