Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. To the Ohio State students out there, happy first day of fall quarter. Hope you're all looking forward to writing a paper at 3 AM on the decline of the U.S. hegemony in today's global economy. With classes starting, and with the way things are going, it probably won't be very long until a football player is declared academically ineligible. Wah wah.
A week of Miami-esque debauchery and excess was too much for this Midwesterner, and to try to balance out the elements, the next few days will be about the mundane and chillin' like a protagonist. As the Kristy Thomas1 of pet-sitting, I'll be taking care of a few dogs and cats. It's also that time of year to welcome back network shows, so I can find out what the Observers did with Peter Bishop and if Walter and Walternate will cooperate with each other for the sake of their universes....
...and I've basically admitted that I'm going to be spending my Friday night watching a sci-fi show with some four-legged friends. I don't know how you guys stand my coolness.
THIS INDECISION'S BUGGING ME. Doug Lesmerises takes a look at the QB position and why it might not be so easy for Fickell to commit to a starter. On the one hand, Braxton Miller, who is more exciting and has the bigger upside, has proven to be careless with the ball at times. It's rare for a true freshmen quarterback to start at BCS school, and as of now, not one of the top 100 passers in the country fits that description. Miller is more from the Troy Smith mold and less of a Terrelle Pryor, who could get by on his freakishly athletic ability.
On the other hand, there's Joe Bauserman, who took twice as many snaps as Miller in the Miami game. While he has yet to turn the ball over and knows the playbook better, he is also not much of a playmaker and throws the ball away too often. Mike Brewster confirmed that those two still took most of the snaps at practice, and Fickell stuck with his talking point that how they practice will determine who starts on Saturday.
Former coaches John Cooper and Earle Bruce said that the decision lies with who will give the team the best shot at winning now and later in the season. While it's probably likely that both will play, if Fickell wants to avoid boos before the ball is even snapped, Miller will start.
Fans shouldn't be surprised with Fickell's abulia; it's right there in the definition of his last name, which holds true for everyone. Drew Basil is used for making pesto. Verlon Reed helps people play the clarinet. Ivon Blackman is a black man. I am "brazenly daring". So, we should all get used to the fickle beast that is the Fickell beast.
WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM. To all the Chicken Littles out there, one person who doesn't believe "the sky is falling" at OSU is Colorado coach Jon Embree. Of course, the coach of your next opponent is, more often than not, excessively complimentary. According to Embree:
"I know people are down on them, those around their program. But to me, it's more — it's they've been so successful and have done so well, then all of a sudden that's supposed to change?"
He also doesn't give much weight to the puke-tastic QB play in the Miami game, and like everyone else in the world, except for the guys who have to cover him, he's a fan of Stoneburner. This will be a big game for the 1-2 Buffs, who have lost 19 straight games outside of Colorado.
Embree has noticed improvement with his team and though they haven't been all that successful in their run game, RB Rodney Stewart played well in their win against Colorado State on Saturday. Stewart is from Ohio and wasn't recruited by Ohio State. Let's hope he doesn't share Ryan Brewer's chip on the shoulder2. Colorado also has former Michigan WR Toney Clemons, and oh how he still hates Ohio State, even though he's a cousin of Jordan Hall. Let's hope he has as much luck against Ohio State as his Wolverine recruiting class has had.
GREAT SCOTT! Last night, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced that the conference was staying as is, mostly due to Texas' inability to learn the basic kindergarten lesson of sharing. UT is trying to hold the Big 12 together, but Oklahoma wants restrictions put on the Longhorn Network and for Dan Beebe to take his cooties and leave.
Lost in this endless talk of realignment is what conference expansion would do to Big Ten basketball. With the addition of Syracuse and Pitt, the ACC is looking like "it'll be the lifelong dictator of college basketball". Come tournament time, being in the ACC will give them more clout than it already does. The current Big East is an example of that. Depending on whether the Pac-12 does expand or not, it would be to the detriment of B1G hoops if they don't change when everyone else does.
I'm not too worried, because I think Jim Delany is a cross between the Man with No Name, Napoleon from Animal Farm, and a lion waiting to pounce on its prey on one of those nature shows that I never watch.
NATIONAL TITLE HOPES STILL ALIVE IN COLUMBUS. Andy Katz would like to remind everyone that Ohio State is more than decent at basketball and despite the loss of Diebler, Lighty, and Lauderdale, they shouldn't be overlooked. They'll be the favorite to win the conference, and not just because of Sullinger. Craft and Buford, already pretty good players, recognize that they have to step up their game even further for the team to have a more successful postseason.
Craft has studied their losses last year to find out what they need to improve on, and according to him, the team's defense was not cohesive in those three games. Like many of us, Brandon Knight's game-winning shot for Kentucky remains in his thoughts, but he's trying to learn from it. Buford, as the only senior on the team, knows he has to become a leader, and he's taken Lighty's advice to focus more on defense. He is also 672 points shy of becoming the top scorer in Ohio State history.
The Sweet 16 loss motivates the returning players, who are no doubt setting the goal of making a trip to New Orleans in late March/early April3.
B1G ROUND-UP. Even though Michigan has defeated Western Michigan, Notre Dame, and Eastern Michigan by the exact same margin as they did to start off the 2009 season4, the mood in Ann Arbor is that this team is different. The in-game adjustments by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has helped them combat their slow starts each week in this young season. Just in case you've forgotten, Michigan started off 2009 with a 4-0 record and 2010 with a 5-0 record.
After hanging with Bob Knight, Jerry Kill was extra fiery, and a little swear-y, at his press conference yesterday. He professed that just like any other coach would do, he's not going to let the seizures stop him and his main concern is for the Minnesota football team to get better. Then he threw a chair across the room.
This Saturday, Joe Pa wants to return to the sideline. He would also prefer if one of his two QBs would emerge, but since that hasn't happened yet, both Bolden and McGloin will continue to play. Penn State does not have a touchdown pass yet this season.
BEFORE THE LINK IS DRY. Vote for Brutus in the mascot challenge... Which hangover did you have after last weekend?... Ned Flanders is Walter White... Creepy... Creepier... Hollywood's take on geeks... For the students... Which would Fickell pick?
- 1 Or the Mary Anne Spier, but definitely not the Stacey McGill. I'm not sophisticated enough, and I don't have diabetes.
- 2 Ugh, it's been over 10 years since that Outback Bowl and I still want to punch that guy in the face.
- 3 Or, maybe they'll face another early exit from the tournament. Probably on my birthday. Wah wah.
- 4 Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln! Although, not really.