Welcome to the Irish holiday coopted by Americans in need of an excuse to drink alcohol during the day. As an American of venerable Irish stock, this is Christmas.
- Though reigning champ Myles Martin suffered an upset, five WrestleBucks advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. Session III starts at 11 a.m. on ESPNU. Semifinals begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
- The Ohio State women's basketball begins its quest for the 2017 national championship at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 against Western Kentucky in Lexington.
- Men's hockey beat Michigan State, 6-3, and faces Wisconsin in the Big Ten semifinals in Detroit at 4:30 p.m. ET on BTN.
- Help put a statue of Woody Hayes in his hometown of Newcomerstown, Ohio.
- Ohio State didn't lose anyone from its 2016 defensive line. Could its rotation go deeper this year?
- Hoops Mailbag: What went right (little) and what went wrong (a lot).
- Indiana fired head basketball coach Tom Crean minutes after March Madness tipped off.
- Chris Spielman told Ezekiel Elliott to grow up, and it devolved into 105.7 The Zone accusing Elliott (without any proof) of snubbing photo requests from survivors on the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer.
- These wise words from Joshua Perry:
Words of wisdom- you never get in trouble when you're doing the right thing— Joshua Perry (JEP53) (@RIP_JEP) March 16, 2017
Word of the Day: Buffalo.
CAPTAIN DEFENDS SHIPHAND. This time last year Ohio State fans considered J.T. Barrett "The Man," while Kevin Wilson struck fear into their hearts.
A lot can change in 365 days.
Indiana jettisoned Wilson and Barrett's talent is now one of the most divisive topics of the offseason. Wilson praised Barrett as "one of the best quarterbacks in college football" last season, and his praise has grown more effusive since taking over the reins of Ohio State's offense.
"I've always loved his command presence," Wilson said. "Now that I'm here, I can see more about him. What he does is affect the position. He has a strong effect on Joe, a strong effect on Dwayne and Tate, and a strong effect on me. He has great leadership skills."
Barrett and Wilson can rehabilitate their images, perceived or otherwise, together. Wilson was let go at Indiana because of alleged insensitivity toward injured players and was accused of intimidating athletic trainers to get injured players back on the field.
"We wouldn't be here doing this job if those things were true," Wilson said. "Anyone can have an opinion. I know the department over there looked into everything. I know this school's looked into everything. I know we're very, very comfortable with what we're doing, where we're at, and we're excited to move forward."
What I'm most excited about is Wilson restoring tempo to the offense. I still need Urban Meyer to explain why the local team got away from it. There aren't many teams that can go toe-to-toe with OSU's horses at break-neck pace during a game.
As for Barrett, I'll be shocked if the offense looks as meandering as it did last year. Though if it does, I'm sure we'll be able to hear Tim Beck and Ed Warinner cackling and breaking open White Owl cigarillos all the way from Austin and Minneapolis.
ALEX BOONE GIVES ADVICE. Dads are hilarious because they'll defend sons through whatever and from whomever. (Some commenters here are blissfully unaware how close they came to death by disagreeing with my #takes.)
NFL running back Adrian Peterson did that thing running backs have been known to do where they age a decade in two seasons. Once an undisputed No. 1 computer football selection, the former Vikings star is still a free agent.
Peterson's dad, Nelson, had this to say recently about his son's visit with the Oakland Raiders.
“What we personally like is (the Raiders’) offensive line,” said Nelson Peterson. “The offensive line, they haven’t been playing around. They haven’t been trying to get offensive linemen from the bottom of the barrel and trying to make them into something.”
This did not sit well with current Vikings. Former Ohio State offensive lineman Alex Boone decided to defend his teammates and caution Mr. Peterson on Thursday.
“Some of the comments that were made about the offensive lines elsewhere and about our offensive line — and once again we’re throwing low blows again and I’m not sure everybody understands the situation and really wants to go that route,” Boone said in an interview with PFT Live that will be broadcast on Thursday. “You know what I’m saying? I mean sometimes we get it guys, everybody’s pissed off, let it go, OK?
"Everybody’s in the same boat; we’re all pissed. Nobody made it to the playoffs on our team, everybody’s upset about that. So can Adrian help us? Absolutely. He can help any team and he’s a great running back one of the greatest but sometimes I wish guys would just think more before they say things because sometimes you regret the things you say and there’s two things you can’t take back, Florio: Bullets out of a gun and words out of your mouth.”
So if Adrian returns to the Vikings, will he need to smooth things over with his teammates?
“Maybe,” Boone said. “Maybe guys are just upset about it. I think, my perspective, I’d like some clarification on that. If you’re a leader then, you know, you say it don’t let other people say it. . . . If you got something to say, you say it. Be a man about it.”
We now live in a world where Boone is cautioning folks to think before popping off at the mouth.
Yet I agree with Boone's overall point. Say what you want about him, Boone at least puts his own name to his opinions and doesn't let his dad throw old teammates under the bus.
TIME TO DIE, CLEMSON. Clemson has a creepy tradition where it puts tombstones of teams it beat in big games outside its football building. It tombstoned Ohio State after the 2014 Orange Bowl.
Clemson did it again this week.
This is why Clemson will lead my out-of-conference Dumpability Index until Ohio State knocks the Tigers off their high horse. The three voicemails Savage Tiger left me after the Fiesta fiasco will either cause me to wreck my car or increase my bench press by 300 pounds before 2017's kickoff.
Also, I remain resolute in my demand Gene Smith sign a home-and-home with dastardly Clemson.
WARREN G. HARDING BLESS BRADY HOKE. Mike Weber originally committed to Michigan. Thanks to Brady Hoke's incompetence, Weber switched sides. Despite Jim Harbaugh's best efforts to flip him a final time, Weber ended up in Columbus.
It's been a long road for the Detroit product.
From Mike Weber's Instagram:
And yes, "dpeoplesjones" in the comments is Michigan five-star freshman receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, also a Cass Tech product.
"No more of that," eh? He should research past trash talk of Blue freshmen who hadn't even played in The Game. (Spoiler: None of them won one.)
GUAPO GOES BEAST MODE. Why the Carlos Hyde header today? Because I fell into an Ohio State football Youtube wormhole (don't ask) and I fell upon my favorite highlight of his Buckeye career.
To me, this will always symbolize the cliff between the Iowa and Ohio State programs:
Happy drinking, y'all. Just try not to end up in prison.
THOSE WMDs. Oxford comma decides court case in Maine labor dispute... Hundreds of felines haunt the ruins where Julius Caesar was assassinated... Drink of the week: Sidewalk Slammer... In 1985, a gruesome double murder rocked Virginia. Was the wrong man convicted?