Our Quarterback Metric Importance Proven by Ohio State's recent two year underachievement
We drop our 2018 CFB HourGlass analytics on 4-4-18 and one of the important data parameters is returning quarterback play and how quarterback production can make or break a team.
You will not find a better example of this position of importance than the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes talent profile is as good as any in the country, their coach, Urban Meyer has won multiple National Titles - so what gives? Well, you can pin a loss typically on this, or that; but quarterback play from a dominate player, was not dominate at all in almost all of the Buckeye losses from 2014-17.
We said this last year at this time on Ohio State in our 2017 preview - where we pegged the Buckeyes to get to the National Title. We ended up two games off our 2017 Buckeye totals and it was all on the quarterback.
Outside of Nick Saban, it’s hard to argue Urban Meyer is the second best coach in the country. Yes there was the Florida debacle that threw salt in the wound on the way out the door, but Meyer has reestablished himself as a prime commodity in college football going 61-6 in five seasons in Columbus, Ohio with a National Championship in 2014.
The Buckeyes have played in two of the three College Football Playoffs and looked poised for another Championship run in 2017.
Ohio State returns J.T. Barrett at quarterback, who is rated our 11th best quarterback in the country per the Hour Glass quarterback stamp as he has a rating of 22, just ahead of Brett Rypien of Boise State and just behind Sam Darnold of USC.
The Buckeyes have an elite recruiting profile in our three year algorithms as they are tied for second in the country with Florida State, with a recruiting stamp of 97. They are well within our Realistic Championship Contender cut line.
Then there is Meyer who is tied for second on our coaching rankings with Dabo Swinney of Clemson over the last three years. Meyer in our book is without question the second best coach in the country behind Saban and even ahead of Swinney over the long haul when you look at both coaches total body of work.
The Buckeyes have the 23rd hardest schedule in the country per our Strength of Schedule numbers, right there with Florida State and South Carolina.
Week two as we talked about last week, is an elimination game of sorts with Oklahoma in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes also go on the road to Nebraska and host Penn State on October 28th.
The Buckeyes will finish the season on the road against Michigan in what should be another rival game classic.
The Buckeyes Hour Glass profile is ripe for the pickings when you talk about College Football Playoff profiles, which is why we have them going undefeated in the regular season, winning the Big 10 and being the number two see in the 2018 College Football Playoff behind Alabama.
Again - we got this one wrong, but it was because Barrett didn't hold up to his end of the bargain, as one of the elite quarterbacks in the country.
For his career at Ohio State, Barrett passed for 9,434 yards, 104 touchdowns and only 30 interceptions, while completing 64 percent of his passes.
However, in the Buckeyes six losses over his career, he threw a third of his total interceptions in those ball games. You can chalk that up to the defense having his number, bad matchup; however you want to frame it up, but he cost his team in these games.
JT Barrett - Stat tracker in losses at Ohio State -
Barrett's interceptions rose, touchdowns fell, as did his completion percentage.
Sometimes the reasons you lose vary from a turnover, player, unit or more - but in the Buckeyes case, Barrett cost them in ball games, while helping them in others.
Urban Meyer now has the task of getting all he can out of the talented Dwayne Haskins or another Buckeye. They will have every opportunity to do big things in 2018, but at some point their quarterbacks will have to make plays. If they don't you may see the Buckeyes underachieve yet again in 2018.