Thursday Skull Session

By Chris Lauderback on March 29, 2012 at 6:00a

Reveille! Reveille! All right, you sandbaggers, time is running out for you to listen to us grovel for cash so pony up.

You only have through Saturday to flex your financial muscles and help your favorite neighborhood po' folk with laptops secure a full time beat writer so we can provide you with even more Buckeye coverage to go along with our insanely attractive internet personas. 

If we can push it over $17k today, I propose a swimsuit competition comprised of your favorite 11W talent. Oh, bad news, the ladies of 11W are unable to attend so I guess that just leaves Jason and Ramzy. In that case, we'll award a winner based on which of the uber-fit duo is able to show the most swimsuit after a full exhale. Of course, I think that means even if one of them wins, we're all losers. 

In all seriousness, this is the first time I've made a play for your duckets so while I do it, I just want to take a second to offer a sincere thank you to everyone ranging from those that were here in the early years when it was just Jason, myself and Corey holding it down to the huge influx of readers new to our community in the last year or so for all of your support. 

I jumped into the 11W hustle back in November of '06 and that was really just to help Jason by covering basketball. I honestly didn't even consider what this thing could become and now I'm frankly astonished at just how impactful this site - the writers and community - has been in the Buckeye blogosphere.

My hat is off to all of throw a dollar in it

THAD CONTINUES TO BE RAD. The national love fest for Thad Matta, justified and ongoing, was recently visited by Andy Katz, as told through the lenses of both former staffer Sean Miller, now Arizona's head coach, and Gene Smith, the Teflon Don of OSU athletics. 

On what Matta and his team have done for the fans and university, Smith offered: 

"This means a great deal. We've gone through quite a bit of challenges, and you're trying to highlight the positives. At the end of the day, it's football and basketball where all of the fans' interests are, and when basketball makes a great run like this, it helps remind people what we're all about. It gives people pride. It's significant. It's significant... I'm proud of the work he's done."

Miller spoke of Matta as if he's a personal deity and touched on what makes Thad so special:

"Thad is a very unique coach. It's part of why he's so great at what he does. To me, he thinks differently than a lot of coaches in that he has very little ego. I don't know if his big picture is as important to him as it is to others who have won like him. I don't think Thad aspires to be in the Hall of Fame. He isn't counting his rings, and he has quite a few. He's more into coaching and motivating his team. Thad doesn't think about his legacy as much as other great coaches do."

Matta's former assistant went as far as to call Matta the most successful coach over the last 12 years, citing his eight conference crowns combined at three different schools. 

I think most of us, if we're being honest, have had a knee jerk complaint about Matta from time to time whether it be a perceived over-reliance on the starting five, x's and o's that might not be on the same plane as his recruiting prowess or the potentially frustrating stubbornness in refusing to call a timeout to stop an opponent's run but there's simply no question Ohio State can not do better than Thad Matta. 

CUE BIZ MARKIE - IT'S SPRING AGAIN! The football Buckeyes started spring ball yesterday and there's already scuttle emerging about Curtis Grant running with 1's at MLB alongside Ryan Damn Shazier and Sabino though it sounds like Klein was limited (you know what I meant), Fragel at starting right tackle, and Philly running with the 2's in the slot. 

Here's video from Urban's press conference from our friend Mark Kunz at WOSN:

In prep for the spring throwdowns at the Woody, the university released a pretty tight prospectus that we highlighted in Buckshots yesterday. If you didn't read it yet, print it off and take it with you on your next lunch release, you won't be disappointed. 

In the meantime, here's a little taste to get you started:

  • Spring drills kick off Ohio State's 100th season of B1G football. 
  • A two-deep roster will not be created until after spring drills are completed. 
  • The field in the 'Shoe will have B1G logos at both ends, between the 20 and 30 yard lines, facing the pressbox. 
  • Work will begin on a new HD scoreboard (larger video screen) in the south stands and a new soundsystem will be installed throughout.

And here's a few nugs on your new head coach, UFM:

  • The man is 21-3 in rivalry games including 16-2 against FSU, Tennessee and Georgia during his time in Gainesville. 
  • In bowl games, he's 7-1 including a 4-0 mark in BCS tilts.
  • His .819 winning percentage ranks 10th best all-time in college football history and is 2nd best among active coaches. 

There's a scant 158 days until kickoff.

 REASON #136 WHY DICK LEBEAU IS ROYALTY AT 11W. As fans of Buckeye legend Dick LeBeau long before 11W was born, we look to celebrate his greatness at every opportunity. 

The latest chance came via Smart Football, who found this gem of DLB, as an assistant coach, getting his wrap-on Houston Oilers receiver Haywood Jeffires: 

 BEST OF THE BEST? ZEBRAS FOR FINAL FOUR ANNOUNCED. The NCAA recently published the list of 10 refs that will handle officiating duties at the Final Four. The NCAA's supervisor of officials, John Adams, proclaims the group "the best of the best". After what we witnessed all season long and in the showdown with Syracuse, let's hope he's right. 

Of the 10 officials, three are familiar with the Buckeyes: 

The other seven who will descend on New Orleans include Pat Adams, Roger Ayers, Joe DeRosa, Verne Harris, Les Jones, Doug Shows and Mike Stuart

No Sanzere, Valentine, Hightower or Hartzell? I hope Rick Boyages noticed that a couple of the B1G's notorious officials weren't invited to the party. 

STUFF FROM THE COUCH CUSHIONS. John Groce to Illinois. Is Boals Athens-bound... How Ohio State and Kansas stack up outside the lines... Saban gets raise and extension...  Dance ratings off 5% so far... Dion Waiters is NBA bound... David Robinson's kid to play football at Notre Dame... 8-Bit movie posters... Wow, look at all these people waiting in line for Jim Bollman's autograph



slippy's picture

Man looking through that pic gallery from practice just by looks alone Klein doesn't look like he should be starting.  Not sure what it is but he just doesn't look the part.  Not saying you have to look good to be good but I felt like a lack of athleticism was his problem last year and it doesn't look like that's changed.  Maybe I'm wrong?  Or maybe Grant will just kill it.

Nappy's picture

He reminds me of Scumbag Steve. 

Takes over starting LB spot

Runs slow as fuck

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

William's picture

Absolutely hilarious.

RedStorm45's picture

The OSU/UC matchup you refer to for bad officiating was OSU/Syracuse...the OSU/UC game had just 29 fouls (compared to the 49 in the regional final).

Lots of mouseovers today.

Boals is 95% gone.  Graduate of OU and a 2 year basketball captain there.  He's been big in recruiting the last few years and is about the same age was Groce was when he left.  Looks like Thad's top assistant is becoming a pipeline to Athens for the head coaching job if in fact Boals leaves.  There was talk that OU donors/alumni were working on increasing Groce's salary to keep him but apparently it wasn't enough or in time.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Whoops. Late night brainlock, I suppose. Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I was lurking over at BSD last week. (I'm fascinated by the cult of Paterno denial that is playing out over there.) And I came upon their Spring Snapshot of Ohio State 2012.

I realize PSU fans are incapable of objectivity when it comes to the Buckeyes. But seriously... the guy with no one in line for his autograph is responsible for at least 4 of last year's 6 losses. (Have fun with that BC.)

And PSU fans... if Miller's passing made you laugh, that's more an indictment of Nick Siciliano's supposed QB coaching than what you suppose is a natural deficiency in our QB's abilities.

For this Buckeye, the outcome of our Oct 27th game will be a good litmus test of the new Meyer regime and what Buckeyes can expect to see. I have a feeling there will be much  butthurt in Happy Valley after the game.

Doc's picture

Urban is not going to be the soft and cuddly type.  The guy pulls no punches and is brutally honest.  He is down right disgusted over the lack of talent at reciever and is not to happy about the offensive line either.  I think he is trying to set us(fans) up for a rough year or two.  I hope he is playing the "whoa is me" card then kicks serious ass this fall.  If he IS being honest and really is disappointed in the lack of talent this could be a long year.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

pcon258's picture

honestly, if we lose boals, it will be a shame, but its hard to blame him for it, im sure he'll do well. and re: the receivers and o-line, while they are certainly not up to par, i have a feeling that urban is just using this as a little motivation. im sure we've got some decent guys in there, i mean this is still ohio state and tressel was a pretty good recruiter, so at least at receiver, i think we'll be good 

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Great Meyer' press conference. It's more like a truth conference. Good to see the QBs snapping those passes. PUMPED! 



Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's encouraging that Curtis Grant is working with the 1st team, but I just don't see Sabino as an OLB, unless he was one of those guys who was carrying extra weight and maybe wasn't in peak condition.

Last year, Sabino's strengths seemed to be power and blowing up the ballcarrier, but he seemed slow for an outside guy. He was best in the Gator Bowl, when he did most of his damage running vertically and lighting fools up, not running horizontally or covering TEs or slot receivers.

His possible lack of speed is compounded by his past struggles in grasping the defensive schemes: mental hesitation and confusion leads to playing slowly, etc. It just seemed like his best chance for blossoming as a senior was for him to turn into a 240 lb meat grinder, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised with his newfound athleticism next year.

btalbert25's picture

I didn't understand why he was so slow last year, when speed was supposed to be one of his biggest assets.  As you said, it was either slow brain resulting in hesitation or he was fat last year. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

But why was speed supposed to be Sabino's biggest assets (and I don't mean this as a rhetorical question)? Was he timed at 4.5 in the forty at one point, or something to that effect? Could it be that because he hails from Florida, people just assumed that he had SEC speeeeeeed?

btalbert25's picture

I don't know why, I just remember when he was being recruited and even from the 2 or 3 special teams plays he made, that's all anyone raved about how fast he was and how hard he hit the guys.  I never understood the love affair with Sabino myself, I never saw too much to get excited about other than the 2 or 3 good special teams hits I mentioned.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Whereas with David Perkins, we know for a fact that that kid can flat out fly. He probably won't be ready to step right in and play this year - he's enrolling in the fall - but he fits the type of OLB Meyer is looking for. Jamal Marcus plays fast, even if it's mosty raw instinct at this point.

Of all the players who fugure to start in 2012 but don't yet fit the mold of a Meyer-type player at a given position - in Sabino's case, SLB - isn't Sabino (at least based on what we've seen in the past) even more of a temporary solution than any of the WRs?    

BuckeyeMark's picture

Totally bit on the Bolls autograph link.  Just about spit coffee everywhere.  That made my day.

btalbert25's picture

I'm not too concerned about the season.  Urban is disappointed in the talent, we know that, but it's not as if it's MAC level talent.  It's just not national title talent.  This season, however, the Buckeyes don't need national championship talent.  He has a uniquie opportunity to really develop the young recruits from last season and hone the skills of players like Miller.  Maybe there are no Teddy Ginns on this team, but I'm willing to be there's at least a Dane Sanzenbacher or 2, and that can win some games too.

RBuck's picture

I'm kind of looking at it that way also. This is a development and learning year, but by 2013 a no BCS season will be a major disappointment. With what UFM has to work with, I'll be more than pleased with an eight or nine win season. Anything will be better than last year.

Long live the southend.

btalbert25's picture

This year will be nice because even if they lose, it'll be entertaining to watch.  Their going to come out and play their tails off and leave everything on the field.  Last year, at times, it looked like the team was disinterested and just wanted to get through the season.  That Florida game was just infurriating to watch, not because they played bad, but because they just didn't look inspired at all.  Glad that kind of crap won't be tolerated anymore.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I agree and, besides, Bama 2011 did not have studs at every offensive position group. They had an excellent OL, an efficient QB, stud RBs, and a great defense. Their WR/TE group was good but nothing special and it's questionable whether that QB will ever be a starter in the NFL. 

In 2012, Ohio State figures to have a decent-to-good OL, a dynamic QB, semi-stud RBs, a very good defense. Not quite NCG caliber (if they had been bowl eligible), but enough weapons to do serious damage in the B1G, even without a Ted Ginn or Anthony Gonzalez, especially considering the quality of the offensive staff.  

cbusbuckeye's picture

Please tell me that the line about adding B1G logos to the field in the shoe is a joke. One of the things I love about the shoe is that you only see "Ohio State" "Buckeyes" and a block O on the field.

Denny's picture

I mean it's not like there aren't advertisments all around the stadium.


cbusbuckeye's picture

Its not as bad as alot of other stadiums. Ohio Stadium still has that classic feel to it. I just hope this isn't another step towards seeing corporate logos on the field.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I took it more as a solidarity move. Don't SEC fields have those conference logos? Not saying I agree with it - I'd just as soon leave the field void of anything other than OSU logos - but I get it.

RedStorm45's picture

Are they going to be adding "Leaders" as well?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I recall very few other big ten stadiums with the B1G logo on the field...maybe just Minnesota at TCF Bank?

Doc's picture

It's for real.  To me adding the B1G logo is like school in summer.  No Class.  Hopefully with the new video boards they will do more with them.  Like play replays.

I'm hiding baby and I'm dreaming
I'm riding down your moonlight mile

Interrobanged's picture

Is there any more information on the new HD scoreboard? (All the new football stuff and I care way to much about a new HD screen)

thatlillefty's picture

per the article linked in "How Ohio State and Kansas stack up outside the lines"

it always cracks me up when people from outside Ohio ask just what exactly a buckeye is... because quite honestly it's a silly mascot. But damnit, its our mascot!

osubuckeye4life's picture

Looks like I just found my new avatar and wallpaper. :)