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Comment 16 Apr 2014

Spot on, as usual.  When I was a student at OSU, my folks usually made a point to visit the weekend of the Spring game because between Michigan, 1969 (yep, that one) and Illinois, 1992 (another "kick to the groin" sort of loss), they did not get to see Ohio State play in person.  The Spring Game no matter who is sitting it out is a special experience for many who don't get a lot of opportunities to see the Buckeyes.   What's more, given that for a lot of guys who aren't in the two-deep it's one of their few opportunities to really shine inside the 'Shoe, it behooves us to see that they are shining in front of as close to a packed house as possible.    

When the nation assesses programs' development for Spring, they inevitably look at how many turned out for the Spring Game.   Having lower attendance doesn't reflect fairly on our team, and saying, "well, but tickets were $20" just makes the program look worse.   

Comment 31 Mar 2014

I wanted to see MSU and TTUN win.   I root for Izzo, anyway, when he's not playing us.  Unlike the fans in the SEC, I do not equate a championship for MSU or Wisky as being a championship by proxy for OSU, but 3 final four teams would provide some validation for the conference.   It's the same as wanting to see the conference perform well in the bowls.  Grow up, D.J..  

Comment 30 Mar 2014

I don't know that any Buckeye fans are particularly worried about the running back position.   We've got a wealth of talent there, with Smith, Elliott, and Dunn all showing us something already with their opportunities the past two years.   At receiver, on the other hand, we have Smith and Spencer as our experienced vets, both of whom in my opinion seem to have hit their ceiling in terms of abilities and were MIA when we needed them most at the end of last year.   We only really need one back at a time to have the "hot hand" in order for our offense to thrive, and we're likely to have at least three.   The big question mark that I want to see answered is what 4-5 guys are going to be serious threats in the passing game.  Because while one "Carlos Hyde"-type talent on the field at a time is enough to make us dangerous in the run game, for the pass game to really be what a championship team needs we need at least three guys that are really elite.   In spite of the 24-0 streak, we haven't had a really strong lineup of receivers since 2010.    In 2011, there was too much out of sync to notice.   In 2012, Braxton's inexperience was thought to be a big part of the equation.  In 2013, we finally saw it as our achilles heel on offense, but Carlos and Braxton helped us ignore it.    Year three for Urban, we need receivers that can get separation.   We need to be able to pass for 250 or better not just against an atrocious Cal defense.   

Comment 30 Mar 2014

In terms of his production and his opportunity to start, the redshirt was great for him.   Last year, he would have gotten a decent number of in-game reps, but Carlos was so clearly the #1 guy.   Now, he has three full years left beginning with this one in which he appears to be as good and experienced as anyone at running back.  

Comment 29 Mar 2014

The stipend proposed sounds like a decent answer to addressing the concerns of players barely scraping by.  And clearly, the really large athletic departments can afford the 250k-420k to pay it's football players.   Adjusting for the other revenue sports with a similar or smaller stipend, and it's about 300k-500k.  The Ohio States of the world can handle this.  I'm curious how it will affect the smaller programs, whether the MACs of the world will still be viable, what other sports they'll have to drop to pay their football and basketball players.    Maybe everyone's sitting on that much cash every year, so it's fine.  Just curious how many schools will need to scale back their athletics offerings, and by how much   


Comment 24 Mar 2014

I love Urban Meyer.  I hope he stays for many more years.  But I think he already has a generous contract for the time being.   When he wins the conference, gets to a title game, etc., then we can talk a new contract.   He is entering his third season.  Most of the roster is "his boys."   The future looks bright, and the win streak was phenomenal, close to unprecedented.  But in the present, we are a team on a two-game losing streak, with losses against the two best opponents we have faced under Urban Meyer.    He has re-established us on the national scene and has improved the culture from where we were in 2010 and 2011.  But it takes more than just winning the games you're supposed to win.   


Comment 03 Mar 2014

I'm excited to see what receivers emerge, and Greene sounds like he passes the look test.   But Stoneburner was one that seemed like a match-up nightmare that never really became all I expected.  Not to mention TY Williams and Verlon Reed.   But at least Greene has some solid college experience to his credit.   If he, Mike Thomas, and Jalin Marshall can all step up this year, it will really be fun.   I like Devin Smith, he's a great deep ball threat and is growing in that intangible of just finding a way to get separation.   But we need a couple of others that really give a defense headaches.   

Comment 28 Feb 2014

Whoever wins the battle for #2 will almost certainly need to be ready for action.   Much as I hope for Miller's sake that he can have a very healthy, very successful, COMPLETE senior year at QB, history is not on his side.   Years 1-3 have all featured time missed with injury,   With a re-worked, less experienced offensive line, I would say there's a bigger edge for Jones than just his previous experience, given his size.   To me, other things being fairly equal, having a QB that's big and tough to take down is a big plus.  

Comment 31 Jan 2014

So even at Vanderbilt, the Harvard of the SEC, acedemics get the short end of the stick.  

Comment 29 Jan 2014

Looking at the remaining schedule, I see four, maybe five games that could be solid wins.  In fact, we'll have to really improve and get an upset on the road to finish above .500.  I keep telling myself "February and March is what matters."  But this isn't a team that's young and waiting for a light to come on, and it's not a team that's just hit a bit of a cold spell.  They are a team without an identity or confidence on offense.  

I know that recruiting stars are sometimes meaningless, but how do we get talent and junior/senior leadership up and down the roster and not have a legit scoring threat.   Yeah, I get it that Q Ross is our LEADING scorer, but even a winless team has a LEADING scorer.  And I know in previous years we've occasionally had a leading scorer in the mid-teens for an average, but that was because a few others were averaging in double digits, as well.  

Just realized I finally got my wish.  Been hoping for an OSU squad that goes 8 or 9 deep (or more) in terms of spreading around the scoring.   This team's bench is almost as involved and contributing as their starting line-up, but it's only because both are struggling.   

Comment 24 Jan 2014

To me, the two-game losing streak will be in the "rearview mirror" when OSU comes out in September and consistently plays well on both sides of the ball.  

Comment 24 Jan 2014

No doubt in my mind that Smith and Elliott can carry the load in terms of getting yards between the tackles, and I think if Dunn can have a solid return he brings a burst, especially outside the tackles.   The question mark really is with how well the three of them can protect the ball (Hyde and Hall were great with ball security) and more than last year it will be really critical that whoever is lined up at tailback can protect Braxton Miller or anyone else at QB.  

Kind of hoping that they can make Jalin Marshall into a big play threat at wideout.  Even if he isn't the crispest route runner, we saw last year with Philly and Wilson how effective we can be with just swinging it out to an athlete at the LOS and giving him a block.  We will miss Philly as a blocker downfield.   At least we've got Spencer for one more year in that capacity.  

Comment 22 Jan 2014

All this article lacked was a listing of the several LBs (guys like David Perkins) who transferred out or left the team for other reasons.   This past year, numbers wise, we were really, really thin.   We also had the problem of not having consistent play from most of the LBs on the roster, but even if Perry/Grant/Shazier were all playing at a high level, there literally weren't more than a few names following them.  This year, while we still are green at LB, at least we have numbers.   I think Coach Fick sort of got some breathing room given that the pantry was a bit sparse last year.  No more.   He is loaded with talent to develop.   Perry, Grant, Williams, Johnson, Mitchell, Burger, MacMillan, Hubbard, Booker and others are now in the fold, and the first six, all having at least a year in the program, should be ready to contribute in meaningful ways.  If Willliams, Mitchell, and Johnson are still all somehow "waiting for the light to come on," I think the heat has to be on Fickell.  I understand one or two top recruits just not cutting it, but when 4-5 of them at one position are falling into that description, it's no longer a player problem but a program problem.  

Comment 21 Jan 2014

We are pretty spoiled as Buckeye fans.  Pretty great to be in the top 20 for so long that to fall out of it and have a losing streak means time to push the panic button.   I'd like to think this is just a matter of needing to re-build, some cyclical thing catching up with us, but I don't think it is.   A team that recruits very well and has the number of juniors and seniors this one does should not look this lost and lacking in offense.   I could easily shrug off this sort of play from a roster full of frosh and sophomores that are still sort of working out their chemistry as a team.   But this is a team loaded with experience that's regressing.   I think they bounce back, find ways to manufacture points and regain confidence to finish at or above .500 in the conference, but the last three games have been awful. 

Comment 19 Jan 2014

In the BCS, anything below 10th and it was difficult to climb to the title game.  Now, as long as we're in the top 15, it really doesn't matter to me.  

Comment 18 Jan 2014

I would sum up the article as - 

1.  It was a very tough decision for Miller to return 

2.  The only question mark he has left is in the month of November   

Comment 18 Jan 2014

I like his confidence, and he has plenty of reason to believe in himself, but he is not ready for the NFL.  Not as a QB, and while he could choose another position the difference in guaranteed money that goes to QBs vs. other skilled players is worth the effort.   His completion percentage is respectable, but too far south of 70% for the NFL.   

Part of me is glad that he's returning.  But I had sort of made peace with watching next year be a time of "growing pains" for Cardale Jones or JT Barrett.   I hope one or the other of them gets some serious opportunities next year.  

Comment 17 Jan 2014

I thought they actually played really well and rose to the challenge at MSU.  I actually still felt pretty good about them after that loss.  It was a battle against a very good program where we came up just short and could have had our first big win of the year.   But the Iowa collapse in the second half was painful to watch, and last night was more of the same.   

What I saw was not just shots not falling and a lot of turnovers.  Shootiing slumps and sloppy play catches up some nights with every team.  What I saw was a team that in key situations did not have an "answer," did not seem to have a clear sense for what the five guys out on the floor needed to do, did not seem to have guys that were saying, "I want the ball in my hands" when points were desperately needed.  

Comment 17 Jan 2014

I could understand this sort of offensive struggle and confusion if we were in one of those "rebuild" cycles where we just lost a whole lineup to the NBA and we're building it back up with freshmen and sophomores.  But there are WAY too many juniors and seniors on this squad for this sort of nonsense.   

Also, if this was a team that trended young, it would give me a lot of hope that we'd get a lot better as the season progressed.  With so many in their third or fourth year, it leaves me instead thinking that most of our roster is approaching their ceiling for college ball, in which case there's really no reason to expect the "light to come on" in March for them.   



Comment 09 Jan 2014

I think with Apple, and maybe also with Bell, holding them out of more playing time or red-shirting them might have had to do with their positions on the field.  Playing corner and safety, coverage in general, is so much about confidence.  I think Eli Apple in 2013 might have contributed and shown flashes, but would have also had some really confidence-shakinig moments.   In 2014, he's likely in a better place in terms of his physical and mental development to handle those occurrences.   As for Vonn Bell, likely a light came on late in the season (as it should happen).   

I hope that Meyer's mindset is not set on the last two years.  It was a great run, but I'm done with hearing about this team as one that has won 24 out of 26.  They are now a team that has lost their last two games.   I think that's the truth that they need to face as they go into 2014.   

I like where the defense is headed.  Looking forward to hearing who Meyer taps to replace Withers.   

Any thoughts from 11W on the best candidates for that?