hodge's picture

hodge 12th Warrior

from Columbus, OH

MEMBER SINCE   January 19, 2012


  • SPORTS MOMENT: January Third, Two Thousand and Three.
  • NFL TEAM: Cincinnati Bengals
  • MLB TEAM: Cincinnati Reds

Recent Activity

Comment 22 hours ago

"Blitz Fields like crazy on defense.  Get as much pressure in his face as possible.  Press man on the receivers, load the box and force him to make difficult throws.  Basically copy 2013-15 Mark Dantonio plan.  If Fields succeeds in throwing the ball, your toast...but it’s either cut off the head or die by a thousand cuts.

Honestly, the best method here is the Belichick method.  Take away the best players and make others beat you...which means do everything you can to isolate Chase Young and JK Dobbins.  I think they’ll do just that and it’ll be on Fields and our corners and receivers to win it."

This is fully what I'm expecting to see. It's basically the gameplan that Wiscy walked in with, and they kept it damn close until the second quarter. (Kind of amazing that's the current metric for success, no?) The challenge PSU is gonna face is that this team just doesn't really have any glaring weakness -- and with such balanced strength on both sides of the ball, keying in on any one thing leaves other things super open.

But if the Nitts can get to Fields constantly, I'll start getting worried. They've got the athletes on the d line to get some penetration, and if they can get Fields out of his rhythm, they might just get us off our game -- if only because it's territory we've rarely been in this season.

Comment 22 hours ago

So much this. Had the Tat Five not been suspended, we'd have certainly been in the conversation for the title that year...because we'd have likely run the table in a down year for the Big Ten (Russel Wilson's Wisconsin team was the only real threat that year). But I don't see that team standing much of a chance against an undefeated LSU in the BCS title game.

It's not revisionist history to say that Tress wasn't keeping up with the game by the time he was forced out, and that we upgraded by hiring Meyer. Now, Tress quite possibly could have pulled a Saban and wholly embraced the spread (eschewing Dave for zone reads); but we'll never know. 

Comment 20 Nov 2019

So much this. Pretty cool that Illinois gave Lovie plenty of time for an honest-to-God rebuild - and really nice to see that he’s finally showing measurable improvement.

At a time when it seems like college coaches are expected to turn things around in a year or two, it’s refreshing to see a quality candidate like Lovie get the time he needs to actually achieve his goals.  

Comment 19 Nov 2019

Man, I forgot all about Nick Siciliano. I know that Daniels did a helluva job, but Tress was always a QB coach in his own right (kinda like Day is now, even with Yurcich holding the title) -- so I guess I don't have as much sympathy on Pryor's lack of development.

I gotta give it to ya: Cardale under Tress is a very fun thought experiment. Way more fun to imagine than XBrax's career if he didn't have Meyer, that's for sure!

Comment 19 Nov 2019

Great points! The ascendancy of Troy Smith -- and the offense they ran in '06 -- isn't lost on me. However, my opinion is more rooted in what happened after Troy left. With a generational athletic talent like Terrelle Pryor, Tress frequently lined him up in ways that failed to maximize his talents and those of his teammates. 

Check out this article penned by Chris Brown of Smartfootball. He wrote it in the aftermath of the home loss against USC in '09. Here's three paragraphs, but the whole post-mortem is well worth a read, even a decade later -- if only because it shows how far our beloved Buckeyes have come. (Side note: holy shit -- THAT WAS A DECADE AGO!)

 "Tragicomic. As I said, when I watched the game live I simply thought OSU could have deployed Terrelle Pryor better than it had. But re-watching the game exposed a lot of tactical mistakes by the Buckeyes, almost all of which made it exceptionally difficult for them to move the ball.

First and most obviously, OSU never once called the zone-read play. Never mind that last year it was the Buckeyes' only effective play against USC, averaging more than 6.8 yards per attempt; Saturday, the Buckeyes averaged a gangrenous 2.7 yards per carry, a number that infected the rest of the the simple-minded affair that the Buckeyes called a playbook, especially considering that the number is inflated by Pryor's third-and-long runs against umbrella coverage. Ohio State tailback Boom Herron averaged a mere 2.4 yards, and his longest gain was eight yards.

When I previewed this game, I said that mobile quarterbacks presented Pete Carroll with a math problem: How do you cover all of a team's receivers, guard the box for the run game, and account for the mobile quarterback? Fortunately for Carroll, he didn't have to solve this tricky arithmetic problem because Jim Tressel can't count."

Comment 19 Nov 2019

I agree with everything you're saying, but the end result is still the same. Matta and Dantonio may have taken different routes (and you could argue that Matta's journey was largely out of his hands), but they both wound up in the same destination.

Comment 19 Nov 2019

It's especially common in college football. Players are transient, but coaches transcend their programs -- which makes it especially hard for their institutions to pull the plug on someone who's been there for decades. Look at Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno (scandal notwithstanding, he was a glorified figurehead presiding over a slowly-deteriorating program) -- how much better would their coaching legacies have looked had they bowed out half a decade or so earlier? Not trying to minimize JoePa's impact on the horrors of Sandusky -- just trying look outside of it.

And here's the dirty secret when it comes to OSU: Tatgate spared us from Tressel's inevitable decline. I'll be the first to shout his accomplishments from the rooftops, but the game was passing him by. And with as bad as the Big Ten was in the early 2010's, you'd have seen an OSU team that would have dominated the conference on talent alone and got embarrassed on the national stage. Instead, we won a natty with Urban (and, as crazy as it sounds, that's probably underachieving for as good as his teams were) before he left at the top of his game: ceding authority to a brilliant young mind who appears to be in the best possible position to maintain our standard of excellence.

Comment 19 Nov 2019

I know Fick's gonna be a hot name for the MSU gig when it opens up (be it after this season or the next), but you gotta think -- with the trajectory he's got that program on -- he might be better off sticking around and waiting for an even better job. I mean, Brian Kelly went from the Bearcats to ND and Butch Jones hopped to Tennessee. Gotta wonder if there isn't an opportunity like that lying in wait for Fick if he sticks around UC for a few more seasons.

Comment 19 Nov 2019

MSU with Dantonio is exactly where we were with Thad Matta. Changing out a historically-great coach (by program standards) is never easy, but it's best to do it before the shit really starts to get bad. Sometimes the best way to preserve a legacy is to prevent its creator from undoing it.

Comment 18 Nov 2019

Man, I hope not. Ford kicked Ferarri's ass at Le Mans in '66. Ford's GT40 swept the damn podium.

Comment 18 Nov 2019

I wouldn't necessarily say the Fox crew has a "higher football IQ" than the folks over at Gameday -- it's just that the shows are going after two separate audiences. Over the years, as CFB has grown in popularity, Gameday has leaned into the lowest-common denominator and morphed into this zany college football sideshow. It's perfect for people who are more casually into the sport, aren't really interested in X's and O's, and just want to get hyped for gameday.

That's not a knock on ESPN, either. They've obviously decided that style of programming is in their best financial interest, and I still think their SportsCenter-style human interest stories are the best in the business. But they've definitely left an opening for a more in-depth pregame show, and Big Noon Saturday is definitely more tailored to a more hardcore audience (which I'm betting overlaps significantly with 11W's commentariat).

ESPN can keep Corso and his mascots. Give me Urbz teaching zone blocking schemes all day long.

Comment 08 Nov 2019

That's fair. OSU compliance has never really acted in players' best interests -- but that's essentially by design. Ever since Tatgate, their job has been to protect the university at all costs, players be damned. That's why I think it's so notable that Chase sent out a statement at all. No way in Hell OSU didn't vet that in advance, and no way in Hell they put that out there if they thought there was a fraction of a chance it was going to be debunked.

Just sayin'. For a notoriously conservative Compliance department, the fact that Chase is even telling his side of the story is tacit agreement with where he's coming from. Not saying it necessarily means he's gonna suit up next week for Rutgers, but they obviously think this is is more of a molehill than a mountain.

Comment 08 Nov 2019

"Ohio State is trying to massage the PR of what really happened. Their case will rest on being able to demonstrate repayment was made (or else it would require restitution anyhow) and that it was not an agent expecting a client relationship."

This is a pretty notable thing. IMHO, ever since Tatgate, OSU Compliance has been VERY CONSERVATIVE. The fact that Chase even sent out a "statement" speaks volumes to OSU's level of confidence in this matter. Moreover, the fact that they're actively trying to present this in the best light possible instead of "letting the chips fall as they may" is worth paying attention to.

Comment 07 Nov 2019

"...but I recall growing up in a much less connected and complicated and technological age, not having cell phones or computers or internet or anything until I was on into HS and no social media until college."

FWIW, that's generally considered to be a defining trait of most Millennials -- we came of age alongside "peak tech". I was born in '89 and had a similar experience. It's tempting to think that folks born in the mid '90s wouldn't have had a similar experience, but remember: Web 2.0 didn't really get going until the mid-2000s. Up until that point, the internet was largely a reference resource (or a place to pirate music). Things like Facebook, MySpace, Youtube and the like really drove the elemental shift toward the internet that we know today. Hell, even cell phones weren't widespread until people my age were well into high school.

By contrast, Gen Z has been raised with these kinds of things their entire life. 

Comment 29 Oct 2019

An 11Wire sighting? What is this, the initial launch of the Tatum platform in 2014? Thought I was the only one who still used that little sub-page.

Comment 29 Oct 2019

I see the guy's point. Granted, I've never disliked a Buckeye team in my whole life, but this team feels "different" than Meyer's squads (save for that immortal 2014 team). Watching OSU this year feels like watching Pete Carroll's USC teams from the early-to-mid aughts. These guys are good and they know it -- but they don't play with arrogance. They play loose, fast, disciplined football -- and they appear to be having a great time doing it. 

Seems like Day's more of a player's coach than Urbz, and I think these dudes have bought into that. Probably helps that he's assembled a staff that's constantly adjusting game plans and not fixated on a singular "identity" on either side of the ball. It's gotta feel good as a player knowing that you're constantly being put in a position to succeed.

Comment 22 Oct 2019

Congrats on the 5+ years, OP! My wife and I just hit 5 years earlier this month (we got married on OSU's bye week during the championship season).

Marry your best friend. Shared interests are good (for example: I like whiskey and ohio state football; so does my wife), but shared lifestyles are even better. For example, my wife and I spend damn near every second with each other. Not all couples do that, and that's okay -- so long as you both roll the same way. 

Comment 16 Oct 2019

@PosterChild - so much this. I dropped 50 pounds (230 to 180) over the last two years without adhering to any kind of strict diet, but "intuitive eating" did not come easy -- because I had no goddamn clue that what "felt" full to me was causing me to gain a bunch of weight. Exercise was key -- but far more important was zealously counting my calories for the first month until I figured out what 2000-2300 calories a day actually "felt" like. Once I got to that point, it was way easier to eat intuitively -- but that also included habitual changes like drinking less and eating vegetarian far more often.

Comment 30 Sep 2019

"And truly, if the NCAA and its member schools were smart, they would open an "agency" to negotiate on behalf of the athletes (and help with 1099's and stuff) and take 20% for their trouble. They would also open an escrow company that holds the money in an interest bearing account (of course they would take a fee off of the interest), and they would issue a lump sum at the end of a player's eligibility."

Bingo. Honestly, I don't think the NCAA cares about autographs and profiting of likenesses more than the loophole it gives top-tier schools to pay for recruits. Something like, "Sign for our school and we'll have you do some pricey 'autographs' for our key boosters on your first day." But, if the NCAA becomes an active part of that process they can at least appear to mitigate some of that fallout. They won't stop it (and frankly, they never really have), but they get the PR win of looking like they're fighting the fight while helping the players who do it the right way.

Comment 29 Sep 2019

If we're talking pure RB duos, then Dobbins/Teague is right up there with Beanie/Pittman and Weber/Samuel in 2016.

However, if we're talking about "rushing" duos, give me Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde from 2013 any day of the week. Just look at these stats -- they're absurd.

Name Rushes Yards AVG. TD
El Guapo 208 1521 7.3 15
xBrax360 171 1068 6.2 12
Comment 29 Sep 2019

I'd say it was more on Haskins' unwillingness to run the ball. The zone read only works if the QB run exists as a constraint to keep defenses honest, and Dwayne showed against UM in 2017 (and towards the end of last year) that he was more than capable of picking up yards with his feet when needed. Now I don't know if it was the coaches telling him to always hand it off or Haskins trying to save himself for bigger games (and/or a future NFL paycheck -- though I'm inclined to believe it was the former), but he left a lot of yards on the field last year, IMHO.