Archives for December 2011

Coach Meyers staff update

Since being hired nearly a month ago I believe no less then the amount of people in India and China combined have been rumored to be joining the staff of Urban Meyer. From the stupidly insane Kirk Herbstreit to the awesomely delightful Chris Spielman. In the mean time about half the asst. coaches around the country turned rumors of interest by Meyer into huge pay raises and contract extensions at their current jobs. We here at Motsag hate the guessing game or rumor mongering so we will only update the coaches once OSU makes them official. So here is the list so far of coaches who are 100% hired and on the staff.

Tom Herman – Offensive Coordinator and QB coach. Herman is a young coach who has studied and used the spread offense to improve the offenses at Rice and Iowa St. He is a member of MENSA and seems to fit the role of a guy who has tons of energy and will recruit hard in Texas and the Great Plains.

Everett Withers – Co-Defensive Coordinator and Asst. head Coach. Withers is a defensive guru with experince coaching DBs in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans and did coach former Buckeye Donnie Nickey. He he is young and will recruit hard the Mid-Atlantic area like Washington DC and Virginia and Maryland and New Jersey.

Luke Fickell – Defensive Coordinator and Asst. Head Coach (as best as we can tell). Everyone knows who Fickell is and what he brings to the staff. Meyer said Fickell will call all defensive plays in the games. He will likely be our Lead Recruiter too and is well known as one of the best recruiters in the country.

Stan Drayton – Running Back Coach. Drayton was hired last year from Florida where he worked under Coach Meyer. He was hired here as the WR coach but was traditionally the RB coach before coming here. He moved back to his traditional job starting in January. Drayton will recruit the Florida and Georgia and South East like a mad man with tons of ties and relationships down there from his time at Florida.

Mike Vrabel – Linebackers Coach. The guy is Ohio State. After playing 14 years in the NFL he came home to his alma mater Ohio State to help his BFF Fickell and was retained by Coach Meyer today. He will recruit the North East and Ohio and will use the strategy look at my handful of Super Bowl Rings.

Taver Johnson – Cornerbacks Coach. Taver is also being retained from the Tressel era. He has been at OSU for 4 years and has ties to the Cincinnati area for recruiting.

**UPDATE** Zach Smith – Wide Receivers Coach. Zach Smith was the WR coach at Temple and Marshall and 5 years under Coach Meyer. he is the Grandson of Former OSU HC Earle Bruce. He will handle recruiting in PA and WV and MD as well as help in Florida.

Mickey Marotti – Strength and Conditioning. Mickey is considered one of the best S&C coaches in the country and a master motivator. He is also one of Coach Meyers most trusted friends.

Brian Voltolini – Director of Football Operations. Voltolini will be responsible for the operation of the football program’s budget, scholarships, team travel, housing, camps and clinics. Pantoni will supervise all aspects of the program’s administrative duties for recruiting, including on-campus official and unofficial visits, budgeting, travel and database management. Basically the do it all and get no recognition guy.

Mark Pantoni – Director of Player Personnel. Pantoni will be in charge of everything recruiting related. He is a recruiting guru and will implement some awesome exciting events to lure kids to campus and sell the program. He will be the contact guy for anyone wanting to visit OSU and could be the most important hire so far for Meyer.

Ohio State is limited to 10 actual coaches the last 3 listed above aren’t considered coaches but are part of his non coaching staff. With Coach Meyer and 7 asst coaches already named that will leave 2 more slots to fill soon. Most likely an OL coach and either a TE coach or ST coach. one thing is very evident with each confirmed hire it is obvious that Coach Meyer is hiring smart and young coaches with specific ties to certain geographical areas of the country for recruiting purposes.

Breaking: NCAA to punish next year’s seniors with 2012 Bowl Ban

In true Columbus Disptach fashion, they have ignored the requested news embargo and prempted everyone’s coverage of the upcoming report from the NCAA. The news is bad. All around bad:

The NCAA today stunned Ohio State University’s football program by banning it from postseason play after the 2012 season, multiple sources told The Dispatch.

The penalty means Ohio State automatically is out of the running for any bowl, or a Big Ten or national championship next year, just as newly appointed head coach Urban Meyer is wooing recruits to the Buckeyes.

Athletic Director Gene Smith said previously that while Ohio State has been declared a repeat violator that failed to properly monitor its football program, a bowl ban would be out of line with penalties handed to universities with similar violations.

There will be time to opine on the nuances at a later time, but for now we’ll just say that this sucks. Punishing the upcoming seniors like Jake Stoneburner, John Simon and others really stings.

What’s your initial take?

Urban lands a Big Fish

This past Friday Ohio State coaches Urban Meyer and Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel all made a trip out to Hershey, PA to watch Noah Spence play in his High School State football championship game. Noah Spence team lost that game by a huge margin. After the game Noah Spence consoled his teammates and celebrated his high school career by getting on a plane and headed to Columbus, Ohio to spend the weekend on an official visit at The Ohio State University. Noah Spence is a 5 star player ranked as the no. 4 recruit in the country according to ESPN.

The 6’4″ 245 lb DE from Harrisburg, PA runs a 4.4 40 and is rated as the no. 1 DE in the country by every recruiting service. He is an all around solid DE in both Pass Rush and Run Def. He is an instant impact player and is the 4th highly rated DLmen to verbal to OSU in the last 4 weeks.

According to Bob Lictenfels a Scouts recruiting expert Noah Spence told Coach Meyer tonight “Coach I’m done, love it here and I want to be a part of the Buckeye Nation” #OSU.

Noah Spence was for biggest part of his recruiting time a strong lean to Penn State if not a silent Verbal to them. Following the PSU scandal and firing of Coach Paterno he opened his recruiting up more and with the hiring of Urban Meyer it didn’t take long for him and his family to find themselves members of Buckeye Nation. Spence becomes the 19th member on this years recruiting class.

South Carolina In Game Chat

We don’t do these for every game but it’s Saturday and we’ve go to do SOMETHING before the bowl games. Join us for a live chat during the OSU Men’s Basketball game against the South Carolina Gamecocks:

Ohio State is a recruiting machine!

Less than a month ago Ohio St. was struggling through with their toughest season in a while. Losing games and dealing with lots of distractions and injuries. Most recruiting “experts” made the declaration that Ohio St. was dead in the water for this years recruiting class. Then a rumor started floating around that Urban Meyer was going to be hired as the next coach at Ohio State. The story was broken by our friends at Eleven Warriors. Shortly after the rumors started OSU got verbals from two high ranking recruits. Then he was hired and quickly Ohio State applied for and received an exemption to allow Coach Meyer to recruit. If this was 1985 the phone bill OSU would have to cover all the long distance phone calls made by Urban and the rest of the OSU staff to recruits would be astronomical. Not only phone calls but gas from driving all over Ohio and plane tickets all over the country. Coach Meyer put an emphasis on recruiting the likes that we have never seen before at Ohio St or the B1G. He is calling high school coaches all over the country at places where there aren’t even any kids he is recruiting just to touch base and reconnect. He has called nearly every recruit on the planet whether they are committed elsewhere or not. He managed to Flip 2 high profile recruits from other teams. He also managed to keep Bri’Onte Dunn in this years class shutting the door on TTUN and their HC who was trying their best to steal him from Meyer.

All these new recruits and keeping this class together has taken a class that wasn’t in the top 25 of recruiting classes all the way up to 6th in 3 weeks time. Scouts has OSU ranked 6th and they have a higher player ranking avg. then TTUN that everyone said couldn’t be caught for best class in 2012.

Don’t for one minute think Coach Meyer is done either he is hosting several top recruits again this weekend including the no. 4 recruit in the nation 6’4″ 245 lbs 5* DE Noah Spence from Harrisburg, PA who runs a 4.4 40 yard dash and is an instant impact player. He is extremely high on Ohio St. and many expect him to commit to Coach Meyer over the weekend visit. Ohio St. is also heavily recruiting current Wisconsin Commit 6’5″ 315 lbs OT Kyle Dodson and also 6’6″ 300 lb OT Jordan Diamond. Ohio St. is high on the list of current commit of PSU recruit 6’1″ 210 lbs LB Camren Williams and Former Notre Dame commit 6’1″ 210 lbs LB David Perkins.

I am sure there are more recruits on the watch list who should be mentioned but those are the top ones in my eyes. Ohio St. will end up with a larger class then expected due to having so many unused schollies from last year and players enrolling early in January and current players leaving the program for one reason or another. If you are a fan of recruiting then there has never been a more fun time to be a Buckeye fan then right now. So sit back and enjoy the show and hope Urbans hair really doesn’t catch on fire.

Bri’onte is a Dunn deal

Urban Meyer had OSU RB commit Bri’onte Dunn come to OSU last weekend and gave him a complete look at what the OSU offense could be if he was a part of it. That look wasn’t the same thing that the University of Michigan Brady Hoke was saying OSU would use. Coach Hoke and his employees and the fans of the team for weeks now have been saying Urban Meyer can’t and won’t ever have a 1000 yard RB and that his offense isn’t suited for a big RB like Dunn. All this and the thought of not being a featured back at OSU had to give Dunn some doubt. Coach Meyer made sure the first person he called after getting the NCAA waiver to recruit was Bri’onte Dunn and he made sure to let him understand he has never had a RB like him but that he could flourish in the kind of offense he runs. He explained to him the misnomer that he doesn’t like or use traditional B1G type RBs. It took a few phone calls and a weekend visit followed up by an in-home visit tonight by Coach Meyer but he was able to sell him on the system and the school and tonight Bri’onte Dunn has reaffirmed his commitment to OSU 100% and Coach Meyer is going to try and help Dunn enroll early next month like he has always wanted. The bottom line is Dunn always wanted to be a Buckeye and he just needed to know Coach Meyer wanted him to be his RB of the future. Once again Meyer has proven he is a top notch recruiter and a force to be reckoned with in the midwest and throughout the country.

Urban Meyer adds his second recruit

What has quickly become bizzarro world only a month ago Ohio State was looking at what was one of their worst looking recruiting classes in a long time. Then rumors started floating around that Urban Meyer was going to be our next head coach. Shortly after the rumors started Adolphus Washington and Riquan Southward both gave verbals to OSU. Those are 2 very good 4* recruits. Then Meyer was actually hired and instantly applied for and received an exemption from the NCAA to allow him and anyone he hires to focus on recruiting while Coach Fickel handles day to day and bowl prep. Some schools cried foul I am looking at you scUM. Others followed suit TaMu, UCLA, Illinois, and others. Coach Meyer has just been a kid in a candy store calling recruits and visiting them and having them visit OSU. Earlier tonight he got a verbal from a 5* who always like OSU to flip from Penn State and then tonight while on a home visit to Canton, Ohio he got his second commit of the day and this is a flip too and the new OSU recruit is…..

6’5″ 245 lbs 4* Speed rush DE Se’Von Pittman from Canton Mckinley High in Canton, Ohio to flip from Michigan St. to OSU. Pittman becomes the 18th commitment in the 2012 recruiting class for OSU and the second commit for Coach Meyer in his 2nd week on the job. Pittman is another ESPN 150 recruit and the 3rd DLman to commit in the last few weeks all of which are ESPN 150 guys. Pittman is a huge get because he has speed and strength to be a true stand up edge rusher but also is very strong in the rush defense and could very well get lots of early time playing.

There are other possible flips we could hear about soon including 2 more from PSU in Noah Spence and Camren Williams. Both are leaning towards OSU right now. Keeping Bri’Onte Dunn has become a high priority as well and there are a few other big names floating out there who are still going to visit OSU and meet Coach Meyer. OSU will have a few extra schollies to offer due to transfers already getting one from Taylor Graham leaving OSU late last week. Times are exciting if you are a recruiting fan. So enjoy the ride and start to imagine what the 2013 class will look like with Urban getting a full year to recruit.

Urban gets his first recruit

To say that Urban Meyer has been hitting the recruiting trail like his hair is on fire would be a huge understatement. It would be safer to say he has set the entire world on fire. Mostly though he has set other schools coaches and fans in a hissy fit that would make any 8 year old school girl envious. Last weekend Urban hosted about 25 recruits and several of them are soft verbals to other schools in the Big ten. Most notably PSU and MSU. It was a who’s who of top recruits many of who have more stars then the Milky Way. As it is many left town with so much excitement they couldn’t hardly wait to get back to their homes and call the other coaches to tell them they were flipping on their commitments to those schools. The first recruit to go fully public with his change of commitment is….

6’3″ 305 lbs 5* DT Tommy Schutt from Glen Ellyn, Illinois flipped from Penn State to Ohio State to become the 17th commitment in the 2012 recruiting class and Coach Meyers first verbal in his 2 weeks on the job at OSU. Schutt is a huge get as he is an ESPN 150 recruit and a top 5 DT prospect in the country. It also takes away PSUs highest ranked recruit and the first of 3 possible PSU verbals who may flip to OSU with LB Camren Williams currently visiting OSU and Noah Spence the no. 5 recruit in the nation visiting this coming weekend. Schutt will make a instant impact on the DL next year being so big and strong. His motor is non-stop and has strength and speed you dont see often in DT. He will be great next to Big Hank. Urban has set ablaze the recruiting trail and you will see many more like this in the coming weeks.

Kansas Live In Game Chat

Poll Dancing: Week Fourteen, or This Time the Field Goals Are Personal

It’s the rare sequel that lives up to the original.  Those that surpass (The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight) are rarer still.  Of course, with movies that’s generally because movies that inspire sequels are actually good.  At the very least, they’re popular.  In college football, apparently all it takes is that the sequel be in the best interest of ESPN.

On Saturday morning (by pure chance, as I usually don’t even watch) I had GameDay on and heard an exchange between someone and Kirk Herbstreit (that’s how much attention I was paying).  Herbstreit was asked who deserved the #2 spot besides Alabama and made a big show of not being able to produce an answer.  This was before Oklahoma State destroyed Oklahoma in what amounted to the Big 12 championship game.  The Cowboys finished the regular season with just a single loss–a double overtime stunner on the road at 6-6 Iowa State.

I thought for sure that the BCS computers would boost Oklahoma State into the national title game.  As you know, Big 12 teams have received tremendous (suspicious, even) benefit of the doubt from the machine portion of the ratings pretty much all year.  And they didn’t let me down.  Only two computers had the Cowboys at #3.  The other four had them at #2 as expected.  So what happened?

ESPN decided, in direct contrast to their no-rematch mantra in 2006 when voters fatefully picked Florida over Michigan to face Ohio State, that suddenly the only thing that mattered was “quality of loss.”  What they really decided, of course, was that their enormous TV deal with the SEC could benefit from (and perhaps even be justified by) having two SEC teams face off for the title, even though they had already played in what was at the time billed as the Game of the Century.  That the game will be on their channel is just a coincidence, I’m sure.  The “quality of loss” nonsense is just the easiest way to sell it to the voters and the public.

But is that really all that matters?  If so, then where is the argument for Boise State?  Their only loss was by one point to 10-2 TCU.  Shouldn’t they be ranked ahead of Oklahoma State too?  Stanford’s only loss is to 11-2 Oregon.  Virginia Tech has two losses, but they’re both to 10-3 Clemson.  No one is arguing for these teams, because elevating them does not achieve maximum benefit for ESPN.

How about quality wins?  Alabama beat 3 teams in the final BCS top 25 (#s 6, 22, and 25).  Oklahoma State beat 4 (#s 8, 12, 14, and 24).  If nothing else, that should even out the imbalance of their comparative losses.  Of course, then there’s that whole business of Oklahoma State actually winning their conference.  ESPN will tell you (over and over and over) that Alabama shouldn’t be punished because they play in the same division with the best team in the country.  But Michigan was punished for that in 2006, until we learned that maybe Ohio State wasn’t the best team in the country (at least not that night).  Georgia was punished similarly the following year, before ESPN was knee deep in SEC hoopla, for basically the same thing Alabama is now being rewarded for.

So what’s the answer?  Obviously, shady computers and easily-manipulated polls aren’t working.  A national title game featuring two teams from the same division is a joke, a mockery of the very idea of competition.  At this point, I’ll take ANY advancement of the postseason, even if it’s only a plus-one (which I still don’t think is enough, but at least it would solve this year’s main problem).

Next week, I’ll give you the preliminary concept for a national ranking system that does not have the trappings of the current system.  While there is no way to avoid all forms of bias, the most egregious tampering (coaches/fans having a direct impact on the standing of their team through voting) can be eliminated.  Hopefully, it will work well with all postseason concepts, although I doubt it would be that great for a two-team BCS-style format because that’s completely stupid.

Oh, and why next week?  Because there’s a game this Saturday, and in my system, EVERY game counts.