I attended both schools and they have completely different vibes. UCLA is a top notch academic school on a beautiful laid back SoCal campus but feels like a much smaller school. It doesn't have a football stadium on campus which doesn't appeal to some kids. I had Chris Spielman in a class and he told me how he came very close to choosing UCLA because he loved the feel of the school. Ohio State on the other hand oozes football. It is massive in every way possible, from the number of majors it offers to the number of kids who attend school, rallies and parties. UCLA is very buttoned down because the residents in adjacent super wealthy BelAir won't let the kids have their stereotypical college fun and push the university to keep it a quiet campus. In terms of size and campus vibe, OSU is to UCLA what Disneyworld is to Disneyland. You can't help but get your blood pumped up being around the electricity on campus for Buckeye big game Saturdays. It is a definitive college football experience.
I don't think anyone is surprised that the rumor was never going to happen. Tressel is an Ohio State and state of Ohio institution. He is rehabbing his image and cementing his post-OSU legacy as YSU president. He gets his cred back and would probably be a huge ESPN/Fox TV commodity once his no show clause expires Dec.19, 2016. He would have to come off Ohio's version of Mt. Rushmore to coach any other out of state program which he won't do.
The game against Wisconsin is going to really fall on the defense to both buy the offense some time to establish rhythm as well as create momentum swings/field position opportunities. If Cardale is efficient and can throw enough to keep the Wisconsin defense honest and from loading up the box, if Herman and Meyer can dial up a creative game plan using every weapon at our disposal (right about now that injury to Dontre really, really stings), we can do this. I'm more concerned about defense than Cardale...while they had their moments on drives Saturday, Drake Johnson ran off some strong runs in gashes. Giving up big running yards in our last 3 games - 218, 298 and 121 (Johnson was averaging almost 5 yds a carry before tearing his ACL) doesn't bode well against Melvin Gordon if we don't step up. But we will. To quote Les Miles, this is going to be "big boy football. And I'd expect it to be very, very physical."
Sucks for a hard working young player. Looking at next year, it should be interesting how Dontre, Jalin, JT and Braxton fit in the offense. I commented when JT took over in August that best case scenario, we might have a great problem in '15 to figuring out who would play QB. Now that we are facing that, if Braxton wants to stay and was willing to platoon, can you imagine the schemes Herman could dial up with those 4 in the offensive mix? Its highly unlikely Braxton plays QB in the NFL; if he looks at what Denard Robinson did at the next level perhaps Meyer can find a way to use him in an unconventional way as QB/slot/RB option that poses a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators and elevates Braxton's draft stock as a non-QB.
As an optimist I have high hopes that Herman and Meyer will find the right formula to use Barrett and if needed Jones effectively with all the weapons we have at our disposal. The prospect of the additional touches for the young skill guys has to be getting them pumped up. My question is if things work out beyond our best expectations with Barrett, what do you next year with Braxton back in the mix? How will that affect our elite QB recruiting prospects who want to compete for time right away but could see Barrett as their heir apparent for awhile? While I thought we had a good shot to make the playoffs, I honestly thought 2015 was our year from a player development and unit growth perspective. Not counting us out at all because one things the Bucks have always done is overcome adversity and Meyer has done nothing but toughen up the locker room culture even more.
Sports is a reflection of culture, which is why so many people identified Tressel ball with a small town, conservative, "Slo-hio" form of rust belt football that would paper cut opponents to death. Meyer is a rock star who plays pedal-to-the-metal, goes for the jugular and demands excellence of everyone around him. As long as he never compromises that mantra, people nationally may or may not love us but they will fear and respect us.
I could never for the life of me figure out why there was so much hate for Urban coming out of the local Orlando media while he was coach at UF. Once he took over our program I began to see the similarities to Woody Hayes that made him great but also a lot of enemies. He is either a very humble, shirt off his back guy or 200% gung ho, play hard, no bull. That doesn't mesh well with the media who like generally like self-effacing personalities they can rib or get more quotes out of. Tools like Bryant Gumbel, Clay Travis and Bianchi are always going to look for a raw nerve they can touch and get under guys skin. Meyer needs to continue taking the high road and not fall into those traps (although it wouldn't hurt Ohio State or Urban to be a little more media savvy and get ahead of some of the stories the media throws out there).
Having said that I agree there is a lot of hate coming towards OSU (particularly from Orlando) but it doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up for ourselves with a passionate, intelligent defense of our program without reducing ourselves to d-bags. One of the things I've learned from being around USC out here in LA is that they treat every team as an arch rival because you will never get love from another fan base as long as you're winning, only envy. If they won't love you then they will respect you but that has to be earned by winning championships, winning the right way and a fanatical loyalty to our school.
By the way I thought this was the most even and well-constructed write up of the Urban Meyer/Aaron Hernandez story from any source which just so happens to come from a Gator blog writer:
I'm glad everyone agrees we don't need to take a risk like this or piss off current RBs and recruits. We're still trying to clean up the PR damage from the last two years.
Awesome baby. Love the pick up, love the pancake blocks, love the gifs. Roll, Bucks, roll.
I was at that game too and it was just an awe inspiring play. I've seen more violent hits by a LB but never a game changer like that. My friends from MU (love their campus though I've never figured out why they are the U of Missouri but refer to themselves as MU) felt really good that the Tigers could hang in the game. After that hit (which sound and feel the video just couldn't capture) the game literally changed in an instant. The crowd went silent and was never into it again, the Mizzou players seemed to lose confidence, it was truly amazing to feel the air come out of the place.
Hope your mom has a speedy recovery.