Prayers up for anyone affected by last night's tornados, particularly in the Dayton area. The pictures coming out make it look like an absolute war zone, but here's hoping the devastation is only limited to property.
- State of the Position: Offensive Line.
- Six Buckeye teams won Big Ten championships.
- Who's gonna win the Big Ten West?
- The BaseBucks are heading to the Nashville Regional.
Word of the Day: Moribund.
SO CLOSE! As long as I've been breathing, Michigan's been chasing greatness about as effectively as Wile E. Coyote chasing Road Runner. Every damn year is the year, only to have it crash and burn a few months later.
Folks, I'm happy to report that they're on their bullshit again.
From Austin Fox of TheWolverine.com:
“I expect them to win it all,” (Jourdan Lewis) insisted. “They’re up there once again and have all the tools they need, and the guys have been through it all. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh has everything in place again — a great offense, an outstanding defense and a good quarterback [in senior Shea Patterson] who understands how to win games.
“We came so close last year but just need to clean a few things up.”
Ohio State was the only obstacle standing between Michigan and a berth in the Big Ten championship game in 2018, but the Wolverines failed their biggest hurdle of the season when they fell, 62-39, in Columbus.
The tide of the Michigan State rivalry, meanwhile, has seemingly began to swing back in U-M’s favor (the Maize and Blue have won two of the last three), and Lewis had a message for both opposing fan bases this afternoon.
“We’re definitely going to take down Ohio State,” he confirmed. “It’s that or bust. Little Brother can speak all they want — we’ll get the job done no matter what.”
“We came so close last year but just need to clean a few things up.”
Okay, yeah. Sure.
It's worth noting that Jourdan Lewis has proven spectacularly terrible at predictions.
SO YOU'RE SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE? The BaseBucks drew No. 2 overall seed Vanderbilt for their NCAA Tournament regional, which seemed like just a poor stroke of luck. But what if it's the Commodores who got the bad draw with Ohio State?
The Buckeyes are one of Baseball America's two most-dangerous No. 4 seeds in the entire NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State — The Buckeyes will head to Nashville as one of the most battled-tested and hottest No. 4 seeds in the field. OSU had to sweep a series at Purdue on the last weekend of the regular season just to get into the Big Ten Tournament, and once in Omaha, it had to play five games, including two on Sunday, to clinch the automatic bid. Outfielder Dominic Canzone (.351/.448/.628) had a real claim to the Big Ten player of the year award, and workhorse lefty reliever Andrew Magno (2.33, 13 SV) was named Big Ten Tournament MVP after throwing 9.2 scoreless innings across four appearances last week.
I know Ohio State hasn't looked anything close to an NCAA Tournament team for most of the regular season, but I also know The Bucks Are Hot, and I'd want absolutely no part of them to open my NCAA Tournament if I were Vanderbilt.
I'm not going to guarantee a win or anything, but I can tell you I'll be tuned the hell in on Friday evening.
TWO-SPORT STAR. Ohio State safety signee Bryson Shaw has the rare opportunity to win a national championship before even coming to Columbus – just in a different sport.
Shaw plays lacrosse for The Bullis School in Maryland – against the wishes of some friends and family members – and he's damn good, helping lead his team to the finals of the Geico Nationals.
From David J. Kim of the Washington Post:
Shaw also assisted on a transition play in the first quarter after running more than three quarters of the field, an aspect of his game that many opposing coaches said is nearly unstoppable.
Though the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Shaw was named an Under Armour all-American, he will not play lacrosse in college. The three-star football recruit committed to play that sport at Ohio State. The stage doesn’t get much bigger in college sports.
Family members and friends warned him of the injury risk of playing his senior season of lacrosse and potentially damaging his college football career. But the thought of solely focusing on football wasn’t a consideration for Shaw.
“That’s just not who I am,” he said. “I’ve been part of this Bullis lacrosse team the past three years. I want to give them everything I had.”
I know one other elite high school lacrosse player who also played safety in high school and decided to play football at Ohio State. I wonder if Shaw is any good at dodgeball?
WAITING TO GET PAID. Michael Thomas plays like a top-five receiver, but is currently getting paid about 13x less than a top-five receiver.
In a lot of cases, that would lead to some sort of contractural dispute or holdout situation, but Thomas ain't stressing about the money yet.
Mike Triplett of ESPN:
The New Orleans Saints should be grateful that wide receiver Michael Thomas and defensive end Cameron Jordan aren't forcing any contract standoffs just yet. Both of the All-Pro stars were back on the practice field this week as the Saints began OTAs.
"I'm a football player first -- I like being at work. So it wasn't really hard to make a decision [to attend OTAs]," Thomas told ESPN -- a similar sentiment that Jordan shared earlier this offseason.
It's not out of the question that Thomas could become the NFL's first receiver to average $20 million per year (unless Julio Jones gets there first).
You know, your standard 1,642 percent pay raise.
Thomas could have made things very awkward this summer for the Saints, who have only $7.5 million in salary-cap space. He has every right to demand a new deal and threaten to hold out of minicamp and training camp, considering the Saints could also get a bargain next year if they slap the franchise tag on him.
But so far, Thomas is still showing up at the office.
"I feel pretty certain that everything will get taken care of and handled professionally," Thomas said. "This is how I approach the game and how I show up to work the same way, and everything else will take care of itself."
For context, Mike Evans is set to make $20 million in 2019, Odell Beckham Jr. is set to make $16,750,000, Antonio Brown will make $14,625,000, Amari Cooper will take in $13,924,000, and T.Y. Hilton is set to make $13,000,000.
Thomas' 2019 salary, as it stands, is $1,148,043. It's tough to complain about a seven-figure salary, but Thomas is a better man than me for seeming completely unconcerned that he's making about $15 million less than he should to play a contact sport that could his career tomorrow.
13th PLACE FINISH. Ohio State wasn't even supposed to make it to the NCAA Championships, but the Bucks made it to the final day of match play and ultimately finished at No. 13 in the country, which ain't too bad for a team that was a No. 8 seed not even expected to make it out of the regional.
Here's your final scoreboard:
|Place||Player||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Final|
|13||TEAM||297 (+9)||296 (+8)||302 (+14)||306 (+18)||1,201 (+49)|
|T53||Will Grimmer (1)||72 (E)||78 (+6)||72 (E)||81 (+9)||303 (+15)|
|T19||Daniel Wetterich (2)||71 (-1)||74 (+2)||74 (+2)||74 (+2)||293 (+5)|
|T68||Caleb Ramirez (3)||77 (+5)||73 (+1)||81 (+9)||77 (+5)||308 (+20)|
|T79||Will Voetsch (4)||77 (+5)||81 (+9)||78 (+6)||80 (+8)||316 (+28)|
|T43||Laken Hinton (5)||77 (+5)||71 (-1)||78 (+6)||75 (+3)||301 (+13)|
It was a valiant effort, and a hell of a lot better than anyone expected them to do, but nobody was touching Oklahoma State, anyway.
The Cowboys finished with a 31-stroke lead over the second-place team. For perspective, the gap between their score and second place was bigger than the gap from second place to 10th place.
That's basically what it would look like if you let Ted Ginn Jr. race in a middle school track meet – everyone else is just battling for second.
EAT AT ARBY'S. People leave nearly $1 million in loose change in TSA bins every year... Mysterious "blades" spotted near Jupiter's shrinking Great Red Spot... Death on an unruly, overcrowded Mt. Everest... Anaconda gives birth without any male snakes involved... Navy pilots report unidentified flying objects...