Three Yards and a Cloud of Links

OSU LogoBrownsosuHelmetThree Yards and a Cloud of Links is Men of the Scarlet and Gray’s semi-regular curated look at items that would interest Ohio State fans. These include news items, interesting blog posts and the occasional meme you’ve probably already seen. It’s all here and it’s all for you. Have a tip that should be included in the next TYAACOL? Drop us a line at motsag@gmail.com or through our Contact Page.

And we’re BACK! I’ve been spending a large portion of my time in a Quincy, MA hotel room for work, which means I should finally have time to get some honest to goodness blogging in. And what better way than to get back into the swing of things than an actual blog post — I find some articles that I think you might like and I’ll link them and you can read them yourself. Blogging used to be so much easier back in my day.

INCOMING CUTENESS ALERT: I have a feeling that come the middle of September of this year, Columbus is going to see a serious uptick in the number of Ezekiel’s born into this world. And with good reason. The Columbus Zoo, however, is ahead of the curve:

ALMA MATTA: Serious questions about Thad Matta have been raised during the course of the season (and I myself feel there’s a little truth to them) about his effectiveness and his success at developing players. There’s never been a question if Matta can recruit (Oden and Conley, The Villian, Sully and DT, Russell) but some of his projects have not panned out.

That being said, with a victory against Penn State, he ties Fred Taylor’s record for wins as the Head Coach of the Ohio State Men’s Basketball team. Matta’s success cannot be denied. What I find interesting is this quote from Coach Tom Izzo of Michigan State:

“I think he does an incredible job, and I’ve gained so much respect for him over the years, and yet he doesn’t seem to please enough people sometimes in Columbus.”

Are we that demanding as fans? Has Matta not done enough? Are current struggles indicative of his career as a whole?

OPPS, DID I DO THAT? I spend a lot of time instant messaging my fellow MotSaG’er Jeremiah throughout the day, and occasionally I’ll send him a highly inappropriate message and then follow up with “Oops, wrong window”, meaning my suggestive IM was intended for my wife, not my cohort. It happened once on accident, but for the most part, I do it to get a rise.

All that’s to say that I am having a little bit of an issue believing Zach Smith’s 4 year-old “accidentally” texted a recruit, which was a no-no that Ohio State self-reported as part of its report to the NCAA on minor infractions.

I’m not saying he didn’t do it. I’m also saying he didn’t not do it and then blame his son. I’m just saying.

WE STILL LOVE THE VEST: Asked if Harbaugh is the man to bring Michigan back to greatness and glory, Jim Tressel said that he does think Jim Harbaugh can do it. But he also reminded football fans that he is still the master of saying everything by saying sort of nothing:

“Personally, I think they’re a ways away from being at the level where there’s going to be a Ten Year War”

“A ways away”. Don’t ever change, Senator.

DEVOUT FAN: My son told me once he was a “fan of tornadoes”. I’m not really sure how one becomes a fan of tornadoes, but son is on. I also am not sure how one becomes a fan of Judge Judy, but it looks like they are out there. I was going to throw this in the ETC section, but it gets it’s own section. I can’t get over the “Devout Fan” part:

Of course Judge Judy’s response is just icing on the cake:

ETC: I think the opening title page of this SI Gallery of “Big Ten Players To Watch” is rather sufficient. Probably no need to dive into the gallery, but if you want to, you’ll find plenty more Buckeyes in the mix. Brian Hartline visited with the Browns earlier this week. I’ll just follow that up with the immortal words of Michael Clarke Duncan. Finally, look at these little pancakes. LOOK AT THEM.

Cardale Jones Decides to Return to Ohio State, Achieve Legendary Status

cardale

Around lunchtime today, All-World QB Cardale Jones (he of three championship or playoff game winning streaks) tweeted out this somewhat cryptic but not really very cryptic at all announcement.

Which changed an hour later to:

(Maybe traffic was bad on I-71 North).

Either way, after a magical three game run, Cardale was faced with the prospect of being in the same situation he was in six months ago — back to third on the depth chart. (That is pure conjecture and speculation, but I believe that Urban is the type of coach that would not give someone’s spot up due to injury. I know he has said that he wants the best player to play but the body of work of both Braxton and J.T. would be “better” than Cardale’s.) (Sheesh, even I don’t know if I believe what I just typed).

There are a lot of factors going that went into Cardale’s decision. He has a small family. We don’t know all the details of his family situation or where his priorities lie. All we know (and should care about) is that he did things for the university that no other quarterback has done. We have watched him grow from an immature, entitled kid to a honest-to-goodness leader and likeable dude. That’s all that should matter. This was his decision. And now we get to see him back in shotgun again next season.

His draft status was possibly at its peak, but things change. He stated that his degree and finishing school was more important to him than being a draft pick. That is a long way from the not coming to “PLAY SCHOOL”.

So good for Cardale. He deserves all the best and we can’t wait to see what the 2016 season holds.

Watch Cardale Jones’ Announcement Here

Buckeyes Dominate the Ducks, Win Inaugural College Football Playoff Championship 42-20

ezmode

Ohio State has just completed the most improbable three-game stretch in recent history. Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliot came into their own in the B1G Championship game, got comfortable running all over the vaunted Alabama Defense and just shut down the even more vaunted Oregon Offense.

Outside of the first drive, Oregon’s fast up-tempo offense was more or less stymied time and time again. Even with four turnovers, Oregon was never able to grab the momentum, was never able to get in rhythm and was just out-physicalled by Ohio State’s defense.

Ohio State was able to move the ball on Oregon’s defense at will but with fumbles and interceptions, they weren’t able to pull away.

After giving the ball up in the red zone in the third quarter, Oregon had a chance to take the lead with a score and possibly take control of the game. Ohio State’s defense stepped up to the task and held them to a field goal and got the ball back, clinging to a sliver of a lead, 21-20. Fans were begging to just feed the Zeke.

Which is just what they did. Elliot got 7 touches (6 carries and one reception) and they straight-man balled the Oregon defense right down the field to take the lead, 28-20 and never let go of that lead for the rest of the game.

No lead is safe, of course, against Oregon but they weren’t able to move the ball. Cardale Jones then drove Ohio State another 70 yards for a back-breaking two touchdown lead, 35-20.

Oregon would come up short again, turning the ball over on downs at their own 14 yard line. Six plays later, Elliot punched it in for game sealing score, 42-20, and that was all she wrote.

Oregon is a good football team. A great one, maybe. In the end, though, they simply did not have the physicality and depth Ohio State was able to throw at them. They struggled to get any flow and rhythm, which is of utmost importance for their success. Ohio State just outplayed them.

So hats of to one of the greatest seasons of Ohio State football. Through adversity, tragedy and early disappointment, they stuck together, allowed themselves to be coached and got better every week and finished the season as strong as ever.

Congratulations to Urban Meyer, the 2014 Ohio State Football Team and Buckeye Fans everywhere!

GO BUCKS!!!!!

By The Numbers: Oregon

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Oregon
Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 262.2 (10) 156.1 (51) Rushing Defense (ypg) Ohio State
Passing Offense (ypg) 247.5 (52) 265.9 (111) Passing Defense (ypg) Ohio State+
Pass Efficiency 168.0 (2) 123.6 (52) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State+
Total Offense (ypg) 509.7 (9) 421.9 (86) Total Defense (ypg) Ohio State++
Scoring Offense (ppg) 45.0 (5) 22.3 (27) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 142.0 (34) 241.9 (18) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 191.6 (16) 311.0 (11) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 104.8 (4) 183.6 (7) Pass Efficiency Offense Push
Total Defense (ypg) 333.6 (17) 552.9 (3) Total Offense (ypg) Push
Scoring Defense (ppg) 22.1 (26) 47.2 (2) Scoring Offense (ppg) Push
Turnover margin +0.71 (17) +1.43 (2) Turnover margin Push
Penalty Yards/game 48.6 (47) 72.8 (119) Penalty Yards/game Ohio State++
Sacks (/game) 3.07 (12) 2.07 (67) Sacks Allowed (/game) Ohio State+
Sacks Allowed (/game) 1.93 (56) 2.57 (33) Sacks (/game) Push
3rd Down Conv. (%) 51.9 (3) 41.1 (83) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State++
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 35.0 (21) 51.6 (5) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Push
4th Down Conv. (%) 52.6 (53) 44.4 (39) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Push
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 58.8 (86) 65.4 (17) 4th Down Conv. (%) Oregon+
Redzone Offense (%) 84.1 (54) 83.3 (68) Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 85.4 (87) 86.8 (40) Redzone Offense (%) Oregon
 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

College Football Championship Game Tickets Up 23% From Last Season

osuHelmetWarming the bench as the days grew colder in Columbus, Ohio was Cardale Jones’ priority over the college football season’s first 14 weeks. The redshirt sophomore took to the sidelines regularly for Ohio State, dressed to play but only throwing 17 passes in seven games. Flash forward to the Big Ten Championship Game on December 6, where a slew of injuries to quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett forced Jones to permanently step in under center. A 59-point outburst against Wisconsin made heads turn, but it was his stellar performance against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Game that catapulted him to overnight fame.

One game now separates Ohio State from claiming the first-ever College Football Playoff Championship, though the Buckeyes will have to get through a formidable foe in Oregon in order to carve their name in the history books. I’ve had a lot of people contact me to see if I could help them get their hands on some tickets for the big game. I had to regretfully inform them that yes, I am an alumni of the greatest university on earth, but no, my alumni contributions don’t put me in that rarefied air of having access to events like this. Such a shame. Fans hoping to watch Jones end his season with a bang at AT&T Stadium will have to open their wallets big, too, as the average price for College Football Championship Game tickets on TiqIQ is now $1,112.27. The game’s cheapest seat looks more like a top NFL team’s home secondary average, with get-in price listed at $417. (That’s a skosh out of my price range)

Such prices are significantly more expensive than last year’s BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Florida State. Held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the average secondary price for tickets was $907.48, marking a price jump of 23% under the new playoff format this season. Jameis Winston and his Seminoles led a spirited late-game drive to defeat the Tigers last January. Cardale Jones will hope to do the same when his Buckeyes take on the Ducks in Texas next Monday.

At 13-1 and 8-0 in Big Ten matchups, the Buckeyes enter the National Championship Game on the heels of a 12-game win streak including monster victories over Wisconsin and Alabama. Oregon will likely serve as their most difficult opponent yet, however, as the Ducks hold the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Marcus Mariota and one of the most dominant offenses in college football. Jones’ ability to lead the Buckeyes over his first three career starts has instigated a sense of confidence in the Ohio State locker room that they’ll need to carry into Arlington next week.

With secondary ticket prices reaching a four-digit average in its inaugural year, the College Football Championship Game will undoubtedly serve as one of the most anticipated events of the New Year. For Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes, an eighth national championship and first-ever under the new playoff format would be a fantastic way to greet 2015.

Ohio State Beats Alabama 42-35, Will Play Oregon in the National Championship

EZE

It’s going to be hard to write this right now because I’m shaking and my heart is about to give out. Besides the 2002 National Championship game, I have never been so emotionally drained watching a game.

For the first half, it seemed like Alabama was just going to be the better team. Even though Ohio State was able to move the ball, they weren’t able to punch the ball into the endzone and after a couple turnovers, went down early, 21-6. Even from that point, although the Buckeyes were losing, it never felt out of reach. There were a couple times it looked like the momentum could turn in Bama’s favor and bury Ohio State.

Things started going better for the Buckeyes and going into the half just down one point, it felt like this really could happen. We could beat Bama.

Ohio State then came out in the second half and continued to move the ball against the vaunted Alabama defense. They would score 28 straight points before Alabama would find the end zone again, going up 34-21.

It would go back and forth but Steve Miller’s INT TD and Ezekiel Elliot’s 85 yard dash would be all it took to knock off Satan’s Team.

Yes, there were some head scratching coaching calls. Mistakes were definitely made. But Ohio State won the game and is going to the first “REAL” National Championship in the first College Football Playoff.

Sugar Bowl Open Thread

It seems like it was ages ago, but it was just a short four years ago we did this, in what would end up being Coach Tressel’s last game as the Head Coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The beginning of the end.

Now there’s a new SEC opponent and a new head coach patrolling the Ohio State sideline. In the inaugural College Football Playoff, it’s the Buckeyes vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Join us in the conversation (or follow us on Twitter!)

Go BUCKS!

By The Numbers: Alabama

As always, presented without comment.

Statistically Speaking
Ohio State
Value (Rank)
Value (Rank)
Alabama
Advantage
Rushing Offense (ypg) 260.7 (11) 88.7 (1) Rushing Defense (ypg) Push
Passing Offense (ypg) 246.8 (51) 223.7 (58) Passing Defense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency 172.4 (2) 115.8 (27) Pass Efficiency Defense Ohio State
Total Offense (ypg) 507.6 (8) 312.4 (11) Total Defense (ypg) Push
Scoring Offense (ppg) 45.2 (5) 16.6 (4) Scoring Defense (ppg) Push
Rushing Defense (ypg) 139.8 (35) 209.5 (34) Rushing Offense (ypg) Push
Passing Defense (ypg) 188.2 (15) 281.0 (22) Passing Offense (ypg) Push
Pass Efficiency Defense 103.6 (5) 159.0 (7) Pass Efficiency Offense Push
Total Defense (ypg) 328.0 (15) 490.5 (15) Total Offense (ypg) Push
Scoring Defense (ppg) 21.2 (21) 37.1 (16) Scoring Offense (ppg) Push
Turnover margin +0.69 (19) -0.08 (66) Turnover margin Ohio State
Penalty Yards/game 505 (55) 40.5 (22) Penalty Yards/game Alabama
Sacks (/game) 3.08 (10) 1.00 (9) Sacks Allowed (/game) Push
Sacks Allowed (/game) 1.85 (49) 2.15 (61) Sacks (/game) Push
3rd Down Conv. (%) 51.5 (5) 36.0 (31) 3rd Down Conv. Def (%) Ohio State
3rd Down Conv. Def (%) 36.2 (34) 53.8 (3) 3rd Down Conv. (%) Alabama
4th Down Conv. (%) 52.6 (54) 38.9 (24) 4th Down Conv. Def (%) Alabama
4th Down Conv. Def (%) 53.3 (69) 72.3 (7) 4th Down Conv. (%) Alabama+
Redzone Offense (%) 83.1 (64) 82.5 (61) Redzone Defense (%) Push
Redzone Defense (%) 83.8 (76) 85.0 (49) Redzone Offense (%) Alabama
 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

Michigan Gets Their Michigan Man

Congratulations to the fans of the University of Michigan for landing a Michigan Man that will actually be able to lead them back to glory.

I, as a Cleveland Browns fan, will be happy to see John gone from the Ravens’ sideline.

Oh, and just a reminder: this man is related to this man:

tom_crean_30fps