Archives for November 2014

Breaking News: Worst Fears Confirmed For Kosta Karageorge Family

Last week Walk-On Kosta Karageorge went missing after calling his mother in the middle of the night with cryptic messages about his concussions. It was what he said and how he said it that sent a Mother and family into panic mode. They tried to contact Kosta with no luck and called Columbus Police to report him missing.

Instantly news spread and efforts were made to find him. Hundreds of volunteers put up posters and even former Buckeye alumni raised money for a reward to help find Kosta.

Today a body was found near his apartment just off campus and Columbus Police just confirmed it sadly is the body of Kosta Karageorge.

It is with a very sad heart that this has become the worst case scenario. Sports aside this is a young man who suffered and was struggling. This is devastating news to the family and his team and all of Buckeye Nation.

Suicide is never the answer if you or anyone you know needs help please seek it.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Mirror Lake Jump: Through the Eyes of a Student

Three feet of water, thirty degrees, a few thousand of your closest friends. That’s basically Mirror Lake in a nutshell. Tuesday, I took part in my last jump of my college career. Starting in the 1990s at the end of a simple rally march for The Game, the Mirror Lake Jump has become something of legend in college traditions. Here’s how it happens, through the eyes of a student.

 

Tuesday, November 25th. 5:00 PM

On my way to my last class of the week in Haggerty Hall, I stopped at the Ohio Union to pick up my “required” wristband for the jump. As last year, I waited until the last day to get my wristband because I live life on the edge. Standing between me and a plunge into the freezing water was an 80 minute German class. Once class ended, I hurried home to pack my backpack for the evening: a bathing suit, my Crocs, a towel, a change of clothes, and some adult beverages.

Tuesday, November 25th. 8:30 PM

After packing for my trip home over break, and watching some CBJ hockey, it was time to go to the pre-jump party. I threw on my sweatpants and an appropriate for the occasion Ohio State jacket and headed to my friend’s apartment. Over the next three hours, I met some people who, by the end of the night, would feel like I had known them my entire life. That’s what the jump does. It brings together people who would otherwise never meet or hang out and turns them into the closest of friends. There was a handful of party games, one person who we lost at 9:30 to the comfort of the floor, and plenty of overplayed pop-country songs. Prior to finally heading out, we wrapped up our hype-up with Seven Nation Army (sorry, people who are tired of that), We Don’t Give a Damn, and of course, Carmen Ohio.

Tuesday, November 25th. 11:30 PM

It was cold, but I didn’t care. There were 10 of us or so, with 3-4 “designated dry people”, or people who aren’t jumping and will be taking pictures/holding stuff. After getting some pictures taken and stripping off my coat, we charged into the masses. Calling the wristband check at all strict would be offensive to the word strict. By this time, the ground around Mirror Lake was already smashed into a muddy pulp, and if you stood still for too long, you would start to sink into the ground. We made our way to the edge of the water and wasted zero time in jumping in. If you think about it, you’ll hesitate, and start to realize how cold you are, and how cold the water is. As soon as my legs hit the water, I realized that I hate being in a freezing cold body of water. That didn’t stop me from splashing the people around me, screaming things that I probably can’t print, and plenty of O-Hs. We climbed out of the water, made our video debuts¬†(that’s me in the gray “Beat Michigan” shirt at about 28 seconds in). There was a second jump, just for a picture. We then made our way back to the apartment. Freezing, dripping wet, dirty, but totally pumped.

Wednesday, November 26th. 12:15 AM

We all made it back to the apartment safely, and took shifts taking a hot shower in our bathing suits to warm up and try and clean off. After drying off and changing into clean clothes, we walked back to our respective apartments. I took a real shower because if you don’t shower after the jump you’ll probably end up with diseases that you can’t pronounce. Never has a bed felt more warm and comfortable than after the Mirror Lake Jump.

 

It’s impossible to capture how hectic this event is in text. Even a video doesn’t do it justice. It really is organized chaos. If you’re a student, I encourage you to go to the jump at least to watch, at some point in your college career. It’s an experience unlike any other. If you’re jumping, just be prepared with warm clothes, a towel, and a “safe house” to go back to after the jump, and you’ll be fine. As a friend’s dad used to say, “Be safe. Have fun.”

 

And remember. Go Buckeyes.

JT Barrett Season Is Over

Sad Face.

But remember OSU has had to deal with this once already. They will be prepared and not give up. So don’t you either!!!

Tears of Joy and Sadness: The Game Quick Reaction

Man alive what a game. Just your typical OSU vs Michigan rivalry game for sure. Let’s just talk about a few things and then I will give my final thoughts.

– Joey Bosa please control your emotions and stop trying to rip guys heads off.

– Joey Bosa please keep killing the QBs and causing fumbles.

– Ezekiel Elliott you are the man. What a 4th down run for a TD.

– Darron Lee thank you for being a small star recruit and a big star Buckeye.

– JT Barrett you have just become 1-0 as the starter against UM congrats.

– JT I pray your leg is ok but I fear the worst.

When JT went down OSU was up 28-21. The crowd went quiet. I started to panic. Urban Meyer got balls of steel and went for it on 4th and 1 on the 44 yard line and Zeke ran all the way to the endzone to put OSU up 35-21.

Bosa than sacks and strips Gardner and Darron Lee ran it back for another TD.

UM got a garbage TD at the end of the game. OSU wins 42-28.

I repeat OSU WINS!!!

I wish that would be enough but the JT injury may be the nail in the coffin for OSUs playoff hopes. We shall see.

On to the next game the B1G CCG against winner of the Wisky/Minn game.

P.S. Goodbye Brady Hoke you will be missed by all of Buckeye Nation.

Previewing The Game: Ohio State versus Michigan

osuHelmetI’m still getting used to this whole “meaningful football after Thanksgiving” thing (don’t even get me started on the “college football in December” thing). I’m used to looking forward to whatever bowl game Ohio State will be playing in and not worrying about football on Black Friday.

There is a lot to be thankful for, though. These longer football seasons are great — more football is always better! We have a great team to cheer for and the outlook is promising. But most of all, we can be so so grateful that the Michigan football program is hot garbage and getting worse. This is probably Brady Hoke’s last game as a Michigan head coach. Their football team simply isn’t very good and the management of the program (heck, the whole athletic department) has been a disastrophe.

Last year Ohio State had an edge over Michigan talent-wise. Ohio State’s advantage is even more marked this year. We thought last year’s game was going to be a blow out. This year it will be a blow out. This isn’t a “throw out the records it’s a rivalry” game. This is a “one team is better in every aspect of the game” game and Ohio State needs to score a few more style points before entering the B1G Championship Game. Michigan will offer resistance, but it will not last very long. Even miracles aren’t going to help this time.

But they still have to play the game. Here are a few match-ups that should make things interesting.

Devin Funchess vs. Doran Grant – I mentioned this earlier this season but Doran Grant has been the most important piece of this year’s defense. He’s been steady, consistent and almost always in position to make a play. Whoever he is guarding is hardly ever targeted and he has silently been a huge part of this defense.

On the other side of the ball, Devin Funchess is the biggest offensive weapon Michigan has, and when he wants to be, he can be a nightmare to cover. The problem for Michigan is that he often doesn’t perform to the level he can and has been disappointing for huge chunks of the season. He hasn’t scored since Penn State and has only broken the 100 yard mark once this year. Physically, he should be unstoppable. He’s tall, athletic and a match-up nightmare.

Funchess has potential to do damage Saturday. Doran Grant has already shown he can shut down opposing team’s best receiver. Which Funchess shows up tomorrow will dictate if Michigan has any chance at all. If he’s targeted early and often and can get the better of Grant, it could get interesting. From my view, though, Funchess has one foot out the door and I expect a lackluster performance for Funchess in his last game as a Wolverine.

OSU’s OL vs. Michigan’s DL – The one bright spot for Michigan this year has been their defensive line and particularly against the run. They bring in a top ten rushing defense against Ohio State’s top fifteen rushing attack. The next match-up I’m interested in will be how the improved Ohio State offensive line does against Michigan’s defensive unit.

They will be without Frank Clark, arguably the best member of that line, but across the board they have size and talent that has been stout against the run. Ohio State’s line isn’t the same line that struggled against Virginia Tech. There are still moments where they struggle but they have are firing on all cylinders lately. It helps to have the threat of a running quarterback and two legitimate first-team backs to deploy. It has been fun to watch the line improve steadily each week.

Let’s take a moment now at this juncture during this period of giving thanks to give thanks for Ed Warinner and what’s he’s been able to do with a make-shift group of guys after losing four-fifths of one of the best lines Ohio State has had in two decades. It pains me to think what he could have done with the Brew Crew. A single tear is shed thinking what Beanie Wells could have done behind a Warinner-coached Brewster, Shugarts and Adams. It could have been beautiful.

But this game Saturday will be won in the trenches, as it is every “Game” and even with the past performance of Michigan’s defensive front, I like Decker and Company to take care of business.

Devin Gardner vs. the Turf – The used turf got the better of this match-up last year. This year, I’m worried for Devin’s safety. The killer BEES (that’s what I’ve nicknamed the duo of Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett) have no doubt been looking forward to this game all season. They’ve seen how poorly the Michigan offensive line has protected Gardner this season and with little or no threat of a run game will be thinking rush the quarterback first. It’s possible that they will take his already broken body and finish the job. I’m legimately concerned for his well being.

devin_done

Let me take another moment to tip my cap to Devin Gardner. He’s the only Michigan quarterback I’ve had any respect for in a long time (maybe ever). It was easy to hate the very punchable face of Denard Robinson and that ever-present smile. Tate Forcier was a self-parody. Chad Henne, John Navarre, Griese, Brady, the list goes on. All loathsome human beings with zero redeeming qualities. But I’ve always been intrigued by Gardner. He’s been dealt a pretty crummy hand the past four years (coaches, running backs, the fact that he has to live in Ann Arbor) and seems to have taken it all in stride. I’ve got to give him credit for that.

He’s still going to die tomorrow.

Urban Meyer vs. Brady Hoke – My wife hates it, but when I play board games and card games with our kids, I don’t let them win. I play to win. Board games ain’t no joke in the el Kaiser household (ask Jeremiah about that time I threatened physical violence to his face over a game of Monopoly). Board games build character and losing is a part of life. If they beat me fair-and-square, I praise them for their strategy and cunning but I hardly ever lose. I feel it’s an opportunity to teach them being a good loser and I hope they’re learning strategies and how to play the game. It’s for their own good. We can’t learn to win if we never taste bitter defeat.

What I’m trying to say is that this game is going to be like Urban Meyer coaching against one of his elementary aged kids. Hoke is his inferior in every way (nope, not making fat jokes. Not here). Urban isn’t going to pull any punches.

In the end, like I mentioned earlier, this isn’t going to be close. There are some intriguing match-ups and, yes, sometimes The Game ignores trends and talent and just becomes a slugfest. I just don’t see that happening tomorrow in The ‘Shoe. I see it getting out of hand and Ohio State will prevail, keeping it’s conference regular season winning streak alive.

Ohio State 45
Michigan 20

Ohio State Football, THE GAME, and “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”

Ohio State has been established as a 20 point favorite over their rival (since Coach Urban Meyer states it like this, I figure I will follow suit). So many Ohio State fans look at this visiting team and believe Ohio State will easily win THE GAME. So many Ohio State fans have no memories of what THE GAME was like in the 1990s.

One of my favorite bands from the 1990s to present day is Counting Crows. The album “August and Everything After” is widely considered to be one of the influential albums of the 1990s. Perhaps being a fan of Counting Crows makes me old, but I want to elaborate a bit further.

A lengthy song by Counting Crows that was on the album “This Desert Life” was “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”. While the song never became a hit by music chart standards, it certainly stands as one of my favorites by Counting Crows.

What does this song, or the band Counting Crows, have to do with Ohio State football, and THE GAME? Let me share some of the lyrics from “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”, and I will paint you a picture at the end…

“If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts…”

Memories of THE GAME from the 1980s and 1990s, I have plenty of those; I am haunted by those “films about ghosts”. I can vividly recall how THE GAME ended on a field goal attempt in Ohio Stadium in 1986. Or how a one-time high school rival athlete was able to win THE GAME almost completely by himself in Coach Cooper’s first season in 1988.

“Well I am an idiot walking a tightrope of fortune and fame…”

Running an option play on 4th and short when THE GAME is tied late in the 4th quarter in Ohio Stadium in 1990. Or the former university president proudly proclaiming that a final game result of a tie in 1992 in Ohio Stadium was “One of our greatest wins ever…”

“I am an acrobat swinging trapezes through circles of flame…”

Memories of THE GAME include finally breaking through in 1994 with a victory that saved one coach’s job. The 1994 victory in Ohio Stadium helped to propel Ohio State into some of the most memorable seasons for the remainder of the 1990s decade.

“And the price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings…”

The price of the memory of THE GAME in 1996 is not only sorrow, but also regret for a missed opportunity at a national championship. I will always contend that while the 1998 team should have played for the BCS Championship (we’ll get to that team soon enough), the 1996 team was five points away from an undefeated season and the national championship. Ask any of the players on that team about the price of the memory from THE GAME in 1996.

“And there is always one last light to turn out and one last bell to ring…”

The 1998 victory by Ohio State in THE GAME was satisfying, but not nearly enough for fans who expected so much more. The 1998 team truly played like it had nothing to lose, as everything had been lost to an unranked team only a few weeks before in Ohio Stadium.

“All the razor perceptions that cut just a little too deep
Hey, I can bleed as well as anyone but I need someone to help me sleep…”

In 2000, fans such as myself had developed a weary sense of resignation for THE GAME. Yes, Ohio State might play well for a quarter, maybe a half, but eventually…Ohio State would lose. And I do not believe I was alone within the fan base who believed that way, after so many painful memories, or “films about ghosts”, as Counting Crows might have stated.

For those of you who are curious, Ohio State was not always the superior team. I would argue that the 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994 teams were not as talented as our rival. 1986 and 2000 were probably equal. 1996 and 1998 were more talented than our rival. No matter the year or example I have cited, all of the games I listed above took place in Ohio Stadium. And in so many circumstances, our rival left Ohio Stadium with the victory.

“Well I know I don’t know you and you’re probably not what you seem…”

It was not until THIS MOMENT that Ohio State fans such as myself knew Ohio State had turned the corner. And thirteen years after that moment took place, there are generations of Ohio State fans who truly do not understand why Ohio State fans such as myself look at this upcoming version of THE GAME with apprehension and anxiety. Ohio State fans have seemingly forgotten how close THE GAME has been in both 2012 and 2013.

Perhaps I am being too fearful. After all, Ohio State has clinched a trip to Indianapolis, and can secure a B1G championship with a victory on December 6th. A possible shot at a national championship is still up for discussion, as Ohio State is presently lurking on the perimeter of being a playoff participant. I am predicting the final score to be Ohio State 35, Our Rival 17 (figured I should again follow Coach Meyer’s lead with this approach…)

Or maybe I can rely upon Counting Crows to summarize my anxiety before this version of THE GAME, if events do not turn out in Ohio State’s favor on Saturday afternoon…

“That’s when I know that I have to get out cause I have been there before
So I gave up my seat at the bar and I head for the door…”

MOTSAG TV Guide

All games Saturday, November 29, unless otherwise noted.
Rankings reflect current College Football Playoff rankings.

THE GAME

That Team Up North (unranked, still sucks) @ #6 Ohio State. Noon, ABC.

A win here will complete Ohio State’s third consecutive perfect Big Ten regular season. Wolverine Destroyer and Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith will be on hand for his number honor ceremony and we expect him to transfer his Wolverine-destroying and Heisman-trophy-winning powers to J.T. Barrett. Much like last week, we should not take a win for granted. After all, Michigan is playing for a chance to be humiliated in some stupid bowl.

OTHER BIG TEN GAMES THAT AREN’T NEARLY AS IMPORTANT

(Friday) Nebraska @ Iowa. Noon, ABC.

Illinois @ Northwestern. Noon, ESPNU.

Purdue @ Indiana. Noon, Big Ten Network.

#18 Minnesota @ #14 Wisconsin. 3:30p, Big Ten Network. Winner plays Ohio State for Big Ten title.

#10 Michigan State @ Penn State. 3:30p, ABC/ESPN2.

Rutgers @ Maryland. 3:30p, ESPNU.

OTHER RIVALRIES THAT WISH THEY WERE OURS

(Friday) #13 Arizona State @ #11 Arizona. 3:30p, Fox.

#16 Georgia Tech @ #9 Georgia. Noon, SEC Network.

South Carolina @ #21 Clemson. Noon, ESPN.

Kentucky @ #22 Louisville. Noon, ESPN2.

Florida @ #3 Florida State. 3:30p, ESPN.

#4 Mississippi State @ #19 Mississippi. 3:30p, CBS.

Notre Dame @ USC. 3:30p, Fox.

Kansas @ #12 Kansas State. 4:00p, FS1.

#15 Auburn @ #1 Alabama. 7:45p, ESPN.

#2 Oregon @ Oregon State. 8:00p, ABC.

Washington @ Washington State. 10:30p, FS1.

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from those of us to all of you! Save room for some roasted wolverine on Saturday!

By The Numbers: Michigan

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Michigan
Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 259.6 (14) 107.2 (9) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 251.7 (49) 194.6 (24) Passing Defense (ypg) Michigan
Pass Efficiency 170.8 (3) 126.3 (64) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State
Total Offense (ypg) 511.4 (10) 301.8 (9) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 44.3 (5) 20.6 (21) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 147.8 (41) 166.6 (63) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 182.5 (15) 162.8 (115) Passing Offense (ypg) Ohio State+++
Pass Efficiency Defense 104.6 (8) 105.4 (119) Pass Efficiency Offense Ohio State+++
Total Defense (ypg) 329.7 (19) 329.5 (117) Total Offense (ypg) Ohio State++
Scoring Defense (ppg) 22.5 (30) 20.3 (115) Scoring Offense (ppg) Ohio State++
Turnover margin +0.27 (42) -1.27 (122) Turnover margin Ohio State++
Penalty Yards/game 48.1 (46) 31.2 (5) Penalty Yards/game Michigan
Sacks (/game) 2.91 (18) 1.91 (56) Sacks Allowed (/game) Ohio State
Sacks Allowed (/game) 2.09 (71) 2.64 (30) Sacks (/game) Michigan
3rd Down Conv. (%) 52.8 (3) 36.7 (42) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 36.3 (39) 38.2 (83) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Ohio State
4th Down Conv. (%) 50.0 (61) 26.7 (9) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Michigan+
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 44.4 (39) 33.3 (115) 4th Down Conv. (%) Ohio State++
Redzone Offense (%) 82.5 (69) 81.6 (53) Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 81.8 (57) 87.9 (31) Redzone Offense (%) Michigan
 Legend
  Difference <25 in National Rank = Push
  Difference >25 in National Rank = Ohio State
  Difference >50 in National Rank = Ohio State+
  Difference >75 in National Rank = Ohio State++
  Differences >100 in National Rank = Ohio State+++

Stats are grabbed from cfbstats.com

The Spread, Hate Week: The Maize Ruiner

On November 3, 1958, Brady Patrick Hoke was born in Dayton, Ohio. In 1977, he left home to attend Ball State University, where he played linebacker. Somewhere in there, he made the fateful decision to be a Michigan fan. This betrayal of his home state (and his father, who played for Woody Hayes at Miami) would doom him to a career of mediocre football–a career that will likely come to an end this Saturday.

Hoke didn’t contribute much in his first two years at Ball State, and the team posted an impressive 19-3 record with Brady riding the bench. In 1979 and 1980, with Hoke on the field, the Cardinals went 6-5 each year. Bringing a team’s success to a screeching halt? Sounds familiar.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In 1983, Hoke became a defensive line coach at Grand Valley State, who had turned in winning seasons every year since 1973, the first year they accomplished the feat. But during Hoke’s only season on the staff, the Lakers went 4-6. His stain would linger even after he left for Western Michigan–GVSU didn’t win a single game the next year, but bounced back in 1985 to go 6-5.

At Western Michigan, Hoke joined Jack Harbaugh’s staff, who had already turned in two winning seasons for the Broncos. During Hoke’s three-year stint, the team went 5-6, 4-6-1, and 3-8. His poisonous presence got Harbaugh fired. It took his replacement just two years to get the team to 9-3.

From there, Hoke went to Toledo to join Dan Simrell’s staff as a linebackers coach. Simrell had gone 7-3 the previous year, but the arrival of Hoke predictably sent the team into a tailspin, finishing the 1987 season 3-7-1. The Rockets would go 6-5 in each of the final two years of Hoke’s tenure and, once again, Simrell was fired. He was replaced by Nick Saban, who promptly went 9-2.

It’s hard to blame Hoke for Oregon State’s woes during his five-year run on the staff there, but it’s still worth noting that the Beavers only managed 11 wins in the time span. They were bad both before and after Hoke was there, but they were particularly bad while he was on campus.

In 1995, new Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr brought Brady on board to help build what Hoke would eventually tear down. The Wolverines had a good run with Hoke around, winning a lot of games and even a national title until he finally left in 2002. This may seem like an aberration in the pattern, but we know now that it was just the universe setting Hoke up for the final punchline. His presence on a successful staff was necessary to entice Michigan to hire him later.

In 2003, Ball State gave Hoke his first head coaching job. He took a mediocre team that had hovered around .500 for a few years and turned it into a crappy team that lost at least 7 games in each of his first four years. But the Cardinals kept him around for some reason and somehow managed to taste success, going 7-6 and 12-1 in Hoke’s final two years.

The Ball State success coupled with Hoke’s two years at San Diego State (during which the Aztecs improved from 2-10 before his arrival to 9-4 in his second year) were enough for Michigan to take a chance on him after being turned down by the guys they actually wanted (or whatever Wolverine-fan alternate reality version you choose to believe.)

With Hoke finally installed in Ann Arbor, it was time for the universe to begin dismantling him under the unflinching lights of big-time college football. The first order of business was to give him an unrealistically remarkable season in the form of 2011’s 11-2 Sugar Bowl winning campaign. The machinations of making this happen despite Hoke’s woeful incompetence were so complex that they included orchestrating a silly scandal that would cost Buckeye coach Jim Tressel his job, just to keep him from beating Hoke mercilessly just as he did Rich Rodriguez.

Once the absurdly high expectations for Hoke at Michigan were set, all that was left to do was step back and let him bumble around and wreck stuff like a really hungry Tasmanian devil. The team got worse and worse and it all culminated in the hilarious clown show that has been the 2014 season.

There’s just one more piece of business to attend to.