Archives for July 2011

Ohio State to vacate wins (y no mas, por favor)

Per the Dispatch:

An “embarrassed” Ohio State University is wiping its stellar 2010 football season from the record books as self-imposed punishment for major NCAA violations.

But it is not suggesting that the team lose scholarships or be banned from postseason play.

In a response submitted today to the NCAA, Ohio State admits allegations that then-coach Jim Tressel lied and allowed ineligible players to compete by failing to report that they had sold OSU-issued memorabilia to a tattoo-parlor owner.

Ohio State concedes major violations of NCAA regulations but says it should not face harsher punishment, because no OSU official other than Tressel was aware of player violations, according to the response that was obtained by The Dispatch.

What 2010 season?

Reboot

When the dust settles on Summer 2011, there may be no NFL or NBA on the horizon, but there will be college football.  Our favorite sport isn’t subject to collective bargaining agreements or union decertification.  It just keeps chugging along year after year, rarely changing in any significant way.

Which is what makes this year so bizarre for us Buckeye fans.  For the first time since most of us can remember, we’re entering a season under the dark cloud of controversy.  Our beloved coach of the past decade who delivered us a long-overdue national championship is gone, replaced by another beloved but severely inexperienced assistant.  Our more polarizing yet undeniably gifted quarterback has packed up and shipped out as well, maybe replaced by a longtime backup that few of us trust to pass the salt or maybe a true freshman (yeah, there are other choices, but those are the two most likely).  Throw in the four returning suspended players and this has to be the most uncertainty a Buckeye lineup has had in years.

On top of that, we’re heading into the first season of the New Big Ten, with the powerful newbie Nebraska ready to make its mark and Wisconsin and Michigan State looking to take that next step.  We’ve got divisions that probably aren’t split up correctly and definitely aren’t named correctly.  We’ll have a championship game that our team–the one that’s dominated the conference for the past six years–might not be allowed to play in.

For the first time in 82 years, both Michigan and Ohio State will take the field with new head coaches.  The last time this happened (in 1929, the year legendary Buckeye-Wolverine hybrid Bo Schembechler was born) Ohio State won 7-0.  If you told me that would be this year’s result, I’d be ecstatic.

I can’t help but approach this season with a strange brew of anticipation and dread.  For the first time in a long time, I have no idea what to expect.  How about you?