The Men of The Scarlet and Gray Podcast #1

MotSaG Podcast

The Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast is back. For the first episode Joe Dexter from The Buckeye Battle Cry and I sit down to discuss the recently announced Buckeye football players suspensions. We briefly discuss who needs to step up. Touch also on the “Next Man Up” mantra. We talked about the Big Ten Commissioner coming out and saying there will be no more scheduling of FCS schools starting next season. Big Ten schools needing to schedule one Power Five Conference opponent as well as the conference is moving to play nine conference games.

It was great to try and knock some rust off to get prepared for this upcoming season. I thank Joe so much for his help along with him spending his personal time teaching so much to try making a better product for our audience. We will be taping a show Tuesday night with myself, Jeremiah Sharpe and Chip Minnich as this will officially kick off the MotSag Podcast season. Hope you enjoy and feel free to let me know what you think.

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Next Man Up Applies to Cover Suspensions

For a while now the Buckeye rumor mill has been churning at a very high squeal and fervor. There was talk about four Buckeye players going to get suspensions for some kind of violation. Yes there is rumor as to what the violations are, but until we here at MotSaG have some kind of confirmation, we will not be running with that information.

Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch tweeted this out today:

Seems the rumors were sadly true. ESPN and SportingNews.com are reporting that Corey Smith and Dontre Wilson are also on the suspended list for Game 1 against Virginia Tech.

Urban Meyer I am sure is going to discuss this later at his Big Ten Media Press Conference scheduled later today at 2:30-2:45pm EST. You can watch live on BTN if your cable or satellite company carries it or live on the BTNtoGo app. We will update this when we get more information.

Private Jet Not Needed for Buckeyes Newest Commit

Do you remember when Quinn Nordin recently announced his commitment to Penn State? Lucky for you I have the tweet to help you.

Why am I telling you about Quinn? Apparently he is the highest rated kicker of the 2016 class that had a ton of offers but non from Urban and company. Something already doesn’t smell right here, no Buckeye offer and your the top then commit via private plane and music. That’s not what Ohio State is about. Don’t need a hashtag #WeAre when #WeAreUndisputedNationalChampions.

Last night was the Friday Night Lights Camp and coach Meyer found himself a kicker. According to Bill Landis of cleveland.com:

Blake Haubeil stood at the 45-yard line looking into the north end zone of Ohio Stadium.

He was surrounded by a gang of Buckeyes, a group that included Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, and just behind them was the entire collection of campers at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp.

While the campers got a speech from Luke Fickell, Haubeil was trying to bang 55-yard field goals with Meyer in his ear. Haubeil missed a couple, getting a smattering of applause from the few hundred fans in attendance just for the effort. Then he nailed one, and Meyer threw his hands in the air.

Urban Meyer has a thing for special teams and he has a knack for finding talent. Not offering a top kicker who seemingly is enjoying the “its about me” aspect seems right. Coach going after a hungry kid that’s a diamond in the rough is what seems to work better especially for the Scarlet and Gray.

Buckeye Nation welcome your new kicker for the 2017 class. Blake Habeil a 6’3″/200lb young man from Canisius High in Buffalo, NY.

Habeil committed after Friday Night Lights seems this he enjoys pressure and isn’t backing down from it. Love he committed with a picture of his family by his side, looks like he gets it at such a young age.

A Look Around The Country: 2015 College Football Preview

It is almost time for another season of college football, one in which the Buckeyes can repeat as National Champions for the first time in program history. Last season we saw the inaugural college football playoff dominated by Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Who are this season’s top contenders? Who looks to hoist the Heisman Trophy in December? What will be the year’s biggest and most hyped games? Find out all of that and more in my College Football Preview for the 2015 season.

Biggest Games

TCU at Minnesota, September 3: The Horned Frogs and Golden Gophers will kick off the college football season in Minneapolis with both teams trying to take the next step. TCU is looking to make the playoff after just missing the cut last season while Minnesota looks to make its first Big Ten Championship from a wide open Big Ten West Division. It all kicks off Thursday night.

Wisconsin vs Alabama, September 5: Can a Big Ten beat Alabama for the second consecutive game? This year’s Cowboy’s Classic should be a great game early but I see the Tide pulling away in the second half. Nick Saban gets his team back on track towards another potential playoff berth.

Oregon at Michigan State, September 12: A rematch of last season’s game in Eugene, Connor Cook and the Spartans look to avenge their loss and get back on track towards national supremacy. The Ducks will begin the post Marcus Mariota era with most likely Jeff Lockie at quarterback. Look for the winner to be an early favorite to make the playoff.

Notre Dame at Clemson, October 3: It is always fun to see Clemson play a home night game but this will be even better with the Irish coming to town. Brian Kelly has his work cut out for him after underachieving every year since their 2012 Title Game berth and without Everett Golson after he transferred to Florida State. Expect to see two programs who will either take one step forward or two steps backwards.

Georgia at Auburn, November 14: We will get an SEC Championship game preview a few weeks before their big bout in the Georgia Dome. I see both of these teams being highly ranked headed into this one but it is always interesting when there is a rematch. Auburn doesn’t have it easy because they have the Tide 2 weeks later.

Michigan State at Ohio State, November 21: What has become the staple Big Ten Game of the year will not be any different in 2015. Mark Dantonio and his Spartans head to the Horseshoe for the first time since 2011 in a de-facto Big Ten East Championship Game. Ohio State will be tested but won’t have much rest as they have to travel to Ann Arbor the following week.

USC at Oregon, November 21: Oregon has had Southern Cal’s number the past 5 years or so but the pendulum is starting to swing back into the Trojans favor. Oregon will take a step back this season and the nation will see why USC will be a Playoff favorite in 2015 and beyond.

Baylor at TCU, November 27: This is the regular season game of the year in my eyes and will be a great rematch after last year’s stunner. Trevone Boykin might solidify his Heisman campaign in this game. Maybe the Big 12 will finally find their One True Champion.

Ohio State at Michigan, November 28: Urban Meyer vs Jim Harbaugh I. This game will have plenty of similarities to the 1969 Ohio State-Michigan game but I expect Wolverine fan expectations to be a lot more grounded the day of this game compared to how high they are right now (ask a Michigan fan how many titles Harbaugh will bring Ann Arbor- they will respond by saying 3 playoff trophies in 2015 alone). It will be another classic addition to The Game.

Alabama at Auburn, November 28: “There goes Davis!!” The last time these two teams met at Jordan-Hare, Chris Davis took a missed field goal all the way back for a touchdown in the final second which sent the Tigers to the Title Game (which they lost) and the Crimson Tide to the Sugar Bowl (which they lost). Winner of this game is most likely playing in Atlanta a week later.

Heisman Watch

Trevone Boykin, TCU: My favorite to bring home the Heisman in 2015 should have a monster year statistically (thanks Big 12 defense) and will gain bonus points by getting his team to the College Football Playoff.

Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State: The best running back in the country is coming off a huge 3 game stretch last season and will be looked at as a leader in Meyer’s offense. The only reason I don’t have him as my favorite is because of the amount of carries, offense, and media attention the 3 quarterbacks will get.

Braxton Miller/J.T. Barrett/Cardale Jones: The winner of the greatest quarterback derby in college football history will definitely be a front runner for the Heisman. Why do I not have them as my number one selection? See above.

Cody Kessler, USC: The Trojans might still be a year away from seriously contending for a national title but I do think they come close because of Kessler. And with the talent he will have at his disposal, he could be setting up for a great year.

Leonard Fournette, LSU: There is a reason this LSU running back struck the Heisman pose his freshman year. Nick Chubb of Georgia will be the SEC running back talked about the most but by season’s end I expect Fournette to receive all the headlines and first team All-SEC.

Connor Cook, Michigan State: This is definitely the year of the quarterback for the Big Ten but I am choosing to highlight Cook over the likes of Christian Hackenberg for a number of reasons but none more so than leadership. If Cook can somehow get the Spartans to the Playoff, he will likely be invited to New York.

Dak Prescott, Miss. State: After exceeding everyone’s expectations in 2014, Prescott will look to build on that this season. I think Dan Mullen has pushed him and the Bulldogs into the right direction. But if they are in the SEC title hunt by November, it will be because of Dak.

Conference Predictions

ACC: Clemson over Georgia Tech

Teams to Watch: Florida State, Virginia Tech

I really wanted to take Georgia Tech here, but I think Dabo Swinney has done great things in Death Valley and have to stick with the Tigers. Many people are taking Florida State to win a 4th straight ACC Title but I see them struggling with the quarterback position. Then I have Virginia Tech turning some heads this season, so the Buckeyes better be ready on Labor Day night.

Big Ten: Ohio State over Minnesota

Teams to Watch: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State

Ohio State is a gimme at this point with their only real competition being the Spartans. But I have Minnesota getting to Indianapolis after a late season win over Wisconsin. Jerry Kill has been great for the Gophers and this year’s team finally gets him over the hump. Wisconsin will take a step back under new coach, Paul Chryst. Penn State could also make some noise behind stellar play from Hackenberg.

Big 12: TCU as champions, Baylor as runners-up

Teams to Watch: Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State

This will be another year of no conference championship game for the Big 12, which means another year at being at a disadvantage. I see this coming down to TCU and Baylor but the Bears are breaking in a new quarterback where the Horned Frogs are not. That will be the difference. Bob Stoops needs to get the Sooners into playoff contention or he will be shown the door and Charlie Strong could have a much better year after having his system in place for a second season.

Pac 12: USC over Oregon

Teams to Watch: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State

The reign of Oregon will finally come to an end in 2015 as the Trojans get back to their rightful place atop the Pac 12 throne. Oregon has a great team coming back and maybe the Trojans are still a year away but I believe USC gets it done this season. This is the most wide open conference because of the teams listed above. I could see any of those six winning the conference. It’s going to be a Wild Wild West.

SEC: Auburn over Georgia

Teams to Watch: Alabama, Tennessee, LSU

I have Auburn winning the coveted SEC Title this season because of a loaded cast on both sides of the ball. Bringing in Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator will help. Georgia will have another great team but Mark Richt has grossly underachieved for the Bulldogs and he’ll come up short again. I think Alabama’s reign has come to an end and it will be interesting to see how this affects Nick Saban heading into the future. Les Miles and LSU are my dark horse team for the SEC as long as Fournette has a great season. Tennessee could also make some noise.

Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. TCU
3. Auburn
4. USC
5. Michigan State
6. Clemson
7. Baylor
8. Alabama
9. Oregon
10. Notre Dame
11. Florida State
12. Georgia
13. Georgia Tech
14. LSU
15. UCLA
16. Ole Miss
17. Minnesota
18. Arizona State
19. Oklahoma
20. Wisconsin
21. Stanford
22. Tennessee
23. Boise State
24. Arkansas
25. Penn State

Playoff Predictions

Semifinals

1) Ohio State over 4) USC
2) TCU over 3) Auburn

National Championship Game

Ohio State over TCU

The Road for Braxton Miller

We all remember the big scandal; Jim Tressel was gone, and big-time Heisman contender Terrelle Pryor left for the supplemental draft. The future looked pretty rough at the time, we were left with no good QB, and stuck with Fickell as the intern head coach. We all remember that there was some hope, elite high-school QB Braxton Miller was on his way, having to be ready to take the reigns.

 

He began the season as the backup to all-time great Joe Bauserman. In Braxton’s first game against Akron, he saw little action, but you could see the excitement that he brought. He finished the game with 8 of 12 passes for 130 yards and 1 TD. After slim to no playing time the next two games, and horrific games from Joe Bauserman, all of Buckeye Nation knew who needed to come in, and take his spot as the next potentially great QB at Ohio State. In the 4th game of the season against Colorado, Luke Fickell finally gave Braxton the keys to the offense, and gave him the start. Braxton threw for 2 TD’s, and ran for 83 yards in this 37-17 victory. It was obvious that the team wasn’t great, but we all knew that the future was here. Braxton eventually helped lead that team to a bowl game, and he finished the season with 1,159 passing yards and 13 TD’s, along with 715 rushing yards and 7 TD’s.

Then in 2012, one of the best things that could happen for Braxton Miller and all Buckeye fans happened, Ohio State hired Urban Meyer as their head coach. Braxton’s talents were going to be especially used in Urban’s spread system. This new coach came in and really changed the culture of the program, and many of the sports world saw it through ESPN’s segments of Ohio State “training days”.

With a team lacking a lot skill and depth, Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller led the Buckeyes to an undefeated 12-0 season, but they couldn’t participate in the off-season because of sanctions. Braxton really carried the team on offense that year, especially since team had very few playmakers that Urban craves. Urban said that it was just “Braxton left, and Braxton right.”, which is very honest if you watched the team play. Braxton finished his first full season as a starter with 2,039 passing yards and 15 TD’s along with 1,271 rushing yards and 13 TD’s. He was also awarded with the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, which is the award for the B1G MVP; he was the first Buckeye to do so since Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith did so in 2006.

The 2013 season finally came along, and with it were some huge expectations (Heisman sized) for Braxton and the team. The team was out of sanctions, and Urban had been with the team for two years, and he had acquired some other playmakers by then as well. The thought was that this team could end the SEC’s reign over college football, and take home a Crystal Ball for the first time since 2002. For Braxton, the season didn’t start out great, as he got injured halfway through the 2nd game of the season against SDSU. Kenny Guiton filled in for a couple of games, and did such a great job that many Buckeye fans were cheering for Kenny to be the starter even when Braxton returned healthy. Urban knew the type of player Braxton was/is, so he told everybody that Braxton would be the starting QB when he came back. Braxton returned as the starter against Wisconsin where he showed off his arm and his legs, and he grabbed the victory 31-24. The Buckeyes mostly cruised through the rest of the schedule – but nearly gave us a heart attack against ttun – and took their 24 game win streak to Indianapolis where Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were going to try and capture their first win in a B1G Championship game. After being behind early, Braxton put up a valiant effort against Michigan State’s defense that was arguably the best in the country. The comeback wasn’t enough, and Urban and Braxton had their first loss together. Still, Braxton won another Silver Ball, becoming only the second Buckeye to win B1G MVP twice (Archie Griffin is the other). Because of that loss, though, they missed the chance to play FSU in the championship, but went to play Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Braxton was working his “magic” once more, but took a hard hit fairly early in the game, and took another huge hit on a TD pass to Carlos Hyde. Braxton didn’t look the same the rest of the game, and he eventually threw a late INT to seal the game. The Buckeyes had lost two in a row, but worse than that, Braxton tore his labrum. This injury started a roller coaster of a ride for Braxton.

 

Braxton had surgery for his shoulder and was going through a quick rehab process so that he would be ready to start the first game of his senior year. There were plenty of rumors floating around that Braxton wouldn’t be ready, but Urban quickly shot those down. Then, 12 days before the game against Navy, Braxton got hurt in practice. Nobody hit him, but in a throwing motion, he re-tore his labrum. Not only would this be a terrible process for Braxton that would take approximately a year, but this would be a terrible season for the Buckeyes because of all the players they lost to the draft, and the lack of playing experience for the other QBs. J.T. Barrett ended up getting the start, and after a shaky first two games, things started coming together. “Dang, J.T. is good” all of Buckeye Nation was thinking. After going 10-1 and being a serious Heisman contender, J.T. broke his ankle against UM. The team was finally going to hit a wall with a 3rd string QB, but nope. Cardale Jones came along and put together one of the best first three starts in college football history winning the B1G Championship, the Sugar Bowl, and to cap it off, the National Championship. During this outbreak of two of the “Magnificent 3″ more rumors came out about Braxton transferring. Braxton had to transfer, right? He couldn’t be a Heisman contender and then have to come back and fight for a starting job.

On Thursday, July 9th, Braxton finally ended all transfer rumors by saying he was staying. “I’m from Ohio; this is my home state,” Miller told The Dispatch. “This is where I started, and this is where I’m going to finish it.” This is arguably the most interesting situation in College Football history, but it’s great to see 3 guys not shy away from competition. It’s also great to see how the competition isn’t getting the best of any of them. Urban recently said that Cardale’s best friend on the team is J.T. Barrett. “They’re so close, how cool is that?”

Braxton also went on in his “statement” to say “God put me on this Earth … to be an athlete, and the first thing in mind is being a quarterback, and just be smart about what I do.” “I know who I am as a person. I know who I am as an athlete,” he also said. “As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football. If any competition wants to come my way, I’ve just got to be smart about things and just stay looking forward.” To me, that speaks volumes his willingness to play, and it sounds like that if he needs to play a different position he will.

No matter what happens in this intense competition, Urban will surely find a way to get Braxton on the field. He is a special player and athlete, and if you need a reminder go watch these.

My Favorite Buckeye Memory: A First Post By Our Newest Writer @WesPatterson23

My favorite Ohio State memory would have to be in the fall of 2012 when Ohio State took on the mighty Purdue Boilermakers. This was Urban Meyer’s first year with the Buckeyes, and our sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller (Who was my favorite football player ever at the time) was becoming very well known amongst all fans and opposing teams. Even though I thought this would be an easy win against a lousy opponent, I was still excited to be able to see Urban Meyer, his so far undefeated team, and my favorite player, Braxton Miller, live for the first time.

I woke up early that Saturday morning of the game and began the 2 hour journey from my KY house to the Horseshoe in Columbus. After a drive that lasted forever, I made it, and decided to race on over to the pre-game Skull Session. When I entered into St. John Arena I walked right up into the front row seats, and thought I was going to have the best seats in the house for this exciting event. After about five minutes of sitting there, and mostly seeing people leave rather than enter, I finally realized I actually missed the skull session, and I felt like an idiot.

After that huge disappointment, I headed over to the stadium to get my seats and watch warm-ups. Eventually, the game was set to begin. Purdue got the ball first and looked ready to get beat. In one of the first plays, Purdue took advantage of our first-time starter at Linebacker (Zach Boren who had just been moved from fullback) and threw a TD pass to go up 6-0 (PAT was blocked). I could sense the shock in the crowd because of how early that happened, but nobody was too worried. After a couple of drives that ended in no points, Braxton finally scored to give us the lead at 7-6. “All will be fine now” was the thought from everybody. No, Purdue returned the next kickoff for a TD giving them the lead at 13-7. In the 3rd, Carlos Hyde pounded it in to regain the lead at 14-13.

Soon after that point is when the real action began. One of the scariest moments for all Buckeye fans at the time occurred. Braxton went down.

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That’s truly when everybody’s mindset moved to the point that we could lose this game. Unproven and somewhat unknown QB Kenny Guiton would have to step up.

Later in the 3rd, Purdue scored again to go up 20-14. Soon after that, they even forced a safety on us to go up 22-14. I couldn’t believe I actually decided to go to a game where we were going to be upset by Purdue, and all my friends who are Ohio State haters were going to give it to me. Worst feeling in the world.

Late in the game, there was a glimmer of hope, but Kenny G threw an interception with only two minutes left in the game, and Purdue would surely finish the game from that. Everybody was shocked, and most people decided to leave and beat the traffic. I was so close to leaving as well, but I reluctantly stayed and decided to watch us lose.

We ended up getting the ball back, and Kenny G took the field once more. With less than a minute to go, he makes a clutch 34 yard throw to Devin Smith that puts us in the redzone. At this point, the crowd was starting to shake, and I could see everybody who was trying to re-enter the stadium. Then, with 3 seconds left in the game, Kenny Guiton threw a TD to Chris Fields making the game 22-20! Obviously, we had to go for the 2 point conversion, so we weren’t too excited just yet.

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The ball snapped, Kenny rolled to his right, nobody was open, he couldn’t run or throw, the game was over, or so I thought. He then looked back to his left and threw to a wide open Jeff Heuerman in the end zone. The game was headed to OT! I knew the game was over from there, we couldn’t be beat with all this momentum we had just gained. Carlos punched in a score, and we held them from scoring. The game was over, we had won! The legend of Kenny G was born.

PPOwGb4 Image courtesy of 11W

I was standing in that half-empty stadium screaming my lungs out pumped that we just came back and beat Purdue. Carmen Ohio was so sweet that Saturday afternoon in Ohio Stadium, and that ride home was so relaxing knowing we got the W. Even though it was a scare against Purdue, it was the best memory I have of Ohio State.

Ezekiel Elliott Wins 2014 AAU James E. Sullivan Award

No. 1 RB Ezekiel Elliott is all smiles.

No. 1 RB Ezekiel Elliott is all smiles.

Ohio State continues to have a great weekend. Ohio State’s top running back Ezekiel Elliott was awarded the 2014 AAU James E. Sullivan Award on Sunday, given to the best amateur athlete in the nation. It’s considered one of the most prestigious awards in amateur sports. He was one of six finalists for the award and the only football player. Among the sixteen semi-finalists, he was one of two football players, with the other being Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. This is also the second consecutive year a football player has won this award, with Penn State’s John Urschel winning the award last year. Elliott accepted the award in New York City earlier today, which you can view below.

After having a breakout sophomore season and being a key component in the Buckeyes’ run to the national championship, this probably won’t be the last award Elliott will win. He’s considered a top candidate for the 2015 Heisman Award, along with numerous other top honors.

Why OSU Should Ignore The UC Bearcat Challenge

First lets start off with the challenge itself which came last night as Ohio State was being honored by the Cincinnati Reds for winning the CFB Playoff National Championship this year. In what has become sort of a tradition the Reds have invited the Buckeyes and Coach Meyer to Great American Ballpark to throw out first pitches and get a round of applause from the crowd. Which in and of itself is a nice gesture and should be applauded. Then comes along the official University of Cincinnati Bearcats Twitter account to rain on the Buckeye parade…

A simple enough gesture the Bearcats want to host Ohio State in Football and/or Basketball. Getting Ohio State to play at Nippert Stadium would be great for the Bearcats. On the other hand though would do nothing for OSU and in fact would cost OSU quite a lot. How you say could it cause OSU harm? Lets discuss.

THE BAD

Loss of money– OSU is a self-sufficient Athletic Department and has the largest Athletic Dept. in the country and it takes quite a lot of money to run said AD. One home game alone on ticket sales at $80 per ticket x 106000 tickets = $8.5 million. Add in merchandise, parking, food, and other forms of income and OSU is easily bringing in 20-25 million per home game on the conservative side. Playing a game at Cincy would cost probably $500k just to travel and feed and lodge the players and coaches and OSU employees. OSU really truly cant afford to play at Cincy.

Recruiting- OSU and Cincy for the most part do not recruit the same players. When was the last time you saw a recruit with an OSU and Bearcat hat on the table when making a decision? Never is probably correct. So there is no recruiting advantage to playing at Cincy. In fact say OSU loses that would hurt OSU recruiting and give Cincy coaches a chance to make up ground on OSU on the recruiting trail.

Stadium size- Nippert Stadium holds roughly 35k fans. Sure they could play at Paul Brown which prob holds closer to 70k fans but OSU wouldnt get a cut of the money raised and would have many more fans there than the Bearcats.

Ohio Schools- If OSU caves to the Bearcats would other Ohio Schools start calling out the Buckeyes to visit their schools? Maybe? Why take the chance it is a PR nightmare.

Perception- OSU prides itself on being the only true “BCS” school in Ohio and dominates the state and there is no reason to ruin that perception because of a funny banter tweet.

But why not Basketball?– Have you seen the chicanery that happens in UC vs Xavier games? The pent up aggression between OSU and UC is palpable and there is a lot at stake and is it even worth it? Want an Ohio Tourney with OSU, XU, UC, and Dayton? Sure would be fun play it at a neutral spot not at each others home courts.

THE GOOD

There is not a single good reason for OSU to play Cincy in Cincy ever in any sport. Can you think of one? If so let me know in the comments thanks.

The Pride that is The Ohio State University

The last few years I have made the trek down I-71 from Northeast Ohio down to Columbus for the Arnold Classic. No I’m not into the whole weightlifting scene as time on that has passed me by, but I think (in my mind anyways) at my size I can get away at looking like a former lifter. Honestly its kind of refreshing that this is a place at my size that I don’t get any stares or people saying man your a big guy. I digress to what has brought me a sense of pride especially so much so this year. Columbus is like a second home to me, my second city behind Cleveland. The Land will always be my home and have that special tug at my heart but there is something about Columbus that has a special spot also. No its definitely not the drivers down here (your a bunch of crazy selfish thugs). Its The Ohio State University,The Scarlet and Gray, The Buckeye Leaf, The Buckeye Nation.

Many of us if fortunate enough to get to spend quality time with our fathers, want to be like them and love the same things as them. I was no different growing up watching Browns, Indians, Cavs, and Buckeye games with my Dad. When he use to score tickets to go to any of these events it was the best thing (there was no HD and 100 camera angles when I was a kid). Walking into the Old Cleveland Stadium had a great feeling but it honestly felt like it needed to be redone or fixed up especially when you were forced to watched a Browns game behind a pillar at least the Indians games you were able to move closer to the field because there wasn’t many fans showing up at all. Cavalier games were a trek to the Richfield Coliseum but that place was fantastic (sorry Q your really a good stadium but the Richfield was better IMO). Getting to go to The Shoe was the best. Nothing ever compared. You could tell that it was (and still is) an old stadium but even to this day I still get goosebumps every time I enter the Rotunda going into the greatest stadium in all of college football. The House that Harley built, the greats that have played on that field, coached on the sidelines, The Best Damn Band in The Land and what they do and have done on that field, the feats that were accomplished on that track (yes there use to be a track in The Shoe youngins Google it).

The last week there has been a flood of news coming out about The Ohio State University and its all been so positive its great. Yes I know that there is more to OSU than football (heck I’m going to the men’s regular season finale against Wisconsin). There is the B1G Championship Wrestling Tournament taking place on the campus right now, women’s basketball team has a really bright future with Mitchell and Hart plus the other sports in general are really on the rise. Buckeye Nation has so much to be proud of right now its not even funny. The reason we key so much on football especially here at MotSaG is that is what you our readers are telling us you are looking at which is great. 2010-2011 the Buckeye football program took a huge black eye and some really came after the Buckeyes (I’m looking at you four letter network). Jim Tressel “The Senator” “The Sweatervest” was forced to resign in May of 2011. Everything was so bleak, many were calling for AD Gene Smith’s head (I was in that camp) for what felt like his arrogance of not self imposing a bowl ban on 2011 season.

November 2011 a new era was born, Urban Meyer was hired as the leader of the Buckeye program. Buckeye Nation was ecstatic the rest of the nation was not at all.

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I’ve had this on the back of my pick up truck since Jan 2012 “Urban Renewal- Restoring Greatness inside the Horsehoe”. Urban’s first season the man leads the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record and should have played against Notre Dame and won the National Championship that year but no we really were the one’s catfished thanks to Gene Smith right (more on that later). 2013 the Buckeyes go 12-2 only losses were the ones that meant something, MSU in B1G Championship game and Orange bowl to Clemson. 2014 starts off shaky with Braxton going down and the loss to Virginia Tech. Meyer and company kept the team together and grew stronger and was getting better. There were still skeptics like myself before the Michigan State game but they came out and showed this is a team lead by one of the greatest coaches of our time. We all know what happened to finish off the year and coach Meyer wasn’t even B1G Coach of the Year. Yes as a homer I and all of Buckeye Nation was out raged but the ones in the national media who know and understand football like Phil Steele claimed that Meyer was COY. What was interesting was what Jon Gruden recently said

“What he did at Ohio State, losing a Heisman Trophy candidate and then doing what he did with two different quarterbacks that were backups. Amazing to me.”

How can you argue with that? Urban Meyer has Restored Greatness inside the Horseshoe plus what he is doing with these kids and teaching them leadership and turning them into men . You aren’t hearing of the Florida problems that were all his fault that supposedly followed him here but mysteriously have gone away, because kids have bought in and know there are consequences for their actions in Ohio. In my opinion it seems like a lot of covering up going up in the Whole State of Florida. I don’t want to make accusations but honestly three different universities and their issues and its always business as usual just saying.

Remember the catfishing I was saying about the Gene Smith situation? Well lets be men here and say everyone makes mistakes, they still got a ring for that season (I’m looking at you Mark May, You mad Bro). Smith is only the eighth athletic director for The Ohio State University, been going strong since March 5, 2005. I know it can be easy sitting on the outside saying if “I was in that position I would do this”, until your in that position you don’t know all the variables. Smith has put the Buckeyes on the map as a destination to bring in the best coaches in all sports, Bringing in Meyer, Matta who has turned the Buckeyes into a school that you can say plays basketball too, and recently brought Kevin McGuff to lead the woman’s basketball program who is on the verge of blowing up if they can get past the injuries, just to name a few. Gene Smith has been the leader who has helped turned the Buckeye Athletic program into one of the Top 10 of all of Sports Programs in the Nation per Forbes.

“The culture of OSU Athletics is one of excellence that is focused on the growth and development of each person. It is an environment where all individuals are valuable members of the team with ideas to contribute and given the opportunity to lead those efforts. The department provides traditional education opportunities as well as engage’s employees with projects to stretch them and grow new skills. Individuals are given autonomy at the local level to determine what works best for their group. Gene [Smith] truly supports each individual and allows them to lead. It is a culture of we and not me as cliché as that sounds. I am very thankful for the opportunity the Buckeye’s have given me to grow my professional skills.” – Janine Oman, Assoc Athletics Director Sport Administration/Sport Performance

Yes a National Championship does bring in a ton of pride into a University and fan base, but honestly I can’t remember feeling so much pride for the Scarlet and Gray as I feel now as when they last won their National Championship. This is due to the leaders like Gene Smith who has went out and found quality leaders to lead each individual program with pride and turn the young men and women who play for the Buckeyes into great leaders of tomorrow. I would personally like to thank Gene Smith for what he has done and all of the coaches who work there butts off to help build a better tomorrow by being the greatest.

OSU Recruiting: What States Does OSU Offer The Most?

Recently I took a look at how Jim Harbaugh has recruited the state of Ohio or to put it another way that he hasn’t recruited the state of Ohio. Then I looked at where he was heavily recruiting and it appears he has put the vast majority of his time recruiting California and Texas. Which is not a bad strategy considering how much talent is in those states. Just found it interesting that 3 months on the job and Harbaugh has still not stepped one foot inside the Ohio Borders. No Michigan team has ever won anything without getting Ohio recruits. Ohio is fertile ground and yearly is one of the top states for Division 1 recruits. Sure Urban Meyer has locked down the state for the best recruits. That doesnt mean you completely ignore the talent rich state. Maybe it won’t help the 2016 class but it will help build relationships that will help future classes.

So I thought to myself I wonder where Urban Meyer recruits the most and spends most of his time offering kids. So lets look at a breakdown of the 2016 class and see which states has the most offers made and which states Urban and his staff are targeting and ignoring.

Total Offers Made

134 as of 3-5-15

State and offers

Florida- 34
Texas- 14
Georgia- 13
Ohio- 12
New Jersey- 9
Michigan- 9
Pennsylvania- 8
North Carolina- 6
Virginia- 6
Maryland- 5
Washington DC- 4
Tennessee- 4
Illinois- 3
Indiana- 2
Arizona- 1
California- 1
Kansas- 1
Kentucky- 1
Minnesota- 1

So lets look at some of these numbers and what it tells us.

– There are a ton of guys who play at IMG Academy in Florida who aren’t really from Florida but I included them in Florida for ease of doing this.

– Clearly Urban Meyer is comfortable recruiting Florida extremely hard and has many connections and Florida is the most talent rich state.

– There is a real emphasis being put on the New Jersey/DMV areas. These states are top heavy with really good talent. OSU is reaching into Penn State recruiting grounds and poaching the best players.

– Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania will always be the places that Urban and OSU will consider their recruiting grounds and will be the meat of the roster each year.

– It will be interesting to see how hard OSU recruits the state of Texas now that Tom Herman has left can the staff keep making inroads into the hugely talented state?

– OSU will recruit the best player in the footprint of the B1G but wont spend a lot of time in states like Minnesota and Indiana.

– No matter where the talent is Urban will reach out to it and bring in players from all over the country but Ohio will always be the bulk of every recruiting class.