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Comment 19 Oct 2014

We've tried so many and none of them seem to be able to catch the ball.  Justin Gilbert had 6 kickoff return TDs for Oklahoma State and is spending a lot of time on the bench (next to our other first round pick).  Perhaps we can give him a shot at returning them next.

Comment 19 Oct 2014

It isn't like Hoyer hasn't underthrown receivers all year but today he missed on almost all of his passes.

Comment 19 Oct 2014

The center wasn't supposed to snap the ball.  They were only trying to get them to jump offside.  The offensive line was definitely lacking today without their All Pro Center.

I didn't think it could get worse but trying to field a punt on the 1, having it hit your facemask, and letting the other team cover it was a topper.  

So much sadness.

Comment 17 Oct 2014

Anyone that watched OSU-VT saw a freshman QB who was thrust into the starting role a few weeks before the game.  JT folded under the pressure but does anyone believe that would have happened to Braxton?  

Flash forward another month and JT is now a Heisman contender himself with obvious improvement in every start.  If he continues to impress vs MSU and our other opponents it will be easy for the committee to dismiss the early season loss.

Here's the teams from other conferences ahead of us:

SEC - Miss St*, Mississippi*, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn
B12 - Baylor*, TCU, Oklahoma
PAC - Oregon
ACC - Florida State*
Ind - Notre Dame*

* = undefeated

I know some people worry about the committee but it is a huge improvement over polls or computer rankings as all committee members will have watched all the relevant games and will have to defend their position.  With the SEC East a train wreck and the SEC West beating up on each other I doubt they get 2 two teams into the playoff (despite the media's narrative).  There will be lots of pressure to include conference champs.  

The key is determining which conference is going to be left out and the Pac-12 is one Oregon loss away from missing the party.  Florida State and Notre Dame play this weekend and a Notre Dame loss would all but eliminate them which is why Ohio State fans should root for FSU who will most likely win the rest of their games and be in unless they have a really bad loss to Notre Dame.

Depending on how the FSU-Notre Dame game works out, if the Buckeyes win out, they are in.  It won't matter how they did vs. Virginia Tech at the beginning of the season as long as they continue to win.

Comment 15 Oct 2014

Why are we bringing this up again?  I think we all agree that Jim Tressel is a great man albeit human like the rest of us.  He loved his players and liked his punishments, old school and in house, away from pryng eyes.

Technically he never verbally lied to the NCAA.  He lied to Ohio State.

Not sure why people feel the need to do this but we shouldn't delude ourselves.  Let's review facts.  

  • Coach Tressel learned over the summer that some of his players had sold trophies for money.  He did nothing.  I've always accepted that this could have been an honest mistake. 
  • In the fall Coach Tressel signed a statement, sent to the NCAA, that he knew that no potential violations of NCAA regulations at The Ohio State University.  I've even rationalized that at this point he didn't knowingly lie.  Anyone that has ever signed one of these things for a large organization knows there are hundreds of gray areas that might come back to bite them.
  • In December the FBI story broke and Ohio State interviewed Coach Tressel as part of their report to the NCAA on Tatgate.  Coach Tressel said nothing.  He lied or more accurately - he committed a lie of omission.
  • December 19th - Ohio State files their report to the NCAA.
  • December 22nd - The NCAA suspends the players for the following season but not the Sugar Bowl.
  • Tressel stated in his later NCAA interview that on December 24th he finally remembered about the emails he received over the summer and thought that they might be related to Tatgate.  A bit convenient if you ask me.
  • In February Coach Tressel met with the NCAA and tells the truth.

We often make fun of the delusional fans in Penn State that cling to the notion that Joe Paterno never made a mistake.  I'm not comparing the seriousness of the two issues but fans like to apologize for the coaches they love.  I think Jim Tressel would be the first to admit he isn't perfect.  Why can't we admit that Coach Tressel made a mistake and lied?  

Lying for your organization is sometimes an ugly secret when you are in a position of authority like Coach Tress.  He did what he thought was correct and he had the misfortune to get caught.  It doesn't affect my respect and admiration for what he did for the school in any way.

Comment 11 Oct 2014

I'd watch them if not for Clay Travis.  I don't know what they were thinking when they hired him.  It's like they wanted their own version Mark May.  I don't like Mark May but he's mostly harmless.  Clay Travis is an unwatchable troll.

Comment 11 Oct 2014

It's more serious than that and I doubt the NCAA gets involved at that level.  There are people in the federal government who have been waiting for some college to ignore the new directive/reminder that Title IX isn't just about college sports but also includes violence against women.  While this is sports related, the government wants all schools that receive federal funds to have procedures in place to take rape allegations seriously.  If they don't they put their federal funds at risk.

  • It's why Michigan prosecuted their kicker (a year late but it happened during the transition period while colleges set up their procedures)
  • It's why the administrators at Penn State accepted the harsh penalties from the Freeh report with little pushback.
  • It's why Ohio State fell all over themselves to make the band 'traditions' public and made a scapegoat of Jon Waters.

Florida State's delay has given the government an opening to make an example of them.  I doubt the NCAA will do anything until the government investigators finish with the Seminoles.

Comment 07 Oct 2014

I'm sure some will downvote you for the comment that SEC recruiting is better but I agree with much of what you are saying.  

I do disagree with one thing - we don't fight UK for recruits.  They are taking the leftovers that the rest of the B1G should have the ability to recruit but UK's SEC brand combined with Stoops Ohio ties is making that impossible.

The SEC certainly has the best recruiting base in the nation only for much of its history they refused to play them.  That changed in the 70s and slowly increased the quality until they were on par with today's B1G, B12, and P12.  Since then the whole 'southern speed' thing has taken hold and after repeated retellings by national media the SEC is now importing some of the best players from outside its region to the league as high schoolers think it is the best way to get to the NFL.

The truth is that while the SEC recruiting base is the best it is overhyped by 'experts'.  The reason is simple.  Imagine you are an 'expert'.  You are spending a lot of time in Georgia and Florida and hear about a kid in Montana.  Do you fly out to see him?  How can you compare?  The truth again is you don't have the money to see everyone so stick to your area then rely on word of mouth for the rest.  Coaches have a better idea from their camps but it isn't in their best interests to tell the truth.  The result is kids in the south get overhyped and if you doubt it, just compare the number of kids on NFL rosters from the south.  The south wins but they are nowhere as close to as dominating as the ESPN 300 high school recruits would have you believe.

ESPN consistently ranks SEC teams higher than the rest of the country because of their recruiting bias but rarely takes into account the impact that NFL defections and graduating seniors have on a team.  Saban has limited the impact a bit with his oversigning but the fact that Texas A&M / Missouri have had so much success before being able to recruit with the SEC tag as all you need to know but it has gotten lost in the SEC noise.  How many of talking heads are saying anything about Missouri's loss to Indiana who are now leading the SEC East?  The same folks that write this off as an anomaly will cling to Virginia Tech's win over Ohio State as the reason the Buckeyes aren't a good team.  it's frustrating.

It's annoying but we brought this on ourselves when we walked away from the mothership and in the process doubled the revenues for every school in the Power 5 (you're welcome guys!).  Twenty years from now things will stabilize as Fox, CBS, and NBC pull ESPN's monopoly apart but it is frustrating to hear this in the present.

Comment 07 Oct 2014

The funny thing is none of their opinions matter.  The only thing that does is the playoff committee and I guarantee they have a different philosophy.  

First, if Ohio State or Michigan State win out they will be included.  How do I know this?  Because the narrative will be much different by the end of the season.  Does anyone actually believe that Virginia Tech could win now by blitzing JT Barrett?  If he leads the Buckeyes to victory over the much tougher Spartan defense it should silence any doubters.  As for MSU, they lost to a top 10 team on the road.  No shame in that especially considering it was early in the season.  Many teams hoping for the 4 spot will have much weaker cases to be included vs a 1 loss MSU or Ohio State.

Second, the maximum number of teams from one conference will be 2 and that will be a rarity.  The committee is a political animal and answers only to their fellow NCAA members.  The SEC is only 14 of 65? of the Power 5 and you know the politics is to make sure as many conferences are represented as possible.  It is also why we will move to an 8 team playoff (with 5 conference champions) sooner rather than later.

Third, a three loss team will never get in the national championship game with one possible exception.  If all the teams in the SEC West beat each other up and give each other 3 losses (doubtful with LSU and Arkansas's teams this year) and then win the championship game.  You will need at least one team from the SEC in the playoff though even under that scenario some will still call for 2 SEC teams because SEC.

Comment 04 Oct 2014

Perhaps you missed the point but 1) Braxton is a better athlete than JT, 2) Braxton didn't have receivers with experience like we do this year, and 3) We don't know if his decision making/throwing has improved.

I'm a big JT supporter too but if you remember Bausermann actually looked good until he got pressure.  We saw what happened against Virginia Tech and young players tend to panic.  I think he's improved but let's at least get through the Michigan State game before we continue this discussion.

Ultimately my opinion is Braxton has to lose the job on the field next year just like Evan Spencer is in the process of doing this year.

Comment 04 Oct 2014

Braxton never ran the offense as well as coaches expect from a Buckeye QB and he relied on his athletic skill instead.  Is that because Braxton was young?  Was it because the personnel (ie - H-backs and WRs) around him weren't helping due to limited skills / inexperience?

I don't know the answer but the 2 time Big Ten player of the year deserves the opportunity to show he can run the offense when he returns.  Urban himself has already answered this a few times.

Comment 03 Oct 2014


It was January 2001 and through sheer luck I happened to be at that game (got stuck with the Michigan half season vs the Indiana half which is what I'd requested).  The entire arena buzzed the entire second half about the speech and of course in the end Ohio State beat Michigan.

Comment 30 Sep 2014

The issue with Devin Smith is he can only run the fly pattern and it is pretty easy to defend a play with only one move.  He did better last week in finding seams underneath but it might have been due to Cincinnati's defense.  Smith and Spencer have been a large part of the issue the last few years as neither can get separation unless they somehow get behind the defense and those plays take too long to develop.  

Thomas has shown he can get open underneath and his playing time will only increase from here (assuming he blocks well).  That 2nd WR spot is open for anyone that wants to take it and if any of the underclassmen step up it wouldn't surprise me if both Devin and Evan are limited in their playing time by the end of the season.

Comment 28 Sep 2014

You do realize that Fickell isn't in control of the defense and has nothing to do with the defensive backfield?  While I agree he's overpaid that isn't going to change.  Either way the defensive backfield woes have nothing to do with Fickell.

Comment 28 Sep 2014

The only downside was Buckeye fans couldn't watch the end of the Michigan loss.

Comment 25 Sep 2014

Also a Browns fan and I love them hitting on good offensive linemen (though I notice you didn't mention Schwartz).

The problem is they keep missing on their first round picks.  It is too early to judge but Roby is playing a lot better than Gilbert right now.  Manziel is going to be a project as is Barkevious and we all know what happened with TRich and Weeden.  Great pickups late in the draft like Crowell are saving the front office but they need to start hitting on the first round picks to make it to the Super Bowl.

Comment 25 Sep 2014

There's a difference between saying 'she deserved it' and 'do your part' but many don't see a distinction.  Steven A (whom I personally can't stand) should know that his platform isn't right for social commentary.  He should leave it to comedians who we expect  to push the boundaries and make us think a little.

Comment 25 Sep 2014

It was easy for Urban to say he was energized for training days when he was just starting his first season at Ohio State.  Now that he's faced some adversity and lost a few games it makes a lot more sense for a news program like Real Sports to check back and see how he's doing.

Keep in mind that Urban has a motive for everything he does.  It never hurts to get his name out there and remind recruits about his successes in the past, why he left Florida, and why he's happy to be in Columbus.  It's all good.

Comment 23 Sep 2014

RichRod was expected to be exactly what you suggest and is doing well at Arizona just like he did at West Virginia.

Coaching at Michigan is going to need a special combo of arrogance, Michigan ties, and competence to survive.  Hoke had the first two but not the third.  I'm not sure that person exists outside of Harbaugh so they will be forced to try again with another young coach and hope they do better next time.

Comment 17 Sep 2014

This will never happen for the simple fact that the people voting it in have nothing to gain and can only lose money if it were to pass.  Money is the driver of everything in college sports these days and any change will be because of money and not in spite of it.

Comment 13 Sep 2014

Maryland/DC and New Jersey are the 3rd and 4th best recruiting states in the B1G after Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Many people hate the addition of these two schools but IMO they will help the B1G a lot more in the long run than Nebraska.  Get some good coaches at both schools who can keep recruits in state and the B1G East could get nasty (poor Indiana).

On the flip side I don't think anything can save the B1G West unless Texas and Oklahoma want to join Nebraska which might open Texas to B1G West recruiting.