My, what a busy day at Ohio State.
They’re all bound to be this way with the athletics season set to explode Sept. 2 when Marshall comes to town to play the gridders, but this was a nice taste of midseason action.
First, OSU released the first football game notes of the season, including the depth chart for the opening game against the Thundering Herd. There were a few surprises.
The biggest surprise to many came at strong safety, where sophomore C.J. Barnett appeared ahead of sophomore Orhian Johnson at a spot Johnson had held since the spring.
That does make sense on some levels, though, as Johnson was injured for both the Aug. 14 kick scrimmage and the jersey scrimmage a week later. In between times, he was spotted with a large amount of ice taped around his lower leg at the Aug. 17 practice open to the media.
Johnson looked in line for the job after he ended last year in the two-deep – he saw the field as the fifth defensive back while Kurt Coleman was suspended at Indiana – and has looked every bit the rangy athlete his body would suggest when healthy. Barnett, meanwhile, came to OSU as a corner but has improved immensely since moving to safety a season ago.
Whether Barnett will stay as a starter once Johnson is fully healthy remains to be seen, but getting the first crack at the job will help the former four-star prospect from Coleman’s alma mater of Clayton (Ohio) Northmont. In fact, this raises the possibility that OSU could have back-to-back three-year starters from the southwestern Ohio school at the same position who wear the same number (4).
The other big news came at linebacker, where junior Andrew Sweat was given the job over Etienne Sabino. The latter had held the starting spot through spring with Sweat out injured and then entered camp as the No. 1 option at the position.
However, Sweat made a quick return from knee surgery and, with Ross Homan nursing an injury for much of spring, played well with the first unit throughout camp.
While OSU fans have waited to see Sabino since he arrived as a five-star prospect from Miami, Sweat was the No. 6 middle linebacker in that same class. Sweat has been ahead of Sabino – who has still played the best football of his career this fall – before, so it’s not a huge shocker.
Where that leaves Sabino, however, is a question. Linebackers coach Luke Fickell hasn’t really rotated linebackers since being presented with a young crew in 2006, although he showed a willingness to do so with Ross Homan and Marcus Freeman in ’07 before the former suffered a season-ending turf toe injury.
Also, Sabino is listed as sharing the backup middle linebacker spot in the depth chart with Storm Klein, who has played there with the second unit throughout fall. Jonathan Newsome is the backup to Sweat on the depth chart.
As expected, Mike Adams is the top left tackle ahead of senior Andrew Miller, while Joe Bauserman is the only backup on the two-deep despite a spirited competition in camp from Ken Guiton.
Five true freshmen are listed on the two-deep: Johnathan Hankins is the backup to Dexter Larimore, Andrew Norwell is behind J.B. Shugarts at right tackle, Corey Brown is listed as a co-backup with Chris Fields to Dane Sanzenbacher, Christian Bryant is the co-backup star with Jermale Hines – a starting safety – to Tyler Moeller and Drew Basil is the top kickoff man and is behind Devin Barclay for placements.
Also of note is something that was noticed during the jersey scrimmage: Redshirt freshman Adam Bellamy is listed as the backup strongside defensive end to Cameron Heyward ahead of Melvin Fellows, who had been banged up during camp.
Finally, and not surprisingly, Brandon Saine and Dan Herron are listed as co-starters, though no backups are listed.
Of course, this depth chart must be taken with a grain of salt as things can change on gameday, but it looks pretty accurate for a first go at things in 2010.
To see the full depth chart, click here.
Ohio State’s 2010-11 basketball schedule was finally confirmed and it includes 18 Big Ten games, three power conference foes and one in-state foe.
After a Nov. 7 exhibition game, OSU opens the regular season Nov. 12 by welcoming North Carolina A&T to Value City Arena as part of the Global Sports Invitational. The second game will be perhaps the biggest nonleague game of the year when the Buckeyes meet with Florida in Gainesville on Nov. 12.
The Buckeyes face their lone in-state school this year Nov. 26, the night before the Michigan game, when they welcome Miami (Ohio). Four days later, OSU goes to Florida State as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in a rematch of last year.
Ohio State will play one game in St. John Arena, a Dec. 12 contest against Western Carolina, and also plays South Carolina at home on Dec. 18.
The league slate begins on New Year’s Eve with a trip to Indiana before closing with a rough road. The Buckeyes start February with a home contest against Michigan before traveling to face Minnesota and perennial contender Wisconsin. After that is a home game with Michigan State followed by a road trip to powerful Purdue and a home date with Illinois.
Finally, the Buckeyes close the regular season March 6 by hosting Wisconsin in a game that CBS could pick up.
ESPN networks will broadcast at least 12 games and possibly 14 throughout the season while CBS has scheduled the Buckeyes twice with opportunities for three others. The Big Ten Network, now in its fourth year, will showcase no fewer than 13 games.
The full schedule:
7 Walsh (Exh.)
12 North Carolina A&T (Global Sports Invitational)
16 at Florida (Global Sports Invitational)
20 UNC Wilmington (Global Sports Invitational)
23 Morehead State (Global Sports Invitational)
26 Miami (Ohio)
30 at Florida State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12 Western Carolina (SJA)
15 Florida Gulf Coast
18 South Carolina
21 UNC Asheville
31 at Indiana
4 at Iowa
12 at Michigan
15 Penn State
22 at Illinois
29 at Northwestern
6 at Minnesota
12 at Wisconsin
15 Michigan State
19/20 at Purdue
1 Penn State
9-13 Big Ten Tournament (Indianapolis)
Park It Here
Ohio State has released a slew of new gameday information including parking notes ahead of the game against Marshall that can be found here.