Well, I think we have our answer.
Who should've been the Buckeyes' starting quarterback from Day 1? Probably J.T. Barrett.
It's not to take anything away from Cardale Jones, who is obviously a very good football player. And, hey, Ohio State has yet to lose a game he's started. That counts for something.
But Barrett, based on his electric performance in his first start of 2015 in Saturday's 49-7 destruction of Rutgers, probably should have been doing this all along.
Barrett accounted for five total touchdowns — continuing the pattern from the last two games, when he scored three against Indiana and four against Penn State — as the Buckeyes rolled over the Scarlet Knights like one of those pavement-flattener things. Barrett completed 14 of his 18 passing attempts for 223 yards (15.9 yards per completion) and a trio of touchdown tosses, including scoring passes of 50 and 30 yards. He also rushed 13 times for 101 yards (7.8 yards per carry) and two more touchdowns.
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Barrett led an offensive effort that matched the Buckeyes' highest point total of the season and produced 528 total yards.
This is the kind of game that Barrett had repeatedly a season ago, when he was one of the best quarterbacks in the country, leading the Buckeyes to an 11-1 regular-season record and finishing fifth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy. It's games like this one that had many fans and observers saying that he was the correct choice to start at quarterback back in August. Jones' postseason accomplishments were mighty impressive, but Barrett did things so well for such a long period of time.
There's no need chiding Urban Meyer, as Ohio State remains undefeated and will almost surely hang on to the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll Sunday afternoon. Even if this goes down as the "wrong" choice in hindsight, opting for Jones for seven games rather than Barrett, those are still seven games that Meyer's team won. Saturday's win gave him 150 career wins. The Buckeyes have won 21 games in a row.
What Barrett's insertion as the starter means is that Ohio State gets even scarier, and perhaps the Buckeyes have finally reached the level of dominance everyone expected when this season began.
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Yes, it was only Rutgers, but Ohio State out-gained its opponent by 235 yards, outscored its opponent by six touchdowns and would have had a shutout if not for a Rutgers touchdown in the game's final seconds. Apart from all of Barrett's statistics mentioned earlier, Ezekiel Elliott had another ho-hum 100-yard game, carrying the ball 19 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He has rushed for triple-digit yardage in 13 straight games and still looks like the Big Ten's best shot at the Heisman. Wide receiver Michael Thomas caught five passes for 103 yards and that 50-yard touchdown.
If Jones was capable of leading a team that was scoring more than 30 points a game and beating every opponent it lined up against, maybe it's Barrett who will unleash the full potential of a team that was gaining preseason attention as maybe one of college football's all-time best.
The Buckeyes have games against Minnesota and Illinois before its back-to-back helpings of teams from the Great Lakes State. The bout with Michigan State on Nov. 21 in Columbus could pit two undefeated top-10 teams against one another and determine everything from who wins the Big Ten East to who makes the College Football Playoff. And with Michigan playing so well this season, the Nov. 28 game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines will have more buzz than it's had in years.
Ohio State has been firmly entrenched in the Playoff and national-championship discussions all season long. Barrett had the Buckeyes looking like a team that could beat anybody on Saturday night in New Jersey.