Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How suspending Carlos Hyde for three games might help Ohio State

No charges filed. No appearances in Ohio State's first three games for senior running back Carlos Hyde.

Hyde, along with Coach Urban Meyer, avoided a major dilemma when the woman involved in an altercation with Hyde earlier this month strayed from bringing the legal system into the matter. Hyde's punishment for placing himself in an awful situation before a high-stakes season consists of "at least" a three-game suspension from Meyer.

The Buckeyes open with Buffalo and San Diego State at home before visiting California. If Meyer wanted to prove a bigger point, he could have suspended Hyde for Ohio State's first three conference games against Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa. Or perhaps the Buckeyes' final game against Michigan. College football discipline, unfortunately, is never backlogged.

Suspending Hyde for the first three games might be beneficial to Ohio State. Buffalo, San Diego State and California went a combined 16-21 last season. No member of the trio poses a threat to Ohio State, so the Buckeyes are in no position to lose a game because of Hyde's suspension.

Sitting Hyde might silence some critics of Meyer, whose handling of non-football issues while at Florida has developed into a significant summer story. It also might help Ohio State construct a deep backfield. Rod Smith, Jordan Hall, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball and Ezekiel Elliott will compete for Hyde's early-season carries. Hall is the lone senior in the group. Smith is a junior, Dunn is a sophomore, Ball is a redshirt freshman and Elliott is a true freshman. Hall led the group with 40 carries last season. Hyde, by comparison, received 185.

Dispersing carries early in the season should help Ohio State later this fall and beyond. Great teams cultivate more than one reliable running back. With Hyde out for at least three games, Meyer has no choice but to resort to other options. 

Some medical benefits to sitting Hyde also exist. 

Division I running backs absorb cruel poundings. Unlike the Big Ten's other top backs, Hyde should begin conference play Sept. 28 against Wisconsin without lingering bruises from the non-conference schedule. A fresh Hyde might be difficult to slow.

Hyde partially damaged his reputation and put Meyer in a tough spot. But his ordeal hasn't altered Ohio State's status as an overwhelming favorite in a struggling Big Ten.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home