Yea, they don't give you any booze until you are done with the swimming and snorkeling.. Basically they pick you up at the resort, take you to the boat, drive to the spot where the sharks and stingrays are, give you a snorkel and goggles, and let you swim for as long as you like (I think up to like 45 min or so). Get back on the boat, and then the snacks and booze start flowing. Take you to a "natural" swimming pool area (basically a shallow bay that is waist deep) and start the music and dancing. Was pretty fun, actually.
If you're leaning towards the All-inclusive stuff, and perhaps looking at the Caribbean for destination, I highly recommend the Iberostar Grand Collection (one in Dominican Republic - where I went, one in Jamaica, and one in Mexico - Riviera Maya). We did it for our one-year anniversary 3 years ago, and had a blast. The Grand Collection is their "high end" all-inclusives that are adults only. Food was actually pretty good, especially the a-la-carte restaurants. Better than most all-inclusive beer/wine/liquor selection. Personal butler the whole time. Golf included in price (as well as food and drinks on golf course), if that's your thing (we did). We also did a couple of excursions too, while we were there (zip lining and booze cruise to swim/snorkel with sharks and stingrays), and would highly recommend those too.
Pro-tip: if you are a Costco member, book through Costco Travel. Amazing deals on a lot of the Caribbean all-inclusives, and you can book flights too as part of the total package. They also have a lot of other destinations that several have suggested already (Cook Islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Fiji, Hawaii, Costa Rica).
Ohio State's 2014 season was evidence there can never be too many quality quarterbacks on a single roster. After Braxton Miller got injured during fall camp and was out for the season, Barrett stepped in and led Ohio State to a Big Ten championship game appearance. Cardale Jones took the reins from there and delivered the Buckeyes a national title.
I think that's the key takeaway from the spring. Having 3 good and capable QBs is a good problem to have, since you never know.. By the end of the season we might need all three to step up at some point.
Depending on opportunities after this coming season, Schiano could be gone.
As for these three, I would imagine that Wilson will be here for at least two years, but could see a situation where our offense blows it up and we win a championship and someone comes calling with an opportunity he can't pass up. But it will be interesting to see his contract. One or two years?
Day, I think could be here a while. Perhaps Wilson gets a great opportunity after year 1/2/3 here, and then Day becomes the primary OC and play-caller. After a couple of years of that, he could get an opportunity somewhere as a head coach. Things could go a lot of ways with him, but I like those comments. Makes me think he believes staying here for a bit could be beneficial to not just his career, but also his family.
Davis.. I just don't know. As for pay, I think college position coaches (at least at major schools) make similar money to NFL position coaches. So, perhaps that won't be a motivator. I don't know what his goals here are, as far as professional advancement.
Over 100 comments about a tweet from Texas Tom.. makes you think.
70 and sunny is nice for spring break, I can't lie. How quickly folks on here turn on a man over one tweet. He knows exactly what he's doing, since our fan base will lose it over a tweet, which will in turn get his tweet the attention he was looking for.
This basketball season...
I used Chase Sapphire.
Ditto. And the Ink, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited. Have over 300K ultimate rewards points right now.
Just by putting stuff we are already spending money on (healthcare/daycare), onto the Hilton card, we get Gold status from the card, over 30K points from the spending, and a weekend night certificate. That's a free weekend every year.
The Chase Ultimate rewards came in REALLY handy for the Fiesta Bowl this year. I have a bunch of Hilton points, but the Hampton by the stadium was full and no rooms were coming available. There was a Springhill and a Residence Inn close by that did have rooms. They were going for $500/night, but the normal point redemption rates applied (20K/25K points/night). Since Marriott is a transfer partner of Chase, I transferred over some points and got a free room that would have run me $500.
Chris Worley was running with the first team at middle linebacker.
And, I'm big on loyalty, so I looked for one program that best suited me.
I wouldn't limit yourself to just one. Sure, there can be a primary loyalty program for you, but I would always be looking to expand and maximize rewards that are tailored to how you spend your money already and what you want to do with your rewards.
I got into all the rewards stuff about 4-5 years ago. My wife and I had just gotten married, and we paid off her student loan right away, so it was a little bit of an opportunity for us to travel before kids. Something we did right away, and have done again since then, was get the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. Looks like they are going to make it harder going forward to earn, so I'm not sure if we'll be getting it again next year..
All that being said, the primary one we use is the Chase Ultimate rewards program. They have several cards that all earn points towards the program, with different 'bonus' spending categories. Sapphire (both reserve and preferred - good for travel and dining), Ink (business card, but you don't have to have a business to get it - wink, wink), Freedom (rotating bonus categories at 5% - cash back card, but paired with one of the first two, you get ultimate rewards points by transferring between cards), and Freedom Unlimited (1.5% back on everything - but like the regular Freedom card can utilize the points program when paired with one of the first two cards). They (Chase) have a travel portal that is really easy to use, and you can transfer the points to several other rewards programs (both airline and hotel).
I just recently got the SPG Amex. I can't stand Amex, but I've read good things about their (SPG) loyalty program (Starpoints). Good transfer partners and an increased sign-up bonus right now.
Lastly, I also use Hilton for a lot of stuff. Have the Citi Reserve card, and have had it for a few years now. Sign up bonus is two weekend night certificates to virtually any hotel in their portfolio (there is a list of like 30 or so excluded - every all-inclusive and a few others - but the majority can be used). Then annually there is a certificate if you spend $10K on the card. Last year I just put our health insurance on the card, and this year we are putting daycare on the card to get the certificate. Using the one we earned last year in a few weeks for a Saturday night at the Waldorf in Park City while we are in the area visiting family.
There is no shortage of travel and rewards related blogs/sites out there for sure. TONS of good information, *that if used properly*, can make travel extremely affordable (or in many cases - free) just by using credit cards for everything you buy (gas, groceries, bills, etc) instead of cash/debit cards/checks.
My biggest concern last year was at DB (safety, specifically), with 3 starters gone and a new coach coming in to replace Ash. Then Schiano and Hooker happened. While I have some concerns there again this year, my biggest "question" has to do with the new OC and QB coaches. Urban has mentioned several times that he wants his offense to operate with tempo, and that's the thing that I felt like Warinner and Beck struggled with at times (probably Warinner more than Beck).
Everybody always wants to talk quarterbacks so we'll start there.
More specifically, what if the passing defense had been as awful as the passing offense was last season?
Don't have to look back very far to see what that's like. 2013 Ohio State. 90th in passing offense yds/gm and 112th in passing defense yds/gm
We also played Clemson to finish the season that year. I wonder if we would have beaten them if Burrow or Haskins was our starting QB? Or maybe it should have been Cardale? I bet that's what Buckeye Jack would say.
And there was a group that was cock-sure that JT would start the 2015 season.
Most thought he should, since he 'lost' the starting spot due to injury. And we don't make the playoffs without him winning every BIG regular season games that season (that he started as well).
But Urban Meyer (himself) started Cardale for the first 8 games of the season.
Correct. And Urban said that JT had to 'beat' out Cardale for the job. He didn't (at least not in fall camp - he was still recovering from an injury in spring, and it cost him valuable reps). Same will probably play out this year. Someone has to 'beat' out JT. Won't happen, IMO, which is why all these posts are hilarious. I guess that's what you bring, Jack. Entertainment to the forums.
Not dominant in the role, but
JT is working on a really solid crow recipe this off season. He's going to destroy teams.
That's my hope (and belief) as well.
Guess who's back? Ban Hammer-lite, I guess?
I don't want you to think I don't have criticisms of/for JT. I was at the Fiesta Bowl, and was cursing his name from time-to-time (ok, many times). Overall, I think his timing and decisiveness need to improve. And his angles can be awful. How many balls were batted down/swatted by the opposing D-line? Way too many, especially for a 6'2" QB. These are correctable, and I think he (and the coaching staff) know it.
But in this case, we're looking to improve what has been a sub-par passing offense, significantly. To suggest the quarterback of that offense should be somehow exempt from competition made no sense to me -
I don't think anyone should be exempt from competition, but to suggest that it needs to be an open competition is I think where you and I might disagree (or at least where I digress from some on this site). He is the starter.
As for the passing offense, you've mentioned '81st' passing offense a few times. I think it's unwise to look solely at yds/game, rather than something like S&P+ rankings for passing offense, which measures the overall effectiveness of the passing offense based on down and distance, passing downs, success rate, etc. I think that's what Urban wants, more than just 250/250.
- 2016 - 214 yards/game - Rank: 81st
- 2015 - 188 yards/game - Rank 100th
- 2014 - 247 yards/game - Rank 52nd
S&P+ Passing Offense:
- 2016 - 64th
- 2015 - 26th
- 2014 - 2nd
Just looking at yards, it would appear that we were better passing in 2016 than 2015, but I would argue we were more effective in 2015 than we were in 2016. But looking at all aspects of the passing game for the last three years (QB play, Play Calling, OL play, WR play), there is only one thing that was constant between 2014 and 2016. QB - JT Barrett. This isn't meant to say he is "off the hook" from last year's passing game struggles, but more to point out that the most success we have had passing the ball in recent memory, he played the majority of the snaps in that season. Every other aspect of the passing game has had change since then.
I'm not so sure we're really in disagreement on the basic subject, here.
I don't think we are either.. I don't think there is a position on the field or within the program (coaching/support staff) that is not constantly being evaluated by Urban. Thus, everyone's job/position is 'open' to be lost. But that doesn't mean that certain players or coaches will get more leeway in making mistakes, or that it needs to be stated that a certain position (QB) has to be open competition.
I'm of the opinion that the biggest issue in our passing offense was overall execution, as opposed to one aspect in particular. Be it play calling (more sequencing/order, field spacing, and disguising/setting up calls), WR route running/getting open, OL pass blocking, or QB reads/decision/timing. The wonderful thing about bringing in Wilson and Day, is that it is two new sets of experienced eyes to help evaluate everything and everyone associated with the passing game. I'm guessing they will be honest with Urban in their assessment of the QB room during spring practices.
I was pretty much lambasted for even suggesting there should be an open competition at quarterback. Even though I included the caveat that I believed JT would probably be a lock to win it.
So what's the point of suggesting it, if you think he's a lock to win it? I saw that comment, and was busy that day at work so I never commented there. But you also said something about Billy Price and/or Jamarco Jones having an open competition at C and LT. What's the point of suggesting it? Everything in this program is basically a competition. So no starter's job is safe at the end of the day. Sure, returning starters and upperclassmen get a little bit longer leashes. But that's the way it should be, IMO. Down here in Austin, I get plenty of read on Tom Herman, and he is running his program the same way as Urban. One based on a meritocracy. Everything is earned. But once you have proven yourself, you get a little bit more leeway in the eyes of the man in charge.
But what if he simply has another lackluster performance in the passing game?
What if he does? These are still 18-22 year-old kids for the most part, so they are allowed to have some lackluster performances mixed in with solid production and even some spectacular play. It's part of the game. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. There is no way Urban Meyer would knowingly put his team at a disadvantage for the sake of loyalty. He has been loyal to upperclassmen, no doubt. But there is a reason that teams with a little more experience tend to do better than those without, all other things being equal.
I think you are engaging in a bit of semantics, Phi. The job can be lost to your backup if you don't perform your job. It doesn't have to be an open competition for you to lose your grip on a starting position to a backup. It's also true, that even positions that don't have a returning starter probably have a presumed starter, or at the very least, a favorite to win the job. Those are no more or less open than the job of a returning starter to maintain.
Yes, JT will be the starter. Yes, it's his "job to lose." Meaning he can lose the job, but he doesn't have to audition for it like he's never played the position before. Neither should any of the other 13 or so starters that are returning. It will always be "their job to lose," and they can and should lose the job if they aren't getting the job done.
Those three are all up there for sure. Even if all three of the LBs leave after this season, there are still 5-8 guys on the roster for those spots, so it's definitely less of a need.
Is the staff concerned at all about DE depth in 2018 and beyond? I know that may sound odd, given the last two cycles they've landed 3 of the best at that position and that it's perhaps our deepest position group going into this season, but after 2017 we could have just Berry, Bosa, Cooper, and Young - perhaps Slade too (Lewis and Holmes will be out of eligibility and Hubbard could leave early). 2018 will almost surely be Bosa's last year, and depending on development it could be the same for Cooper.
Re: Vonn Bell. It's not what I believe. He admitted as much. Could he have made some spectacular plays as a freshman that Brown couldn't have? Probably. But sometimes it's not about the spectacular plays one makes, but rather the lapses that young guys make in preparation or on-field plays that cost the team more than the spectacular play benefits them.
What if Vonn Bell had been given an earlier chance to show what he could do on the back end of Ohio State's defense?
"It's lingered in my mind," Bell said Monday, stationed at a Fiesta Bowl media table at the Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort. "But it wasn't my time. I was a young guy. Had a lot to learn. I wasn't ready yet."
"I was making plays in practice, but as a young guy you tend to get the calls and signals wrong like, 'What's that? What's going on?'" Bell said. "Try to remember everything and everything's going so fast-paced and you're trying to slow it down. But, it happens.
"He gave up a big pass play in the Orange Bowl, he might not remember," Fickell said with a smile Monday. "He did have an opportunity. But that's beside the point. There are growing pains with young guys."
I know the focus is getting 'ready made' guys now, since the leaving early trend is continuing to grow nation-wide. That doesn't mean all young and highly rated guys are ready to go right away simply because they have more talent or potential than a veteran.