Hello, gentle laborer, and welcome to another Saturday devoid of Buckeye football. However, it's not devoid of Buckeye athletics:
- (17-13) Ohio State men's basketball team hosts (16-14) Indiana in the Buckeyes' 2017 regular season finale at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN.
- The women's team cremated Northwestern in the B1G tournament in Indianapolis, 99-68. They play Purdue at 4 p.m. ET on BTN.
- Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown perform at the combine. The party starts at 9 a.m. ET on NFL Network.
Word of the Day: Encomium.
IS THAT DIXON'S MUSIC? Urban Meyer and Zach Smith chiseled Johnnie Dixon out of South Florida in 2014. Any time a blue-chip can be convinced to leave South Florida is a good day.
Unfortunately, arthritis and tendonitis in his knees robbed him of his freshman season. In 2015 and 16, he amassed 7 receptions for 55 yards and no touchdowns.
Dixon told cleveland.com in January he would "definitely" be playing football next year "somewhere." That seemed ominous—especially considering Ohio State now over the 85 scholarship-limit and will have to whittle four souls off its roster by Aug. 31 when it kicks off against Indiana in Bloomington.
One source, however, thinks Dixon is in for a comeback season.
“This is the best he’s felt physically since he’s been here,” a source said. “No issues with the knees throughout winter conditioning and that’s the first time he’s been able to do that. Everyone outside the program probably wrote him off, but I think he’s going to be able to help us. Hopefully help us a lot.”
Just let the record show: I'm all for Dixon bucking the trend and proving us wrong. In fact, if he goes for 100 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan, I will personally write an apology letter to him.
SLOB IS AS SLOB DOES. Looks like working with Charles Bentley paid off for Pat Elflein much like it did for Taylor Decker. Elflein earned himself some money on Friday:
NFL Network's Charles Davis just gave Ohio State's Pat Elflein a shout-out for a strong on-field workout at combine this morning. FWIW.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) March 3, 2017
Draft analyst Mike Mayock is really high on Pat Elflein. Says he is a plug-in player on Day 1, likely second round pick.— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) March 3, 2017
I'd take Pat Elflein in second round and have a very nice player for 10 years.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 3, 2017
Mike Mayock on Pat Elflein, speaking about his baptism by fire in the 2013 Michigan game: It seems like nothing bothers that kid."— Eric Seger (@EricSeger33) March 3, 2017
This is a sensible pick for the Browns at the top of Round 2. Let's see if they're smart enough to do it.
WHAT'S THAT MARVIN? Marvin Lewis, who is miraculously still coaching the Cincinnati Bengals, had some words of praise yesterday at the combine for Meyer and OSU.
Normally I'd excuse this as boilerplate. But if Lewis has all this admiration for Ohio State, why aren't the Bengals drafting Buckeyes? (The answer, as with any other problem with the Bengals, probably starts with the incompetent Mike Brown.)
WHAT WE ALL GUESSED ALREADY. Arkansas police pinched Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield for disorderly conduct, public intoxication, fleeing, and resisting arrest last week. What went uncharged was going to Arkansas in the first place.
We all know how this ends. Baker's fancy lawyer gets this all pled down to a slap on the wrist. Don't expect him to miss that Week 2 banger in Columbus, either.
From Chuck Carlton, Big 12 beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com:
Carlton: At most, probably a half or (maybe) a full game suspension for the opener with UTEP. But Bob Stoops' hasn't exactly been a hanging judge when it comes to discipline. And much of Oklahoma's hopes for the College Football Playoff ride on Mayfield. So factor into it some talk of internal discipline or maybe the loss of his captaincy. But whatever happens, expect to see Mayfield back for the second game in Columbus against Ohio State.
Still, there's a reason Oklahoma and Ohio State put this in Week 2 and not Week 1. UTEP and Indiana make for good sparring partners before the title fight. Mayfield is an experienced guy. Starting your first game of the season against Greg Schiano and the Silver Bullets is a tall drink of water, though.
SAY IT AIN'T SO, MARC. Well, folks, the rumors are true: This could be Marc Loving's last game in the Scarlet and Gray. (I'm a Lovingtologist, not a bracketologist. Please don't ask for NIT/CBI prognostication.)
If it is the end, at least we can all rush to buy these Loving shirts when he turns pro:
Find yourself someone who loves you as much as Marc Loving loves Marc Loving pic.twitter.com/Or5Ig8jnue— Nick Heydinger (@NickHeydinger) February 14, 2017
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