The Situational: Death to Smoochy

By Ramzy Nasrallah on August 20, 2014 at 10:45a

Your sour attitude ain't winnin' Ohio State any championships, son.

Braxton Miller's debilitating case of dangling shoulderitis has you feeling sad, because neither of his backups are as explosive as he is. You know who else is not as explosive as Braxton? Everyone. Everyone is not as explosive as Braxton. 

Well, except for maybe Terrelle Pryor - but this isn't like losing Pryor either. That's because losing Pryor was accompanied by losing Jim Tressel, which took Tresselball out of his capable hands and put it in Jim Bollman's, whose strategic responsibilities should always be limited to just being Team Grandpa.

Joe Bauserman and true freshman Miller were then left under the tutelage of pretend-QB coach Nick Siciliano who has since left football and is now a Leadership Professional. J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones and Stephen Collier have Urban Meyer, Tom Herman and Ed Warinner instructing them. So this is nothing like losing Pryor.

It's also nothing like losing Tim Tebow either, since neither Barrett or Jones are 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year John Brantley.

This ROSTER has been preparing for Football Without Braxton Miller since last season ended.

All of the stars in the world don't mean a thing if the offense doesn't fit your skills, as Brantley deftly proved in Meyer's offense (though it would have been fun to see that Cam Newton kid stick around at Florida and run it). Barrett is the prototypical dual-threat QB Ohio State's offense needs. Jones is a battering ram with a cannon arm.

Oh, there are also 81 other scholarship players not named Braxton who are all pretty good too, and there are no future Leadership Professionals or Team Grandpas charged with their development or game strategy. This is a roster that has been preparing for Football Without Braxton Miller since last season ended.

Your sour attitude is not helpful, nor is it warranted. It's football: Brains get rattled, knees explode and arms occasionally fall off unexpectedly. Save your panic for when your best friend chooses to get married during the Michigan game.

Besides, football season is finally here. You should be euphoric. Let's get Situational.

Eleven Warriors' 2014 Ohio State Football Season Preview

The Course: Uncharted


Urban Meyer has never lost a regular season game to a Big Ten team - his first Bowling Green squad even took down Northwestern in 2001. The next loss will be his first loss within the scheduled frame.

His postseason-ineligible Buckeye team won the 2012 Leaders Division (RIP) title outright but had to forfeit the conference championship game ticket that came with it to second-place Penn State. The Nittany Lions aren't/weren't allowed to have nice things either, so they regifted that ticket to third-place Wisconsin.

The Badgers then went to the Rose Bowl and Bret Bielema parlayed this epic six-loss double-regifted "title" into a gig at Arkansas. The Buckeyes unshackled themselves from purgatory in 2013, ran the table again and kept the ticket this time. They stumbled out of the gate against Sparty before ripping off 24 unanswered points. Then they collapsed, forfeiting another championship game ticket.

That Year Two is supposed to be Urban's year: BG won nine games, Utah ran the table, Florida won the BCS title game against Ohi[FILE NOT FOUND] and his Buckeyes won 12 straight. But then they lost two straight, the second coming without Noah Spence, Christian Bryant or Bradley Roby and yet somehow Clemson only scored 40 points instead of 400.


Year Three doesn't have a history of unqualified success on Urban's resume because it barely has a history at all. This is only the second time he's made it three seasons in one place - his 2007 Florida team dropped four games, including one that resulted in Lloyd Carr being carried off the field on the shoulders of seniors who had just gone 0-4 against Ohio State. Gross. Still, 12 months later his Gators won a second title.

Ohio State's offense - with or without #5 - should still be statistically superior to anything Jim Tressel brought because different philosophers subscribe to different philosophies. Ohio State's defense - more on that shortly - should be significantly better than anything we've seen since Meyer arrived, since the bar is that goddamn low.

The culture and philosophy are both installed, and unlike Year Three at Florida there was a two-game slide that siphoned away any sort of entitlement, just like the sudden absence of the two-time B1G MVP under center does. This is a team with a 24-game winning streak that ended up empty-handed, so while Year Three might be uncharted - the destination is unchanged.

They just have to find a way to get there with one less guy. They can do that.

The Breakout Coordinator: Chris Ash


Last year the defense lost its Braxton Miller when Christian Bryant's ankle exploded on a play where he shouldn't have even been on the field. Unfortunately his backup wasn't Barrett or Jones-caliber. 

Pittsburgh Brown plugged that hole for reasons of extreme necessity, while coaches kept the shrink-wrap on Vonn Bell until the very end of the season. They probably regret that now, but Bell is back and he has exciting new backfield mates (who probably shouldn't have been redshirted) joining him. Linebackers appear to have been upgraded, Ryan Shazier aside. And the defensive line is as deep and good as it has ever been.

But the guy who will get the credit for Ohio State's inevitable 50-spot jump in pass defense (which would still put the Buckeyes in the bottom-half of FBS) will be new DC Chris Ash. He replaced Everett Withers, who took the blame for everything a promotion at James Madison that pays him almost a quarter of a million dollars less than he made in Columbus.

The Buckeye defense struggled for the second year in a row post-Jim Heacock, and while there have been some significant misses recruiting-wise, that comforting Silver Bullet scheme that took no prisoners was a large part of the missing link separating Tressel defenses from the 2013 team's anchor.

The strategy is now more aligned with how it was pre-Withers. It will be especially familiar to Luke Fickell, who doesn't deserve to be persona non grata on the defensive staff because he was one of the two guys in charge of those efficacious pre-Withers defenses.

But while the defense went south when Heacock left, it will return to form under Ash - and no one will ask so was it scheme or personnel because Ash will get the credit.

Situationally - we don't care who gets the credit. We just want that defense back.


pink snow

Twenty-two starters on a football team: Add kickers and special teams - which is stocked primarily with starters under this regime - and you've got over 50 guys who came to Ohio State with big dreams watching other guys live them from the sidelines.

J.T. Barrett didn't turn down LSU, Nebraska, Arizona, Baylor or any of his other offers so he could come watch Ohio State games from the bench. Cardale Jones didn't decline scholarships from Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, West Virginia and his other suitors so he could only play school in Columbus. They both came to play.

Jones committed to Jim Tressel and then Urban Meyer, with a year of prep school in between. His dream is right in his grasp, but Barrett appears to have a slight advantage. What that means is the competition to get in and stay on the field is exactly that: Competition. Both are acclimated to college, both understand what is required and both are quite talented.

You'll see both of them play this season. They have different skill sets: Jones is huge, while Barrett is closer to Braxton's size. Jones has the ridiculous arm, while Barrett is more accurate. Jones is run-first; Barrett is run-second - and that's why he's slightly ahead right now.

But they can both run. Also, there's been confusion over their names: Cardale is pronounced Cordale, which has produced some spelling variants, while J.T. underwent some changes as recently as yesterday:

(Ohio State corrected Barrett's OSU bio after the Braxton announcement from John to Joe) (Good timing).

Last thing here - have you seen how many Plan A running backs and receivers the Buckeyes now have? Everything you've heard about them in practice has come at the receiving end of one of Ohio State's Plan B quarterbacks.

Barrett and Jones have been rolling with the ones and twos all year. There are no accidents.

The FORGOTTEN BRUTE: Adolphus Washington

Blake Bortles, Adolophusized.

His nickname is Diesel. He had offers from Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas A&M, Oregon, USC and plenty of other schools. He's the guy you're not hearing about among Ohio State's defensive line starters.

There are two reasons for that - one, Adolphus Washington was slowed down by a nagging groin injury last season and two, Joey Bosa showed up and gave his absence some cover. Michael Bennett and Noah Spence get a lot of attention, so the fact that Diesel is somehow the obscure one on that line should be terrifying for opposing teams.

Urban says Washington may be the key to unit, probably because rushing four effectively without having to blitz often is a nice way to get the defense off the field quickly. The Buckeyes now have 19 defensive linemen and will be rotating many of them in college-style in a significant departure from Mike Vrabel's NFLish tendencies of playing the same few guys for all four quarters.

That depth resulted in Washington moving inside from the end position, of which his new position coach - Larry Johnson, who's more of a technician than a screamer - said:

“You always want a three-tackler, a guy that’s going to get a lot of one-on-ones and have an ability to rush the you have to take a skilled guy who’s rushed on the edge and play inside and play as a guard position, it’s going to give you a different edge on the inside. That’s what I’m excited about. 

Adolphus next to the Big Ten's best defensive lineman with Bosa and Spence on the edges, backed by a legion of physically-gifted linemen receiving instruction better-suited for the college game: Prepare for unforgiving chaos in all the right backfields.

Diesel's now healthy, still terrifying and only a few weeks from being conspicuous once again.


There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there can be more than one worthy choice.

This has been a football-heavy edition of The Situational series, but the pillar upon which it was originally constructed is and and will always be gambling bourbon. That pillar isn't going to abruptly disappear. It can't be academically ineligible and it doesn't have a labrum to tear. It might show up at the Grown & Sexy Lounge in Lorain - but that's okay. It won't get suspended.

Still, despite the relentless optimism you've been subjected to thus far, you still might be feeling...sour. Your sour attitude still ain't winnin' Ohio State any championships, son - but you could put it to good use with a little whiskey.

Panty melter. You're welcome.
Classic Bourbon Sour, via Sidewalk Hustle.

Whiskey Sours have been around since Socrates was coaching tee ball in Reno, but they're often mixed together in haste. Slow down and make a real cocktail for once in your life. Take your time, sourpuss. 

Here's what you'll need:

2 oz Buffalo Trace
1 Lemon
¾ oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Pour your bourbon and simple syrup (it only takes five minutes, dude - make it yourself) into a shaker. Separate the egg white into it, cut the lemon in half and squeeze everything in there - and don't worry about the seeds or the egg shell pieces you inevitably drop in.

Shake it to the Ohio State fight song of your choosing while imagining Barrett lifting the Heisman Trophy in a few months. Now add ice to the mixture and shake it again to the different Ohio State fight song of your choosing while imagining Washington equaling his season sack total from 2013 (2) against Navy prior to halftime.

Now strain your Classic Bourbon Sour into a handsome Eleven Warriors whiskey tumbler. It will have a nice head to it, upon which you can make drops of Bitters into a Block O with the help of a toothpick.

Drink it while making another one for your annoying, chirpy friend who is way too optimistic about Ohio State's QB situation. Situationally, this cocktail is perfect for you and your sour attitude.

You'll come around. This will help.

The Playoff


Normally the exit here is reserved for a video, but for this season - and for the first time in the history of college football - the Playoff is an actual playoff.

Ohio State football did not change its purpose because its starting quarterback - he of two consecutive Silver Football awards - is out for the season. It didn't change when the Buckeyes were shackled to a postseason ban in 2012 and it won't change as long as the state's flagship university fields a football team: Win all of the games. Every year. For Ohio.

You wouldn't want another coach, and you should be absolutely content with the players that will be running out of the tunnel behind him. There won't be any excuses, nor should there be any regrets. They were born for this. You live for this.

There are no moral victories - there never were. Go Bucks. Win all of the games.


Comments Show All Comments

@OSUDefender's picture

Is Tome Herman related to Booker T. Washington?

+4 HS
@OSUDefender's picture

Crap, they fixed it.

+2 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

I knew a guy in college that was named Tomb, which he pronounced as "Tom." He got quite offended when people pronounced his name like it was spelled.

+1 HS
mmounts's picture

Bourbon Sour is a beautiful thing. 

+1 HS
Bucksfan's picture

Well, thank you for talking me off the edge, Ramzy.  No, I really didn't wanna jump.

I think it was Medibuck on the LiveBlog a couple of seasons ago that posted a recipe for a similar drink that he called the Bourbon Meyer (using Meyer lemon juice, which is unacceptably expensive, so we can fake it).  I nominate Bourbon Meyer as the name for your bourbon sour.

+7 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

Needs more of Carter's beard.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+6 HS
Oyster's picture

Save your panic for when your best friend chooses to get married during the Michigan game.

Save your panic for when your former best friend chooses to get married during the Michigan game.

I made a slight correction for you.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

+17 HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

The writing, humor, and perspective of Ramzy's articles are why we come here, and like a well made Whisky Sour, this one did not disappoint! I feel better already.

+4 HS
Frostybuck88's picture

Damn, I'm thirsty all of a sudden.  As always Ramzy... perfect.

The Dude abides...

+1 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Great article. Not sure about drinking a egg white though.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+3 HS
el duderino's picture

Don't be. It's a relatively common ingredient in cocktails. Without the egg white, you don't get that same wonderful head in which you can make fun designs.

Also, that recipe for a bourbon sour sounds wonderful. I especially like the use of Buffalo Trace; I toured that distillery in May and bought a bottle. Possibly my best bourbon purchase in a long time.

"This is a very complicated case: a lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous."

+3 HS
psibuck's picture

I'm a fan of Buffalo Trace, but prefer Blanton's if I'm going to drink from the BT family.

IGotAWoody's picture

Hmm, I tried Buffalo Trace on Ramzy's suggestion, and it was tasty, but haven't tried Blanton's. Gonna have to track that one down.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

KevinJ's picture

Buffalo Trace is one of the better Bourbons for under $25, Blanton's is a great sip but twice the price of Buffalo Trace. You don't use Blanton's as a mixer it's to be enjoyed on it's own (neat) or maybe with a splash.

+3 HS
psibuck's picture

This is correct.

+1 HS
Buckeye1996's picture

It's the Buffalo Trace that has me a bit worried.

-1 HS
buckeyepastor's picture

Thank you, Ramzy, for reminding all of us that Urban's got this.   Agree wholeheartedly with the emphasis on the truth that Barrett and Jones have been the ones preparing with the team under center pretty much all year.   I am cautiously optimistic that in terms of making the right reads and getting the ball out quickly, Barrett could be an improvement.   And while Navy and VT and Cincy won't be cupcakes for us, our biggest tests of the year are backloaded into October and November by which time our two QBs will no longer be green.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+5 HS
My buck's picture

Great reading!

i too expect Adolphus to be an absolute game-changer this year. 

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture
+6 HS
TMac's picture

"Day 1, you pick a school to come coach at Ohio State or come to play at Ohio State, and I remind our staff all the time that no one forced you to come here," Meyer said. "This is what this program is. There's only a handful of them that you're expected to win every game that you play and you have to embrace that, and it's not easy to embrace. It's the same thing as a player. You came to Ohio State and this is what it's going to be. You're not going to look up there one day and see (the stadium) half-empty. That doesn't happen. There's 107,000 that want to see you play very well so we have an obligation."


ONE Not Done!

+7 HS
KevinJ's picture
Great Situational MR Ramsy
Now strain your Classic Bourbon Sour into a handsome Eleven Warriors whiskey tumbler.
You mean like this one?
+8 HS
kiester's picture

The whiskey tumblers are currently sold out; I didnt realize they were even sold here, my hopes went sky high when I saw the link, then came crashing down (like, 'finding out xBrax got hurt kinda crashing') when I realized they were sold out. 

+1 HS
KevinJ's picture

Keep your eye on the prize Kiester, I'm sure Jason will have them back in stock (along with the pint glasses) soon. You might even ask him when to expect them back in.

SHAKENBAKE68's picture

I hear they are free in the Premium Lounge.

Go Bucks!!

There is no such thing as "friendly fire"..

+2 HS
Citrus's picture

Yeah the 11w copper cups for Moscow Mules are only available in premium lounge. 

+1 HS
GOOMBAY's picture

Win all of the games. Every year. For Ohio.

I might not do any work for the rest of the day. Or the next 10 days.

+3 HS
benlight01's picture

Ramzy, you should really put together a book of all of these Situationals so we can have all of the sports wisdom and cocktail instructions in one place. I'd buy that.

+5 HS
Barnsey69's picture

This. ^^^

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

Athens BuckCat's picture

Another great Ramzy piece. My sour attitude has already begun to brighten, and I have a growing desire for a drink.

+1 HS
BUCKtuckian's picture

People are saying that I'm an alcoholic, and that's not true, because I only drink when I work, and I'm a workaholic.
Ron White

+1 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

Awesome. Ramzy you are the man.

shadybuck's picture

I just hope Navy has enough guts to attempt 2 passes in the first half

Buckeyeneer's picture

Wow! I need to go work out. Way to much adrenaline pumping to be sitting at my desk working.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+2 HS
saluki2007's picture


+8 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

Great read

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

dwcbuckeye's picture

Great write-up as always.  Thanks for the receipe.

dlb72osu's picture

Good read. The comments sure have turned 180 since the lamenting heard yesterday. My God, you would have thought that OSU had closed its football program down. As UFM stated this morning on M&M, JT Barrett was a heavily recruited qb out of Texas for good reason. We will be ok! Stay positive, get excited, my brethren.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

- Invictus

FunZone's picture

I can't wait to watch our d line this year.

I asked Braxton how his knee was before halftime at Berkeley and he said, "What up, man."

+2 HS
hodge's picture

For a fun twist, dilute maple syrup with a bit of hot water and sub it in for simple syrup in the recipe.  Then, if you're feeling kinky, you can sub in the Bourbon for Rye and pour the whole damn thing into an Absinthe-washed glass and you've made a slightly-altered Rattlesnake -- which will either cure a rattlesnake bite, kill the snake itself, or make you hallucinate their presence.

+2 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

"...pour the whole damn thing into an Absinthe-washed glass ..."

How in the world did I miss gem earlier? Tell us, Hodgey old chap, what was it like at Gertrude Stein's Paris salon with Ezra, Ernest and Alice B. Toklas?

+3 HS
Vinsaniti's picture

Thank you! I needed another reason to drink. Guess it's to tha bar I go for the next 10 days.

Buckeye419er's picture

Thanks Ramzy! You've made my day much more comfortable. 

There can be only one

+7 HS
DefendYoungstown's picture

One of the best articles I have ever read on this fine site.  Props to the Ramzy who knocks it out of the park once again.  Why not, why couldn't a top rated dual threat QB come in and dominate. Johnny Football did it at TA&M, famous "crableggin" Jameis did it at FSU.  We have the tools on offense, the line will gel with time. If the D can resemble something from the early 2000's I'm in.  Putting my money where my mouth is, going to vegas tomorrow and putting 3 bills down on the bucks winning it all. 50:1 odds, I'll take 15k any day...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

+3 HS
ExpressiveBuckeye's picture

I still say there's time to get LeBron to take Braxton's place...he's got eligibility...

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

FitzBuck's picture
"Its a rocket ship"

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+3 HS
DefendYoungstown's picture


What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

FitzBuck's picture

Watch "Death to Smoochie"  Robbin Williams and Ed Norton.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Baroclinicity's picture

Thank God I'm not at work.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+6 HS
Brutus's picture

Thank god Steens left.

+3 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Just thank God word.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+1 HS
KevinJ's picture

What hat?

That could be the best GIF ever!!!

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture
+3 HS
Angry Panda's picture

And now i can't get out of my hysteria and look at the bigger picture. Well done Ramzy... The guiding light is a sea of doubt. 

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Great write up, BUT...can we please put a moratorium on all Bollman jabs? It's his fault that we ended up losing to Clemson, and not Florida State. 

As for this upcoming season, I dont think the Big Ten is ready for what Meyer has in stock. I expect to see all sorts of dual QB sets to make DCs account for Cardales arm and JT's feet.

Not worried at all about the defense, from the DL to Safeties. They're going to be foaming at the mouth to restore the reputation of TOSU defenses.

my prediction, just to go on record..I see one loss, at the most season, and it's going to be vs VT, or cellar dweller team that they should beat easily, but theyll regroup and finish the rest of the season on a tear.

Cant Wait...(c) Bart Scott voice

cal3713's picture

Agreed.  Bollman's offense did just fine when it played us last year.

-1 HS
Akeem96's picture

I am loving the national media dismissing this team without Miller.

Meyer loves coaching teams with shoulder chips and I can hear him, "They think you guys suck without Braxton."

But really, when has a team ever had success on the national level with a redshirt freshman at quarterback? ... checking archives .... oh you have to go all the way back to last year.

+6 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

I do too.  As much as UFM is a master motivator, sometimes you can't contrive fake motivation.  These are 18, 19 year old kids who won a bunch of games and read the press clippings, and when told they are good over and over, sometimes putting it on autopilot is inevitable.  Sometimes the best motivation is telling talented overachievers that they CAN"T do something.  I think we are about to see something special folks.

+1 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Good points on Diesel.  He dominated that first class citizen Lewan in 2012, an eventual first round NFL pick.  He was hurt last year (if you never had a groin injury, consider yourself fortunate)--he actually could be the best of our pass rushers.  What an embarassment of riches that he is talked about fourth or fifth on our d-line!!  This is the key to this team--get pressure up front and drop six or seven (press at times), and if you still get pressure, turnovers and sacks will result.  As the defense goes, so go the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes.  I, for one, feel good about that.

+3 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

Ramzy, I love your work, man. You are an amazing writer ... but adulterate bourbon with anything other than ice or a little "crick water"?!?!

FUqUespin's picture

Situational Bourbon for "The Grown & Sexy Lounge?," Ramzy??

klfeck's picture

Your sour attitude is not helpful, nor is it warranted. It's football: Brains get rattled, knees explode and arms occasionally fall off unexpectedly. Save your panic for when your best friend chooses to get married during the Michigan game.

Thank GOD,someone finally said it!!!!!



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

+2 HS
BeatTTUN's picture

+1000 on putting "sour attitudes " mouthes on the curb.
Goodness this site only gives Buckeye fans plenty of "I know something you don't know" ammunition to deal with those that think THE Ohio Buckeyes are just going to roll over and lose in 2014.
So gentlemen please put on your Levi's denim jacket, the one with Brutus the Buckeye stiched on the back, let your mullets shake wildly as you bang your head with me as we SCREAM out
"You got another thing coming!"

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

+1 HS
Rogabone's picture

Greatest. Article. Ever.

"Who is that madman?" the new arrival asked St. Peter.

"That's God," St. Peter replied. "But he thinks he's Woody Hayes."

+2 HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Bosa, Bennett, Diesel, Spence.

Mark down the MSU game as when everyone else in the country uses these names together.

+1 HS
MAVBuck's picture

As always, you've simply out done yourself. Thanks for the pick me up!

Buckeyeball043's picture

SInce the news broke about Braxton, I've been praying silently, "Please Ramzy write something to make feel better and also get me hyped simultaneously."

Mission Accomplished.

"I am El Guapo...the handsome one."

+1 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

I'm still trying to picture Socrates coaching tee ball in Reno.

+1 HS
Buckeyeball043's picture

Win all of the games. every year. for Ohio.


"I am El Guapo...the handsome one."