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Chicago Connection

MEMBER SINCE   June 10, 2016

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Comment 5 hours ago

The good news when you play your worst game of the year against the weakest team on your schedule,. In this case, the amount of the blowout won't factor into anything gong forward.

Normally, I'd be worried about developing bad habits, but that's not likely to happen as the outcome of a single game.

Sure, they looked kinda uninspired at times, but it was an uninspiring matchup, and they've set the bar pretty high for themselves, as well as for everyone's eyes--not to mention bettors in Vegas. Still, the starters looked sharp overall--it's mostly the backups that were careless and sloppy a bit too often, and hopefully they'll learn from it. 

In a way, the sloppiness is a benefit, because it's a reminder of the need to execute and never lose focus, and I'm pretty darned sure their upcoming opponent has their attention. In fact, I'm guessing they had their attention  before today's kickoff.

Comment 12 Nov 2019

Ala over Ga will show the Committee values "quality" losses, even at home (that is, if there should be such a thing as a "quality" loss) over quality wins. Or maybe it just shows a built-in obligation to genuflect at the altar of Alabama no matter what happens on the field.  

But then, ya' know, there are all of those famous old adages in Alabama that you've "gotta lose your way into the playoffs," or that "the best teams know how to lose in crunch time."

The irony is that while the Tide might have a 'narrow" path to the playoffs, they actually have the easiest path this side of Clemson, because all they have to do is sit back and watch other top teams eliminating each vs. tough schedules and championship games while they stay at home, relax and rest up, and watch film of their playoff opponents. 

Nice deal for them. 

Comment 08 Nov 2019

No assumptions, Bucks19--just perceptions. Subjective observations.

For all I know, Ryan Day goes home every night to boil and eat a dozen babies just for kicks. Who know? I have no proof one way or another, and for what it's worth, my strong suspicion is that he's an imperfect human as opposed to being a demigod simply because he's an effective coach.

Still, I stand by how I think he comes off in public, but as with any public figure, opinions will vary, and perceptions certainly matter to perceivers.

Comment 01 Nov 2019

IMHO, keeping the recruiting train that Urban built rolling will be the #1 key to Day's long-term success, and so far, it appears he fully understands that.  Fortunately...

When it comes to recruiting, one of the simplest competitive advantages that Day has vs. other programs how he compares to other coaches in terms of his personality--not just his currently unblemished record. That is, as you look around, almost all of the coaches pitching to kids are to some extent either phony, goofy, greasy or quirky, or maybe they're dumbo jocks that are either too rah-rah or too bland or too... whatever. Whereas.... 

Day comes off as a regular guy in a trustworthy way--professional, competent, clear, honest, grounded, straightforward, respectful, confident yet humble, real and relaxed, and, oh, yeah--pretty darn smart. It's not easy to bad mouth a guy like that without coming off as foolish or petty yourself, which doesn't hurt on the recruiting trail where reputations matter and players talk among themselves.

Most importantly, when an 18 year-old kid and his parents are thinking about where to spend the next four years (and beyond), and the alternative caretakers are a bunch of self-promoting hypsters, egomaniacal hucksters and other forms of greedy, creepy, low-life reptiles, Day's gotta look pretty good.

Add in Ohio State's national brand and TV footprint to that equation, along with its history, inherent institutional advantages and unprecedented success, and it's a pretty tough combination to beat. 

Comment 31 Oct 2019

In the offseason, I thought 2021 would become Ohio State's first #1 class overall as long as the Buckeyes had a great year, and... yeah, I'd say the year has kinda gone pretty well, and the recruiting seems to be following suit. 

Comment 15 Oct 2019

When it comes to figuring out Fox's rationale for an early start to the Badger-Buckeye game, I'm guessing it's mostly about trying to get more people to tune into their pregame show to pull viewers away from ESPN's Game Day, as well as to act as an entre for the rest of their slate.

Thing is, ESPN obviously doesn't do Game Day for nothing. Not only does it draw ratings in its own right, it's an invaluable opportunity to sell their product, i.e., the games themselves (not to mention the announcers), and most especially their marquee brand, i.e., the SEC.

Sure, fans have these things called 'remote controls' to switch channels whenever and wherever they like, but just the same, ESPN knows that building a brand is all about hyping your product week after week after week, which has a cumulative effect of attracting more eyeballs over time.

I'm not saying it's an ideal strategy for Buckeye fans, but I'm guessing (though it's just a guess) that they're willing sacrifice a bit of whatever (possibly) higher ratings they might have generated later in the day in exchange for the payoff earlier in the day, as well as an overarching impact.

In any case, heck--there's gotta be a good reason for it, right?

I mean, Fox is paying the Big Ten huge dollars to carry their games, and it's hard to imagine their advertising, marketing and programming execs don't realize that this game promises to be THE match-up of the year in the conference, and maybe in the whole nation... or even for all of 2019 (that is, until these two teams probably meet again for a rematch in the Big Ten Championship).

Why, if this game were played in the SEC, they'd already be touting it as yet another "Game of the Century."

Again, given that this fact can't be lost on Fox, then I think this move is all about trying to build a bigger audience for the pregame program while building their overall brand (and related TV personalities. i.e., analysts, broadcasters, etc.). But...

It still would've nice to watch this game played under the lights.

Comment 15 Oct 2019

In light of Tunmise's comments, I wonder if 247's crystal ball for him will soon change to include Ohio State?

Their current forecast doesn't even mention the Buckeyes, but unless the kid has a habit of heaping insincere praise on every team he talks to and/or he tends to pretend that every program checks off all of his boxes, well, I'm thinkin' OSU must have at least a 20% shot of signing him (although, sure, a lot can change between now and signing day).

Comment 02 Oct 2019

Thanks, Random. I'm thinking fans would buy in if they announced it on the Jumbotron, maybe with a simple video. 

Comment 02 Oct 2019

Good idea. For that matter, a smart business in town could advertise itself sponsor the team passing out silver bullet football-shaped flyers that people could wave around and have as a keepsake. 

Comment 02 Oct 2019

Good question. I'd like to think the wifi could handle it, since they presumably have the capacity to handle as many cell phones as are brought into the stadium, which has gotta be 90%. I'm not sure about 11W's server handling traffic, although the page should download fast as a simple graphic.

As a backup plan, maybe people could download it as a screen saver or pic they save in their photo file, i.e., so it's saved ahead of time vs. everybody downloading all at once. 


Comment 29 Sep 2019

No wringing hands here, NoMad--personally, I'm just curious, mostly about a possible injury, since he was listed as a likely starter with Bowen out. Beyond that, I trust that everything's fine and it's not as if I fear that he'll enter the transfer portal.

On a related note, I'm also curious about Proctor's injury, since he went out of the game (and we don't have as much depth in that area now). But in both cases, there's no special need to wring any hands--the team looks as great as I thought it would, and at least IMHO, about the only thing that could stop them would be an injury bug.

Comment 29 Sep 2019

Yep, Silver Sniper, the disrespect will show up in one form or another, but I have to say, as much as I believed the Buckeyes were taken for granted in the preseason (despite being ranked high in the polls) so that nobody saw them as a serious contender for winning a championship, I'm surprised how quickly that narrative is changing.

Then again, they should change based on actual results.

No doubt, the idiots and doubters will carry on. The doubters don't bother me while the former are great for laughs. For example, just for kicks, I just took a look at the playoff projections of ESPN's staff, and whereas only 5 of their 14 writers originally predicted OSU to even make the playoffs, now 9 out of 14 see them making it.

Guess who left them out?

1) Andrea Addle-Brain, er. Adelson (i.e., a bitter old hack of a reporter and Northwestern flunkie who--when she's not busy polishing Paul Finebaum's bald head--hates Urban Meyer with such a passion that she still sees "me/too" written on every Buckeye jersey); 2) Heather Dimwit, er, Dinich, who ESPN has effectively demoted to covering nothing but the Playoff Committee, whose rules everybody already knows and for whom reporting is meaningless since we know they'll just use their subjective "eye test" to pick teams anyway, anyway; 3) Ryan McGee, who's an official SEC jock sniffer; 4) ditto for Sam Con-Man, er, Sam Khah; and 5) David M. Hale(s)-from-the-South, too.

Given their clear-cut biases (and that's even without referring to their network's business agenda), guess what?

Three of those "expert analysts" (Adelson, Dinich, and Khan) actually predict that THREE SEC TEAMS will be in this year's playoffs ahead of everybody else! The other two dolts merely predict TWO SEC TEAMS will be in the playoffs.

No doubt, the Committee loves the SEC, and I don't begrudge the SEC due respect, but when you seriously predict three SEC teams + Clemson will be in the playoffs and nobody else, well... you're just not serious.

On the other hand, these people are humorous, which takes me back to the main point--the narrative has already changed so that anybody who isn't considering the Buckeyes at this point in the season either hasn't been watching or is willing to make a public confession to football illiteracy.

Sure, all of the current trend lines can change if the results on the field start to change, but ignoring the Buckeyes through 5 games is a litmus test for bias or foolishness, and I suspect the AP and Coaches Polls agree, which is why we'll probably start to see a few more changes in their rankings tomorrow.


Comment 24 Sep 2019

I can't say this news surprised me. In fact, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. 

Unfortunately, It was pretty obvious that last year's staff started Pryor way before he was ready, which can be unfair to any player but especially damaging for a young DB. And while, sure, he often was burned due to his inexperience and current limitations, that wasn't always the caae

It's worth noting that he didn't seem to have the best coach or the benefit of playing within a sound scheme.

But he  still has raw, physical talent, even if-- like it or not--questions will linger about his ability to convert it on the field. I just wish he would've stuck around to prove that last year was an anomaly. I was hoping for a feel-good comeback story, but that's over now.

And given his struggles and the competition he's facing for playing time, a move is probably best for everyone involved. 

Good luck, Mr. Pryor! If nothing else, your experience at OSU should have taught you where your strengths and weakness lie and then maybe what program to choose to make the most of your talent.

As for OSU, the Buckeyes will lack a bit of depth for this year, but it seems unlikely to haunt them. After all, if there was a good chance of Pryor playing much in 2019 (and probably beyond), he probably wouldn't be transferring. 

Beyond that, his departure opens up a spot on the roster for a scholarship, and I trust Day, Hafley, and company will find some top-notch talent to replace him. So.... next man up!

Comment 27 Aug 2019

Yep, Fields--it drives me nuts how the current narrative is that Alabama, Clemson and Georgia are seen as being on one level of talent and performance, and then... there's everyone else. 

The Buckeyes and Sooners sometimes get honorable mentions, even though it's not only the case that the Buckeyes record over the past 5 years is second to none (sans as many Championship trophies), but it currently has a higher ratio of 4- and 5-star players on its roster. True fact. 

Granted, player rankings can be looked at from different angles, but anyway you slice it, the Buckeyes are effectively at talent parity with anybody, and when it comes to performance, only two teams can claim and ever-so-slight edge... something the 2019 Buckeyes will completely erase by January. 

Comment 27 Aug 2019

Mark who? Isn't he that failed TV analyst from Pitt that hates the Buckeyes?

Kidding aside, maybe Schlabach understands tiebreakers (although you can never be sure with the IQ of anything related to an ESPN story), but the best guess is that he's simply hedging his bets.

Thing is, if the Buckeyes beat Penn State and lose only one game or run the table, he can say "I-told-you-so" because, "well, I did say they'd win the Big Ten, so... close enough.... whereas if the Buckeyes were to slip and lose as many as 3 games, he could say "I-told-you-so" yet again, claiming, "Well, I did  say they'd lose 2 games, so I was only off by only one game."

While it's a feeble prediction, it kinda makes sense. Given that OSU is in a transitional year with a new head coach, new QB, a rebuilt O-line with a rebuilt defense, the Buckeyes are vulnerable to having their worst year since Meyer arrived in town. 

At the same time, most of these guys know the OSU roster is talented enough to go to the playoffs, so they usually toss that in, too. How bold, right? I mean, you could make that sorta lame prediction with just about any team. For example, he could just as easily Georgia will lose to Florida and one other team but win the SEC East.

Basically, Schlabach's given himself a pretty wide 3-game berth, which is pretty big in college football.

Anyway, the one thing the Buckeyes aren't given nearly enough credit for is their potential to be National Champions. Apparently, that's reserved for Alabama and Clemson... any maybe Georgia... and it's just impossible that anybody else can join that party. 

That's fine with me. I'm happy for us to go under the radar. 


Comment 23 Aug 2019

All true, Mooblue, and I think these predictions are based on the assumption of the Law of Averages kicking in--the notion that eventually, TTUN has to win one of these games, right?

The trouble is that the prediction falls into the category of the Gambler's fallacy more than the Law of Averages. Thing is, the latter law basically holds that 'all things being equal', eventually, the most likely outcomes will occur, and do so in equal proportion to other equally likely outcomes.

The problem is that all things aren't equal between OSU and TTUN, as we've both pointed out. The talent on the respective rosters still isn't equal; the culture clearly isn't on the same level; and one side has persistently demonstrated  a clear schematic edge on the other.

That's why I think the Gambler's Fallacy is more applicable here. As you might know, said fallacy occurs when a gambler keeps doubling down on a bet despite the fact that the odds haven't improved every time he plays.

For example, if your odds of winning at a roulette wheel in Vegas are 1,000 to one, then just because you lost the last time you played doesn't mean you'll have a better shot next time. The statistical fact is that every single time you or anybody else lays down your bet, the odds remain 1,000 to 1.

Yes, that does mean that eventually, there will be a winner one out of every 1,000 times, however, given the 1,000 to 1 odds, the chances are just as likely that you might not win after 5,000 chances as on your next throw.

In other words, ironically, it's actually the Law of Averages says that--on average--someone will win once every 1,000 tries if those are truly the odds, and it's a matter of random chance as to when the win will occur.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting that TTUN's chances of winning are 1,000 to 1, but what I am saying is that their chances of winning haven't improved whatsoever just because they've lost nearly every game against the Buckeyes this century. In fact, this fact alone is the best possible predictor that TTUN is more likely to lose.

Granted, they have a home game, an new offensive scheme, and a slightly improved talent, however, the off3ensive scheme is unproven and might take time to develop, and their slightly upgraded talent is relatively unproven, and more importantly, it's offset by the fact that they lost a lot of experienced players.

When all factors are considered, their chances of winning might be marginally improved because of playing at home, but this would make them anything but favorites. It's kinda like, gee, maybe the Buckeyes will be favored to win by 7 or 8 points instead of 10.

Comment 23 Aug 2019

I was pleasantly surprised to hear two of the elevenwarriors staff parting ways with their national media counterparts per being as bullish as I am about the Buckeye's National Championship prospects in 2019, which most of the country not only is overlooking, but somehow doesn't even seem to register as an actual possibility.

Kinda like in 2014.

Apparently, only those close to the program know what we've really got on our hands, which is a nice place to be. The groggy Network mouthpieces will get on the ColumBUS soon enough, although it might take them all the way to December to wake up.

I'm just glad to hear some people 'get it'. Meanwhile, outside of Columbus....

The Buckeyes are perceived with some strangely warped lenses.

Thing is, they're not really underrated at all, because most of the college football world sees the Bucks as serious playoff contenders, just as plenty of them equally see the Buckeyes possibly losing two or three games, mainly owing to the question marks surrounding a new coach, as well as a new QB, on top of a rebuilt defense and offensive line, all of which are legit concerns, HOWEVER...

I'm yet to hear a single national expert frame OSU as a serious threat to win it all, which is sorta odd given that most of the blowhards believe that a playoff appearance not only wouldn't be surprising, it's even fairly predictable (that is, for those experts not putting their money on TTUN).

One might ask, why is there such a clear limit on the perception of how far the Buckeyes can go in 2019?

Well, a consensus narrative largely accounts for this--i.e., nobody in college football is on the same talent and/or performance level of Alabama, Clemson or Georgia, even though most onlookers will readily (if vaguely) acknowledge that the Buckeyes enjoy relative talent parity or thereabouts.

That said, while there's a routine tip of the hat to the Buckeye's talent level, nobody notes that this year's squad happens to be THE most talented Buckeye roster on paper since, well, actually, it's the most loaded this century, if not ever, and in fact, the team has the nation's highest ratio of 4 and 5 star recruits.

I'm guessing that most of the experts (who tend to be shockingly ill-informed when it comes to these sorts of details) are entirely unaware of this fact, or, even if they've heard of such things, they dismiss it as irrelevant per their belief that the Buckeye's 'unknowns' surpass its talent, including, most especially, the problem of replacing Fields if he's injured.

Fair enough.

As if replacing an injury to Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailloa, Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts, or Joe Burrow will be a piece of cake for Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma or LSU, right?

As if every college team doesn't need to rebuild itself every year, such is the nature of college football.

Nonetheless, to be sure, the Bucks will need Fields to be healthy (and great) for most of the year; the defensive staff will need to be a major upgrade vs. last year's disaster; the O line recruits will need to live up to the red-carpet reputations that preceded them; and vets like Cooper, Cornell, Borland and others will need to take their games (and leadership) to the next level, or at least 'just enough," but...

IMHO, realizing every one of those goals is far more likely to happen than not.

In short, yes, the Buckeyes are vulnerable to having their worst year since Urban Meyer arrived on campus, and yet, at the same time, they're equally poised to have their best year since their National Championship. I also think the chemistry and focus of the team is just right, all of which is good news for a team that has averaged about one loss per year over the past seven years.

Not bad.

In fact, that record is pretty much as good as anybody in the country, save for more Natties.

In summary, there are lots of certifiably rational reasons why this team will be the best since 2014/15, bearing in mind that the word RATIO is the key to discerning what's RATIOnal and what isn't.

This leads to following rhetorical question: Given that OSU loses only one game each year, what should we expect to happen when a one-loss team is significantly improved and plays up to its potential when it has the highest ratio of talent on its roster this century, if not ever?

You don't need to answer that question.

Like I said, it was rhetorical.

In case you haven't noticed, the rhetorical response to the notion of Ohio State winning a National Championship now tends to include the assumption that Fate has forever consigned the Buckeyes to losing to a sub-par team every year, and worse, by a whopping margin.

We''ll see about that.

But, hey, I'm all for it if the rest of the country wants to sleep on the Buckeyes just like they did in 2014, or if it wants to pretend there's a law somewhere that says 2019 absolutely must, and shall, rhyme with 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The pundits and odds makers snoozed on Zeke, Joey, Cardale and company all the way up until the morning after the Buckeyes anvil-crushed Wisconsin, turning them into a convenient playoff platform for subsequently curb-stomping media faves Alabama and Oregon.

Personally, I'm fine with waiting until January to watch the experts fumble over themselves as they attempt to deconstruct all of the obvious things they missed back in August. As for the few, the proud, and the many in this forum who are 'in the know', we'll have just one question: