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Member since 13 January 2014 | Blog

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Comment 21 Sep 2016

Among other-conference head coaches, if Auburn loses at home this weekend to LSU, Gus Malzahn could be in trouble.  And, on the other sideline, if LSU loses the game, the fire-Les-Miles crowd will re-energize.

Malzahn went from 12-2 (7-1 SEC) in his first year at Auburn, 2013, losing in the National Championship game to Florida State 34-31, to 8-5 (4-4) in '14 and 7-6 (2-6) last year.  Lose on Saturday and he's 1-3 (0-2) so far this year.

Comment 20 Sep 2016

Are both Carrasco and Salazar out with injuries for the remainder of the regular season, if not the post season too?

Starting pitching is a bit thin, but Tomlin's last two starts have been good.  Bullpen mostly pitching well.  If hitting is consistent, they should compete well in the playoffs.  And who in the AL is consistently better right now than the Indians?  But Cubs/Nationals in the World Series is a different story.

Comment 20 Sep 2016

I think you're right.  Less likely to happen this year, that the players think they have "arrived," because the players, at almost every position, are competing for playing time.  Don't focus, don't prepare properly, don't play well, you'll play less.  Or not at all.

A very talented team with the continuous incentive to play well is a dangerous thing for opponents and a blessing for Buckeye nation.

Comment 20 Sep 2016

I don't think we lost last year to MSU, as the most recent example, because of the style of offense that they played.

While MSU deserves some of the credit for the win last year, the coaching staff didn't do a good job of adjusting our offensive play calling during the game to directly counter what the MSU defense was doing.  While the weather conditions played a factor, our offense was too predictable and largely one-dimensional.  We had, in a sense, a one-time offensive burp, made worse by the quality of the MSU defense, but, in large measure, self-inflicted.  To the coaching staff's credit, they immediately addressed the issue, moving Coach Warinner to the booth and improving the in-game offensive effectiveness.

I trust we won't make that mistake again this year, regardless of MSU's offensive approach.

Comment 20 Sep 2016

Seeing the play again, I get the sense that the play was designed from the beginning to get a corner back isolated with Noah Brown, and then motion Marcus Baugh to that side of the formation to draw in the other Sooner defender (LB or S?) on that side of the formation.  When the second defender bites on Baugh's motion, J.T. throws what is essentially a jump ball to Noah Brown and Brown beats the CB.  I think it was a designed play to Brown, with an after-snap read on the other Sooner defender, that broke as the coaches had hoped.

Comment 20 Sep 2016

Ahh Saturday, I don't disagree with anything you've said.  MSU is recruiting more low 4-stars recently, but have to remember that they are competing directly with high-profile programs in their immediate region, Ohio State, TTUN and Notre Dame.  Over the recent time frame, if Dantonio had been the head coach at TTUN or Notre Dame would those teams have performed better?  I think they would have.  He's taken a middling B1G program and turned it into a rather consistent winner, with higher profile competition in his neighborhood.

In Ohio, Coach Dantonio has taken many lower-profile players and coached them into excellent college players, playing nearly even with Ohio State over the time of his tenure as coach, winning multiple B1G titles.  He's dominated TTUN, with consistently lower-rated recruiting classes, over that time frame too.  And he just beat Notre Dame, again.  He has earned the #2 rating.

Comment 19 Sep 2016

While Coach Dantonio has not won the ultimate prize in 10 years, he has dominated TTUN over that time period, when TTUN has out recruited MSU, and gone head to head with Coach Meyer, winning B1G Titles.  When Harbaugh beats MSU, he can lay claim to #2.  Until then, I still think Dantonio has demonstrated that he has earned the #2 ranking.

Comment 19 Sep 2016

Yes, Harbaugh is potentially a better coach than Dantonio, but, right now, based on records, Dantonio should be given the edge over Harbaugh.  Is Harbaugh's upside likely to be higher than Dantonio's in the future.  Yes.  Harbaugh has, and will, probably recruit better players.  Has he demonstrated that he is a better coach than Dantonio.  Not yet.  First, he has to beat MSU.  Right now, based on performance, Dantonio is the better coach.

Comment 19 Sep 2016

Coach Dantonio consistently produces a winner with almost exclusively 3-star recruits.  That takes excellent coaching skills.  Recent multiple B1G titles, too, and an 89-33 record at MSU over 9+ years, a 73% winning percentage, and a 2-2 record head-to-head against Coach Meyer.  He's the #2 coach in the B1G.

When TTUN can beat MSU, and claim to be the best team in the state, Harbaugh can begin to build a reputation.  Until then, Coach Dantonio has to be #2.

Comment 19 Sep 2016

Phi, you and I had an exchange on a prior thread about the need for the Buckeyes to throw the ball more . . . I even made the statement that the Buckeyes need to "enable the run by establishing the pass." Alas, they ignored me :).  Instead, it would seem that the offensive coaches chose to primarily attack the Oklahoma defense by running the ball outside more than throwing the ball.  48 rushing attempts vs. 20 pass attempts. 

Mike Weber seemed most effective, early, taking the play outside.  The offensive staff chose their moments to attack the Oklahoma secondary, in the red zone when Noah Brown was isolated one-on-one with a Sooner corner back.  And with J.T., Noah Brown, and the OL executing that play to near perfection, four times, it worked very well.  Not a great statistical game for the passing attack, but very effective nonetheless.  As a side note, the Buckeyes are currently ranked #60 among the 128 FBS teams in passing offense per NCAA statistics, but #6 in team passing efficiency.

Don't know how much of this is (1) the coaching staff's penchant for running the ball first, and running outside to counter the interior Sooner run defense, (2) seeing something specific on game film that led them specifically to the red zone pass-attack approach, or (3) they don't have enough confidence in the passing attack yet to use it as a primary weapon right now.  Perhaps, for good reason, they have more confidence in the running game.  With Curtis Samuel, Mike Weber and Dontre Wilson back there it is easy to see why.  Running the ball outside worked against a pretty good run defense.

While there are things to improve (i.e., fewer penalities!!!), the offense is performing very well and effectively.  I have to believe that at some point they will start throwing the ball more and the passing yardage will improve.  I think you're right, at some point the Buckeyes will need to throw the ball more if they want to keep defenses off balance.  But the Buckeyes seem to have a first rate outside-inside run game established.  I trust that more will come from the passing game will come soon as Coach Meyer has said repeatedly that he wants a 250-250 offense.  So many talented weapons on offense to choose from.

But something in the Oklahoma film, and the fact that it was a road game in a hostile environment, led them to choose this specific approach, not going for passing yards but exploiting the Sooner secondary in very specific ways and in very specific situations.  It worked very well.  And effectively.

Comment 14 Sep 2016

You're right, both Perine and Mixon are very talented RBs.  The front seven will be tested.  Get them behind early and they will have to pass more -- but this provides more "opportunity" for Mayfield to "do his thing." :)

The weather report, per the Weather Channel, says chance of thundershowers Friday night into Saturday morning, with 50% chance of rain on Saturday and a high of 84F.  Partly cloudy skies later in the day with light and variable winds and a low of 67F.  Passing game, from weather standpoint, should be ok.

Comment 14 Sep 2016

On the defensive side, I'm a bit concerned that we can mostly contain Mayfield (nearly impossible to completely contain him), but we have the players and, I'm confident, the coaching staff will fine tune a scheme to do it.  You're right, this game is a good example of the need to exploit your opponent's weaknesses.  Assuming that the weather cooperates with this (no high or swirling winds, especially),  first establish the pass, with a couple of deep throws wide as well as shorter routes, get their defense uncomfortable, and then mix the run with pass.  When the OL plays well, we'll then be able to run the ball more effectively.

Comment 14 Sep 2016

As the OP very accurately stated, against this Oklahoma defense, the Buckeyes enable the run by establishing the pass.  And frequent, fast tempo, especially early.  Oklahoma defense in disarray is very vulnerable.

Comment 05 Jun 2016

How to balance getting the best high school talent from Ohio -- and other young men who grew up wanting to be Buckeyes but who aren't necessarily "rated," whether accurately or not, at the top of the national talent pool -- with out-of-state, more highly-rated talent, that, in many instances doesn't have that long-standing, deep desire to play for the Buckeyes?

It's a dilemma, on one level a nice one to have, but a dilemma nonetheless.  I would err on the side of first pursuing high schoolers from Ohio who have always dreamed of playing at Ohio State, especially those who may not be at the top of the national ratings, but who can be developed and coached into great college players.  But this is a very subjective situation.  Not saying this is what is happening at Ohio State, I know that it is more complicated that this, especially given the vagaries of young men thrust into the spot light in very competitive recruiting situations, but it is too "easy" to simply look at the national rankings and pursue the most highly-rated young men who may have some interest in the Buckeyes.  Being from Ohio, and especially wanting, really wanting, to play for the Buckeyes, should, in the end, count for more.  In the end I trust that Coach Meyer, and the coaching staff, will balance the complexity of this situation and do the right thing.

Todd Sibley sounds like the kind of talented young man we want to play at Ohio State.  I hope he stays.

Comment 04 Jun 2016

While we can agree to disagree on Ali's early life and some of his decisions and actions, he was a great boxer who bore his later health challenges with strength and dignity, mixed in with a little humor.  For those too young to have seen it, especially the first segment with Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes:

Comment 03 Jun 2016

Another great album for sure.  For many years, Abbey Road was my favorite, with a few songs from the White Album thrown in.  Then I started more intently listening to the earlier Beatles, '63 and '64, and began to see how unique and great their early music was.  I had a tendency, as I think many do, of dismissing their early music as "simplistic," easy to listen to but no substance.  But that view is too simplistic.

A Hard Day's Night is the album where the songwriting of Lennon-McCartney really began to take root.  Help!, from 1965, is also an underappreciated album, with early signs of musical development.  Rubber Soul was, in some sense, their "pivot" album, where they made some significant new musical developments, later continued and somewhat expanded on Revolver.  I've compiled a flash drive album of over 120 Beatles songs, in album/track order, which I periodically listen to, and that transition is evident while you listen.  The Beatles, with their early influence from 50's American music, really was the foundation for today's music.

Comment 02 Jun 2016

A Hard Day's Night must be considered among the Beatle's best albums, their third studio album and the first Beatle's album with all the songs written by Lennon-McCartney, with the tracks from the original UK release (1964), not the subsequent American release:

(1) A Hard Day's Night, (2) I Should Have Known Better, (3) If I Fell, (4) I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, (5) And I Love Her, (6) Tell Me Why, (7) Can't Buy Me Love, (8) Any Time At All, (9) I'll Cry Instead, (10) Things We Said Today, (11) When I Get Home, (12) You Can't Do That, and (13) I'll Be Back.

Drugs ruined the Beatles.

Comment 28 May 2016

I may not understand the format, but having beaten MSU on Saturday, don't the Buckeyes only have to beat MSU again on Sunday and then beat Iowa in the championship game to win the tournament.  That means they only have to win twice, not three more.  Or, because OSU already has one loss in the tournament, and Iowa doesn't, if OSU wins against Iowa, they have to play a second time to determine the conference champion?