It's only March 28th, but it already feels like the college football off-season has gone on for far too long.
Here's the good news. It's almost April and that means Spring football. The Scarlet and Gray game is set for April 24th at 1PM.
Here's the bad news. We get a very small preview look at some of the players we're counting on and a teaser of what 2010 might bring, then we have to wait four long months for the college football season to begin.
From all indications, the Buckeyes will likely be ranked in the top five when the preseason AP and Coaches Polls are released.
Troy Smith and Vince Young (both of whom Pryor has been compared to) each exploded in their third years at Ohio State and Texas respectively. Young led Texas to the BCS title in 2005 and Smith won the Heisman Trophy in 2006.
Couple that this is Pryor's third year as a starter, with what he did in the 2010 Rose Bowl against Oregon, and it's easy to see why the expectations are going to be somewhat understandably insane, although potentially attainable.
Pryor will certainly have a plethora of weapons at his disposal in the coming season—Possibly more that any QB has ever had while at Ohio State.
The backfield will be loaded with a slew of backs who were all rated three, four, or five stars coming out of high school according to Scout and/or Rivals.
Some names you know include Brandon Saine, Dan Herron, Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, Carlos Hyde, Jermil Martin, and Roderick Smith.
The talent pool at the wide receiver position is also looking very deep.
Starters DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher return, as does Duron Carter, Taurian Washington, James Jackson, Chris Fields, Corey Brown, and new recruits James Louis and Tyrone Williams.
Once again the defense should be one of the best in the country. The only key losses are S Kurt Coleman and DE Thaddeus Gibson. Possible replacements may include Jamie Wood or CJ Barnett at S, and Melvin Fellows or Johnathan Newsome at DE, but that is just speculation on my part at this point.
The bottom line for Ohio State's hope of a BCS title run in 2010 is this:
Everything depends on Pryor's health and progression, period.
If he doesn't progress as much as anticipated over the next five months, or if he misses a significant part of the season due to injury, Buckeye fans will start to feel like fans of the Chicago Cubs or any of the Cleveland pro teams (especially the Browns and Indians).
Personally, I'm tired of waiting for next year...
2010 IS next year!
Photo copyright of Dan Harker / Theozone.net