Archives for July 2011

Phil Steele: No Tressel, No Pryor, No Problem.

A perennial favorite of die-hard, stat-loving college football fans, Phil Steele’s preview magazine is arguably the most respected and certainly the most in-depth on the market.  His rankings and predictions are eagerly anticipated each year, and when the latest edition hit the stands this spring, Ohio State once again found itself atop the conference by Steele’s estimation.  Granted, this time it was in a three-way tie for the Leaders division with Wisconsin and Penn State, but still.

The only problem was, at press time our head coach was still Jim Tressel and the frustrating yet dynamic Terrelle Pryor would resume taking snaps by mid-season.  Steele acknowledged that things could change depending on what sanctions Ohio State faced, and yesterday he updated his outlook for the Buckeyes and a couple other teams that have had some significant shifts this summer:

While losing Tressel will hurt, the Buckeyes do have a veteran coaching staff that has spent several seasons together. The loss of Pryor is less of an issue because he already was going to be suspended for the first five games and I thought they would probably have QB controversy on their hands when he came back for the 6th game but now that major distraction can be avoided. They still host Wisconsin and Penn St late in the year after the suspended players return and provided there are no more players suspended or bowl bids being taken away, I still have the Buckeyes going to the first Big Ten title game.

Interesting take on the Pryor situation that I hadn’t really considered and could also be applied to the coaching side of things in a smaller way as well.  Continuity is important and while losing these two is not going to make us better, not having to slide them back in halfway through a campaign will avoid some awkwardness.

Also in the piece, Steele discusses Wisconsin’s addition of Russell Wilson, a move that led many to permanently elevate the Badgers above OSU for the Leaders title:

It’s been a long time since Wisconsin had a running/passing threat at QB and that will make them even more dangerous. But remember they have to travel to an underrated Michigan St team who beat them last year and also travel to Ohio St later in the year with the Buckeyes looking for revenge from their only loss last year. Even with Wilson I still have Wisconsin tied at the top of the Big Ten Leaders division.

So basically, no change, but it’s nice that a respected and generally unbiased analyst like Steele isn’t buying completely into the Wilson hype.  Personally, I have doubts about Bielema’s ability to effectively exploit Wilson’s athleticism in his old-school smashmouth offensive scheme.  It should be noted that Steele doesn’t even seem to believe that his presence will create enough separation between Wisconsin and Penn State to knock the Lions out of the three-way tie.

It doesn’t mean much, but it’s nice to get a little post-scandal vote of confidence from a solid analyst.

Al Davis loves Terrelle Pryor

[The informant] said that Davis loves Terrelle Pryor and is willing to use a 3rd round pick in the Supplemental Draft to secure the former Ohio State signal caller.

Via Fan Phooey

For what it’s worth, Al Davis also “loved” JaMarcus Russell.

Goosebumps…Good Luck Not Getting Them

Big Ten Pre-Season Media Poll Does Just What You Thought It Was Gonna Do

Even though the Big Ten coaches collectively chose to abandon making themselves look really stupid every year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Doug Lesmerises was able to find a couple dozen reporters who were up the task (even though he could have easily snagged a few hundred).  So, what crazy, off-the-wall projections did this band of astute analysts come up with?

Nebraska and Wisconsin will play for the championship, and Nebraska will probably win.  Also, Denard Robinson is the best offensive player while Jared Crick is the best defensive player.

I know, my mind is blown too.

You can check out the full break-down here, but here’s the stuff you care about:  Ohio State got one vote to win the Leaders division and that’s not surprising since everyone assumes that either a) there will be a postseason ban from the NCAA (there won’t) or b) with all the turmoil, they won’t be able to compete at the same level (not unrealistic).  Still, the Buckeyes land the #2 spot, which should make Penn State feel really bad about themselves.

Michigan checks in at #4 in the Legends division, edging out Northwestern by a couple of votes.  That’s probably about right, although I might go with the Wildcats to make some noise over there this year.

Seventeen writers picked a Nebraska/Wisconsin title game, with 10 votes going to the Huskers to win it all in their first year.  I’m surprised that 71% of the pollsters did not even bother to look at Nebraska’s schedule.  There are two 3-game stretches that stick out to me and I’m going to go ahead and predict that Big Red goes 2-1 at best in both of those.

The first is @Wyoming, @Wisconsin, vs. Ohio State.  Going on the road is always a challenge and it will be nearly impossible for Nebraska to not overlook Wyoming even though this one should be a sure win.  But following that up with another road trip against a brutal and physical opponent that is predicted to win their division is about all you can ask of a team.  Unless, of course, you ask them to come home the next week to play another brutal and physical opponent that is expected to be just a notch below Wisconsin.  If the Huskers win all three of these games, then they’re my pick for National Champs.

Well, if they can also manage to navigate the season-ending @Penn State, @Michigan, vs. Iowa, that is.  Again, two consecutive road games in a stretch of at least decent opponents (who knows where the Wolverines will be at that point, but they’ll either be riding high or desperate to get to a bowl).  Again, I just don’t see how a team can pull off all six of these games without being the best team in the nation.

The only other Legends team selected in the poll was Michigan State.

As for the Leaders, Ohio State and Penn State each picked up a vote, but only to be chosen to get beat by Nebraska.  It’s Badgers Or Bust for these writers I guess.  Wisconsin’s schedule is a little lighter competition-wise than Nebraska’s, but the Badgers will be playing 4 of their last 6 games on the road, kicking off with a back-to-back of @Michigan State and @Ohio State.  This could be a spot for them to stumble, but a one-loss season (or better) is not out of the question.

I don’t have any major problems with the player selections, as Pryor’s departure and the remaining suspensions basically knocked us out of the running on the offensive side of the ball.  Brewster does check in at #9 on that list.  Defensively, John Simon lands the #6 spot and Nate Williams takes #9.

As with any pre-season poll, it’s totally meaningless, but hey, at least it’s not a scandal post.

The Truth Shall Set You Free…

Forget the constant soap opera outrage of ESPN anchors spewing laughably misinformed opinions.  Ignore George Dohrmann’s poorly sourced and almost instantly debunked Sports Illustrated hit piece that attempted to expand the scope of players involved and paint former head coach Jim Tressel as a complete sham.  And skip the numerous breathless local and national stabs in the dark (“Tressel gave a recruit a personalized jersey…”) that don’t bother to offer the complete story (“…after he died.”)

Instead, take some time to peruse the NCAA’s Case Summary and the much longer but incredibly interesting transcript of their February interview with Tressel.  Clear your mind of the clutter that so many have tossed recklessly at you for the entire spring and summer and look at the provable and admitted facts, then make up your own mind about what happened.

You’ll have time while you’re waiting for ESPN’s outrage over this that I’m sure they’re just about to get to any minute now…

Dear Michigan:

That is all…

Ohio State haters everywhere are crying

According to the Columbus Dispatch the NCAA has told Ohio State today that they have found no new violations and that OSU will not face “failure to monitor” or “lack of institutional control” charges.

This is wonderful news for OSU as it goes along with OSU’s own findings that this case starts and stops with Jim Tressel. The NCAA investigated the Sports Illustrated story and determined that only one player of the nine committed violations. OSU has confirmed that is the already suspended player Dorian Bell. Bottom line as of today the penalties OSU gave themselves will be sufficient to the crimes they are charged with and if for some reason the NCAA were to enforce loss of scholarships or a post-season ban of any kind or amount Ohio State will have enough to fight those as unreasonable. Today is the kind of day Ohio State fans need. It will make the next few months a lot easier to go through as we wait for the NCAA to confirm what we all know…..

The sky isn’t falling.

Auburn, Cam Newton heading for trouble?

July is always one of the slowest months for us here at MotSaG (as our archives will attest). That’s usually because it is historically not a busy month, Buckeye-wise or college football-wise.

Of course, that is not the case this year with all that has happened to the Buckeyes this off-season. Now things are heating up on other campuses. LSU was given a paddling from the NCAA principal and now it looks like Auburn could be in trouble.

Oh, this could be delicious for Buckeye fans:

Paul Finebaum had the USA Today’s Danny Sheridan on as a guest this afternoon, and Sheridan says the NCAA thinks it has found the bag man who helped Auburn pay for Cam Newton.

Sheridan closes by saying the “they [the NCAA] think they know the third party, and they think they know the party that put up the money.” That means the NCAA is looking at two entities here: someone who allegedly financed this alleged deal and someone who allegedly carried out this alleged deal. If the NCAA can remove the four “allegedly” instances out of that statement, Auburn’s in deep trouble.

(via Team Speed Kills)

Of course, as sportsMonkey points out on Google+, ESPN is ALL OVER THIS.

(Yes, we know ESPN’s URL is but the point remains. There is no mention of this on ESPN’s main page. Had these allegations been made against OSU, you know they’d be EVERYWHERE.)

Flea Market Haul


I’m testing the WordPress iPhone app and showing off a recent purchase I picked up at the Hartville Flea Market (in Ohio).

Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off Road is one of my all time favorite arcade games. I never played the SNES version so I am definitely looking forward to firing this one up.

Why this game hasn’t had a remake recently boggles my mind. I would buy this on any and all platforms: XBLA, Steam, iOS. You name it, I’d buy it.

What are you playing this weekend?

Update: WHOOPS. This was so supposed to be posted at my other site (where I mostly talk about video games). I thought I had the right blog selected in the iPhone app but apparently I didn’t. I’m leaving this up anyway. I’m not ashamed to profess my love for A) video games and B) Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off Road.

Vacation vs. Forfeiture: A Primer for Michigan Fans

Today, Ohio State responded to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations by recommending two years probation and the vacation of all wins from the 2010 season.  Michigan fans responded to this news by doing what Wolverines do best: getting things wrong.  Thanks to the marvelous Openbook (and my own personal newsfeed), I present a sampling of what Those Up North think just happened:

We’ll start with the most egregious historical revision, that the vacation somehow means that Ohio State lost the game.  Even in the official record this will not be the case, as the game will simply be considered to never have happened.  To reiterate for the fellow above:  The 12 wins are not being converted to losses; they are being erased entirely.


Similarly, a number of UM fans (see below) think that the vacation will magically convert their loss into a win.  Again, this is not what is happening.  That would be a forfeit.  I find it a bit sad that this particular fan apparently wants to lose again this year and then have that loss vacated.  I find it more sad that he used to live down the street from me.

The winky emoticon makes me think this guy knows that he’s wrong.  The hat and goatee make me think that he doesn’t.

This guy pulls off the rare feat of making me laugh both at him and with him.  Well played, sir.


Again, not a forfeit.  At least the second guy seems to get that this is a non-event.  And also he can spell “forfeit.”

These guys were on the right track but just missed it.  And seriously, Guy Who I Hope Just Rented That Uniform, a paper win would constitute an ass-kicking in your world?

And finally we come to the matter of the record.  While Michigan did technically have a better record than Ohio State last year, our new record is 0-1, not 0-12 (note that this guy even managed to be incorrect wrong; forfeiture would result in an 0-13 record).

Class dismissed.