Friday Skull Session

By Jason Priestas on January 21, 2011 at 6:00a
48 Comments

If you follow us on Twitter, you saw this pop up last night, but it's simply too good not to lead with this morning. To the right is the photo currently gracing early enrollee Jeff Heuerman's Twitter account. What makes this photo amazing, besides Tressel's "DAVE LIFE" pose, is that it was presumably snapped in December of 2009 in a Michigan Man's house of all places. Heuerman's father, Paul, played basketball for the Wolverines in the late 70s and early 80s, followed by a brief NBA stint before going to law school.

As if the profile picture isn't enough, Heuerman touted Tressel's swag on Tuesday and then spent part of Wednesday encouraging Reid Fragel to bulk up. Oh yeah, he also loves to block.

Bravo Jeff, you're well on your way to becoming our favorite member of the loaded 2011 class.

The meat market comes calling. Eight Buckeyes have been invited to the NFL combine: Saine, Homan, Rolle, Sanzenbacher, Torrence, Chekwa, Heyward and Hines. Among those not invited are Dex Larimore, Bryant Browning and a certain all-conference guard that spent the first part of his career in Ann Arbor.

While Larimore will likely have to go the UDFA route to make a club and Browning needs a great Shrine Game to have a chance at being a late pick, I'm shocked Boren wasn't invited to Indy. As a three and a half year starter at Michigan and Ohio State, Boren was named honorable mention all-Big Ten as a sophomore before going on to earn 1st team accolades after his junior and senior campaigns. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, he was projected as going no later than the fourth round of the draft by most services, but it appears questions about his height and technique have surfaced and may prevent him from getting a chance to show NFL scouts what he's capable of doing.

An NFL committee will meet and decide to invite a handful of additional players later this month, so he still has a chance to attend, but what once looked like a guaranteed draft day payday is in jeopardy.

So Longo. Yesterday, Ohio State confirmed reserve offensive lineman Sam Longo had been released from his football scholarship, freeing him up to seek playing time elsewhere. A legacy (his father Gene was a linebacker for Earle Bruce) with an impressive offer list coming out of high school, Longo never hit his stride in Columbus, taking a redshirt in 2009 before seeing action in just one game -- Eastern Michigan -- this past season. By the time the Sugar Bowl rolled around, he was buried on the depth chart behind Corey Linsley and Jack Mewhort, with Marcus Hall looming.

The departure does help a bit with the numbers game, opening up a spot in the scholarship count for Glenville's Aundrey Walker, who could help provide depth at guard with the departures of Boren and Browning. Walker just returned from a visit to USC where he found things to his liking, but word is come Signing Day, he'll be a Buckeye.

The state of Michigan is bleeding quarterbacks. First came the news that Tate Forcier's days with a wingless helmet were over with a rumored destination of Montana, and then last night, word emerged out of East Lansing that the highly-touted Joe Boisture was moving on. Though he was considered one of the nation's best pro-style quarterbacks in the 2010 class, you can't help but wonder how good he really was considering he finished his senior year of high school with twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.

Revenge for 4th-and-10, 70-48, etc. I wrestled competitively in my younger days, so I have a soft spot for the sport and I am generally excited by the work OSU's Tom Ryan is doing with the program. As recently as three years ago, the Buckeyes were runners-up in the NCAA championship and are coming off an 8th place finish in 2010. This year, however, has been a completely different story. Decimated by injuries, OSU currently sports a 2-5 record (which includes  an ugly 42-3 loss to up-and-coming Penn State) and will be traveling into Hell Saturday attempting to snap Iowa's 69-match winning streak. The last time Ohio State beat Iowa was 1966 and barring a miracle, that won't change this weekend.

TI-GAH BAIT You'll forgive LSU fans for being a little down these days. Not only did they secure the long-term services of a coach they didn't really want, but they now have a replacement for embattled offensive coordinator Gary Crowton: former Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe. He will have some talent to work with this fall in Baton Rouge, including former Cincinnati Princeton star Spencer Ware, Russell Shepard and four of five offensive linemen back, but as Doctor Saturday points out, Kragthorpe's Louisville squads joined Buffalo as the only schools to suffer multiple defeats to Greg Robinson while he was at Syracuse. There's also a pretty depressing chart if you're into depressing charts. Or taunting friends that are Tiger fans.

Random bits: Former tackle Ivan Douglas' national championship ring is back up for sale on eBay -- yours for only $20k... 11W: 1, Buckeye Grove: 0 as the NCAA gods smiled favorably on Luke... Despite starting the season on the bench, A.J. Hawk is getting some love in Green Bay after leading the team in tackles...  Have an extra $10 and want things to not suck so much? Consider giving to the Playoff PAC.

48 Comments

Comments

yrro's picture

No offense intended to Saine- the guy is a true buckeye and handled his general demotiOn senior year with class - but I really don't get why a second string running back is gettin invited over either of those guards.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree. And since he's an OG, why would Boren's height (listed at 6'3'') matter? If anything, I wouldn't want an OG to be too tall.   

Denny's picture

Original Gangsters tend to need to be tall, for straight cash purposes.

Taquitos.

Colin's picture

Saine's got NFL speed and great hands. He may not be a true running back but I'm sure there are certain scenarios where NFL coaches would want a player like him.

Matt's picture

Agreed, if Saine focuses on improving blitz pick up and pass protection skills, he could be a very effective third down back.  He's got speed and he's a great receiving threat out of the backfield.  I also think he could pick up good yards on 3rd down delayed draw handoffs; so long as he has a hole in front of him that doesn't require lateral movement, he can churn out first downs well.

German Buckeye's picture

Can players request to be invited to attend the combine? 

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

I might have missed it but any chance you guys can do something on Darrell Hazell? I haven't really heard much about him since the bowl game.

Irricoir's picture

OFF TOPIC:

An e-mail shared between me and a co-worker:

I already saw that and already agree the SEC is still at the top. There are reasons for it but you would only view them as excuses because it suits your argument. Sec is better up top than most conferences but look what happens to the rest of your conference when they play by similar rules to the B1G. The east still recruits more than the B1G does but nearly has 6 less recruits per year than the west does, on average. Aside from South Carolina (and look who won that division this year), no other team in the Sec recruits the same numbers as the West. Florida doesn’t even Oversign to the extent that the rest of the SEC does. The reason they have been so successful is their coach, his good recruiting/scouting and Florida is the number one hot bed for football recruiting. The state is saturated with talent. You can look inside your own conference and see the difference the numbers make. Research it yourself.

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/recruiting-numbers/  Is the West not better than the east?

 

Furthermore, the Big12 is not superior to the B1G, not even a chance of that. Our 5th place team beat their Number 2, whom was ranked 12th. (Iowa vs. Missouri) Illinois beat Baylor (Whom beat Texas and had a better record and ranking than Illinois) in Baylor’s home state. It was more or less a road game. The Big12 along with the SEC lost many games that they were supposed to win. The B1G lost zero that they were supposed to win. Mich St had a better record than Alabama but no one outside of Mich St. thought they would beat you guys. We knew they were pretenders all along. They had 4 games that they had to come from behind on to win, and one of those was a trick play against ND. They are lucky they didn’t play us and get exposed for what they were. We beat them every year. The B1G had the toughest bowl schedule of any conference. Disagree? Why the hell was a 7-5 Michigan team going against a ranked Miss St? Michigan lost their last 6 games of the season. So we weren’t expected to win anything more than one game. We won 3 and people still talk crap? What can you ask of them? If things had run a tad smoother we could have been 6-2 easily. Penn St-Wisconsin-Northwestern lost their games by the narrowest of margins. Numbers only speak about extremes. They don’t tell the story of the play. That’s why you argue that Arkansas isn’t the 2nd best in the SEC. Well which is it. Do the numbers tell the story or are their other factors to consider? Going by the numbers, you are number 3 in the SEC. Going by the play of your team you may be number one and the B1G may be the second best conference in the nation. You decide.

 

I know I reply with a lot of content but I love debating football. It is not that I am wrapped around the axle or worked up. I just like backing up my talk with facts.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Denny's picture

I wrote a long email to a coworker yesterday also. Maybe I'll post it here as well.

Taquitos.

Irricoir's picture

Denny, your dick. That is all.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Matt's picture

Are you saying Denny, your dick?  Or Denny, you're a dick?

Irricoir's picture

Hmm..good catch. Somehow the A was omitted. It should read "You are a ...." Thanks for looking out for me Matt.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Denny's picture

In my line of work, we're told to be respectful and not call other people names.

Taquitos.

Irricoir's picture

Name calling falls hand in hand with lack of respect. Obviously, attempting to turn my point into a joke, at my expense, was an act of direspect. So we are even. It's not the first time your sarcasm was referenced toward one of my comments. Feel free to save it, ignore my posts and move along. 

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

tomcollins's picture

You may remember a conference called the Pac-10 if you want to talk about 2nd best conference.

Stanford and Oregon at the top.  The rest is all a huge mess, but only Wash St. is truly terrible.  Arizona beat Iowa.  Wisconsin almost lost to Arizona State at home.

But even then, Big 12 is weaker at the top than Big Ten, but has a lot more depth.  But it's a lot closer than you might think.  LOL @ thinking Missouri was their 2nd best team.  That was Oklahoma State or Nebraska.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm willing to concede the Pac 10 because of how several BT teams played during bowl season, especially the Ms (MSU, Michigan, McGloin). But I believe that if you had matched the 2010 BT and 2010 Pac 10 teams in one big, season-long, cross-conference tourney, it would have been roughly a wash. Still, the BT needs to prove it on the field.  

tomcollins's picture

So much of this comes down to what it means to be the best conference.  Sagarin uses this really terrible metric where it weights the middles huge and the ends very little.  To me, the top is the most important thing, but having depth is the next most important thing.

If I had to power rank all of the teams in the Pac-10 and Big Ten at the end of the season it would probably be close to this:

* = interchangeable
Oregon*
Stanford*
Ohio State*
Wisconsin
Iowa
USC
Michigan State
Arizona **
Cal **
Washington **
Illinois **
Oregon State **
Penn State **
Michigan **
Northwestern
Arizona State
UCLA
Minnesota
Washington State
Indiana
Purdue

It's really hard to tell who is good in the Pac-10 after the top 2 just because they beat up on each other so much. 

btalbert25's picture

Didn't that kind of happen in the Big 10 too though? I mean sure after the 3 that tied, wasn't Didn't everyone pretty much beat each other up, outside of Indiana?  Iowa was probably the best of that bunch but it's hard to say when they barely beat Indiana, and lost to Minnesota.

Just because Wisconsin almost lost to ASU at home doesn't mean they wouldn't have been in the top 2 or 3 in the Pac 10, it means that a not so good team caught them napping.  It happens a lot in college football.  Iowa almost lost to several bad teams in 2009, but they were still a damn good team that won a BCS bowl.  Auburn almost lost to a not very good UK team, but they were still the national champs.  There's no asterisks for having bad games against bad teams.

tomcollins's picture

It happened a bit, although it was a lot more spread out at the top.  Iowa found ways to lose a lot of games they shouldn't have, but 3 teams came through pretty unscatched and separated.  Then there was a mess.  But Purdue, Indiana, and Minnesota were clearly bottom of the pack. There are clear classes.  In the Pac-10, there are the top 2, the botom 1, then 7 teams that are super close in strength.  If I had to judge who the best Big Ten teams were in raw strength, I could do so, pretty easily.  There are a few spots where I'd be a bit confused, but with the Pac-10, I really have no idea, outside of the 3 most obvious spots.

Wisconsin is not that great of a team.  Pryor is right.  They played their best game of the season against us in an otherwise unmemorable season.  Wisconsin is far behind Stanford and Oregon.  Wisconsin impressed everyone by beating Indiana by 80 or whatever, and Michigan by a ton, but when it comes down to it, they are on par with Iowa in terms of raw strength (actually I have them a bit below Iowa in my YPP rankings).

But no one believed me when I said TCU +3 was a huge pick.  Wisconsin is NOT that good. They were just the better team on the biggest day of their season.

btalbert25's picture

Maybe they weren't I don't know, they still only lost by 2, to the number 3 team in America.  I thought they would win the game, but I wasn't won who though they would win by 3 TD's or anything like that.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Tom, maybe you had an unorthodox linesmaker, but I got paid on Wisconsin +3.

Wisconsin had one of the best offenses in the country, period. But their defense was not (normally) championship caliber. I was impressed by TCU's defense and by Daulton's arm because, I swear, that kid couldn't throw the ball more than 20 yards down the field in 2009. That said #1, Wisconsin still beats TCU is they don't get cute in the 3Q, IMO.     

I agree, Wisc. played its dream game against Ohio State. The 2010 Buckeyes beat the 2010 Badgers in Madtown 7 out of 10 times. Yes, they pounded us at the l-o-s, but they also pounded TCU and lost. Obviously, the opening KO return was huge. Wisc's margin for error against Ohio State (and TCU) was slim.

That said #2, both 2010 Oregon and 2010 Stanford would've had all they could handle in Madtown.

In retrospect, their were no FLA 2008 or Bama 2009 this year. Ohio State was as good as any of the top 5-6 cluster and Wisc. wasn't far behind. The BT was probably conference 2B, with the Pac 10 being 2A, but since several BT teams screwed the pooch on Jan. 1, the BT lost an opportunity to rebuild its rep.   

tomcollins's picture

Totally forgot the line did have TCU favored.  Either way, most people here thought Wisconsin should have been favored.

Winning in Madison is definitely tough, and Wisconsin could have given either of those teams a run (I think both were overrated a bit).  But both would have been favorites (and we would still be).  Yeah, we definitely could have hung with any of the big boys this year.  We would not be more than a 3 point dog against anyone.  Especially if we had Evil Tressel the whole game. 

Conference rankings in general are just so annoying because of 1) lack of meaningful games between different conferences and 2) different definitions of conference strength.

My definition comes down to something like this:

Number of championship caliber teams (emphasis).  Teams that would be within a TD on a neutral field against the best team, generally.

Number of very solid teams (top 25) (less emphasis).

Tiebreaker - teams above average.

SEC- 4 top level teams (LSU, Arkansas, Alabama, Auburn)

Solid Teams South Carolina

Mediocre Teams: Florida, Miss State, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia

Pac 10- 2 top level teams (Stanford, Oregon).

Solid teams: USC, Arizona.

Mediocre teams: Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, California

Bad teams: Wash State, UCLA

Big Ten- 2 top level teams (Wisconsin, Ohio State)

Solid Teams: Michigan State, Iowa

Above Avg Teams: Penn State, Michigan, Illinois
 

I am not including NW because they are trash by any reasonable power metric.

Overall scores 4-5-10 for SEC (/12), 2-4-8 for Pac 10 (/10), and 2-4-7 for Big 10 (/11)

So yeah, it's not unreasonable to call Pac-10 2A, and us 2B, although the top is a bit stronger for the Pac 10, the middles are stronger than our middles, and the bottom is probably similar, but who knows.

Irricoir's picture

Tom,

I can't argue the points about the entire conference vs. the other but I will focus on the top 2 in each conference. Stanford may have been the best team out of the two conferences. I know Oregon beat them but I am not sure that would happen again if they played. I'd certainly watch that game. I think we could beat Stanford but I feel even stronger about Oregon. I truly believe our defense is the best of the four. We are built for both those Pac10 schools. If Wisconsin used the same game plan against us that they used against TCU I believe we win that game on a neutral site too. Wisconsin's Defense was deplorable during the TCU match and OSU's offensive play calling was too during our game with Wisconsin. I'd love a rematch with them on the neutral field. I concede defeat on the day we played but look forward to next year.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

tomcollins's picture

You may be on to something.  Stanford was playing great by the end of the year.  They dominated the first half vs. Oregon on the road, then fell apart in the end.  Both teams defenses were suspect.  Stanford just appeared to lack depth to hold up to Oregon.

Wisconsin just got really lucky they played their best game, had some good breaks, and we played our worst game.  We also match up poorly against Wisconsin compared to almost all other teams.

Bucksfan's picture

According to Rittenberg, the ESPN conference rankings are really skewed by the margian of victory in 2 games...Michigan State and Michigan.  The AP considers the Big 10 the #2 conference, but the computers have it at #4 because of those 2 games played 6 weeks after the regular season ended.

It's bullshit.  No other way around it.

btalbert25's picture

Not only that, but the teams picked for the bowls were out of whack.  Iowa could've just as easily played on New Years day in the Outback or Gator bowl or whatever game it was Michigan got blasted in.  The bowls went with fan base (no shock) but Iowa beats Florida, Penn State gives Miss State a better fight than Michigan did, and Michigan matches up well against Mizzou.  Still get blasted by Bama, but the other 3 games may go differently. 

Ethan's picture

I don't know that I agree with your assessments of the new, "could've been" matchups for the bowl games. Iowa probably beats Florida, but Mississippi State was a top 25 team (or close to it) for the majority of the season, and they have a nasty defense. With Penn State's inconsistency, I don't think they would've sniffed a win against them. And Mizzou was beaten by Iowa because Iowa has a great front four, and they were able to hold their own against the opposing O-Line. And even then, they needed a lot of luck (late game pick-sixes just don't happen often) to pull out the win. 

I'm all for supporting the B1G and whatnot, but it was more than just the particular matchups that were unbalanced; the opposing teams were very strong overall.

Irricoir's picture

True to a point. I don't mind being considered 3rd best conference but I find being placed behind the Big12 laughable. Oklahoma State (I forgot about them in that Email) was a solid offensive team with an average defense. We see where that got Michigan even though there defense was certainly worse than OK ST. Oklahoma had a signature win against UCONN in a BCS bowl. Michigan beat the same team earlier in the year. Nebraska had a very close game against Oklahoma. Nebraska couldn't throw the ball because Martinez quivered under preasure and turned the ball over 6 times I think. I didn't see a team in the Big12 impress me at all this year. I think not only OSU but Wisconsin would handle every team in that league. Iowa too if they showed up.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Ethan's picture

 I think not only OSU but Wisconsin would handle every team in that league.

I agree 100% with this. I don't know that I think Iowa would've beaten them all, given their well noted inconsistencies this year, but they certainly have the talent to make it a game against every team 

Also, not sure if you were directing this toward my comment or not, but I would put the B1G as the #2 conference after this past season, behind only the SEC. Outside of Oregon and Stanford, the Pac-10 had a lot of flaky teams this year

tomcollins's picture

Oklahoma also absolutely humiliated FSU.  No way UCONN is the signature win.  Nebraska and Oklahoma State are far better wins as well.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were very respectable teams.

Irricoir's picture

You are correct TC. I am not slighting them and saying they suck. I am thinking that OSU and Wisconsin have the ability to beat them on any given day. OK and OK ST could do the same but I think The B1g teams win more often in that head to head. I did not mean that UCONN was the only good win Oklahoma had. It was a BCS victory, which is huge and a "Signature win because of their BCS humiliation" FSU was likely their best win. FSU played a bit like Iowa this year though. Inconsistent.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Jason Priestas's picture

Interesting stuff, but feel free to toss that into the forum or create a blog post next time.

Irricoir's picture

Jason,

Thank you very much for hearing my pleas! My hopes are that by increasing the attention given to wrestling, even on the scale here at 11W, maybe we can get the right Coaches and the dedication needed to field succesful teams every year like Iowa does. I really appreciate you keeping us up to speed on the events on the mat, even though they look grim again this year. Ohio State used to have a stranglehold on talent at the national levels. There were always more kids competing on the national stage from Ohio. There is no reason we should be losing recruits to other schools from our state. That points to coaching/recruiting if you ask me. I know a lot of guys love their coach but the proof is in the results.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Jason Priestas's picture

In my opinion, Ohio and Pennsylvania are the top two states for high school wrestling talent in the nation. Iowa does a good job of plucking who they want and now that Penn State has Sanderson at the top, they'll lock down the Keystone State, so hopefully Ryan can do the same in Ohio.

Mark's picture

Is Dane going to get a chance in the NFL?  I sure hope so.  I know he's a bit under-sized, but he's been clutch for the Bucks his whole career.  Have the Wes Welker's of the world given guys like Dane a better shot?

Matt's picture

Thas Rasist.

Jason Priestas's picture

He'll definitely be playing for somebody. Too smart and works too hard not to get a chance. You have to think the Patriots and Colts would love to have him -- he fits so well with their offensive philosophies. 

Denny's picture

... Their offensive philosophies being "sign white guys and then throw the ball to them".

Taquitos.

TommyWayne's picture

I would think so!

Look at Gonzalez (when he's not injured) and Hartline's performances.  Both do quite well when they see time (Hartline had a completely unexpected good year).

I think Dane has a chance to be the second best receiver to come out of OSU under Tressel (Holmes).  Though time will tell.

btalbert25's picture

If Hartline can be productive in the NFL, Dane will definitely get a shot. 

BuckeyeChief's picture

Good article on Newton, dogging the SEC and praising TP... On ESPN!

http://m.espn.go.com/wireless/story?storyId=6044965&top

 

"Clutch has no boundaries"

Jdadams01's picture

That's awesome...

...but notice that it's not on ESPN's College Football front page and the link to it on ESPN's main page is tiny and only has a short statement to draw attention to it. No headline, no pictures. You have to really look for it to find it. Typical.

Jdadams01's picture

Now they put it up on the College Football page, so I stand corrected.

luckynewman13's picture

GeneWoj  FTW!!!! I knew I liked that guy for some reason, now I know what that reason is: HE'S AN ACTUAL JOURNALIST!

BucksfanXC's picture

#slowclap.

LOVE IT

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

btalbert25's picture

I just wish he would've wrote this when everyone had their head in the sand about the whole situation.  This piece should've been written 2 months ago.  Instead everyone, real journalists included, decided to remain silent about it all. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

An unscientific "survey" of Run_Fido_Run's past brain activity suggests that Wojo, while definitely a southern football guy, is probably less of a whore than most of the eSECpn guys, including our favorite neighborhood Fake Buckeye (TM).

But, as JAdams mentioned above, the article is relegated to the nether regions of espn.com. it's kind of like eSECpn keeps around a few Wojos as token "journalists." Then again, maybe he plays a role sort of like Gene Hackman's character, Avery Tolar in the movie, The Firm (1993).