Archives for December 2015

All Things Buckeyes

The Chaos That Never Was:

Championship Weekend has come and gone and unfortunately, the Buckeyes did not make the College Football Playoffs to defend it.  We had our chance to set ourselves out, but simply but it wasn’t in the cards on that day.  That still feels like a freshly cut wound that had been in contact with salt or alcohol.  It still hurts but not as bad as the week that we blew our shot to repeat.  I for one wanted to see a rematch of the Sugar Bowl from last years Playoffs, but my dreams were dashed by Geiger’s last second field goal to all but doom our chances at making the playoffs.  I am salty but it won’t ruin or deter me from being loyal to my Buckeyes.

Florida had no chance at stopping the Tide and the Tarheels and the Trojans “tried”.  I love the College game because there is always a chance for someone to get upset or beat.  It is the name of the game.  Unfortunately, it did not happen for the Buckeyes.  I still love this team and I still know that we could play with anyone in the field of four, but let us not focus on the negatives and let us all just focus solely on what we have left for this season.  Bowl Season.

Let’s Have A Fiesta:

Well if you live under a rock, which I seriously doubt, you now know who made the field of four for year two of the College Football Playoffs.  Clemson sits at number 1 and they will be matched up against number 3 Oklahoma team.  Number 2 Alabama will go up against number 4 Michigan State team.  Both matchups are as expected.  The Orange Bowl game has the potential to become a good old fashioned shootout.  The Cotton Bowl game is the opposite and is solely about both defensive units.  It is amazing BUT I will be biased and say that I would’ve preferred that rematch that I talked about earlier.  That is neither here nor there and we did blow it.  So there are and there should be no excuses really.

Now since we finished 7th in the Playoff Standings, we were chosen for a date with the Golden Domers of Notre Dame.  This is an intriguing matchup for me because I pay close attention to the recruiting aspect of things and there are a couple of players on the opposite team that the Buckeyes admired.  Kizer, who is from Ohio wanted to play for the Buckeyes but he never received an offer out of high school.  Another player was a highly sought after Linebacker Jaylon Smith.  I wanted him to be a part of that years class but the lure of the Irish was too strong to overcome and by the looks of it Daelin Hayes will also most likely spurn the Buckeyes for the Irish as well.

This matchup will be intense and hotly contested, but I for one hope that the Buckeyes come out with the rage and the grit that made them so dangerous in the last years Playoffs.  I hope they do what they did to that Team Up North.  A lot of the senior would love to go out with a bang and to topple the Irish on January 1st would be a season saver.  The season was not a complete loss but it could’ve been better.

The Rutgers D-Ash:

Well it happened again, another valuable positional coach was lured away from the Buckeyes to fill a once vacant Head Coaching gig.  I am not bitter but he will be sorely missed.  Coach Ash was our meal ticket into Texas and that will be hard to replace or replicate.  I wish Coach Ash luck and I for one hope that Coach Meyer and Company hit another home run for his replacement.  I thing that it would be cool to have former Buckeyes DB’s such as Winfield and Gamble coach the kids up at Ohio State or at least serve as someone who will teach technique but not have the title of coach.  The word currently escapes me but you know what I mean.  No worries though, Coach Ash will coach the secondary during the Fiesta Bowl.  Let us all focus on the new task at hand.

Let’s Enjoy Em While We’ve Got Em

Despite all the prayers to the football gods that I’m sure every Buckeye fan in the country sent to heaven this week  the results turned out to be not so good for the Buckeyes… Literally not a single game went our way in helping the Buckeyes get a shot to be in the college football playoff. That being said it is nice to know that we are at least going to be in the Fiesta Bowl playing a very talented team in Notre Dame.

The biggest take away that I hope Buckeye fans get from this last game is to really appreciate the talent that is on the field and the winning that they brought along with them. The total amount of talent on this team has been talked about as the most talented team in OSU history, and ,frankly, that would be hard to debate. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and for this team that end is only one game away. The talent that we are so use to watching on the field is going to be gone forever. Hopefully these great recruiting classes that  the coaching staff has been bringing in will be able to fill the void left by our upperclassmen, but we obviously can’t expect the same success right away from such a young team. So as this last game approaches let’s take a look at the players that will for sure be leaving, and even a few that could go either way between staying and going pro.

The major contributors that we know for sure will be gone due to graduation are LT Taylor Decker, WR Braxton Miller, RT Chase Farris, TE Nick Vannett, DT Adolphus Washington, DT Tommy Shutt, DT Joel Hale LB Joshua Perry, LB Cam Williams, WR Jeff Greene. Decker, Washington and Perry have all been talked about as first round picks in the draft and will surely be contributors at the next level along with Miller of course. A few others in this group could have a chance to be signed as free agents as well.

When it comes to underclassmen leaving early, that is when things get interesting. This group of guys would be crazy not to enter in my opinion, DE Joey Bosa, RB Zeke Elliot, WR Michael Thomas and LB Darron Lee. All four of these players have first round draft grades, meaning if they decided to come back to school they could be turning down a lot of money to do so. An argument can be made for both Lee and Thomas to come back for one more year simply to sharpen their skills and become the best prospect at they position in the entire draft, but it is hard to say that to a 20 -year -old who could be a few months away from being a millionaire if they enter the draft.

Finally the guys on the bubble are players that ,in my opinion, should stay one more year to develop but still have a great shot of being drafted this year. Guys like S Vonn Bell, CB Eli Apple, G Pat Elfein, And WR Jalin Marshall. These guys have all been fabulous players for us over the past few years but it just seems to me that it would be more beneficial for them to come back and develop their skills to improve their draft stock for the next year. The one guy that is on the fence here is Vonn Bell. Bell is a first round player, but recently safety’s have not been going very high in the draft so returning could benefit him by getting bigger and stronger to show he deserves to be a high first round selection.

The last guy that has already came out and said that he will not be returning is 12-gauge himself, Cardale Jones. After the Michigan State game Jones came out and said this would be his last year at Ohio State, but he did not say this would be his last year in college. In my opinion, the best thing Jones could do would be transfer to a pro- style offensive school to show off his skills at a better rate than our offense. That being said, even if he decides to enter the draft he will still probably be a 4th or 5th round pick simply because of his incredible upside.

It is impossible to put into words exactly how much these players have given to this program but it is A LOT. Regardless what they decide to do they will always be Buckeyes and Buckeye Nation will always be grateful for what they have done!!

The Rivals, Part XV: The Wait

The regular season is over, and neither Ohio State nor Michigan will appear in this year’s Big Ten Championship Game. The only left to do now is wait and see where each team lands in the post-season.

For the Wolverines, the Citrus Bowl is the unanimous pick of experts, and the bowl representatives themselves have expressed interest in Michigan if—as expected—Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State are already off the board. The popular choice for an opponent is Florida, which would be a rematch of the 2008 edition of the game, which Michigan won 41-35. That, you may remember, was Lloyd Carr’s last game as Wolverine head coach, and yes, Urban Meyer was on the other sideline.

As for which sideline Urban Meyer will be stalking this post-season, most experts are projecting the Fiesta Bowl, taking on either Houston or Notre Dame. Either matchup would be intriguing. The former would pit Urban Meyer against Tom Herman, which would poetically tie up one of the year’s biggest storylines: Ohio State’s erratic and often anemic offense. The latter would be a rematch of the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, which Ohio State won 34-20. It would also pit the Buckeyes against former Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly, who famously commented in August that he preferred his two quarterbacks over Ohio State’s.

But, of course, Ohio State fans are hoping for a different outcome. Currently sitting at #6 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Buckeyes could stand to benefit greatly if a giant chaos storm blows through today’s conference championship games. While I personally think Ohio State’s playoff chances are too slim to consider realistically, there’s no way to know for sure what the committee will do if the upsets start rolling in tonight.

So, what should we be cheering for?

Florida beating Alabama for the SEC title is the least likely outcome of all possibilities. It’s also one of the least dangerous upsets in terms of Ohio State. An 11-2 Gator team, currently #18 after a terrible loss to Florida State, is not going to find themselves in the top four just by beating Alabama. Nor is an 11-2 Crimson Tide team, with no conference championship, going to stay ahead of Ohio State.

Despite having four losses, USC is only a slight underdog to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. Why does Stanford, with two losses and currently ranked one spot behind Ohio State, matter? Because after tonight’s game, they’ll have played twice as many teams with winning records as the Buckeyes, and that has been identified as one of the primary pieces of information the committee considers. With a win, they’ll also be a conference champion and that combined with a strong résumé, would likely be enough to land them ahead of Ohio State in the final rankings.

There are some who believe that with a win over Clemson, North Carolina would have a case to make the playoff. The Tar Heels also have only one loss, but the committee has made their opinion of UNC’s weak schedule, which features two FCS teams, abundantly clear. They’re ranked behind three two-loss teams, including conference-mate Florida State. Unless they blow the Tigers off the field tonight, North Carolina is not cracking the top four.

An argument could also be made that Iowa, should they lose the Big Ten championship game, would be more deserving of a spot than Ohio State, who didn’t even make the game. And if their loss also came on a final-play field goal, there would be some merit to that. But with the way the committee has ranked Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State in consecutive spots, it appears very likely that the loser tonight will drop out of the running. All things considered, it’s probably still best for Iowa to win, but I really don’t think it will be an issue either way. If the Big Ten puts two teams in this playoff, the Buckeyes will be one of them.

Ultimately, if any two of USC, North Carolina and Florida win today, there is a very strong chance that Ohio State will return to the College Football Playoff for a chance to repeat as national champions. But even if it doesn’t work out for us, it looks like we’ll get an intriguing bowl game anyway.

How Much Do I Love Beating TTUN In Ann Arbor? Let Me List Them For You

Congratulations to the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes for a thorough and dominating performance against That Team Up North. Heading into this game against their rival, with so many doubts about the team’s collective psyche, it would be fair to say that the Buckeyes were facing their moment of truth in Michigan Stadium. Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer, the coaching staff, and the players all truly rose to the occasion in the 42-13 victory.

Also, congratulations to all of the players who were honored by inclusion on The B1G conference teams. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Joshua Perry, and safety Vonn Bell were named first team All-B1G defense, while defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, cornerback Eli Apple, linebacker Darron Lee, and punter Cameron Johnston were named to the second team. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and guard Pat Elflein were named first-team All-B1G offense. Wide receiver Michael Thomas, center Jacoby Boren, and guard Billy Price were named to the third team. Congratulations to Taylor Decker for being named the B1G offensive lineman of the year, Joey Bosa for being named the B1G defensive lineman of the year, and to Ezekiel Elliott for being named both the B1G running back of the year, as well as the B1G offensive player of the year.

Above all, congratulations to the Buckeyes for winning their fourth straight pair of Gold Pants. Back to the main point, and that is savoring the dominant victory over That Team Up North. After Ohio State won over That Team Up North, it got me thinking ~ where does this victory rank, when I think of the wins over That Team Up North in Ann Arbor?

5. 2013 Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 41: Ohio State should have won this game in far easier fashion, but the defensive lapses that plagued the Buckeyes all season allowed the Wolverines to stay into this game until the final seconds. A win is a win, but this was far too close for my liking…

4. 1987 Ohio State 23, That Team Up North 20: Perhaps I am going too far back into the archives for some of the readers here, but the way the Buckeyes were able to win the final game for fired Ohio State Head Coach Earle Bruce is very memorable to me. Watch the clip below, and tell me Coach Bruce wasn’t fired up for this one. And who knew how dreadful the next thirteen years against That Team Up North were going to be?!?

3. 2015 Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 13: The most dominant performance by the Buckeyes over That Team Up North in Ann Arbor with the 29 point victory since Ohio State won 50-20 in 1961. Ohio State Head Coach Woody Hayes had an assistant on his staff that year – some fellow named Bo Schembechler.

2. 2005 Ohio State 25, That Team Up North 21: Yes, I am still mesmerized by Troy Smith’s poise and footwork with only seconds remaining. As former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel said about Troy Smith, “There will be a lot of No. 10 jerseys and a lot of kids on Thanksgiving weekend trying to make those moves in a pile of leaves…”. Yes, I still get excited watching Anthony Gonzalez make a clutch catch to put Ohio State into scoring position. Yes, Antonio Pittman should get more credit for the winning touchdown run that sealed the win. Here is why I rank this game so high on my list ~ Ohio State was down 21-12 midway through the fourth quarter, and the Buckeyes rallied to victory in this thriller.

1. 2001 Ohio State 26, That Team Up North 20: “You will be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially, in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field…”. After so many disappointing losses in Ann Arbor from 1989-1999, I will forever savor this one. To top it off, Ohio State knocked That Team Up North from The Rose Bowl by virtue of this defeat, so it was like pouring salt into the wound.

There is an old saying about “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. When I behold this list, and think of the dominance Ohio State has had over That Team Up North these past several years, I truly believe I am looking at a thing of beauty.

The 2016 Running Back Situation

I know, the 2015 season is not yet over. This year, we have the best RB in the nation in Ezekiel Elliott, so why look ahead? For one, it’s fun, and for two, there are serious concerns for next season.

Coming into this season, there weren’t many, if any, concerns at the RB position. With a new, but great coach in Tony Alford leading the unit, and potential Heisman candidate who destroyed the previous post-season, Ezekiel Elliott, hopes were high. There was also a highly touted true freshman from Detroit, Mike Weber, who had an outstanding fall camp if not for the knee injury. Then, there were two solid, yet unproven 4th year juniors in Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn. To finish off the group was an electric true sophomore who converted to H-Back, but could still play RB, Curtis Samuel. The main worry was perhaps too many blowout wins would cause Zeke to not get enough carries to win the Heisman.

You likely know how the season played out. The blowout wins were non-existent. The Buckeyes had to “ride” Zeke to get wins. The Heisman Trophy was looking like a real possibility, though, until the infamous November 21st game against the Michigan State Spartans. Ezekiel was given 11 carries for 33 yards in the ugly 14-17 lost. Not only was it a bad game statistic wise, it ruined his streak of 15 straight 100 yard games, it diminished the B1G Championship aspirations, and Zeke’s Heisman hopes. Then came the “criticizing” and declaration for the NFL Draft. As Urban said, the comments were not wrong, they were just said in the wrong place. As for the declaration for the Draft, many people act like that was a result of the terrible game, but that’s simply not the case. Any person who has really followed the Buckeyes could tell you before the season even started that Zeke would leave for the draft after this season. There’s no reason for the top rated RB to stay another year and risk injury.

But, now that Zeke is officially (from his word, at least) going to be gone next season, it’s time to look ahead. Without Zeke, the roster for this unit is extremely inexperienced. It doesn’t help that would-be 5th year senior Warren Ball is graduating, and taking advantage of an opportunity to play football elsewhere. Since Warren is leaving, and new young skill is arriving, you have to wonder also about Bri’onte Dunn. Bri’onte is a guy that had a rough start to his Buckeye career. This year, he has had an incredible turn around in attitude and mindset, and according to Urban, Bri’onte “really has momentum in his world.” He has been great on special teams, and has been a very viable option as Zeke’s backup. Some of the coaches recently had a meeting with him, and they do think he will stay for his final year, but it’s impossible to say what will happen.

A guy I mentioned before is true freshman Mike Weber. Mike is from Cass Tech High School, in Detroit, that is recently becoming a sort of “pipeline” for the Buckeyes. After losing out on Damien Harris to Alabama, Mike was the Buckeyes really wanted. After a long fought battle, the Buckeyes barely pulled him from Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Mike is a guy that is extremely talented. Maturity is often a question that comes up with him, but that can improve over time, and it should. Mike Weber was good enough to be an instant impact type player for Ohio State. It didn’t help his cause when he tore his meniscus late in fall camp. That hampered him for the first several games of the 2015 campaign. By the time he was fully healthy, the staff didn’t see fit to burn his redshirt. I expect Mike to make a real run at the starting RB position next year, though.

A guy that will also be in the mix next season is Antonio Williams. He is the Buckeyes RB commit for the 2016 class, and is ranked the 7th best RB in his class by 247 Composite. Antonio is a “grinder” and a great HS player. This past season for North Stanly High School, he put up 10.6 yards per carry and 238.9 yards per game. He was a long time Wisconsin Badgers commit, but when the Kareem Walker situation started to happen, the Buckeyes needed to really decide what they wanted to do: Grab a commitment from another RB, or wait for Kareem to visit other schools and see if he remains committed. Obviously, the Buckeyes grabbed a commitment from a guy they had offered a while back, and has had their eyes on for quite some time, Antonio Williams. Once he committed, there was simply no room in the class for Kareem. If Kareem really wanted in, I’m sure the staff would’ve found room, but for now, Antonio is the guy. He will be enrolling in January, and some people on the staff think he can really be an instant impact type of player, but you never know with freshmen.

Another guy many fans have been questioning is Curtis Samuel. He is one of the most electrifying players on the team, and because of that, he was moved to H-Back where he wouldn’t have to be behind Zeke, and he could better get the ball in open field. Those things didn’t really prove to work that great. It’s not because Curtis wasn’t suited for it, but because of many outside reasons. One being he struggled with back spasms for a lot of the early season, two being a log-jam at WR (mostly Braxton), and an overall struggle in the throwing game. Curtis has taken some snaps out of the backfield this season, and it helps that was his main position his true freshman year. Many fans have just assumed that Curtis will be moving back to RB next year. That isn’t necessarily the case. While there’s still a good chance it happens, he missed a full year of development at that position, and the coaches like him at the H-Back position. Still, I think he will move back partially because of his potentially Dalvin Cook-styled game, but also out of necessity.

Some of you might be wondering about Demario McCall. Plans are for him to play H-Back despite his RB listing. According to a staff member, Demario is probably a little better than what Curtis Samuel was when he arrived at Ohio State. They both are very similar in speed, but Demario is more polished in his routes and catching.

Right now, we’re looking at 4 true scholarship RBs on roster next season. That would be Bri’onte Dunn,  Mike Weber, Curtis Samuel, and Antonio Williams. Of course, the staff is always looking at other guys in the 2016 class in case Bri’onte might want to transfer, but as of now, no offers have been handed out. If Bri’onte did decide to leave, and there was another RB added to the 2016 class, that would mean 2 true freshmen, 1 RS freshman, and 1 junior who hasn’t played RB in over a year. It is scary to think about, but we’re talking about some of the most talented players in the nation, and some of, if not the best coaches in the nation.

It’s certainly going to be different without Zeke leading the way, but the future is bright. The talent is abundant. It’s going to be fun to see how well the young guys develop. One thing is for sure, Tony Alford and his guys will do all the can to be ready to go for September 3rd, 2016.




Why Ohio State is unequivocally one of the four best teams.


The college football playoff committee has set forth a standard that a non-conference champion or independent must meet, to play in the college football playoff. The standard is rather simple and sounds essentially like a team must meet the eye-test. A non-champion or independent can be chosen for the college football playoff under the circumstances that the non-champion or independent is unequivocally one of the four best teams in the country. During the last two weeks, we have heard it said repeatedly, that Ohio State must, unequivocally, be one of the top four teams in football to get into the playoff. Verne and Gary from “Sec on CBS” even defined the term ‘unequivocally’ during the iron bowl. But what does it all mean? How do we know that Ohio State is, undeniably one of the best teams in America?

Recent History

We know by looking at recent history that Ohio State is undeniably or unequivocally one of the best. Now I know certain fans of a particular university in the south are going to say “don’t live in the past” or “the past doesn’t matter.” Yet they would be the first ones to bring up the number of championships that their team won thirty years ago under coach Bear Bryant, but I digress. In the last four seasons, the Ohio State Buckeyes have a win-loss record of 49 wins and just 4 losses. That’s a win percentage of .925. In that same span, Ohio State has accomplished more than anyone in college football.  They have completed two undefeated regular seasons, won a Big Ten championship, won a national championship,  completed win streak of 23 games and another win streak of 24 games. There isn’t another team in in the country, that has been more consistent and has won at the level that the Buckeyes have in the last few years. Thats undeniable.

This season

Because I’ve talked about the past, I should talk about the present as well. This season, Ohio State has an average margin of victory of 21 points per game. In the entire country, that is second only to Oklahoma.

Why is margin of victory important? Because we need some basis of comparison in order to accurately answer the question of who the best teams in the country are. The first and most obvious comparable variable is head-to-head match ups. OSU has only played against one team that is ranked ahead of them as of now. They played against Michigan State two weeks ago and lost by a field goal on the last play of the game. So it is obviously fair to say that Michigan State should be ranked above Ohio State because MSU won the head to head match up. On the other hand, Ohio State hasn’t played another team this season that is currently in the top four. So how do we compare these teams? We can use the teams average margin of victory; which basically says on average Ohio State beat every one they played by three touchdowns, while another team may have beaten the teams they played by less or more than that. This is an unbiased way to judge how well a team has performed, due to the fact that every power five team in college football plays essentially the same level of competition.

S.o.s rankings are irrelevant. 

The naysayers will say that other teams had stiffer competition than Ohio State and Oklahoma. That simply isn’t true. The Crimson Tide has played only two games against teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. They lost one of them. Not to mention, the second best team in the SEC, the Florida Gators, that have absolutely ran through the conference this season, lost 27-2, the first time they faced another major program from outside of the SEC. The same was true last post season, when the SEC won just two out of seven bowl games, its teams played in. Its safe to say, that the almighty SEC hasn’t looked all that mighty as of late; so why should SEC teams get more credit for playing against each other when they have shown time and time again, in games against major non-conference opponents(including Ohio State), that the SEC is not what it once was.

Lastly, Ohio State’s major non-conference opponent this season was Virginia Tech in Week 1. They won by a score of 42 to 24. I say that to say, everyone essentially plays the same level of competition. The myth that SEC teams play a gauntlet of a schedule that is harder than everyone else’s schedule simply because its the SEC, is simply not true.

There is absolutely no doubt that Ohio State has proven to be one of top programs in country, if not the very best program in America over the last four years. If we go strictly by the numbers where records are the most important statistic, head to head wins are the second most important and margin of victory (a more objective stat than s.o.s) as the third most important statistic, the top four team performances this season in order are:

Clemson 12-0
Oklahoma 11-1
Michigan State 11-1
Ohio State 11-1

Ohio State is undeniably and unequivocally one of the four best teams in America.

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Welcome Home Harbaugh

The 2015 college football regular season is officially over. Chip and I discuss the whooping that sent the Maize and Blue fans running in the daylight. We talked about how the rushing attack of Ohio State was not going to get stopped. We discussed the Buckeye players who have taken Big Ten awards home for this season.

We break down the current college football playoff rankings and the possible scenarios that will allow the Buckeyes who are on life support to get their foot back into the playoffs.

We also answer #AskMotSaG questions from our wonderful listeners. This has been such a great ride, even though the regular season is over for college football it doesn’t mean the end. As we wait to hear Ohio States possible destination next week we wanted to let you know the Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast will continue all year and as best as possible. We will have basketball shows weekly and still do football with hopefully some wonderful guests in the future.

A Look Around The Country

Welcome back to my weekly column, A Look Around the Country. I’m highlighting notable games from the previous week, the week ahead and of course, the Heisman and Playoff race. Special features include an in-depth look at the Ohio State and a Michigan update, mainly for folks to bask in their misfortunes. Feel free to comment with your opinions, I hope you enjoy!

Notable Games Last Week

Ohio State 42, Michigan 13

The Buckeyes looked like the team we all thought they would look like this season during a complete dismantling of Michigan in the Big House. Zeke Elliott was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and will likely be in New York for the Heisman ceremony. At this point, Ohio State will need some help to make it back into the playoff. If either Clemson or Alabama lose, I think they are in. If both of those teams win, then the Buckeyes will likely be headed to the Rose Bowl where they will play the winner of Stanford-USC.

Stanford 38, Notre Dame 36

Down goes the Irish. The Cardinal kicked a game winning field goal which knocked Notre Dame out of playoff contention and likely into the Fiesta Bowl. Stanford will play USC in the Pac 12 Championship with potentially a chance for the Playoff.

Oklahoma 58, Oklahoma State 23

Boomer Sooner. Oklahoma has looked as good as anyone down the stretch of this season and with their win over the Cowboys, are now in the playoff. The only thing Oklahoma has to worry about now is where they will be seeded and who they will play.

Big Games This Week

SEC Championship: Alabama vs Florida

This game was more fun to watch 6 years ago, but I digress. Alabama rolls into Atlanta being a huge favorite over Florida, a team who was embarrassed by Florida State last week. I expect Nick Saban to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry about 50 times and win by about 30. The Tide will clinch their spot in the playoffs yet again.

Saturday, December 5 at 4pm on CBS

Pac 12 Championship: Stanford vs USC

USC has played well down the stretch and now find themselves in the Pac 12 title game where they will go against Stanford, a team that has not been kind to them the past eight years or so. Both teams were preseason playoff favorites yet were dismissed after early season losses. They have been able to handle all kinds of adversity and are now a win away from the Rose Bowl. I think USC wins by 3.

Saturday, December 5 at 7:45pm on ESPN

ACC Championship: Clemson vs North Carolina

The top ranked team in the land will have one more test before heading to the playoff. Clemson has been the most consistent team all season but North Carolina has been coming on strong as of late with many experts picking the Tar Heels to complete the upset. If Clemson is upset, I see Ohio State making it as the final team yet again. If not, then Clemson will be number 1 and playing their semifinal game at the Orange Bowl.

Saturday, December 5 at 8pm on ABC

Big Ten Championship: Iowa vs Michigan State

Who had this matchup in Indianapolis back in August? With a playoff spot on the line, the Hawkeyes and Spartans will battle it out at Lucas Oil Stadium in a de facto Playoff quarterfinal. Iowa is undefeated but with the way Michigan State is playing, it will be hard to pick against them. The loser of this game will likely drop below Ohio State and out of Rose Bowl contention with a New Year’s six bowl still possible.

Saturday, December 5 at 8pm on FOX

Michigan Update

See ya next year in Columbus.

My Playoff if the Season Ended Today

*Editor’s Note: This will be a volatile poll every week based on performance in the past week and resume to date, very similar to the Playoff Committee.

1. Clemson

2. Oklahoma

3. Iowa

4. Michigan State

Just Missed the Cut

5. Alabama

6. Ohio State

7. Stanford

8. Florida State

9. Notre Dame

10. North Carolina

Championship Weekend: MotSaG B1G Pick ‘em and Tidbits

By: Phil Schoch, Twitter me @osuphil95

Each week Pick ’em & Tidbits risks public humiliation and mockery by predicting each B1G game, as well as a few national spotlight games, versus the Vegas spread.

If we learned anything whatsoever from this past weekend, it’s this…

I am officially on fire! My record the past three weeks against the spread is 20-6! Yo-Yo-Ma! In Week 13, Pick ‘em & Tidbits registered an 8-2 record versus the spread and 9-1 straight up. My PM Stukenborg Fearless Prediction that Minnesota would wrastle the Axe from the Badgers was a flop.

Heading into the Championship Weekend, my season record stands at 76-66 (53.5%!!!) ATS and 107-35 (75.4%) SU!

I know youall are pulling for me. I can telepathically feel the love and vibrations of positivity each week as you briefly consider clicking on my article then mutter, “Why the hell would I want to read his crap?” It truly means a lot to me. Thanks!

The Game… The Glorious (slightly hollow-feeling) Game.

A victory over Jim Harbaugh’s Adidas Boys of Navy & Sun should never be minimized, but I admit, a twinge of hollowness and what if still haunted me after the Buckeye beatdown Saturday. Now the Buckeyes are reduced to rationalizing how a North Carolina upset win over Clemson could vault the Bucks into the top four or clinging to desperate hopes that Florida can score more than two points this week and stun Bristol’s Team – ‘Bama. I don’t remember much from 1998, but I do remembered this feeling – Sparty’d.

Lift your spirits by enjoying the destruction of a Michigander’s spirits.

The five stages of grief experienced by Jim Harbaugh as Urban Meyer, the Slobs, Zeke and the Silver Bullets laid waste to the Team Up North.






Hanging banners in Ann Arbor (Part II)

I feel better. I hope you do too.

You gots to be kidding me?!

Word surfaced on Tuesday that NCAA Division I, FBS, Power 5 schools are actually interested in interviewing former Florida Gator head coach, current Auburn defensive coordinator and future Criminal Minds ripped-from-the-headlines unsub – Will Muschamp. What? Why? South Carolina? What could you possibly be thinking? Disturbing and befuddling.

Watch Criminal Minds on Wednesday nights at 9:00 on CBS.

Disclaimer: Please! For the love of gawd, do not wager real money based on anything you think you may have learned here this week. On any given Saturday, I am Mr. Madison.

Saturday, December 5



AAC Championship



Vegas says… Cougars -6.5

At Houston

 Image result for tom herman houston

Temple coach, Matt Rhule, and Houston coach, Tom Herman, have been two of the hottest names in the crazy 2015 season of coaching musical chairs. With both coaches linked to interviews, offers, contract extensions, etc… it will be interesting to see which squad is more focused and prepared for the title game.

Pick ‘em says…Houston has a New Year’s Day big boy bowl on the line, they are playing at home and how can I bet against former Buckeye OC Herman? Cougs, 31-21.



SEC Championship

4:00 at Atlanta


Vegas says… Bama -17



Florida’s offense has been putrid since starting QB Will Grier failed an NCAA-administered drug test and was suspended for a calendar year. Last week the measly Gators hung a 2 on the scoreboard versus the Seminoles. Things won’t be easier this week.

Pick ‘em says… Buckeye fans, there is no hope here. Bama 20-6.

Southern Cal


PAC-12 Championship

7:45 at Santa Clara


Vegas says… Stanford -4.5



If Stanford had only played Stanford Football (instead of Illinois football) against Northwestern in Week 1, the dancing tree would be playing for a spot in the playoff four.

Conrad Ukropina:

You were my hero Saturday night!

Thank you!

Pick ‘em says… This week, Southern Cal hired a Hollywood movie extra as their new head coach. He’ll lead the Trojans to a PM Stukenborg Fearless Prediction upset. USC, 35-31.

Michigan State


B1G Championship

8:00 at Indianapolis


Vegas says…

Spartans -3.5



Iowa has decent victories over Pitt, Wisconsin (who can forget that 10-6 crapfest), Northwestern and Nebraska. The Spartans of the B1G East are a whole ‘nuther beast.

Pick ‘em says… Spartans, 28-17.


ACC Championship

8:00 at Charlotte


Vegas says… Tigers -5

North Carolina


Buckeye fans, this is it. We need the mother of all Clemsoning’s Saturday night. Dancing Dabo can shuffle off to a number one seed in the playoffs and slam the door on the defending National Champs chances. High drama in the ACC. Oh, and Carolina Blue Lady, a few local guys said they would love to meet you.

Pick ‘em says… PLEEEEEEASE HEELS! Don’t turn the ball over and you’ve got a chance to give the Buckeyes a chance. Clemson, 42-38.

Crap! Sparty’d!

B1G Weekly Recap: Iowa Finishes Undefeated, Michigan State Takes the East

A playoff spot will be on the line this weekend in Indianapolis when Iowa and Michigan State square off for the Big Ten Championship. Iowa had sewn up their spot a week ago but still had to take care of Nebraska to finish off an unbeaten regular season. Michigan State only needed a home victory over Penn State to head back to Indy for the third time in five years.

Iowa 28, Nebraska 20

Nebraska dominated on the box score in every category except the one that matters as their upset bid of undefeated Iowa fell short. Tommy Armstrong threw for 296 yards but also threw four interceptions, including a pick-six that gave the Hawkeyes a lead they would never relinquish.

Iowa’s two scoring drives in the second half lasted a combined total of three plays, two of them being long touchdown runs by Jordan Canzeri. Canzeri finished the day with 140 yards on 17 carries to go with his two scores. Nebraska awaits their bowl fate despite finishing the season 5-7 thanks to not enough teams getting to six wins and Iowa will make the trip east to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship.

Ohio State 42, That Team Up North 13

It’s a good thing Urban Meyer didn’t listen to all of the Twitter hot takes and bench Ezekiel Elliott for this one, huh? The junior running back earned his third pair of gold pants while running all over the Wolverine defense. Elliott finished with 214 yards on the ground to go with a pair of touchdowns.

The offense ran at tempo for much of the game until it was well in hand, allowing for J.T. Barrett to pick apart the Wolverines both on the ground and through the air. Barrett had three rushing touchdowns and a passing score to Jalin Marshall on the opening drive of the second half. Both teams now wait to see where they will be going bowling, with Ohio State still having a slim chance at getting in the College Football Playoff.

Indiana 54, Purdue 36

Indiana’s going bowling! No, not down at the local alley but in a real bowl game! The team that started out 4-0 and dropped to 4-6 looked like it was going to be on the outside looking in once again come bowl season but the Hoosiers rebounded to win their last two and earn a spot in the postseason.

Nate Sudfeld threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns while Devine Redding carried the rock for a career-high 144 yards as Indiana took the Old Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington.

Maryland 46, Rutgers 41

In one of the more exciting games of the B1G weekend, it was a battle with nothing but pride on the line as both teams had already been knocked out of bowl eligibility. The teams combined for nearly 1,200 yards of offense and Maryland finished the game on a 43-17 run after the Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 24-3 midway through the 2nd quarter.

Both teams will be looking to rebuild for the future this offseason, as they will be searching for head coaches following the dismissal of Randy Edsall during the season and Kyle Flood’s firing after this game.

Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 21

Five turnovers by the Golden Gophers doomed their chances of gaining automatic bowl eligibility against Wisconsin. Minnesota drops to 5-7 but have said they will accept a bowl bid should one come their way.

Wisconsin quietly put together another 9-win season, riding the legs of Dare Ogunbowale 33 times for 155 yards and a score in this one. It was the Badgers’ 11th straight victory over Minnesota.

Michigan State 55, Penn State 16

Once the rout in Ann Arbor was over, Buckeye Nation turned a hopeful eye to East Lansing, needing a Penn State miracle to get in to the Big Ten Championship. Prayers were denied seeing as James Franklin is still the coach of the Nittany Lions and still getting blown out by ranked teams as the coach of the Nittany Lions.

Connor Cook came back from his shoulder injury for Senior Day at Spartan Stadium and put on a show for the crowd. Cook threw for 248 yards and three TDs in his final home game. Penn State drops to 7-5 on the season and Michigan State will be playing a de facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship.

Northwestern 24, Illinois 14

Despite dropping to 5-7 on the season and possibly on the outside looking in of a bowl game, Illinois rewarded interim coach Bill Cubit with a 2-year contract. Wes Lunt threw for 241 yards with 100 of them going to Josh Ferguson, but the Illini offense could only muster one scoring drive on the day.

Somehow Northwestern managed to win 10 games without anybody really knowing about it. Stanford will certainly point to that when they make their case for the Playoff should they take down USC in Santa Clara. Justin Jackson took the lead for the Wildcats, rushing for 172 yards and a score on 37 carries in Soldier Field.

Who do you have winning this year’s Big Ten title? Can the Buckeyes sneak in the back door of the College Football Playoff?