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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.

Comment 13 Sep 2014

The demographic movement is part of the issue but there are other two issues you are ignoring.

1) Other sports are more prevalent in some northern states - Many Michigan / Wisconsin / Minnesota kids dream of playing hockey when they grow up.  Indiana and Illinois kids dream of basketball. Pennsylvania and Ohio kids dream of playing in the NFL which is why they are the best recruiting hotbeds North of the Mason-Dixon line.  In the South football is king.

2) Southern Speed - We all hate this euphamism but people on TV cannot actually come out and say what they mean.  Let's look at facts - 70% of the NFL is African-American but they only make up 14% of the US population.  Why is that?  I have no idea (and don't care) but it is pretty hard to say there isn't a correlation between athleticism and race.  The population in the B1G states are 10% African-American while the SEC is 20%.

You are right about the bigger issue.  We can complain about coaching or lack of spending but it isn't going to change demographic movement or the issues I listed.  The B1G is relevant but it will never be dominant as a conference again unless the NCAA allows us to use our money to buy an advantage.  Delany isn't dumb which is why he is pushing for the ability to spend more on student-athletes as many schools outside the B1G can't afford it.  I wish he was pushing for an 8 team playoff as well because under the current system the Buckeyes will always need to have a perfect record to make it to the dance due to their weak conference.

Comment 13 Sep 2014

Pretty much all our receivers dropped catchable balls this week by letting the ball get to their body.  I know both Devin Smith and Michael Smith had at least one.  Evan Spencer didn't but that's because he can't get enough separation for a ball to hit his shoulder pads.  I think I remember at least one drop by Dontre.  In good news Corey Smith is the only one that didn't have a drop (unless I missed it).

Comment 05 Sep 2014

Philly was better than most people credit but he shouldn't be in the conversation with the all time greats.  Poor Troll attempt OP.

Cris Carter was the best I've ever seen.  Boston was good too but Carter was better IMO.  Neither of them were in Terry Glenn or Ted Ginn's class when it came to yards after the catch which is why those two are right behind Carter/Boston for me.

Comment 04 Sep 2014

I attended most of those home games but also went up north in 93 and 95 thinking I'd see a victory in the Big House.  I haven't gone back for fear I'd jinxed them the first two times.

Comment 02 Sep 2014

I agree.  95% of what Urban says is to motivate his players.  He really doesn't care how it plays in the media or the fans.

If you take that into consideration Urban's comments are a lot easier to understand.  He's always playing mind games though it doesn't always look like it.

Comment 31 Aug 2014

As I recall on the play you mentioned there was a fumble by the running back at the end of the play and Navy recovered it but it was blown dead.  I got the impression the team wanted to snap the ball before the replay as they didn't realize his knee was down before the fumble but after the first down.  I'd bet the quick snap call came from Urban and this time he outsmarted himself.  There was no way anyone in the booth had time to review the play and let Urban know the truth.

Comment 30 Aug 2014

The whole game it felt like Urban was like a little kid playing with his new toys on Christmas day.  

I have to admit I didn't think Samuel would get as much playing time as many here predicted but I was wrong.  Kid is legit and makes me wonder if Jalin Marshall will have to sit despite the fact he'd start on at least 10 other B1G teams.

Same thing is true on the outside though we didn't throw much.  I didn't watch that close but it looked like Thomas, Spencer, and DSmith got most of the playing time.  I still think CSmith among others will move past Spencer by the end of the season.

Comment 19 Aug 2014

Our fascination with freshmen always makes me laugh too but it is human nature.  It's much more fun to dream about the next Spielman, Bosa, or Pace that dominate as a freshman than trying to project who improved the most as we've already moved on from last year's freshmen.

This Buckeye team is as deep as any we've had since Tressel's first few years.  Woody always used to say that players made their most improvement from their freshman to sophomore seasons and it wouldn't surprise me to see quite a few redshirt freshmen all over the depth chart but this year's freshmen will but lucky to see much of the field  

The exception will be places where we've had recruiting misses like at linebacker which is why I think McMillan is the likely breakout freshman.  We have so many WRs I just don't see how any of the freshmen there are going to get more than a few token reps.

Comment 09 Aug 2014

There is no way the Colts cut Rainey for horsing around with a fire extinguisher.  There had either been a series of similar incidents before this or they weren't sold on him being in camp to start considering the Steelers cut him after he was arrested for beating his wife. 

If Boom continues to put up numbers like he did on Thursday he could set off a fire extinguisher a week and the Colts wouldn't care (they'd yell but wouldn't cut him - if you doubt that compare Rainey's situation with Ray Rice).

Rainey is a guy that has had a lot of chances and failed to capitalize.  Now that his playing career is possibly over he's blaming everyone else for his shortcomings.

Comment 07 Aug 2014

They actually make less money from their NBC football contract than the B!G's current contract with BTN/ESPN/Fox (the gap will increase such that the B1G makes twice Notre Dame once the ESPN deal is renegotiated in a few years).  Notre Dame would have joined the B1G years ago except for 1 key reason.  Their fans don't want it and Notre Dame is a school that gets huge amount of donations from their fans and alumni which dwarfs the TV money. 

Fear of losing that is why they won't join the B1G.

Speaking of Notre Dame's TV ratings, they aren't very good (especially without the B1G).  NBC recently re-upped them at the equivilent of ACC money to extend their deal.  People assume since ND is the only team on NBC that it is a lot of money but it is much less than the SEC or B1G make per team.  WIth Notre Dame's poor ratings there was some talk that NBC would walk away but this keeps the network in college football and since they only get Notre Dame's home games their production costs are much simpler than other networks since NBC's games are all broadcast from South Bend so their is no need for mobile trailers, etc.

Comment 07 Aug 2014

i made the post you mentioned.  I've copied it below and while I'm sure timing had a lot do with these numbers (people tuned out after they realized that ND was bad), the fact that ND was 3-1 when they played Oklahoma which was right after Purdue & MIchigan State and still drew a full point less than both of those games.


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 06 Aug 2014

I think you might be the one that is a little out of touch.  The H-Back position is a key part of Urban's offense and is different than the wide receiver role.  Last year Dontre wasn't ready to do everything so Philly played that spot when Dontre wasn't in (which is one of the reasons he had so many catches).  This year the role will be split between Dontre, Jalin Marshall, and Dixon.  I don't know if Dontre is as good as the hype but one of those three will be a breakout star this year due to the way Coach Meyer's offense works.

At wideout you will see Devin Smith start with lots of subbing from the other three you mentioned but that position has little to do with Dontre Wilson's playing time.  While it is possible the team uses 3 wide receiver sets I just don't see it with when they have multiple talented H-backs.

Comment 05 Aug 2014

He has as much experience as a position coach as Vrabel.  Urban Meyer didn't know Vrabel but he hired him anyway based on Belichick and Fickell's recommendations.  

Meyer knows Tebow and based on his comments it is obvious he feels Tebow is one of the hardest working / best person he has ever known.  Tebow is polarizing for some but there is no doubt he has a rock star like aura that would help him in recruiting.  You are assuming he'd call the offense but no one is saying that  He'd be a position coach and one of the other guys would call the plays.  There is no doubt Tebow has terrible mechanics but that doesn't mean he can teach good mechanics.

This all assumes that Tebow would be interested but if he approached Coach Meyer and we had an opening on offense, Urban would find him a spot as Tebow would make the Buckeyes better.

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.