Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) waits for the snap during a game against Michigan State on Nov. 8 in East Lansing, Mich. OSU won, 49-37.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe script surrounding the Ohio State quarterback picture is the same as it was three months ago — the lead character just has a different name.When the Buckeyes took the field for fall practice in August, their top quarterback was a Heisman Trophy contender with the ability to rewrite the record books.But that quarterback — senior Braxton Miller — was lost for the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder during fall camp, leaving the door open for redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett to take reigns of the OSU offense.Now with three regular season games still remaining for the Buckeyes, Barrett is just four touchdown passes away from tying the single-season school record of 30. That record just so happens to have been set by OSU’s most recent Heisman winner, Troy Smith in 2006.On Monday, coach Urban Meyer said he thinks Barrett’s play — at least on paper — should have him in the conversation for the sport’s most prestigious postseason award.“I think statistically he’s got to be in the mix somewhere,” Meyer said, but he conceded he hadn’t had a chance to watch most other players who are in the Heisman conversation.But before Barrett’s play elevated him into that conversation, all signs pointed toward Miller returning to the Buckeyes as the starter next season. Since his injury was season-ending, Miller qualifies for a medical redshirt, meaning he can choose to stay at OSU next season with one year of eligibility remaining.In fact, Miller’s future at OSU was even qualified by Meyer on Sept. 29.“Braxton is our quarterback,” Meyer said, seemingly ending any debate as to whether Barrett — the former understudy — could send Miller packing.But now with Barrett’s play putting him in the national spotlight and Miller having already come in ninth in Heisman voting last season and fifth in 2012, Meyer could be tasked with choosing between two of the top signal callers in the nation next season.And after saying he was committed to Miller less than two months ago, Meyer’s stance shifted Monday when he addressed a potential Barrett vs. Miller battle next season.“Competition brings out the best,” he said. “And I’m really excited to have two really good quarterbacks next year.”But with that potential decision still months away, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said he’s focused on 2014, and not who will be under center on Sept. 7, 2015, when the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their season against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.“I honestly give that zero, zero thought,” Herman said Monday. “Zero.“I’m focused on this team and I’m also focused on Braxton and his rehab, which is going greatly from what I understand.”Herman added that the Buckeyes will “cross that bridge when we come to it,” in reference to possibly having a quarterback competition on their hands next fall.Meyer said having both quarterbacks on the roster isn’t a problem for him — even saying the Buckeyes are “fortunate and blessed” to have Barrett and Miller — and agreed with Herman that he’ll worry about making any decisions at a later date.Then-junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) looks for an open receiver during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Lantern file photo“I think they’re both excellent quarterbacks. Excellent quarterbacks,” Meyer said Monday. “And we’ll worry about that day when it comes.”Miller proved that excellence to Meyer by picking up back-to-back Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year awards, while Barrett has done so by progressing after taking over before the season opener against Navy. For Herman, Barrett’s speed of that progression has come as a surprise, he said, but not a big one.“I think the pace at which his improvement has accelerated is mildly surprising,” Herman said.“To see a kid that’s played nine college games now, to make the progress that he’s made,” he expanded. “It’s visual … You don’t have to be a coach to know that.”Now coming off a 49-37 win against then-No. 7 Michigan State on the road in which he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while adding another two scores on the ground, Barrett has totaled 2,156 passing yards and 26 touchdowns through the air this season. He’s also tallied a 172.9 quarterback efficiency rating and is second on the team with 582 rushing yards and first with eight rushing touchdowns.In comparison, Miller threw for just 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns in his entire first season as the Buckeyes’ full-time starter in 2012. But the then-sophomore also rushed for 1,271 yards and 13 more scores that season.While that production has mostly been replaced by Barrett’s play this year, many might not have expected such an output. But at least one of Barrett’s receivers said he expected the Wichita Falls, Texas, native to step in seamlessly after replacing the injured Miller.“It’s kind of like the next man up, and he’s a mature dude and he took his job real serious,” redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas said Monday. “So I had a lot of confidence in him.”While the Buckeyes had championship aspirations under Miller, those plans seemed to take a hit when Barrett stepped in. But — with the right team around him — Herman said he feels Barrett is the type of quarterback who can lead OSU to a title as well.“I think with the right pieces around him and the right preparation and the right protection and ability to block people up front, yeah, he can certainly win any game that we put him out on the field to go against,” Herman said.But if Barrett can win any game Miller can, does that leave the door open for the Buckeyes’ injured star to leave OSU for another school next season?“I can’t even imagine that,” Herman said about the prospect of Miller transferring after he graduates from OSU this year.Whether or not the curtain has dropped on Miller’s time as OSU’s starter, Barrett is set to be the man taking the lead when the curtain rises for the Buckeyes on Saturday in Minneapolis. OSU is scheduled to kick off against Minnesota at noon.
“The night after the onset of the illness, cocktails and spirits were consumed. Two days after the onset of the illness, a very significant quantity of beers were consumed during the afternoon and spirits in the evening.” A total of 109 drinks were consumed over a nine-day period, Jet2holidays said. The Government and the police are increasingly concerned about a surge in the number of false holiday sickness claims. Travel association Abta says there has been a four-fold increase made by British tourists since 2013, in part driven by ambulance-chasing claims companies.Jet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy is now calling on the Government to crack down on “food bug fraudsters”. Two British tourists who claimed to have been “bed-ridden” by an “acute illness” in an attempt to claim compensation from a holiday company actually spent the week consuming large quantities of alcohol. The behaviour of the unnamed couple from Liverpool in Gran Canaria in 2015 was exposed by investigators instructed by Jet2holidays and the all-inclusive hotel Gloria Palace after the pair attempted to sue for damages.Both Jet2holidays and the four-star hotel said they heard no complaint from the pair during the stay or in the immediate wake of the holiday, but more than a year later received a letter from a claims management law firm demanding compensation for food poisoning, stating that an illness begun on the second day of a 12-day holiday had left the couple suffering “stomach cramps and severe diarrhoea” and “bed-ridden during an acute period of illness…[that] spoiled the rest of the holiday”. Majorca has also been cited as a hotbed of false claimsCredit:bbsferrari – Fotolia/Sergey Dzyuba We risk the actions of the dishonest few spoiling the plans of many British holidaymakersJet2holidays CEO Steve Heapy But Jet2holidays found evidence of a different version of events.“In the course of investigating the claim with the hotelier, it has come to light that their records show that the customers continued to enjoy a range of alcoholic drinks throughout the time of their illness,” said the operator.“The night of the alleged onset of the illness, at least six shots of spirits and mixers were consumed. “We want our customers to have a great holiday and to continue to enjoy the benefits of all-inclusive. But the danger is that these fake holiday poisoning claims put the all-inclusive holiday at risk,” he said.“The sharp rise in the number of sickness claims is costing hoteliers and travel companies dearly, and it’s frustrating when so many are made a year or more after the holiday has ended. We risk the actions of the dishonest few spoiling the plans of many British holidaymakers.“My message is simple. No one cares more about you on holiday than us. If you have a problem on holiday, we are there for you and we take genuine claims very seriously. “The night of the alleged onset of the illness, at least six shots of spirits and mixers were consumed.” “But the food bug fraudsters are fooling customers into thinking they can make a claim even when they weren’t ill without any consequences, which is not true. These are the same guys that made so much money out of whiplash cases. I’m calling on the Government to crack down on the food bug fraudsters.”Earlier this month, detectives at the City of London police confirmed they were assessing material handed to them regarding false sickness claims to see whether criminal prosecutions could be sought.Such claims have the potential to raise insurance premiums and are costing holiday resorts and hotels millions of pounds each year. In Spain alone it is estimated to cost resorts more than £50 million annually, while tour operators in Mallorca have estimated that claims involving stomach illnesses increased by 700 per cent in the past year. Holiday prices could be hiked to combat the extra cost, while some tour operators have even suggested they might stop offering all-inclusive packages to Britons.The typical payout for a sickness claim is somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000, which is above the threshold for it to be considered a small claim (that threshold is £1,000).