THEOSUfan's picture


Berlin, Ohio (via Ironton, Ohio)

Member since 01 April 2014 | Blog

Originally from southern Ohio but now live in Amish Country/Holmes County. Married to my college sweetheart for 31 years. Father of a son and a daughter. Grandfather to one beautiful little girl. Health care professional with a couple degrees (not from OSU). Have loved the Buckeyes all my life - football in particular. Attend a game or two a year at the Shoe. Try to not be an irrational nut about it, but usually I fail.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: Uh, it's been too long ago in terms of myself playing sports. When Ohio State won the National Championship with Krenzel, Clarett, I declared, "Now I can die." But the truth is I would like to see another one... or two... or ten.
  • NFL TEAM: n/a
  • NHL TEAM: n/a
  • NBA TEAM: n/a
  • MLB TEAM: Reds
  • SOCCER TEAM: What is soccer?

Recent Activity

Comment 5 hours ago

This subject of a "successful season", or not, is simply a matter of expectations.  Some years the Buckeyes might not know who their QB will be, might have lost most or all of their offensive and defensive playmakers, and might be replacing half of the lines.  In such a season, 11-1 would represent a tremendous accomplishment.

This particular team returned the vast majority of the components of a national championship team.  Their schedule was very manageable.  They were deemed a consensus #1 team, and the team with the most talent - and it was thought there was a significant gap between them and the rest of CFB (which probably was never true, but still they were "loaded").  Based simply on the roster, they should win the East, B1G, and be in position to have a chance to repeat as national champions.  They beat VT on the road, looking great in the 1st qtr, taking the 2nd qtr off, and then dominating in the second half.  They ughed their way past Hawaii, N Illinois, and W Michigan.  They won, but didn't look anything like a dominant #1 team.  They had a QB situation in the process of being mismanaged, they had the curses and temptations of success to deal with, and they were described as playing "uninspired" and looking "bored".  They showed offensive and defensive problems as they narrowly beat Indiana, and then Maryland.  Finally, vs. Penn State they looked like they were finding themselves.  JT Barrett established himself as the starter, and excepting Barkley running through the defense like a bad taco, there was team momentum which was built on when the Buckeyes played a complete, dominant game vs an out-manned Rutgers.  Then JT decided to break all that up with his arrest.  Ohio State looked like less than world-beaters in wins over Minnesota and Illinois.  But it was OK because the season really began against Sparty, and they would "flip a switch" and be as good as they needed to be.  The weather and Ohio State's coaches took away the OSU passing game, Sparty was inspired, and was the better team that day in that stadium in those conditions.  They were better prepared, wanted it more, and Ohio State looked confused, weak, and inept.  Once Sparty freed them from their winning streak and spotless record, they go up to AA and finally look like a great team, but the loss the previous week made it too little way too late.

Long story short, I enjoyed 4 games this year: VT, PSU, Rutgers, and scUM.  The other games I was confused and frustrated at what I was seeing, and not understanding why I was seeing it.  This was a successful season? No.  This team's potential was squandered, and they played far below that potential in 8 of 12 games. Was the season a failure?  Of course not.  11-1 says so.  But you can win all but one game, not look good doing it, and it can end up costing you all of your post-season goals.  The real question is whether 2nd in the East, no B1G championship, and no playoff appearance represents success?  Not this year it doesn't.

Comment 23 Nov 2015

The score says Sparty was the better team in Ohio Stadium Saturday night.

Do I think they have more talent, or if we got a mulligan and played them tomorrow night that we wouldn't win?  No.  But the game is who is the best team in the stadium, and that was Sparty - and I don't think it's even as close as the score.  This was a LOS street fight and they kicked our ass.

Comment 10 Nov 2015

When she was a freshman in HS I saw her play at the Classic in the Country. She was driving on the baseline and 4 defenders surrounded her.  She did a crossover leading to a spin dribble and then she spun the opposite way with an up and under that went in, and everyone in the gym was stunned!  Very few boy HS players could have executed that move.  I knew right then she was a very special player.

Comment 20 Oct 2015

I enjoyed the VT game, but then I experienced significant frustration and a lack of enjoyment of then next 4 games - all because you look at an experienced and talented OL, one of the top RB's in the country, and even as the injuries mounted to the rec corps, just amazing guys to run and catch the ball - but the ball wasn't moving well, there was trouble distributing the ball, and they were not sustaining drives.  You can't fool Buckeye Nation because we saw increasingly great offense last year, and we were seeing something less than that this year.  I enjoyed both QBs' performances against Md and JT's impact against PSU. 

Bottom line is I enjoy what JT does, how confidently he does it, and how productively he does it.  Urban Meyer just made my life (at least Saturdays) significantly more enjoyable.  

Comment 20 Oct 2015

Yes, they began fiddling with it because it wasn't working all that well.  Now, when I say that, going in to the PSU game, it was the best offense in the B1G!  However, it didn't take a football genius to notice that it was falling way short of what it did at the end of last year. 

But here's the thing - and there's no way around this - when you come up against 3rd and medium to long, in order to get 1st downs and sustain drives (and ultimately score), your QB has to throw an accurate/catchable ball for that yardage.  If the QB can't/isn't doing that, the whole thing becomes laborious - and you punt more and score less (unless you are negating that with explosive plays).  Cardale has been throwing those passes too hard and missing by yards, not inches.  Several times he has yelled/blamed his receivers, and I'm sure it's been justified at times.  However, when a receiver isn't sure if the ball is coming 3 feet behind or in front or 5 feet over his head, it creates uncertainty about getting to where they are supposed to be.  I guess my point is that I couldn't care less if Cardale is throwing and completing 50 yard bombs.  I care a lot whether he can complete a 7 yard pass on 3rd and 6. 

I'm a JT guy.  Have been since we started discussing this QB situation back in Jan.  However, I am willing to ride Cardale to wherever he takes us IF he can make good decisions/plays that keep the offense driving.  If he can't, I don't think I'm nuts to be a little frustrated that a guy who was the best in the B1G and 2nd best in the country last year at doing exactly that, isn't out there.  Something tells me he will be the rest of the season, but if he isn't, Cardale needs to get the job done in that situation.

Comment 19 Oct 2015

The locker room has already spoken.  They chose one of these QBs as a captain and the other not. 

QB is a unique position in sports, particularly in terms of leadership.  Many people have noted that when JT came into the game in the 2nd half, the entire offense played better, and even the defense played better.  One has to consider that this might not be coincidence, but rather a reflection of a team feeling more confident that they are being led by the best leader.

Comment 19 Oct 2015

My opinion would be that you have it bassackwards.  This down-the-field passing/power running thing is Cardale's offense.  That's what they have been running, and it has not been working.  JT's offense is zone read option with short-intermediate passing.  Against Maryland in the redzone and vs. Penn State all up and down the field in the second half, what did we see?  JT destroying people with the zone read. 

Play action would be an essential part of the Cardale offense.  The problem has not been the play-action part, but the fact that he is supposed to go through a process of reading and going through 4 progressions, and somewhere in that process he is getting jammed up.  You can almost see his confusion as he tries to decide where to go with the ball.  Play action has nothing to do with QB run threat, and everything to do with RB run threat.  In this case, when down and distance indicates pass, Cardale has not thrown the ball with accuracy/catchability.  That trend causes defenses to stack the box to defend against 15 run, and/or attack the passer because they know exactly where he will be and are not scared if he takes off.  Insert JT, and it adds a whole different level of uncertainty to the a defense - because they have to defend accurate passing, RB run, and QB run/scramble. 

Offense is complicated in some ways, and very, very simple in others. When you are trying to fit a round head into a square hole, the simple becomes complicated.

Comment 19 Oct 2015


Please end our long national (Buckeye version) nightmare, and let JT take over this team.  Play Cardale! Yes, give him a series per quarter and get him a package he is comfortable with, but my patience has run it's course with the stubbornness that refuses to acknowledge what we all saw Saturday night. 

Not only is JT just far out-performing Cardale, when JT is in there, the line blocks better, Zeke runs better, the receivers are better, and, hell, the defense plays better.  Cam Johnston doesn't give a shit who plays QB - that guy just keeps punting daggers into the other team's offensive starting position.  But, besides Cam, JT drives this whole team. 

Urban also needs to do it because the conspiracy theories about what Cardale has on Urban are starting to come out, and it is going to end up embarrassing us all. 

Comment 16 Oct 2015

I like Ohio State's ability to pick up yards on the ground with Elliott, who should top 100 yards again given the volume of carries and sheer effort. I am a little pessimistic about the passing game in this contest. I haven't seen anything from Ohio State yet to demonstrate total confidence in this year's offense. I see improvement and the overall numbers are there. I still think Ohio State is in the process of assembling it all, even past the halfway mark of the season.

This analysis from Vico is brilliant - because I agree with every word.  :) 

Comment 13 Oct 2015

I predict Penn St fans will whine that the OSU OL was holding all game long, but the refs let them do it. 

My prediction is based on the fact that they have been doing this for 20 years.

Comment 13 Oct 2015

I don't think we are in disagreement.

I would just go back to my original point that people create the ethos of an event by how they restrain themselves or not.  If this chant would go away forever, would the essence of what a football game in Ohio Stadium means, and the universal enjoyment of the game be diminished?  I think not.  If it continues for the next 50 years, will it be the ruin of multitudes of children.  Again, I think not.  But people can be considerate and appropriate in how they behave in relation to who is around them.

Comment 13 Oct 2015

I know what people mean when they say that, but when our state and federal governments tell us that we cannot murder people, that is, per se, legislating morality.  The only question is: Whose morality are we going to legislate?

In the case of the chant, there are things called propriety, manners, and the ethos of a community.  Hopefully, we are willing to voluntarily restrain ourselves from saying and doing things that may prevent, say, young children from being able to participate in a community event.  Or, we can say, "Screw the kids.  I'm going to do and say anything I want to."  It's a personal choice that determines the values of the OSU football community in Ohio Stadium - and to your point, should not be addressed with a rule or law.  At the same time, it would be nice if the students would be mindful of how their actions might affect other, younger, people who want to see what an Ohio State game is like.

Comment 13 Oct 2015

My kids are now 27 and 22, but I took them to games at Ohio Stadium beginning at about age 5.  There were times I had to turn them away from things happening on the walk in.  We had some problems with language and drunk people. I remember one time my 13 year old boy was sitting there with me on the east side for a noon game in early Sept, and it was hot, and got hotter as the day went along.  Accordingly, the young females around us began to roll up their shirts and shorts, and completely do away with some of it, and it got to the point where they were almost down to their bras and panties (a few actually were), and it made Dad really nervous.  I finally decided to address the issue head-on.  I asked my son: "What do you think of how these girls are presenting themselves?"  His answer was: "What girls?"  As it turned out, he was watching the game, and wasn't aware of the strip show going on around us.  I decided to follow his lead.  There are some lessons in there somewhere.  :)

Comment 09 Oct 2015

I've heard all week how a big part of the problem with OSU is my expectations.  Therefore, I am lowering them.  Bucks win 20-14. 

Looking forward to knowing what if feels like to have my expectations exceeded.  :)

Comment 06 Oct 2015

If you look at the offensive play chart you can see that there is some confusion about identity and how to use the weapons available.

Offensive football is about stringing first downs together in order to drive the field to score a FG or TD.  You can negate the need for efficiency at getting 1st downs through explosive plays.  The better offenses go 75 yards in 10+ plays AND supplement that ability with explosive plays. 

Against Indiana, Ohio State had one sustained drive the entire game vs. a shoddy IU defense.  That drive resulted in 3 points.  They had one drive of 4 plays gaining 4 yards that resulted in another FG.  The rest of their scoring and productive offense was produced in 4 explosive plays: 3 EE runs and a 23 yard reception by Mike Thomas.  Relying on explosive plays gets you beat the first time a defense can hold you to one or two of them.

Here's what I saw that contributes to the inefficiency:

14 runs for negative or 0 yards --- 3rd down passing: 3/6 for 0 first downs --- 1st Qtr/2nd series: on 3rd and 2 QB draw for no gain --- 1st Qtr/3rd series: on 1st and 10 Taylor Decker gets beat by edge rusher, CJ is hit and fumbles, OSU recovers for a loss of 8.  On 3rd and 3 CJ scramble nets -2 yards --- 2nd Qtr/1st series: On first down CJ keeps on the lateral speed option (which they should never run unless he pitches) for a net -1 yards -- 2nd Qtr/2nd series: pass complete to J Marshall for 28 yards, but fumbles.  IU recovers --- 2nd Qtr/3rd series: CJ pass to M Thomas inaccurate to prevent a TD followed by CJ pass to J Marshall inaccurate to prevent TD --- 2nd Qtr/4th series: 13 yard TD pass to EE negated by Braxton personal foul blocking penalty.  On next play CJ holds the ball for 8 seconds and is sacked.  On 3rd down CJ not ready for snap and fumbles for a loss of 4, but the play is negated by illegal shift forcing 4th down and a FG attempt that was missed. --- 3rd Qtr/3rd series: On 2nd and 10 CJ pass behind J Marshall on slant, incomplete. On 3rd and 10 CJ pass to M Thomas is deflected by C Samuel, incomplete. --- 3rd Qtr/4th series: On 2nd and 7 bad snap on QB draw, timing off, loss of 5 yards. On 3rd and 12 CJ throws interception at the IU 12 yard line and returned to the IU 45. --- 3rd Qtr/5th series: On 2nd and 6 CJ keeps the ball on a READ OPTION (WTH?) for a loss of 2 yards. --- 4th Qtr/2nd series: On first play CJ completes pass to J Marshall for 12 yards, but he fumbles and IU recovers. --- 4th Qtr/4th series: Ohio State will not throw the ball across the LOS the rest of the game (10:00 left). Before 1st play OSU has to call a timeout because the play clock was running out and they were disorganized. 

Within the above paragraph is a sketch of the dysfunction.  I'm not smart enough to assign specific blame to specific people, but that is a dumpster fire.

Comment 05 Oct 2015

This team is close (to being a butt-kicking unit)?  I hope so, but I'm not sure.

2/14 on 3rd downs.  Cardale was 3-6 passing on 3rd down for 0 first downs.  His stats look pretty good, but when his incompletions occurred, they killed drives or prevented scores.  One thing that has made the OSU offense so potent under UM has been the QB run.  On designed runs or QB scrambles he had 8: 1 for no gain, 1 for five yards, and 6 for negative yardage. He threw what Urban described as an "inexcusable" pick in the redzone.  The offense had ONE/1 sustained drive all day resulting in 3 points.  Another FG was achieved on a drive of 4 plays and 4 yards gained.  The other scoring was done totally on 4 explosive plays. Consider what happens when a more capable defense can cut the number of explosive plays down. 4 of the 5 lowest QBRs for UM at Ohio State have occurred this season.  I have concerns about a team that can't string 1st downs together, drive the length of the field, and put the ball in the endzone.  And the topper is that the offensive coaching staff did not call a single pass play the last 10 minutes of the game.  Think about the implications of what that means.

No, this can't all be laid at the QB's feet.  It's not his job to create an identity or have an overall plan to distribute the ball to the weapons available.  But if ball distribution, efficiency, and moving the chains is what you are lacking, there is a guy responsible for being/doing all of that last year that did not play a snap on Saturday.  

Comment 01 Oct 2015

I predict I will not be as happy as I hoped I would be - based on the performance of the offense for most of September.  If I am pleasantly surprised, then great. It's much more important that this team gets into high gear in late October and all of November rather than right now.  But I wouldn't be mad if I saw them moving in that direction Saturday.  :)

Comment 29 Sep 2015

I respect that you have the balls to come on here and post your view.

Taking my absolute hatred (the sports kind) for your team out of the equation, and putting on my CFB fan hat, TTUN is probably looking better than I thought they would at this point, although I fully expected Harbaugh to get that program on solid footing at some point this year.

A few things that I think may cause TTUN problems as the season goes along:

Yes, there is some really good talent there.  I really like to watch Peppers, among others.  But there is not the depth they are going to need.  Winning in Nov is going to require that key players are healthy.  Normally you are missing 3 or 4 guys that time of the year.  I'm not sure TTUN has the bench to "next man up" it.

TTUN is running the ball at 200 per, but aren't you a little disturbed by the number of negative running plays?  I didn't count them vs. BYU, but there seemed to be a lot - indicating there are still some major breakdowns in the OL play.  And your QB, of course, is a guy that is capable of great throws and decisions, and then catastrophic ones.  At some point this B1G season, he is going to have to make a great throw at a crucial time.  Do you trust this guy to do it?  I wouldn't.

JH has been accused of wearing on his players over the course of a season.  They needed to be pushed, but there is some evidence to suggest that some of his players in the past have hated his guts by the end of a season.  I want to see them face some real adversity and see if they bounce back.

Long-term JH's weirdness has to wear on fans, media, and administration. Those crazy eyes with the gaping mouth is some really odd behavior.  Everyone will overlook it if the wins are piling up, but when things don't go well, I suspect his act will grow tired very quickly.  It seems people can only tolerate him for 3 or 4 years.  I would never be a fan of the blue team, but if I were, I would be very concerned about the long-term sustainability of any success that is created in the short-term.  FWIW.