Good morning. Let me ask you, how does it feel to finally have a high-powered offense?
Urban Meyer and Tom Herman's unit is putting on a power spread clinic for the rest of the Big Ten and it's been a delight to watch.
Saturday's 52 points against Illinois marked the first time an Ohio State team topped 50 points four times in a season. For some context, this is the 123rd squad to suit up in Columbus.
Chris said as much yesterday, but the emergence of Carlos Hyde as a feature back has added a dimension few saw heading into the season:
Hyde stands at 737 total rushing yards on 5.1 a pop with 13 touchdowns. He's also caught seven balls for 43 yards and a score.
Teaming with Braxton, he gives the Buckeyes the 2nd most lethal 1-2 rushing combo in the country and I don't think many people predicted that back in August.
His emergence continues to save Braxton a few hits and his ability to run between the tackles continues to make teams respect the middle, allowing Braxton more room on the edge.
As much fun as it is to credit Meyer and Herman for the innovative attack, we'd be remiss if we didn't shower offensive line coach Ed Warinner with love.
In his first season in Columbus, Warinner has the line playing at a level not seen in years. The rushing attack is putting up a burly 330 yards per game, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell have been dominant on the left side of the line for most of the season and Corey Linsley and Marcus Hall are playing well at center and right guard, respectively. Where Warinner may be doing his best work, however, is with right tackle Reid Fragel. There were questions about whether the former tight end would even be able to hold down the spot heading into the season, but he's done that and more, blossoming into a very good tackle.
Just imagine what life will be like once Rod Smith dedicates himself to holding onto the football, allowing the three-headed hydra of Miller, Hyde and Smith to get after it. Oh, and the defense catches up.
THE BCS SAYS MEET THE NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS. The week 11 BCS standings are out and once again, it's Alabama and Kansas State in the top two spots. Oregon, thanks to their big win over USC, jumped Notre Dame into the 3rd spot.
In minor news, UCLA is actually ranked ahead of USC for the first time in over a decade, which makes our heart warm.
The Big Ten has two—count 'em two!—teams in the ranking this week, with Nebraska moving up to 16th and Northwestern checking in 24th. Toledo is your lone ranked team from the state of Ohio, holding down the 25th and final spot.
The Buckeyes, of course, are ineligible for BCS inclusion, so they're nowhere on the list, but Urban Meyer's team did move up to a tie for 5th (with Georgia) in the AP poll.
Here's how Ohio State shows up in the various other rankings that go into the BCS formula. Well, the rankings they're eligible to appear in, at least:
- Anderson/Hester: 4
- Wolfe Ratings: 5
- Billingsley: 8
- Sagarin: 10
Georgia performs a little better than Ohio State in computer rankings that feature both of the teams, so we'd likely be looking at a BCS rank of #6, if eligible.
NO SLEEP 'TIL FEBRUARY. Ah, a bye week. Time to relax, right?
Not if you're part of the Ohio State coaching staff and there are five-stars to be had.
Buckeye coaches are on the road to hitting 16 different states this week, all in an effort to solidify the recruits that have verballed, while hoping to land another big fish or three. Wide receivers coach Zach Smith is in DC, offensive coordinator Herman is in the Dallas area, working more of his Lone Star magic, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel is in parts unknown, Ed Warinner will be in Pennsylvania and secondary coach Kerry Coombs will be in New Jersey, Indianapolis, Toledo, Detroit and Cincinnati.
Knowing Coombs, he'll figure out a way to make all of his stops in one afternoon.
Good luck, gentlemen.
OVERLY ATTACHED SMALL CITY PAPER. If it seems like the Dayton Daily News is firing broadsheet salvos at E. Gordon Gee once every couple of months, it's because, well, they are.
In September, the newspaper reported on Gee's travel and entertainment expenses, saying they were "hidden among hard-to-get records that the university took nearly a year to release". Not even his beloved bow ties were safe, with the DDN revealing that the university has spent "more than $64,000 on bow ties, bow tie cookies and O-H and bow tie pins for Gee and others to distribute."
According to an OSU statement, which was printed in the story, no tuition or tax dollars were used to fund Gee's travel or the use of a private house for parties. So, okay.
Saturday, the Daily News struck again, this time with an investigation into executive pay under Gee.
The top 27 executives under Gee had a combined base pay of $11.86 million in 2011, plus another $2.2 million in bonus compensation, a Dayton Daily News investigation found. That was more than double the compensation paid the 20 top managers in similar positions under Gee’s predecessor Karen Holbrook, who left the university in June 2007.
On the surface, this is alarming. Higher education costs have soared in recent years and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that thinks this is a good thing for the future of this country. Let's quote an expert:
Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, called the compensation totals “outrageous.”
“That is spectacularly, fiscally irresponsible behavior on the part of President Gee and it is endemic of the problem in higher education,” Vedder said.
Well then. Thankfully, the paper provided helpful metrics to evaluate Gee's performance.
Since 2007, Holbrook's last year at the university, the average ACT score has improved from 27 to 28.1, the percent of freshman in the top 10% of their high school class has risen from 43% to 55%, the six-year graduation rate has jumped from 71% to 80%, research spending has increased from $720 million to $823 million and fundraising has jumped from $225.5 million to $336 million.
On fundraising alone—one of, if not Gee's biggest strength—the difference in top staff expenditures is more than covered. All while classroom and research indicators are soaring.
THIS IS WHY 3D PRINTERS WERE INVENTED. Why yes, I am a fan of 3D printing technology, thank you.
Buckeye fan Matthew Chalker took advantage of tech's new hotness, scanning himself popping the O-H-I-O and then printing the poses in alternating scarlet and gray plastic with a 3D printer.
And you thought Army Men were height of plastic toy figure glory.
ETC. McKayla met the Ohio State basketball team. Left impressed... Devin Smith has the catch of the year. This might be the drop of the year... Wrestling Buckeyes off to a hot start... Bobby Hebert broke the golden rule of press box living... Joker Phillips out at Kentucky... Meet Tennessee's Skylar McBee. And his mustache.