MOTSAG TV Guide

My apologies for accidentally including Western Illinois @ Northwestern in last week’s guide. I hope I didn’t screw up anyone’s big party. The Buckeyes are off this week, so we’ll just be enjoying watching everyone else (hopefully) crash and burn.

UPCOMING OPPONENTS

(9/20)

Eastern Michigan @ Michigan State. Noon, Big Ten Network.

Maryland @ Syracuse. 12:30p, ESPN3 (online)/ACC Network (is that a thing?)

Utah @ Michigan. 3:30p, ABC/ESPN2.

The Big Ten is in a tailspin right now, so we might actually be forced to do the unthinkable this week: cheer for Utah, but be okay with it if they lose. (Sorry, SOS apologists, that’s as far as I’m willing to go.) Utah may not be a big name Pac-12 team like Oregon or Stanford, but they are 2-0 and the Big Ten really just needs any win over a decent major-conference opponent.

Rutgers @ Navy. 3:30p, CBS Sports Network.

UMass @ Penn State. 4:00p, Big Ten Network.

Texas State @ Illinois. 4:00p, ESPN News.

San Jose State @ Minnesota. 4:00p, Big Ten Network.

Indiana @ Missouri. 4:00p, SEC Network.

I mean, who knows, right?

Right?

Guys?

Miami (OH) @ Cincinnati. 7:00p, CBS Sports Network.

OTHER BIG TEN TEAMS
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT
IS DECENT AND GOOD PLEASE
SOMEBODY WIN A GAME

(9/20)

Bowling Green @ Wisconsin. Noon, ESPN2.

Southern Illinois @ Purdue. Noon, Big Ten Network.

Western Illinois @ Northwestern. Noon, ESPN News.

Iowa @ Pittsburgh. Noon, ESPNU.

Miami (FL) @ Nebraska. 8:00p, ESPN2.

The Hurricanes are 2-1, so a win here is okay, but a loss is pretty much disastrous for the Big Ten. Guess which one’s going to happen!

OTHER OHIO TEAMS

(9/20)

Marshall @ Akron. 2:00p, ESPN3 (online)

Ball State @ Toledo. 7:00p, ESPN3 (online)

Idaho @ Ohio. 7:00p, ESPN3 (online)

OTHER BIG NATIONAL GAMES

(9/18)

Auburn @ Kansas State. 7:30p, ESPN.

(9/20)

Florida @ Alabama. 3:30p, CBS.

Oklahoma @ West Virginia. 7:30p, Fox.

Clemson @ Florida State. 8:00p, ABC.

The Spread, Week Four: What Did You Expect?

The Big Ten took a beating this past weekend–again. As the favorites in six of the nine non-conference games on the slate, the conference was looking for a little bit of redemption. Instead, it was another massive letdown.

Only Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska managed wins, and each of those was against a significantly weaker opponent. Penn State also squeaked past Rutgers, but that’s a wash for the conference.

Personally, I don’t really like the conference unity mindset spawned by the BCS and only exacerbated by the assumption that strength of schedule will be the major factor in making the new playoff. (I’m trying to really hard to not launch into yet another anti-SOS rant here.)

But since we live in a perception-is-reality college football world, I thought we’d take a look at how the conference is faring so far in that department with my Performance Against Expectation ratings.

Quickly, PAE is a calculation I came up with last year which compares the final score of a game to the “public prediction” of the score, as indicated by the associated betting numbers (point spread and over/under.) Teams who win do not always do so as convincingly as we thought they would and teams who lose do not always do so as badly as we thought. PAE reflects that. (Keep in mind that games without published lines–usually the ones against FCS teams–can not be included in this rating.)

It may surprise you that the Big Ten as a whole has actually outperformed expectations in two of three weeks of the season so far, including this week. To be fair, those numbers are boosted by a few great performances like Nebraska’s big win over Florida Atlantic and Ohio State’s shutout against Kent State.

So let’s look at the teams individually. It’s important to remember here that most teams’ ratings right now are based on just one or two games. Still, it’s a good measure of just how disappointing most Big Ten teams have been so far this year.

Big Ten PAE Rating through Week 3 (as a percentage)

1. Nebraska, 193%
2. Penn State, 123%
3. Ohio State, 120%
4. Rutgers, 118%
5. Wisconsin, 97%
6. Michigan State, 96%
7. Illinois, 86%
8. Maryland, 86%
9. Purdue, 76%
10. Minnesota, 67%
11. Indiana, 65%
12. Michigan, 60%
13. Iowa, 60%
14. Northwestern, 56%

Note that a high number doesn’t necessarily mean a better team. For example, no one really expects Purdue to do much, and they don’t. But people expect more of, say, Michigan than they’ve been able to deliver so far.

We’ll get a better sense of who these teams are as they all play some more meaningful games, but for now, it’s tough to argue that the public perception of the Big Ten as a “weak” and disappointing league is inaccurate.

A Look Around the Country

Notable Games Last Week

South Carolina 38 Georgia 35

It was a wild one at Williams-Brice Stadium as the Gamecocks took down the Bulldogs. Moving forward, this sets up a very interesting SEC East race early in the season. Mark Richt had this team rolling but in typical fashion, he couldn’t keep it going. I still maintain that the SEC East is highly overrated and doesn’t pose much of a threat to the eventual SEC West Champion. But we’ll see.

Oklahoma 34 Tennessee 10

The Sooners are a very good football team. Granted, the Volunteers aren’t exactly blazing the trail with W’s but OU has great potential. Bob Stoops has built them into a championship caliber team yet again (he’s been doing this since 2000 and earlier). And with a weak Big 12, it sets up a HUGE matchup between Oklahoma and Baylor on November 7th in Norman. Gotta tune in for that one.

UCLA 20 Texas 17

Charlie Strong’s career in Austin hasn’t exactly gotten off to a great start. The Longhorns are 1-2 and don’t have an optimistic outlook into the 2014 season. Spoiling Oklahoma’s season on October 10 is something to look for. The Bruins on the other hand are grossly overrated and I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up having 3 losses by the end of the season. Brett Hundley has not been the least bit impressive thus far. I don’t think they stand much of a chance in the Pac 12 race.

Ohio State 66 Kent State 0

All of the frustration from last week’s loss to Virginia Tech was taken out on the poor, little, in state foe, Golden Flashes. I don’t know about you, but it felt good to win this week. Barrett tied Kenny G’s TD record for a game with 6 (5 in the first half) while freshman Curtis Samuel ran for 100 yards. The Buckeyes head into a bye week with Cincinnati on the schedule in 2 weeks. It’s time for them to stay focused on the ultimate goal which is the Big Ten Title. That is still a possibility, believe it or not.

Penn State 13 Rutgers 10

Rutgers first game in the Big Ten ended in disappointment as James Franklin’s Nittany Lions held on for the win. With the new NCAA ruling this past week making Penn State eligible for postseason play; it makes for an interesting wrinkle in the Eastern Division race. It has been a joy making fun of Rutgers being in this conference the past few months but I want to give them all credit in the world after watching their crowd and fans cheer on their beloved Scarlet Knights. They were loud and passionate and have a better home atmosphere than Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, and Minnesota combined. Welcome to the B1G!

Boston College 37 USC 31

Yep, had no clue this was coming. The Eagles pulled off the upset of the week with the win over the heavily favored Trojans. I still think USC is a force to be reckoned with in the Pac 12 (they’re better than UCLA) and could sneak back up into the playoff discussion with a few more wins down the stretch. Keep an eye on the Men of Troy.

Big Games This Week

Auburn at Kansas State

I think most people expect the Tigers to come out of this with a big win, and quite frankly, so do I. But it would be stupid to count out Coach Snyder’s Wildcats at any time during the season. They always seem like a pesky team who revel in ruining opponent’s title hopes. Right now I see Auburn as the SEC champ and playoff team because of Gus Malzahn’s coaching ability and Nick Marshall’s leadership. Tigers win.

Thursday, September 18 at 7:30pm on ESPN

Oklahoma at West Virginia

The Sooners are coming off a big win against Tennessee and are now set to travel to Morgantown to face the Mountaineers. West Virginia kept it close with Alabama up to the end of the game back in week one so they are no slouch. I expect OU to win but don’t be surprised if this one is in West Virginia’s favor headed into halftime.

Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm on FOX

Clemson at Florida State

This was the ACC showdown of the year last season and it didn’t disappoint. But Clemson is a much different team this season and don’t have the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium to help them out (of course that didn’t seem to help last year either). Florida State had an extra week to prepare for this one so I don’t anticipate any surprises in Tallahassee. Seminoles romp.

Saturday, September 20 at 8pm on ABC

Miami (FL) at Nebraska

This game should give the Big Ten and the Huskers at least a little bit of credibility if they were to come away with a win in this one. Bo Pelini is inching closer and closer to the hot seat so every game is a must win for him here on out. Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah has had a great season so far both running and catching the football while entering himself into the Heisman discussion. It’ll be another sellout crowd in Lincoln and the Huskers should win by a touchdown or two.

Saturday, September 20 at 8pm on ESPN2

Ohio State (Bye)

We all hate bye weeks. Watch a replay of a past big win like the ’97 Rose Bowl or ’02 National Championship Game. Or go watch your local small college team play; they always need the extra support.

Michigan Update

The Wolverines struggled most of the first half against the team with the longest losing streak in the country, the Miami (OH) Redhawks. Even with a less than stellar schedule, Brady Hoke seems to be struggling against everyone so far. He’s going to need a miracle to keep his job. They take on Utah this week at 3:30 on ABC or ESPN 2.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota, Oregon

19/23 passing for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 5 carries for 71 yards and an additional 2 touchdowns in win against Wyoming. His Ducks are rolling and as long as they are he’ll be a favorite to hoist the trophy.

Jameis Winston, Florida State

Bye Week

Todd Gurley, Georgia

20 carries for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns in loss to South Carolina. In this day and age, it’s tough to be a Heisman candidate when your team loses. Gurley played well but this certainly hurts his chances.

Rising Star

Kenny Hill, Texas A&M

Kenny Trill™ has thrown for 1,094 yards, and 11 touchdowns while completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. He’s having a freakish year so far. Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies remind me of the great Hawaii offensive systems where guys like Colt Brennan put up 800 yards of offense every game. But if A&M starts beating good SEC teams, Kenny has to be in the discussion.

Dropping Fast

Brett Hundley, UCLA

The Bruins have limped through every game they’ve played so far. If Hundley was a Heisman caliber quarterback, that wouldn’t have happened.

My Playoff if the Season Ended Today

1. Oregon (beat Wyoming 48-14, play at Washington State this week) The Ducks destroy who they’re supposed to destroy and even teams they shouldn’t (looking at you, Sparty). This is an all-around great football team.

2. Florida State (had bye week, plays Clemson this week) The Noles have to show me something this week against Clemson. OU is right on their tails. They just don’t seem as hungry thus far in 2014.

3. Oklahoma (beat Tennessee 34-10, plays at West Virginia this week) I’m all over the Sooners right now. This is a team to be reckoned with and a big win over WVU this week in primetime will show the rest of the country why.

4. Auburn (had bye week, plays at Kansas State this week) I still think Auburn is the team to beat in the SEC regardless of how bad ESPN wants it to be Alabama. This is another opportunity for them to prove that.

Just Missed the Cut

5. Alabama
6. Baylor
7. Notre Dame
8. Texas A&M
9. LSU
10. Michigan State
18. Ohio State

The B1G Is In BIG Trouble On The Coaching Front

There is an old axiom that football teams take upon the personality of their head coach. For Ohio State fans, think back to when Jim Tressel was on the sidelines as Ohio State’s head coach from 2001-2010. During close games, most especially during the 2002 national championship season, Tressel remained calm and composed. Consequently, a player such as Craig Krenzel seemed to also remain calm and focused, especially when the game was on the line for the Buckeyes.

This article is not going to be about how Ohio State has taken upon the personality of Coach Urban Meyer. Ohio State fans, and college football fans everywhere, will generally acknowledge that Coach Meyer is one of the best coaches in college football. Ohio State does not have to worry about the positive direction of the football program under Coach Meyer.

The rest of the B1G? I will be charitable when I say, “Ugh”.

There are so many theories that are being offered up for the decline of B1G football – Population shifts to the Southern areas of the country. Oversigning of recruits by other conferences, most notably from the SEC.

My theory? It all starts with the coaching, or lack thereof.

For example, here are some of the names who were B1G coaches in 2004: The aforementioned Jim Tressel. Lloyd Carr, who shared the national title in 1997, and won five B1G titles during his tenure. Joe Paterno, who won two national championships while at Penn State (1982, 1986), and could have arguably won others, such as the 1994 season. Joe Tiller, who won the B1G title in 2000 and led Purdue to the 2001 Rose Bowl. Barry Alvarez, who built Wisconsin football into a top program and won three B1G titles. Glen Mason, who made every school he coached at into a competitive team (Kent State, Kansas, Minnesota). Randy Walker, the winningest coach in Miami University football history and the man who helped to make Northwestern competitive via the spread offense.

Now think about who is on the sidelines today: Only a few truly respected coaches, such as Coach Meyer. James Franklin has won at Vanderbilt, and will win at Penn State. Mark Dantonio won the B1G in 2013 and his Michigan State team ranked fourth in the nation at season’s end.

The reality is the rest of the conference have entrusted their programs to individuals who are not necessarily in-demand on the coaching front. I believe Darrell Hazell of Purdue has potential, but will Hazell be able to turn Purdue around? Pat Fitzgerald may have done all he can at Northwestern. Jerry Kill may have done the same at Minnesota. I believe Brady Hoke is demonstrating to fans of That Team Up North what is meant by The Peter Principle. And Kirk Ferentz of Iowa, who has been the team’s head coach since 1999, has a contract that makes it virtually impossible to be replaced. Tim Beckman of Illinois has taken a bad situation from Ron Zook, and somehow made it worse.

December is usually when programs determine to replace their head coaches. Based upon the dismal performances and reputation of B1G football in 2014, do not be surprised if the axe falls more frequently than ever before. What remains to be seen is if the respective B1G institutions decide to open up their checkbooks to truly bring in quality coaches, like other conferences seem to be willing to do to be relevant within the college football landscape.

MotSaG Live Podcast #5: Win Over Kent State & Roundtable Discussion

Time for episode #5! If you missed last week’s episode of MotSaG Live, you can watch it by clicking here. It airs live every Tuesday at 6 pm ET.

As always I will be hosting the podcast this week and be joined by fellow MotSaG writers. For the fifth show, the following MotSaGers will join me: Shannon, Andrew and Chip. On this show we’ll talk about the Buckeyes win over Kent State, the Big Ten’s week three performance and a roundtable discussion about many topics across college football. Since the Buckeyes have a bye week in week four, we decided to have a roundtable discussion in place of the weekly game preview.

We’ll also be answering questions from you throughout the show. You can ask questions via the Q&A on Hangouts or ask us on Twitter using the #AskMotSaG. Please send your questions in!

Now I’m going to list the following ways to view this podcast. Below is the video player to listen to the podcast. You will be able to listen to it here on the site every week. Don’t fret if you can’t listen live. Once the podcast is over with you will be able to view it as many times as you want, just like any YouTube video. If you’re unable to view it here on the site for some reason we also have you covered if this happens. I’ll link to our YouTube channel right above the player every week and you will be guaranteed to be able to view it there. You can also listen through our Google+ page or follow the main @MotSaG account on Twitter. I will also have the link posted on my Twitter page (@SchottJosh).

You can also subscribe to MotSaG Live on iTunes. You can find our page by typing “MotSaG Live” in the iTunes search box or click here. This episode should be on iTunes later tonight.

It’s going to be fun and informative as always! Hope you tune in!

To view it on YouTube, click here.

To view the Google+ event page, click here.

A to Z- 2014 Buckeyes So Far- Part 1

Picture

 

By: Ryan Black

 

Yes that is a picture of The Letter People. If you don’t know them then you grew up in Michigan where they don’t allow awesomeness. I sadly had to google the letters of the alphabet to make sure I had the correct order, I am getting really dumb.

We’re 25% through the season so here are some of my pointless thoughts about the Bucks to feed .01% of your empty stomach during a bye week.

Apple isn’t poisoned: Eli Apple maybe a little green ;) but he is ready to play. The redshirt freshmen had his ups and downs against VA Tech but his athletic ability and nose for the ball should give all Buckeye fans a tingly feeling down low.

Ball and Brionte are afterthoughts: Hate to write kids off after three games but Ohio State has three running backs and two H backs who will carry the ball. Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn will have to wait another year, at least. With more talent coming in, the light at the end of the tunnel is drifting further away for these talented backs.

Catch the ball Corey: In one of the most frustrating games in a long time against the Hokies, Corey Smith had trouble catching the ball in big situations. I think he’ll be fine. He and Michael Thomas seem to be the best at getting consistently open on the team right now. Don’t give up on the speedster yet; it’s way too soon.

Damn last year’s offensive line was legit: Three draft picks-Two rookie starters (good ones at that) and a second stringer. A case could be made that 2013 was one of the best fat guy units in Ohio State history.

Everybody plays against Kent State: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many freshmen on the field during an Ohio State game than I did last Saturday. The great news is hardly any of them played like an 18/19 year old.

Finally some short passes: Almost two weeks later and I’m still not over it. The VA Tech gameplan really got my panties in a bunch with nothing but deep bombs called. At least OSU showed against the mighty Flashes that they do have an effective short passing game but boy oh boy was it a week late.

Golly G. do I miss Gordon Gee: With the dismissal of the band director for some college style fun (and some other issues he was starting to stifle), I’m already over new boy. I also highly doubt President Drake will ever play beer pong with me :( .

Holding damnit!: The Ohio State defensive line has been held by the opponents offensive line 201 times this year with very few penalties called. 201 is the amount of plays that have been run against the Buckeye defense this year so I maybe a little biased but these guys do get grabbed more than Budweisers at a Biker bar.

I am in like with Joey Bosa: Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with my wife but if Joey Bosa asked me to go out on a date to play video games and go to a rave…. I would see where the night takes me.

Just run the ball!: The coaches seem to have a lot of faith in the freshmen Q.B., which is great. I still think there is too much talent in the backfield for J.T. to throw 25-30 times a game. It’s like the football gods are paying us haters back for complaining about Jim Bollman never throwing the ball for a decade.

Kicking is an issue: I was very excited to see that OSU had a fat kicker straight off the submarine from Germany (or Kentucky) in the spring. Since then Sean Nuernberger has lost some weight and struggled with his accuracy. I believe he will be a good one in a year or two but he will be put in some very tough spots in close games this year, which won’t be good. Bring back the fat son.

Lee is the next one: Darron Lee has been studly through three games. He looks like Shazier did at the end of his freshmen season and is well on his way to being the next great linebacker at Ohio State.

Mom I need money:  I bet my life savings ($147 and a Playstation 2) on Braxton to win the Heisman a few weeks ago. Now I’m not saying he’s out of the race just yet but there’s an off chance that I may need some financial help in the near future mommy.

 

 

See you next week for part 2; I’ll be binge watching The Letter People since bye weeks are so freaking boring.

 

 

B1G Weekly Recap: B1G Struggles Continue for Second Straight Week

After going just 8-5 overall last week, the Big Ten found a way to one-up itself and do even worse this weekend. Not counting the Penn State victory over Rutgers, the conference went just 3-6, with no wins over teams from the Power 5 conferences. Ohio State, That Team Up North, and Nebraska were the only teams to score nonconference victories in week three.

West Virginia 40, Maryland 37

In one of the more entertaining games of the weekend, West Virginia snuck past Maryland on a last-second Josh Lambert field goal as time expired. Clint Trickett had a career day for the Mountaineers, throwing for 511 yards and four touchdowns. C.J. Brown led the way for the Terrapins as he rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on just 18 carries.

Former Ohio State target Stefon Diggs had five catches for 127 yards and a score as Maryland just couldn’t come all the way back from a 28-6 deficit to get the W. Next up, Maryland visits old ACC rivals Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.

Bowling Green 45, Indiana 42

In another entertaining affair, Indiana took a trip up to Bowling Green to take on the MAC school, and left with its first loss on the season. The Hoosiers would take a 42-39 lead on a Nate Sudfeld quarterback sneak on 4th down with just over two minutes remaining. But Indiana couldn’t hang on to that lead. James Knapke led the Falcons down the field and threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Roger Lewis with just nine seconds left on the clock.

Knapke threw for 395 yards on school records for completions (73) and attempts (46). The Falcons ran 113 (ONE-HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN) plays in their upset win over Indiana. The Hoosiers hit the road again next weekend to play Missouri.

Michigan 34, Miami (OH) 10

The Wolverines pulled away in the second half after a shaky start, including three turnovers, left the score at 17-10 at the break. They finally pulled away in the second half, with touchdowns by Jake Butt and Derrick Green capping the afternoon.

Green has already eclipsed his rushing yardage (332) and touchdown (3) totals from last year, feasting on lesser teams of Appalachian State and Miami (OH), while he only had 25 yards on 13 carries in the loss to Notre Dame. The Wolverines host Utah next Saturday in the Big House.

Iowa State 20, Iowa 17

Another Big Ten team went down on a last-second field goal in this rivalry game in Iowa City. Cole Netten hit the game-winning 42-yard field goal with two seconds left. Kirk Ferentz had actually tried to ice Netten by using his final timeout prior to Netten’s first attempt, which was missed. The Cyclones reset after the timeout, and Netten made Ferentz pay.

The Hawkeyes gained just 275 total yards as they lost to Iowa State for the third time in four years. Iowa will look to get back on the winning track next week when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers.

TCU 30, Minnesota 7

Minnesota went down to Texas to take on the Horned Frogs and left with its tail between its legs. The Golden Gophers were dominated by TCU, trailing 30-0 before Maxx Williams caught a 12-yard consolation touchdown pass from Chris Streveler with 11 minutes left in the game. Minnesota turned the ball over five times in the loss.

TCU will make a return trip to Minnesota next fall as a part of the home-and-home series. The Golden Gophers host San Jose State Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Washington 44, Illinois 19

This one was over almost as soon as it started, as Washington jumped out to a 35-5 lead after just 20 minutes of game time. Shaq Thompson matched the Illini’s total of two touchdowns himself for the Huskies. Shaq Thompson plays defense. That’s not a good sign, Illinois.

Thompson picked off Wes Lunt in the first quarter and returned it 36 yards for the score and then scooped up a fumble in the second quarter and took it to the house as Washington cruised to the victory. The loss dropped Illinois to 2-1 on the season and they will host Texas State next week.

Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14

Purdue hung around with Notre Dame for the majority of this one, something Michigan certainly can’t say. The Boilermakers even led late in the second quarter before Everett Golson ran in from 15 yards out to give the Irish the lead for good as they went up 17-14. Golson was the story in this one, throwing for 259 yards and two scores while adding 56 rushing yards and the TD.

Purdue had just 56 rushing yards themselves and added three turnovers in their seventh straight loss to the Fighting Irish. At 1-2, the Boilermakers will look to get back to .500 when Southern Illinois comes to Ross-Ade Stadium on Saturday.

Penn State 13, Rutgers 10

Penn State rudely welcomed Rutgers into the Big Ten as they scored a last-minute touchdown to defeat the Scarlet Knights in their first conference game. Bill Belton ran in from five yards out to give the Nittany Lions their only lead of the game. Rutgers led 10-0 at halftime and held on to that lead until the Belton touchdown despite Gary Nova throwing five interceptions.

Christian Hackenberg threw for 300 yards again as he ended with 309 yards and a pick as Penn State jumped to first place in the Big Ten East. Rutgers visits the Naval Academy next week while Penn State hosts Massachusetts.

Nebraska 55, Fresno State 19

Things went a little easier this week for Nebraska than they did a week ago when they needed a miracle Ameer Abdullah touchdown to defeat McNeese State at home. This week, the Cornhuskers traveled to Fresno and put a beatdown on the Bulldogs. Big plays highlighted the victory for Nebraska as Jordan Westerkamp caught a 70-yard TD from Tommy Armstrong Jr., Ameer Abdullah had a 57-yard rushing score, and De’Mornay Pierson-El took a punt back 86 yards to house, all in the first half.

Nebraska improved to 3-0 on the season and will look to go to 4-0 next week when the Hurricanes of Miami come into Lincoln for a highly anticipated showdown.

What were your thoughts on this week’s conference performance? Just glad it can’t get much worse than this? Let us know in the comments if you think the Big Ten can turn it around next weekend.

Ohio State Dominates Kent State (Let’s Talk About It)

osuHelmetThe remedy. A slump-buster. Just what the doctor ordered. Call it what you want, but Kent State came into Ohio Stadium as the sacrificial offering to appease the masses worshipping at the altar of Ohio State Football. Only a massacre would quell the murmurings. And a 66-0 domination should suffice. For now.

If there was any hope of getting back into the graces of the playoff selection crew, if there was any hope of redeeming a lackluster performance in front of a national audience, Ohio State had to go out and decisively handle business. They would probably need to score two or three touchdowns in the first quarter, and have an insurmountable lead by halftime. The starters shouldn’t be needed after the first series of the third quarter. Lots of younger kids should probably see the field early and often.

These are the strictures the law demands. These were all met.

Of course, it was against Kent State. So what does that mean? Does the team that will take the field the rest of the season look like the team that struggled with new defensive looks and top-notch defensive coaching, or will it be the team that depends on its superior talent and athleticism that simply overwhelms its over-matched opponents? (It will field superior teams in just about every game moving forward, with the exception of Michigan State).

Time will tell.

The first half gives us a pretty good read on how this team could move forward. This much was clear: given time, JT Barrett can find open receivers and he will have people he could get the ball to. He has a couple receivers that look to be reliable. There are two running backs that are talented and fast enough to chew up yards and grind and fly with the best of them.

Michael Thomas is clearly becoming a favorite target of Barrett. I always amused myself with the following thought: Thomas’ Twitter handle is “Cantguardmike” and I thought, “how appropriate. You’re right, no one can guard you, Mike, because you’re on the sideline.” No one can guard you. (I kill me) But now he is coming in to his own and Thomas has been putting those great spring efforts into some serious real fall football. This is promising to see.

The running backs are Ezekiel Elliot and Curtis Samuel and we probably won’t see much Bri’onte Dunn or Warren Ball moving forward. Rod Smith earned some PT for his blocking and effort, but Dunn and Ball did nothing to distinguish themselves and Urban basically said as much. It’s a shame for them, but they had their chances and Urban Meyer is going to start the players he feels are the best and give the team the best chance to win football games.

Raekwon McMillan appears to be the real deal. Everything I say about this game has to be viewed through the lens of “it’s just Kent State”. But it’s still an opportunity for underclassmen to learn to react, to recognize formations, personnel and situations. This experience will serve them down the road. So to see Raekwon making plays and being involved is very encouraging. Curtis Grant still has the seniority at the right to play, but I won’t be surprised to see Raekwon starting before we get to November.

The last thing I’d like to mention: a shut-out is a shut-out. Kent State or not, it’s really hard to keep any team out of the endzone. Kent State had fifteen possessions, a number of those against second third teamers.

drives

Now the Buckeyes will get a break before taking on Cincinnati on the 27th.

MotSaG B1G Power Poll Week 3

Another rough week for Big Ten football. The only good game this week was the actual B1G game of Penn State vs Rutgers. Rutgers should have won that game but they couldn’t stop Hackenberg allowing the Nitty Lions to pull off the win in Rutgers. Michigan probably should be lower the more I think about it but the lost to a higher ranked team, thats just a sad statement. Before you TTUN fans scream hey our loss was better than OSU’s loss well your right and OSU blew Kent State out allowing something like 125 yards total for the Golden Flashes and the Wolverines made a game of the Miami of Ohio contest.

1. (+3) Penn State Penn State pulls off the come from behind at Rutgers for first B1G win this season.

2. (+4) Nebraska Nebraska finally put together a football game again and looked dominate like in week 1

3. (+6) Michigan State While being idle their loss to Oregon is their blemish right now

4. (+6) Wisconsin Also idle their lone loss was to LSU

5. (+6) Ohio State Ohio State came out and did exactly what they were suppose to do and dominate an opponent

6. (+6) Michigan Personally in in my opinion they should be ranked lowered for failing to score a point on Notre Dame and making the Miami of Ohio closer than it should have

7. (-5) Rutgers Lost their first B1G game at home was heartbreaking

8. (-7) Maryland Made it a game with West Virginia but came up short

9. (-6) Minnesota getting beat by TCU 30-7 didn’t help the Gophers

10. (-3) Iowa Rivalry games are always close but this one shouldn’t have been and seems Hawkeyes playing down to their talent this year and cost them a W against Iowa State

11. (-6) Illinois Going out on the West Coast and getting crushed is not good for the fighting Illini

12. (-4) Indiana Lost to Bowling Green *sigh*

13. (NC) Purdue Look at the positive side Boilermaker fans you did something that TTUN couldn’t do, you scored on Notre Dame twice!!

14. (NC) Northwesternwhile idle unless the Wildcats produce a win they will be basement dwellers

I always appreciate the feedback and discussions this is what makes college football so fun can’t wait to hear from you guys this week.

Ohio State vs Kent State: Quick Recap

The Final: 66-0. No big deal.

 

Offensive player of the gameJ.T. Barrett. 23-30 312 yards, 6 touchdowns. Are you not entertained?

 

Defensive player of the game: Don’t make me choose! Everybody played well but I guess I’ll give it to Darron Lee. His future is as bright as Oregon’s helmet. Seemed to always be in the right spot and man is he starting to learn to play fast.

 

Freshmen of the game: Too many choices again, I’ll go with Curtis Samuel. I can’t remember a game with so many freshmen making impact plays. Raekwon = the truth, my honorable mention.

 

Goof of the week: Kent State’s Jon Cunningham going “Gary Busey” on the sideline before, during, and after the game. I loved it but his teammates definitely did not.

 

Biggest complaint: Ezekiel you are clearly a large, so why did you order a medium jersey?

 

Randy Bobandy gut of the week: Donovan Munger, #52. Keep slamming cheeseburgers into that meat locker;  it’s glorious. Played well too.

 

The Verdict: Couldn’t have gone any better. It’s tough to take a lot away from this game because Kent State is smelly, but I bet Urban really wishes this game was week 1. Great confidence boosting win, so many daggum freshmen, wow. This game should quiet the “Urban’s recruits haven’t proven anything” crowd, at least for a week. Have mercy does this team have any upper classmen?

 

Where were these short passes last week? I’ll never get over it, 9/6/14 #neverforget.

 

Up next: After a few weeks of confusion and identity issues, the Buckeyes go bye.

 

P.S. Quint Kessenwhateveridon’tcarehowtopronounceit can keep telling me that Va Tech losing is making Ohio State fans feel worse, but I won’t believe it. I was laughing the whole time.