Most Satisfying Moment: Fiesta Bowl Thrashing
It would be easy to say the equally one-sided win over Michigan as well, but I’m going with the bowl win. Even without three defensive starters after Joey Bosa was ejected, Ohio State looked like a team making a national statement that they will remain a top four team into 2016.
The offense ran 85 plays and, for the most part, limited a dangerous Notre Dame offense. More importantly, they beat a recruiting rival on a national stage where many players for the 2016 Buckeyes had shining moments. In a season where Ohio State stumbled against MAC teams and the bottom of the Big Ten, it felt good to throttle a top ten team the way the Buckeyes did in the desert.
Most Frustrating Player: J.T. Barrett
No, not Cardale Jones. We should have expected some regression from Jones, who honestly overachieved in the playoffs last season. But as for Barrett, this is a player coming off a Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year season, one where he broke multiple records and looked every part the big-play threat that Braxton Miller was before he destroyed his shoulder.
Barrett’s inability to take the job outright in summer camp stunted the Buckeye offense before it could really get moving. It showed all year. How many games did Ezekiel Elliott have to bail out a struggling offense? How many terrible red zone trips could have been converted had Barrett played at the level he did in 2014 and the last few games of 2015? Had Barrett overtaken Cardale Jones right away, who knows how this team could have performed? Who knows if by Michigan State, the offense would be operating at full speed. The season could be ending on Monday night, not on New Year’s Day.
Next: Most Exciting Player