Verdict: The header photos of the Iron King, Cardale Jones, First of His Name, Poacher of Badgers, Controller of Tides, Slayer of Ducks, Troll Sultan, and 12th Son of Ohio will continue until the end of January.
Secondly: My dad, Warren G. Harding bless his soul, is a man whose dining experience could be ruined by an egregious typo on the menu. He says I'm wrong because I type "judgement." He says it's "judgment," to which I say that looks dumb and the British have the right of this one. Consider this my eternal judgement on the matter.
JUST HOW EMBARRASSING IS OSU'S QB SPOILS? Here's how I look at it: The only QB in America I thought I'd take over Ohio State's three-headed hydra, Marcus Mariota, got out-dueled about a week ago by the Iron King. (Thank you to Kyle Jones for proving what I already knew to be true: Cardale Jones won the game with two throws.)
Andy Staples of SI.com looked at it from a different scope:
From @wenbickert: With benefit of hindsight, how many FBS schools would any of the three Ohio State quarterbacks not have started at in 2014? A maximum of 10?
I’m not even sure it's 10. Let’s go back to the start of the 2014 season with the knowledge of how well J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones would fill in for Miller and count the schools that wouldn’t have at least considered a healthy version of any of those three as the starter.
Oregon (Mariota) and Florida State (Winston) would certainly be happy with their starters. Michigan State(Connor Cook) and Baylor (Bryce Petty) probably would, too. That’s four. Sean Mannion was a fourth-year starter at Oregon State, so it’s unlikely Mike Riley would have wanted to switch. UCLA would have been reluctant to transition from Brett Hundley. Christian Hackenberg likely doesn’t lose his job at Penn State. I might add Justin Thomas of Georgia Tech to that list because the offense is so specialized, but just imagine a healthy Miller or Barrett running the option. It would be devastating. In the SEC, only Auburn (Nick Marshall) and Mississippi State (Dak Prescott) might have considered keeping their starters because of their proven propensity for running those programs’ offenses, but one or more of the Ohio State trio could've been an upgrade at those schools as well. If we could have also used our magic hindsight to know how Trevone Boykin would blossom in his first year in TCU’s new offense, then he probably stays, too.
That’s about the only way I can get to 10, and I’m stretching a bit on a few of those. That’s how embarrassing the embarrassment of riches at quarterback in Columbus truly is.
Trevone Boykin, Marcus Mariota, and on-the-field Jameis Winston are the only three on that list that wouldn't be an automatic No. 4 on Ohio State's depth chart. That's kind of stupefying considering how many D1 quarterbacks there were in 2014.
I suppose, however, the most stupefying thing is all three of Ohio State's starting quarterbacks will be back in Columbus next year.
Here are the latest odds on #QBgeddon, by the way:
Odds from @SBRreview on who starts for Ohio State at QB in 2015 opener: Cardale Jones even money; J.T. Barrett +200; Braxton Miller +250.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 21, 2015
If Cardale Jones indeed holds onto his job, I may have to quit writing and follow next year's team like a burned-out Phish apostle. (Who wouldn't want to watch a documentary about me living out of a 1987 cargovan with my three cats while traveling around America following the Buckeyes' 2015 campaign? Anyone? Hello?)
GRANTS, SMITH GOING BOWLING. Devin Smith, take a bow, son:
Ohio State's greatest statistical deep threat belongs to the ages, but he's currently down in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl.
Todd Porter of CantonRep.com wrote a solid article focusing at the friendship of Devin Smith and Doran Grant (fellow Senior Bowler, whom I did not know are cousins):
What is really interesting is Smith and Grant are cousins, Smith said leading up to OSU’s national championship game against Oregon. Both played growing up in Summit County. Smith, whose father is from Massillon, transferred to play for his father’s alma mater to help the family look after Smith’s paternal grandmother.
Grant and Smith helped each other through the tough times at Ohio State and are enjoying the rewards now.
“We go way back like four flat on a Cadillac,” Smith said. “We ran summer track together. That was in the sixth grade. Ever since then, we’ve been tight. He’s my best friend.”
The Buckeye contingent also picked up some reinforcements last night:
Curtis Grant caught a lot of flak over the years from some Ohio State fans, but I thought he rewarded the coaching staff's loyalty in his last three games. Not that he needed it, but he earned my respect with how he carried himself this season.
I think Grant could be a solid pro if he finds the right landing spot.
By the way, the Senior Bowl is on the rise:
Talked w/ NFL Scout just now who says he prefers SR Bowl 10x more than Combine for evals. "Helmet/pads vs shorts? Hm let me think" (I agree)— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 21, 2015
Porter noted in his article, every player that participated in the 2014 Senior Bowl was drafted.
LARRY JOHNSON: STILL BALLIN'. Larry Johnson was on the east coast recently, and he picked up some love from Maryland, a state where he won three high school state championships.
From AJ Mason of SoMDNews.com:
“We knew coming in what impact Marcus could have and he is a great quarterback,” said Johnson, referring to Mariota, who passed for 333 yards and two touchdowns in the game. The Buckeyes defense held the Oregon offense to a season-low 20 points. “The key was to force them into a lot of third downs and we were able to do that by getting good penetration.”
In 2014, the mindset for Johnson and his defense was being like a “silver bullet.”
“Great defense … I think that’s what we all felt like we got back to this season,” Johnson said, referring to a Buckeyes defense that yielded just 22 points per contest. “So it’s one focus, one fight, one team and just one idea about being the best defense in the country.”
Well, I think it's safe to say that mission was accomplished.
JOEY BOSA WILLING TO KILL TO GET WHAT HE WANTS. Honestly, I might murder a man to keep DeadMau5's music out of my earlobes.
Joey Bosa is the best pic.twitter.com/3F9Tjh56bV— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) January 21, 2015
(There's a decent chance a grow man's night was ruined when he found out Joey Bosa was tweeting instead of lifting weights or watching film.)
DUBLIN GETS A MAKEOVER. I don't hold an abundance of love in my heart for Dublin, but I thought this was a cool gesture:
Marion needs to get cracking on a similar honor for former Marion Harding strongman, Tim Hinton.
SIR, THAT'S THE WRONG #TEEN RECRUIT. I think if this happened to me I'd throw my phone into the nearest dumpster and just never log into the internet again.
A Deadspin commenter sleuthed the video, and let's just say Hamilton's genre of choice won't be shattering any irony meters.
THOSE WMDs. New Revelations Deepen Mystery Over Prominent Argentinian Prosecutor’s Death... Someone's Been Using My Facebook Photos to 'Catfish' People for Nearly a Decade... TIL: Oregon was founded as a racist utopia... Just a few of the Google searches that led people to @mental_floss this week.... That time George R.R. Martin snuck a bunch of Muppets into Game of Thrones... Cats are the best... I want to party with this man.