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Comment 19 Jul 2014

If you are cutting the cord and wanting to stream TV you have 5 real choices right now - Roku, Apple, Chromecast, Amazon Fire or a gaming console (Xbox/Playstation).  All have their strengths and weaknesses.

Roku has been in the industry leader for a while and has the most providers signed.  If you can stream it, they can probably do it.  It has a nice remote and decent response time (I have the Roku2 so the 3 would be faster).  They just came out with a stick version like the Chromecast which would be nice if you don't have a lot of space for the box.

Apple's design is probably the best and it had been out the longest.  They should own the category if they had been a little more aggressive in signing content but it always seemed to me that they didn't want to upset the broadcasters and as a result didn't have key streamers like WatchESPN or HBOGo for a long time.  They've been working hard to catch up but it's always felt like an afterthought rather than getting continuous support like Roku.  If you have an Apple product like an Ipad or Iphone their system is still the simplest/best at streaming content.

Amazon Fire is set up to be used in conjunction with the Amazon Prime streaming service.  Amazon Prime has made a lot of progress in the last year and is closer to Netflix than most realize but like Apple, Amazon has a bad habit of trying to get you to use only their equipment.  I haven't used it but have heard it is missing quite a few key streamers (I do like Amazon Prime - they just got signed a deal to get exclusive access to all the old HBO shows like Deadwood, Sopranos, Band of Brothers and The Wire).

Xbox/Playstation are a decent alternative but only if you are a gamer and already have one.  I use mine in the living room for streaming but it's too expensive if you don't play games.

Google's Chromecast is a cheap and good option but has a few issues.  First you don't have a remote so anytime you want to use it you need to find you cellphone or tablet, open the app, and then pick want you want to run on your Chromecast.  Second, many of the best apps can only be run from Android phones -- Iphone apps seem to be a bit of an afterthought.  A last issue is the Chromecast only had 9 streaming services at launch (and only Netflix/Youtube worked well) but they did release a developer kit a few months ago and more services are being added all the time.  One thing that isn't on it (and probably never will be) is Amazon Prime as Google and Amazon are both working to dominate the Android market App Store (it's too complex to explain in more detail).

I like both my Chromecast and Roku but if I had to choose, I'd go with my Roku becasue I have an Iphone.  If I had an Android phone I really think I'd pick the Chromecast even with all the negatives I listed.  It's cheap enough to put one in every room and the service is faster than I believe would be possible from such a small device.  Apple TV is a good product but I don't think it will ever be more than an afterthought for Apple and if they start to lose market share it won't get updates.

Comment 17 Jul 2014

I like change to limit player evaluations to 1st round, 2nd round, or stay-in-school but its ridiculous for the NFL to put a cap on the number of players evaluated.  College football saves them millions every year because they don't need to create a developmental league.  You'd think they'd put whatever resources are needed to help college football evaluate players and make sure those not ready for the draft are told to stay in school.

Comment 03 Jul 2014

Keep in mind that when Meyer was speaking he was talking about Guiton when he took over the team.  This was three months after the coaching staff didn't give him a chance vs Bauserman then once it was obvious Bauserman couldn't do it, they decided to rely on true freshman Braxton Miller (who struggled to pick up the offense and instead had to rely on his athleticism which I've always felt hurt his development).  I think Guiton had a right to have a bit of a bad attitude after the season and credit Meyer for challenging his manhood and Kenny for meeting that challenge.

Anyone that saw Guiton vs Bauserman head to head in the previous two spring games could see one player that wilted under pressure and one that thrived in it.  It's too bad the coaches didn't challenge him and give him support earlier in his career.

Comment 02 Jul 2014

I got into soccer after the 1994 World Cup and I've watched most of the National Team games when they are on TV.  I also have seen two of their games in Crew Stadium.  My other soccer addiction is the EPL on Saturday morning's.

I doubt this World Cup has changed much.  I really have no interest in MLS as it feels like I'm watching AA baseball in comparison to the EPL.  Anyone that has enjoyed the World Cup should check out a Premier League match on ESPN.  The talent is amazing and as an added benefit of soccer is the time investment is minimal compared to football or baseball.  With 45 minute halves, it's two hours and done.

Comment 02 Jul 2014

I think the bigger issue is most of the kids that could be great soccer players are shooting guards or wide receivers/defensive backs.  While many kids play soccer, most of the best athletes end up in the sports with the bigger fanbase.  It will take a long time for this to change if it ever does.

Comment 30 Jun 2014

Although he only played one year during the BCS era, my pick is Antoine Winfield.  Other than Orlando Pace and possibly Spiels, Winfield was the most dominant Buckeye I've ever seen.  I like TGinn, TSmith, MoC, Beanie, and Pryor too but Winfield brought it every play and essentially shut down a third of the field from his corner position.  Just an amazing combination of coverage skill, tackling ability, and instincts.

Comment 22 Jun 2014

Since 1969 the B1G has 1.5 national championships in football.  That's 45 years which means we have averaged 1 every 30 years.  Yet we have the arrogance to believe that someday, with patience, the league will be as good as the SEC which has won 7 since our last national championship in 2002 (4 different teams).

Here's the hard truth.  With the exception of Ohio and Pennsylvania, the talent pool in the B1G is terrible.  The B1G's run as the dominant national power was ended forever when the SEC and SWC decided that it was ok to put black players on their teams.  The other factor is most states in B1G country would rather focus is on hockey or basketball and the ones that do care about football have more cornfields than people.  

Patience isn't going to make the league better but that's ok because I really only care about Ohio State.  However, we need to get thicker skin about complaints about our schedule as the rest of the league will never do us any favors in terms of respectability.

Comment 04 Jun 2014

To illustrate your point.

I have a spreadsheet that tracks drafts and the 3 year period you mentioned for the Buckeyes is the 5th performance for any college football team since the AFL-NFL merger in 1968.  Urban's best 3 year draft was 2009-2011 which ranked 121st.  Here's the top 10 if you are interested along with Meyer's Florida team and Woody Hayes / John Cooper's best teams.

4635 2008-10 USC
4305 2002-04 Miami
4442 1992-94 Notre Dame
4305 2007-09 USC
4303 2004-06 Ohio State
4291 2006-08 USC
4236 2001-03 Miami
4004 1991-93 Notre Dame
3987 1993-95 Notre Dame
3978 2012-14 Alabama

2705 2009-2011 Florida
3572 1995-1997 Ohio State
3313 1974-1976 Ohio State

** FWIW, my ranking is determined by giving every draft pick a grade.  The first pick gets 250 points, the second pick gets 249 points, and so on until the 250th pick which gets 1 point.  Drafts since 1994 have been 7 rounds and the total number drafted is usually between 250 and 260 players.  After that I sum each team to give each the value I summarized above.

In Urban's defense his first class was one of the all time greats.  The 2010 draft for Florida ranks 13th all time with a value of 1693.  Ohio State's 2004 class is the best in college football since the merger with 1999 points.  For comparison sake the 1971 Super Soph draft had a value of 1480 and is ranked 27th all time (because I'm sure some might wonder).


Comment 26 May 2014

One of my favorite books.  Its narrative is a little too fiction based at times but once you realize the author's storytelling method, the book is impossible to put down.  I like to bike down route 68 (Simon Kenton Highway) as it takes you along the same paths settlers like Kenton used from his home in Kentucky to his eventual settlement (and final resting place) in Ohio.

Eckert also wrote another book about Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio called 'The Dark and Bloody River'.  Both should be required reading in all Ohio schools to give kids a sense of the history that surrounds them.  The only issue is both are over 600 pages and beyond what can be expected as few kids read books that long (unless it has a wizard or vampire in it).

Comment 26 May 2014

I think kids care more about the depth chart than they do losing a meaningless game against Clemson.  It is still early in the recruiting process and I'm sure we will be fine.  Even if the unthinkable happens and we end up with a class ranked 20th (the horror!), the reason will have nothing to do with HONOR.

Comment 18 May 2014

There's a dirty little secret that Notre Dame tries to ignore and that is they need us more than we need them.  They like to think they are a national program but those days are mostly history.  

Need proof? Here's the television ratings for the nationally televised Notre Dame games last season:

Viewers    vs (Station)
2.50M    Temple     NBC
8.65M    Michigan    ESPN
4.79M    Purdue    ABC
4.79M    Michigan State    NBC
3.89M    Oklahoma    NBC
3.68M    Arizona State    NBC
3.46M    USC    NBC
2.56M    Navy    NBC
3.03M    Pittsburgh    ABC
2.29M    BYU    NBC
3.33M    Stanford    FOX

Notice a trend?

The top three rated games for Notre Dame were against Big Ten teams.  Purdue was easily the worst team in the Big Ten last year but the Notre Dame - Purdue game outdrew top ranked teams like Stanford, USC, Arizona State, and Oklahoma.  

The truth is Notre Dame's draw isn't attractive without the Big Ten and it is going to get even worse when they are forced to play 5 games vs ACC opponents in a few years.  The B1G has projected television revenues of over $45 million by 2018 while Notre Dame is currently getting about $12-15 million a year and will be lucky to have half of B1G TV revenue in a few years.



Comment 13 May 2014

I never want another repeat of the 2007 season where a very weak Big Ten allowed us to get into the National Championship game we didn't deserve.  I only want quality Buckeye teams to get into the playoffs as winning there is the only way we will rid ourselves of the rep that we are always overrated.

The only way that will happen is if other teams in the conference are actually good and while I hate the teams in the states to our north and east I do recognize we are in a symbiotic relationship in making sure we are the best we can be on the national stage.

Comment 13 May 2014

The truth is that Ohio State benefited from having Joe Paterno as coach.  He stopped recruiting right after they joined the B1G and really should have been forced out for not doing his job but the Joebots clung to the past.  

Pennsylvania and the east coast have a lot of talent and they should get most of the players but Joe's ineptitude let other schools into that area.  They've been a powerhouse in waiting and all they needed was have a full time coach and get off sanctions to turn the program around.

I'd prefer them to be good as after we beat them we don't have to hear all that BS like last year that we didn't play anyone.

Comment 07 May 2014

Considering the amount of young talent we have on the team I don't think it is surprising the DL are looking to teams where they might have a shot a playing early. Frankly I was surprised we got as many good D-Linemen last year.  Even if we don't rebound this season on the DL, we will be fine with a down year.

Comment 06 May 2014

I think the additions would have been Maryland and Missouri if Missouri didn't get the SEC invite.  They made a lot more sense as there is no way Delany wanted to let the SEC in to the KC and St Louis market.  I really hope they reconsider at some point but that ship has probably sailed.

UConn is the other team that has really made strides lately both in academics and athletics.  They also draw the most fans of any team not in a Big 5 conference.

Having said that I'm good with this move.  If nothing else, hopefully the B1G will give every AAU coach in the greater DC/Baltimore area tickets to the games so young kids can see the games for free.  It would be nice to turn that basketball pipeline from the ACC to the B1G.

Comment 01 May 2014

I included Washington DC in my numbers.  NYC would definitely give the Big Ten a huge bump and I'm hoping the BTN sales department can get it done.  It would mean another 5 million households and put them ahead of the SEC in terms of potential revenue.

You can find TV households at the following link which is where i got my info.


One thing you need to keep in mind is ESPN is going to insist that cable customers get the SEC Network with basic tier just like BTN. That might not be true everywhere but this will definitely be the case in the south as ESPN will insist the channel be on the basic tier and will try to use their market power to put it on everywhere.  That means it won't matter if you don't watch basketball or college baseball.  If you get cable you won't have a choice as you will get SEC network along with USA, ESPN, and AMC.

Of course I could be wrong as they haven't gotten an agreement with Charter, Time Warner, Comcast, or DirectTV yet but I'm pretty confident all of these companies will come to an agreement like BTNs as they all have customers in the south. 

Comment 01 May 2014

Both the B1G and the SEC network are shown outside their geographic footprint.  The B1G gets from about $.80 - $1 per subscriber in states with one of their teams and $.15 - $.20 outside their area which is what drives the revenue.  ESPN has said they plan to charge $1.30 in the SEC footprint and $.25 outside their territory for the SEC Network.  

One thing you are discounting is SEC population.  They had almost 90% of total B1G households before conference realignment.  Adding the two largest Big 12 States (Texas and Missouri) gives them almost 35 million households in their 11 state geography compared to the 32 million in the 11 state B1G footprint.  FWIW, Texas and Florida alone have almost 17 million households which is why adding Texas A&M was such a huge windfall.

So far ESPN has gotten DISH, Uverse and Google Fiber signed up but I'd be shocked if they don't get agreements with most major cables companies as they have leverage with ABC and ESPN channels that the B1G never had (though admittedly that didn't help the Longhorn Network).  The bottom line is the SEC Network will make more than the Big Ten Network assuming they hold firm on their rates and I don't see any cable company in those areas (outside of Texas) telling their subscribers they won't carry the network.  All they need is 70% of BTN's market penetration to make more.

The good news for BTN is if the $1.30/$.25 rate sticks then that will be the starting point for their next renegotiations though that's not good news for my cable bill.  It's probably also why the Big Ten is projecting huge increases in a few years.

Comment 30 Apr 2014

I have no issue with Pryor.  He was young and did a few things that disrespected the program but nothing criminal.  This is the 4th time Jameis has been involved in a criminal case in a year (BB Gun fight, Burger King soda theft, rape, and crabgate).

For comparison sake, anyone remember Dominic Clarke?  He was involved in a BB gun fight then had a DUI and was kicked from the Buckeye program though I do wonder what Coach Meyer would have done if it had been Braxton.  Urban has been pretty consistent though as Hyde and Roby will attest.

Comment 30 Apr 2014

Not sure if this is sarcasm but the Oklahoma State allegations were a Sports Illustrated hit piece that was full of rumors and smoke but nothing substantial written by a Texas hack (Thayer Evans) and a man whose investigation into Tatgate only added raffles (George Dohrmann) though he takes credit for Jim Tressel quitting.

That article was an insult to actual investigative journalists and lessened my opinion of Sports Illustrated to a spot somewhere in the neighborhood of TMZ.

Comment 26 Apr 2014

Because Ohio State released a statement?

You may think it a stupid practice to name captains after the season but Urban Meyer clearly doesn't and it is Ohio State news.  

I think the offseason news drought is getting to you.  I recommend you rewatch the Michigan game a few times to help you get through it until the preseason mags come out.

Comment 24 Apr 2014

Just to put it in perspective, a single beer for a person weighing 200 lbs is .04.  Roby had a .008 or 1/5 of a beer.  Most people leaving bars are blowing a .008 so there has to be more to this story.  The fact that the police found nothing else in the search of the car makes them look a stupid unless they release further info.

Comment 24 Apr 2014

A big key for Thomas this year is Spencer.  Other than a few fantastic catches we haven't seen much out of him other than good blocking.  If he doesn't have a big summer and prove it in August then I'd bet both CSmith and Thomas will be #2 and #3 wideouts and both will get plenty of targets.  I'd bet Urban wished he wasn't redshirting either of them last Novermber as every vet other than Philly disappointed.  Returning #1 DSmith needs to show more as well or he will lose snaps to younger players too.

Ohio State has a ton of wide receivers with potential so the key will be who shows it when fall camp starts.

Comment 23 Apr 2014

My company had six Buckeye Club memberships for decades and it seemed like a good value until use of the secondary market became more prevalent.  Buckeye Club membership were $2000 at the time which is over $100/game and considering that only gave you the right to buy 2 tickets it seemed crazy to continue.  We took the money to the secondary market and doubled our ticket purchases on games our customers actually wanted to see.  It's amazing to me that the consultant thought it wise to raise Buckeye Club costs but then there are a lot of companies that don't look that close at the bottom line.