Good morning, you charismatic, intelligent and better-than-average looking reader of this fine site. Still smarting from the thumping on Saturday, are we?
Look, I am, too. That was the the worst forty minutes of basketball we've seen from a Thad Matta team in a long time. Matta's teams just don't get dominated, but make no mistake, they were dominated by Michigan State.
It didn't help having Dayton native Adreian Payne go off for his annual WRECK-RIMS-IN-HIS-HOME-STATE performance (15 points on 6/6 shooting in just 20 minutes of action), but what won this game for the Spartans was their defensive effort.
As The Only Colors points out, the Buckeyes had not been held below 42% eFG in any game this season and Izzo's squad held them to 28.3%.
Ultimately, this is just a tough loss to a good basketball team. Sparty dropped some early games, but how many of you would be surprised to see Tom Izzo's team in another Final Four?
It's also a teaching moment for Matta. This team clearly misses Diebler and Lighty and must play unselfishly if they are to beat elite teams later in the season. I believe this is still a very good team that will do some damage in the tournament.
As long as they don't run into Kentucky, that is. Billy Donovan's Florida team has played Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State -- all on the road -- and he sees a UK/Orange final. Until Jared Sullinger can get into a groove, I have to agree with him.
Kentucky's Anthony Davis -- much like Michigan State's Payne -- is the type of player that may give Sullinger fits on both ends of the court. These athletic bigs also foreshadow a problem Sullinger may run into when he takes his game to the NBA. He's too small to play 5 and not agile enough to play 4 at that level1. Then again, Kevin Love is playing pretty solid ball for the Timberwolves, so what do I know.
LINING UP NICELY. The Buffalo Bulls have filled the open date on the 2013 schedule, setting up the first-ever meeting between the two schools, which will net Buffalo a cool million and Buckeye fans an excuse to finally go with the all-wings tailgate spread.
The Bulls have been a hot mess, going 5-19 in the two seasons since Turner Gill departed for the Kansas, but it is worth pointing out that they put up nine more points on Akron than Ohio State did last year.
2013 is the year most of us are eyeing as Meyer's first good shot at a national championship in Columbus. The talent will be in place/matured, it would fit his theme of doing great things in his second year on the job2 and the schedule lines up perfectly.
The Buckeyes get three cupcake out-of-conference games (Vanderbilt, Florida A&M and Buffalo) in Ohio Stadium, Wisconsin, Iowa and Penn State at home with just the House of Horrors that is Purdue's Ross-Ade Stadium and a trip to the Big House to end the season as the only true road tests.
Conversely, 2014 is looking burly. Flip the home/road conference games from 2013 and then replace Cal and three patsies with Navy (in Baltimore), Kent State, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati. True, Kent State is nothing to get worried about and three of the out-of-conference games will be played in Columbus, but how many years do you see Ohio State playing three BCS conference schools before league action begins?
PAIN IS JUST MISSED TACKLES LEAVING THE BODY. Judging by player Twitter activity, it looks like Mickey Marotti's beast factory is working just fine in Columbus:
Man I just feel like laying down all day I'm sore as ever . #gottostayonmygrind— KENNY LEON HAYES (@KennyHayes86) February 7, 2012
That was by far the realist workout I've ever done at Ohio State #grindin hard work pays off in the long run.— Carlos Hyde (@king_hyde34) February 10, 2012
Well that workout was unreal. THANK GOD it's the weekend!— Jake Stoneburner (@STONEYeleven) February 10, 2012
A PERIODICALLY ACCURATE NETWORK APPROVES OF THE MEYER HIRE . The college football masterminds at CBS have named Urban Meyer the top new coaching hire of this offseason.
In a bit of a surprise, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez edged out Washington State's Mike Leach for second place on the list, but that's nothing compared to the one pundit at CBS that voted Meyer "Most Likely to Fail".
Given that it's CBS, it's hard to tell who that one voter may have been. Was it the Buckeye-hating, super troll Brett McMurphy? Or maybe it was the guy that's bad at looking things up (the SEC was 29-27-1 in bowls against the B1G at the time of that tweet, since deleted). Or maybe it was the guy that struggles with reading comprehension.
There are a handful of guys that will win wherever they go. Jimmy Johnson was certainly one. Nick Saban qualifies. And you can add Urban Meyer to that list.
Considering the name and resources behind Ohio State, Meyer will only fail in Columbus if your definition of failure is back-to-back-to-back national championships out of the gate. But then you'd be crazy and nobody would take what you had to say seriously.
DOC TRESSEL FINDS A HOME. Former Buckeye running backs coach Dick Tressel -- older brother of James Patrick Tressel -- was hired as the offensive coordinator at Carleton College in Northfield, MN.
Just a few months ago, a columnist reporting from a laptop in his basement speculated that Doc could be heading towards retirement, so it's nice to see he'll have an opportunity to continue coaching. Before joining his brother in Columbus, he was the longtime coach of Hamline University in St. Paul and still has family up there, so it appears to be a win-win.
FOR ONE DAY ONLY, YOUR 100% LINSANITY LINKS: Comments some Knicks fans wish they could take back... One NBA draft analyst called it... Carmelo who? Yes, that was an extremely insensitive show of support on Friday night... Jason Whitlock goes full racist... And later apologizes... Finally, Metta World Peace with some words of advice for Lin.
- 1 While it's long been a foregone conclusion that Sullinger is NBA-bound after this season, we're hearing that there's a slight chance he could return for his junior year. Not enough of a chance to bet the house on, but more of a chance than there was at the start of this season.
- 2 Bowling Green (2002): 9-3; Utah (2004): 12-0 and a Fiesta Bowl win; Florida (2006): 13-1 and a SEC and national championship (you may remember that game).