5 Things I Think: Offseason (Part 1)

FootballIt’s been an interesting offseason in college football thus far, with something new seemingly coming across the wire every other day. We’re in the Spring Game season right now. Going into this weekend approximately 65% of the 126 FBS teams putting on a game or its equivalent have been played. Pittsburgh and Texas A&M will not play one this year. Of the remaining 44 teams, only three teams who played in a BCS bowl last season are left (Alabama, Auburn, and Michigan State). Alabama (1pm CST ESPNU) and BCS runner-up Auburn (2pm CST ESPN) will play this Saturday and will likely battle for the top spot in terms of Spring Game attendance. Penn State currently leads in that category with just over 72,000 (a testament of the excitement the James Franklin has brought to State College), but Auburn and Alabama each beat that last year (83,401 and 78,315 respectively). Being a resident of Alabama, I am certain that they will rank first and second once again this year — but it’s a coin flip as to in what order. The passion for college football in this state is … unmeasurable.

On the other end of the attendance spectrum, Buckeyes’ quarterback Braxton Miller called out Michigan for their putrid turnout of just over 15,000 (in the third largest stadium in the world) after the Buckeyes drew approximately four times that many fans. Way to go, Braxton!

Let’s get into some of the offseason highlights:

1. Michael Sam announces he’s gay. Firstly, sexual orientation of public figures is none of my business. However, in the world of sports, particularly male sports, it’s not a topic that is discussed freely especially for those who aren’t heterosexual. My favorite part of this whole thing was that the media allowed Sam to make the announcement rather than “break” the story despite several media members knowing about it a couple of days beforehand. Also, the idea that he’ll be a distraction in the locker room once he becomes the first openly gay NFL player was debunked by Missouri winning the SEC East in just their second season and Sam winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year given that Sam announced this to his team last August. He may be a distraction in terms of the media, but so will Johnny Manziel. Just as Jason Collins’ (NBA Player currently on the Nets’ roster) and Connor Mertens’ (current Willamette University kicker) announcement likely helped Sam make his announcement, his announcement likely led to Mitch Eby (current Chapman University DE) announcing he’s bisexual and Derrick Gordon (UMass) becoming the first active Division I basketball player to announce he’s gay. None of these announcements could have been easy.

2. 2014 Signing Class. The rankings were about as should have been expected, with Alabama having the number one class according to ESPN (my Buckeyes’ class ranked seventh). The two things that surprised me a little bit was Tennessee grabbing the fifth-ranked class and Ole Miss falling all the way down to 17 after the phenomenal 2013 class they had. What I found funny about this year’s class were a few of the names that were signed. Purdue signed offensive tackle Bearooz Yacoobi out of Dearborn, Michigan. I’ve never heard of that first name or last name before, but I love them both! My favorite name of the class, though, was signed by the Eastern Michigan Eagles. They signed a 6’4” defensive end named Lion King. Yes, you read that right. His name was originally Lion King Conaway, but he legally changed it to Lion King. The Eagles play Florida this season in a game that I hope is televised because it will be interesting to count how many “hakuna matata” and “simba” jokes will be told. Then there was the story of a kid who signed three Letters of Intent. D.J. Law signed an LOI with Utah, Ole Miss, and East Mississippi Community College. There was confusion on all sides and eventually Ole Miss released him from their LOI leaving him free to sign with Utah or EMCC; he ended up becoming a Ute.

3. To change a rule or not to change a rule. The offseason exploded early on with the rule proposal that wouldn’t allow the offense to snap the ball within the first ten seconds of the play clock. Nick Saban and Bret Bielema were big proponents of such a rule with the very thin veil of player safety concerns draped over that support. This rule was eventually “tabled” until next year presumably because this was a “safety only” rule change year in the NCAA and there is no available evidence that hurry-up offenses cause more injuries. I guarantee it will come up again next offseason, however. I’m do not support such a rule, but I know it’s not going away anytime soon. Not much longer after that rule was tabled, the NCAA amended the current targeting rule. Last year’s rule allowed for a targeting call to be reviewed by the officials to determine if an ejection was warranted. Even if they ruled an ejection wasn’t warranted, the 15-yard penalty was upheld. The change this year is that if after review, if it is ruled that it wasn’t targeting, the 15-yard penalty will not stand. The part that is often overlooked, however, that if there were another call (e.g. unnecessary roughness) made, that 15-yard penalty would still stand. Additionally, the ejection rules are still the same. This past week the NCAA Rules Oversight Committee did approve a new rule concerning quarterback safety, however. The rule states that no defensive player who is rushing unabated can forcibly hit a quarterback who is in a “passing posture” at or below the knee (he cannot initiate a roll or lunge that does so either). I believe the key word here is “unabated”. If he is blocked, pushed, or tripped into the quarterback and hits him at or below the knee, this rule wouldn’t apply. Additionally, if the quarterback is no longer in a “passing posture” this rule wouldn’t apply.

4. Coaching Carousel spun out of control. I’ve been watching college football for nearly thirty years and I can’t remember a time when the head coaches of so many prominent programs changed in one offseason. Consider that four teams in the final AP rankings have new coaches (Louisville, USC, Vanderbilt, and Washington). Additionally, historically successful programs like Penn State, Texas, and Boise State also have new coaches. The most shocking (and hilarious) coaching change this offseason was Alabama hiring Lane Kiffin as its new offensive coordinator. While I have gone on record as saying it’s an excellent hire on Nick Saban’s part, living in the part of the country I do, I couldn’t help but be entertained by it. He once coached Alabama’s rival Tennessee in a game which I dub “The Armpit Bowl”. Terrence Cody blocking two field goals with his armpit saved Alabama’s 2009 championship aspirations. Kiffin is not liked in this part of the country, and that’s putting it mildly. That is partly because of his brash personality and partly because a lot of people didn’t like the manner in which he left the Volunteers. The second most shocked I was in terms of coaching changes, was that Ed Orgeron did not get a gig anywhere. After his turnaround of USC’s season last year, I was sure a program would give him a head-coaching job. He may take the year off and be an analyst somewhere, but he’ll be back in coaching soon enough (although, to be fair, I said the same about Houston Nutt).

5. Players are spinning quite a bit too. Whether it’s due to graduating, early entry into the NFL draft, transfers (JUCO or otherwise), or player dismissal, there is always a lot of player movement in the offseason. Quarterbacks usually dominate these kinds of moves, at least in the public eye, and it’s easy to see why. Approximately 25 FBS quarterbacks have transferred or announced plans to do so (Texas A&M’s Matt Joeckel just joined that group this week). Tyler Ferguson transferring to Louisville to play for Bobby Petrino seems significant as does Max Wittek transferring from USC, as they are both eligible to play right away. Wittek hasn’t announced his destination yet, but I think he’d be silly not to go to Texas now that David Ash is out. The biggest QB transfer, however, has to be FSU’s Jacob Coker transferring to Alabama. Like Ferguson and Wittek, Coker is eligible to play right away (however, he is still finishing his Spring semester in Tallahassee). He battled Jameis Winston through fall practice for the starting job last season, but Famous Jameis eventually won out. I am still of the opinion (as I have been for the last three years) that Cooper Bateman is the next quarterback for the Crimson Tide, but if Coker comes in and dominates, one couldn’t blame Saban for going with him. Dorial Green-Beckham, star wide receiver for Missouri, was dismissed last week after yet another off-the-field incident. This one involved his alleged physical mistreatment of his girlfriend and her friend. No charges were filed, but Coach Gary Pinkel was clearly tired of the constant trouble DGB was getting into and felt it there was a necessary change of scenery for both he and the team. I expect him to transfer to an FCS program this season and then enter the 2015 NFL draft. If I were him, I’d transfer to Southeastern Louisiana University. The Lions already have five FBS transfers who will play for them this year including two from LSU and one each from Tulane, Southern Miss, and Louisiana-Lafayette. They were 11-3 and went to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs, adding all this talent can only help their chances.

Note: Baseball honored Jackie Robinson this week for his historical breaking of baseball’s color barrier. I’d like to take this opportunity to mention a little something about him that rarely gets mentioned (even in “42”). Robinson was one of just four black players on the 1939 UCLA football team. In those times, there weren’t very many prominent programs that were integrated at all and for the Bruins to have four black players on their team was unheard of back then.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Links

Good morning Buckeye Nation. Today I am speaking to you from the frozen tundra of Antarctica. Whats sad is if you actually looked up the weather conditions for Antarctica its actually warmer in many places than Ohio. OK so lets grab our cups of coffee or hot cocoa and get started.

Broken Tater? Word out of Pickerington Central is that Jae’Sean Tate has been shut down for the rest of the year due to a shoulder injury. Tate who is a senior forward for the Tigers signed in November to be a Buckeye next season. Reports are saying he needs surgery for a torn labrum which has been hurting him since May.

We here at MotSaG are hoping Tate makes a full and speedy recovery and is at full strength for the Buckeyes next season. Get well soon young man.

Buckeye Tabloid Gossip: Apparently the Internets were sent a buzzing recently. I’ll be honest here I am not sure of the who when and where, but someone or something was putting out there that coach Meyer and former coach Vrabel had some kind of falling out. Now since I don’t know the story I am going to put my shiny little two cents in here. Mike Vrabel left for the Houston Texans to coach the linebackers leaving behind his alma mater. I truly believe this was his choice and his alone. The man bleeds Scarlet and Gray and I feel did one heck of a job for the Buckeyes and it was great having him on the sidelines helping these kids become men. Vrabel had an opportunity to coach in the NFL which maybe in his mind (and buy his actions) was much bigger than the collegiate level. He might have aspirations of being a head football coach in the NFL. The reason I bring all this up is that coach Meyers wife had to go to twitter Thursday to set the record straight.

Good luck in the NFL coach Vrabel and you will always be a Buckeye in my and many many of Buckeye Nations hearts. Chase your dream and may you encounter success where ever you turn.

Step Back from the Ledge: I know Buckeye fans we have had some trying times this season watching the mens basketball team. We have been spoiled and expect nothing but the best because lets face it this is The Ohio State University and nothing but the best will do for ANYONE wearing Scarlet and Gray. How spoiled have we become in mens basketball? Well Doug Lesmerises of cleveland.com (Clevleand Plain Dealer) has a nice story on how the Buckeyes program has been the third most successful team in the nation during the regular season. During the last four years the Buckeyes have averaged a 2 seed for the NCAA tournament. That’s pretty impressive when Kansas has averaged a 1 seed and Duke 1.5 seed during the same span.

Speaking of the men’s basketball team don’t forget to watch them go for three in a row versus Purdue tonight and read Josh Schott’s preview on the game.

Breaking cHoke Steps Down: Word out of Ann Arbor is that Brady cHoke is stepping down. The Big House Report is reporting yesterday that cHoke is stepping down as the defensive lines coach. Apparently he wants to be the “head coach” now or something along those lines. Seems that his failures to date have his seat a little hot (must be the reason he doesn’t need a long sleeve shirt on a cold day) so he wants to concentrate on being a the head guy. This is Brady cHokes comments on the move.

Until next time Buckeye Nation stay warm and stay safe.

Surprise visitor to make Official Visit to OSU this weekend

Late last night news broke that a surprise visitor would take an official visit to Ohio State this weekend just a few days after National Signing Day. This news isn’t that unusual in the grand scheme of things but the player taking the OV and his relationship to another current commit makes it a very interesting development.

The news was broke by 247sports National Football writer Steve Wiltfong…

So many of you will be asking yourself who exactly is Shelby Spence and why has he popped up on OSU Radar so late in the process. The truth is Shelby has long been on OSUs radar as he attended Friday Night Lights last summer with his teammate and good friend Jamarco Jones. So there is why this visit has become so important as Shelby and Jamarco are great friends and as all of you know by now Ohio State and Michigan State are in a heated battle to land current OSU commit Jamarco Jones who is considering flipping to MSU after a last minute visit to MSU this past weekend and only 24 hours to go to NSD.

What does this all mean for OSU and Spence and Jones? I was able to sit down and talk with Shelby late last night and get some info out of him about his recruitment and whether or not he and Jones are a package deal and the answers were somewhat surprising.

The important thing to know from my interview with Shelby was that the OV didn’t just pop up out of no where late in the process. When I asked him about the visit he said, “We’ve been talking about it” for a while. Also asked him who was main recruiter and he mentioned, that his original recruiter was Mike Vrabel but since Vrabel left that “Coach Meyer has taken over his recruiting”. It also helps that new Co-DC Chris Ash was his recruiter when he was at Wisconsin last year. This is important because it shows how serious they are in trying to land the 6’0″ 200 lbs DT QB/ Athlete. When I asked what position they would like to use Shelby at he mentioned Safety and that is what they had him play when he was out last summer for Friday Night Lights.

Academics play a huge role in Shelby’s life and prior to the announcement of his OV to OSU this weekend he was mainly considering Ivy League schools and told me he wants to major in Economics where ever he goes and certainly OSU has a highly rated Business/Economics program that could fit the bill for Mr. Spence.

Currently Shelby does not have an offer and when I asked him about that he told me, “I’ll have a better idea on his visit” what if any offer Coach Meyer can give him. There are 2 basic options at this point a traditional offer if OSU has a spot to give him say if either Jamarco Jones or Malik McDowell choose to go elsewhere. Or they could offer him a Preferred Walk-On which means he would walk-on and be in line to get a scholarship as soon as one becomes available. Which I am sure most OSU fans would prefer since it means they also landed both Jones and McDowell.

When asked if he had a dream school or if he grew up a fan of any particular school he told me, “Not any school but grew up a fan of specific players such as Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr, and Terelle Pryor.”. He certainly doesn’t hurt that all of the players he mentioned were OSU greats that’s for sure.

He did mention, he would not make a haste decision and that if he loved his visit to OSU he would “sit down and discuss everything with his family before making a final decision.”.

I did get to ask him on the record about his relationship with Jamarco Jones and whether he felt like OSU considered himself and Jamarco to be a package deal or if they considered themselves to be a package. He definitely feels like he is being recruited on his own abilities and that he is not tied to Jamarco. He said, that he and Jamarco “Have not discussed that at all” and neither have the coaches. He also told me he hasn’t discussed with Jamarco which way he is leaning and that whatever decision that Jamarco makes it won’t effect his own personal decision.

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It certainly doesn’t hurt that this could be Jamarco and Shelby together for the next 4-5 years and the longtime friends could play together at Ohio State even if they haven’t discussed it in great detail as of yet.

Are you still curious why “all of a sudden” OSU is interested in Shelby then you haven’t taken the time to watch his highlights to see he is the real deal and as I informed Shelby last night … Troy Smith was the last recruit taken in his class and only got the spot when another player chose to go elsewhere but he made his own destiny after arriving and eventually ended up a Heisman winner and a legend to OSU fans so I ask you to watch his highlights and see what the OSU coaches see before being a jaded fan…

MotSaG Chat with Torrance Gibson

5star_recruit_iconosuHelmetUrban Meyer has an Offensive System that much we all know. Every now and again there comes a high school recruit who fits it perfectly. The 2015 class has a couple of QBs who fit the mold of what Coach Meyer wants and one of them stands out above the rest. Torrance Gibson is a 6’4″ 200 lbs 5 star QB from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Torrance is a Dual Threat QB who runs a spread offense in HS very similar to what Coach Meyer runs at Ohio State. If you watch his film (see below) you can almost see the similarities to Braxton Miller. He is a great runner and a better passer at this point in his career than most DT QBs. If he ends up at OSU you can be sure they system wont change and the offense will prosper.

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247sports ranks him a 5 star and the 16th best recruit in the country.
Rivals ranks him a 4 star and the 36th best recruit in the country.
Scout ranks him a 4 star and the 3rd best QB in the country.
ESPN ranks him a 4 star and the 11th best recruit in the country.

SYR- If you could please tell us about your home life… Parents, brothers and/or sisters, where you were born, Have you always lived in in the same place?

Torrance- My home is good it’s just me & my mom. I have brothers but they don’t live with me. I didn’t always live here.

SYR- Can you give us your current stats such as height, weight, 40 yard time, bench press, etc?

Torrance- I am 6″4 I weigh 200lbs. My 40 time is a 4.37 & I branch press 235

SYR- Tell us a little bit about your HS FB team such as record and offensive style?

Torrance- My team football record was 14-1 & we ran the spread offense.

SYR- What are your goals for your Senior season?

Torrance- My goals are to win states again, & to throw for 2500 yards & rush for 1,000.

SYR- What college football team did you grow up being a fan of and why?

Torrance- I grew up watching everyone. I never had a favorite college football team, I just love watching football.

SYR- You have offers from all over the country which one was the most exciting for you to get and why?

Torrance- Every offer is exciting because I never thought I would have this many offers before.

SYR- Who would you say is your personal hero and why?

Torrance- My mom because she does so much for me & she is a single parent.

SYR- If you were going to die tomorrow what would your final meal be?

Torrance- Wings & nachos

SYR- Who do you think you compare to most in the NFL or College right now?

Torrance- Well most people say I have speed like Michael Vick & RG3 & I have the build size like Cam Newton.

SYR- Who is your favorite College player of all time? And favorite NFL player of all time if different from College?

Torrance- My favorite college player would be Cam Newton & my favorite NFL player is Michael Vick.

SYR- Do you have a top 5 or 10 schools if yes who?

Torrance- I don’t have a top school I just have a list.

SYR- Do you currently have a leader or leaders yet?

Torrance- No everyone is the same right now.

SYR- Do you know when you would like to announce your commitment, if yes, when?

Torrance- After my final season of high school.

SYR- Have you visited Ohio State yet, if yes how did it go? and do you have any plans to visit them in the future? If yes, When?

Torrance- No I haven’t visit ohio state yet. But I’m planning a trip up there this summer.

SYR- What is your impression of Ohio State and Urban Meyer?

Torrance- Well Ohio state is a great program no doubt about that. But what Urban Meyer did with Ohio state is incredible. There is no doubt in my mind he will he will be in the coaches Hall of fame.

SYR- Do you hear from Ohio State often?

Torrance- Yeah I talk to the coaches every other day & we just talk about football, school, & my family.

SYR- Who is your lead recruiter for the Buckeyes?

Torrance- Mark Pantoni & Tom Herman

SYR- Has Raekwon McMillan or any other Buckeye recruits been in your ear about joining them at OSU?

Torrance- Yeah I wrote Raekwon on Twitter the other day & congratulated him on his commit.

SYR- What would you like Buckeye Nation to know about you that they most likely don’t already know?

Torrance- I want them to know that I am a humble football player/ student athlete & I’m willing to do anything to make myself great & the people around me better & that I love my girlfriend lol (:

You can follow Torrance by clicking @quick_tg6.

Ryan Shazier: A Bright Spot in Dark Times

The 2011 college football season was one of the worst seasons in recent memory for the Buckeyes and their fans. The dismissals of famed head coach Jim Tressel and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, along with suspensions of others involved in the now infamous “Tattoo Gate” left the football program in turmoil. The aftermath resulted in an unprepared Luke Fickell to take over the head coaching position and a host of young, unproven players forced into action. But through this nightmare 6-7 season one of the young players that was forced into action and shone bright was true freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier. When Buckeye fans saw Shazier on the field they knew he was going to be great.

Shazier played in all 13 games that season and started the final three. His first start against Penn State certainly made a big impression, as he led the team with 15 tackles. He finished the season with 57 tackles, one of the highest totals by a freshman in the last 15 years at Ohio State, along with three sacks, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. This was only the beginning of a great collegiate career.

Shazier truly broke out his sophomore season as he started all 12 games for Ohio State and was a thorn in the side of every offense he faced. He more than doubled his tackle totals from his freshman season, recording 115 tackles for 2012. This was good for second in the Big Ten conference. His 17 tackles for loss led the league. He also had five sacks and three forced fumbles. Shazier’s only interception of the season was big as he returned it 17 yards for a touchdown against Penn State, which broke a 7-7 tie and propelled Ohio State to victory.

His biggest play though came against Wisconsin. Buckeye fans will remember it fondly. Late in the game Wisconsin was on the goal line, facing a fourth and one at the goal line and threatening to tie the game, as Wisconsin handed it off to Monte Ball. Then Shazier happened…

It was the first fumble of Ball’s collegiate career and ensured victory for the Buckeyes. Shazier was a big part of the 12-0, undefeated season for Ohio State and seemed to make a big play every time he took the field. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2012 and was named first team all-Big Ten by the media.

Shazier once again improved his numbers in 2013. He had 144 total tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles while starting all 14 games. This was good enough to lead the Big Ten in tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. Shazier was named first team All-America by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press and Phil Steele. He was named first team all-Big Ten by the coaches and the media, while just missing out on winning the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year award (in my opinion he should have won).

While Shazier didn’t have a lot of flashy plays in 2013, it was certainly the best of his career and he was an anchor on a Ohio State defense that struggled at times. He is definitely ready to make a jump up to the NFL, as the NFL Draft Advisory Board projected him to be a second round pick this spring. Yahoo Sports currently projects him 20th to the Arizona Cardinals. I have a feeling Shazier will be playing on a lot of Sundays over the next several years.

For Ohio State, the loss of Shazier will certainly be felt. The Buckeyes lose not only a great player, but a fantastic person and leader. While Shazier wasn’t at an A.J. Hawk-type level, he was certainly one of the top defensive players to come through Columbus over the last decade. His playing career only last three years at Ohio State, but his impact will remembered by Buckeyes’ players, coaches and fans forever. Shazier was part of the light that led the Buckeyes through dark days and back to the spotlight again.

Three Yards and a Cloud of Links

osuHelmetFootballThree 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.

IT’S GONE GUYS, IT’S ALL GONE: Just like Ralphie lamenting the turkey being hauled away by the Bumpuses’ dogs, the BCS Title Game ended last night and with it the 2013 season. No more O-H-I-O chants. No more Carlos Hyde, no more Ryan Shazier. No more TBDBITL and their crazy halftime shows. No more mocking Mark May or Jesse Palmer or David Pollock or whatever strawman ESPN is standing up next week. It’s all gone. No more this:

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But just as that was the year Ralphie and his family were introduced to Chinese turkey, maybe this year is when we are introduced to NCAA championships.

CLOSING THE BOOK ON THE BCS: While we’ve moaned and complained about the BCS, last night ended its run in exciting fashion. Congrats to Florida State being the last team the BCS crowns as the National Champions. (Also, thank you, FSU, for ending our long SEC nightmare). But let’s look back at Ohio State’s pretty fantastic BCS history:

1998 – Sugar Bowl (Killed TAMU, should have been National Champs)
2002 – Fiesta Bowl* (Beat Miami, National Champs)
2003 – Fiesta Bowl (Killed Kansas State)
2005 – Fiesta Bowl (Killed Notre Dame)
2006 – Fiesta Bowl* (Something something, I don’t remember)
2007 – Sugar Bowl* (I remember Beanie Wells stiff-arm-of-justicing some LSU defender into the stands)
2008 – Fiesta Bowl (Lost heartbreaker to Texas)
2009 – Rose Bowl (Beat Oregon. One of the last real good Buckeye defenses)
2010 – Sugar Bowl (Demolished Arkansas, got SEC monkey off our back, and then POOF! It didn’t happen. But it did, because I watched it)
2013 – Orange Bowl (Too soon. Much too soon)

(*BCS Title Game)

Ten appearances, six wins, one National Champsionship. I’d have to look closer, but I wonder if any other BCS school has hit the Grand Slam of BCS Bowls, appearing in each one at least once. I’d imagine USC or Alabama has come close. But that is a heck of a decade and a half of success for the Buckeyes.

ON TO 2014: The final polls are out and Ohio State finished 12th in the AP Poll and 10th in the Coaches. It’s too early to speculate, but I can’t imagine the preseason polls leaving the Buckeyes out of the Top Five. Florida State should start the preseason at #1, but who do you put at #2? Oregon? They’re returning Mariota. Oklahoma? They return just about everyone from the team that took the wood to Alabama. Alabama? Saban’s deal all but guarantees him preseason hype. Auburn? (Hopefully not, as Gus Malzahn is hopefully going to be announced as the next Cleveland Browns Head Coach). Ohio State? Losing Shazier and Hyde hurt, but the talent bubbling up behind them is pretty dang good. Who do you have the preseason top 5?

MISC: I don’t know if Eighties Action Movies are your thing, or if Kickstarter is your thing, but if either of them are, it’s pretty much imperative that you back Kung Fury. If nothing else, just watch the trailer. If that doesn’t excite you enough to pitch in a couple bucks, check to see if you still have a pulse. Or if you were born in the Nineties.

New Years Day Bowl Open Thread

FootballHappy New Year, fellow fans of the Men of the Scarlet and Gray.

Here’s an open thread for all the Bowl Chatter that fit to print. Drop in and give us your thoughts as the day progresses and hopefully (but not likely) our conference brethren have a little success.

Jason already has your bowl preview posted, and boy the B1G could use some good news today.

Johnnie Dixon committing to OSU (Video)

Earlier this week Johnnie Dixon committed to Ohio State for most fans there was no live video feed of his ceremony well here is the video for all you recruitniks…

Ohio State picks up some Southern Speed

osuHelmet4star_recruit_iconFresh off of yesterdays big recruiting news of landing Raekwon McMillan Coach Meyer and his staff managed to go to Florida and steal a big time WR recruit from the grasps of Miami, Florida, and Alabama. That is two days in a row that Coach Meyer and company stole recruits from the grasp of Nick Saban and the SEC. Sure it is only two players if you listen to SEC fans but the point is OSU can and will go deep into their territory and pluck some of the best talent they have right in their own back yards. This newest recruit becomes recruit no. 19 in the 2014 class and further builds on what will be a top 5 class again this year.

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Johnnie Dixon committed to Ohio State and verified it on his twitter account moments ago…

Johnnie Dixon is a 6’0 200 lbs 4 star WR from West Palm Beach, Florida. Johnnie is a big time recruit from the South Florida hotbed known for producing NFL caliber WRs. Johnnie is a burner with great hands but will out muscle you for a ball when he needs to. He has decent size but is already hulked out as you can see in his picture above. I hate to be cliche but he does remind me of Percy Harvin… a strong and physical WR who can take the Jet Sweep and scoot a ton of yards for TDs. 247Sports ranks him a 4 star and the 106th best recruit in the country. Scout ranks him a 4 star and the 39th best WR in the country. ESPN ranks him a 4 star and the 39th best recruit in the country. Rivals ranks him a 4 star and the 109th best recruit in the country.

You can follow Johnnie on Twitter by clicking @JDStandAlone.

Buckeyes land their prized recruit

osuHelmet5star_recruit_iconFrom the day that Urban Meyer was hired as the head coach of The Ohio State University he hit the recruiting trail hard and fast and never looked back. He has landed some of top recruits in the nation and the top recruiting classes in the nation the last 2 years. The 2014 class may be the best yet of the 3 under his belt and with the commitment today of the nations top Linebacker he also added the most important part of the class. The needs for the 2014 class are evident Offensive Lineman and Linebackers are top priorities and Coach Meyer already has landed some top talent at both positions but there was always one LB he coveted and fought hard to land and those efforts payed off fully today in landing the 18th member of the 2014 class.

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Raekwon McMillan committed to play for The Ohio State University Buckeyes live on NBCsports today.

Raekwon McMillan is a 6’2″ 245 lbs 5 star Linebacker from Hinesville, Georgia. Raekwon is a game changing recruit. He is a big boy who hits extremely hard and has speed you dont expect from someone his size. His greatest skill though is his ability to see the whole field and get to the ball. He has those intangibles that a middle LB needs to be great. He will come in right away and fight for playing time at a position of great need. 247Sports ranks him a 5 star and the 16th best recruit in the country. Rivals ranks him a 5 star and the 19th best recruit in the country. ESPN ranks him a 5 star and the 12th best recruit in the country. Scout Ranks him a 4 star and the 5th best MLB in the country.

You can follow Raekwon McMillan on Twitter by clicking @Kwon_daTRUTH.