Denzel Burke Ohio State Buckeyes Cornerback
Football, Podcast

Is ‘National Championship Or Bust’ A Fair Standard For The 2024 Buckeyes?

The Buckeyes had over 10 players put the NFL on hold for a year so that they could come back and try to win a national championship. Cornerback Denzel Burke said on Thursday that it’s “Natty or bust” for the Ohio State football team this year.

In this episode of the Buckeye Weekly Podcast, Tom Orr and Tony Gerdeman discuss this thought and ask if “Natty or bust” is an unfair standard. Or is it exactly what this team should be striving for?

The fellas also ask if this is the same standard they’ve always had and if there are legit reasons to go ahead and put this kind of pressure on them.

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles talked with reporters after practice on Thursday, and Tony and Tom discuss a handful of things he had to say.


  • Ohio State football’s national championship expectations. 0:00
    • Tony Gerdeman and Tom Orr discuss the Ohio State football team’s spring practice and the “natty or bust” mentality.
    • Tom and Tony talk about what is meant by “or bust.”
  • Ohio State football expectations and past seasons. 2:29
    • The fellas discuss the high expectations for Ohio State’s football team this season.
    • Both agree that it’s unrealistic to expect every season to result in a national championship, and that it’s important to have realistic expectations and not set unattainable standards for the team.
    • Tom and Tony discuss Ohio State football seasons where the team had high expectations but failed to meet them (1969, 1970, 1998, 2003, 2015).
    • The hosts highlight how these seasons often had unexpected outcomes and how the team’s performance was not always as expected (e.g., losing to Michigan in 1969, losing to Michigan State in 1998, and losing to Wisconsin in 2003).
  • Ohio State football pressure and expectations. 8:19
    • Ohio State football team faces pressure from within and outside sources as they aim for a successful season.
    • Tom emphasizes the high expectations for Ohio State football, particularly in regards to beating Michigan and winning the Big Ten.
    • Orr acknowledges the pressure on coach Ryan Day to deliver a successful season, given the team’s talent and the new playoff format.
  • Ohio State football’s National Championship chances. 12:44
    • Tony and Tom discuss Ohio State’s chances of winning the National Championship, with 90% of a Twitter poll saying it’s National Championship or bust for the Buckeyes.
    • The speakers acknowledge the team’s depth and resilience, citing examples of overcoming injuries and setbacks in previous seasons.
    • Tony suggests that Ohio State fans are more reasonable than perceived, with 10% prioritizing friendships over national championships.
    • Tom notes that this year’s favorites for the National Championship are Ohio State and Georgia, with other top teams experiencing declines.
  • College football rankings and betting odds. 17:29
    • Tom and Tony discuss college football picks, with Orr predicting Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Oregon, and Alabama as top contenders for the national championship.
    • They also discuss parlay betting options, with Orr suggesting a short on Ole Miss and Michigan, and Gerdeman mentioning other potential picks like Florida State and Washington.
    • They speculate that the Ohio State-Oregon game could be a potential one versus two matchup.
  • Ohio State football defense with Jim Knowles. 23:25
    • Jim Knowles discusses the defense’s potential and the importance of having the right pieces in place to be successful.
    • Talent on Ohio State football team has increased each year under coach Knowles, with higher level of play now than in previous years.
    • Knowles has adapted his coaching style to the current group of players, allowing them to be more aggressive and take advantage of their strengths.
  • Ohio State football’s secondary and recruiting. 29:43
    • Tony highlights the talent and depth of Ohio State’s defense.
    • Tom agrees with Tony’s assessment and praises his ability to find common ground with the audience.
    • Ohio State’s secondary has been rebuilt under Tim Walton’s recruiting efforts, with potential top four corners and a five-star safety in the class.
    • Tony discussed the coaching staff’s approach to developing players.
    • Jordan Hancock credited Tim Walton with helping him prepare for a heavier workload as a nickel back, highlighting the importance of experienced coaches in player development.

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