I greet you this fine morning with splendid news: The acquisition of Ohio State's quarterback of the current has no impact on the acquisition of Ohio State's quarterback of the future.
Nothing happens https://t.co/n8FcQtuULD— Jack Miller (@jackjamesmiller) January 17, 2019
- Folks, the Justin Fields era is upon us.
- With Tate gone, Matthew Baldwin's development is critical.
- Ramzy on how John Cooper made winning big games cool again.
- Ryan Shazier is still eyeing a return to football.
Word of the Day: Execrable.
PLAYOFF FATE. What if I told you that Ohio State's playoff hopes ran through Lincoln, Nebraska? Wayne Staats of NCAA.com put together a list of 15 games that could decide the College Football Playoff contenders, and that's what we're looking at.
Ohio State at Nebraska, Sept. 28
In each of the last two seasons, blowout Big Ten losses on the road left Ohio State on the outside of the College Football Playoff (55-24 at Iowa in 2017, 49-20 at Purdue in 2018). This game might fit that pattern, if it's to continue. The Huskers were only 4-8 last year, but don't be surprised if coach Scott Frost starts turning things around and brings Nebraska into Big Ten West contention.
Ohio State at Michigan, Nov. 30
It's got to happen for coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines eventually, right? Michigan has struggled against top rivals Ohio State and Michigan State, but 2019 could be different. Michigan brings back QB Shea Patterson, and though a ton of defensive talent will be gone, DC Don Brown always seems to put it together. This one is also in Ann Arbor. Now is the time.
I want to poke fun at how hilarious it is that a September game against Nebraska makes this list when Ohio State has Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Michigan State and a late November matchup with Penn State on the docket, but if I'm honest the corn people do have me a bit rattled.
I've watched my team get ground up and splatter painted on the field
And I know why it made the list, but I'm more concerned about everyone else I listed than I am Michigan, because if my life has taught me anything it's that the Wolverines will absolutely self destruct come late November.
There's no other team in the Big Ten that looks like it's actively trying to lose to Ohio State every year quite like Michigan. Except maybe Rutgers.
WORST FAN OF THE YEAR. There are embarrassing parts of any fanbase, but congratulations Buckeye Nation, we officially have the worst one.
The 2018-19 Harvey Updyke Award for malicious or embarrassing fan behavior, with 38.1% of the vote, is Buck-I-Guy for showing up in full regalia at Earle Bruce memorial service and signing a remembrance intended only for former players: https://t.co/8kRHheNfkD— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) January 16, 2019
I'd managed to tuck the memory of this event deep in the folds of my brain, but here we are digging it right back out. But I guess to be fair, if this award exists, without even reading the other nominees, it absolutely has to go to Buck-I-Guy.
Though it looks like he had some much stiffer competition than I even expected.
In third place, with 11.9% of the vote: Clemson fans take free tickets to South Carolina game intended for charity and military, brag about it
In second place, with 22.6% of the vote: Florida State fan photoshops Coach Willie Taggart into a picture of a lynching, gets fired from his job
And in first place, with a whopping 38.1% of the vote, the winner of the 2018/19 Harvey Updyke Award: Ohio State superfan Buck-I-Guy shows up in full regalia at Earle Bruce memorial service, signs remembrance intended only for former players
Imagine being so universally loathed that a strong majority of voters consider you more malicious and embarrassing than a dude who photoshopped a head coach into a picture of a lynching.
Remember when ESPN inducted him into their Fan Hall of Fame?
PLAYOFF GENERAL. So the newest College Football Playoff Committee member has quite the full resume.
From a College Football Playoff press release:
General Ray Odierno culminated his nearly 40-year military career as the 38th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2011-15. He earned a bachelor's degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1976 where he played football in 1972-73. He later received a master's degree from North Carolina State University. He is also a graduate of the Army and Navy War Colleges and holds a master's degree from the Naval War College. General Odierno served in Europe as a battalion executive officer and division artillery executive office, including deployment for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He later commanded 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, 7th Infantry Division and the Division Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division.
During the War in Kosovo in 1998, Odierno was the Deputy Commanding General for Task Force Hawk in Albania. He went from there in 2003-04 to command the 4th Infantry Division, which was responsible for the capture of Iraq's deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. From 2006-08, he served as the Commanding General, Multi-National Corps – Iraq (III Corps), the operational commander of the surge forces, before his time as the Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq, and, subsequently, United States Forces – Iraq, from 2008-10.
Following the successful transition of command in Iraq from 2010-11, General Odierno was the Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command. Other significant assignments include Arms Control Officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was the primary military advisories to former U.S. Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice (a former CFP selection committee member).
Gen. Odierno is chairman of USA Football and was named the National Football Foundation's "Distinguished American" award recipient in 2013, joining the likes of past winners such as Vince Lombardi, Bob Hope, and Alan Page.
To be clear, this fellow has accomplished approximately 46 times more than me and whatever offspring I may curse this world with combined, but aside from a two-year stint at Army, it has next to nothing to do with college football.
I'm not trying to sound grumpy or blast a guy who might be one of the most impressive human beings I've ever read about, it just feel like we keep getting further and further from football knowers deciding the best football teams in the country.
Counterpoint: I would probably place my life in this man's hands if given the chance, so I should probably be fine giving him my playoff.
SABAN AIN'T SO. It seems Nick Saban wasn't too stoked to lose Josh Gattis.
Gattis recalled his meeting with The Emperor on an episode of Harbaugh's podcast Attack Each Day:
“When coach Harbaugh called, it kind of caught me off-guard. I had just left a meeting with Nick Saban getting my butt chewed out for about 20 minutes telling him I was leaving and he was trying to get me to stay. It didn’t go over well. So if there was any Band-Aid to the bruise it was that [Harbaugh] phone call,” Gattis said during a conversation with Harbaugh on Harbaugh’s podcast this week. “It was exciting to hear his voice and get a chance to talk to him personally.”
And that was when he thought he was going to Maryland. Imagine Saban's reaction when he told him he was actually planning to light his coaching career on fire by going to Michigan.
I understand the allure for a young offensive mind going to Michigan. I talked about it all season: there's no reason for Michigan should have been so offensively inept with the skill players it has at quarterback and receiver. The problem was they voluntarily ran an offense from 2004 centered around an average-at-best running back.
And that's the problem: Ann Arbor is where creative offensive football goes to die.
I'm positive Gattis is a bright guy, I just don't see him meshing well with our khaki'd friend. I think he'll realize he's made a terrible mistake the first time he tries to install a cool, modern concept and Jim says "Great! Where's the fullback?"
And it's not like things went swell for the last guy to leave Bama to become Michigan's offensive coordinator. Under Doug Nussmeier, Michigan ranked 115th out of 128 in total offense.
I guess it couldn't really go worse!
CHANGE OF PLANS! Sometimes, football coaches say things that turn out to be untrue. Example:
Dec. 31: Five-star Oklahoma QB signee Spencer Rattler: "Coach Riley told me he's not taking a transfer quarterback anytime soon," per @SWiltfong247— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) January 16, 2019
Jan. 16: Jalen Hurts announces transfer to Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/LeC38IcVBx
I love Riley acting like it was his own noble choice not to sign one of the most coveted transfer quarterbacks in recent memory, as if he wouldn't do it in a heartbeat if he kid wanted to come to Norman.
The evidence, of course, is a less talented quarterback deciding he wanted to come to Norman, and Riley opening his arms.
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