It’s finally here… the first SBP of the 2011 season. No more preseason talk, no more countdowns- it’s time to squeeze the trigger. Let’s do this.
- Injury update- Word is that the Buckeyes are healthy, with the exception of Jamaal Berry (nursing a hamstring). Tyler Moeller and Etienne Sabino have been practicing at full strength, and are part of the lineup for Saturday.
- Fickell Speaks- The head coach of the Buckeyes held his first presser of the season, and the initial reaction was how different it was than the previous administration- a lot more openness in the Q&A, which went for about half an hour. Missing, though, were the “as so forth”s… it’s up to us to continue the legacy. Great quote from the new boss-
Come Sunday morning, the first thing I do when I come in is I put on the special teams reel and I’m going to put on the fourth quarter. I want to see what your body language is like, your competitive nature is like. I don’t care if you’re a third team, a first team guy. If you’re on special teams, I want to see how you compete. I want to see your body language looks like in the fourth quarter whether you’re up 35 or down 35, whether it’s a tie ball game or not. Those are the things we want to see.
- Captain, my captain- It was announced today that, in lieu of having week to week captains, one will be selected for each game. Coach Fickell mentioned that this would be something that could changed as the year went on, but that it was something that acknowledged the work that all of the seniors have done this season. When asked about it, Senior Mike Brewster replied-
It would have been cool, but it’s not about me. It’s not about any individual this year. I’m more worried about the team. Like I said before, I’m here to make sure this team moves forward and help Coach Fick any way I can.
- Like A Baus- Taking a cue from the geniuses at EDSBS, we also celebrate Fickell’s decision to name senior Joe Bauserman as the starter for the Akron contest. Given the “OR” on the depth chart, thought, Buckeye fans won’t have to wait until postgame to enjoy Miller Time, it seems.
- Fickell’s Follies- Coach Tressel was famous for his quips during weekly press conferences- intentional and otherwise. We’ll have to see if Luke brings the same to the table, so fnow we’ll let you in on how he will decide his gameday attire-
Whatever my wife lays out. You know what, that’s not something I’ve put a whole lot of thought into.
- Speaking of the Vest- Ohio State unveiled a tribute wall today to Jim Tressel’s legacy at Ohio State, redacted to reflect the vacated wins (you can’t vacate my memory, though…):
This Week In Scandal
- Rocking like a Hurricane- The news in Miami continues to be confusing, but at this point, it’s to be expected. First, news emerged that the 72 former ‘Canes mentioned in the Yahoo! report will be invited to talk to legal folks in the bankrutpcy courts as the case against Nevin Shapiro moves forward.
- Hurricane Shapiro, Continued- Then, the NCAA released their decision regarding the players suspended by Miami in connection with these allegations… and, as you can guess, there seem to be some holes in the “logic”. Some are being required to sit out one game, while a few will also miss four to six contests. All are being required to pay back the amounts of the benefits received; which has never made much sense, as the argument made by folks is that these students are too poor to afford college life and need the extra whatever (prostitutes, cars, tattoos)- now they can afford to make restitution? The amounts are interesting, too- since Buckeyes will be sitting out the game (and two others) due to similar amounts (and not being forthcoming once educated). Our friend ParagonSC is probably nodding his head as Buckeye Nation tries to figure out what’s how this makes any sense whatsoever, while Robby has nailed the learning moment from all of this-
- Nothing to worry about- According to Yahoo!’s Charles Robinson, this is pretty typical; punish the players and then go for bigger fish. I’m sure ‘Da U is going to be fine, though, since their president has taken charge of the investigation, and was a part of the NCAA summit on reform several weeks ago. She’s got it all locked down…. what? Miami knew that this was coming for over a year now? You don’t say… What’s really got to have UM brass sweating is the fact that the NCAA indicated that benefits were received from Shapiro and “athletic personnel”.
- Academic Prowess- Former Buckeye Duron Carter is cleared to play for Alabama. Wonder who got released/medically redshirted to make that happen?
- Oversigning, Continued- UConn is on probation, and has lost scholarships (what, you didn’t hear about this about the defending champion? That’s what you get for watching ESPN). Did that stop them from “creative roster management”? Nope. Ah, the power of the NCAA to make a difference…
- Journalism at it’s finest- Great article in Sports Illustrated this past week regarding the state of college sports coverage, particularly at the four letter network. Notable were thoughts on Craig James, but there were other great comments as well-
If you could change anything about ESPN’s college football coverage, what would you change and why?
Staples: Lately, it seems as if ESPN has tried to set the agenda for college coverage. This is a bad idea. The big story is what it is, and people will seek coverage of it even if it happens to be SEC coaches “Car Wash” day. There will be days when I turn on College Football Live and I wonder if I even cover the same sport. The fact that ESPN is in bed financially with all the conferences shouldn’t affect its journalism choices. Really, ESPN is so massive that the business relationships don’t have to affect journalism choices. At this point, the conferences need ESPN more than it needs the conferences. So it shouldn’t kowtow.
- Down on the Bayou- With the ongoing situation regarding LSU’s starting quarterback being arrested and investigated for the possible assault of an out of uniform Marine, you’d think there’d be funny photoshop moments. And you’d be right. It’s a real pity that the marquee game of the opening week for college football is marred by this issue, although I’m sure that you won’t hear much about it… or the fact that Oregon/LSU is effectively the “Willie Lyles Bowl“… or the other LSU sanctions from earlier in the year. But if you played a drinking game where you took a shot every time you heard “NCAA” or “Sanctions” during the Ohio State/Miami game, you’d have alcohol poisoning before the opening kickoff.
- Journalism that doesn’t suck- We already mentioned Robby, the pride of WCBI, it only makes sense that we remind you of other tBBC alumni making a big splash in the “real world”. Of course, El Jefe is still keeping it real at Fox Sports Ohio, but Rob Harley will also be doing three games for ESPN3 this season. And of course, the “Big Sexy” is bringing his truth to the Ohio News Network… well worth your time!
- Expanding like a Wisconsin waistline- By the time you read this, Texas A&M may have left the Big 12-2 and be headed to the SEC. Or not. Who knows, to be honest. UPDATE- Yup, it’s official. While this has been rumored for a while, today ESPN reported that the “it’s not you, it’s us” letter had been submitted to the conference by the folks in College Station. aTm rejected this report, and other news indicated that it wasn’t a letter but a phone call. The New York Times also reported that this is an inevitability, and postulates that Notre Dame, BYU, and Pitt are under consideration to join the “Texas and Pals” club of awesomeness (note- may not apply to Baylor). Frank the Tank ads that Pitt may also be a target of the SEC. We’d probably know more, but the conference seems to be less than excited to respond to media requests for information (via our old pal the FOI request); I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before ESPN sues to gain access… it’s kinda’ what they do.
- Good news- While the expansion discussion and aftermath may completely overhaul the sport we love so much (please, please, please, please…), the truth is that we’re going to be benefactors of this before much longer. Yup, the maestro of MS Paint will be updating his brilliant coverage of this matter very soon, according to the prophetic word spaketh today. For your enjoyment… our story thus far: