Saturday, August 12, 2006

"How Far We Goin' Back?" "Way Back."

The O-Zone has a Notebook & Quotebook on the defense up. It mentions that Mike D'Andrea's been pretty healthy so far (keep your fingers crossed, people), and that Vernon Gholston's been pretty impressive. But the noteworthy part of the article is this:

The concern over the OSU defense is the fact that the Buckeyes must find nine new starters. Historically, replacing that many new starters spells trouble for a defense. Or does it?

The recent history says that's just not true. The Buckeyes replaced nine starters on defense in 1997 and fielded a team that was 10-1 heading into the Michigan game. That team also allowed just under 11 points per game for the season.
Did you know that? I did not know that. 1997 was, of course, the year after the big Rose Bowl win over Arizona State. I was looking for similarities between the 1997 team and this year's team, but there just aren't that many. The 1997 team had a QB that had ended any quarterback controversy the previous season (Joe Germaine) and a defense that apparently replaced 9 starters, but that's about it. Nevertheless, the knowledge that a Buckeye defense can still be great after replacing so many starters does provide some comfort.

Besides, I don't think we'd really want this year's team to be like the '97 team. They were good, but they lost to Penn State and Michigan. They still made it to the Sugar Bowl, but, uh . . . that was the Florida State Sugar Bowl game. You might remember that. Not good times. Let's not think about that. Let's think back to that Rose Bowl instead.

Yeah, that's better.


O-FACE said...

This is inaccurate...The 95 team with Eddie George and Hoying lost the Michigan game and to Peyton Manning Tennesse squad. The 1996 team that got to the rose bowl is the one that replaced a gazillion starters on defense. The squad with stanley jackson and joe germaine.....Oh and they were unbeaten again until the Michigan game...This defense has the makings of that because they are replacing people with Juniors and Seniors in the front seven and Jenkins, Mitchell, and O'neal saw alot of time last year...

Sean said...

Oh really? Excellent. I spent a little time trying to track down depth charts from then and such, but then I got bored and just decided to assume the O-Zone knew what they were talking about. Silly me.

But if the 1996 team's the one that had the new starters, that's even better. Telling people, "hey, this team could be as good as the 1997 team" resulted in a lot of "meh" responses. But if we're talking about the 1996 team, that's a bigger deal.