Oh, and don't forget no linemen over 300 lbs. I mean, power rushing teams with players that big landing on people...it's a safety issue. You understand, right Bert and Nick?
Is the Buckeye baseball community (coaches, players, alumni, fans, etc) okay with this? What do the ACC schools and Kent State have that we don’t? Only four ACC schools have significantly warmer weather in March. Do they have better team facilities? That would be either an unconscionable oversight on our part or an institutional decision not to compete at the highest level, which doesn’t sound like the way we approach academics, athletics, medicine, the arts, or anything else. Did Kent State have a better coach (just hired by Georgia) than Ohio State? If so, why don’t we have him? (Let me emphasize I don’t think we have enough information to judge Coach Beals yet. He might be good.) Does Kent State have a bigger baseball budget than Ohio State, allowing them to buy the kind of equipment and swag that attracts recruits? That would seem unlikely. Do we need more or better player personnel staff for recruiting? What are these other programs doing to gain a competitive advantage and what can we do to up our game?
I know there are some excuses as to why the team has struggled (recruits like warm weather, football is a big deal here, etc) but we really should be able to pull this off. If Kent State can do it in this weather (among others) why can't we? If TTUN can have a national power softball team in cold weather and with a shadow-casting football team, we can have a good baseball team.
This just sounds like a case of OSU, somewhere in the system, needing to try harder. Bill Davis Stadium is obviously pretty nice. How are our baseball practice facilities? How much of a support staff (think Mark Pantoni of baseball, video coordinator, etc) does our baseball team have in place? I know even Ohio State doesn't have an endless stream of cash, but if we have a top of the line team/academic/indoor practice facility, the right support staff, and a solid coaching staff recruiting "like their hair's on fire," there is no reason an institution like Ohio State can't have a national power baseball team.
We'll just tell your mother we ate it all.
Kyle Flood is obviously not the answer. But if they can find some coaching arrangement with Ralph Friedgen calling the offense and Greg Schiano running the defense, Rutgers may actually be on to something for the first time. Not necessarily co-head coaches, but regardless of which one is the head coach making ~$1.5M and which one is the coordinator making ~$1.2M there has to be a way to get this done. Championship programs find creative ways to have talented, successful coaches on both sides of the ball.
You were right then (about the younger demographic's lack of awareness of Penn State's national status) and you are right now (about the need for Big Ten programs to regain/maintain glory, for Ohio State's sake).
Penn State is traditionally a top-10 program, with back to back top-10 finishes as recently 2008 and 2009. They had a rough stretch from 2000-04, but were ranked in the top-10 at some point in every season from 1990-99 against Big Ten competition. The 1982 championship team beat Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pitt, and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The 1986 team beat Alabama, Notre Dame, Pitt, and Miami.
We all know about TSUN. They have every resource necessary to be a national program. So does Nebraska, with the exception of proximity to elite recruits. They have always (seriously, going back to Bob Devaney in the 1960's) done very well in California and Texas. Trying to reorient recruiting efforts to already saturated Big Ten grounds is a mistake. I think Bo Pelini is doing a decent job there, but he needs to refocus on areas in which Nebraska has traditionally done very well. The right dynamic coach should be able to pull national recruiting classes to a school with such facilities, fan support, and academic/athletic resources.
I'm not sure why people think Wisconsin is a big deal. They ran up the score on weak defenses and had a fat, annoying coach for a few years, but only had two seasons since 2000 with less than 3 losses. Realistically, Iowa, with the Orange Bowl win in 2009 and 4 top-10 finishes since 2000 are at the same level. Mark Dantonio certainly has Michigan State rolling, with ranked teams in 4 of the past 6 seasons.
For the Big Ten to be what it should be, it needs at least two of the big four in the top-10 each year and the other two ranked in the top-25. At least one of Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin needs to be in the top-15 with one of the others in the top-25. Then it helps when one of the others (Northwestern, Minnesota, Maryland, etc) goes on a run and gets ranked.
That version of the Big Ten gets at least one team in the College Football Playoff every year. For that to happen, these other members of the conference need to start trying harder to compete on a national scale. Some schools are trying hard enough (Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Indiana) and some schools (the rest) are not.
This is a great perspective. Penn State has the history, tradition, stadium, fan base, recruiting base, and resources to be considered a big boy, nationally. For our sake, we need to have a number of those in the Big Ten. These other programs need to improve the competitive profile of the conference to make us more desirable to national recruits.
We should root for every Big Ten team to land every big-time recruit over any other school (ie: Da'Shawn Hand to Alabama). It would be good for the Buckeyes if Michigan State beats Oregon, Wisconsin beats LSU, and Penn State beats UCF. And then I want to beat 'em by 50!
I keep hearing, "If we just go undefeated, we'll be fine." But that is an awfully tight window. Wouldn't you rather the perception of the Big Ten be strong enough that a 1-loss conference champ is still virtually guaranteed to get into the playoff? And a 2-loss team gets strong consideration (so long as that team promises to play "Stanford Football," of course).
How in the world did Bert find a way to lose three games with Russell Wilson?
Yeah, the Vest was 4-4, regrettably. The 2001 game was before the machine was rolling and the 2004 game came in Tressel's only rebuilding year. I'll never forget watching the 2003 game at a party and seeing Gamble bite on that ridiculous double move in the 4th quarter. Winning the next three matchups 89-47 (2007-09) cooled the hatred though.
First, I 100% agree the state to our north is absolutely as fired up about the OSU-TSUN rivalry. Which is why I don't buy the "that team is such a big rival we can't have any other," argument.
Regarding your hatred of and corresponding excitement in playing Wisconsin, I get it. Certain teams tweak people in different ways, and if a particularly sour experience with Wisconsin raises the stakes in that series for you, enjoy the wins. The 2010 loss did sting. And Bert was easy to hate. But, to me, he only beat us that one time. In fact, it has been a decade since they were a thorn in our side. We almost always beat them, both recently (6 out of last 7) and historically (56-18-5).
I can respect your last point, as well. I was steaming when Gary Moeller said Michigan State was a bigger rival than Ohio State. Heard a few fellow Buckeye fans joking this past season our real rival is Alabama instead of TSUN.
South Carolina? They are in no way a traditional power. They are coming off their best three years ever and never made a BCS game. This is a classic example of a team (like TCU) getting hot for a few years and regressing to the mean within a few years. The same thing happened with Cal. When that game was scheduled, Aaron Rodgers was handing off to Marshawn Lynch and passing to Desean Jackson. Fast forward eight years and those guys are gone and the coach is getting fired. Games against schools like Cincinnati, North Carolina and TCU need to be considered secondary games while opponents like Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, and USC represent marquee matchups.
We are in desperate need of some offensive creativity and skill. Does anyone know how our incoming recruiting class is looking on that front?
He still has a least five (and more like 10+) good years left in him. Gene Smith takes a lot of criticism, but I generally think he does a good job. This one I flat out don't get though. Most of our programs are set up to win at the highest level (from tennis to lacrosse to wrestling, etc, not to mention football and basketball). We had a chance to land the home run hockey coach (top level recruiter and coach with a creative attack, combined with the beginning of the Big Ten hockey conference) and we chose the up and coming assistant who was already on staff. This feels like if our football program had hired Luke Fickell when Urban Meyer was available.
First of all, six degrees is cold no matter how tough you are.
Second, what happened with George Gwozdecky? The guy won 2 national championships and went to the NCAA tournament almost every year at Denver. We don't even look at him and now he is just an assistant with Tampa Bay? I support Rohlik and will always cheer for our Buckeyes, but what the heck happened there?
Also, love me some Big Ten conference hockey!
"A glorified exhibition game."
I think this is a big part of the reason Big Ten teams have played poorly in bowl games recently. A critical component of bowl game performance comes down to the team who wants to be there and is motivated to prepare to win for an entire month. Unfortunately, many interviews with Big Ten coaches and players refer to bowl games as two things: a reward for a good (or mediocre, depending on the team) season and an exhibition game. Our teams talk about going on a vacation someplace warm. I do not often hear similar lines of thinking from the other major conferences.
My favorite example of this was Wisconsin's first Rose Bowl (2010 season). They were asked how it was going in LA. Players talked about going to Disneyland and Rodeo Drive and that they'd be ready for the game on game day. They weren't. TCU was.
Now, I believe our players try to win once the game starts. But, as the saying goes, "The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win." Put simply, I do not believe the proper emphasis is placed on winning these games and consequently, our teams do not try hard enough to prepare to win.
These should not be considered exhibition games or vacations. These are all matchups into which teams have played themselves. I know, the only championship that matters to us in Buckeye Country is the National Championship. Nebraska (a program with five national championships to its credit) went 8-4 and got invited to the Gator Bowl. They still took their game seriously. You could tell from the interview with Bo Pelini when he got off the plane in Jacksonville. They did their job and they won. More Big Ten teams need to treat these games as their own personal championship game. After all, these bowl games are the only championship left they have a chance to win this year.
Oklahoma 45 - Alabama 31. Soooo... "Big Game" Bob?
And while Santa's Elf School is not currently an AAU member, it would certainly get BTN on basic cable tiers in the far northern markets.