Meyer Musings- Today, the press corps got to connect with Coach Meyer and talk about the end of winter conditioning as well as taking a look at what what the staff is looking forward to for the spring. While the insight was welcomed, most folks who were present were incredibly impressed with the candor and straight forwardness of the new staff. I guess not everyone is was a fan of the Senatorial tone from the previous administration and so forth.
Every Day I’m Battlin’- In listening to Coach Meyer, you really get an understanding of his number one priority: Will to win. Winter training has been all about competition, and will wrap up with a special dinner upon returning from Spring Break for those who’ve earned it via their hard work. Spring practice will not change this focus; Wednesday and Saturdays will be all about competitions, with winning teams receiving awards and losing teams having more conditioning to do- coaches and all.
Standouts Standing Out- In addition to Big Hank’s graduation to the next level of maturity within the team standards, Coach Meyer singled out Brionte Dunn as someone who’d progressed and “graduated” as well. Initially, Meyer wasn’t too enthused about Brionte, but following a conversation with him at his home and the work that the GlennOak star put in during the winter, he’s a fan. Incidentally, when Brionte initially told coach that he was interested in visiting other schools (presumably Michigan), he was told that “you’d better like it”- implying that his spot would not be waiting for him upon his return. Whispers around the WHAC indicate that Dunn will certainly be pushing for significant playing time in the spring.
Spring Forward- Speaking of spring football, Coach Meyer talked about his desire to set the two deep after the spring game on the 21st, and having fall training be primarily for game day preparation. New Buckeyes will essentially be told that the lineup is set, and they should go and work to take a position.
Impressions- Kenny Guiton has had a good winter, and is “Acting like a quarterback” now. Reid Fragle has worked to become Fragel Rock as he transitions to tackle (rumors are that he’s up to 300 pounds with 8% body fat); including having his best quarter academically. He’ll be joined on the OL by Darrell Baldwin, who was moved due to Coach Fickell’s suggestion regarding his footwork. This will be a move that helps address Coach Meyer’s concerns regarding the shape and mobility of the current offensive line corps.
Toting The Rock- Jordan Hall had a good offseason, and Carlos Hyde/Rod Smith have come light years under the new regime. Philly Brown is the best competitor of the receivers, and Devin Smith ended the training season strong.
Transitions? Finished- Coach Coombs has fit in and brings an enthusiastic energy; Coach Fickell is the “general manager” of the team and has excelled in his return to the role of an assistant. In terms of players, Meyer believes that attrition is complete; now they’ve survived training and get to play football.
This Week In Scandal
Walk In Tar, Get Something Stuck To You- In the least covered story of the week, the UNC sanctions came out on Monday; again, the brilliance of doing so while everyone was filling out their brackets should not be overlooked. The low down- Vacated wins, $50K fine, 15 schollys over 3 years, and a 3 year “Show cause” for former coach Blake.
Sense and Nonsense- Buckeye fans can be rightfully concerned that the sanctions were very similar to what OSU was given, although Tressel had two more years of “Show cause” and OSU gave up two bowl games and a boatload of money, while UNC was given more lost scholarships. While I’ve stopped trying to make sense of the NCAA’s logic (Eric’s the expert here), it’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones who perceive this inequity- Here are comments from Yahoo!’s Charles Robinson.
Homerism Aside- The biggest frustration for me is that the situation at Chapel Hill involved something that compromises the very essence of Higher Education- academic fraud in the form of tutors writing papers for athletes. While this may be a common occurrence at many schools, it seemed to go beneath the radar of the NCAA Committee On Infractions; they were more concerned with the threat to “amateurism” via impermissible benefits. So, to be clear- cheating on your education = minor deal. Making money on your abilities = big deal. Puts a kink in the “Athletes get paid with educational opportunities” arguments, don’t it?
Former Tar Heels safety Deunta Williams, who was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for accepting improper benefits from a former North Carolina player, was upset with the NCAA’s ruling.
Williams said the NCAA was out to make an example of North Carolina and that the organization ignores what happens at SEC schools.
“What happened at Carolina is child’s play compared to what happens at the SEC,” Williams said. “The SEC pays for players. I’m not afraid to say it, but the NCAA doesn’t go after them.”
Feeling Fab? Feeling Melo?Syracuse ain’t. Gosh, that can only help the #2 seed there, right? “He didn’t do some of (his work)…” Meaning it didn’t get done or someone else did it? Ah well, if UNC has taught us anything, it’s that academic fraud ain’t nothing but a thang.
The other problem is that the elite teams are just campus-based AAU programs, which means the kids are primarily playing for themselves. Kentucky is the most unabashed example, but it is not alone. Do the players still want to win? Sure. But would they exchange a first-round NCAA exit in order to somehow move up three spots in the next NBA draft? Of course. They’ve been (somewhat justifiably) trained to think about themselves first. When a 14-year-old point guard travels the country on an all-star roster and then transfers to a different high school in order to play in a better league, he’ll unconsciously view himself as an unpaid professional. That will be his mind-set as a one-and-done college freshmen. Now, I don’t hold this against any player. I would feel the same way, were I in their position. (I’d probably go to Kentucky.) But it makes college basketball slightly different for everyone else.
And then Titus weighs in-
It’s overrated in the sense that it’s a terrible way to determine the best team in the country. For example, George Mason was a cool Cinderella story in 2006, but if it would’ve had to play Connecticut in a best-of-seven series that year, there’s a good chance that UConn would’ve beaten George Mason by 20 in each of the next four games. Any team can beat any other team in just one game, which is why the tournament is awful at accomplishing its primary goal…
Yeah, a playoff in college football would solve everything.
Don’t Forget- Judging by the end of last week’s episode, Hershel’s farm is going to need a lot of the buckets we opened today’s post with. Although… you really couldn’t tell from the show’s intro: