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Comment 09 Oct 2011
These imbecile coaches lost me last week, but now I've got reason to despise them. They've invented a whole new way to lose with this team, and, now, no lead will feel like enough the rest of the year (on the off-chance we have a lead). The team is likely destroyed mentally. A losing season is certainly in play... How you could not put Guiton in that game when Bauserman was obvious playing scared (again) is beyond me. Furthermore Guiton is the kind of QB that fits into the Braxton Miller-style gameplan, which worked okay for a large stretch of the game. I'd happily see Luke and Bollman fired tomorrow and perhaps Heacock take us the rest of the way. At the moment, we're a complete and utter joke.
Comment 07 Oct 2011

We went the non-Ohio man route with Coop. And while we had hordes of great players and many great seasons something was always missing. If we pursue Peterson--and for some reason a west coast guy with no ties to the state says yes--I think we'll have the same experience.

My sense, like most, is that this is Urban's job. If he passes then we have a horse race between Pelini, Gruden, and Dantonio, with an outside shot at someone like Tim Beckman getting the job.

If no Meyer, then personally, I like Gruden for what he instantly brings to the table. Experience. Cache-slash-instant respect. A golden rolodex for coordinators. And an offensive-focus that honors the QB.

This move is akin to what the 49ers have done with Jim Harbaugh in the NFL. They had talent and a good, albeit underperforming QB, who has suffered with a different offensive coordinator every single year. You hire a guy who gets instant respect, has the character to expand that respect, and one that can bring along the most important asset on the team--the QB--while not messing up what you do best, which is defense.

Yes, Gruden may not coach Ohio State for a decade, but is that so bad if you got a coach that kept the talent rolling in, got the Buckeyes playing a pro-style offense, and got us winning things? I'd take 4-5 years of that and then a baton hand-off, for sure. And who knows? Maybe Gruden would stick.

Comment 03 Oct 2011

13 points on the board for the Buckeyes? Now, that's funny. I'll go with 3. And we're staring at a very, very real possibility of a losing season. Purdue and Indiana feel like the only teams we have a good shot at beating.

Comment 03 Oct 2011

The only reason Gene is still around is so that he can be fed to the wolves when the NCAA decision comes down. You nailed it; he's been inept every step of the way and today's presser just showed he has no capacity to cut through the mess and clean it up quick. Frankly, he looked like a man already knowing his fate. Gee will give him the axe to make himself and the Board of Trustees look good, and then announce a new era. That will mean an AD search with an implied head football coach search coming at the end of the season. My sense is that, under the radar, the AD/HC will be a package deal; that is, Urban Meyer gets to pick his own boss.

Comment 02 Oct 2011
I'm with you (except the rehire Tressel tag as JT is the one who put this sad offensive staff in place). Our team is poor, the play even poorer, and the coaching an absolute joke. We needed to clean the coaching house, but the timing of Tressel's dismissal meant we were going to have to go through a transition year. My problem with it: Why burn things with Luke, who was a great unit coach? We could have promoted someone else or put freaking Earl Bruce in charge... This whole season is about the Michigan game now. And, as Ive typed before, what happens when an immovable object (OSU Offense) faces a frictionless, gravity-free vacuum (Michigan Defense)?
Comment 30 Sep 2011

For me, the game tomorrow will be the harbinger of the season. With a win we're quasi-competitive in the B1G and battling (or should I say hoping to upset) Sconi for the division. A loss probably means we're stuck in the middle of the conference with an outside shot at improving enough, by season's end, to beat those scUM suckers up north...

Feels like a field goal game, either way...

Comment 30 Sep 2011

The best Ohio State team I can recall (watching closely since 1978). I was in a sports bar in D.C., catching congrats from fans of other top-ranked teams that were to kickoff in the afternoon slot. We were so in control and then...

My dad as in the Shoe with a friend who played at State in the 60s. Apparently he mumbled something about how the Buckeyes better not go to sleep and let the Spartans back in. Damn if he wasn't right.

I loved this team so much I went to the Sugar Bowl in NO to watch them whip up on the Aggies. Recall seing a few of the players--David Boston and Damon Moore--out on Bourbon Street later that night...ah, good ol Coop. But, hey, it was their last game and they earned the party for sure.

Comment 26 Sep 2011

Nice write up. The Buckeyes certainly got back on track but let's all keep in mind this was a really, really bad football team we were facing. I'm not sure what to make of the win other than it's a win, Jordan Hall is the far-and-away best player on the team, our defense is young and fun, and we got to see Braxton play the game without looking over his shoulder.

BM looked a lot like TP did in his early outtings, and, of course, you got to like the dynacism he brings to escaping the traps set by our poor offesnive line play. A major concern has to be the quality of his throws--most were painful to watch. Importantly, they're pretty close to their traget, but there's a mechanical issue with his release that's leading to some big-time wobblers. Sound familiar? All in all, Braxton reminds me of a young Jamarcus Russell (LSU) with lots more speed. There's a ton of upside in that comparison (along with a few scary-bad games) but we will see.

I thought Luke managed the game well and helped guide his team to take what the sorry Buffs were offering. The next four will be the real tests, and I suppose we'll learn a lot more about our young coach as he navigates the week-in and week-out of B1G play. I wish him well, I do, but nothing will change my mind that Ohio State needs (freaking desrerves) a proven, experienced head coach as opposed to a learn-on-the-fly, Pat Fitzgerald-style solution. And when I say nothing that includes a B1G championship.

At any rate, the 2011 Buckeyes look the kind of team that needs to hold their opponents under 20 to have a real shot at a win, so I hope the defense keeps improving and lets the offense develop slowly (as it often does under Bollman) without having to play games from behind.

Michigan State, this weekend, will probably be the real test as to whether we'll have an "okay" season or "bad" one. If we can't deal with Sparty at home, surely Wisconsin later in the Shoe and road games against Nebraska, Illinois, and Michigan may just pile on the losses.

Go Bucks!



Comment 26 Mar 2011

No freaking way I can call this team an "underachieving disappointment." They won a silly number of basketball games, the B1G regular season outright, AND the B1G tourney title.

The NCAA tourney is a crapshoot. The seeding is a crapshoot. The location and times of your games are a crapshoot, too. And, in the end, the winner a week from Monday may or may not be the best basketball team in college basketball. They will have been the best for the six tourney  games they ended up playing and for three weeks' time. That's it.

We were among the best (if not THE best) for nearly the entire season. And the best Buckeye hoopsters I've seen in my 40 years.

So stand up and applaud. Tip your cap. It's fine to be ticked off tonight; we're all dying a little inside. It's because we loved this team (especially its seniors) and we knew the squad was special.

But the thing is...they still are.

Comment 14 Mar 2011

Can't see it with Kennedy being lost for the remainder of the season with the ACL injury he picked up against 'Cuse. But, clearly, this region appears wide open. Hard not to like Pitt, but I think this will be the one that produces the big Final Four surprise--Wisconsin, KState, MSU, or the Zags.

Comment 10 Mar 2011

Not trying to be argumentative and you may well be right, but that is not my read at all...

The OSU letter indicates it came across an email (interestingly, it does not date it) from Jim Tressel (to whom we do not know), which resulted in searching his email account, which then resulted in uncovering three strings. They do not say this initial email was part of the subsequently found string. The order of events is important here; this is a letter from OSU to the NCAA--it's been drafted by attorneys for attorneys. Language would be precise and vetted.

My read is that they very well could have found some email, yet undisclosed, that led to finding the emails all of us have seen.

Now, I know that the Dispatch is running a timeline on their website that suggests that the first email discovered was one we've seen. But I simple have not seen that fact verified in Q&A or any official comment, have you? It seems presumptions to me.

And, of course, there's this widely reported exchange:

After his opening remarks to the media Tuesday, Tressel was asked by Yahoo Sports reporter Dan Wetzel:

    “Jim, you talked about the confidentiality of the situation and upholding it. Did you forward any of the emails to anyone?“

Following Wetzel’s question, Tressel nodded his head in Wetzel’s direction up and down as to indicate yes. Though before Tressel could speak, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, who was standing next to Tressel, said,  “We can’t get into that right now.”

Meaning? There is likely at least one other email here, if not more. Stay tuned.

Comment 10 Mar 2011

Yes, the search was on an unrelated matter, but that paragraph goes on to say:

...the institution's Office of Legal Affairs discovered an email from Coach Tressel that was the subject matter of some of the activities pertaining to the University's December 2010 NCAA self-report. The Office of Legal Affairs notified appropriate institutional officials and an additional inquiry began. One of the first actions was to conduct a search of Coach Tressel's email account. The search uncovered three email strings between Coach Tressel and an attorney related to this matter and certain student-athletes. Two strings occurred in April 2010, and one in June 2010.

Note the language in bold. An email "from" coach was found. We don't know what that email was nor the language therein. And the language above seems to want to keep that murky at the moment, i.e., it was the subject matter of some of the activities pertaining to the University's December 2010 NCAA self-report. Tough to unravel that other than to say it's related to the tattoo and memorabilia shenanigans. Yet, interestingly, at the end of the above, we read that the subsequent email search uncovered emails related to this matter, which reasonably can mean the same matter as just referenced three sentences above.

In short: Tressel sent some email to OSU Legal on the matter. He didn't do nothing. And he's confirmed as much in public-record questioning when he said he forwarded the email to someone. Put it together, and I suggest he probably sent the email on to OSU Legal or sent a nebulous separate email highlighting something could be going on.

Let's wait and see. I imagine this will be made clear soon.

Comment 10 Mar 2011

It's becoming apparent by the hour that there's plenty more to the story and I'd imagine "the more" will be facts that lighten the "guilty" perception of Coach Tressel.

The OSU media relations people know what they're doing; you keep your powder dry. The press conference had to happen to respond to the leak. The media spin cycle starts on full-go and they had to put down some facts to let them chew, spit, and repeat all week. The next step is to re-position the story by adding additional elements of fact, after "more careful due-diligence" and consulting feds, NCAA, etc. These come out and some of the "why in the world would he?" questions get answered. It also makes clear that the media went for the quick and easy pile-on, and they look stupid enough that at lease a few scrupulous editors and bloggers pull back to learn more.

We know, as a course of comment, that Tressel did in fact forward the email to someone and it's probabnly OSU Legal. It's implied in OSU's own letter to the NCAA as that department mentions discovering this via one of its emails. So Tressel "not having done the right thing" is simply being fueled by too much hyperbole at the moment. I suspect that we will soon learn that he was advised by someone in the legal departmen (probably junior) to keep quiet on what he knew. That person may or may not be the total scapegoat here. But it will be come increasingly clear that while Tressel screwed up big, he wasn't (and isn't) the cheat all are making him out to be. And, I think, the NCAA will concur by not adding too much more in punishment.

Is the above speculation? You bet. But, I for one, am ready for some positive speculation as too many seem happy to conjure only worsening scenarios akin to the end of Ohio State Football as we know it.

Comment 20 Feb 2011
I said more or less the same on the O-Zone during the game and almost had my head taken off. But this is both true and very worrisome as Lighty is a senior and one of the most experienced players we have. His mistakes seem largely mental--sloppy turnovers, forced shots, and lazy defense--so you have to question where his head is at as we enter the stretch run and tournament play. Personally, I'd like to see him on the bench and/or called out by coach. It may be going that way as I've read he called out the team for being "soft" in the locker room after the game.
Comment 17 Feb 2011
Great analysis. For me, Sully goes based on where he gets the ball. When he's getting the ball outside the paint, he's much less effective. This is a question of technique and timing from the entry pass. I believe he needs to be far more patient in getting the rock. As for the men on the perimeter, the Buckeyes have a tendency to stand around, waiting for someone to break their man off the dribble. They get away with it because they are the most talented team in the league.
Comment 17 Dec 2010

Boy, I hope so. I've spent almost 20 years in marketing and while I see the tie-in to B10 programming the name make no sense as it fails at the most basic level: keep it simple. Ask yourself this? If you're not a Big Ten fan but interested in this new, improved conference, how the world are you going to remember who is in which division? You can't. Heck, longtime B10 fans might have a rough go. Which is why geography does make sense and why every other conference leans on it to make their splits.

I was for East and West in the beginning and these divisions: East--Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, MSU, Indiana and Purdue. West--Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Well, okay, that went out the window (a big mistake IMO, because they've seriously hurt the OSU v Michigan game). But they still have a shot to just make it North and South, with Wisconsin being a kind of northern anomaly that only a conference with 12 teams yet is named Big Ten could love.

Your idea is pretty good, too. Midwest and Central. Or Midwest and Plains. Perhaps use the lakes in some way.

The only non-geo names I kind of like are Black and Blue. Simple and you can use it to tie-in an improved logo, and I have little doubt the players/kids would get a kick out of it. I'd use reversible Black and Blue logo patches that each team should have on its jersey until everyone knows who is who.

Comment 17 Dec 2010

I do not. I think the undefeated Badgers would be playing undefeated TCU in the Rose Bowl, and if Wisconsin won it we'd likely have a split championship and more clamoring for plus one. Too bad it didn't happen, in my opinion.

Comment 17 Dec 2010

If anyone should be griping it's Wisconsin, which more or less threw away a shot at a national championship by playing an off game against these Spartan chumps. (Yes, I know, the Badgers would probably be left out).

Anyone who saw MSU at Iowa knows this team is smoke and mirrors and in for a beating by Bama. Besides a couple of Coach Bielema's Beatdowns, Iowa's win over Wisconsin ranked among the most lopsided game of the Big Ten season. And Iowa, frankly, isn't that great. Good? Sure. Great? Don't think so.

Finally, maybe I was dreaming or something, but I'm pretty sure that MSU needed a trick play to beat Notre Dame and Northwestern. These guys were a whicker away from 9-3 (or 8-4 if they played the Buckeyes), which is where their ranking ought to be. 

Comment 07 Dec 2010

We can tell ourselves the secondary kids will be alright, but the fact is we haven't faced anything close to this kind of passing acumen since that Texas game. The Big Ten has been down in terms of QB play for a few years, and Arkansas passing offense will do some damage. We have a high national ranking against the pass, in part, because we haven't played any skill passers.

I think the thing that is NOT getting media attention is how similar OSU's offense is to Auburn's in many ways. And look what they did to the Razorbacks; they freaking steamrolled them. And, I think it will largely be on the Buckeye offense to get this win in January, as Arkansas will score on us.

In our games it's usally first one to 20 wins. This one feels like first one to 30 or 35.

Go Bucks.

Comment 26 Oct 2010

No doubt we're a very good team. We've destroyed most and looked more than capable against a talented, game Hurricane squad.

But I'm withholding all the fist pumping until after the Iowa game. Look, the only "real" test of the season was an absolute failure. Sure Wisconsin had played some shabby football but pre-season they were darkhorse whispers about them being in the mix for the national championship. How could we, especially after rolling up to #1, lay such an absolute egg in that game? Frankly it reminded me all-too-much of the Florida debacle, and for that I think Tressel and his staff are missing some key ingredient. Hunger or intensity or focus. Something.

The closest we got to it was the Oregon game, but we need to bring it every week or, at the least, to the big games. Personally, I don't think we have a shot at leaping to the Rose unless we throttle Iowa (and, of course, get the expected Michigan State loss). But my feeling is that one way or another Wisconsin will be going to the Rose--and they deserve it. We're going to play an SEC team this season, BCS or otheriwse.

And that will be a golden opportunity to get that 0-for-whatever off our back.

Comment 20 Sep 2010

Arizona did what Miami almsot did to us: win the game on just a few big (if not lucky) plays. A blocked punt for a short field, a kickoff return for a TD, and an INT for TD all led to 21 easy points. The game may have been very different if it had been low scoring throughout, as I've seen the 'Cats crumble and give up time and time again. That being said, Zona gave one back to the Hawkeyes and then marched down for a winning score. Can't deny the impressiveness of that. Iowa looked very tired from the late time and heat. And, man, that o-line got blown to shreds at the end. In my book however, Iowa will end the season clearly the better team.

Comment 20 Sep 2010

Pretty solid game all around: B+. It would be an A- if it wasn't for the continual special teams snafus (flags or no flags).


The thing I love about TP this year is his pocket presence. Watching the game again, he always feels where the pressure is coming from and adjusts himself accordingly. His eyes are down field; his footwork and shoulders balanced. Yes, he makes some lame throws, and they seem to be when guys are the most open. He's just not much of a touch thrower--yet. As for the late second quarter INT: Pryor was forcing it as he knew his playing time for the day was winding down. He wanted that one last TD toss, bad. I like that. And that's a kind of mentality I'd like Tress to embrace in the fourth quarter. This season may very well end with several worthy championship teams--Bama, OSU, Boise, Oklahoma/Nebraska, possibly others. We need to emphatically state our case for being one of them.


I don't share everyone else's hand-wring over the offensive line and running games. Yes, the O-line remains a unit that needs to improve. But that is ALWAYS the case with Bollman's guys; they never get their act together until the end of the year. I would've replaced this coach years ago, but it's clear he'll stay as long as Tressel is around and the means a long freakin time. And keep in mind that Ohio brought back some defensive experience up front and at LB this season. Their weakness was in the secondary and that's what we rightly exploited.

Comment 10 Sep 2010

Great preview. And I like the prediction, (10+), although Ohio State usually ends up with a boatload of field goals in games like this. In fact, that's the thing I'm watching for early: How do the Bucks do in the red zone? Punch it in for six or chip it in for three. If we end too many drives with three, this thing can always get tight on one big play, and like it or not, the Hurricanes have the kind of guys who can make one big play. I like us for a pick six (or big INT) as well as a great punt return--a couple of plays that will tilt the field, increase our red zone chances and get us that extra TD we need. And our run defense will be lights out. Ohio State 27, Miami 16.