As the days leading up to the 2010 season become fewer, the excitement grows in college football circles throughout the country. Perhaps nowhere is there more hype than in Columbus, OH.
The second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will be all about QB Terrelle Pryor, a third-year starter and a Heisman hopeful who heads an offense that's bursting with potential.
However, the biggest key to the Buckeye offense will not be the player known throughout Columbus as TP or its talented collection of running backs.
The key will be the Vest.
Jim Tressel is recognized as one of the nation's best coaches, but he is known for running a conservative offense. At times, he's conservative to a fault.
The last time the Buckeyes' offense was considered explosive was 2006, when Tressel had first-round picks Ted Ginn, Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez catching passes from Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
The current Buckeye receivers don't have the explosiveness possessed by Ginn and Gonzalez, however Devier Posey is a "complete" receiver.
From an offensive standpoint, the biggest difference this year compared to 2006 is a much better offensive line, anchored by C Mike Brewster and LG Justin Boren. Both are elite players and potential 3rd-5th round picks.
In addition, the Buckeyes have witnessed the emergence of a receiving threat at the TE position. Jake Stoneburner, a 6-foot-6, 250 lb converted WR could be a matchup nightmare if used properly.
But if we've learned anything from Jim Tressel in his 10 years at the helm, it's that he only gets aggressive on offense when his play-makers protect the football.
That may seem like a given for any team, but those that follow the Vest know that every decision he makes on offense and special teams revolves around ball protection.
If he knows that the offense will protect the ball, he then feels comfortable turning it loose.
With the tools he has on offense, it will be very hard for Tressel to keep the unit on lock as he has done in years past.
And with the type of playmakers the Buckeyes have, especially in Pryor (reports from practice are that his passing is much improved), this may be the best offense the Buckeyes have had in the Jim Tressel era.
The bottom line is that Tressel hold the reigns to the offense, so he alone is the only one that can mold the 2010 offense to meet the ever-growing hype.
I'm confident that Buckeye fans should be preparing the popcorn.