Let us begin.
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED? Cheering for a talented but young team has been like Russian Roulette. Either you're under extreme anxiety (especially when things are going a bit too well) or your brains are dashed against a wall.
Ohio State's men's team plays Rutgers in Piscataway at 4:00 p.m. on BTN. I'm sure New York City has been tailgating since 3 p.m. on Thursday to bring the rancor for the college they all love to know.
Rutgers, obviously, is pitiful... but again, Ohio State is a young team. ANYTHING is possible. Matta isn't under illusions of grandeur, either.
Head coach Thad Matta knows that his team has had similar hopes before this season only to see the Buckeyes (15-10, 7-5 Big Ten) play inconsistent their next time out. The coach has been trying everything to get his team prepared, and hopes that grueling practices have them excited about the fun that comes with game time.
“I think that’s the thing with this team and just the maturity level of understanding how to get yourself ready to play and be totally engaged and do what you can do,” Matta said. “That’s kind of the message. The way we’re practicing I want these guys to say tomorrow at (4 p.m.), thank gosh, it’s going to be a heck of a lot easier than what we’ve been through.”
Luckily for the Buckeyes, they’ll be facing a Rutgers (6-18, 0-11) team that has been firmly in the basement of the Big Ten all season. The Scarlet Knights have not won a league game all season with their 11 conference losses coming by an average of 22.8 points per game. Rutgers, whose last win came on Dec. 28, entered the weekend last or next to last in the Big Ten in scoring offense, scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, rebounding margin and assist-to-turnover ratio.
I'll actually be en route to Chris' wedding before this one tips off (NO SPOILERS PLEASE) but somebody will have to let me know if the *opens Google tab* Louis Brown Athletic Center (The LBAC, baby!) brings more ruckus than it did against Iowa.
Tim will be through with a full preview at 7:15.
THAT'S WILD, MAN. This picture, from 2006, shows a baby Gronk still weighing Jim Tressel's recruiting pitch against his bro soul:
How did Arizona pull the four-star Pittsburgh (explains a lot) TE from the Midwest? Pool parties.
Ohio State probably wouldn't have thrown to him anyway.
DARRON LEE IS RIGHT: LEG DAY IS GOOD. Here are the latest videos, via NBC4, of Darron Lee's training diary in which he answers the burning questions:
Darron Lee knows what he's talking about with guaranteed money. The NFL dealing in unguaranteed contracts ($110 million over 6 years!) has always mystified me. He'll have media opportunities down the road too.
PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME STANDINGS. Here's where the Pro Football Hall of Fame member rankings stand after the 2016 class was announced, via foxsports.com:
|SCHOOL||HALL OF FAMERS|
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING. Ohio State will put Evan Turner's No. 21 into the rafters on Feb. 16th against Michigan. Would you like to commemorate the occasion with—as Johnny said—a shirt with Evan Turner punching himself on it?
Then you better go get your wallet with haste, friend.
THOSE WMDs. The ingenious tricks of 17th century female spies... What it takes to master computer security... Mortgage fraud and growing worries... Wow, look how fast sheep get herded... The revelations of a Nazi art catalogue... Not all ribs must be smoked or cooked.