August 29, 2012

Predicting the Buckeyes' MVP

Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

The football season is less than a week away and it can't come soon enough for any college football fan. The Buckeyes would be one of the favorites in the Big Ten this season if they were eligible to win the league and move on, but that doesn't mean that this team and the individuals on it still can't be successful.

For the rest of the week, the staff at BuckeyeGrove.com will be taking a stab at predicting how the 2012 Ohio State football season will play out. These predictions include educated guesses about everything from who will lead the Buckeyes in major statistical categories to which players will have breakout seasons. Today, we do our best to forecast who will be Ohio State's team MVP at the end of the 2012 season.

Kevin Noon - Publisher

Fullback Zach Boren will be the Buckeyes' MVP of the 2012 season

I am going to go out on a limb and say the final fullback for the Buckeyes (at least in the current scheme) will be 'the guy' with Boren. He was named a captain by his teammates and has been a go-to guy for Urban Meyer pretty much from day one. Now with the new offensive scheme we can expect to see Boren get more touches and even when the ball is 20 yards away from Boren, his impact on the team is immeasurable. Even as a sophomore he had no fear getting in the face of seniors and letting them know what is up. With Braxton Miller learning to be a more vocal leader, Boren has that down and will be the biggest reason for Ohio State's upward climb.

Ben Axelrod - Lead Team Writer

Defensive end John Simon will be the Buckeyes' MVP of the 2012 season

If Meyer was forced to put together a Mt. Rushmore of players he's coached, I'd imagine Simon would already make the cut. That's how highly the Buckeyes' first-year coach thinks of his new captain and starting defensive end.

Praise from Meyer might not be enough for Simon to capture OSU's team MVP award, but the fact that somebody as blunt and honest about his players as Meyer is constantly complimenting Simon's play and work ethic in public forums does speak volumes. Simon has been treated like anything but a defensive lineman since Meyer arrived, with him only seeing limited action in the spring game and being held out cautiously of some practices in the fall. The Buckeyes' defensive line figures to not only be their strong point, but one of the best in the nation, and if that hype proves to be warranted, Simon's sack stats could reap the benefits.

Marc Givler - Recruiting Analyst

Quarterback Braxton Miller will be the Buckeyes' MVP of the 2012 season

While the defense is pretty loaded with star power, the offense is a little bit more of an unknown heading into the season. If the Buckeyes are to have the success that many expect out of them this fall, Miller will need to take that next step in his development. As a freshman, Miller showed flashes of brilliance, but like most young signal callers also had his share of tough moments. By all accounts, Miller has had an outstanding off-season and looks primed to have a big year in an offense that is much more fitting to his abilities than the one he operated a season ago.

Jeremy Birmingham - Team Writer

Cornerback Bradley Roby will be the Buckeyes' MVP of the 2012 season

In 2005, Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy (I thought he did anyway, but it appears I was mistaken), awarded annually to college football's "best" player. He won the coveted award that year by a narrow margin over Texas' Vince Young, who Bush and his USC teammates fell to in the national championship game in Pasadena.

While I'm sure you all appreciate the history lesson, the reason I bring that up this: being the "best" player doesn't make you the most valuable; because Bush, for all his spectacular highlights and plays that year was not more important than Young by a long shot. Young was the "MVP" of college football in 2005, Heisman Trophy or not.

Similarly, this year's Buckeye team will be full of incredibly talented players on the offensive and defensive side of the team. Miller and Simon are likely to get the majority of the press for "best player", but there might not be a more valuable player in my opinion than Roby. The redshirt sophomore cornerback burst onto the scene for the Buckeyes last year when ex-Buckeye Dominic Clarke found himself in the doghouse, and Roby did not disappoint, becoming the team's top corner without question.

This fall, Roby will not surprise anyone with his talents, but the corner position is thin for the Buckeyes, and if the season has a chance to be special, Roby will have to be even better than he was a year.

Tom Levenick - Time and Change Contributor/Former Player

Quarterback Braxton Miller will be the Buckeyes' MVP of the 2012 season

He has endured a tough and difficult initiation to college football and the Big Ten, but he obviously showed signs of brilliance in 2011. Meyer said recently that Braxton is the best athlete at the quarterback position that he has ever coached. That list includes Tim Tebow and Alex Smith. Our new spread offense relies on the quarterback making great decisions and having incredible athleticism. The new coaching staff is working with Miller on decision making, while he already owns tremendous athletic ability.

I believe Miller will deliver somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for the classic "Double Double", while leading the Buckeyes to be the best team in the Big Ten, despite not being able to play for the championship. Won't it be great watching the Big Ten Championship Game, December 1, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis? The Michigan Wolverines versus the Wisconsin Badgers, both having losses to The Ohio State University Buckeyes!



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