Archives for April 2011

Spring Game thoughts

I’ve had a few days to mull on the topic (read: I was lazy in getting this post up over the weekend and then fell into a food coma on Easter Sunday) so these may seem disjointed, but maybe being a few days removed from the Spring Game will do good.

Let’s just jump right into the bullets:

  • Some might not like the comparison but I thought Braxton Miller looked like a young Donovan McNabb. Very similar shape and build, with quick feet and good at changing directions. He also looks strong and compact. I think he’s going to do just fine behind center in Ohio State’s offense. He’ll be the starter by the Miami game.
  • If I had to rank the QB’s base on their performance, I would say Miller, Taylor Graham, Kenny Guiton, the waterboy, Brutus, the last guy to dot the I and Joe Bauserman. Sorry, Joe. I love the guy, he has put in his time to be a Buckeye but I just can’t see him leading this team to a 4-1 or even 3-2 start.

    Which means, of course, he’ll be the starter, no questions asked.

  • T. Y. Williams has to be the most intriguing new guy to me. His size has me dreaming of a 2011 version of another tall, lanky wide receiver. (I feel the Holy Spirit every time I watch that clip.)
  • On defense, there weren’t a lot of surprises to me. It’s nice to know that once again Ohio State will be fielding another defensive line. That line is going to be fine, anchored by John Simon in the middle and Nathan Williams on the edge. And of course we all love Hungry Hungry Hankins. They are going to be called upon early and often to keep us in games.
  • Linebackers? Yeah, we got them. We are Linebacker U, after all. While I was impressed with Etienne Sabino,
    who seemed to be around the ball everywhere the ball was, Jordan Whiting really surprised me. He seemed to have a second and third gear and was flying everywhere. Very silver-bullety.

I’ll bring the poll back for this post, with Braxton currently in the lead. What did you see in the Spring Game that has you anxious? Excited?

Who impressed you the most during the Spring Game?

  • Braxton Miller (55%, 77 Votes)
  • John Simon (14%, 19 Votes)
  • Rod Smith (8%, 11 Votes)
  • T. Y. Williams (7%, 10 Votes)
  • Jordan Hall (6%, 8 Votes)
  • Etienne Sabino (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Taylor Graham (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Nathan Williams (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 140

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(if you’re reading this in a feed reader, you’ll have to come to the site to participate in the poll)

In Case You Missed It

Alright, maybe it’s time for a little non-Tressel news. Here are a few things you might be interested in.

TBDBITL: I recently received an email from a third year member of the Ohio State marching band’s drumline, also called JI-Row. He emailed to let me know that four of his fellow TBDBITL drummers put together a video for a Red Bull marketing contest.

While he acknowledged it’s all just a greedy marketing ploy on behalf of Red Bull he also said that if the OSU Marching Band team wins this competition they’ll have a chance to represent The Ohio State University in the final competition in Brazil.

That’s something we MotSaG’ers can get behind. We love our band and appreciate all the time and energy they give to entertain us and support the football team. Let’s help our JI-Row drummers get an awesome trip AND an opportunity to show the world the amazing side of Ohio State.

(As a side effect, we can also put the beat down on some Big Ten schools.)

Here’s a link to the voting page

Here’s a link to the YouTube video (I’ve embedded the video after the break.)

Finally their Facebook page.

Just leave Urban (my dad) ALONE: No matter what Beano Cook says (seriously, the guy’s name is Beano), Urban Meyer isn’t coming to Ohio State. At least until he does.

Just leave Vernon ALONE: You big meany, Rex Ryan.

Baby Ironhead: Fellow blogger Annapolisbuckeye scored an interview with Cameron Heyward to discuss, among other things, his future in the NFL.

MotSaG Site News: The Twittering Buckeyes Page was updated recently and is constantly in flux. A few of us have decided to change our nom de blog to our real names (so you’ll all take us seriously!) so here’s your program so you can tell who’s who:

Johnny Utah is Kade
Cloud of Dust is Jason
YNBA is Alex
Sylvester-Yon Rambo is Jeremiah

For now, el Kaiser will still be el Kaiser (but I’m really Tony) and sportsMonkey will continue to be an enigma. New posts from these guys will now sport their real names.

What Madden Curse? – Finally, we normally don’t discuss The Browns too much here (we’ll leave that to our friends over at Waiting For Next Year) but I am a long-suffering Browns fan, so it’s nice to see that Peyton Hillis (football personified) will be gracing this year’s cover of EA’s Madden 12. Is it hot in here, or is it just him? Vernon who? (via MikeAmmo)
[Read more…]

Elsewhere…

I don’t know who’s behind this, but someone with a Delaware phone number has set up a website challenging Cam Newton to take a lie detector test and answer four questions about the accusations of payola that continue to haunt him and his father.  While there’s no real chance of this happening, should Newton find himself unemployed next season due to the NFL labor dispute, at least he can pick up some extra scratch from this site’s proposed incentive:

Jim Tressel should resign or be fired.

Before everyone goes completely nuts on me because of the title of this particular post please wait until I finish. I love Coach Tressel. I KNOW he is the best coach I will ever see at OSU and he is an even better man. I honestly believe he just made a mistake and one that he didn’t do to win more games. I don’t know what he was thinking when he didn’t forward the emails to the correct people. I won’t pretend to understand how hard it must be to do what he does for a living. I will say this though: I am a father of 2 children and I stress to them every chance I get that if they do something wrong own up to it and admit what they did. Never try to cover it up with a lie and then compound it with more lies. There is nothing that makes me more angry then when I know someone is telling me a blatant lie.

So now as more and more comes out about what actually has happened over the last year it is clear to even the biggest supporter of Coach Tressel that he has lied over and over and over. Even if some of the accusations are circumstantial at best i.e. the FBI special agent he called a few days after hearing the FBI had info on OSU players hardware. Any person with 2 ounces of common sense will put together that Tressel wasn’t calling to get a friend a job. Even if you believe Tressel was acting in the players best interest or even if you believe he was just keeping the lawyers emails confidential. It is clearer now he was doing none of that. He was telling everyone except the people he should have been telling. If he had done so the players would have missed maybe 4 games and had a party with AJ Greene and Marcel Darius and all of the UNC Tarheels team during the pre-season. Instead he made the decision to not do his job. He then made the decision to lie about it in September when he signed the no compliance issues paper. Then he made us all feel he was shocked and disappointed in his players decisions to sell the gear when it became public. Then he led us to believe he was doing the moral thing by making the 5 guys promise to come back next year in order to play in the Sugar Bowl. All the while he tucked his own morals to bed and forgot to wake them up for nearly a year. At the news conference and subsequent pressers since he had me convinced he was who I thought he was: an upstanding honest guy who would do anything for his players and his school. To the point where I actually believed he might be taking one for the team and protecting his bosses and the University.

Now comes today’s news that the NCAA is looking to hammer Tressel and maybe not so much OSU as a whole. Will OSU suffer because of what he did? Of course. Will OSU suffer because of the 5 guys who broke the rules? Of course they will. It would have been so much easier if they would have gone Pro and Tressel would have resigned after the Sugar Bowl. Instead though they stuck around to go through the rough times together with the school and team they love. I commend them for doing this. It is refreshing to know Tressel is no Pete Carroll.

Having said that though there is nothing left for Tressel to do at OSU. He has won everything he possibly could except for the B1G COY award which angers me to no end :). He has his legacy that will always be there for OSU fans and eventually for CFB fans over time. I don’t think anyone thinks Tressel would have coached past 2014 when his contract ends as he has all but stated that was his last season he wanted to coach. So now the NCAA wants Tressel’s head on a platter for every other coach in the NCAA to see. They want to make an example out of him even though they know it wont stop this stuff from happening at every school like it currently is. Jim Tressel is not bigger than OSU and he won’t be able to save face now that the evidence keeps piling up pointing to the multitude of lies on top of lies.

So I say now is the time for him to retire and try and save his reputation and save OSU from harsher penalties then are deserved in this case just so the NCAA can hold up his head as an example to all other coaches. If it were my children who made up this many lies and covered up what they knowingly did wrong I would punish them more harshly then if they just came clean when they got caught to begin with.

This is a sad day for me as I can no longer justify Jim Tressel being the coach of OSU. I want to crawl into my bed and cry myself to sleep tonight as I have done the unthinkable: called for my football hero to step away from the game for the betterment of everyone.

I hope some of you can convince me I am wrong. I just need a really good valid point of view from someone to talk me off this ledge. I have been trying to come up with a reason why he shouldn’t be fired or resign and can’t come up with any that doesn’t sound biased and stupid.

Now you may respond to my thread with the vitriol that normally accompanies my posts.

Spring Game: Who Impressed?

We’ve got some late Spring Game observations, but in the meantime, a little poll: Who impressed you the most with their performance in the Spring Game?

If you don’t see your choice listed, feel free to add them in the comments.

Who impressed you the most during the Spring Game?

  • Braxton Miller (55%, 77 Votes)
  • John Simon (14%, 19 Votes)
  • Rod Smith (8%, 11 Votes)
  • T. Y. Williams (7%, 10 Votes)
  • Jordan Hall (6%, 8 Votes)
  • Etienne Sabino (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Taylor Graham (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Nathan Williams (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 140

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Ohio State Receives Notice of Allegations

The Dispatch has the scoop on the 13-page report from the NCAA detailing the allegations against the school and Coach Tressel.  Specific points of interest:

  • As suspected, there will be no further punishment against the players.
  • There are no “failure to monitor” or “lack of institutional control” allegations which would lead to the most severe penalties.
  • While the 2010 regular season is potentially in jeopardy, the Sugar Bowl is not since all players were ruled eligible by the NCAA prior to that contest.
  • Ohio State could be treated as a repeat offender due to Troy Smith and Jim O’Brien situations.  This could put things like a post-season ban and scholarship reductions on the table, although I personally think that the university’s cooperation with the investigation will play into those decisions.  The disturbing part here is that the article mentions that this also puts suspension for the “entire coaching staff” on the table.  I don’t really know how that would work, but it scares the hell out of me.
  • The NCAA is curious as to the nature of Ohio State’s relationships with Chris Cicero (the former player/lawyer who sent the emails to Tressel) and Ted Sarniak (Pryor’s mentor to whom Tressel forwarded the emails).  They also want to see the letter sent from the Department of Justice in December.
  • Ed Rife (the tattoo parlor owner under investigation) was never charged with a crime.  This surprised me.
  • The article continues the maddening trend of characterizing Tressel’s violation of Rule 10.1 as one that tends to get coaches fired.  In truth, all of the 10.1-violators who have been fired also violated numerous other rules.  It still appears that Tressel has no other violations.
  • The NCAA meeting to address these allegations will be on August 12, so we still have a long wait for ultimate closure on this issue.

The 2011 Season: Are We Screwed?

For obvious reasons, the bulk of the off-season on-field talk has been about those crucial first five games of the year: Akron, Toledo, @Miami (Fl), Colorado and Michigan State.  Yes, this is a new Bizarro Buckeye world we live in and suddenly there truly is no such thing as a cupcake game.  Most folks will look at that list and still come away with no worse than a 4-1 start, and it would not surprise me if we came out of it unscathed.  But with the mutant Spring “Game” just around the corner and no reports of a clear QB leader or, more importantly, even one reliable receiver for that mystery signal caller, the stage may be set for a colossal collapse.

The biggest hurdle is not simply making it to the Nebraska game with a winning record.  It’s dealing with a necessarily schizophrenic approach to the season.  We all know that the First-5 team will be a run-heavy, defense-oriented squad that will look like the groups that generally close out the last quarter-and-a-half against the likes of, well, Akron and Toledo.  The problem is that now they have to do it for four whole quarters.  Preparing them to do that is going to take a lot of reps away from the Last-7 team.

The schedule doesn’t do us as many favors as it first appears to either.  No, you couldn’t really ask for a better “easing in” period than Akron and Toledo, but even experienced Buckeye teams of late have had their hands full with the in-state little brothers at times.  Getting a shot at what will essentially be a team of backups (on offense, anyway) is the best chance they’ll have of getting that signature victory for a long time.  They’ll be motivated and we’ll make mistakes.  If those turn out to be the dominating wins they ordinarily would be, then we may be able to breathe a little more easily.

But not too easily.  The last three opponents out of this group are all BCS conference teams, including a revenge-minded Miami team that has a lot of questions of its own, but will at least be answering them at home, which means as much as 53% of the crowd will be on their side.  Then comes Colorado, now a member of the Pac-12, who will no doubt be watching this all week.  Then Big Ten play opens with the best team from the state up north, headed up by our old friend Mark Dantonio who, with old friend Tressel nowhere in sight, will have no reason not to unleash the full force of his scowl upon us.

And then the next season begins and the real starters merge with the standouts from the First-5 team and we get back to doing what we do best.  This seems to be the general consensus anyway, as if the post-suspension portion of the season is a gimme.  The Ink Tank’s first game back just happens to be Nebraska’s first Big Ten home game.  You think that crowd isn’t going to be insane?  The Huskers will be coming off a road trip to Madison, which will certainly be a physical affair that could soften them up for us.  But they’ll either be high on a win over one of the conference’s top dogs (and looking for another) or wounded and hungry and looking for a fight.  Neither of those is good for us, considering we’ll have to go through a little bit of early-season growing pains again until the starters knock the rust off.  Then it’s a battle through the usual suspects of Wisconsin, Penn State and a re-re-energized Michigan with another new head coach pretending to “get it.”

Even with a couple of stumbles along the way, this could still be a successful season for a team that doesn’t really know any alternative.  The two biggest threats to win the Leaders division (Penn State and Wisconsin) both have to visit the ‘Shoe, meaning that an appearance in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game (and with it, a shot at a BCS berth) is still a realistic goal, but getting there is going to be far more challenging than we’re used to.

 

Get this guy a Blogpoll Ballot!

Mike Adras, coach of the Northern Arizona basketball team and one of the 31 college coaches who vote in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, on why he voted Ohio State #1 in his final ballot, not the University of Connecticut:

“I voted for who I thought was the best team in the country based on the entire body of work during the season,” Adras told USA Today. “I believe it is Ohio State. I want to congratulate Connecticut for winning the NCAA tournament. They deserved it.”

In Case You Missed It

Are you looking to pawn or sell? Last night’s episode (“Pablo Pawncasso”) of History Channel’s hit, Pawn Stars, featured the selling of the hallowed Gold Pants. The seller, who claimed he bought the two pair from a collector, wanted a cool $2,500 for the two pair. The pants were from the 2002 victory over Michigan and from 2008. The initials (Gold Pants are personalized) were “L B” (2002) and “D W” (2008).

The seller wasn’t sure who “L B” was but was pretty sure “D W” was none other than Doug Worthington. Dougie’s got a drawer full of them, so one pair isn’t going to be missed. MotSaG’s own SYR did a little detective work on who “L B” was and found a “LeAndre Boone” who was on the 2002 team. He was also one of the players who corroborated Maurice Clarett’s “claims” against Ohio State. Apparently they didn’t mean much to him, either.

For the record, Doug Worthington said he gave his gold pants to family members and doesn’t think they’d sell them. Donald Washington, the other “D W,” said he, “had all his gold pants.” Either way, one of them is a liar, liar pants on fire.

(Or, maybe they belonged to Derrelle Wryor, knowhatimean?)

In the end, the seller got two large.

FWIW, this picture showed up in my wife’s Facebook stream from one of her friends who was at the aforementioned Pawn Shop in Las Vegas back in March. Not sure if they were the same but it would make sense.

Happy Trails. Duron Carter, wayward Buckeye son, after playing the 2010 season at Kansas’ Coffeyville Community College has transferred to Alabama to join the Crimson Tide in their title hunt this upcoming season. He had his chances here and we know how that turned out. I hope they have four different people making sure he goes to class and does his homework at Alabama because he’s Saban’s headache now. I wish him well.

No I don’t. I hope he never sees the field.

Camo Hats. Ohio State will be sporting Camouflage helmets during the Spring Game (that isn’t really going to be a Spring Game) in honor of the military.

It’s all a misunderstanding. Former Buckeye (and hero to all Buckeyes for forcing Tom Brady to wear an OSU jersey) Mike Vrabel is having a little legal trouble himself.

GQ Style. This is just a reminder that Malcolm Jenkins is (and will always be) more stylish than you.

MotSaG Tourney Pick’em. Congrats go out to MikeG who edged out Ohiowhitesnake to take the Pick’em championship for 2011. Everyone’s bracket was broken by the Sweet Sixteen but MikeG’s was less broke than most. Nice work.

Sad face. Speaking of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Click this and cry

Complete Madness

Last week, the Wall Street Journal’s website ran an article that offered up a “conversion bracket” simulating a March Madness-style playoff for football, based on last year’s pre-bowl rankings and this year’s basketball tournament.  The purpose of this exercise is to convince us that a football playoff would be bad because insane upsets would land Air Force in the Final Four.

There are number of flaws in this argument, the most glaring being the fact that football and basketball are remarkably different sports, especially in terms of pace and relative ease of scoring.  What it takes to pull off an upset in basketball is not at all the same as what it takes to pull off an upset in football.  Also keep in mind that this year’s basketball tournament is an anomaly of epic proportions.  Never before has a Final Four not contained at least one #1 or #2 seed.  Never.  Using the results of this tournament as a basis for what a football playoff would bring is disingenuous at best.

With that in mind, I turned to the infinitely awesome simulation site WhatIfSports.com to get a more realistic outcome of the Journal’s flight of fancy.  Check out the results below.  I’ll post the Final Four results in the comments, but feel free to speculate about what you think would happen.