My money's on Mike Thomas. He's been a play-maker mostly in the mid-range game, but I think he's a more "physical," aggressive receiver, the way he breaks tackles and gets yards after catch, the way he is blocking downfield, I think he finds a way to get the separation and out-battle Bama's DBs on deep balls, if needed. Also, he's got his former FUMA teammate at QB. I have a feeling their "familiarity" with each other is going to be a factor for the offense in the Sugar Bowl.
What is a reality is that when you can build a roster of 110 scholarships and then each year choose the best 85 of the bunch, you're going to be better from top to bottom than a team that builds a roster of 85 and stops there.
I really thought we put the speed thing to rest, even though they're not an SEC team, when we went out to the Rose Bowl and beat up on an Oregon team that was "SEC caliber." And then the next year beat an SEC school in the last Sugar Bowl. I get that it is "vacated," but people, it still happened. And personally, I think we lost to LSU not because of "SEC speed," but because of costly unforced errors on our part. That game got out of hand with some really foolish penalties and LSU took it from there.
After a lot of smooth sailing over lesser teams, about time for a quality win against a quality program. Hope to see Thad continue to cycle in 8-9 guys, getting positive and DEEP contributions from his line-up. The young bucks can learn so much more from this game than from notching points against cupcakes.
I always figured it would take years of defeats for the SEC to lose their "NFL Jr" mystique. But if we can somehow gut out a win in the Sugar Bowl, with our #3 QB in only his second start as a Buckeye, a still very young offensive line, and a defense that came into the season with only one really proven LB, we may just blow the whole thing up with that one win. That would be a beautiful thing.
Win or lose in this year's Sugar Bowl, we are a team that is stacked to run the table (without a hiccup) next year and be back in it again. For me, looking at our roster and especially after Braxton's injury, 2015 became our magical year. So to be on the cusp of it this year, already pretty special.
Agree. Ash and Johnson upgraded our staff, in my opinion. I don't think he'll have any difficulty attracting another great offensive coach.
Buyout was over $7 million paid over a few years. I would think his new bosses would reduce that a bit.
Much as I'd like to see us kill FSU, I don't want them anywhere near the title. I'd prefer to see Oregon have them put away by halftime, leaving the pundits saying "this is maybe the worst undefeated team in a long time."
From what I've read about Alabama's defensive philosophy, they put a premium on defending between the hashes and play the odds that a team won't have the athletes to stretch the field on them (mathematically, they suffocate the higher percentage plays and force teams into beating them on plays that are more risky). Most of the time, they're right. Basically, the way to beat them is to complete those long routes to the sideline downfield and deep. Schematically, from what I've read, that's what Bama leaves vulnerable. If Cardale can hit the deep balls, we've got a shot.
Out of curiosity, how far is Wichita Falls from Houston?
We lost Vrabel and Withers and added Johnson and Ash. It's looked like something of an upgrade so far. Granted, the defense was struggling and not on the same page and some sort of shake up was in order whereas our offense is clicking like it hasn't clicked in recent memory. Sad to see Herman go, but excited to see who Meyer taps next. Meyer plucked Herman from relative obscurity at Iowa State and in three years with the Buckeyes he'd built a monster and became the top coordinator in the nation. When Meyer picked Herman, it was at a time when by his own admission some of his favorite people to work with were not available to come along for the ride as Meyer re-entered from retirement into a program hit with sanctions. This time, he's shopping for an offensive coordinator to lead a team that is LOADED next year at pretty much every position on offense (including quarterback, strangely enough). Best wishes to Herman as he moves on from OSU, where he helped create the most prolific offense we've had in this generation and still had fans on a weekly basis wanting to see him replaced.
Meyer's recruiting convo with Vonn Bell made my day.
I'm sure this is partly wishful thinking on my part, but there is a possibility that not only does Herman recognize that he has an opportunity to be a part of a magical run at a major program, but also that he may not have the head coaching aspirations that many have.
To be a head coach is treated as a natural advancement from being an assistant. But in reality it's like going from a middle-management position to being a CEO. CEOs usually emerge from middle-management, but not all can handle or are even interested in handling such a jump. Wouldn't it be something if Herman turned out to be, like Larry Johnson and Ed Warriner, a very successful, respected, long-time assistant. Both Johnson and Warriner certainly have done enough not only at Ohio State but at their previous programs to bring them head coaching offers, but they've remained assistants.
Maybe Herman will be gone soon, but it's possible that when Meyer hired him he found the role that he'd aspired to. Just as there are wildly successful college coaches with not the slightest interest in going to the NFL (even though it's assumed by many to be the "dream" of any football coach), Herman could have all that he's ever wanted in being at OSU.
I agree that the idea that families are entitled to this is a bit much. I think that part of the sadness comes with the huge entourage of "university officials, trustees, etc" that always get complementary travel to these events (not to mention the coaches' wives which, with the six figures or more that most assistants are making, is probably not a necessity), while a student athlete who may turn out to be the hero of a game for the ages may have to call on friends to pass the hat to get his parents there to see it happen.
If the university weren't flying plane-loads of high rollers to these things, people who could pay their own way without breaking a sweat, I wouldn't be as concerned at the disparity in help to parents of players.
Not really on lodging. Given many/most will be double occupancy, it's really nearer to $300/night/room. That meets event hotel costs in most places. airfare may be a little low, but I think averaging out that some parents (since most teams have athletes from all over the country) are a much shorter flight away, or have a few airport options to fly out from, $700 is a decent average. Sure CMN to New Orleans is over $1000, but most could also try flights out of Clevaland or Cincy or Detroit.
Good point, Kozmo. There's a reason when you look at the smaller bowls, they pick at least one team that's practically in their backyard. New Orleans Bowl invited Louisiana-Lafayette. SD Credit Union Bowl has SDSU. Camellia Bowl in Alabama has South Alabama as one of their teams. Pinstripe Bowl has BC and Penn State. Cotton Bowl has Baylor. Texas Bowl has Texas. Part of these pairings is, quite simply, there are too many bowls. It is mathematically possible to have a losing record in your conference, even a weak conference, and qualify for a bowl bid. I'd like to say that part of it is wanting to make it easier for some of the teams and their fanbase to make it to the games. But I think it's mostly about making sure they pack the house. And when warm weather sites feel the need to make it pretty much a home game for one side to sell enough tickets, it tells me that northern sites for bowl games, though it would be awesome for the Midwest programs, would be an economic mess for the bowls themselves.
I was glad that Meyer threw in a few words about this even during the College Football awards show when asked about things on his mind in preparing his team for the game. Sounds like along with game-planning, film, and other coaching duties, he's also being a listening ear for some players whose families will need a lot more than $800 to go root for their son.
Given that as the article mentioned some bowls are as far away as Hawaii (while others, for some teams, are just a two-hour drive or less), in some respects more than doubling the stipend may still not be enough, and in other respects it's a cash windfall. Almost seems best for the travel arrangements to be processed through the school for parents and let the school pay what needs paid. Give schools flexibility in how they get people to the game, instead of giving families an amount that doesn't get the job done.
Thanks for the info on Belk. I've been wondering what that was. Used to think it was financial services or something. So, assuming the players get gift certificates to Belk, I wonder if there is some equivalent our part of the country, or if they have to just spend it while they're in the South.
I don't think the government would want to run the airlines. They just bail them out and prop them up to the tune of billions in bailouts and other supports. Because its more convenient for us as a family and much easier on us economically, we sometimes use Amtrak. This always leads to interesting conversations and sometimes people will say, "Trains are dead. They're only in business because the federal government keeps it going." Are you kidding me? What would be left of the airlines were it not for federal bailouts?
Agree that this isn't a global crisis, but it is a place where the rules are insanely out of date and in need of upgrading. Schools can give families some money, so it's obviously not the principle of a stipend that's wrong. Just, the ceiling for it is terribly low. It's worth talking about because for reasonable people it can be easily amended.
I'd like to see our coordinators getting paid around 750k (comparable with some of the head coaching jobs at smaller schools that they're likely to be asked to interview for this winter). Herman, with his recent accolades, I'd like to see compensated close to a million. I think our position coaches in the 250-500k range, depending on experience, evaluations, etc. I don't know if part of their slightly lower salary is about freeing up money for OSU to pay someone (Mickey Mariotti) who is not on the list above, but if part of keeping scaling back a bit on the staff is about keeping Mickey and what he does for this team, so be it.
I have to say that Zach Smith has impressed me this year. After two years of feeling like our receivers were under-performing, this year they have stepped up and delivered as route-runners, play-makers, and blockers. Also, Fickell and Ash (for all the grief Fickell gets) have done a great job in a short span of time getting Lee and MacMillan ready as freshmen and turning a porous and sloppy pass defense into a ball-hawking, physical, disciplined unit.
I think Wisconsin was favored over us, as well. So our "cover" for last Saturday is also up in the 60s. Vegas gives us what happens in games on paper. Games aren't played on paper.
I would think pretty much any team in the top 10 would be favored to win over FSU, and they're still in it. Most were surprised that they got past non-top 10 Georgia Tech. Also, Vegas would say that we'd get crushed by Oregon, even though I think OSU (and Alabama, for that matter) play the style of football that crushes Oregon's title hopes every single year.
Really tired of people playing the "same opponent" game with us and TCU about Minnesota. Yes, they rolled them at home in Texas beat them by 23 points. Anyone that watched Minnesota this year saw that they, like us, were a VERY different team in late October or November than they were in early September. What's more, anyone who watched that game saw that we dominated and carried the play up and down the field on them all afternoon. I think we only punted twice that day, in a snowstorm. A couple of unforced errors kept them in a game that really wasn't that close.
If we can somehow get a win against Alabama, I want Oregon. While part of me would love for us to be the ones that finally knock off Jimbo Fisher and his team of delinquents, I don't want FSU to even get the satisfaction of getting that close to another title.
Oregon is a great team, but there is a certain type of team that they've had issues with for years now, and we are that type of team. When Oregon loses (see Arizona, Stanford) it tends to be against teams that are physical up front and just pound on them. I think we fit that mold really well.