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Comment 22 hours ago

Meyer is a victim of expectations.    People expect greatness out of elite programs that get top recruits ever year.   The problem for Meyer (as it was for Tressel before him) is that 10+ win seasons and contending for national titles is the mark of a successful season instead of the mark of a truly great season.   I think there is no doubt that, had the Wisky, Bama, and Oregon games been taken into account where OSU repeatedly exceeded expectations, Meyer wins the conference COY.  Unfortunately, it was determined earlier than that.   Looking at their regular season resumes, Meyer did a great job but apart from the big win in East Lansing his team did what most expected it to do.   Kill's team played well above expectations during the regular season and apart from being pushed around by OSU and TCU really represented well.   They beat Nebraska on the road, crushed TTUN on the road, and really gave Wisconsin a fight in Madison.    

Comment 19 Feb 2015

Not surprised.   Jones is the only one currently healthy.  Might be the only one healthy enough for Spring Camp.   That's gotta give him something of an edge.    Last year it didn't matter that Jones and Barrett were ready in the spring and Braxton wasn't, because neither of them had even sniffed meaningful playing time.   This year, while Miller and Barrett sit, Jones stands to benefit huge from their absence.   

By the way - does anyone at 11W have a timeline on Barrett and Miller's return to being able to be in uniform, taking snaps, going through drills, etc.?    Recently, saw that Braxton is throwing again, and Barrett is off the scooter and back I hope to walking.  But what's the timeline for their being available?   I had heard rumor that Miller's not expected to be back to full strength until August.   I don't think that's enough time to knock off over a year and a half of rust.    And is Barrett going to be out all of spring, as well?   Any news on this?   Best guesses?   

Comment 19 Feb 2015

It will be interesting to see how Cardale handles success.  Will he get complacent with his incredible accomplishments at the close of last year and fall back into distracting and unproductive habits as he did in times past, or will he continue to focus, work hard, and lead.   I think it's to his benefit that Herman is gone.   While Herman saw improvement in Jones' work ethic and attitude and abilities, Herman also saw how unprepared Jones could sometimes be, and likely would have been leaning toward Barrett or Miller.  Beck is sort of a "clean slate."   Come to think of it, gotta think that Miller may have the toughest time.   He and Herman came through so much together in 2012 and 2013.   I'm sure it will be Meyer's decision at the end of the day, but I'm sure Beck will have some say in it, and Beck comes in not having dealt with the 2012 and 2013 versions of Jones, or the 2012 and 2013 versions of Miller.   

Comment 13 Feb 2015

Let the tickets be $5 or at most $10 each for the Spring Game.  $15 is only a few dollars more, but for families  it adds up to more than a few dollars, and for a lot of families, a few dollars matter a lot.   

What's more, even though as an ex-pat I would gladly pay whatever and be interested in the Spring Game no matter what, with two of our three best QBs not even available for it, I don't know if $15 is justified.   

Comment 11 Feb 2015

Just accept that you over-reached.  I think it's been, what, two years ago that "Lose Yourself" was still one of the big sports anthems around the country.   Grammys and millions in sales may not mean that someone isn't "washed up," but to contend that the guy hasn't had a career since 2002?   Really?    

And it could be worse.  They could be calling in Ted Nugent.   

Comment 11 Feb 2015

After Shazier left for the NFL, someone in the LB unit or on the defensive side talked about how RDS was such a big playmaker that those around him sometimes sort of expected it from him to the point where they lost their edge, trusting he'd bail them out.  I can't help wondering if the same wasn't true of Braxton and the offense, if guys played and competed hard but didn't have the sense of urgency and drive because they knew if they missed a block or didn't get separation or didn't quite get where they needed to be, Braxton could bail them out.    If that's the case, it's not Braxton's fault at all, but it's something I wonder about.   The leap forward by our offense last year happened around a QB who was inexperienced and needed those around him to make plays, and everyone did.  Not sure if that sort of transformation happens across the board if #5 is our signal caller in 2014.   

Comment 11 Feb 2015

If he can't throw until August, how does he develop timing and chemistry with Corey Smith, Marshall, Thomas, Wilson, guys he hasn't thrown to in a year or more, if at all?   In 2011 or 2012, Braxton Miller at 80% was better than anything else we could put on the field. That's just not the case anymore.    

Comment 11 Feb 2015

Braxton had Philly, Devin, Spencer, Dontre, Heuerman, and Chris Fields.    

JT had Devin, Spencer, Dontre, Marshall, Vannett, Heuerman, Mike Thomas, and Corey Smith.  

JT definitely had a better cast to work with.  But as inferior as the 2013 receiving unit may have been, for Philly to have been pretty much the only one to show up in terms of making plays against MSU and Clemson still troubles me.   

Comment 11 Feb 2015

Excellent point.  That, and I'm still not sold on Braxton being as complete a passer as JT or Cardale.   Very few of Braxton's deep balls and mid-range stuff hit guys in stride, allowing them YAC.  I would assume this has changed.  But until we see it on the field, it's just an assumption.   

Comment 11 Feb 2015

Miller's gifts are clear, and they are plentiful.  He can make not only something but something BIG out of nothing.   Without competent O-line play against VT, Barrett was lost.   From experience, we can say that Braxton would have found a way to still do a lot of damage against that defense.   He is creative, and versatile, and just BETTER, athletically, than everyone else on the field when he's healthy.   These are his strengths.    

I think the biggest thing working against him is time.  I read the article hoping it would shed some light on the timetable for Braxton to be 100% game ready.  Some have said his shoulder rehab will keep him out until fall camp.   That's a huge disadvantage for him.   Then again, Barrett will possibly be out until then, as well.   The question marks that I have about him involve his passing and his leadership.   Many of his most famous tosses involved him throwing it AT a receiver, but not leading the receiver.    So many of his deep throws and mid-range throws were balls where the receiver had to break stride, come to a complete stop, change direction, or dive to make.  Or, where the receiver was so open he simply stopped and waited for the ball to arrive (Wisconsin in 2011 and 2013).   In terms of leadership, the thing that impressed me most about Barrett was that under his leadership it seemed like everyone upped their game.    Braxton took over and was a "one-man" show so many times with Spencer, and Devin Smith, and other weapons on the field.   For two years, we have rationalized that "well, if Braxton's the best guy, why not let it be a one many show, or a two man show with Hyde and MIller?"   Truth be told, I think that Braxton's ability and presence, instead of getting guys to elevate their game, seemed to give them permission not to.   He was like a security blanket out there that allowed others to let up.   Maybe that's inaccurate, and even if it is accurate it's not really Miller's fault that it happened.  And maybe Barrett's great success in passing and providing a balanced attack and the receivers all elevating their game while he was the starter is all just coincidence.  Maybe the same thing would have happened with Miller in there.  Maybe 2014 was all set to be the year when Miller made really great decisions in the zone read, and vastly improved his accuracy to receivers that all stepped up their game.    All I know is it didn't.  And until it does, until Braxton really does show mastery of the zone read and make the right calls instead of using his athleticism to often bail us out of the wrong ones, and until I see him completing more than 2/3s of his passes, consistently, and notching 250 yard passing games, consistently, and until I see him not fade as a passer in November, it is all just speculation.   I hope for his sake that he does get the opportunity to do all of this.    But this job is no longer his job to lose.   It's his job to try and win, and he's likely to have a limited window in which to assert himself this summer.   I wish him the very best.   

Comment 09 Feb 2015

Looking back, Oregon had one great opening drive, and one big play TD, and that was about it.   Apart from that, they had some positive plays and numerous dropped passes, but at the line of scrimmage, with all the fuss about tempo, we had complete control.   A couple of strange turnovers were the only thing that kept this game in doubt into the fourth quarter.   We played well enough most of the night to drop 50 on them, and for that reason I will never fault Urban for continuing to run the offense in the final minutes.   

Comment 07 Feb 2015

Of all the original 2012 staff, I think Coombs was the least "credentialed," but he's become such an iconic part of the program, and proven himself as a coach.  I think it would be worth it to pay Coombs $200,000 even if all he did was make his legendary recruiting pitch to families.   Wasn't it Elliott who first made that message known to the world?   

Comment 07 Feb 2015

Also, while ND is proud of the fact that they have more academically rigorous standards and should feel good about that, the way that they often talk that up rings like a slap in the face to a lot of recruits every year.   It seems like every season, at some point, someone at ND points to how their (slightly) elevated acceptance standards create a slight disadvantage for them.   While they may not mean it this way, I think what a lot of recruits, and current players at other programs hear in that message is "you're not here at ND because you're not good enough and smart enough to play for us."    I really think they've over-played that whole "we're a cut above everyone else" card, and it's trending very much against them.   

Comment 06 Feb 2015

1.  We don't have a "pipeline" to Cass Tech.  We've gotten a few recruits from there in the last two classes.   If this sours Meyer's relationship with one high school in Michigan, I'm not overly concerned.   

2.  I feel for Weber and the hurt and disappointment of seeing the guy who recruited you very soon after walk away to another job, but this happens in the NCAA every year to hundreds of recruits.   

3.  OSU's assistants live by the mantra that they sell a relationship with the program to recruits, that it's never about the staff.   I doubt that Drayton encouraged this young man to make his arrival to OSU all about him.   

4.  This story is less than 24 hours old.   A lot of speculation and emotional venting.  Let's wait and see what Weber decides to do after cooling down and thinking this through a bit further.   

5.  I appreciate Wilcher's passion for his kids, but interjecting himself into this matter the way that he has isn't doing this young man any favors.    

Comment 06 Feb 2015

I'm curious how he intends to "protect" him.  Is he going to make the running backs coach and head coach at the school he attends sign an agreement to stay through this young man's four years of eligibility?   No coach in his right mind would agree to that, which is why I really doubt the inference that Drayton somehow promised this young man to be around at OSU long term.   Given what he's done with Hyde, and now Elliott and the fast development we've seen from Samuel, it's a pretty amazing thing that OSU was able to keep him in the fold for as long as they did.   

Comment 06 Feb 2015

I think the problem is the timing, the two things coming so close together.   Every year, hundreds of players sign letters of intent after being recruited by a coach, head coach or assistant, who is no longer with the program by the time they arrive on campus.   it's always a disappointment and stings like a betrayal.  But that's the nature of this business.   

I agree with you totally that if a young man has so much of his decision invested in the position coach, then maybe he should be elsewhere.    I think when Weber thinks about what actually happened over the next several days instead of tweeting out missives in the heat of the moment, he'll see that this was nothing personal.  This was a grown adult who made the decision to change jobs.  I think (or hope) that Weber realizes after cooling off that this happens to recruits all over the country every year.   I hope when he looks at this objectively he sees that he's stepping into a program with an incredible run game and one of the most prolific offenses in B1G history, and that with or without Stan Drayton he's in a great place to grow.   And if he doesn't and he decides to move on, I wish him well.    

Comment 06 Feb 2015

Until the Bears officially hired Stan Drayton, Stan Drayton was fully employed as coach at OSU.  I don't think there was a damn thing they should have said or "owed" to Weber in terms of likelihood Drayton would be around.   Tuesday night, Drayton was no more a coach for the Bears than any of us.   

Comment 06 Feb 2015

Maybe more info will tell us otherwise, but I don't see anything dishonorable or even all that unusual in what happened here.   This whole story is less than 24 hours old, and I'm not about to throw Meyer, or his reputation, or Drayton under the bus just because the only ones who are talking right now are Weber and Weber's coach.   Meyer will have an opportunity to speak to this soon, and then we'll know more.   

What we KNOW so far - Meyer and Drayton recruited Weber to play for tOSU by selling the program and what they felt they could offer to Weber as coaches, mentors, and people.   I am sure that Drayton approached Weber's recruitment no different than others he recruited in years' past, speaking from the perspective that he would be with the program and having an active role in Weber's development for years to come.   This makes Weber's recruitment no different than any of the kids that Herman talked to last summer or during the fall, who thought they'd have him as a coach.   It's no different than kids that Mike Riley talked to about playing for Oregon State, right up until the day he took the Nebraska job.   It's no different than Vrabel entering the living rooms of families and talking to them about playing for OSU and then weeks or days later being off to a coaching job in the NFL.   Unless Drayton made Weber some promise in terms of how long he'd for certain be staying at Ohio State (a foolish and irresponsible thing to do in the coaching business), then Drayton motivating Weber to sign with the Buckeyes is an example of a coach doing his job as a recruiter for as long as he had the job.    Thanks be to God that Tom Herman didn't ease up on his relationship with current or future Buckeyes just because he was heading to Houston.   If so, who knows how the Bama or Oregon games may have turned out.   

Another thing we know for sure - assistant coaches for elite programs are hot commodities and are not guaranteed to be there from year to year.   It's always disappointing when you get recruited by a guy and then once you commit to the team, or show up at Spring Camp, or finish your first season, find out that the coach who recruited you is taking another job or is getting fired.    But this is part of the system - has been for a very long time.   

It's one of the reasons why Meyer's staff (and they say this ALL THE TIME, every time they are asked about recruiting) sells the football program, and not certain players, and not certain members of staff.   Because all of them, even Meyer, has an expiration date that no one really knows.  But the program does not.   The coaches are always abundantly clear that they don't get players to the program because of who will or won't be on the staff.  They don't sell the coaching staff - they sell Ohio State.    

Comment 05 Feb 2015

Excellent point.   When we bring in our subs this year on offense, it will change nothing.  If anything, the game will get even more out of hand.   Virginia Tech is in for a world of hurt.   The one team on our schedule that we've got some legit "revenge" motivation going for us. It's gonna be a massacre.   

Comment 05 Feb 2015

Glad we got KJ Hill.   We are in good hands with Thomas and Marshall and Corey Smith as returning receivers, but are losing a lot with Devin and Evan graduating.   Hats off to Zach Smith and the work he has done not only recruiting but developing our receivers so that our passing game went from being the weak link in the offense to putting up numbers like we haven't seen since 2005-6.  For several years, looking at how run-heavy our offensive numbers have been, it had to be a harder sell to get quality receivers.   But that is turning around now.   

Comment 05 Feb 2015

Very sad for those three seeing their careers shortened.   I remember Bogard being talked about in the Training Days program about OSU camp, that he had a tough childhood and tough family situation, and was the first freshman, I think, to lose his black stripe at camp.   But he has had a lot of injury issues.   Not too surprised on that one, but sad.   As for Tanner, big contributor for a while on special teams.   Tough loss.  Reeves is a big surprise.   Had no idea he'd had these issues.  He wasn't a starter, but was a major contributor in the secondary.   I don't think he's excelled quite the way I expected with his accolades out of high school, but he's been a big help.   Sad to hear all three of them are lost, especially as all were a part of that much improved DB unit.   

Comment 30 Jan 2015

The screaming Buckeye tailgater in that vine is a clip from "Saturday Afternoon Fever," a video from the mid-1990s that is a "day in the life" sort of video about a buckeye home gameday from dawn til end of game, with the band, tailgaters, some highlights from over the years, etc..  

Comment 29 Jan 2015

I didn't think we had scholarships left to give.  How many, total, do we have to offer?  I am sure this ground has been covered by other writers.  I don't follow the recruiting info that closely during the season.   It just seems like we've already got a lot of guys already committed.  I know that we're getting back a few scholarships with the sanctions ending, but we've also got juniors sticking around for another year and at least one guy doing grad school.   

Comment 28 Jan 2015

Relieved to see that no one is, in fact, starting Heisman talk about Gibson.  The last poor, unfortunate soul that I remember being hyped as a future Heisman winner before ever taking a snap was Ron Powlus.   Sure did him a world of good.   

Comment 27 Jan 2015

Ball security and development have been two of my big concerns with the Huskers' offense the last several years.   One of the things that was so deliberate that it was almost comical about the Buckeyes this year was how, in the run game, Elliott and the QBs especially held onto the ball.  High and tight, in an almost textbook, exaggerated sort of way.   I don't know if it had to do with a loose, relaxed approach to things or if it was just a lot of mental lapses, but the Huskers didn't seem to put a premium on ball security.   That, and their QBs, both Martinez and Armstrong, had a tendency to try to do too much, to throw things up for grabs in a careless way.   Again, I don't know if this had to do with Pelini's swagger, or if it was about the offensive mindset of Beck.   But they could be careless or even reckless with the ball sometimes.   And at least with Martinez (Armstrong is still too early in development to make any judgments), he improved for sure from year one to year four.   He made better decisions, and grew a lot as a leader.   But under pressure, he always seemed to revert to old, bad habits in terms of mechanics, footwork, etc..  

The other concern looking at Nebraska is the number of lopsided defeats they've had over the last few years.   The torchings by Wisky, by MSU, and others.   It was a contributing factor to Pelini's firing.   This part isn't a knock on Beck so much as an issue with the climate that the head coach created on the sidelines, but with rare exceptions, his offenses didn't respond well when they got down by a few scores.  Again, that seemed to be mostly about Pelini.  Nebraska would get a few bad calls, give up a few big plays, and it was like a dark cloud started following all of the players.