Archives for October 2012

The Spread, Week Ten: O Bracket, Where Art Thou?


College football may be on the verge of something that I never thought I’d see. An undefeated Notre Dame could find itself locked out of the national championship chase. Notre Dame. The school for whom the system has bent over backward might be this year’s version of The Team Looking In as we wait for the BCS to finally die its slow, slow death.

And they don’t even deserve it.

Right now, the Irish are at #3 in the BCS rankings and before you rage against the machines, it’s not the computers’ fault. In that component, Notre Dame is actually tied for first place. With Kansas State. (Okay, now you can rage.)  In the human polls, however, they  sit at #4. Now, I think those other three teams are great too, but is Notre Dame really the worst of the four eligible, relevant unbeatens?

Excluding fellow independents Navy and BYU, the Irish do not have a single team on their schedule that is not in an BCS-AQ conference. Kansas State has two. Bama has three. Oregon played three to start the season, and that was their entire non-conference schedule. Granted, two of those teams will have to play a conference championship game, but that still doesn’t quite even the scheduling score.

In terms of common opponents, Notre Dame’s impressive schedule offers opportunities to directly compare performances with the other three (inasmuch as that can be considered a direct comparison, but let’s not get into that). Notre Dame and Oregon share two quality teams (Stanford and USC) that will allow us to make a pretty good judgment between them, but the only game that has taken place so far is Notre Dame/Stanford, so the jury’s still out on this one.

Both the Irish and Alabama played Michigan, with the Tide ripping out Brady Hoke’s gravy-soaked soul in prime-time on opening weekend. Brian Kelly took it easier on the school that should have hired him when they had the chance, but Manti Te’o and the Domer D picked off 5 Wolverine passes and pretty much made Denard Robinson look like the worst QB to ever not know how to tie his shoes. While I think each team dominated Michigan in its own way, I wouldn’t fault you for giving Bama the edge.

Notre Dame and Kansas State each played Miami (FL) and Oklahoma and the Irish come out the clear winners here. Notre Dame snuffed out the Canes 41-3 in a Catholics vs. Convicts revival that left Miami looking for some fresh thugs. The Sooners were supposed to expose the Irish last week but instead got whipped 30-13. While Kansas State similarly abused Miami 52-13, they had a much tougher time with Oklahoma, the better of the two opponents, edging the Sooners 24-19 thanks to a fourth quarter outburst from an offense that hadn’t reached the end zone in the first three.

I’m honestly not sure why this team isn’t being mentioned right along with Alabama as the best in the nation. They may not be “dominating” teams in terms of margin of victory, but the truth is they just might be this year’s equivalent of the ’02 Buckeyes, with the presumed-repeat-champs Crimson Tide slipping nicely into Miami’s role.

Okay, I’m done praising Notre Dame. I need a shower.


Four weeks ago, I nailed my list of Six Fraud Teams to the door of college football and then probably took a nap. With about four weeks left in the regular season, it’s time to see how things are shaping up.

Louisville: The Cardinals were at the top of the list thanks to a poor schedule and several close wins. Guess what? They’re still winning ugly while their competition has elevated to mediocre (three opponents since first list are 11-12). While there’s still technically a chance to go Full Fraud if they lose all remaining games and their bowl, it appears that Louisville will escape this fate.

Texas Christian: TCU was my pick for sure-fire fraud on the initial list and they have not disappointed so far. The Frogs went 1-3 since opening 4-0 and their remaining games are: @West Virginia, Kansas State, @Texas, Oklahoma. So yeah.

Northwestern: I think the Wildcats are a decent team and picked them to survive Fraudacity mostly because the Big Ten just isn’t that great this year. Still, they’ve dropped 2 of 4 since starting 5-0 and have a bye week before the season-defining Tour de Michigance. They finish at home against Illinois who is Illinois. I’m still in the Nerds’ corner, but they’re not out of the woods yet.

Rutgers: Like Louisville, the Scarlet Knights benefit from being an okay team in a terrible conference. They lost to Kent State last week and have road trips to Cincy and Pitt before taking on the Cardinals in the season-ender. All three of those games could easily be losses.

South Carolina: I plucked the Gamecocks (and Mississippi State) out of the vast collection of unbeaten SEC teams at the beginning of October because they were the two most suspect and something had to give. Unfortunately for SoCar, that something was everything inside of Marcus Lattimore’s leg. Notice how there’s no link. If you haven’t seen it, consider yourself lucky. If you really think you still want to, go find it yourself. The Cocks did manage to still pull out the win over Tennessee and that will keep them out of Fraudville. Their remaining schedule is Arkansas, Wofford, @Clemson. We’ll see how they respond to the loss of Lattimore, but those are all winnable games.

Mississippi State: Their only loss so far is to Doc Saban’s Elephant Football Death Machine, but they still have Texas A&M, LSU and Ole Miss upcoming.


Thursday night‘s big ESPN game is Irrelevant Virginia Tech @ Afterthought Miami (FL), a game that couldn’t be more meaningless this late in the season. Expect lots of SEC-related tangents from the booth starting about halfway through the opening kickoff.

Saturday night finally brings us Oregon @ USC, Alabama @ LSU, and Oklahoma State @ Kansas State which will probably all end up something like 66-13, but at least those games will have two good teams playing at the same time, a phenomenon you’ll be hard-pressed to find the rest of the day without picture-in-picture.

Ohio State vs Penn State Highlight Package

B1G Power Rankings: Eighth Edition

The B1G Conference is about as up and down as a conference can get. Every team has looked beatable and numbers 2 through 7 in the rankings are just about equal. Ohio State took care of business at Penn State, while a Denard Robinson injury fueled Nebraska over Michigan. Sparty defeated Wisconsin at Camp Randall for their first home loss in 21 games as the two teams continue to be up and down each week.

1. Ohio State (9-0)- The Buckeyes got a huge win at Happy Valley against one of the hottest teams in the B1G. They get rewarded by playing the worst team in the conference at home this weekend.

2. Nebraska (6-2)- A hard fought victory against Michigan propelled the ‘Huskers up to number two in the power rankings. Nebraska travels to East Lansing this week in what should be another tough game.

3. Northwestern (7-2)- Kain Colter tallied 4 touchdowns against Iowa as the Wildcats now have the second best winning percentage in the conference.

4. Michigan (5-3)- The Wolverines showed that they have no real back up plan for when Denard Robinson goes down. They hope to bounce back against Minnesota this week.

5. Michigan State (5-4)- The Spartans defense held Montee Ball in check (22 carries/ 46 yards,) and scored an upset at Camp Randall. The road does not get any easier for Sparty as they welcome Nebraska into town this weekend.

6. Penn State (5-3)- The Nittany Lions fell apart after half time against the Buckeyes and now get to bounce back against a reeling Purdue team.

7. Wisconsin (6-3)- Not sure what to think of this Wisconsin team. One week they are a mess, another week they look unstoppable. The Badgers get a bye week after Michigan State snapped their 21 game home winning streak.

8. Indiana (3-5)- In the battle of the B1G basement, the Hoosiers proved that they are much better than Illinois this year. They play Iowa this week and hope to win another conference game.

9. Iowa (4-4)- Iowa fell to Northwestern as they continue their up and down season.

10. Minnesota (5-3)- It looked like the Gophers took advantage of Purdue’s Buckeye hangover by hanging 44 points on the Boiler Makers. They’ll be keeping an eye on Denard Robinson’s injury this week.

11. Purdue (3-5)- Purdue seems to play down (Minnesota) and up (Notre Dame, Ohio State) to their competition. We will see if that trend continues this week against Penn State.

12. Illinois (2-6)- The Illini let up 30+ points once again and they hope to keep the Buckeyes under 60 this week.


2013 OSU recruit stats week 10

Sorry I missed last week with this post and sadly we are on Week 10 which means the season is over for some of our recruits and others will be playing in their respective states playoffs. Once the season ends I will try to put together a comprehensive look at each recruits stats for the year.

Jalin Marshall– His team Middletown Middies defeated Cincinnati Princeton 41-14. Jalin rushed 12 times for 168 yards and a 3 TDs and went 3 of 7 for 91 yards and 2 TDs.
Eli Woodard His team Eastern enjoyed a 55-38 win over Winslow Township. Eli and his team clinched a playoff spot with the victory.
Cam Burrows His team Trotwood-Madison beat Vandalia Butler 27-3. Cam had 2 tackles.
Joey Bosa– His team St. Thomas Aquinas beat Plantation 24-20.
Marcus Baugh His team John W North beat Poly 38-0. Marcus had 2 TDs.
Evan Lisle His team Centerville enjoyed a 41-6 win over Springfield. As an O-lineman he helped his team gain 323 yards on the ground.
Ezekiel Elliott His team John Burroughs HS enjoyed a forfeit over Confluence.
Billy Price His team Austintown Fitch enjoyed a 49-7 win over Cardinal Mooney. Billy had 6 tackles and 2 sacks.
Jayme Thompson His team Toledo Central Catholic suffered a 49-0 loss to Toledo Whitmer. Jayme had 3 tackles.
J T Barrett- His team Rider lost 21-10 to Guyer. Unfortunately JT is out for the season with a knee injury.
Michael Hill His team Pendleton beat Landrum 38-21. His season is over due to a hand injury.
Taivon Jacobs His team Suitland enjoyed a 29-12 win over Bowie. Taivon had an INT and a TD reception.
Darron Lee His team New Albany enjoyed a 38-14 victory over Mt. Vernon. Darron helped his team gain 422 yards of offense.
Tracy Sprinkle His team Elyria suffered a 31-21 loss to Mayfield. Tracy had 19 tackles and 5 TFL and 1 sack and 3 QB hurries.
Tim Gardner His team Lawrence Central enjoyed a 21-14 win over Warren Central. Tim helped his team make the Sectional Championships.
Johnny Townsend His team Boone enjoyed a 28-12 win over East River. No punting stats could be found.
Tyquan Lewis– His team Tarboro HS enjoyed a 34-0 win over Beddingfield. Tyquan had 3 sacks.

This class is loaded and we all know it. The stats don’t lie that’s for sure. Tracy Sprinkle continues to prove the recruiting experts wrong by putting up monster numbers. Ezekiel Elliott and Jalin Marshall are the kind of playmakers OSU needs for Urbans offense. The question will continue to be asked until signing day who else will join this already impressive class and how many more guys can they take. Also look for 2014 class to start taking shape soon.

In Case You Missed It

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Miss me? I missed you. We only have so many more times to do this this year, only so many more times to memorialize this strange season in so many picture frames, as it were. It’s hard to believe it’s already week nine, heading toward the double digits.

SPEAKING OF WEEK TEN: The kick-off time for the Illinois game has been set for 3:30 on the ESPN.

BLAME YOU, BLAME ME, BLAME EVERYONE!: There’s not a whole lot more to be said about Saturday’s dismantling of the Penn State bandwagon that YNBA hasn’t already said, but I do want to point out just a couple things. These have probably already been said elsewhere, but bear with me. First off, as YNBA adroitly pointed out, those poor beleaguered Penn State fans have been beating to death that straw-man ref they built. It must feel so good. The cognitive dissonance is palpable. But those guys are actually sane compared to what I read over at BWI (Blue White Illustrated) after the game Saturday night. I’m choosing not to link them because I don’t want to subject you to that nonsense, but feel free to wade into their bizarro world if you want to. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Speaking of complaining about the refs, we all know that the biggest complaint came on the holding call against Penn State’s punt return team. As we often have to do with defending the pass interference call against Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, we must go, as they say, to the scoreboard: SCOREBOARD (via 7-11W).

Let me just set the scene. Bryce Haynes had previously been one of the first Buckeyes down on punt coverage, making a nice tackle the punt before. Penn State’s punt return team is instructed that someone (let’s call him Brad Bars) will be playing the part of Gandalf to Haynes’ Balrog. “You shall not pass” indeed. SCOREBOARD

(Full disclosure: I was a long snapper in high school. I had this, and all manner of other offenses, occur to me on the regular).

And we won’t even get into the Chaos theory that Penn State has to claim in order for that holding call to affect the game. As sportsMonkey pointed out to me this morning during our daily IMs: “so that play in the 2nd quarter… somehow made the OSU defense sack McGloin in the 3rd, then caused him to throw a pick six, then caused Miller to throw an INT, then caused PSU to kick a FG…”

And so on.

THE BEST DEAN SHAZIER IN THE LAND: I told SYR on Friday after Ryan Shazier tweeted:

that I no longer worried about the Buckeyes in this game. Shazier had his coming out party last year against Penn State and was primed for another breakout performance. His third quarter (and really, the whole game’s) performance bore that out. And his effort has been recognized by the B1G, being named Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Much deserved and a great tribute to his friend.


“Oh my God, Carlos [Hyde] was like, ‘You all right?’ so I need to practice that,” Miller said.

Yeah, Braxton’s going to have to practice avoiding those hits.

RUN, FAT BOY: Maybe it’s just me, but Jake Stoneburner runs like Tim Tebow.

MISC: No surprise here, Ohio State has cemented itself as the MOST POWERFUL TEAM IN THE BIG TEN. After the Michigan loss, I am obliged to link this. Metric Football: the Liter Bowl.

Blogpoll – Week 9

Bama and Oregon are the two best teams in the nation if you ask me but it is hard to argue that Kansas St and Notre Dame dont deserve to be in the discussion. All 4 of those teams are worthy of a title shot and if it was 2014 they would all have a shot but alas it is not so some of these teams need to lose or their will be some serious CHAOS at the end of the year.

Ohio State oh how people continue to doubt you each and every week and each and every week you dont let your fans down and are 9-0. If for some reason all these undefeated teams lose a game they have a legit shot at an AP title if you keep on winning. No matter what though you have got your hands firmly wrapped around the Leaders division title and a whole lot of happy fans.

The rest of the top 25 is a hot mess. Lots of 1 loss teams and a few 2 loss teams. No 3 loss teams yet sorry Arizona but thanks for beating Lane Kiffin.

Thoughts? Opinions?

OSU v Penn State – Recap

Braxton Miller seemed to finally get that zone read thingy right…and there was much rejoicing.

It was your typical OSU game this season.  Offense starts out slow and you consider throwing yourself into traffic, but just like clockwork Braxton Miller comes to life and puts the offense into a gear that most Buckeye fans still havent been able to completely comprehend.

There were a few things atypical about the game.  The OSU defense looks like it has turned the corner and has started to tackle much better, and is also getting regular pressure on quarterback.  Yays!

Btw…Who would ever think that a school of Penn State’s size couldnt produce a semi-competent kicker from the student population?  They need to take the UM approach and find the most unathletic person at the school to be the kicker…it lowers expectations, but hey, “brunettes” and probably donuts…lots and lots of donuts.

As much as I think it will still be unlikely, 12-0 looks like a real possibility now.


  • Zone Read Decisions for Braxton #allgame
  • D-Line put pressure on McGloin all game
  • Boren could have been an All-American LB if he played there all of his years at OSU.  Guy is amazing and he is starting to pick up pass coverage now, as well.
  • Nice game by Bennett and Hankins shutting down the middle
  • Limited amount of missed tackles in the secondary
  • Braxton going Nebraska-mode on Penn State Defense
  • Shazier sack and pick six in the same series.
  • Carlos Hyde is a stud.  Feels like we are watching the second-coming of Raymont Harris. #ultraback
  • Defense did not give a touchdown until 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter.


  • Passing game is turribull.  Not Michigan passing game turribull, but pretty bad.
  • Found out who will be the most held d-line player after John Simon graduates…Noah Spence.
  • John Simon is hurt?  Sure seemed like he was hobbling a little bit.  Illinois and a bye week would seem to be the best tonic for that ailment.
  • “Out and Up” – We know that a couple of the players in the secondary will be playing on Sundays, but it would be nice if they didn’t fall for the double-move EVERY TIME.
  • Last touchdown for Penn State everyone knew what was coming including Shazier and he still left the TE open.  *Sigh* Assignment football…Well, at least the defense will have more to work on this week.

Turning Point of the Game:

  • Some people will say that it was the questionable holding call on the punt late in the 1st half, but Griffin’s pass break-up on the fake punt was immense.  Gave the Buckeyes their best starting field position of the game.  Huge momentum swing.


One More Thing:

The only reason that Penn State lost?  WELL, THE REFS OF COURSE!!!

Penn State Live In Game Chat

Preview: Penn State

Well. Last Saturday was interesting, but the Buckeyes are still unbeaten.

Before I get into my yearly rant/preview on the Ohio State – Penn State matchup, I’d like to discuss a topic of note that occurred in the last week or so:

Sports Radio, ESPN Gameday, and Behavior Unbecoming a Gentleman

I have lived in Seattle for almost 7 years now.  I used to listen to 1460TheFan for drive time most days when I lived in Columbus between 1993 and 2005.  I have even listened to Scott Torgerson on his show a few times, when I have returned home for visits.  For those mouthbreathers complaining that his show is terrible, it seems similar to complaining about reality television.  It is what it is…a Shock Jock sports show.  The show (no matter who is hosting it) has always talked about the same topic: Ohio State Athletics.  If the show happens to focus some time on the CBJ and (heaven forbid) pop culture, there should be no backlash for that reasonable list of radio topics.  It is an entertainment program…not a news program.

Do I think that Scott Torgerson got a raw deal?  Yes.  It was the same raw deal that Damon Bruce received when he challenged the validity of ESPN’s Tom Friend witch hunt/article laying out the wrongdoings within OSU Football program in 2003, during an interview on the same timeslot.

Do I think that Kirk Herbstreit’s rant had something to do with this firing?  Sure.  It is a sad state of affairs when someone with Herbstreit’s history in radio will take his current position and abuse the power and influence to leave a radio disc jockey jobless, because of a joke.  Regardless of your feelings on the tweet being in poor taste, I feel bad for Torg for a couple of reasons.  One, he is on wrong end of an ESPN double-standard, which is personified by Jemele Hill tweeting about Hitler and seemingly being promoted within a year.  This was a much more volatile and publically sensitive topic, which created a small stir compared to joking about someone’s utter demise and how the College Gameday program would be a better show because of it.  We all know that this is true.  Remember that time Desmond and Nick Lachey sung Hail to the Victors on the top of Ohio Stadium,  that is just “adding value” folks.  I will say this for Herbstreit.  He earned his spot on Gameday.  Desmond talks like he hasn’t graduated from high school yet and he is supposed to be a “grown ass man.”  Secondly, I wont get into the whole “pot meet kettle” discussion, but Kirk’s conduct in Columbus and on the road wouldn’t win any “Man of the Year” Awards, as most of us have heard the rumors countless times, yet, he still works for ESPN…weird, right?  I understand the Herbstreit’s value compared to Torg’s in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn’t make it right.



Oh yeah…there is a game this weekend in Happy Valley.  Apparently, there is a moxie-advisory in the State College area for Saturday.

I am the resident Penn State Hater amongst the MotSaG writers.  I had pretty much decided years ago that the school was going to mess up at some point and wrote about the tight-knit community that protected everything that was most likely going wrong.  From players beating up students at parties, as well as the lack of scrutiny on weakass disciplinary actions being given to that lovable old cooterbag JoePa, something was bound to go wrong for Penn State.  Really though, it couldn’t happen to a more insufferable fanbase.  I know that OSU fans are given a rap of being idiots.  Yes, we are idiots, but we do acknowledge and even embrace our level of stupidity.  Penn State fans went ahead and raised the “Michigan Difference” bar with a “We have never had a major NCAA Infraction” on recruiting pamphlets. Both schools and its fanbase are pontificating idiots (have you been to MGoBlog lately…or ever…is that even a site anymore), the only difference is that UM fans know that its school isn’t perfect (and they are on probation to prove it).

Anywho, I don’t need to recap how the athletic department buildings were basically stationary panel vans with “free candy” written on the side of them.  There is still a contingent of Penn State fans that believe that nothing happened.  If they were as concerned with the contents of the Freeh Report as they were the subsequent NCAA sanctions, it would be a lot easier for most of us to feel anything but disgust towards the school, its administrators, and delusional fanbase.

When Penn State has the ball

McGloin has moxie.  He is also completing 62.5% of his passes this year with an affinity for getting the ball to Kyle Carter (FR. TE) and Allen Robinson (SO. WR).  They have 76 receptions between the two of them, which is a little less than half of the completions for McGloin this season.  McGloin is a seasoned veteran within the B1G and can actually go through progressions, so he is tough guy to scheme against.  OSU will need decent LB play in covering Carter at TE, as he seems to be McGloin’s safety valve when things breakdown.

If there was ever a game that the D-Line needed to create pressure and wreak havoc, this is it.  The defense is still being held together with bubblegum and toothpicks, as Sabino and a number of other defensive players are currently out of action or playing hurt.  The D-Line’s ability to create pressure without the blitz will be paramount. If McGloin has time, he will probably pick OSU apart all day long.  It doesn’t matter how well the secondary plays, there will need to be pressure on the QB.  I don’t care really care about the running backs, as I don’t feel like PSU’s O-Line is built for running the ball, so any play that is taking the ball out of McGloin’s hands is favorable to the OSU defense.

When OSU has the ball

When you turn the ball over four times (one of those was a terribull call by the B1G officials), starting all-world QB gets knocked out, and the back-up is given 47 seconds to make up 8 points, you really don’t think about winning as a real possibility.

This is what has made this season very interesting.  No matter what seems to get thrown at this team, there always seems to be a proper answer or response.  Whether it is the defense stepping up in crunch time against MSU and Purdue or the offense scoring at-will against Nebraska or even Indiana, OSU has always answered the call.

Even with the dumpster-fire performance of the OSU offense last week, it is still #10 in the country in rushing yards per game.  The offense should be able to put up points, whether Miller or “Smooth Jazz” Guiton are running the show.  The Penn State defense has played absolutely NOBODY with an offense outside of Northwestern, which scored 28 points.  We’ll see if the OSU offense starts slow, which is its modus operandi as of late.  If so, expect a long game.  Otherwise, I like the OSU offense to take the overplayed “white-out” crowd out of the game.

Miller comes back and plays the entire game.  OSU defense gets enough pressure on McGloin to cause a couple of road turnovers, which are a must.  It is that simple people.

OSU 35-21

How you feel?