- @UKWildcatSports Ryan Timmons will announce decision on February 5th
- Per Nick Chubb himself. The RB has changed his unofficial to the #OhioState #Buckeyes to Feb. 10
- Skai Moore has de-committed from #Rutgers
Scout $ - Berrios draws familiar comparison '14 NC ATH Braxton Berrios
- By Garcia Jr.....Says Deion Sanders kept referring to him as Wes Welker at the UA Combine on Friday. Has offers from Virginia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, Wake Forest, Duke, North Carolina, ECU & South Carolina, while also hearing from Ohio State, Clemson, Florida & Alabama.
Scout $ - UA Combine: Quick Hits
- '14 GA OL Orlando Brown Jr. Down to 345lbs and was arguably the top OT at the Combine.
- '14 KS OL Braden Smith Up to 6'6", 285 lbs. Needs to work on his footwork & flexibility to be a tackle, but looks like a college player.
- '14 NC WR Trevion Thompson Great hands & very smooth in & out of breaks.
- '15 NC DT Shy Tuttle 6'3", 300lbs. Good first step & moves and is expected to only get better.
ESPN $ - RB Matt Domer catching eyes of colleges '14 IL RB Matt Domer
- Coaches from Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Vanderbilt have visited his school. Grew up a Buckeye fan.
While Alabama is busy enjoying their 48 hour rule to soak up a hard fought season, Urban Meyer and company are looking to replicate that very same magic and claim their own national championship a year from today.
What a night for college football. Except for maybe the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their faithful. While none of us got the watchable, entertaining contest we were all not-so-silently hoping for, the BCS Championship Game wasn't awful for the low scoring, defense first reasons we thought it'd likely be. Alabama completely manhandled Notre Dame, and now have a difficult to challenge claim to bonafide dynasty status having won 3 of 4 national championship in the parity ripe BCS-era.
While Nick Saban may be opining that celebrating a national title has the Tide already "getting behind on recruiting", Urban Meyer was busy using his appearance on ESPN's pre/half-time/postgame coverage as a living, breathing infomercial for the future of Ohio State football. Given the pending recruiting battle over 4-star S Vonn Bell with that very team he watched win a national title in dominating fashion Monday night, every bit of added bonus exposure certainly can't hurt.
Though very few college-athletes-to-be make a four-to-five year commitment on the heels of one game (ahem, James Quick aside*allegedly*), it's hard not to wonder the sort of impression 'Bama's dominant victory left in the impressionable mind of the potential impact safety. But the Bucks may have already had the deck stacked against them before the game ever even took place:
"Alabama ... it just speaks for itself," Bell said. They are in the national championship again. Coach Nick Saban, he's a DB coach, and he's going to be coaching me. So Coach Saban has got guys into the NFL, so his name speaks for himself."
I'm honestly not inclined to take him word-for-word or literally at face value. While Bell's been considered an Alabama lean for some time (though recent momentum seemed to have Ohio State very much nipping on Bama's heels if not slightly ahead), it seems logical to think he meant that *if* he elected to go to Alabama, Saban would be the one coaching him.
Particularly with Crimson Tide defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt departing the program to become the new defensive coordinator at Florida State (and having already flipped one his own recruits, on the night 'Bama won a national title no less), Saban selling someone of Bell's stature on he being their position coach is not only not inaccurate, but it's a completely reasonable pitch given the circumstances.
But then again, given how the indecisive Quick purportedly shifted gears...
Speaking of Quick, his commitment to Louisville (or rather lack there of to Ohio State) has left a sizable void in the wide receivers/playmaking department for the 2013 recruiting class. Some of the potential replacements are all going to be in town in Columbus this weekend (including for the what could be a nightmare fuel ripe Michigan-Ohio State basketball game) for their official visits. Amongst those going to be in Columbus this weekend include:
- 4-star ATH (WR/RB) Corn Elder
- 4-star WR Shelton Gibson, perhaps the most logical successor to Quick's skill set
- 3-star RB Ryan Timmons, who presently doesn't have a committable Ohio State offer (if one at all)
Tying everything back together, Bell will also be in attendance, and is expected to have his entire family with him. We personally can't think of a better time for an Ohio State patented recruiting speech from a certain defensive backs coach(*cough* Kerry Coombs *cough*). Others making their official visits include prospective LB (and long time solid Ohio State lean) Christopher Worley, as well as verbal commits 4-star TE Marcus Baugh and US Army All-American P Johnny Townsend. Finally, while many of us probably felt like Ohio State star QB Braxton Miller watching the BCS Championship Game go down, it's hard to imagine we didn't all feel like 5-star DE Joey Bosa when the clock hit quadruple zeroes:
Only undefeated team! #GoBucks— Joey Bosa (@jbbigbear) January 8, 2013
When the 2013 preseason college football rankings come out this summer, Ohio State should be ranked No. 2, behind only Alabama.
In the final AP poll of this season, Ohio State finished third, behind Alabama and Oregon. Being ranked behind those teams is nothing to be ashamed of, as each program has been the model for consistency and success in recent years.
The Buckeyes were the only team in the nation to go undefeated this season, as they finished a perfect 12-0. Due to a postseason ban, Ohio State was ineligible for all postseason play, including the Big Ten Championship game and all bowl games.
For Ohio State to go undefeated was remarkable, especially since the team knew they were ineligible for all postseason play. Urban Meyer and his coaching staff deserve to be praised for keeping the team focused because things could have gotten out of control quickly without anything to play for.
According to GBERatings.com, Ohio State played the 63rd hardest schedule this season, which is a point that all Buckeyes pundits quickly vocalize. However, Ohio State cannot control how competitive the teams in its conference are and should not be punished for it.
The Buckeyes will face a similarly easy slate in 2013, although they have to travel to the Big House after hosting Michigan this season. Only five of the teams on Ohio State's schedule for next season finished this season with a winning record, which speaks to the weak schedule the Buckeyes have on the docket.
Outside of traveling to Ann Arbor, Ohio State's other two challenging road games figure to be against Northwestern and Cal, with neither of those teams being particularly imposing.
The Ohio State Buckeyes did the unexpected this season when they went 12-0, running the table in the Big Ten and proving that they are still on top of the conference despite NCAA sanctions levied after the Jim Tressel years.
In 2013, the Buckeyes are again eligible for the postseason, and this team will be hungry for another run at an undefeated season. Looking at the schedule, it is possible.
It won’t come easy, with games against Cal, Michigan and Northwestern all coming on the road. All of the tough games are spread throughout the schedule, though, which will help the Buckeyes prepare as the season moves.
This team knows how to win big and has one of the best coaches in the game leading them in Urban Meyer. Meyer knows how to turn programs into title winners, and this season proves that he still has what it takes to take teams to the top level of college football.
The Buckeyes will return Braxton Miller and a host of other offensive playmakers. Carlos Hyde is another offensive playmaker who is expected to be back for the Buckeyes, making the backfield one of the most dangerous in the country entering 2013.
Alabama and Notre Dame put a bow on the 2012 college football season Monday night. Most of the Big Ten would just as soon douse it with gasoline and light a match.
But before a largely forgettable 2012 Big Ten season goes up in flames, let's take one final look at the power rankings following the bowls. Ohio State not surprisingly remains on top, and the bottom three teams stay the same as well. There's a bit of shuffling among the seven bowl teams after varying performances. As has been the case most of the season, very little separates Nos. 2-6.
Here's a look at the pre-bowl power rankings.
Let's get to it ...
1. Ohio State (12-0; previously: 1): The Buckeyes will occupy this spot until they lose a game, which might be a while under coach Urban Meyer. After recording just the sixth unbeaten, untied season in team history, Ohio State sets its sights on even bigger goals as it emerges from NCAA sanctions. The Buckeyes showed major strides on offense behind sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller and improved on both lines as the season went on. Meyer exceeded most expectations in Year 1, but they'll be much higher in 2013.
2. Northwestern (10-3; previously: 5): Pat Fitzgerald's team moves up three spots after claiming its first bowl victory in 64 years. There was surprisingly little drama as Northwestern capitalized on Mississippi State's errors and won the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl by two touchdowns. The Wildcats recorded just the third 10-win season in team history and easily could have won another game or two despite a young roster. Things are headed in the right direction in Evanston.
3. Michigan (8-5; previously: 2): The Wolverines were one defensive stop away from recording the most impressive win in the Big Ten's bowl season and in the Brady Hoke era. They paced a very talented South Carolina team in the Outback Bowl and received big performances from wideout Jeremy Gallon, running back Denard Robinson and quarterback Devin Gardner. Unfortunately for Michigan, an elite pass defense couldn't get it done in the end. Four of Michigan's five losses came against top-10 teams, but an 8-5 record isn't what Hoke or his players had in mind this fall.
4. Penn State (8-4; previously: 3): Penn State and Michigan are similar in that both teams have "good" losses on their résumés (Michigan a few more than Penn State). Both teams rallied to beat Northwestern at home, while Penn State has another quality win against Wisconsin. The Lions and Wolverines didn't play one another, and we'll never know how Penn State would have fared against a team like South Carolina. Michigan gets the slight edge here, but Penn State had a terrific season behind a dramatically improved offense and a defense led by senior stars Michael Mauti, Jordan Hill and Gerald Hodges.
5. Nebraska (10-4; previously: 4): The Huskers beat the three teams ahead of them in the rankings, but the power rankings place more weight on recent results, and Nebraska finished the season with a thud. Bo Pelini's team surrendered 105 points in its last two games -- losses to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl. Nebraska showed it could move the ball and score against anyone, despite being turnover-prone. But the defense was abysmal in the four losses and raises serious concerns for Pelini's program going forward.
6. Wisconsin (8-6; previously: 6): The Barry Alvarez-led Badgers showed they could hang with Stanford, but they couldn't take advantage of the unique opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl despite finishing third in the Leaders Division. The inconsistent offensive execution that plagued Wisconsin throughout the season surfaced once again against a tough and talented Stanford defense. Wisconsin just didn't have enough firepower to get over the hump, which was really the story of its season.
7. Michigan State (7-6; previously: 7): A come-from-behind win against TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl takes the sting off of a season that didn't go according to plan for Michigan State. The Spartans leaned on their defense and received just enough offense from backup quarterback Connor Cook and Co. to get past a young Horned Frogs team in Tempe, Ariz. Michigan State posted its second straight bowl win under coach Mark Dantonio and said goodbye to three juniors -- running back Le'Veon Bell, tight end Dion Sims and defensive end William Gholston -- in the days following the game.
8. Minnesota (6-7; previously: 9): Minnesota appeared poised to give the Big Ten a surprising 1-0 start to the bowl season. The Gophers made strides on offense between the end of the regular season and the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, as young quarterback Philip Nelson and the offensive line looked a lot better against Texas Tech. But Minnesota still doesn't know how to finish and suffered breakdowns down the stretch in a tough loss to the Red Raiders. The team still doubled its win total in Jerry Kill's second season and could make some noise in a tough Legends Division next fall.
9. Purdue (6-7; previously: 8): The Boilers and Minnesota swap places after Minnesota performed much better in its bowl game than Purdue did. A mismatch on paper turned into a total whitewash on the field as Oklahoma State, which had no business being in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, outclassed Purdue from the get-go. Purdue's once-promising season ended with a thud as a veteran-laden Boilers team that kept pace with both Notre Dame and Ohio State struggled mightily against most of the good to great teams it faced this season.
10. Indiana (4-8; previously: 10): After going 1-11 in Kevin Wilson's first year, Indiana could only get better and took some important steps this season. The Hoosiers showed they can score points on just about every defense in the Big Ten, and their group of skill players is among the league's best. IU's defense still isn't at a Big Ten level and improving the talent and depth on that side of the ball is the chief challenge for Wilson and his staff entering the 2013 season.
11. Iowa (4-8; previously: 11): A bowl appearance looked like a guarantee for Iowa before the season as the schedule set up favorably for eight or more wins. But the offense took a giant step backward, and injuries hurt the unit throughout the season. Iowa's defense kept it in quite a few games but also let down against better offenses like Northwestern and Michigan. The Hawkeyes will look for more cohesion on offense and more playmakers to emerge. The Legends Division only seems to be getting tougher.
12. Illinois (2-10; previously: 12): No team and no coach wants to turn the page on 2012 more than Illinois and Tim Beckman. Almost nothing went right in Beckman's first season, as the offense stalled and the defense struggled against spread offenses. The Illini dropped all eight of their Big Ten contests and lost by fewer than 14 points just once. Perhaps new offensive coordinator Bill Cubit can get the offense on track. The defense, meanwhile, must fill holes up front and in the secondary. At least Illinois gets a fresh start in 2013.
- Who owns it: Like most marks for wide receivers, it's a safe bet to throw out the name of David Boston -- and his 1998 season easily stands out as one of the most impressive statistical campaigns Ohio State has had at any position. His 85 catches that year are 12 more than any other target has ever snagged with the Buckeyes, and the next-closest total belongs to Boston as well. However, with a 12-game season and potentially two chances in the postseason to track him down, that record could be vulnerable down the road as Ohio State continues to expand its spread offense under Urban Meyer.
- Who wants it: Corey "Philly" Brown endured his share of jokes about failing to make tacklers miss early in the season and was obviously a part of a group that took more serious criticism before that from the coaching staff during spring practice and the offseason after struggling to make any impact in 2011. But the rising senior steadily became the kind of playmaker Meyer could trust on the perimeter and started piling up catches in big games, with his 12-reception outing against Michigan State providing strong hints of what Brown could offer after another year to develop.
- Relevant number: Boston's impressive 7.1 receptions per game might wind up being safe, though Brown could potentially give that mark a run for its money as well, depending on how the run-to-pass ratio is tweaked in Meyer's second season with the program. Brown finished up at an even five catches per contest after finishing the season with eight catches in the win over Michigan, and his total of 60 was the sixth-highest in school history. With two more opportunities potentially at his disposal than Boston had in his record-setting season, Brown would need to average about six receptions per game to claim the top spot in the record books -- a figure he hit or exceeded five times as a junior.
- Offseason checklist: The Buckeyes were rarely shy about getting Brown involved in the offense, establishing right from the opener that he would be a featured weapon by throwing to him seven times in the win over Miami (Ohio). But as the staff gained confidence in his ability to break tackles and tack on extra yardage in the open field, it seemed to expand the package of plays designed to get him the football with everything from quick-hitting throws on the perimeter to touch passes as he came in motion through the formation. Typically the Buckeyes got him the ball near the line of scrimmage, though, and if he and Miller can develop their chemistry even more during the offseason and Brown takes another step forward as a route-runner, his reliable hands should see even more use.
- Attainable goal: The variety of ways the Buckeyes can get Brown involved puts the record in reach for him, though the number of weapons returning on offense could possibly be a factor in keeping his numbers in check even if he returns as a much more dangerous option next fall. Devin Smith should be a more consistent factor at the other receiver spot, Michael Thomas and Evan Spencer figure to play more prominent roles -- and then there's the running game to consider with Carlos Hyde teaming up with Miller again in the backfield. But it wouldn't take too dramatic of a jump in production for Brown to challenge one of Boston's top records, and he should be prepared for it after seeing what the spread offense can do for him during Ohio State's perfect debut season with it.
Marcus Baugh, Joey Bosa, Johnny Townsend and Jalin Marshall have a tough act to follow this weekend.
The Ohio State commits have to try and at least equal what Ezekiel Elliott, Tracy Sprinkle, Tim Gardner, Cam Burrows, Billy Price, Evan Lisle, Darron Lee and Jayme Thompson did the first week of December.
The eight Buckeyes pledges were on hand for official visits a month ago along with Mike Mitchell, Donovan Munger, Gareon Conley and Tommy Sanders.
When Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland) announced he was planning to take official visits to Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee shortly after his team’s state runner-up finish, BuckeyeNation said the trip to Ohio would be important.
Developments since then prove just how vital this weekend will be for the Buckeyes as they try to round out an already stellar defensive recruiting class by adding the ESPN 150 safety.
For Ohio State it really could be a case of all or nothing. Bell was very impressed with the fact Urban Meyer came to his state title game and sat with his family.
Ralston Valley tackle Dan Skipper tweeted today that he’s “down to my top 5.” Those five schools: Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee — “in no particular order,” Skipper tweeted.
Skipper committed to Tennessee in June, but then coach Derek Dooley was fired and replaced by Butch Jones on Dec. 7.
In recent weeks, Skipper has stressed that he was keeping his options open as he wanted to get to know Tennessee’s new coaching staff.
At the Offense-Defense Bowl late last month, Skipper told Rivals.com that he was “still committed to Tennessee.”
Tuesday afternoon, Skipper tweeted that he has official visits set up with Arkansas (Jan. 17-19), Ohio State (Jan. 19-21) and Ole Miss (Jan. 25-27). He visited Michigan on Dec. 14 — “It was a lot of fun. I met some great people and had a great time looking at the facilities,” he told ColoradoPrepReport.com – and took his trip to Tennessee on Sept. 21. Recruits are allowed five official visits.
Skipper was an All-Colorado and All-5A selection this season.