Archives for February 2012

Northwestern Live In Game Chat, Part 2

Hit the jump to join us for the live-blog during the Northwestern game.

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Evan Lisle becomes commit #5 for 2013

In what seems like years but is actually just a couple of weeks OSU and Coach Meyer landed another recruit for the 2013 class today. Maybe us fans had gotten spoiled by the frantic pace of the first 2 months of Coach Meyer recruiting to save his 2012 class and we got use to daily recruiting pick ups and news. Coach Meyer did warn us that he wanted to slow things down for the 2013 class and get to know the recruits on a personal basis before both sides decided to marry each other in the recruiting process. Well we are a month into the 2013 class and we landed our 5th verbal commit today.

Evan Lisle is a 6’6″ 265 lbs 4* OT from Centerville, Ohio. He committed to OSU today via phone cal to Coach Meyer and the news was broke by Marc Givler of Evan Lisle is a huge OT recruit and ranked in the top 5 of Ohio recruits by Scouts. He is an ESPNU 150 recruit and ranked as the 83rd best recruit by Rivals. Evan fills a need at position we lack depth at and has the size and agility to play either right or left tackle. He needs to put on a little more weight but he has the athletic lean look Coach Meyer wants from his OLmen. he will have every chance to play early and often.

Wisconsin Live In Game Chat, part 2

Live chat placed below the fold for archival purposes (also to prevent dragging the loading of the Men of the Scarlet and Gray homepage to a halt)

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The Future of College Football: The Post-Season

As you read this, a dozen men (the 11 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick) are meeting to determine the next way we will argue about who doesn’t deserve to be the national champion.  With the current BCS contract with ESPN expiring following the 2013 season and dissatisfaction with the post-season arrangement at an all-time high thanks to an abomination of a title game that found a way to create brand new controversies (is losing a conference championship game really worse than not even making it to one?) when we were so sure we had finally seen it all.

Early word out of this meeting (just the second of what will likely be four or five such gatherings before the July deadline) is that there is major support for a Plus-One format, which isn’t really all that informative except to shoot down the possibility of full-blown 8- or 16-team playoff models.  “Plus-One” means different things to different people, and it’s hard to say which version (if it is indeed just one) is gaining steam.  One thing that does seem clear, however, is that the 2014 season will end with more than two teams vying in some way for the ultimate prize, and that’s at least progress.  Here, then, are the most popular public proposals for a multi-team post-season format that are not large scale playoffs:

The Original Plus-One

This would be the version of “Plus-One” that is actually correctly named and also my least favorite of the three outlined here.  The idea is that the BCS selection process would be scrapped and the four top bowls would revert to original conference tie-ins.  The BCS system would be churned one more time following the bowls and the top two teams would play for the title.

The primary benefit of this system is that it opens the title chase to the most teams without being an actual playoff.  Technically, eight teams will be in the running and four of them will be eliminated on the field.  Two of them will then be eliminated in the same way we hate now, which is the primary drawback and a pretty big one in my opinion.  I don’t see how this will curb controversy in a real way.  It does guarantee a traditional Rose Bowl matchup every year, if you’re willing to accept that Nebraska vs. Utah is “traditional.”

I highly doubt that this is the Plus-One model that’s gaining traction, since most of the decision-makers involved are wary of the dreaded “bracket creep,” and this is basically a playoff that skips from quarter-finals to finals.  It would be too easy to add in that missing middle round in a couple of years and there’s no way the playoff opponents in the room don’t see that.  It also opens the door back up for accusations of hindering access, since it would reduce the number of “BCS” teams from 10 to 8 unless another bowl (Cotton?) is brought on board, a move that would itself then create three potential “screwed” teams rather than two.

The Four Team Bowl Playoff

The “Modern Plus-One” is really just a small playoff that’s afraid of itself.  If you don’t call it a playoff, then it isn’t, I guess.  Whatever.  This is the model that ESPN talks about the most, so immediately I am suspicious of it.  The idea here is that teams 1 and 4 and teams 2 and 3 would meet in two of the BCS bowls with the winners playing for the title a week later.

Proponents of this system love to congratulate themselves for creating a playoff and preserving the importance of the bowls, and I suppose it does that.  But I’m not really sure how many fans can travel to two bowl games in close succession or how many schools are going to want to foot the bill for two long trips.  Being that it is an actual playoff, it isn’t the worst idea, but the logistics seem to make it needlessly cumbersome.

This setup also reduces the number of BCS teams by two and doesn’t allow for an easy fix the way Original Plus-One does.  This is probably the format that is leading the pack right now, but I think that if it is implemented, its downsides will become quickly apparent and further modification will be in order.

The Four Team Non-Bowl Playoff

This is the system recently offered up by the Big Ten, and I think it is the best I’ve seen (again, since we’re ruling out the 16-teamer I actually want).  It would still employ the 1-4, 2-3 matchups, but these games would be held at the home stadiums of the top two teams.  The winners would then meet in a new national title game, the location of which would be up for bid each year, similar to the Super Bowl.

I’m honestly having a hard time finding something to dislike about this concept.  Home playoff games make achieving one of those top two spots worth fighting for, although it may also necessitate finding a new way to rank teams so as to avoid accusations of impropriety (at the very least, make the current system transparent).  No one is going to have trouble selling out a home game for a championship berth and contingency travel packages to the title game can be sold throughout December.  Also, moving the title game around the country would be beyond amazing.  I can honestly say I would consider going to any title game at Lucas Oil, whether the Buckeyes were in it or not.

This model benefits the bowl side of things as well.  With four teams out of the picture, top-tier bowl spots would be open for even more teams.  The Rose Bowl can have its Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup every year and get at least one of the champs most seasons.  In fact, there’s no reason the two semi-final losers can’t be eligible for bowls as well, making it even more likely to get a traditional Rose Bowl and offering more attractive options to help the bowls sell tickets.

But the most significant advantage to this format is that it comes prepared for eventual expansion.  There are no existing logistical barriers to keep it from, well, creeping to 8 or 16 teams.  I doubt that’s what the Big Ten has in mind right now, but I’d also be surprised if they hadn’t thought of it.

What are your thoughts?  Do you prefer one of the other two systems?  Is there a drawback to the Big Ten plan that I’m missing?

In Case You Missed It (and Site Updates)

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted one of these. In fact, it’s been way too long since any of us have posted any real new content (besides Sylvester Yon Rambo, who has been keeping the content flowing with his recruiting and coaching updates. I am very thankful for that).

I do have somewhat of an excuse myself. I had to make a trip to the emergency room in early December which lead to an emergency surgery which led to my diagnosis as a Type II Diabetic. Needless to say, that put my blogging activities on hiatus for a while. (The hundred plus hours I’ve put into Skyrim also may put a dent into blogging time). That accounts for most of my absence in December and part of January, but here we are now near the end of February. I don’t have a real excuse for that. But, as the longest tenured (active) Ohio State blogger, I reserve the right to take time off from time to time. It’s been nice to step back for a bit but now I’m ready to get back into the swing of the blogging things.

So new site news:

I have been thinking of giving Men of the Scarlet and Gray a face lift. We have been using the current theme for at least four years now, and it might be time to change that. I really like the new look the guys over at Waiting For Next Year switched to and I’m considering along those lines for our site here.

It’s been a while since I updated the Twittering Buckeyes page so I’ve added a bunch of new Buckeyes and their respective Twitter pages. I’ll update the “current” and “former” lists after the Spring Game and the NFL draft when we have a clear idea of who’s on the team and who isn’t. I don’t follow as many athletes I used to but I’m still amazed at how quickly it has been adopted and how thoroughly Twitter has changed the recruiting game. (Just remember not to tweet those recruits, you booster you!)

I’ve added a little video widget that appears in the upper right corner from Total College Sports where you can find different highlights and sports shows. We get a little cut from the add revenue, so if you feel so inclined, check out a video or two and in turn support our little site here. (I was able to talk them out of auto-playing the videos because I hate that as much as you do.)

We’re also adding another writer to the site. You may know him as Buckeye JJ on Twitter and now he’ll be writing here, helping out with news and recruiting along with original content. We’re also looking to add a basketball writer, too. If that’s something you’d be interested in, please drop us a note expressing your interest and we’ll be in touch.

So what has happened since I last posted one of these?

Oh, nothing, just the usual, groundbreaking, earth shattering changes. You know, life in the day of a Buckeye fan. Since the last ICYMI, Ohio State has:

  • Hired a new Football Head Coach.
  • Flipped some of the highest profile football recruits, amassing a top shelf 2012 recruiting class.
  • Hired some excellent new coaches (so excellent, in fact, some have already left for other jobs in the NFL).
  • Got a bowl ban.
  • The basketball team got off to a torrid start, cooled off a little bit, and now find themselves in a dogfight for Big Ten supremacy down the stretch.

Maybe I should be doing these a little more often!

UPDATE: In my haste to get this posted, I neglected two items I initially meant to include in this post. One has been pointed out in the comments: We were invited to, and have subsequently joined, the Buckeye Blogger Network. We join a Voltron-like amalgation of the best the Buckeye blogosphere has to offer including Our Honor Defend, The Buckeye Blog, The Buckeye Battlecry, Buckeye House Call and OSU Silver Bullet.

Also, in an attempt to form a more perfect Social Network Union, SYR has established the Official Men of the Scarlet and Gray presence on Twitter. You can follow us there @MotSaG. Of course you can still find us on Facebook and Google+, along with all our individual writers on Twitter, all linked in the sidebar.

Let’s get Denarded in here

From our friends over at Kegs ‘N Eggs comes this awesome video recap of Denard Robinson’s throwing and dunking prowess on the set of ESPN basketball Gameday recently.

Michigan Live In Game Chat

Live chat placed below the fold for archival purposes (also to prevent dragging the loading of the Men of the Scarlet and Gray homepage to a halt)

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Eli Woodard was always a Buckeye

For most of his life Eli Woodard was a giant Buckeye fan and he always had dreams and aspirations of becoming a member of the team he so dearly loves. Today he got one step closer. Becoming the 4th member of the 2013 Ohio State recruiting class and the 2nd recruit since last weekends Junior Day at OSU. Here is what he had to say on his Twitter account today when he announced he would be a Buckeye. “After much prayer and consideration, I’m proud to commit as a student-athlete to The Ohio State University! #BuckeyeNation”

Eli Woodard is 6’1″ 185 lbs CB from Voorhees, NJ. He is a consensus 4 star recruit. ESPN has him listed as one of their ESPNU 150 players in the 2013 class. Rivals has him listed as the 28th best recruit in the nation. 247sports has him listed as the 82nd best recruit in the nation. Eli has the cover skills and speed to be a dominant CB at the next level and the football IQ to match. He will certainly get his chances to play early. He also had offers from Alabama, TTUN, Notre Dame, and many others. This is a huge get for Coach Meyer and his staff but was made early by lots of ground work done by Jim Tressel and the past staff. Eli Woodard joins fellow commits Cam Burrows and Jalin Marshall and Billy Price. This 2013 class is taking shape nicely and is setting up to be a top 3 class again.

2012 Ohio State Buckeye Recruiting Class

The class of 2012 for Ohio State started off with a popcorn fart and ended with a thermal nuclear style bang. Ohio State had a disappointing recruiting class under interim head coach Luke Fickell. The Buckeyes were losing key recruits like Kyle Kalis, Kyle Dodson, Se’von Pittman, Taylor Decker among others that would have been locks to be Buckeyes. They were going elsewhere due to the resignation of Jim Tressel and the uncertainty of the impending NCAA ruling.

Then this happened:

Urban Meyer brought OSU’s recruiting class from being ranked 25th and fast approaching being outside the top 25 to the 3rd best recruiting class in the nation and did so in less than 2 months. Meyer brought in 11 prospects including getting 5 star RB Brionte Dunn to recommit to Ohio State. Without Meyer, Dunn was likely headed to Michigan.

During his introductory press conference Meyer talked about the need to bring in offensive linemen and linebackers. He did just that. He brought OT Kyle Dodson from the clutches of Wisconsin, OG Joey O’Connor and OT Taylor Decker who switched from Notre Dame. He then went out and got LB Camren Williams, LB David Perkins and Jamal Marcus who played defensive end in highschool but may end up playing the MLB position at Ohio State.

Kyle Dodson is a badass

Jamal Marcus is a player that Meyer coveted. Meyer called his highlight reel borderline ridiculous. You be the judge.

Meyer also went out and recruited one of the highest rated groups of defensive lineman to ever come to OSU. He started with Noah Spence, then added Adolphus Washington and then took Se’von Pittman away from Michigan State. Meyer also wrestled Tommy Schutt away from Penn State. Spence, Washington and Schutt are all 5 star blue chip recruits and Pittman is no slouch himself as a 4 star recruit.

Spence is a pure speed rush defensive end that had 3 sacks in the Under Armour All-American game, setting a record.

Adolphus Washington is a mixture of size and speed and will most likely play opposite Spence on the other side of the line, or he could move inside after he adds size and strength. Washington had 23.5 sacks as a senior.

Tommy Schutt will be licking his chops with Washington and Spence coming aboard. Schutt will play the interior defensive line for the Buckeyes. Schutt had 14 sacks his senior year.

Brionte Dunn is a player that nearly went to that school up north before Urban Meyer became head coach. Meyer fought hard for Dunn to stay a Buckeye and this kid who is a 5 star talent could very well be too good to keep off the field come September. He is already enrolled at OSU.

Here is a list of the full class for 2012:

QB-Cardale Jones-3 Stars
RB-Warren Ball-4 Stars
RB-Brionte Dunn-5 Stars
WR-Mike Thomas-4 Stars
WR-Frank Epitropoulus-3 Stars
WR-Ricquan Southward-3 Stars
TE-Blake Thomas-3 Stars
OT-Taylor Decker-4 Stars
OT-Kyle Dodson-4 Stars
OG-Joey O’Connor-3 Stars
OG-Patrick Elfein-3 Stars
OG-Jacoby Boren-3 Stars
DT-Tommy Schutt-5 Stars
DE-Noah Spence-5 Stars
DE-Adolphus Washinton-5 Stars
DE-Se’von Pittman-4 Stars
LB-Jamal Marcus-3 Stars
LB-Joshua Perry-4 Stars
LB-Camren Williams-4 Stars
LB-David Perkins-4 Stars
LB-Luke Roberts-3 Stars
S-Devan Bogard-4 Stars
S-Tyvis Powell-3 Stars
CB-Armani Reeves-4 Stars
CB-Najee Murray-4 Stars

The one thing missing from this class that Meyer coveted was an offensive play maker with gamebreaking speed. He was gunning for Stefon Diggs but Diggs chose to stay home in Maryland. But fear not Buckeye fans. In 2013, this kid will be coming to fill that void…Meyer will have his OSU version of Percy Harvin:

Jalin Marshall folks….remember that name.

How did the rest of the Big Ten do? Not so great. Outside that school up north (who finished just behind OSU at 4th overall nationally) Big Ten schools really struggled to attract top flight talent in 2012. The Big Ten really needs to step it up if they want to compete with Meyer and the Buckeyes.

School/National Recruiting Ranking:
Ohio State-3rd
Michigan State-37th

Minnesota Live In Game Chat