Good morning Buckeye faithful and welcome to your Tuesday Skull Session.
Well that's it, folks. This roller coaster of a season has finally come to its conclusion with the Buckeyes falling to the Florida Gators 24-17 in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.
It's easy to point out all the flaws and disappointments that came with the 2011-2012 season, but we must not forget all the positives that came with it.
We now know Braxton Miller is the real deal, Urban Meyer is OSU's next head coach, and the NCAA's investigation is over. Looking back, things could've ended up a lot worse than the position the football program finds itself in today.
Sure, it stings that this is OSU's first losing season since 1988, it's awful thinking that next years senior players won't play in a bowl game, and it's disappointing knowing that I won't see a bowl game here in my last year as a student.
But it's ok because I realize this team will come back stronger than ever. If this squad can survive a season like this, they can accomplish big things down the road. Here's looking forward to next season and the true beginning of a new chapter in Buckeye football.
BYE BYE BOLLMAN. Let's take a trip back to November when the Buckeyes were playing the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. An OSU team which had been known for its obvious play-calling erupted and scored 34 points on a talented Michigan defense.
Although OSU lost this game, there was suddenly hope that perhaps the offense was finally coming together. The extra bowl practices were supposed to give Braxton Miller and DeVier Posey a chance to get on track, and also give this offense, as a whole, time to address its weaknesses. Instead, we saw the same, predictable Jim Bollman offense which failed to surprise the Florida defense yesterday.
Bill Livingston of the Plain Dealer wrote about how OSU failed to address many of its offensive issues before the bowl game. Livingston points mainly to the offensive line which ended up surrendering five sacks in the first half and six total on the day.
Miller was given few opportunities to make plays, and when they did give him time Miller failed to deliver, including an overthrown ball that sailed over Posey's head which could have tied the game 14-14 at halftime. Jim Bollman can't be blamed for every single problem that occurred yesterday or for this season, but it's also clear that his performance on the sidelines this year will cost him the position he's held for 11 years.
With Meyer overhauling the offensive staff, it's safe to say this team will be pointed in the right direction to help get this offensive unit back on track.
WHAT THE NEW YEAR BRINGS. Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer reports what he expects part of OSU's roster to look like next season.
One of the major moves already being made is switching tight end Reid Fragel to tackle for his senior year. Fragel is expected to add up to 15-20 pounds to give Meyer more depth for the offensive line. Fragel may even have a chance to start with Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts graduating. According the the report, Fragel also believes switching to tackle will be his best chance to make it to the NFL.
Jake Stoneburner, who many believed might have a big enough season to convince him to apply for the draft, said he expects to be back next season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL. Defensive end Nathan Williams, who has been out since having knee surgery after the game against Akron, will also be back.
Other fourth-year juniors expected back are: linebacker Etienne Sabino, safety Orhian Johnson, cornerback Travis Howard, defensive lineman Garrett Goebel, punter Ben Buchanan, and safety Zach Domicone.
MOELLER IS MAD. After the Buckeyes' loss to Florida yesterday, linebacker Tyler Moeller told Marcus Hartman of Foxsports.com that the trash talking got out of hand for him.
Moeller told Hartman that "I've never been called a cracker more in my life than I have today," when referring to the trash talking coming from Florida players. Moeller additionally called Florida's players classless, adding "I've never been called more racial slurs in my life."
It certainly is disappointing to think that racism has to come into play at all during sporting events, but it sadly still happens in the day and age we live in. I, personally, am not a fan of trash talking and think it's a pathetic way to try and influence the way a player performs; however, I do realize it is apart of today's game.
I can't honestly sit here and think that there weren't some OSU players contributing to the trash talking yesterday, but race should have never entered the equation. Call Moeller a sore loser if you want, but he's right that Florida's players resorted to childish techniques to try and get under someone's skin.
I can't prove who said what to who, but it's clear what was said did not belong on a football field or anywhere else for that matter.
GAME CHANGER. Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch awarded Florida running back Chris Rainey the star of the game for the Gator Bowl.
Rainey lead the Gators in rushing with 71 yards, lead the team in receptions with three catches, and also blocked a punt in the second half which resulted in a touchdown. Rainey's touchdown gave Florida a 21-10 lead and an incredible momentum shift which helped seal the Buckeyes' fate.
ANOTHER DOWNER. With OSU's loss to the Gators in the Gator Bowl, OSU is currently 0-10 versus SEC opponents in bowl games.
The Buckeyes technically logged their first victory against an SEC opponent last year when they defeated Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, but the Buckeyes were forced to vacate their wins from the 2010-2011 season. So, as ESPN was so quick to point out, the Buckeyes are still looking for their first victory over an SEC team in a bowl.
LOS LINKS. Oregon adds to the Big Ten's miserable day... The special teams weren't looking so special yesterday... Posey walks away from a senior season that never really got under way... The Buckeyes fall to number seven in the nation after falling to Indiana... Can anyone say Pac-12 in Chinese.