osunut2's picture


Knoxville, TN (via Heiskell, TN)

Member since 17 March 2011 | Blog

From John Cooper's tiny hometown (Heiskell, TN). My dad grew up in Hilliard, graduated from OSU in the mid-70s. I became a Buckeye by default. My Tennessee fandom died after the 1996 Citrus Bowl. Proud OSU (class of 2005) and UT (class of 2007) alum. I reside in Knoxville amongst thousands of overconfident Tennessee/SEC fans. Go Bucks!


  • SPORTS MOMENT: 2002 OSU-UM game. Unbelievable to experience that as a student in Ohio Stadium.
  • NFL TEAM: Cleveland Browns
  • NHL TEAM: Nashville Predators
  • MLB TEAM: Cincinnati Reds

Recent Activity

Comment 15 Feb 2017
We were banking on 2-time Mr. Basketball in Ohio to be a superstar and likely a NBA lottery pick after a couple of years in the scarlet and gray.

Sure, I think we'd all like to be able to bank on every one OSU's recruits eventually becoming superstars, but I don't ever remember people looking at Loving and unanimously saying that he'd be off to the NBA after 1-2 seasons. He was a quality prospect, and sure, he was comparable to DeShaun Thomas/LaQuinton Ross, but he wasn't even a Rivals top 50 prospect (he was actually the only Ohio kid in the top 100 that year). Heck, ESPN ranked Kam Williams higher, surprisingly. Those numbers don't always mean a lot, but most early impact guys in college basketball are ranked near the top of those lists. I just don't think many people looked at that and said automatic superstar. 

In hindsight, the recruiting efforts in 2012-13 and 13-14 tell a big part of the story. Della Valle, Kam, and Loving. No offense to those guys, but overall, those are 2 rough recruiting classes. Unless you hit a monster home run with one of those 3 guys, you better hope that you already have someone on the roster that can become a superstar.

Comment 15 Feb 2017

Both of you guys make a great point; aside from renting D'Angelo Russell for a season, the Buckeyes have been missing that one key piece ever since Aaron Craft was a senior. And let's be honest, while Craft was a fantastic leader, a solid PG, and a superb defender, he wasn't an elite scorer.

It's hard not to look at this team, or last year's group, and see that the roster is filled with some quality role players and complimentary pieces. But when you don't have a true go-to scorer, a dead-eye sharpshooter, or someone you can ride in crunch time night in and night out, you aren't going to collect many quality wins. Sure, statistics say that you'll steal one every once in awhile, but when your margin for error is this small, you just aren't going to beat very many good teams.

As unfair as it probably is, given the minimal roster changes coming next season, success in 2017-18 is largely going to hinge on Kaleb Wesson's offensive impact and Kam Williams (our only spot-up outside shooter).

Comment 27 Jan 2017

I'm very torn on this. I covered Hurd's junior HS season on the radio here in Tennessee, and he put up some gaudy numbers. However, he benefited from having an impressive offensive line, and an offensive coach who was willing to feature him in a 3-TE power I formation. In the state championship game that season, he ran for 400 yards and 7 TDs. On most of his carries, he got into the secondary without anyone laying a hand on him; Beech could have handed it off to the water boy that season, and even he would have eclipsed 1,000 yards. He was fast, but he didn't have elite acceleration and he wasn't very shifty. But he was huge, and I think most coaches were salivating over the fact that he could run like a gazelle at his size. I assumed he would eventually shift to TE in college.

Fast forward to his time at Tennessee. He was a terrible fit in Tennessee's offense under Butch Jones, which was a big part of the reason why he left (I still question why in the world he left the team in the middle of last season - not a good look). His mom/step-dad were also very vocal this year, and not in a good way. His issues were also compounded by the fact that Tennessee's offensive line was so porous; the guy was physically battered for 2.5 seasons in Knoxville, and dealt with a number of nagging injuries. I think he realizes that his future in the NFL won't be as a running back, and he's convinced that if he stayed at Tennessee, his draft stock would continue to suffer.

If (big if) Hurd ended up coming to OSU, I don't think I want to see him at running back, for the same reason why he was a bad fit at Tennessee. If he wants to remain at running back, why not go to a team that likes to run out of the I or another power formation (e.g., Stanford or Michigan)? But if the NFL is his goal, I'd love to see OSU utilize him as a TE/flex guy. He's got great hands and can block well, so he could be a matchup nightmare if utilized just right.

Comment 23 Jan 2017

D'Andrea definitely gets my vote. All-everything coming out of high school, and had offers to play just about anywhere. Not to mention a physical freak. Sad that injuries destroyed his potential.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

Both trails to the Chimney Tops are still closed, due to the wildfire damage. The wildfires allegedly started here (thanks to a couple of stupid teenagers), so I would imagine that the NPS won't open them back up until the investigation is complete and the trails have been repaired.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

This will go down as one of the most productive draft classes in recent memory, on both sides of the ball. All 5 of those guys deserve to be on the final ballot. Hard to believe that Mike Thomas, Jordan Howard, Jalen Ramsey, or Keanu Neal couldn't crack the final 5.

And not to be forgotten, Jack Conklin and Taylor Decker were two of the best linemen in the league this year.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

Roaring Fork motor trail and the road from Newfound Gap to Clingman's Dome are both closed during the winter.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

The Ober lodge and ski lift survived, surprisingly. The city center and main drag is intact. However, a number of homes, cabins, restaurants, and businesses were destroyed.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

The road from Newfound Gap to Clingman's Dome is closed in the winter. However, as long as the weather is ok, you should have no trouble driving to Newfound Gap.

Comment 17 Jan 2017

I grew up in Sevierville and Knoxville. After finishing school at OSU in '05, my career brought me back to Knoxville. I've spent a ton of time in the mountains, so hopefully I can offer some sage advice. Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg is definitely a giant tourist trap, so be warned.

The recent wildfires were devastating for the area, particularly Gatlinburg. The town and main drag itself are intact, but a number of businesses and homes were lost. But I wouldn't let that deter you from visiting. In fact, the mayor has been pleading with locals to come and visit, because their economy is primarily driven by tourism.

I assume that the Doubletree you are staying at is the Park Vista. There's some jaw-dropping video footage of the wildfires taken from that hotel (it sits on a hill overlooking the city). Still hard to believe that the hotel survived the fires, given where it is located. I like the view from the hotel, but I agree with others - skip the hotel and get a cabin or chalet, if you can. That will be very hit/miss, because many of them were destroyed in the recent wildfires.

The ski area (Ober) is still open. The lodge and lift area were not damaged by the fires. However, we've had a super mild winter so far. I'm not sure if they are even making any snow right now, but as soon as things cool down, that will change.

Best breakfast in Gatlinburg - The Pancake Pantry, hands down. There are a number of pancake houses in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, but this one is the best. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Fantastic pancakes and a local landmark. Great little candy shop next door. And if you like donuts, the Donut Friar makes some of the best donuts, which is next to the candy shop. There are a number of good restaurants in town, but I'm partial to Calhoun's (local fare & BBQ) and the Peddler (steakhouse). Pigeon Forge has a lot of places as well (mostly chains). However, I would definitely recommend the Apple Barn (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner). They have two restaurants (I recommend the Farmhouse, but the Grill is good too), and the apple fritters are amazing. They also have the "Barn" where they make cider, pies, fitters, apple butter, etc (for you to take home).

The aquarium in Gatlinburg isn't bad, so if the weather is bad, definitely check it out. It's not as immaculate as the aquarium in Chattanooga or Atlanta, but it's worth visiting.

If you enjoy hiking, February is a challenging time to do it; a lot of the roads outside of Gatlinburg will close if there is any snow/ice, but there are some beautiful winter hikes in the park. If the road is open, you can always drive to Sugarlands Visitor Center or up to Newfound Gap. Cades Cove is a popular motor trail, although in February, the traffic would be relatively light. Roaring Fork motor trail is near your hotel, but it is closed during the winter, so I'd suggest Cades Cove as an alternate.

That's a lot of info, but if you need suggestions or have questions, I'm happy to help! I've hiked roughly half of the ~900 miles of trails in the Smokies, so if you want a good hiking suggestion, I can weigh in.

Comment 17 Jan 2017
I highly recommend Ramsey Cascades, but ONLY if an honest self-assessment deems you both physically able, and even then, not sure February is the right time.

The trail to Ramsey Cascades has actually been closed for a few months. The NPS hasn't announced when they plan to reopen it.

Comment 13 Jan 2017

Agreed Brutus, NFL playing experience isn't required or even necessary; but as I mentioned, I think in the case of a 30-year old head coach, NFL playing experience might actually be beneficial.

Comment 12 Jan 2017

Which probably played some role in the Rams' decision. Just ask Dave Shula, Mike Shula, and Derek Dooley.

I know he's being labeled as some sort of wunderkind, based on his results as the Redskins OC for 3 seasons, but that seems like a really small sample size.

Comment 12 Jan 2017

I think McVay was a WR at Miami Hydroxide, but became the WRs coach with the Bucs right after he graduated. I agree though, it doesn't help that he never played in the pros. I'm certainly not saying that NFL experience is a must to be a successful NFL coach, but in the case of a 30-year old HC, it probably wouldn't hurt.

Comment 12 Jan 2017

A few Dubbers have pointed it out already, but with Haubeil greyshirting, that puts us at 87. I think it's safe to say that we'll probably see a few more transfers/medical hardships, so I'm sure the numbers will work out just fine.

Comment 12 Jan 2017

Wow. His age will certainly get a ton of offseason attention. Hopefully it won't end up being a huge distraction, although that does seem pretty young to be a head coach in the NFL.

Comment 11 Jan 2017

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think Penn State flew under the radar this season (to some degree), especially after the blowout loss to Michigan, followed by a narrow victory over Minnesota. Not saying that a lot of people wrote them off, but I don't think they came across as a serious threat in 2016. Next year, there will be a firm target on PSU, so I wonder what effect the weight of expectations (and that target) will have on them.